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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Provia vs Velvia vs Astia for first slide film

    I'll be using my RB67 for the first time on an upcoming trip and I want to burn a roll or two of slide film. I normally don't shoot slide film because the only way to print it is with an internegative or that-process-that-shall-not-be-named, but I just want to see some 6x7 slides on the light table while I can still get transparency film. I will also be testing how well my Mamiya "C" lenses look using color film. I won't have any color correction filters, I don't know how accurate my shutters are, and I meter only sloppily. What would be a good first slide film to try? The last slide film I used in 35mm was Kodachrome 64 and I always loved it, especially the reds.
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2

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    If you're looking for that serious wow factor, velvia will do it. Provia is awesome and is a little less sensitive to exposure. Astia is low-contrast, and will look great for the right subjects that need that pastel palette.

  3. #3
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    Velvia is a very narrow film, meaning that in my experience even 1/2 stop can mess up a shot. So depending on how you're shooting, it could work for or against you...it's also quite slow. I would shoot Vevlia 50 at 64 or 80 and 100 and 125. Provia on the other hand seems to be more forgiving and you really only lose a little punch in terms of saturation if slightly underexposed as well. Provia.....uh...shhhhh (scans really easily)shhhhhh....

    Why not try some of the Kodak offerings as well? The E100VS is a great film and has some serious punch and contrast to it. It seems to handle easier than the aforementioned Velvia as well.

    Just my $.02
    K.S. Klain

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    The exposure unlatitude of slide film makes me slightly nervous, so I guess I'd better avoid Velvia. I liked Kodak E100G in 35mm, but Fuji film is ~20% cheaper.
    f/22 and be there.

  5. #5
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    If you're gonna go Velvia go Velvia 50, I don't find anything 'wow' about Velva 100 or 100F.

    I'm gonna chuck my vote in for E100VS for the 'wow' factor, otherwise go Astia or E100G.

    E100VS doesn't go ridiculously blue in cold light unfiltered.

    Mamiya C lenses look fantastic in colour.


    My first home E-6 test (Kit E-6, as opposed to all my Xtol and Rodinal "E-6" and DIY mixed "E-6") stuff with 180mm Sekor C wide open.

    Unfiltered in late afternoon very heavy overcast cold light.

    DIY E-6 Test Roll by athiril, on Flickr
    Last edited by Athiril; 06-14-2011 at 10:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    Provia, meter slightly less sloppily (but only slightly less) and you'll be fine
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  7. #7
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Is Provia 400X any good? That extra 2 stops sure might come in handy.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post

    Unfiltered in late afternoon very heavy overcast cold light.

    DIY E-6 Test Roll by athiril, on Flickr
    Very nice color for conditions. I've not tried E100VS-I guess I'll have to now.

    Uhmm, your shrub needs water.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  9. #9
    Athiril's Avatar
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    It was autumn going into winter!

    400X ain't bad, it goes extremely damn blue and dense in cold light underexposed even a little, better to filter and also push in that case, ie: late afternoon heavy overcast in an opening in a forest under a tall water fall. It was like monochrome blue.

    It all depends on usage.

  10. #10
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    IMHO, just go get some RVP50 (Velvia 50) and RDPIII (Provia 100F). Velvia has insane colours (and a very special purple for skies) that you just have to see to believe and believe me you want to see them. Provia has no reciprocity failure so you can happily shoot it at night for exposures of a few minutes whereas other slide films have reciprocity failure that varies with the channel, so the slides tend to have big colour shifts, RVP50 goes quite green in only 4s. I believe Astia is discontinued in 120 though there are still stocks to be found. It's very neutral and excellent for portraiture, whereas Velvia will give you carrot-orange skin.

    Provia has high contrast, and while it's not as high as Velvia, it's very high. It doesn't have as much saturation, so that actually makes it a more difficult film to get images that really pop without blowing highlights or losing shadows. I like to use it just for twilight and night photos where the light is already very colourful.

    In terms of metering, er, just don't be sloppy The easiest thing while starting out is just to shoot Sunny-16 in what you know to be Sunny-16 conditions and anything that's in direct sunlight will be properly exposed. I would suggest shooting your first roll of RVP50 at ISO50, 1/125, f/10, i.e. open up 1/3 stop from f/11 because 1/125 is not 1/100. Or combinations thereof. Whatever.

    Deliberately bracket one shot from -1 to +1 stops in 0.5 stop increments (so that's five frames for one composition) on your first roll so that you have a good idea of what the slides will look like when there are exposure errors.

    Once you're happy with the results at Sunny-16, I recommend using a spot meter (I use my DSLR). Anything between -2 and +2 will have decent detail, anything outside of that range you can consider to be gone or very close to it. Therefore, you want to find scenes wherein everything that matters will fit within a 4 stop range. If your tonal range is even narrower, then you can play with using half-stop under (more saturation) or half-stop over (less saturation) exposure.

    6x7 chromes are a thing of beauty and I warn you that this experiment will cost you dearly!

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