recommend a low contrast color film

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by maxim, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. maxim

    maxim Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    hi
    I am new to this forum

    I am trying to use a lower contrast film ( neg or trans )
    on some very high contrast situation, deep shadows
    but stark and bright sunlight


    I have been told b&W will do the job, but I am keen on colour films.

    whats your recommendation ?
    Show some samples if you could

    thanks
     
  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A slow portrait film: Kodak Portra 160, Fuji NPS, Agfa portrait 160.

    Exose generously for the shadows, the film s can handle it.
     
  3. Imke

    Imke Member

    Messages:
    130
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Savannah, Ge
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Fuji NPH 400 is softer than all of these in my experience.
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Kodak's Ektachrome 64T is the lowest contrast, longest scaled color film manufactured today. Fuji 64T has a little more contrast. Portra 160 has a lot more.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I hesitate to ask this question, but what are you going to do with the film after it has been developed? This has quite an important bearing on the choice of film, and what the usable 'contrast' of it is. I find that Kodak Ultra 100 has about the longest scale, with the comparatively new Fuji Pro 160S (replacement for NPS) being similar.

    Overexposure helps with colour neg, because a lot of colour neg films show a gentle contrast reduction before hitting their effective shoulder.

    There is a low contrast Kodak motion picture stock that is very tempting, if only it didn't need special development to get rid of the rem-jet: 5299 Vision2 HD. It has a comfortable fourteen stops of range.

    If you follow the link in my signature you should see a number of examples of Ultra 100. I haven't put a lot of Pro 160S stuff up yet.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hat's Off to Helen. Looks like new Fuji Pro 160 is the winner.
    Here are some curves:
     
  7. Imke

    Imke Member

    Messages:
    130
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Savannah, Ge
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Gee whiz, do I stand corrected!! :smile:
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

    Messages:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Helen,

    What do you consider the "sweet spot" for EI with the Fuji Pro 160S?

    Thanks,
    Lee
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would consider over exposing and under developing. 14 stops of information won't fit on any paper I am aware of, you can flatten a scene out pretty well by overexposing by two or three stops and underdevelop the film by a stop or two. It would require some experimentation.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,200
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Can you do this with colour neg and /or reversal film? I thought that some pushing was possible with some colour neg films but not pulling which is what under developing is or is it?

    I'd welcome clarification as to what's possible. Thanks

    Pentaxuser
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had luck doing this, but I'm not married to reality. Pulling some films works better than others.

    I was PM'd about this topic. The thoughts of this person whose knowledge exceeds mine was that it is the job of the film to bring the 10 or 15 stop world to the 5-6 stop paper.

    Meaning use the right film and you should be good.
     
  12. maxim

    maxim Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm

    I do have some difficulties sorting out which image is from which film in your gallery, could you point out a few that are on NPS/pro 160
     
  13. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah, yes. Oops. Fewer than I thought - in fact none yet*. I'd forgotten when I switched from 100UC to Pro 160S in relation to where I am up to in posting my recent snaps. I had an archival interlude. I'll try to add some Pro 160S in the next day or two.

    I'm also not aware of any colour paper that will translate the 14 stops (or 12 or 13 or 15) recorded by a film to print image without fancy work such as contrast masking or flashing or fiendish devilry like digital processing, but I'd like to learn of one. It would look awfully flat with most scenes.

    Here are a couple of examples of films printed onto Portra Endura paper - one of the lower contrast papers. First 100UC. This is an example of the difference between the capacity of the film to record a wide scene brightness range, and the translation to a print. The 100UC curve shows an exposure difference (delta log H) of around 3.5 from the toe to the shoulder, or almost 12 stops. In practice it carries on a little above the displayed curve, I find. This is a sensitometric reading, with a real lens the scene brightness range could be higher.

