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08-27-2014, 05:09 AM   #1
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I prefer colour negatives over slides

I know it's a little sacrilegious, but this may be a nice discussion.

It struck me this morning that I truly seem to prefer the look of several current pro color negative films over most slide films. Mind you, I've only been shooting film for a few years, 35mm almost exclusively and my thoughts are largely based on the work of other photographers around me (if I'm considering what film to buy next, I first look at what other people have achieved with it). That being said, I still think most of the shots that made me go 'wow' were made on either Ektar or Portra 400. Consequently, that's what I mostly shoot with and I'm very satisfied with the results.

Despite the fact that everyone hails the incredible color reproduction of slides, to me they often look way too blue or too red. I despise the look of Velvia and (dare I say it?) I don't really see what was so enormously extraordinary about Kodachrome. There's exceptions of course, Ektachrome and Provia in their ISO 100 versions come to mind, they look fine to me but haven't been able to blow my mind yet. There's some landscape work where I think slide film added something, but that's about it. I do see that many slide films are incredibly sharp, but those modern negative films aren't bad either.

Do I perhaps look at it the wrong way, since everybody seems so enthusiastic about slide film? Maybe it's just a matter of taste? Anyone that shares my point of view? I wonder what you all think about this


Last edited by Lauke_101; 08-27-2014 at 06:01 AM. Reason: typos
08-27-2014, 05:22 AM   #2
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I always enjoy the Negative films. Wider dynamic range, more forgiving on exposure, and from back in the film days; didn't cost so much for a print.
Gold 100 and Portra 160 are my favorites. Don't think Gold 100 exists any more.
Since the start of Digital I've tried some of the Slide films but always go back to Neg
08-27-2014, 05:48 AM   #3
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just to be sure, have you shot any slide film and if so which ones?

Also, how are you comparing results - scanned? Of course viewed on a lightbox slides look much better . : .

Today's negatives are very good too especially when it comes to latitude.

If you haven't shot slides then that would be sacrilegious! You owe it to yourself to give them a try.
08-27-2014, 05:58 AM   #4
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WHAT? I'm sorry...you'll have to leave now. lol Seriously, though...you can't really judge slides vs prints until you determine who is doing the prints and how much help they're giving the negatives. I love slide film, but I have friends who make gorgeous prints from negative films. There used to be a huge difference in the olden days, but now it's simply a matter of which you prefer, IMO.

08-27-2014, 07:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by thazooo Quote
I always enjoy the Negative films. Wider dynamic range, more forgiving on exposure, and from back in the film days; didn't cost so much for a print.
Gold 100 and Portra 160 are my favorites. Don't think Gold 100 exists any more.
Since the start of Digital I've tried some of the Slide films but always go back to Neg
Kodak Gold 100? I used this
08-27-2014, 12:17 PM   #6
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Alright... a couple things... First of all, color neg film has been getting better and better and BETTER throughout the years. Once upon a time there was simply no debate that slide films were superior in most every way *except* the much narrower latitude they offered. Modern CN film (Ektar comes to mind) now gives nearly as good / the same / in some cases *better* results.
That being said, slide film is still incredibly dense and, well, just rich.
You "despise" the look of Velvia? DESPISE? Really? Wow. I wonder how you feel about people that kick children and puppies... (I'm kidding)
Truly though, if you don't care for Velvia, but you enjoy Portra, I would have a go with Velvia 100F - most people who love RVP100 or RVP50 (the "true" Velvias) do not care for 100F nearly as much because its color rendering is much more neutral. I personally love the stuff for everyday shooting just for that reason... It still has Velvia punch to my eye but without being as heavy-handed as the other emulsions can get.

*Despise*? hahahahah come on now.
08-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
WHAT? I'm sorry...you'll have to leave now. lol Seriously, though...you can't really judge slides vs prints until you determine who is doing the prints and how much help they're giving the negatives. I love slide film, but I have friends who make gorgeous prints from negative films. There used to be a huge difference in the olden days, but now it's simply a matter of which you prefer, IMO.
When I started shooting, slides were better than color film, cheaper per frame to process, and let's face it, most of us shoot for ourselves, so who cared about prints?

And lastly, and I believe true to this day, only slide film can easily be pushed. I often shot E6 (ektachrome) 400 pushed one stop, and once 3 stops. Color negative film at the time didn't not easily push process if at all.

