Pulling Slide Film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Ektagraphic, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Hello-
    I was wondering what the benefits were to pull processing slide film. I already like to keep the film speed at a minimum, but why would someone ever pull E200 when they can get E100? Thanks
     
  2. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Me too wondered about this some time ago, but as you I didn´t come to any conclusion. I would say the most logic reasons would be at least: 1. to get reasonable results from a slide film that you overexposed by mistake and 2. to get shutter speeds that are still within the speed range of your shutter when shooting on a sunny day without having a neutral gray filter. But this is highly theoretical.
     
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  3. Robert Liebermann

    Robert Liebermann Member

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    3. to shoot at a speed that you don't have the proper film for at the moment (maybe you want slower shutter speed and/or shallower DOF). 4. To experiment and get weird or maybe good or entertaining results. these more practical when you develop your own film, of course.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "...why would someone ever pull E200 when they can get E100?"

    Pushing and pulling do not affect the film's speed evenly across the board. This is a common misconception. They affect the contrast. Another common misconception is that rerating your film*is* pushing or pulling. It is not. It is simply a blanket over or underexposure, which can be used together with pushing or pulling to create different effects.

    I pull transparencies all the time to lower contrast in a high contrast situation. For me, it is the main benefit of shooting a color transparency over a color negative. I don't do it because I want to change the speed of my film. I do it because I want to (or need to) change the contrast. Most will do -2 no problem. Some will hold up to -2-1/2 with correctable color (every one I have tried it with, anyhow: Provia 100 and 400, T64, and MS 100/1000). I've never found one that maintains correctable color at -3. Then again, that can be difficult even with a single-layer black and white film.
     
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  5. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    The colour response of E200 is very different from any of the other Kodak ISO 100 offerings, so the look would be very specific to that film. Generally E200 is very favorable to skin tones, and renders very nice blue tones. It is also low contrast in comparison to other E-6 films. I have shot E200 at ISO 100, though I usually use it pushed. When using it at ISO 100, and then pull processing, the contrast is even lower, yet the colour response is the same as ISO 200. One usage would be outdoor people images with a brilliant blue sky; the lower contrast would avoid an overly sharp look, while the brilliance of the blue sky would still be there. The alternative for me would be to use Fuji Astia 100F, but then the blue sky would be much more subdued. All these E-6 films are subtle at times in their differences, except E100VS and Velvia, so a slight change is usage should be with a very specific end result as the intention.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
     
  6. PVia

    PVia Member

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    What 2F said...to lower contrast in an overly bright situation. I've done it with Astia...
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Thanks..maybe I will try it some day with a few diffrent films....I wonder how Kodachrome would react......
     
  8. hrst

    hrst Member

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  9. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I didnt think this question required me starting a new one...

    Would pulling black and white slides cause lower contrast just like with color slides? I would assume so, but just wanted to check and see if anyone has done it :smile:
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Most current chrome films pull quite poorly. An exception would probably be Astia. But there's always a tradeoff, which is typically blocked-up or muddied highlights.
     
  11. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    I've accidentally done it when pulling some B&W direct reversal films, e.g. Kodak 2360 (the Estar version of 5360). To my eye, it just results in muddy washed out blacks. Which you could fix up a bit when printing...but you're probably not printing reversal film. Or which you could fix up a bit when scanning... but then it's not clear what the advantage is over negative films.

    Duncan
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Color reversal films generally do not push or pull gracefully. Weird things can happen to the 3 layers causing some unpredictable results.

    That said, IDK if the following is true today but at one time some Ektachrome 100 films were comparable Ektachrome 200 films with 0.3 neutral density dye added to the coating. This dropped the speed from 200 to 100 and gave an incredible increase in sharpness while everything else stayed the same.

    PE
     
  13. Film-Niko

    Film-Niko Member

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    Your statement is not true anymore, at least not for the current Fuji films.
    Provia 400X for example is excellent pushed to 800 and 1600, and even quite good at 3200.
    And excellent pulled 1 stop.
    It pushes better than the current 400 CN films.
    The film is specifcally designed for push processing.
    This film belongs to the best color films ever made.
    Outstanding material.

    Astia 100F and Provia 100F deliver also excellent results pulled 1 stop and pushed 1 stop.
     
