Velvia hooked me from Day 1, will never look back from moving to E-6 for colour
Hi guys... I started shooting Fuji Velvia not long ago... Velvia 50 I do not use unless i would use a tripod, i prefer 100 because of the extra stop of speed, great for swans, daylight skies, animals and 100s better reprocity characteristics.
But... at £10 per 36 exp roll, I am hooked! I do not use all 36 in one session, i might get 10 slides in a session. Recently got some of swans, flooding in the canal, and a seagull shadowed over the sky outside the train station. I process it all myself, and I am hooked. I moved to E-6 for colour work, and did not look back. RA-4 is not my cup of tea, although I do it now and then. Slides have some magic, especially when projected. But velvia... Is the best in it's class. Rich, saturated colours, great detail rendering for a 35mm frame (when i can afford it i will begin to shoot 120 ). In high UV without a skylight i find velvia can produce a very cool look (not so much a cast), which appeals to me, renders blue skies amazing, not a people film by far, skin looks too 'red'.
Photos of swans and the canal flooded were amazing. I plan to try Provia 400X to see what purposes i can use that for.
The only downsides, exposures blow out so easily. I can spend several minutes even an hour composing a shot. I have a shot of a seagull zooming over the water, i carefully set the exposure, and waited, got more than I bargained for. The seagull black (nearly) over a rich blue sky by the train station... I clicked the shutter just as the seagull moved into the shade of the building. The blue skies just blew me away. Swans I have some lovley shots, had to experiment with exposure, swans are easy to blow out due to their pure white. If i want a (nearly) neutral saturated image with expanded greens, i use a skylight. Have not tried it at sunset, am going on a trip soon, i WILL be trying that. Its colour temperature pleases me. The cool images are not an unpleasent cool cast, either, cannot really describe it. Scanning it... A £200 flatbed negative scanner will not yield well. I will need to send them away to have them professionally scanned, or save for a nikon coolscan! Projected they are a beauty to behold, i can project to gigantic size.
Provia 400X would be more of an urban or people film by the sounds of it.
I process them at home, and mount them. I find tweaking the First developer time helps me fine tune my colour balance for what I shoot, 30 seconds more or less, but never under 6:15 seconds. Many say fuji needs an extra minute more than Kodak, With velvia I get a more pleasing look to my eyes using 6:20 -/+ 30 seconds, more time / less coolness, (not a cast, the feel and temperature of the image as a whole), so i vary with what I have been shooting and what I want the final product to look like. I like not having to send them off and waiting ages, and having the ability to fine tune my process for what I am shooting.
If i wish to remove the cool look, i would use a skylight, which eliminates it, enabling greens to become dominant, with a skylight/developer tweaking blue or green can be made dominant. I find yellows/reds to be more subdued using the times I use under daylight. Brown water like in the canal (with a seagull flying over it) looked neutral. Anything towards yellow/red is neutral, if i was doing a sunset i presume (and please correct me if i am wrong) would increase the FD time to the reccomended 7:15 / 7:20 for fuji films, to remove any coolness to the pallette?
I love how E-6 can be tamed to your needs, i have my usual times written down, as i try more films i will release them based on my observations
(developed at 100F, -/+ a degree F, normally stays within half a degree F, not bad using a water bath to keep temperature)
I have not played with temperature, will do that if i need to pull!
I <3 E-6!
Indeed, Velvia probably kept me shooting film, rather than move to digital. In the right light, it's amazing. These days I use more black and white film, but would still use Velvia on a vacation somewhere with a lot of natural scenery.
Velvia is great for landscape, scenery and nature, as long as you don't shoot portraits with it.
Glad you're enjoying Velvia.
Originally Posted by jm94
Using ND Grads will help you balance exposures better...
I always like Velvia too.
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Examples I shot with it are bath canal flooded and a seagull in front of Bath Spa Train Station, I hit the shutter at just the right moment.
It renders skies beautifully.
I used my FD time of 6:20 to cool the images down in these, notice however that the tunnel one on the canal has no 'blue coolness' to it, but it is still 'cool' so by 'cool' i do not mean a colour cast. Too much UV light on buildings renders them slightly blue it seems, as noted above Bath bus station. This can be corrected with a skylight as i said above, but to me is a pleasing look, for the building it is, and with the stunning sky.
Scanned using my Canon flatbed scanner, is acceptable but does not beat a drum scan!
The flooding you have been hearing on about in the news is related to the photos of the canal, there is a snap of it the day before, then the day after with it nearly above the railings! My scanner seems to loose alot of sharpness of the slide when scanned (it is a flatbed) so i sharpened a couple of them up in photoshop to try and recover some of the sharpness lost during scanning, but i did not fiddle with colour balance or anything of the sort. Some of the brighness was also lost in scanning that is there on projection, but they look acceptable, just. Nothing like the projected slide though and so much sharpness is still missing. Need a drum scan next! The final photo of the swan had the whole head and neck, but it has been badly cropped by the program so its cut off the top of the head and the bottom of the beak!
One person who used velvia 100 claimed it had slight magenta cast, but I saw nothing of the sort (home processing), slight changes in processing seem to affect velvia series as it does all E-6, which I use to my advantage with the first developer, gives me a predictable outcome with regards to cool/warm and holding back the greens or letting them pop out. I leave the CD times and temperature of the process alone, as far as I am aware the CD ( CD/Reversal Bath combo in the 3 bath) goes to completion and i have an extra 20 seconds onto my CD time just for security, i then increase both the FD and CD as the solution is re-used. After 15 35mm films, or 7 - 8 carts of super-8, or around 5 carts of S8 and 6 to 7 films the chemicals are exhausted and i mix fresh. with the tetenal 5L kit, it works out at less than a pound a film to process, with the added advantage of being able to see the results there and then. They keep well in airtight bottles. I home-process because I cannot afford to shoot the amount of film I do and send to a lab at the same time. In a way it is not a choice, but it is fun to do! Only Super-8 neg or B/W reversal i have done by a third party, as i shoot so little of either! I love B/W, toning, as well as colour slides... They have such a surreal feeling to them if used correctly! And my scanner seems to cope with them better if that is the right word, still nowhere near the original resolution! I need a nikon coolscan or something of the sort! Only problem is damage to the original is final, and second generation copies are hard to make and still retain all the resolution. Slides are hard to damage luckily if properly handled.
Velvia 50 was my first true love. If I was using the "D-word" printing we would still be together. After much soul searching, I have decided to go with a completely analog process and since Ilfochrome and type-R are gone, I only use it in the stereo camera. I miss it very much.
Pearl River Methodist Church.
25/2.8 Distagon at about 5.6~8, whatever shutter speed the RTS picked. E.I. 40.
Last edited by Jim Rice; 12-01-2012 at 08:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.