Color Film for Panoramics
I am a dyed in the wool Black & White shooter and have juts returned from a very successful trip from The Giant Redwoods and more than pleased with the panoramics I took. I used mainly Delta 100.
Planning another trip in late August and this time I am thinking of shooting color in my 6x12 and 6x17 backs. The contrast ranges can we quite severe and the exposure times can be quite lengthy. So would I be best to go with a color negative film because of the contrast or go with slide film?
The greens and browns in these giant stands of redwoods is quite spectacular so want an emulsion that would compliment these colors - so Fuji or Kodak - any recommendations for a 120 film?
160nc would be my choice for what you describe.
I vote 160VC over NC if you're printing RA4 from the neg as opposed to scanning. RSX II (if you can find any) would also be a really nice choice in slide.
Another vote for the 160 NC, or if you must go Fuji, the Pro160S. It has a slightly more neutral color balance, and is a bit tamer in the contrast than the Fuji 160C.
Go with transparency film, Velvia 100 would be a good choice (although I would use the 50), since you are working with long exposures.
Originally Posted by MikeK
Mike, you are asking the question like a B&W photographer. As a color landscape photographer contast is a concern, but not the biggest one. More important is the quality of the color (some people confuse this with saturation); this shows up for example, in the way greens are recorded on the forest floor, whether there is any warm cast to the colors, etc. Look for the subtle colors that a scene may present - in those circumstances, a color transparency film, like Fuji Velvia, will do a better job than a color negative film. You will find that many color landscape photographers will mitigate the contrast range using split neutral density filters.
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I use Neg film as well as chrome, mainly for the latitude I get. Have to disagree with the statement made many times re chrome film handling "subtle" color, in my experience this is not always, if at all, the case.
I find that though the colours can be somewhat softer that can work to advantage in contrasty light. Also ND grads sometimes are not possible to use, neg film really comes into its own then.
Suck it and see would be the best way forward. I use Pro160s personally.
I reckon I can get 8-9 stops of latitude out of it.
I'd also recommend Fuji Pro160S or Kodak 160NC. Both have a lot of latitude and very good colors. I'd try them out before your return trip to see which palette you prefer. I've also shot a lot of Velvia over the last 20 years or so, and like it very much for many subjects. I've done extensive close up shooting of flowers in the woods with it, and carry light modifiers to control contrast for it. But I wouldn't recommend it for your subject, as it's on the contrasty side even among slide films.
I'm not sure that split/graduated ND filters would be of that much help in the redwoods, as they won't give you the ability to differentiate between multiple vertical shadowed trunks and lit foliage between them. You need the latitude in the film for this circumstance.
I'd approach it by testing Pro160S and 160NC for latitude and color balance before the trip, and choose whichever gave me the best combination.
If you expect fog, overcast, and low contrast conditions however, Velvia or another slide film of your preference might just give a needed boost, and it's hard to beat Velvia for differentiating various greens.
Last edited by Lee L; 11-08-2007 at 01:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.