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  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Apparently some of us have very different standards about what consitutes acceptable quality. I consider the current Provia film useless for pulling, and Astia
    maybe 1/2 stop at best. The whole point of pulling is to SLIGHTLY expand the exposure range of the film without gross crossover or lumping of the extreme ends
    of the curve. Otherwise, you're merely trying to salvage a bad exposure. I could pull
    the older-style Provia 100 half a stop with just a little blocking up in the highlights,
    and get better shadow expansion; but the 100F has very little forgiveness in this
    respect. I will admit that I haven't tried the 400-speed film because I shoot mostly
    8x10, and that stuff penalized your wallet heavily if you waste an exposure. Pushing
    virtually always ends up lopping off part of the scale. It's basically a form of underexposing, losing shadow values, and then trying to correct the midtone saturation; but if that's the look someone wants...
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Film-Niko;

    Pushing reversal films is achieved by essentially fogging the film so that the color Dmax is decreased by the increase in first development giving fogged silver that does not give a dye image. There s thus a reduced Dmax in the final color image which gives what appears to be higher image speed but in reality is no speed increase at all. If the layers are not perfectly balanced, then the image can shift color, have color crossover and often will give very poor results.

    Of course, it also changes the mid scale contrast and the grain.

    So, given what you have said, I would say that the user must be the judge of what is acceptable for them and I would advise them to proceed cautiously on this.

    Also, you have taken part of the line from my post out of context which changes its meaning somewhat.

    PE
     
  17. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Are you insane? 400X cannot hold a candle to Portra 400. It is horrid by comparison.

    Provia 400X is a good slide film for pushing, it is otherwise not a good film for pushing.


    I recently pulled Velvia 50 4 stops to salvage gross overexposure. It is unsuitable for projection (unless you have a colour balance function on your projector) with an extra strong projection lamp.

    Regardless, it colour corrects fine if used as a non-final product, all the shadow detail you could possibly want, all the highlights are there (as the pull was a little too much), contrast actually seems fine, but the saturation and punch is gone.

    Last time I did something like this it was a cross-process in C-41 combined with a pull just to get the images off the film, colour corrected the results were much better and much more strongly saturated - you generally don't intend for low saturation when pulling out slide film.
     
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  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    If you have good process control, I'd certainly prefer pulling to flashing the film, which tends to spoil the sharpness and differentiation of the shadows. But I gave up both once Fuji came up with a triad of films for different contrast situations (Astia/Provia 100/Velvia). Now that the selection of these films has become limited again (at least for me, in sheet version) and Kodak color neg films have been dramatically improved, it's a whole new ballgame.
     
  19. Film-Niko

    Film-Niko Member

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    PE, I am using Provia 400X for 4 years now. I have shot hundred of rolls of it, dozens pushed. How much have you used?

    There is no color shift and color crossover pushed at 800 and 1600.
    Grain is almost the same at 800 compared to 400. You need a 12x loupe to see the very small differences.
    At 1600 grain is coarser, but still very fine.

    @athiril: Provia 400X has much better sharpness and higher resolution than Portra 400, at normal speed and pushed.
    The difference is big, 20 - 30% depending on the used speed.
    And Portra 400 is even worse in this respect compared to Pro 400H.
    I've done direct comparisons.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Film Niko;

    If it works for you then my best wishes. My statement was a generalization and also phrased in the conditional tense using the lead in "IF". So, IF Fuji has balanced their reversal films better now, then my statement obviously does not apply.

    I'll stand by what I said though and that is that reversal films do not push or pull gracefully when compared to negative films. This is a generic characteristic of reversal films that I learned from many years working on the design of films, emulsions and processes.

    PE
     
  21. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Despite all claims made about about push/pull processing, very few of the surviving E6 lines I've used recently are capable of consistent monitoring of processing times--the key to satisfactorily consistent results. Sad but true. I love shooting 120 E6 material(especially E100GX)but haven't gotten nice results from pushed Provia 400 in a very long time.

    I'm not sure what Film-Niko's up to here but with the realities of hybrid workflow, Portra 400 makes my life way easier for not sweating iffy E6 processing.
     
  22. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Film-Niko: Well sorry but your methodology must be poor, because that is simply incorrect. Portra 400 has better resolving power than Provia 400X. The MTF curve has a better response. Portra 400 also has whole orders of magnitude more dynamic range. Provia 400X will clip both highlights and shadows at the same time before pushing, pushing it to 1600.. it's just absolutely nasty in that respect.

    Also have a look at the characteristic curves, look where the Provia 400X "shoulders" (or toe I guess) the highlights before completely flattening out (not to mention clipping the highlights let alone being flat).

    Portra 400 remains a steep straight line for 6 stops past this point where Provia 400X begins to flatten out, with no sign of flattening out into a shoulder yet. Not to mention the highlights aren't going to be clipped.
     
  23. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I haven't shot chromes for a while, but I used to push and pull up to 3/4 of a stop. When doing commercial work in the old days, I'd shoot 3 sheets of EPP, run a test. From the test, I'd do my "Balancing" based on the test by pushing or pulling the remaining sheets. Some of the work was critical color work and processing that wasn't "Normal" caused color shifts. I'd avoid push or pull processing because of that and the special handling of the film would cost extra. From my experience, it seems that Fuji RDP or RTP pushed and pulled well.
     
