Shooting Slide film???

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by stradibarrius, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have almost decided to just shoot B&W with film , I think B&W film is better, and shoot color with the forbidden digital. I am not trying to start an argument about a digital vs. analogue thing. I just wondered if properly exposed slide film produces as good a color shot as a good digital DSLR?
    Again this is just meant to be a simple question and not one of those battles.
    One of the reasons I ask this is when I look at really good shots on Velvia for example, the color looks smooth and rich to me. Is that just me wanting slide film to look better or is there some truth to my observation?
     
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  2. donkee

    donkee Member

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    I have started using the digitals for shots for charities and other things like birthday parties, etc.

    If I am working on something special I use slide film. To me everything turns out much better than digital has been able to produce for me.
     
  3. Hovig

    Hovig Member

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    I'm shooting slide film lately in 35mm, but having difficulty in getting sharp scans from from my Canon 9000F. I see the future of film in B&W, so I developed my first B&W recently.
     
  4. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    From what I have seen a 'damn good' projected digital image will not even come close to a 'good' slide film. They (digital) all seem to lack 'punch' and I have yet to see a really sharp one. It may be the temptation is to crop too much for the projector to do it justice.

    In the club I used to be in, there was a lady who produced the most amazing colour slides taken on the local beaches around dawn with punchy vibrant colours that jumped out at you. (She wasn't using Velvia either) She went over to digital and the quality just slumped and I would have put them with the 'Also rans'.

    Colour prints may be a different matter, there are so many variables when you put a digital image through a computer/Adobe etc, but with printing colour film you are quite limited with what the average person can get a way with. Colour saturation can be limiting, colour balance is not the easiest thing to get right first time (or even second). Contrast is fixed, if the picture was taken on a dull day that's what comes out in the print, with very little possibility to alter it. It is a pity that different contrast colour papers were never available that would have made all the difference (My opinion).

    I used to use a Nikon Scanner and I found that to get a large enough file to make an A3 print I had to scan at a very high DPI. I was able to get the sharpness I needed but that also exaggerated the grain. I could use the grain tool to suppress this but that also knocked off the 'edge' in the sharpness and you finished up going around in circles. It was even worse with B&W. This is one of the main reason I returned to film almost full time.
     
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  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Since slide film is either for projecting or scanning nowadays, I'd say that projected it blasts even a 24mp camera away in terms of image quality on a screen, in terms of printing, since Ciba and Ilfochrome are gone, you're limited to scanning and inkjet prints. For 35mm, that's a lot of work and not really worth it, but I still shoot slides and scan with 6x7 and 4x5 and compared to our 16mp Nikon, the Nikon doesn't come close (and that's with great lenses). Something about the contrast, the hues, the sharpness....it's hard to beat until you drop a couple g's on digital equipment.

    They are very different things, but like I said, if you plan on sharing via projection, shoot slide and blow everyone away (if 35mm). In larger sizes, it's well worth the price.
     
  6. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    In my film cameras (the newest one is from 1951) I shoot about 95% b&w film, mostly because I want the wide dynamic range. I do shoot some Portra 400 color film too. For most color work I'm using a Nikon DSLR. With my vintage cameras I'm after a classic look, and most always that involves b&w for me.


    Kent in SD
     
  7. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    You should definitely give slide a try. I started around 2009 and wished that I had started years before then! Try Provia 100F or Velvia 100.
    The reason I like slides so much is because looking at them is like looking through a window right at the past. Everything just looks sooo real!
     
  8. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I think that slide film looks better because it has greater tonal gradation and wider tonal range than digital.
     
  9. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    For the last 2-3 years I have been shooting almost exclusively B&W, slowly learning to take control of the image from beginning to end. Occasionally a little Portra or the Leica v-lux for color. Just last night I stayed up later than I should, with the loupe and light box, going over some 3-8 year old slides from my love affair with Velvia. Most of these didn't impress me all that much at the time, but I was shocked at the nearly 3D detail and how the colors leaped off the film. Digital is easy and gives nice, accurate color, but it just doesn't measure up in image quality. It makes me want to drag out Mom's old projector to see them at life size.
     
