Provia vs Velvia vs Astia for first slide film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'll be using my RB67 for the first time on an upcoming trip and I want to burn a roll or two of slide film. I normally don't shoot slide film because the only way to print it is with an internegative or that-process-that-shall-not-be-named, but I just want to see some 6x7 slides on the light table while I can still get transparency film. I will also be testing how well my Mamiya "C" lenses look using color film. I won't have any color correction filters, I don't know how accurate my shutters are, and I meter only sloppily. What would be a good first slide film to try? The last slide film I used in 35mm was Kodachrome 64 and I always loved it, especially the reds.
     
  2. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    If you're looking for that serious wow factor, velvia will do it. Provia is awesome and is a little less sensitive to exposure. Astia is low-contrast, and will look great for the right subjects that need that pastel palette.
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Velvia is a very narrow film, meaning that in my experience even 1/2 stop can mess up a shot. So depending on how you're shooting, it could work for or against you...it's also quite slow. I would shoot Vevlia 50 at 64 or 80 and 100 and 125. Provia on the other hand seems to be more forgiving and you really only lose a little punch in terms of saturation if slightly underexposed as well. Provia.....uh...shhhhh (scans really easily)shhhhhh....

    Why not try some of the Kodak offerings as well? The E100VS is a great film and has some serious punch and contrast to it. It seems to handle easier than the aforementioned Velvia as well.

    Just my $.02
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    The exposure unlatitude of slide film makes me slightly nervous, so I guess I'd better avoid Velvia. I liked Kodak E100G in 35mm, but Fuji film is ~20% cheaper.
     
  5. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    If you're gonna go Velvia go Velvia 50, I don't find anything 'wow' about Velva 100 or 100F.

    I'm gonna chuck my vote in for E100VS for the 'wow' factor, otherwise go Astia or E100G.

    E100VS doesn't go ridiculously blue in cold light unfiltered.

    Mamiya C lenses look fantastic in colour.


    My first home E-6 test (Kit E-6, as opposed to all my Xtol and Rodinal "E-6" and DIY mixed "E-6") stuff with 180mm Sekor C wide open.

    Unfiltered in late afternoon very heavy overcast cold light.
    [​IMG]
    DIY E-6 Test Roll by athiril, on Flickr
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  6. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Provia, meter slightly less sloppily (but only slightly less) and you'll be fine :wink:
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Is Provia 400X any good? That extra 2 stops sure might come in handy.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Very nice color for conditions. I've not tried E100VS-I guess I'll have to now.

    Uhmm, your shrub needs water.:wink:
     
  9. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    It was autumn going into winter!

    400X ain't bad, it goes extremely damn blue and dense in cold light underexposed even a little, better to filter and also push in that case, ie: late afternoon heavy overcast in an opening in a forest under a tall water fall. It was like monochrome blue.

    It all depends on usage.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    IMHO, just go get some RVP50 (Velvia 50) and RDPIII (Provia 100F). Velvia has insane colours (and a very special purple for skies) that you just have to see to believe and believe me you want to see them. Provia has no reciprocity failure so you can happily shoot it at night for exposures of a few minutes whereas other slide films have reciprocity failure that varies with the channel, so the slides tend to have big colour shifts, RVP50 goes quite green in only 4s. I believe Astia is discontinued in 120 though there are still stocks to be found. It's very neutral and excellent for portraiture, whereas Velvia will give you carrot-orange skin.

    Provia has high contrast, and while it's not as high as Velvia, it's very high. It doesn't have as much saturation, so that actually makes it a more difficult film to get images that really pop without blowing highlights or losing shadows. I like to use it just for twilight and night photos where the light is already very colourful.

    In terms of metering, er, just don't be sloppy :wink: The easiest thing while starting out is just to shoot Sunny-16 in what you know to be Sunny-16 conditions and anything that's in direct sunlight will be properly exposed. I would suggest shooting your first roll of RVP50 at ISO50, 1/125, f/10, i.e. open up 1/3 stop from f/11 because 1/125 is not 1/100. Or combinations thereof. Whatever.

    Deliberately bracket one shot from -1 to +1 stops in 0.5 stop increments (so that's five frames for one composition) on your first roll so that you have a good idea of what the slides will look like when there are exposure errors.

    Once you're happy with the results at Sunny-16, I recommend using a spot meter (I use my DSLR). Anything between -2 and +2 will have decent detail, anything outside of that range you can consider to be gone or very close to it. Therefore, you want to find scenes wherein everything that matters will fit within a 4 stop range. If your tonal range is even narrower, then you can play with using half-stop under (more saturation) or half-stop over (less saturation) exposure.

