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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Tell me about slides

    I don't know anything about slides. I remember a long, long time ago, at family gatherings, they would project photos onto the wall. That's all I know.

    So, if I send some 35mm slide film to Dwaynes or Fuji labs or whatever, will they automatically mount it in those little frames, so that it can be used with slide projectors? Are all slide mounts the same, or is there a kind of slide DRM scheme with like certain brands of projectors? I'm not sure I would even want it mounted. I don't have a projector or space for one.

    I know you can buy medium-format transparency film. How do people project those?

    What are the options for printing slides? Do most people that shoot slides actually project them to view them or do they print them?

    How hard is it to expose for slides? I've heard it's hard, but then I've heard that slides have more dynamic range than it's possible to print, and have to be projected for best results.

  2. #2

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    Good Evening,

    Exposing slide film isn't any harder than exposing other films. Very slight underexposure usually works out better than any overexposure. Just be careful of your technique; with 35mm, do some bracketing.

    35mm slides are usually returned in mounts, but a decent lab can also return them as a strip so that you can mount your own. A "return unmounted" request may even result in a slightly lower price.

    Most MF transparencies are probably viewed on a light table. There are some projectors available, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than 35mm machines. Finding a projector for 6 x 9 might be difficult.

    Slides or transparencies can be printed by any decent professional lab. Most of them now transfer the data to disk and print from that instead of making direct Cibachromes. Most labs can also produce internegatives from transparencies.

    Konical

  3. #3
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    There is something fascinating about a nicely-exposed projected slide; it's totally different from looking at a print. It's like having an "instant" 20x30 of any image!

    I need to pick up a slide projector... mine died years ago.

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    There is something fascinating about a nicely-exposed projected slide; it's totally different from looking at a print. It's like having an "instant" 20x30 of any image!

    I need to pick up a slide projector... mine died years ago.

  5. #5

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    Slides have more dynamic range than can be printed but then negative film has even more dynamic range than slide film. Negative film has a lot more dynamic range than can be printed but many people don't miss it because they don't see it because they don't look at the negative and see what's there. With slides after seeing the slides most people are not happy with the print from them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    How hard is it to expose for slides? I've heard it's hard, but then I've heard that slides have more dynamic range than it's possible to print, and have to be projected for best results.
    I get horribly confused when people start talking dynamic range and the like, so take what I say with a pinch of salt, but...

    What I do reckon is this - the image on the slide is the finished product. That is, if you want something black in the final presentation - which is to say, in a projector against a wall - it needs to be black on the slide, and if you want it white it better be white (well, clear.)

    Which is to say, negative film lets you play fast and loose capturing a wider range than you'll print - you can decide in the darkroom through nothing more complicated than the contrast grade of paper you choose and the exposure under the enlarger how you want to compress or clip the captured range into the print. Slide film doesn't give you that luxury; so in practice whether or not the range is larger than printable the usable range is significantly narrower than negative film.

    So I reckon it's not so much 'harder', it just gives you less opportunity to correct in post.


    A slide in a projector though is indeed a lovely thing, my favourite form of photograph. I'd give my eye teeth for a medium format projector although I've never seen one (I know they do exist of course; ) my medium format and large format slides I view on the light-table. Of course I also (whisper it quietly) scan them.

    A 4x5" large-format slide on a lightbox is a bloody beautiful thing to behold .


    Printing them is doable though. I've printed a few Ilfochromes myself and they look outstanding, they have a wonderful depth to them - but it's a hellishly expensive process.
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

  7. #7
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    Slides look really cool when projected and especially when viewed on a light table. Slide film refers to any kind of reversal film which can be projected. There are ways to print these (actually right now it is "way" unless you try digital) called Ilfochrome which is rather expensive but the prints look great and are highly archival. Slide film is available in many formats and emulsions. The one you're probably referring to is 35mm slides. They can get mounted in the little 2inch universal mounts and projected in any 35mm slide projector. You can request unmounted for scanning or printing and they will be returned in sleeves or rolled.

    Medium format slides are a whole different world. You can only get them processed unmounted these days. You have to cut them up and place them in mounts. You also need special expensive projectors. I have one and the results are very impressive, but obscure.

    If you want to print in a darkroom, choose negative film for starters. The paper is very cheap and the process is shorter/less involved than slide film.

    I guess the reason people shoot slides is the look. It's very impressive. Looking at a 4x5 slide on a light table is very very cool.

    Kodak carousel 35mm slide projectors are literally being thrown out on eBay.

  8. #8

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    I like slides vs. negatives because you see the actual color of the image in a slide or transparency. And, I like them better for scanning and then printing from a digital file. Of course if you want proofs, negatives provide that much easier than slides. The fine grain of some slide films can make for beautiful large prints from 35mm and medium format can yield impressive results, too. Shooting assigments where you have to get the shot probably is best done with negative materials that have more range for exposure with usable results.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoferrell View Post
    I like slides vs. negatives because you see the actual color of the image in a slide or transparency. And, I like them better for scanning and then printing from a digital file. Of course if you want proofs, negatives provide that much easier than slides. The fine grain of some slide films can make for beautiful large prints from 35mm and medium format can yield impressive results, too. Shooting assigments where you have to get the shot probably is best done with negative materials that have more range for exposure with usable results.
    Yes, that is the advantadges of slide. I prefer slides against negs because colour is as is. Also, when looking at bare eye, It has somekind of 3D look. It's ugly to look diretly at the negs, people are purple.

    And by the way the local lab prints... Take the neg, pass it through a scanner, scratch it, and make "regular" quality prints. The price is like processing 2-3 120 rolls in a big lab. I found another place that does it better for less price.



 

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