Velvia hooked me from Day 1, will never look back from moving to E-6 for colour
Hi guys... I started shooting Fuji Velvia not long ago... Velvia 50 I do not use unless i would use a tripod, i prefer 100 because of the extra stop of speed, great for swans, daylight skies, animals and 100s better reprocity characteristics.
But... at £10 per 36 exp roll, I am hooked! I do not use all 36 in one session, i might get 10 slides in a session. Recently got some of swans, flooding in the canal, and a seagull shadowed over the sky outside the train station. I process it all myself, and I am hooked. I moved to E-6 for colour work, and did not look back. RA-4 is not my cup of tea, although I do it now and then. Slides have some magic, especially when projected. But velvia... Is the best in it's class. Rich, saturated colours, great detail rendering for a 35mm frame (when i can afford it i will begin to shoot 120 ). In high UV without a skylight i find velvia can produce a very cool look (not so much a cast), which appeals to me, renders blue skies amazing, not a people film by far, skin looks too 'red'.
Photos of swans and the canal flooded were amazing. I plan to try Provia 400X to see what purposes i can use that for.
The only downsides, exposures blow out so easily. I can spend several minutes even an hour composing a shot. I have a shot of a seagull zooming over the water, i carefully set the exposure, and waited, got more than I bargained for. The seagull black (nearly) over a rich blue sky by the train station... I clicked the shutter just as the seagull moved into the shade of the building. The blue skies just blew me away. Swans I have some lovley shots, had to experiment with exposure, swans are easy to blow out due to their pure white. If i want a (nearly) neutral saturated image with expanded greens, i use a skylight. Have not tried it at sunset, am going on a trip soon, i WILL be trying that. Its colour temperature pleases me. The cool images are not an unpleasent cool cast, either, cannot really describe it. Scanning it... A £200 flatbed negative scanner will not yield well. I will need to send them away to have them professionally scanned, or save for a nikon coolscan! Projected they are a beauty to behold, i can project to gigantic size.
Provia 400X would be more of an urban or people film by the sounds of it.
I process them at home, and mount them. I find tweaking the First developer time helps me fine tune my colour balance for what I shoot, 30 seconds more or less, but never under 6:15 seconds. Many say fuji needs an extra minute more than Kodak, With velvia I get a more pleasing look to my eyes using 6:20 -/+ 30 seconds, more time / less coolness, (not a cast, the feel and temperature of the image as a whole), so i vary with what I have been shooting and what I want the final product to look like. I like not having to send them off and waiting ages, and having the ability to fine tune my process for what I am shooting.
If i wish to remove the cool look, i would use a skylight, which eliminates it, enabling greens to become dominant, with a skylight/developer tweaking blue or green can be made dominant. I find yellows/reds to be more subdued using the times I use under daylight. Brown water like in the canal (with a seagull flying over it) looked neutral. Anything towards yellow/red is neutral, if i was doing a sunset i presume (and please correct me if i am wrong) would increase the FD time to the reccomended 7:15 / 7:20 for fuji films, to remove any coolness to the pallette?
I love how E-6 can be tamed to your needs, i have my usual times written down, as i try more films i will release them based on my observations
(developed at 100F, -/+ a degree F, normally stays within half a degree F, not bad using a water bath to keep temperature)
I have not played with temperature, will do that if i need to pull!
I <3 E-6!