  24. Film-Niko

    Film-Niko Member

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    My methodology isn't poor at all, because I use the test methods used and published by Zeiss.
    The only difference is that I am using less contrast for my tests (because in real photography situations there is less contrast compared to the five stops contrast Zeiss is using), and my tripod is not a heavy Sachtler one which is used by Zeiss.
    I've got 105 linepairs per millimeter with Provia 400X.
    And 75 lp/mm with new Portra 400.

    Did you have tested the resolution of both films in real photography, using your lens?
    Which values have you got?

    Or are you only looking at MTF curves?

    All photographers who have did detailed tests by themselves know that MTF data has a very limited relevance to real life shots.
    MTF tests are done under conditions quite different to our real shooting conditions.
    If you want to know how much resolution a film and a lens can deliver, take photographs under the same conditions and compare these photographs.
    I've done that. And Provia 400X surpasses Portra 400 in resolution and sharpness.
    Fuji Pro 400H is a bit better in this respect compared to Portra 400, too, but not as good as 400X.
     
  25. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Some reasons were already mentioned. One was to manage contrast and to adopt to high contrast scenes.

    There is another method to adopt to higher contrast scenes, with which you can increase the dynamic range by one stop.
    This method is used for decades by photographers working with the zone system.
    Mostly used with BW film, but it also works well with color film.
    It is based on the physical fact that when you double the light intensity for zone I, it doesn't effect the highlight zones in a visible way.

    Example:
    You measure your exposure, and the value for light intensity for zone I is 1.
    Then the value for highlight zone VIII is 128 (128x or seven stops more light intensity).

    If you double the light intensity for zone I, the value for light intensity will be 1 + 1 = 2.
    Then the light intensity for highlight zone VIII will be 128 + 1 = 129.

    The difference between 128 and 129 is less than 1%, and that is not visible in the picture.
    Therefore you can increase shadow detail by giving extra exposure to the shadows without affecting the highlights.
    A trick successfully used for decades by old school photographers knowing the zone system.

    It works best with using a tripod and multiple exposure setting: Measure the right exposure, then stop down for the first exposure increasing the shadow detail.
    Stopping down will be 4 stops (for zone I) with BW film in general, and because of the steeper characteristic curve of color slide film in the 3 1/3, 3 1/2 or 3 2/3 stops range with slide film. It depends on the film type how much you have to stop down for best results. With more contrastier films with less dynamic range like Velvia 50 stop down less, with films with higher dynamic range like Sensia 100 or Astia 100F stop down a bit more for best results.
    Make the first shot with this stopped down value.

    Then you make on the same negative / positive a second shot with normal (in case of slide film highlight oriented) exposure.
    Your shadow detail will be increased by the first extra exposure, but it will not visible affect the highlights, which are determined by the second, normal exposure.
    If the contrast of the scene is one stop more than the dynamic range of your film, you gain one stop more and can adopt dynamic range of the film to scene contrast.
    If the scene contrast is two stops more, you loose only one zone in the shadows with this technique instead of two zones.
    In this last case with two stops more scene contrast you can combine this technique with pulling one stop to gain the needed two stops.

    I always get excellent results with this zone system technique.

    Another recommended option for managing high contrast scenes, which is often overlooked by photographers, is modern fill-in flash technology. With fill-in flash you can also work with zone system technique. It is possible to set the shadows exactly in the zones you want them by reducing the power of the flash.
    My F 80 / F90X / F6 / SB-800 combinations are doing little wonders in this respect. Precise light adjustment, combining both highlight and shadow detail in high contrast scenes. You don't see it in the picture that fill-in flash was used. Very natural results.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2011
  26. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello Athiril,

    we've tested the current 400 ISO colour films of the market.
    Test method: real life photographs with an object contrast of only 1:4 (two stops).
    Lenses: AI-S Nikkor 1,8/50 and Zeiss ZF 2/50. Both at f5,6.
    With Nikon F6, MLU, Berlebach 3032 tripod, 1/250s, focus bracketing.

    Provia 400X: 105 - 115 linepairs per millimeter

    Portra 400 new: 80 - 100 lp/mm

    Fuji Pro 400H: 90 - 105 lp/mm

    (first value represents clear separated lines, second value the limit where still a difference in contrast can be seen).

    Provia 400X clearly surpasses Portra 400 in resolution (and Pro 400H). And with contour sharpness as well.
    Not surprising, because in most cases slides films deliver better detail rendition compared to colour negative films of the same speed. Especially at low and medium object contrasts.

    ISO 100 films (same test method):

    Ektar 100: 90 - 105 lp/mm

    E100G, Elitechrome 100, Sensia 100, Provia 100F, Astia 100F: 120 - 135 lp/mm

    Velvia 100 / 100F: 125 - 140 lp/mm

    By the way, pushing Provia 400X: I have often done it and never seen a colour cast. Colours have always been accurate.

    Best regards,
    Henning