Kodachrome 'look' with Velvia 100 possibly in the making...
This post is posted on the 8mm forum, so will have some inconsistencies, as i make references to the 8mm frame and the last available in production colour reversal stock for super-8, which is velvia 50 respooled by wittner.
Now before anyone gets too exited, this is NOT about processed kodachrome, i know this is a touchy subject and have tried to make it so in the title. I conducted an experiment today, to test how far velvia can be pushed, as our only currently in production Super 8 stock is 50ASA, and i also had to push a full roll of velvia +3 as well, due to thinking i had a roll of provia 400 in my still camera, and set the ISO dial to 800 as i push provia 400 as a rule for extra speed and get fine results. The film in question is velvia 100, virtually identical to 50. NOT to be confused with 100F, which I am not a fan of. I will also give the times i used and have yet to try, with the tetenal E6 kit. I season my developer with 2 'less importaint' rolls or test rolls, as i do not use a replenished system. I use the chemicals to capacity, these are about 20% used at the time of testing, but well seasoned.
I did a +1 push, a +2 push, and a +3 push, to film all underexposed the respective amount of stops. +1 push produced fine results, with little added grain. For an 8mm frame this might be a bit more of a problem. +2 Was dark but acceptable. +3 stops... the most horrible magenta bias, and dark and high contrast. Only one shot of that survived, due to being exposed at ISO 400, a white bird in a group of black ones.
But here is the most interesting point. For the +2 push i also on the test strip (+1 and +2 were tests) exposed 3 shots at box speed, to see what would happen. What i got stunned me when the film came out and even more so when dry. It was not an 'overexposed' look, although the highlights had a slight magenta to them. The overall colour palette was WARM IN THE KODACHROME WAY! and looked so similar to Kodachrome it was difficult to tell the difference.
This was on a light table and loupe, the projector is at my parents awaiting my visit there in feb to save baggage on the way up as i have only just been and we ran out of time. Now the FD time was 11:30, 30 secs recommended for a +2 push, to give a brightness boost. Velvia behaves funny when the FD time is tweaked, exaggerating blues, greens, or both. Warm colours have always took a back seat, until now that is. Whites are delicate however and this is all that may suffer here. Now this needs further experimentation, but I am strapped for cash at this point. I want to see if reducing the time to 10 minutes (and exposed at box speed) might be able to remove this slight magenta in the shadows completely, and hopefully retain all the warmth, and make whites less fragile, although whites are a touchy thing with velvia anyway. The skin tones were amazing on a test shot of me and a friend which was -1 exposed and +2 pushed, removed the 'velvia skin tone look' that many fans of velvia dislike, but had less of a kodachrome look.
I need to get my hands on some velvia MP stock and experiment with that, in the hopes that v50 will behave in just this way, used normally as a still film it looks virtually identical to my eye to the 100. a +3 push on -3 under exposure is a no go, don't try it! and that one was not a test D: It would be just usable, but the magenta bias ruins it, especially in the sky! The shadow detail is gone completely.
I have tried to find the strengths and weaknesses of our one remaining in production colour reversal stock at least until wittner perfect the 160 or 200 ASA one, the kodachrome look was an unexpected output that surprised me.
Velvia 100 shot normally with its FD times it seems are as follows (with seasoned developer):
FD time of 5:50 - Brings out blues, slightly less brightness but lovely saturated blues, brilliant for skies! Greens are like velvia. Brown water and browns in general looks amazing and deeply saturated with this time, if the browns are given half a stop of under exposure, although this can produce a slight blue colour bias, due to incomplete or less development and exposure in the yellow??? layer. Yellows are very subdued. This was great for a swan over water with water droplets, fitted the bill nicely. Time reccomended by tetenal is 6:15.
FD time of 6:45 - Brings out the greens much more, subdues the blues ever so slightly, still lovely saturation levels across the board.
FD time of 11:30 at 38C std E6 temperature - Kodachrome look with SLIGHT magenta bias in the shadows. Needs experimentation.
Time to experiment: 10 minutes exposed at box speed, an 80% increase from the usual FD time of E6. attempt to remove the slight magenta bias in the shadows. will test for 9 minutes as well.
-SEASONED DEVELOPER HAS BEEN USED-
Attempts to do this sort of skullduggery with ektachrome have produced muddy and horrible results from my tests. a +1 push was all it took.
I have not experimented with pulling yet, what more can velvia offer than this?
I need to do much more testing and will post scans the moment i have tried to 10 minute kodachrome time, for comparison. I only have 1 roll of velvia 100 and am cash-strapped at the moment until next week when payday is here I need to test velvia 50 in this way, fully as well. With any E6 processing, DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE TEMPERATURE of 38C, unless pulling. I have deviated to 41C giving me a golden look with ektachrome, and a too low temperature on a normally exposed ektachrome 100D film due to low thermometer batteries (yes it is a cheapie, but a good one at that when compared a mates expensive one, by 1/4 of a degree to his), gave me very grainy results, much more so than 64T.
Comments welcome, I plan to take this further! High dev solvent action, especially at such extended times might affect sharpness to some degree, reducing the time by 13% might reduce this as well as said magenta cast in the shadows, only if it is due to too much developed in the magenta layer by the FD. if not it might make it worse... as all silver is developed quicker than a push for underexposed film, giving the solvent more time to do it's work (and possible degradation to the negative silver image present at this stage, weather this affects the later dye formations to the same degree as the silver was already developed in a certain state before this takes place, i do not know) And once we get into the world of the beloved 8mm frame we all know, any defects will be greatly enlarged. I could mix an FD with less silver solvent, for this purpose, but grain will increase. (I need to pick PEs brains on this one, i do not know, if my maintaining the right levels of all the other components but reducing the silver solvent amount would affect colour balance, i wouldn't have thought it would make a serious difference, as i am only going on by-eye looks and not lab tests, but that is good enough for me, as film to me is art with alot of science thrown in :) For serious stuff such as laboratory use of said film, of course any deviation from the orthodox process is out of the question. Any other home processors here might be able to chip in their two cents worth as well. I have experimented with FD times for velvia and recorded them, have posted them here, need to try the 10 minute ones. as i have found it such a mallable film in this regard and i vary it for what i shoot now. Provia i keep to the standard E6 times, as i use that as a neutral, people, family and social film, and it gives very fine results, i expose and push it to 800 all of the time for the extra stop of speed, and it does my bidding well at that speed. For low light an F1.9 lens has me handhold in nearly all situations i end up using it in.