without any intention to change the direction of the threat some replies raise a question.
Where is the 18% gray on the 8 stops that contain detail on a negative, and where is this value on the 4 from the slide?
Are the stops containing detail right in the middle or slightly towards one end of the curve?
Slides Vs Film?
My comments are entirely related to cost/ease.
I shoot NPS160 on my MAM645 for pics of my kids. Very happy with the results.
My (limited) experience here in Sydney is that it is much easier and cheaper to get 120 negs made into prints than it is with slides. Most labs can scan 120 and print easily and cheaply, whereas it *appears* that if you want to go with slides to print you need a pro level lab and the prices are significantly higher.
I have had some slides 35 & 120 made into prints at non-pro labs and the results were uniformly terrible. I have no doubt that more $$ for pro level labs would improve the output quality on paper but for me as a hobbyist I can't justify the 300%+ increase in costs.
I think there are several factors involved here that are worth thinking about:
1. the compression (or, truncation) of the luminance range of the scene onto what the selected film is capable of recording,
2. the further compression (or truncation) of the image data on the film by the scanner, and
3. the final compression (or truncation) of the image data by the nature of the presentation media (the print paper).
While it is generally accepted (proven, really) that color negative film has greater range than slide film, whether that is important to the final print is a matter of style and/or taste. Some may prefer the ability of color negatives to show more subtle shadow detail that would be lost with a slide. Conversely, if one lights to a 4-stop range, as might be done for magazine or ad photography, the extra range of color negative film becomes moot.
As noted, however, what works best with the lab's setup also needs to be considered. It's easier, for example, for the person doing the scan to visually compare the scan results to the original slide.
As an aside, I'd argue that color negative film, just like other films, has NO "latitude". There is only one exposure value at which the film is properly exposed. It's just that minor errors in exposure can be masked by other elements in the total process to produce an acceptable print, even though it might not be the optimal print.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
I would like to agree with Ralph. Most of the arguments in favour of negative films are valid, but they cannot be considered in a vacuum. The one huge advantage of chromes is the fact that it is a finished product on its own. As such, you can choose which film best suits the subject, the conditions and even your equipment.
The luminance of a chrome original, being viewed by transillumination and being a unique medium, is what guides me in evaluating a final print. Not using colour neg film a lot in the last several years, I can't and won't make a definitive judgment, but I prefer chromes, especially Kodachrome. There is something about the combination of colour balance, tonality and sharpness that I feel can't be duplicated with negative film. I could be wrong, of course!
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In my colour work, I prefer to shoot NPS 160 colour negative, mostly in 120 format. Well, the slides have for me their value, too - I love to look at them, that's just a passion I don't care much about film latitude etc., I just love the look of, say, still-lives shot on Fuji 64T slide film with hot lights. The slides scan well, but today's minilabs are made to scan the negs - they can't cope with big densities of slide, so one must use a pro lab and their specialized scanners. Maybe that's an offtopic, if the thread is dedicated to colour materials, but I love to make b/w slides from Ilford films (FP4+ and PanF+) by reversal processing. It gives me virtually no grain, enhanced sharpness and better "scanability" And these slides are fun to look to, and to project them.
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I just finished shooting some slide film (Velvia 50) this last weekend and posted a couple here on apug at http://www.apug.org/gallery/showgall...00&ppuser=2762 and really am enjoying it. I'm going on another trip next week with some more and am looking forward to seeing the results again.
I find for myself that if the intended end use is prints,I shoot it on print film, and have them processed by a good pro lab. I usually project all the transparency film I shoot, and any occasional slide I want a print off I have a Ilfochrome print done off it, and although Ilfochrome is very good I don't think any process to make prints from slides is as good as prints from colour negative film.