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  1. #31
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Well, Henning, you are right in theory but the best way to compare (which is at the current time really impossible) is to compare the slide to a transparency prepared on print film from the negative, or go to the absolute measurements as posted by Kodak.

    The bottom line is that you cannot, at this time, make a valid comparison of the two film systems. But, I think that the comments by Drew Wiley above point out what is actually being observed by many and that is that the neg-pos system is superior in spite of the extra step between the picture and the viewer.

    As I said, back when I ran tests in the lab the C41 films were as good as or better than E6 films and at that time I had Ektachrome Paper (Radiance etc..) to compare with Supra or whatever negative paper I used. This, along with modeling and actual direct tests gave a pretty good "picture" of which was best.

    PE

  2. #32

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    Hi Ron,

    sorry to say, but I have to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Well, Henning, you are right in theory
    No, the other way round. Your proposition of normalising contrast is a theoretical concept working maybe in lab conditions, but not in real life photography.
    It may be of academic interest, but has no relevance for photographers, because no one would do this with his slide or negative films.
    No photographer is dramatically increasing the contrast of his negative films, or dramatically decreasing the contrast of his slide films, because this would lead to a significant loss in picture quality in both cases.

    In the vast majority of the cases photographers use the C-41 and E6 process in the standard way.
    So therefore they are interested in the results they get this way.
    I've never heard of a photographer who increases the contrast of his color negs to 1.2 or 1.8, or a photographer who decreases the contrast of his slides down to 1.2 or 0.6.
    For tests and comparisons, which should be useful and relevant for daily photography, you have to use the processes in the way they are really used by photographers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    but the best way to compare (which is at the current time really impossible) is to compare the slide to a transparency prepared on print film from the negative,
    No one is doing this.
    Slides are either projected (best resolution you cant get), viewed on a light table with loupe or directly printed (Ilfochrome; Harman Direct Positive paper for BW slides), or scanned and then printed on RA-4.
    Negatives are either printed directly with optical printing or scanned and printed.

    That are the ways photographers work. That is our photographers reality.
    So therefore we should analyse the results we get with the processes we really use.
    And that is what we've done:
    With optical printing slides (Ilfochrome, H.D.P.) with APO enlarging lenses the resolution of ISO 100 color slides films surpasses the resolution of optical printed Reala, Ektar, Farbwelt 100 (German version of Gold 100).
    Same with drum scanned slides vs. drum scanned negatives. As already mentioned, the overall resolution was less, and the difference was smaller as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    or go to the absolute measurements as posted by Kodak.
    They are generated under lab conditions. With higher contrast ratios which are quite seldom in normal photography.
    Using significantly lower object contrast (as we did) gives a much better, more valid picture of what can really be achieved in daily photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The bottom line is that you cannot, at this time, make a valid comparison of the two film systems.
    Well, yes and no.
    Of course yo can compare the results of the processes photographers really use (see above).
    Photographers want to know about the possibilities and limitations of their materials and processes.
    Nothing wrong with having a look at this.

    But of course right is as well that both films systems are designed for different purposes. Slide for projection and light table view, negative for prints.
    Therefore no surprise that they shine with overall best results (considering all relevant parameters, not only resolution and sharpness) in the area they are designed for.

    Well, that is the reason I use both systems. Horses for courses.
    I've never understood this "slide vs. negative film fight" some photographers (interestingly most of them pure C-41 shooters) are in.
    There is no "best" system in general. Only the best solution for a certain application.

    But, as a reminder, the start of the discussion here was Athirils statement that Portra 400 new has higher resolution than Provia 400X.
    And at least due to our test results with an object contrast of 1:4 Provia 400X delivers higher resolution values. That is the result looking directly on the films with a microscope, making optical prints and with drum scans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    As I said, back when I ran tests in the lab the C41 films were as good as or better than E6 films and at that time I had Ektachrome Paper (Radiance etc..) to compare with Supra or whatever negative paper I used.
    PE
    Well, you retired in 1997, right? The films and papers you used are not on the market anymore. We've tested the current products
    (I can say lots of progress in film technology during the last 20 years, if I compare the current films with the ones form the early 90s).
    And you said you have normalised the object contrast of the two film systems. A method photographers don't work with.

    Best regards,
    Henning

  3. #33
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    Henning;

    I refer you to "A review of the old and n ew methods of evaluating the image structure of color films" by M. Kriss published in the notes of the SPSE "Color: Theory and Imaging Systems" in 1972. This is an excellent reference for this topic.

    And, I might remind you that there have been few advances put into E6 products since the mid '90s but color negative film has continued to advance! Ektar compared to any Ektachrome film is at least 2 -3 generations ahead in technology.

