Slide film recommendations

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by msbarnes, May 5, 2013.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Well I'm beginning to play with color film.

    I had a bunch in my fridge but I hardly touch them but I decided to give them a try last weekend:

    Fuji Provia 100f in 120 (underexposed 1 - 1/2 stops)

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    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    Fuji Velvia 50 in 120

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    color14017 by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    Fuji Provia 100f in 35mm

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    color34059 by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    Now I quite like the colors that I am getting and my favorite is in the first one (Provia underexposed).

    So I might want to try some more slide film (not many choices) and get more familiar with the properties. The first shot was an accident--I was trying to get better shutter speeds and so I erred on the side of underexposure. I'm guessing it was one stop at most but I don't meter too meticulously.

    1. Is this color shift (it seems more blue) a unique property of Provia? I didn't get this look at all with underexposed velvia and my properly exposed Provia looks more similar to Velvia.

    2. Well I'd probably keep 100f Provia standard but I might experiment around a bit so i'm curious, what would I expect out of Provia 400 and Velvia 100? Does Provia 400 provide just as beautiful colors but with less grain? I have observed that slower emulsions in b&w seem to be higher contrast so would I expect Provia 400 to be less rich in color than Provia 100? Likewise, what is the need for Velvia 100? Is it more saturated than Provia but less saturated than Velvia 50?
     
  2. okto

    okto Member

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    *more grain. Faster emulsions have more grain.
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The Provia here does look quite cool; E6 films can display this in specific light conditions e.g. outdoors in shade with bright sun; you may benefit from adding filtration like a light warming filter (81B), which will also impart a bit more warmth into the flesh tones. Outdoors in bright to diffuse light, Provia is quite a natural looking film, but will show its E6 pedigree in conditions of mixed light.

    Velvia's ruddiness is quite offputting for portraiture, but it's an individual thing; nothing stopping people from introducing an element of Vaudeville. It's not showing any detail in darker areas as well as Provia — this is one of the bigger differences between the two films: Provia is very agreeable to exposure in a much greater range of conditions than Velvia with it's narrow latitude and poor rendition of detail in as much as —0.3 to —0.6 stop underexposure. You may wish to experiment with a warming filter for these portraiture involving mixed light, or ambient with artificial light.

    I must ask as a matter of cautionary interest: what have you been doing at the scanning step of the transparencies?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2013
  4. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Provia 100F is my standard color film. I can't really speak to the others, except that the small amount of Provia 400 I've shot seemed generally similar, but a little warmer-balanced and of course with more grain. (E.g., https://www.flickr.com/photos/ntenny/5109364992/, though obviously it's hard to judge color balance from one uncontrolled image.)

    I assume the underexposed shot is pretty dense-looking to the eye and you compensated in digital after scanning, right? I find the results are a little unpredictable in that process, depending I suppose on the lighting---in sunlight it often skews magenta rather than blue, in my experience.

    -NT
     
  5. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    I used to shoot Kodachrome at 1/3 underexposure. E.g., K64 at ISO 80. It gave improved saturation and the slight boost in shutter speed was often helpful.

    I've always shot E6 at box speed, though, and been happy with the results. These days I shoot mostly Provia and Velvia, probably a 2:1 ratio between the two. I was pleasantly surprised to see the results you've gotten from underexposing your Provia, however. Good detail in the shadow areas still, for the most part. And the softer color saturation I find quite appealing in your first photo.

    I'm not sure I understand your exposure rating, however. Did you really underexpose it by 1-1/2 stops? That's an awful lot. I could see maybe 1/2 stop. So what was the ISO rating you used?
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Provia 400X and Velvia 100 are my favorite slide films, together with Astia which is now discontinued. Yes, Provia 400X is more grainy than the others but it is still a very fine grained 400 ISO slide film (the finest of all!). Its color reproduction is very accurate still the slides have a punchy and crispy look to them. Contrast is not overly problematic. This film is very suitable for pushing. I pushed it to ISO 800 with very good results, though it became a bit more contrasty then. I have also seen pictures made with ISO 1250 or 1600 and they were fine, though somewhat dull and grainy. At ISO 800 it was hardly discernible from ISO 400.

    Velvia 100 is my main film for landscapes. Great punchy colors and sharpness, very fine grain. Colors look accurate to me, but they are enhanced. From what I´ve read this film does not alter skin tones as extremely as Velvia 50, which often gave a sunburnt look, but I have never shot Velvia 50 myself.
     
