on converting an ardent fan of of b/w to color: 4x5...
Color film users (4x5) please take a moment to share your experiences with that one film you find to be without peer. I am a long-time devotee of b/w, large format--primarily admiring the work of others but, of late, jumping into the fray myself--but would like to hear from you pros why I "really need to try 4x5 color film ______," what ever that turns out to be.
The thrust of my inquiry is that Spring is not far off, and I'm told, the mountains in the desert area to which I've just relocated will be abloom with flora, particularly poppies. I need to get up there at sunrise with my Speed and 'report back' with a photo journal...
So, then, which 4x5 color film excites your artistic sensibilities...
ps: any pro insights into using the Speed (particularly for the scenario I've outlined above) are gratefully received--e.g., is a light meter de rigueur for this press camera, etc.
If you can get some a hold of some Velvia 50, which is a slide film, I have found the result of colour mountain photography to be spectacular. But a light meter is a must as it is very finicky as to exposure and tolerates little error. I actually really like the Provia as well but Velvia is better for landscapes.
Can't find Velvia or looking for something with more latitude? Kodak's Ektar 100 is wonderful. Unfortunately, not a lot else is available and neither is anywhere near as cheap as B&W film.
Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.
Did I just reply to this on the other forum? Anyway, the orange of poppies reproduces relatively poorly
on color neg film, really poor on Portra and better, yet still so-so, on Ektar (inherently poor differentiation between yellow and yellow-orange - and yes, I sure as hell have printed poppy shots from these films!). Velvia is very unforgiving, so you meter for the critical colors and either let the
shadows go black or work in softer lighting. Provia gives a little more latitude; or if you can find any of the now discontinued Kodak E100G you will get wonderful flower results. Oh am I ever beginning to miss Cibachrome for the oranges and violets! I have one old 30x40 poppy print left over from a retrospective I shared a long time ago with some bearded guy, now dead ... other than that, I'm trying to figure out how to reprint it using interneg on Fuji CA paper... did some orange suject matter last nite
onto 8x10 internegs.
Do yourself a favour, and shoot some e-6 transparencies. The colour gamut will blow your socks off.
Yes, I know e-6 processing is a challenge to find commerially for sheet film in particular.
I process it myself, and love the results. I am luck enough to have a daylight tank that uses 1L of chemistry and holds 6 4x5 hangers.
I usually run the 4x5's after mixing a batch of e-6 up and usuing the first runs on any 35mm or 120 film backlog that has built up.
Replenish to suit, and on to the LF stuff.
I display them taped to the window in my office, where people stop by to say wow.
my real name, imagine that.
Depends where you live. E6 processing is still easy to get here for everything except 5x7 film. But any
of the current chrome films will handle yellows and oranges much better than color neg film. Things
like Portra were engineered to give pleasing skintones, which means muddying up analogous natural hues. Orange becomes dirty pumpkin. Ektar is indeed an improvement in this respect, but it's primary
flaw is right at the edge of diffentiating yellow-oranges from either yellow or orange; but it does a remarkably good job with warm and neutral earthtones.
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If you're going into the desert to shoot flowers - do yourself a favour and buy some of the near discontinued Velvia 50. It will blow your socks off but I would spot meter if I were you and take some graduated filters. If you can't get Velvia 50 I would try Provia 100. I find Velvia 100 quite tricky - people call it Redvia for good reason.
Originally Posted by Dean Taylor
For exposing Velvia 50 I would rate at 40 and place highest detail at + 1 2/3 and the darkest area at -3 stops... You can get away with yellow/red highlights (i.e. setting sun sky) at +2 2/3 stops because the yellow layer seems to go on and on...
On the negative film side you can't go wrong with Portra 160 or 400... they scan beautifully and you won't need any grads. Just expose the darkest shadow you need to be non-black at -2 stops.
I've only just started liking Ektar but do not underexpose - I would place shadows at -1 if possible.
So ... take some Velvia 50 and Portra 400!!
I can't show you 4x5 but here are medium format samples:
Velvia 50 (RVP) http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/tags/velvia/
Velvia 100 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alankle...ags/velvia100/
Velvia is tough on skin tones but great for landscapes. Good luck and have fun with whatever you use. It's all good stuff in the end.
If you want to enjoy printing them yourself, use negative film. The paper and process is handier and easier. They are all good (the slower the better) but you might not want to use Ektar if you've never printed color before.
"They are all good (the slower the better)..."
What are the trade-offs, then, between Portra 100 and Portra 400--from both an aesthetic as well as a technical standpoint?
Regarding the Provia 100: if the box is labeled 'quick load' a special Fuji loader is needed, otherwise, a riteway 4x5 film holder, e.g., will suffice--correct?
http://www.melpiercecamera.com/prodi...ovia100_PF.jpg (riteway, etc.)