    PE

  4. #34
    CGW
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    And, I might remind you that there have been few advances put into E6 products since the mid '90s but color negative film has continued to advance! Ektar compared to any Ektachrome film is at least 2 -3 generations ahead in technology.

    Amen. I'd waste no more energy arguing with Henning if he's unwilling or unable to grasp this. E6 really is a dead material relative to current C41.

  5. #35
    RPC
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    E6 really is a dead material relative to current C41.
    A sad reminder of what is happening in the slide film world.

    I have always wanted to shoot 120 slide film and buy a projector for it--I understand the projected quality is awesome and the huge images mesmerizing--but never got around to it. I could still do it but it is a little late in the game to get started. Who knows when it will all disappear.

  6. #36
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    Mostly it was when a Professional shooter screwed up a calculation and said oh damn.
    I asked for pull processing once or twice usually because I thought the studio images were over exposed by a half stop. The results were never optimal.
    I pushed on purpose as a photojournalist many times... I shot Ektachrome 100, 400 and 1600 sometimes pushed 2 stops back in the day. Blacks would get greenish casts... it would get put on a drum scanner and published same day.

  7. #37
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPC View Post
    A sad reminder of what is happening in the slide film world.

    I have always wanted to shoot 120 slide film and buy a projector for it--I understand the projected quality is awesome and the huge images mesmerizing--but never got around to it. I could still do it but it is a little late in the game to get started. Who knows when it will all disappear.
    If you can then do it. All I meant was that quality E6 processing became the constraint--why bother when a lab screwed up simply because of stale chemistry caused by low volume? I'm still shooting it simply because I can still access good processing and have pals with Cabin and Kindermann projectors and big screens.

    I do miss Scala film desperately, though.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPC View Post
    A sad reminder of what is happening in the slide film world.

    I have always wanted to shoot 120 slide film and buy a projector for it--I understand the projected quality is awesome and the huge images mesmerizing--but never got around to it. I could still do it but it is a little late in the game to get started. Who knows when it will all disappear.
    If I were you, I'd skip the projector for now (unless one falls in your lap at a good price) and start burning the film. The images are big enough to look at and ooh and aah over, they scan well if that's your thing, and the eventual "it will all disappear" moment should just mean that you can get the projector for a song.

    I held off shooting E-6 at all for a number of years, out of an exaggerated fear of its difficulty, and I very much regret the shots I didn't get as a result. IMHO, enjoy it while it's there to enjoy.

    -NT
    Last edited by ntenny; 09-13-2011 at 12:42 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    Nathan Tenny
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    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #39

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    Even after encountering it many times, I am still astounded when I hear people put down slide film. All I can say is that I have been shooting film since the dawn of the digital age, yet still remember the thrill of getting my first box of slides back. The incredible colors, clarity, brilliance, and resolution. A roll of Elite Chrome 200, shot in my dads old Minolta XG-7, with a 50mm lens, looikng out over the Chicago skyline from the top of the Hancock Center. Wow, people, n a row boat, maybe 1/2 mile away, and the oars clearly visible! I had never experienced this with negative film before.
    Since then I have discovered that slides scan better and more easily than negs too: better colors with less need for tweaking to get rght, sharper, with less grain allowing for easer sharpening without the need for blurring filters, and better resolution. Yet still you hear the crazy talk on the Net, the Urban Legend that slde is more difficult to scan. The exact opposite is true!
    Photo Engineer, I respect you greatly, and dont want to offend you, but when I read your comments about Ektar being 2-3 generations ahead of slide, I thought to myself, yes, but 2-3 generations behind slide in results. I have tried to love it too, but been let down too many times when my slide shots came out great, and the Ektar paled in comparison. The one exception being sunsets, where it equals slide film results for impact and beauty.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    E6 really is a dead material relative to current C41.
    It definitely has not been developed to the degree of modern C-41 films, which are amazing.

    But...I still like the way E-6 looks and I like working with it...as I always have. I will do so as long as it is around. I view E-6's role in my life as such: If I have grown up using my No. 2 pencils, and they have always done what I require/expect of them, I don't stop using them just because a technically superior pencil core is developed. I don't go around proclaiming the technical superiority of the No. 2 pencil over the new stuff, but I also don't stop using them in favor of it.

    So, I wouldn't say it is quite dead, but rather that is has been left behind to die by film manufacturers. And as sad as it is to me, it makes sense. Why spend tons money developing high-tech new products for which there is almost no market? Even I, a big proponent of keeping E-6 alive, probably shoot 25 percent or less of what I used to shoot on E-6....and as mentioned, I don't even think the things I do shoot on E-6 would benefit from the films being any "better."
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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