    6x7 chromes are a thing of beauty and I warn you that this experiment will cost you dearly!
     
  11. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

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  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    They are all good ones. Try some of each. Remember, there are three types of Velvia:

    50: http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/velvia-50.htm. Very high saturation, warmer yellows.
    100: http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/velvia100.htm. Very high saturation, cooler yellows.
    100F: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/velvia100f.htm. High saturation, better skin tones.

    There is certainly a way to print your transparencies aside from the ones you named: Ilfochrome. Do it while you still can. You can get the stuff from Freestyle via special order.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2011
  13. Ian Cooper

    Ian Cooper Member

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    Not available in 120 format as used by the original poster's RB67...

    ...and withdrawn by Fuji 12 months ago, so now rather difficult to find in 35mm as well.
     
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  15. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    My vote goes for provia, don't be scared by the films latitude, if it is as difficult as people are saying to meter for then it would have been discontinued a long time ago.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Saturation is a relative thing. Astia and E100G would have been considered quite saturated a couple of decades ago.

    I have tried to like Provia and can't seem to do so. If I want exaggerated saturation and wild color, Velvia 50 or E100VS. If I want impressive but less exaggerated color and slightly more manageable contrast, it's E100G nowadays. I like Astia for the same sorts of shots, but since I mostly shoot E6 in 35mm and Fuji discontinued it, I've really started to like E100G.
     
  17. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Agreed - why not grab a roll or two of each type and see how they go? When I first shot slides I didn't know what I was doing and 99% of them came out just fine. And when I got my first roll back, I was floored by the colours and the almost three-dimensionality I got in the slides. I never looked back (until I started shooting black and white that is).
     
  18. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I'd recommend you try them all, but for me, it's Velvia. It was one of the first films I ever shot, and I think it's easier to get right than it seems. It's easy to blow highlights, but apart from that I think it always looks pretty nice. It'll often go a bit purple, but I think for night landscapes, that only adds to it's appeal.
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Provia IMO is great, nice rich color palette Suitable for most any subject.

    Velvia works well where enhanced color is part of the expectation, like fall leaves and technicolor sunsets.

    Astia works better where you don't want color competing with the subject. I'm not saying it's colors are muted, just not enhanced.

    I would though suggest that either you meter well and place your subjects carefully or that you bracket.
     
  20. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Much discussion - care less, shoot more...

    Shall I throw in Fuji Fortia as an option ? heh heh
     
  21. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    When I used to shoot chromes exclusively it was always Velvia 50, then, later Velvia 100. I'm now slowly getting back into shooting color and have shot a few rolls of Provia and prefer the results to Velvia. Little less saturation, more pleasing colors. Velvia is still great for fall foliage though as someone else mentioned or anytime a "drab" scene needs a kick. But I prefer Provia to Velvia for most subjects.
     
  22. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Everyone has their own taste, and with slide films the opinions seem to run exceptionally strong. I don't see what people like about Velvia except as a "special effect" film, but obviously lots of people see those colors and absolutely love the result, so there you have it. To my eye Provia 100F looks very natural *in* *sunlight*---it can go really blue, really quickly, in the shade, and I usually shoot it through an 81B filter to keep that under control. But basically I think this is a "jump in and try something and see what you like" situation.

    In my understanding, the contrast of a film and its latitude are intrinsically correlated---I mean, the steeper the characteristic curve is, the more an exposure error changes your results, right?---so you would expect that of the Fuji films, Astia is the most forgiving and Velvia the least, which might argue for starting with Astia. However, my experience is that you can get away with fairly sloppy technique with Provia and still get acceptable photos. I've shot a fair amount of it in old folding cameras whose shutters are of dubious accuracy, and done OK.

    -NT
     
  23. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Not having any experience in color, I'm particularly worried about the color cast issues because I don't have any color correcting filters, at least not in 77mm for my RB.
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Quit worrying and try it. If you shoot in sunlight or with flash, it will be completely fine.
     
  25. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Get E100VS for the shade then imho.
     
  26. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    If you have any reds in the scene then I'll agree with Atheril and say E100VS.
    Reds that will blow your mind.

    I used to be Provia, Provia, Provia.
    All the time.
    It will indeed go blue if you don't watch things.

    Good info here from everyone, well except maybe one :wink:
    Have a great trip.