Provia 100F speed question

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Moopheus, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I just got back three rolls of Provia 100 120 that were badly blown out, all overexposed by at least a whole stop or more. I was shooting at the box rated speed. The only one that came out was one that was shot in kind of a dark location; I thought it would be underexposed but in fact looks pretty good. I haven't used this film before; most of my recent slide shooting has been Kodachrome. I don't think it was my light meter; I've used it with other films and cameras without difficulty. I don't think it's the camera (a Kowa 6), as I just processed a roll of Acros I shot just after the Provia, and the negs look spot-on exposure-wise. Should this film be rated at a slower speed? Or did I screw it up?
     
  2. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    I've always used Provia rated at 100----it is my favorite slide film--never a problem. I'll be watching the replies myself as you've stirred my curiosity !
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I rate it at 100 as well.

    I wouldn't make any judgments on the basis of your Acros exposure. B&W neg film can tolerate overexposure, while color slide film can't.

    I suspect it's a metering technique issue. Maybe if you posted a few shots and talk about your metering technique, you might get a few suggestions.
     
  4. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Spot meter highest value, add 1 1/2 stops, shoot. ASA 100. tim
     
  5. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Unfortunately, I don't have a film scanner at the moment. I understand that slide film is less tolerant, but I've been using the same meter with Kodachrome and the Kodachrome comes out nice, in fact maybe a tad underexposed.

    The meter is a Gossen Luna Pro F, which I use with the spot attachment. Not a true spot, I know, but at least it lets me see what the meter is pointed at. I try not to have the highlights be more than +2 on the scale.

    I guess the next thing to try is to put a roll of Provia through one of my trusty Nikons, and see if that comes out any better.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd try to put the highlights at about +1 or +1.5. +2 is going to be too much.
     
  7. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I'll try that. Thanks for the feedback. Do you find that at that exposure level, it holds shadow detail okay?
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It depends upon the time of day and dynamic range.

    I would expect it is your metering technique rather than your camera or the film. Your meter may be getting fooled by the dark areas; hence the suggestion to meter the hightlights and open up.
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    I have without exception found Provia 100F to expose nicely at 100 ISO. The problem is likely to lie in your metering technique or your equipment. Shooting a roll with your Nikon with the same meter/technique may rule out (or finger) the camera, but isn't certain in itself to pinpoint the problem.

    The usable dynamic range of this film is about five stops. If you're really exposing at two stops more than indicated by a spot for the brightest area in which you want to hold detail then I wouldn't expect this to result in gross over-exposure. If anything I'd expect a lot of black shadows in your contrastier scenes where I'd be expecting to use a grad to enable me to open up a bit more to achieve shadow detail. The beauty of a spot meter with slide film is the ability to measure scene brightness in relation to the capability of your film and check out where each important element in your composition is going to sit---which requires more than one reading. But whilst I don't think that "x stops more than highlight" is the best way to expose slide film it seems most unlikely to me that what you say you've done is the cause of this problem.

    I'd be inclined to try, with the Kowa and the Nikon, a few exposures of a near mid-tone like a high blue sky using the same Gossen and no adjustment to the reflective reading. If the result from each camera is the same and broadly correct then you have a metering technique problem though as I say I doubt this. If the sky is over-exposed with both cameras to about the same degree then you have a meter problem. If the sky is correctly exposed with the Nikon, but over with the Kowa then you have a camera problem.

    As indicated the wider dynamic range of b&w film may be hiding a relatively small error in exposure measurement or exposure delivery that will be quite sufficient to spoil your slide exposures.
     
  10. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    That is sometime what happens with the Kodachrome--in bright, very constrasty light, the shadows lack good detail, though in more diffuse light, such as a slightly cloudy day, it's fine. I've got three rolls here that I just shot with the same meter, and none of them look like the results I got with the Provia.
     
  11. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    I own a pro lab which processes at least 20 rolls of Provia 100F 120 format per day, and maybe 5 rolls of the stuff in 35mm. I am rarely asked to change the films speed and most of my clients rate as though it is a 100iso film, its a beautiful film and I would suggest it be shot at 100iso as the results from this are beautiful. If ever something looks different than you expect it to I would discuss it with the lab just to ensure there has been no speed change on their behalf and to make sure their process is under control and not fluctuating.

    Steve Frizza
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  12. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    15 Aug 2007

    When I shoot slide film Provia 100F is the only film I use. It is wonderful stuff! Gives clean true colors without being too saturated. I mainly shoot in 35mm and have limited experience in 120, but in both cases I rate the film at EI 125. This gives me a little more density when making prints.

    I echo David's comments about placement of highlights. I would place them at +1.5 stops.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  13. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Well, it sounds like
     
  14. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Sorry, hit the wrong button--

    Sounds like from all are saying, I need to try again, and be more conservative metering the highlights. For your amusement, I did manage to make a rough "scan" by photgraphing the film on a light table (with some reflections from the sleeve):

    The first is the "normal" exposure Provia, then the "underexposed" Provia, then the normally exposed Kodachrome.
     

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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Looks like you just placed your highlights too high on the daylight scenes with the Kowa.

    It's also possible, if you used the same meter for the Kodachrome shots, that your Kowa shutter speeds (or at least some of them) are on the slow side--slide film will reveal such problems.
     
  16. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I'll just chime in with a me too. I use a lot of Provia 100 & would say that its true speed is 100. For copystand work I will rate it 100 & get N development.
    For my general walk around shooting I like to rate it at 100 & have it pushed one stop in the processing. I do that because it gives me one stop faster shutter speed for handheld shooting plus I like the extra density & colour saturation.

    The sample Provia frames look well over, however the other films look OK. Does anyone think that it might be a processing issue?
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I don't see any real bright areas of the scene that would have fooled the meter to be off that much. I think you had the meter set for the wrong ISO.
     
  18. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I have made that mistake, from switching cameras and forgetting to reset the meter. But it's unlikely I did it consistently for three rolls. I suppose it's remotely possible it was a lab error, but I sent it to Praus in Rochester. More likely it was my error.
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    No worries. I can't tell you how many times I've done that in the past while shooting sheet film.
     
  20. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    System wouldn't let me edit the original post.
    I meant to say that I rate it at 200 & have it pushed half a stop.
     
  21. mark

    mark Member

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    Did you set your aperture right? That is my usual mess up with my MF camera. I don't use a Kowa though. I can't tell you how many times I have metered for f16 and forgot the lens was on f8 or larger.

    I tend to underexpose Provia by a half stop, but never had trouble with it at 100 .
     
  22. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Then you might want to try the new Provia 400X.
     
  23. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I plan to try that film soon. I've been laying my hands on so much cheap Provia 100 recently that I need to use it up. But 400X is on the list. I've shot a few rolls of Fortia SP rated at 100 & pushed half a stop & got some rich colour. Not for the faint hearted or those who prize subtlety.
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I've got a few rolls I purchased for an upcoming trip to Australia next month. Looking forward to trying it out.
     
  25. roteague

    roteague Member

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    One additional thought on the original post. I sometimes see this problem with my F5 if I let the batteries get too low.