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  1. #1
    amsp's Avatar
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    Most color accurate film?

    Basically what I'm wondering is for commercial use where color accuracy is key what is the most accurate film available today? Or is this solely the realm of digital now?

  2. #2

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    If you're scanning, any attempt at accuracy hinges on the accuracy of your scanning. I guess it's probably the Portra films, perhaps 160, not 400, which is a tad more saturated.

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegman View Post
    If you're scanning, any attempt at accuracy hinges on the accuracy of your scanning.
    And if you're optically printing, it is fully dependant on the printing stage.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #4
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    In my own experience, the most color accurate film is ... drumroll... Fuji RTP-II: 64T tungsten slide film. It is used extensively for product photography with tungsten lighting. I once shot a color chart with it and held the chart next to the slide and couldn't see any differences. No correction required. Mind you, if you don't use tungsten lighting then it's not accurate any more. If you want best color accuracy then lighting is key.... with any film.

    For mixed lighting I'd recommend Fuji 400 pro h or the comparable portra.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    If you want colur accuracy, shoot a macbeth (or other grey scale) test chart, and then read and plt on a h-d log graph the cyan magenta and yellow reponse of the white to black grey steps in the target.

    You do this with almost all serious dupe films.

    The offset of one curve from the others on the calibrated graph plot shows you what colur of corrective filtration is needed in the camera stage.

    The shape of the toe of the curves tells you the effective in camera speed of the film with respect to the light source you are using.

    Heck, the overly upswept slope of the top end of curve can even show if your developer is over active - too hot, agitated or long- too steep - or the opposite - too low a slope.
    my real name, imagine that.

  6. #6
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    No it's not the realm of digital, but colour management must be performed also during the scanning stage, by creating a scanner profile and a film profile for the film you have chosen.
    The only difference with colour management with a digital camera is that with a digital camera you only have one device profile to factor in (the camera profile) while in the hybrid world you have to create two profiles.
    The scanner profile helps you having a scan "just like the film" (the green of your scan matches the green of your film);
    The film profile helps you having a scan "just like the product" (the green of your scan of your film matches the green of the product);
    I suppose that what gets embedded on the image is just the film profile. The scanner profile is instrumental in creating the film profile. The film profile describes the sum of the colour behaviour of your film and your scanner.

    Further details on DPUG or other hybrid fora, look for "colour management", "scanner".
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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  7. #7

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    Most accurate I've ever used: Fuji RDPII. It was the tungsten version of Astia for lab use. I'd put
    either RTPII or Astia II second. All these are now discontinued, although some inventory might remain. Color neg films, even the best of them, are way down the list by comparison.

  8. #8
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Color neg films, even the best of them, are way down the list by comparison.
    Which is completely untrue and an urban myth. Any color neg film is much more accurate in color than any color slide film from obvious technical reasons. You can verify this very easily from the curve sets.

    Slide films are completely based on HUGE color errors. RGB curves are all far from linear and differ in shape for every color record. The dyes are unmasked and produce unwanted absorptions. These problems are practically non-existent in color negative films, with at least 10x or so more linearity and much more color purity because of masking.

    This is also one of the reasons people use slide film -- they have a more interesting "color palette" or "look" to them, exactly due to these color errors. For example, in landscape images, certain color crossovers may render the images more appealing and a look of higher saturation.

    Mostly, the reason slide films are considered more "saturated" than negatives, is not the saturation itself, but a combination of high contrast and severe color errors - because color errors create color in scenes that otherwise looked dull gray!

    I'm a big fan of slide films, but I like to state the real reason I like them, and it's completely opposite from being "accurate". If I want accurate look and don't have any preference of the output medium (slide/negative) (in practice, if I'm going to scan them), then I naturally pick color negative, which can be in order of 10-100x more "accurate".

    The reason why slide films were preferred in some situations when accurate colors were needed were mostly non-technical choices made by non-technical people and that's perfectly fine; but that still does not change the truth.

    Also, the accuracy of slide films has not progressed at all in the last decade or so, but the color negatives have advanced more.

    If you ever sc*n your images, this is instantly obvious; the slides always show some crossover and other color problems, whereas negative image is pure and clinical. There are some pieces of broken hardware and software sold to customers with a label of "scanner", causing the color-CORRECTING orange mask to actually cause color errors, but that is a different story. Unfortunately, this farce has thrown some gasoline on the flames of the traditional myth of color-inaccurate negative film. The original cause for the myth are the automatic 1-hr labs that autoadjusted color neg images, trying to make "average customer" satisfied. For a "typical" customer without a darkroom or money to pay a pro, shooting slide film was one of the ways to skip those automatic, unmaintained machines run by untrained operators.
    Last edited by hrst; 06-07-2012 at 03:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Helen B's Avatar
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    I agree with hrst. The two masks in colour neg film (usually referred to as simply 'the orange mask') go a long way towards correcting the mismatch between the spectral sensitivity of each sensitive layer and the imperfect spectral absorption of the dye created in it. Colour reversal films have problem colours and only a short straight-line section of the curve. Include a shot of a grey target or grey scale or grey scale and colour patches / chip chart in every set taken in one kind of lighting (and make sure that it is all matching lighting, preferably continuous spectrum with no spikes) and colour neg film can deliver very accurate colour.

    Best,
    Helen

  10. #10

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    I'll bet you guys haven't done 2% of the testing I have on this very topic. Have you ever actually
    used the films I refer to or evaluated them on a lightbox, for what they actually do prior to correction. Do you own a copy system accurate to 1cc using narrow-band internally monitored additive filtration. Of couse not, because you have to have something like that custom engineered.
    Do you have an on-board densitometer a hundred times more accurate than a typical tabletop one,
    or even know who built that kind of thing? No, because you disguise the result of the film itself by
    trying to tweak it after a scan, so never understand what the film itself it really doing. I commend you if you get good results with color neg film, but I probably can get better results with neg film
    than you can simply because I look at the film problem independently first.

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