Which Slide Film for South India?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by BoxBrownie, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. BoxBrownie

    BoxBrownie Member

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    Hi folks,
    I am hopefully going to South India for approximately 4 weeks in may on my way to Australia. I visited the south once before in 1999 and most of my pictures were taken on slide film. I was not really into photography at the time and think I was using a cheap P&S camera though there were some surprisingly nice pictures (it's the slide thing, colours, light...) there when I had a look at the slides the other day.
    The film I was using was Sensia 100 and though I wouldn't have realised at the time I can see that it has pretty good exposure latitude for a slide film, with some reasonable shadow detail and highlights are not too bad for snapshot pictures.
    This time though I would like something a little more saturated.
    I have limited experience of slide films but my technique is much better than back then so I could work with a film with less exposure latitude. Plus I will be using a matrix metering SLR on this trip.
    So what films are there that have a bit more colour than Sensia at 100 to 400 asa and will be suitable for typical travel photography - architecture, landscape and street scenes handheld in good light plus some sunsets and streetlight lit night photos? I will be taking a tripod.
    The pictures will be mostly for projection but I anticipate scanning and printing a selection for a little album too.
    So far I am leaning towards the Elite Chrome films - maybe the extra saturation one. I'm not afraid of deeply saturated pics (velvia 50 style) but it will still be needed for general purpose snaps.
    What to do?
     
  2. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    For a start, pick a film from Kodak or Fuji and make sure you have enough. It's hard to even find 35mm colour film of any kind in India. Maybe Kodak Gold 100 ISO in some shops. At least the labs here will know what to do with it if it's a Fuji or Kodak product - Elite Chrome might be a whole different matter.
     
  3. debanddg

    debanddg Member

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    Which all places in South India do you intend to visit and what is your usual subject? If it's primarily nature + architecture / monuments with some candid shots thrown in here and there, I would suggest films like Provia and Sensia [the non-pro Provia] 100. Like the rest of the country, South India is also full of bright colours and hence even less saturated films will do the job perfectly. I would not vouch for saturated films as those will have a high potential to ruin the portraits taken there. One word of caution - it is unlikely that you will get a ready supply of your slide film of choice at most of the photo shops in the country. So come prepared with your stock. If you have specific questions, feel free to drop me a PM as well.

    Cheers
    Deb
     
  4. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

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    Given that you're visiting India in the summers, it will be very bright (and harsh, both the light and temperature)
    I think you should be able to get good results out of Velvia 50 thanks to the long and bright days (Disclaimer: I've never shot any 50 speed film, let alone Velvia)

    ISO 200 films should suffice though. I've shot a roll of ISO 100 Sensia slide in mostly dim lights (sunrise, sunsets, dim-lit restaurants etc.) and the results are pretty good.
    If I were you I'd be careful with the x-ray effect on high speed films...
    What I gather from most shops here is that low speed films won't get hurt but higher ISO (800+) will die in the strong x-rays at airports (Again, I have no personal experience of this.)

    Better buy some locally and if possible, get them developed before you leave...
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I should think Provia 100 & 400 would fit the bill. But whatever you choose, test the film before you leave!
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Check out Steve McCurry's later work in India and Pakistan using E100G and E100VS.
     
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  7. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I'd use Velvia 50 or the Kodak listed above, 100VS.

    Provia always seems to bias toward blue for me...
     
  8. BoxBrownie

    BoxBrownie Member

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    Here I am in India, merrily snapping away. Just wondered if anyone knows if E6 (slide) processing is still available in Chennai, Cochin or Bangalore? Chennai would be my most useful site.
    Any info gratefully received.
    PS It's hot!
     
  9. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    If you are not going to project them I do not see any reason why you would not like the Ektar 100 color negative. It is cheaper to buy cheaper to develop has more latitude and is more forgiving in the huge contrasts you are definitely going to see in India and the colors are amazing.
    Now if you insist on slide film I would think that Velvia 50 is way too light thirsty and Sensia 400 would prove very useful.
     
  10. debanddg

    debanddg Member

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    @BoxBrownie - E6 processing is a sad story in India with only a couple of labs doing those properly and none in Southern India. You will need to send across your rolls to either to Surendra Patel @ Ahmedabad [charges INR 200 / roll] or to SV Photographic in Delhi [charges INR 300/ roll]. Surendra Patel can also do a hi-res scan [no post processing] of the entire roll for you if needed. You can google their contact details or can PM me. I have been using both their services for years now and am pretty satisfied.
     
  11. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you are going to project, I would use Kodak E100G or E100VS, also Fuji Velvia. All these films will project well, but do not expect the exact same results when scanned.

    I assume that you will be bringing these films back home to process as this a long trip, people have mentioned X-ray scanners, I wouldn't worry about them unless you plan to bring films that are 800 speed or faster.

    I will recommend that you use a processing house that will process, scan, and mount all at the same time, you will get far better results than if you try to scan later, or yourself. Unless you are lucky enough to live close to a place that does E-6 in house plan on about a two week wait for the photos to come back, and with the films I have mentioned above it will almost be like you are there again.

    If you insist on using Kodak Elitechrome or Fuji Sensia, because of availability or cost, I would go with the Sensia. I want you to know that I will almost always pick a Kodak film over a Fuji film, but in the case of these two films Sensia would be the way to go.

    Enjoy your trip.
     
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  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want the Velvia for the saturation, shoot it at 40 instead of 50 - it takes it from ridiculously over-saturated down to just punchy as all get-out. With light being as intense as it is in that part of the world, I'd frankly opt for nothing faster than 100 speed unless you know you're going to be shooting a bunch of night shots hand-held. This is in part a personal preference, as I like to be able to shoot in full daylight without being stopped down to f22 all the time. Especially for people shots, it is nice to be able to throw backgrounds out of focus to at least some degree.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    No sorry Scott, Fuji Velvia like all colour reversal films because they are posatives and aren't subject to the negative /positive process, and if you down rate the ISO film speed the resultant transparency will be less saturated not more as in negative films, i.e. if you wanted more saturation with Kodachrome 64 you shot it at ISO 80 for more saturation not ISO 50.
    I shoot a lot of Velvia and I find it plenty saturated at the boxed speed, and should think that in the lighting in Southern India Velvia should knock the viewers eyes out.

    The more exposure you give to slide films the lighter the resultant transparency is., that's why they are called " reversal films"
     
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  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Benji- that's what I said- down-rating it will take the saturation from eye-bleedingly over-saturated to merely intense. Either way, the colors will still border on the un-natural, especially the greens, but will be less unnatural at 40. I would personally prefer something with the color saturation and palette of Ektar 100 but they don't make that emulsion in a sllide film.
     
  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Sorry Scott I misread your post, actually Fuji Astia is the least saturated slide film that they make, then Provia, and the most saturated is Velvia.