  7. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Sorry, more grain! That is what I meant.
     
  8. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I used epson scan and scanned the film as positives. The slides look similar to what I have posted. The actual underexposed slides are dense but I didn't really mess with the color saturation or tempertures very much. I just tweaked the levels to remove a bit of the cast. Oh and I just noticed that you wrote mixed light in your reply. To clarify, this is all natural window light.
     
  9. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I think I was quite lucky as I got just the right amount of shadow detail to make me happy. With the slides that I have shot, they either look properly exposed or completely off and so I think that you might be right in your assessment that my exposure is actuully 1/2 stop and not 1 stop off. I just finished a roll of b&w and used the same settings without remetering. When I metered after finishing my first roll of Provia, I needed another stop (I only look at whole stops).
     
  10. cajuncc

    cajuncc Member

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    Window light is very bluish because most of it comes from the sky. Provia (like most color films) is balanced for direct sunlight. Toss a warming or skylight filter on and you should see more natural results.
     
  11. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Provia 100F is also my standard color film. It pushes well with a slight (and I do mean slight) shift toward red in skin tones, and blue skies shift ever so slightly towards purple in the evenings. When I do this I expose at 320 and ask the lab for a 2 stop push.

    Velvia (I use 100) is nice for spring flowers and fall foliage, the rest of the time I'm in Provia-land when I'm shooting color.
     
  12. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    How about the grain when you push Provia? Any noticeable change?

    I'm wondering as well, is there any advantage to pushing 100F as opposed to just using Provia 400X?
     
  13. dorff

    dorff Member

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    I would not hesitate to use Provia 400X in medium format, especially 6x6 or 6x7. If you shoot handheld with a Pentax 6x7 like I do, the extra two stops of shutter speed can make a very big difference. The grain is incredible for a 400 film, in my opinion. If only we had the stuff 25 years ago, I wouldn't have used Velvia at all. I also agree that Velvia 50 especially and most slide films in general do not like under-exposure. Velvia is too warm and contrasty for portraiture in normal lighting, but it is excellent for nature and landscapes. One thing though is to evaluate the shadows carefully. If they are important, then you have to consider using a different film. If you can sacrifice or ignore them, then no problem. Of course nothing prevents you from changing a rendition after scanning, but your basic exposure has to be good, and one can do very little about morbid shadows even with the best of scanning technique and equipment. Astia is a good film, and I (like many) rue the fact that it has been discontinued. If you can still get hold of some, it would be worth it. I used Ektachrome a long time ago, and it was too blue for my liking. The recent ones were much better, but alas, they are gone.
     
  14. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    I shoot slides for projection, and no, I honestly don't see a difference in grain when projecting at 2'x3'. I've not shot 400X yet. Usually when I think "I need 400 speed film" it's too close to the time I'll need it to order from B&H so I just push the 100F to 320. Shooting 400X at box speed would get me an extra 1/3 stop though, and probably less contrasty than pushing 100F 2 stops.
     
  15. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut Member

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    For me it's been Provia 400X as the best "allround" film, you can push or pull it and for an ASA400 film it's got very fine grain indeed - I shoot MF and ASA400 lets me shoot most of shots handheld without worring. Its got fairly good DR for a E6 film, plus capable of shooting people when you need to and very good reciprocity properties.

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    Wind's Painting by tsiklonaut, on Flickr


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    Frozen landscape by tsiklonaut, on Flickr


    Provia 100F was my preferred film for many years, until I really got too much into 400X. Probably because I use a lot of polarizer filter (-2 fstops), so ASA100 can limit my handheld shots. But I love Prova 100F from every angle, so maybe I have to re-visit 100F and just use more tripod...

    Obviously like many, Velvia 100 I like for landscapes, sunsets sunrises, dawns (V100 has good reciprocity properties unlike Velvia 50), Velvia 50 for daylight landscapes - it has the most "syrreal" colours that can benefit those rather dull light conditioned scenes without going overboard.

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    Tanjung Aan beach by tsiklonaut, on Flickr



    And for very artistic shots: nothing beats the Kodak (EIR) Aerochrome colour infrared slide :smile:

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    Motorcycling dream (drum scan) by tsiklonaut, on Flickr




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    Sandra & Sentos by tsiklonaut, on Flickr


    Cheers,
    Margus