  10. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I came to that same conclusion regarding color a while ago, and my commitment to silver printing is absolute. For me, it is a matter of process. If you aren't developing and printing yourself, I see little, if any value to staying with film (color or B/W). How will you show your work – on the internet (that's digital)? Comparing Velveeta color to digital isn't much of an aesthetic comparison for me. Sure, it might be "smoother", but so what? You gotta ask yourself one question: Whatcha gonna do with it?
     
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  11. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    On a forum that is dedicated to analogue photography, nobody's going to tell you that digital looks better than or equally good as slide film. Take that bias into account.

    Personally, I don't care much for colour film in 35mm, be it slide or negative. But a correctly exposed 6x9 slide is a thing of beauty that digital will never match.
     
  12. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Definitely drag out the projector. It doesn't matter if it's a Leica or a cheap little projector, there's nothing like seeing your slides projected. A couple months ago I got mine out and projected on the side of the garage. Just amazing!
     
  13. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Slide film will provide generally speaking (that is, if we exclude the very very best in the digital field) better resolution, and either natural looking colours with, IMO, a very high degree of verisimilarity (with things like Astia or Sensia, and probably Provia) or that oversaturated look that many people, in the analogue just as in the digital world, appreciate (with things like Velvia).

    Overall colour rendition is certainly not a problem with slides.

    The choice between slide and digital is based on different reasons than colour accuracy: digital has its advantages, and slides have their advantages. But colour is not a field where digital has an advantage over film. The colours you'll find in your slides are WAY BETTER than the awfully wrong scans people generally post on sites like Flicker.

    That said, there is one caveat. With slide film used in open shade (blue sky) you can see a bluish cast in the shadows, which is actually there in reality but normally the eye compensates for it. In those cases you might want to use a "skylight" filter (slight shade of amber) to make the shades more neutral. I repeat, they were not neutral in reality, it's just a trick you use to make the image more like you would remember it. With digital you can shoot "raw" and choose the white balance after the fact. This is the only situation where digital has a "colour advantage", I would say. But no monitor can give you the nice detail and contrast of a nice slide projection.
     
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  14. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Slides are special because you can do the whole thing without ever going near a computer and that's something exceptional in this screen dominated age.
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is a 1/2 decent scan of a 645 E100 Ektachrome slide.

    It looks great on a light table. I haven't mounted it yet for projection.

    EDIT: I also need to do a bit of spotting for dust.
     

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  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I use nothing else but Velvia. Velvia scans very well, does not require too much inversion of colourimetrics (Velvia 100F does, and it's a pain to use) and presents a good level of sharpness. It is worlds away from digital in terms of rendering of hue and colour (I am not all that interested in getting anal about sharpness, only railing if the image is noticeably unfocused!).

    Like so many others I rate RVP at EI40 in 35mm and 'as is' in 6x7 and 6x6/6x9 (pinhole). From experience I can say that Velvia is occasionally troublesome in 35mm because the small format compresses the tonal range; in larger formats, the tonal range spreads out for much more pleasing results; I am not biased in formats — I have used Velvia in 35mm for a good 18 years at least, printing to Ilfochrome Classic, but I like the result more in MF (ironically with no Ilfochrome to print to...).

    Velvia (Provia also) will last longer if projected frequently, unlike Kodachrome that keeps and ages well without so much projection. Velvia images from 1993 are now as vibrant as Kodachrome slides I have from 1970s to 1989. Print from them while they're beautiful.
     
  17. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Do you want colour-accurate or not? Nothing beats digital for accurate colour, despite the pissing and moaning you will hear here from people who tried running an uncalibrated workflow. If you buy a flagship modern DSLR (A900/A99, 5DMkIII, D800), then that certainly has more resolution than 35mm slide film. However, I've not seen a digital camera under $50k (that new 80MP medium-format thing) that can approach 6x7 for resolution.

