Slide film for street photography

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BourbonCowboy, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. BourbonCowboy

    BourbonCowboy Member

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    I'll be taking my F4 and a handful of lenses to New Orleans in a month. I've got plenty of negative film ready to go, but I'd like to take a couple rolls of slide film (as I've got a new Kodak Carousel projector and screen).

    Any suggestions for decent slide film for street photoggin?
     
  2. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Astia, Provia, or EPP. Honestly, any of 'em will work. Provia will afford you EI400. Make sure you use AE, a meter, or know light like the back of your hand. Great shots will only be made better by slide.
     
  3. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Astia or Sensia (Astia was discontinued, I don´t know about Sensia), since these have great latitude. Or Provia 400X. If you need a fast film, this one is the way to go. Sharp, best grain for a 400 ISO slide film, nice colours (natural, but a bit on the saturated side).
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    To clarify, there is ISO 100 Provia and ISO 400 Provia (400X).
    Make sure you use AE, a meter, or know light like the back of your hand. [/QUOTE]

    Meter incident, if you can. I don't recommend AE unless you tightly control it.
    Without an incident meter I find it's better to know light like the palm of your hand.:wink: That is, the method I use to ensure good exposure with slide film is to meter off the palm of my hand and open up a stop. Or read directly off a gray card. Both are effectively similar to incident reading the light, which I consider for slides superior to reading reflected light.
     
  5. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

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    You better double check. If it were negative film, that would be on the safe side. With slide, that might be ~1/2 stop overexposed, which is worse than 1/2 under.
     
  6. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Why is slide film more difficult than color negative?

    The only slide film I've had problems with was Kodak color IR slide film (R.I.P.). If expose at box speed w/the camera's meter it was like 1-1 1/2 stops over exposed.
     
  7. JimCee

    JimCee Member

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    Color slide film has much less latitude than negative film. If the exposure isn't "nailed" within about 1/2 stop it can easily result in photos that are either over-exposed (high lights blown out - just clear acetate film), or way too dark. I've shot a lot of color slides over a period starting in 1965, the most consistently acceptable results I obtained were after Nikon introduced their "Matrix" metering.

    Jim
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Nope. My palm has twice the reflectance of a gray card. Opening up a stop above a reading off my palm gives me readings which produce very well-exposed slides. I am careful to get the maximum reading off my palm though, and that is why.
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Exposure can be corrected within limits when printing. Slides are the finished product, and their appearance is determined at the moment of exposure. As Jim says, there is not the latitude of negative film. That puts the burden on the photographer to get it right in the camera. The plus side of that burden is the ability to have complete control over the image, and the ability to exactly produce that part of the look desired which is influenced by exposure.
     
  10. BourbonCowboy

    BourbonCowboy Member

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    I doubt I'll have a meter handy - other than the one in the camera. I'll be walking the streets of New Orleans (French Quarter, Marginay, Garden District, etc.), with my F4 and FE-2 and will be taking candid shots. I want to try my hand at slide shooting, although I know it will be more difficult than shooting the color negative film I'm also taking. I've shot slide film before, but that was over 20 years ago. Much of the slide film that I used then has been discontinued, so I'm a bit lost. I'm just looking for some tips from some of you who shoot slides in the field. Any an all advice will be welcomed and appreciated - including that above.
     
  11. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Come on guys! The F4 is extremely accurate. Just rely on your camera and that's it...
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    What about that Fuji MS stuff that's like 200-1000 Asa? Is that the right name?


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Matrix metering does a good job, but it certainly can be fooled. And it gives the exposure Nikon thinks the picture should have. In lots of situations it works fine, but so does Sunny 16. It should be monitored, IMO. Nothing beats experience, and someone experienced with Matrix metering should know it thoroughly enough that they know when to question it. I've never entrusted slide film to any AE system, but I'm very picky about exposure with slide film.

    A lot of people say something like "Matrix works perfectly for 95% of your shots." But what if the shot you really want is one of the other 5%? It's not that difficult to be sure of the exposure, but just relying on the camera without thinking about it means that there will be times when exposure will not be accurate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2013
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  15. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'm shooting a roll of Fuji Provia 1600 at 800 ASA right now with my Nikon F90x.

    Why don't you do a small test at home? Shoot one slide film with the Nikon F4 exposure meter at + 1/3 stop and with Matrix metering. Find some settings you'll hope to shoot in New Orleans, take some shots (street, marketplace, people, building, store window, parked cars, ...) and get the film developed before you go New Orleans. Are the results satisfactory to you? If not, what to adapt?

    An other test could be to bracket some shots at locations with challenging light: -1/3 stop, normal, + 1/3 stop and compare.
    You could also use the "Program" setting and shoot the same scene metered with a hand meter to see if you can outdo the Nikon F4 ;-)
    This way you get to know & trust your camera and the film before you go for the real thing.

    And don't forget: have fun and post some images later when you return.
     
  16. Iluvmycam

    Iluvmycam Member

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    I would not use slides for street. Exposure is tough with slides when mixed with street. If you have done it before then fine. But for me it does not work.
     
  17. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I shot over 500 kodachromes in its last 2 years with my Leicas. Understanding a scene makes using any lightmeter very easy. Nothing complicated, really. It's all about experience. Even an incident meter is useless to the unexperienced.

    Rule of thumb: have fun.
     
  18. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    All true. :smile:
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I seriously doubt you have shot 500 kodachromes in the last 2 years... at least I doubt that you can prove that your exposures were correct, seeing as kodachrome processing ended decmber 2010....
     
  20. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Re-read the first sentence of your quote, Stone.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    DOH!!!!!! hahahaa FAIL... hahahaha :smile:
     
  22. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Ha!

    Leica's shutters are inaccurate by a third of a stop here or there. Combine that with a third of a stop of inaccurate exposure reading here or there and you suddenly see yourself hitting perfect exposures more often then not. It's the devil's work I tell'ya.
     
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    So long as your exposure is off in the right direction. Shutter error is one reason why I'm so picky. The devil's work indeed.

    It definitely helps to know through experience what exposure to expect from a particular camera. Almost always my Japanese SLR's were within a fifth of a stop, except at the highest speeds where some were off by a quarter to a third stop. That was borne out by tests I had done, and the higher speeds were always brought back to at least a quarter stop accuracy by the repair guy.
     
  24. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Back in the "KE" ("Kodachrome Era"), I used Kodachrome 64 exclusively as my color film when shooting on the street. Since its discontinuation, I have switched to E100G (Provia 100F is likely next on deck). I really don't know why the fuss about the (alleged) difficulty in using slide film when shooting on the street. I have always relied on in-camera meters when street shooting and have had a pretty good success rate (admittedly, though, I am a serial bracketer... :whistling:) .
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I seldom bracket, though I do sometimes when there's a good reason to. What I don't understand is how someone can bracket street, if it's a fleeting moment.
     
  26. Clovis Blevins

    Clovis Blevins Member

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    Rainy weather is going to be a major factor in the Big Easy. An 81C filter is your friend when it's overcast. I love Velvia 50, but I can see why many folks don't. It's super contrasty and the colors pop right out at you (especially golden hour shots). But hey, if you don't like colors, shoot B&W. By all means, shoot a test roll of whatever you are going to take. If you're planning on scanning the slides, overexpose 1/3 stop - a dense slide is no fun to scan. There's no monitor out there that can replicate the look of Velvia projected with a good bulb through a prime lens onto a nice screen in a dark room. But they are exactly as captured for better or worse. Exposure must be nailed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2013