    If you print that onto Portra Endura, forgetting about flare, and using a negative density difference of 1.0 as the benchmark, the density range of the paper reflects a log exposure difference of between approx. 1.5 and 1.8, ie 5 to 6 stops. This is just a rough example for comparison purposes. Notice that you can choose which section of the film characteristic curve you use - you are choosing 5 or 6 stops out of a possible 12. Using the toe or the 'shoulder' gives you a slight extra range, though using the toe gets a bit messy.

    The next post will be the same curves for Pro 160S. The Pro 160S characteristic curve actually shows less range than the 100UC - delta log H of 3.0 instead of 3.5 (but it also continues a little). However, if you translate the film characteristic onto the print characteristic you get a wider usable exposure difference - up to about 7 stops. Real world scene brightness range translated to the print can be higher than this, of course.

    So, with an all-optical process Pro 160S is the lower contrast film. With digital devilry, the 100UC can have a slightly, but not significantly, lower contrast, and a slightly, but not significantly, greater useable ability to record a wide scene brighness range for translation to a print.

    Enough for the moment. This example is just an example, it is not a rigorous treatment, and I hope that my simplifications and sloppy words do not cloud the issue too much.

    Best,
    Helen
    PS I've used the blue curve for clarity.

    *Two Pro 160S snaps of dead roses now added to 'Garden Notebooks': #15 and #16
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2006
  14. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here are the curves for Pro 160S.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Helen you are such a treasure. Tell me about your archival interlude. Was It fun? How long will the memory last? Was it like a summi lux?
     
  16. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It was a senior moment. I dreamed that I found these 1970's B&W pictures of upright Sunday Geordie men in suits and ties and determined Geordie women in headscarves enjoying the bracing North Sea air. I knew that it was a dream because they were all in focus, unlike me at the time.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  17. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

    Messages:
    914
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Lund, Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    http://www.amber-online.com/gallery/exhibition10/image10-921.html

    One finesse on the low-contrast story. If you are going to print via a digital step some films can quite radically change their saturation when scanned. My catch-all - Portra NC - is as flat as expected when printed conventionally, but ends up looking like a Manga comic if scanned carelessly.

    OK. I konw. A-PUG. So shoot me.
     
  18. fparnold

    fparnold Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Location:
    Binghamton,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    *bang*

    While not based on hard numbers, I've shot Portra 160NC at the beach, and managed to get more than acceptable details in both shadowed rocks (every barnacle is clean) and bright, damp, sand. Translating that to a good print is work, but everything is there. I'm looking at the new Fuji 160S for next order of MF film, but given my current environment (overcast mud), there isn't much point for another month or so.

    Regrettably, this is a case where you can stare at curves all day, but you should really take a couple of rolls of current stock out to an approximation of your final scene, and expose them. You'll find out about strange color shifts, transitions, etc, that way.
     
  19. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not sure whether or not that comment was aimed at me, but my use of curves was simply to illustrate a point graphically instead of with a few thousand words. Those of us who look at curves probably also shoot more than 'a couple of rolls' of a film to try it. You can learn a lot by looking at curves, and it doesn't detract one iota from what you learn by using the film.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  20. Quinten

    Quinten Member

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dear Helen, How should I read these curves? I know the flatter the less contrast but I am not really sure of the reason... Ohh I am such a noob at times just watching what works and forgetting everything else but you end up inventing the same things over and over again when you don't really understand what is happening.

    cheers!
     
  21. fparnold

    fparnold Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Location:
    Binghamton,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually Helen, it was aimed at the small pile of data I have available, i.e. the negatives in my Medium-format binder. Not meant as a dig at you at all, just a purely qualitative answer.
     
  22. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The data available from Kodak and Fuji can be VERY useful ( search here for how to read curves, there is a link to a good article from Howard Bond ). Helen demonstrates how a quick look can guide you to a suitable film for a circumstance.

    A lot of attention is paid to grain, resolution and stuff, with ( I think ) too little time understanding what a particular film was designed to do. The curves compress a lot of information into a couple graphs, and they aren't that hard to sort out.

    For a non - technical person like me, a little time with a piece of paper ( or AppleWorks ) makes it all very clear.

    .