    If you want cheap reasonably-accurate high resolution colour, shoot colour neg in medium format, e.g. Portra 160. That stuff is nearly as colour-accurate as digital and certainly better than chromes because it has the mask to deal with dye shortcomings. Or if you want crazy-colours, shoot Velvia or whatever. Chromes have more visible dynamic range (12+ stops) than any digital output device (monitor, projector or print) so they will look far better despite poor colour accuracy. That will change in 5 years as OLED displays become mainstream.

    There are no films that can match a modern stabilised DSLR for lowlight sensitivity. My old A700 can shoot ISO3200 f/1.4 1/25s (85mm) and get good sharp results by the light of a couple candles; newer bodies are better still. By the same token, you can't buy a digital camera that can touch the cheapest 4x5 setup for resolution and DOF-control.

    Horses for courses and all that.
     
  18. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I looked at your gallery shots and the "Sampson defeats the Lion" shot is Stunning! I also shoot an RB67 and a Sinar F2 4x5 so I am not limited to 35mm. For whastever reason I always look for reasons to shot film over my digital gear. I have never shot Chromes before so I have much to learn.
     
  19. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I shoot Portra 160 on 6x7 and 6x17 medium format, and agree it is wonderful film with oodles of detail and lots of flexibility in use (although I do realise that the original poster is discussing chromes :smile:). If you want accurate C41 scanning colours, use the Colorperfect plugin which accurately matches film colour to film brand / type:
    http://www.c-f-systems.com/Plug-ins.html
     
  20. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Another question about slide film??? What is generally considered the best method to meter, A) landscape, B) Product, and C) Portrait?
    My Nikon bodies have Spot, center weighted and Matrix. And I also have a handheld spot meter and a hand held incidence/reflective meter..
     
  21. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Landscape: incident metering with the usual caveats would perform very well. You rarely have large extension of very bright white in landscape. When you have (snowy landscape under bright sun), I would use a spot lightmeter and expose for the highlights. Fast alternative: just close 0.4 EV more than the incident light reading. Generally speaking unless you have a snow-covered mountain or field in the picture I would say incident metering would do just fine.

    Product: again, unless you have sugar, flour or very white objects, I would say that incident metering works very well. You can use incident metering with the flat diffuser (instead of the dome) to check lighting ratios, and when you reach the ratio you need just use the incident metering with the dome for the overall exposure. I suppose for product shot you never have a subject brightness range extending beyond slide film dynamic range as you have lighting under control. If your product is flour, sugar, salt, white flowers etc. then you either close a half stop the incident light metering or you measure with the spot meter and "place" the highlights: I would suggest you place them some 2.33 (if extensive and with important details) or 2.5 stops (if small details) above middle gray.

    Portrait: incident metering. Again, if it's a bride with a white dress in full sun light, do close a little to avoid placing the dress at the edge of the film dynamic range. By the same token, any very white object, such as white flowers in a woman hair hit by the main light, which would be placed at the edge of the film detail rendition would require a bit of compensation. Barred this, incident light metering would be by far the best choice as you don't have to worry about the skin tone and how it relates to what the light meters sees as middle tone.

    All IMHO and YMMV.
     
  22. Joseph Maxwell

    Joseph Maxwell Member

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    When time is of the essence, I shoot digital (Leica). BUT, when I'm not rushed, I would go for Fuji Velvia any day either in 4x5 or with my Hasselblad or Rollei 6008 / SL66. There's simply no comparison. Digital looks flat, whereas the chromes glow with rich, saturated colors.
     
  23. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    i still shoot the ocassional 4x5 chrome, and display them on the window sill of my office. I always get people oohing over them.

    also 35mm- about 10-12 rolls every summer of around town and the holidays.

    I have about 40 rolls of 120 chrome left. It needs to be a special event to pull it out.
     
  24. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    It must be remembered that digital projection is frankly pathetic...the highest resolution projectors affordable to a hobbyist are a mere 1920x1040 (2MPixel), and the digital images which drive them are routinely 10-25Mpixel.

    There is none of the subtlety of gradations of color and tonality even in the digital image, much less what can be captured with medium format color transparency and projected.
     
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