What slide film is best for me?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Treymac, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Treymac

    Treymac Member

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    Hi guys,

    In September I am going to be doing a photo shoot on the docks (if I can get permission). So my question is, what film should I use? I'm going to be shooting 4x5 and I want to use a positive film. I've done some researching and I just can't narrow it down to what film to go with. I've seen examples of the differences between Veliva, Provia, and Astia, but I have trouble trying to imagine what they would look like for my shoot. I know that Kodak also has good film, so what do you guys recommend? I'm also going to be scanning the negatives.

    Thanks
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    You've got a bit of time, so I'd say do some testing first and discover your own reactions to the options. Color aesthetics are really variable from person to person, and one person's "natural" rendition may be another's "bland" or "overcooked".

    Any idea what lighting conditions you should expect for the shoot? Can you do a "dry run" somewhere nearby in similar conditions to get an idea of how various films will render it?

    -NT
     
  3. Treymac

    Treymac Member

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    The problem is that I can't do a lot of testing, buying one pack of film for the actual shoot is going to be expensive enough.

    I'm thinking that the weather will be sunny as it usually is in Vancouver for most of September. However, with the way the weather has been for this summer it'll probably be cloudy and raining :confused:
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'd talk with my lab about this question.
     
  5. Treymac

    Treymac Member

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    Do you mean the lab that I will be buying the film from, or where I'll get it developed?
     
  6. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Sunny? E100G. Cloudy and raining? E100VS.

    I prefer E100VS over Velvia as the colour seems nicer, plenty of wow/impact, which is often missing on Velvia in sunlit conditions with good exposure (just looks high contrast and saturated to me). Plus it deals much better with colder light situations imho.

    Scanning the positives. :tongue:
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    Middle of the road (you might say "standard") films would be Provia and E100G. They give the best balance of features in most situations.

    A subdued film (less contrast and saturation) would be Astia. It can help combat high contrast, but can also look like mud if shot in unsuitable lighting. And it isn't a good choice if you want the colors to really pop.

    The snappier films are E100VS, and all three varieties of Velvia.

    Velvia 50 and 100 are both very contrasty and saturated. The main difference is in color balance; the 50 is warmer. 100F is the least snappy of the Velvias, but definitely gives more saturation than Provia. It is also not warm like the 50.

    So, you only have six choices, three of which are varieties of Velvia.

    I'd say that if you are in doubt about which film to use, just go for E100G or Provia.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Talk with the lab where you get it developed.

    One of the benefits of the discussion as compared to discussing this here on APUG is that you can relate in detail what you expect the scene to be like and what results you are looking for.

    Of course if you can talk to an experienced photographer who uses large format transparency material for subjects like this, you might get the same benefit.

    It is the benefits of a back and forth discussion with an experienced user that you should seek. The web isn't ideal for that.

    And a discussion with your lab will also help you if you are considering multiple uses of the final product (e.g. scans plus ???)
     
  9. bwcolor

    bwcolor Member

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    Purchase the film in a smaller format for your tests. Why spend the money based upon advice given by a stranger. I can see narrowing your choices, but then you must do the work.
     
  10. Treymac

    Treymac Member

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    Even buying it in smaller sizes and developing is too costly right now, that's why I'm trying to narrow it down to one film to go with and whatever the end result is, it is what it is. I'm just trying to make the best pre-determination of what to go with when I actually do the shoot.:wink:
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If I had to shoot just one transparency film, it would be a "standard" type, like E100G or Provia. Having just one is not ideal, but with one of those two and some creative manipulation (i.e. exposure changes and pushing and pulling), one could shoot most things pretty well.
     
  12. Treymac

    Treymac Member

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    Ok, thanks guys, there's a lot I have to consider. I'm kind of liking the Ektachrome E100VS right now. One thing I'm worried about with that film is the grain. If you look at this picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosemania/4299837724/ you can see a lot of grain in the blue sky. Is that the actual film, or is it because it was scanned?
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It's nowhere near that grainy. That looks like a consumer 800 or 1600 speed color neg. film. You are also talking about 4x5, so grain is the least of your worries.
     
  14. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Went to Vistek in Calgary today and they no longer process E-6! I'm rethinking slide film altogether now... what to do with all the darn rolls of 120 I have. Anyway, this isn't helpful for your situation, but I do want you to think about your desire to shoot E-6. Maybe C-41 would be cheaper and more easily printed or scanned anyway?
     
  15. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    No way is that the grain from E100VS. I have had Elite Chrome (the 35mm "consumer" version) blown up to 20x24 on Cibachrome, and while the grain is there, it's imperceptible from normal viewing distance (3-4 ft away).
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I agree that's not the grain. Though it should be noted that E100VS and Elitechrome Extra Color at RMS 11 are both grainier than E100G and Elitechrome at RMS 8.
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I would strongly recommend astia 100F, especially if you are new to slide film and uncertain about the lighting conditions (particularly the contrast). This is a film with neutral tone and a good ability to hold highlights. It also scans very well. Astia can also deliver pleasing skin tones.

    In my experience, provia has poor neutrality if color temp isn't just right, and none of the velvias have the latitude of astia. I do like velvia 100 for some subjects but if you have light peeking through clouds or reflecting off water velvia is not the right choice in my opinion. And neither is provia, because you probably won't be at 5000K in overcast conditions.

    Among the fuji slide films, my other favourite is provia 400x, which I like far more than provia 100F. But alas it is not available in 4x5.

    Put a 612 back on your 4x5 and bracket!!! Just a thought.

    P.S. And I salute your decision to shoot slide, it has a unique power and, particularly in overcast conditions, can really sing. Analoguers should be shooting slide like crazy right now- we don't know how much longer we will have it and it provides for some amazing analogue slideshow presentations... and amazing scans and prints too.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Treymac:

    If you would like to see what 120 E100G or the recently discontinued E100GX actually looks like, pm me and we might be able to get together.

    For now, this is a scan from 120 E100GX:
     

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  19. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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