Arrggh! Which ISO100 slide film?
Okay, I'll admit it -- it's been years since I've shot with slide film, and I've recently been getting back into shooting film, and find that I miss slides. Back in the day, the choices were pretty simple if I wanted to shoot at ISO 100: Fujichrome or Ektachrome. And I usually just shot the stuff that was hanging on the racks -- I almost never bothered with pro films.
But now, I find that there are at least ten different flavors to choose from, just counting Kodak and Fuji. And I haven't a clue which to use. They will probably all work well, but I'd like to know which will work best.
In this case, I'm planning to attend an air show next month, and I want a film that will give me neutral, but saturated colors (i.e., I want the sky to be blue, not some turquoise variant), and as fine a grain as possible. I would like to try a test roll or two before the show, and given the lead time involved with getting slide film developed these days, I need to start soon.
Anyway, after visiting Kodak's and Fuji's sites, I see that among ISO 100 slide films there are:
Kodak Professional Elite Chrome
Kodak Professional Elite Chrome Extra Color
Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus Professional
Fujichrome Astia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Sensia 100
Fujichrome Velvia 100
Fujuchrome Velvia 100F
Based on descriptions at the above sites, I'm leaning toward Kodak's E100G or Elite Chrome 100, or Fuji's Velvia 100. I selected these three because they are reported or reputed to have extremely fine grain. That narrows it down to three at least. Whether you agree or think another emulsion would be a better choice, I'd love to read about it.
All depends on what your subject is.
Perhaps the best slide film on the market right now, IMHO, is astia 100F. That, velvia 100, and provia 400x are my standards.
I don't think all of the Kodak films shown are still made. Some which are not still made may still be available though.
I like Elite Chrome 100. It is a nicely balanced film with a slight warming effect, similar to the old E100GX. It has nice grain, and a bit more exposure latitude (to my eye) than E100G. As an additional bonus, it's nice and cheap. I use it as my standard film, when no additional effects are needed.
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Which ISO 100 Slide Film?
I have some EB and Astia on hand. My favorite 100 speed slide film for all subjects other than people is EBX. Someone has to have really good complexion to look good on EBX. Right now I can't say that any of these films is a bargain. A three roll pack of Astia is about $22 at Unique. If you don't have any Fuji (Dwayne's) mailers on hand it could cost $20 for a single 36 exp roll of slide film when you add film, processing, sales tax and postage. If I did not like to project slides sometimes I would just shoot print film. There are plenty of good 100 speed color print films.
Kodak Elite Chrome 100, Kodak E100G, Kodak E100VS, and Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus are all really really good films but what is nice about the elite chrome is that if you buy it from Dwayne's Photo or B&H it is only $4.69 a roll so it is pretty economical. Elite Chrome is basically Ektachrome in an Elite Chrome box. Ektachrome/Elite Chrome in general are all really good films. As far as grain, E100G is has the finest grain so that may work best for you. It too, is a great film
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Thanks for the feedback and the perspectives, everybody. Back in the day, I preferred Fujichrome over Ektachrome, but to be honest, this was mostly because Fujichrome was cheaper. I was very satisfied with the results obtained, so I just stuck with it. When I wasn't shooting Kodachrome, I was shooting Fujichrome.
Just took a look at B&H's prices. Yup, the Elite Chrome is the cheapest, but there are several Fuji flavors that aren't much more.
So I think what I'll do initially is try out the cheap stuff. Order a couple rolls of the Elite Chrome, and a couple rolls of Fuji, probably the Provia 100F.
I see the mailers are priced pretty reasonably also at $5.39. I'm assuming this is Dwayne's? Why the 12/09 expiration date, anybody know? Dwayne's is increasing prices?
Last edited by cooltouch; 09-21-2009 at 02:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I would go with Provia, Velvia 100F, or Velvia 100 for your listed subjects. Actually, if I could get away with one stop less, I'd use Velvia 50, but you asked for 100 speed...
I have no experience with E100G or Elite Chrome, so they may work fine, but if grain is important, avoid E100VS, as it has great colors but noticeably larger grain.
Ektachrome 100 Plus is a first-generation E-6 Ektachrome, which doesn't use T-Grain emulsion, and is a lot grainier than E100G or Elite Chrome 100.
I find that E100G is very neutral, with some of the saturation boost of slide film. Shadows can go blue, since they are lit by sky, which is blue (not white). E100GX had a warm color balance to counter that, but is discontinued. Elite Chrome is the consumer version of E100GX -- they probably aren't making any more, but there's plenty in inventory.
Astia is the lowest color saturation of all these films. Probably best for portraits.