How to use Provia 400

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by leng, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. leng

    leng Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Most of my photography is urban street, and most of it is relatively contained contrast within a dynamic range of +-2 stops. My film of choise is 400 ASA colour neg. Depending on the lighting and what I want to do with shutter speed and lens opening I set the meter to anywhere from 200 to 800 ASA and the results meet my needs. Most of the time the meter is set to 400 ASA.

    So I can easily use Porvia 400 and have it meet my needs most of the time but it costs more to buy and process so I just have not bothered with it.

    I now find my self with a couple of rolls of it and I am looking for suggestions on how to make best use of it outside of my normal use of film and maybe expand my horizons in the future.
     
  2. amuderick

    amuderick Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I would use Portra 400VC or another color negative film. I don't know that Provia 400X will provide specific benefits to you here. It is more expensive to buy and process. It has less exposure latitude to help you recover from exposure errors. I probably has more grain than a color negative film of the same speed.

    I use Provia 400X in MF for my stereo shots. I need a slide film and 400X is the only 400 speed in the game. I don't use it for anything else.
     
  3. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    On the other hand, colors tend to be snappier with slide film, which may or may not be what you are after. To me, slides just have a 'dazzle' to them which I have NEVER seen in C41 film. Also, Provia 400 has somewhat better exposure latitude than Provia 100 (and less garish colors). And if you scan, most people prefer scanning slides vs negatives (don't know where you fall in here). As for grain, Provia 400 is actually rated at 11 RMS, which is not bad at all for an ISO400 film (not sure how this compares with ISO400 negative film). Especially when you consider that most ISO100 E6 films are 8 RMS. And to top it off, you can always have a slide show (not possible with C41!).
     
  4. leng

    leng Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Its true about the scanning it has been a pain scanning negs to get the colour right. Up to now I have been using Fuji color. I scan with Vuescan software and the programs profiles for these films are sparse however Kodak films are well covered by the program and I understand that Ektar 100 scans real well. (great talk for a Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry section of the forums) I've used most of my fujicolor film and I now have a food saver container filled with kodak neg films in my fridge along with a couple of rolls of provia 400x. The other thing with slide film is that the emulsion is harder to scratch. Negs must be handled with much more care.

    With the Provia I guess I should be looking for projects with lots of bright colours.
     
  5. Svitantti

    Svitantti Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    I guess it doesnt matter that much what you shoot if you just scan them... But for analog use (which this forum is mostly concentrated on) they sure have their differences that are clear.

    Slides look very different than negs anyway. They have more contrast unless the negs are printed very contrasticly. Ilfochrome has its advantages towards RA-4 -prints, but is lot more expensive and not as common as a process.

    Generally I would say slide films look less grainy. You cannot compare the RMS values straight, because negative films have so much less contrast and the RMS is not compatible between these film types.
    Negatives have more latitude towards "over"exposure, but they might have very grainy shadows if you have not much light. With slide film the blacks are quite clean actually, so it might be an advantage in the dark. This is something that most people fail to mention when talking about exposing negatives vs. slides. It is also commonly said that slides are so hard to expose, but I don't think it is that hard really.

    For scanning, I can just say it's often not too easy to tune your process to give you best results automatically. You get all the tones out of a neg more easily than the dense slide films, but the colours often need more work. You probably should make the decision to get a certain result, not just for the work needed for some final image.
     
  6. Scott_Sheppard

    Scott_Sheppard Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  7. Svitantti

    Svitantti Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
  8. Scott_Sheppard

    Scott_Sheppard Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. Svitantti

    Svitantti Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    Thank you! Sounds interesting and even better if I dont have to download iTunes (never needed it so far) :smile:
     
  10. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I would use Superia X-Tra 400 for this or Portra 400VC.
     
  11. jslabovitz

    jslabovitz Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Shanghai, We
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Try Flickr

    I'm not a current user of Provia 400X -- but I've just ordered a few (120) rolls to play with, along with Astia and Provia 100.

    I've enjoyed searching Flickr for various film types and seeing what people have done with them. Granted, you have to filter a bit for both poor exposure and possible post-production (which could otherwise cloud your perception of the film), but if you take a broad brush, you'll find the sorts of scenes and subjects that work well for a given film