Digital now is like slide film cheap per frame to shoot because you rarely print
08-27-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
WHAT? I'm sorry...you'll have to leave now. lol Seriously, though...you can't really judge slides vs prints until you determine who is doing the prints and how much help they're giving the negatives. I love slide film, but I have friends who make gorgeous prints from negative films. There used to be a huge difference in the olden days, but now it's simply a matter of which you prefer, IMO.
Yep you can only truly judge a slide by looking at it on a light table or projected. My scans of slides are NEVER as good as the original, some are close but others way off. The same holds true for prints of slides. It used to be better years ago when the labs used internegatives and it was all analog. Digital has ruined the impact of shooting slides more than negatives, as with a negative you don't have anything to compare the scan/print to.

I’ll stick with slide film until I give up photography. I never have been a big fan of colour negative film, past or present.

Phil.


Last edited by gofour3; 08-27-2014 at 03:25 PM.
08-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #9
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I've read various porfessional opinions over the past year or so and they generally indicate that modern color negative film is as good as slide film due to more R&D. Slide film seems to have lost ground earlier than negative film.
08-27-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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Not me; I love slides.
There's nothing like the rich colors of a transparency on a light table or the impact when projected.

I'd like to continue shooting slides, but it's sure not getting any easier.
There are far fewer color slide films available now.
They're more expensive and harder to find.
The same goes for processing.

With Kodak is out of the game Fuji has little incentive to innovate.
As profits decline I expect Fuji too will abandon slide film production.

Recently I purchased a Pakon scanner which can't handle mounted slides.
I may stop shooting slides completely mainly for this reason.

Meanwhile I have ordered a few rolls of Ektar, and I'm looking at the Portras...

Chris
08-27-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
My scans of slides are NEVER as good as the original, some are close but others way off. The same holds true for prints of slides. It used to be better years ago when the labs used internegatives and it was all analog.
In some ways many of my scans look better than the same slides when projected or on the light table with a loupe. The scans are better than prints I had made as are the prints I have made for the scans ) I was thinking about laser internegs the other day ago and thought it would be really cool to have the option of laser scanned digital separations.


Steve
08-28-2014, 02:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
just to be sure, have you shot any slide film and if so which ones?.
I have, albeit not much. Some of the Agfa stuff and a roll of Provia 100F. I have some friends (and their parents, haha ) that have shot more slides, don't know what film exactly that I had a look at. Those were all prints though, not projected or viewed on a light table. What struck me was that either there was a blue, purple or green cast to them, or the look was very 'bland', for lack of a better word. But both Portra and Ektar are films with a signature look that is easily recognised, that probably plays a role too.

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
You "despise" the look of Velvia? DESPISE? Really? Wow. I wonder how you feel about people that kick children and puppies... (I'm kidding)
Truly though, if you don't care for Velvia, but you enjoy Portra, I would have a go with Velvia 100F - most people who love RVP100 or RVP50 (the "true" Velvias) do not care for 100F nearly as much because its color rendering is much more neutral. I personally love the stuff for everyday shooting just for that reason... It still has Velvia punch to my eye but without being as heavy-handed as the other emulsions can get.
Hahahaha you crack me up good It's true that I don't like superdupersaturated colors in general. Yes, I know Ektar ain't natural looking either, but it doesn't have the purplish blue cast that a lot of Velvia shots have. I'll give the 100F a try, it does look a lot more pleasing for what I generally want from a film

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yep you can only truly judge a slide by looking at it on a light table or projected. My scans of slides are NEVER as good as the original, some are close but others way off. The same holds true for prints of slides. It used to be better years ago when the labs used internegatives and it was all analog. Digital has ruined the impact of shooting slides more than negatives, as with a negative you don't have anything to compare the scan/print to.
I didn't really know that scanning slides made them so much worse. I always thought they'd be easier since you have true colors already, instead of having to muck about for hours trying to get an inverted negative to look good.
08-28-2014, 05:38 AM   #13
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Its a matter of the scene as to which I prefer. The dynamic range, and ektars colours, are unique properties. But slide is still the most effort/satisfying. Kinda worth it on its own for that, but the aussie sun doesn't always cooperate.
08-28-2014, 08:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lauke_101 Quote
What struck me was that either there was a blue, purple or green cast to them
Slide film really likes a skylight or cloudy/warming (81A/B) filter to remove the blue cast in certain lighting conditions. If you are shooting in the early morning/late evening a cooling (82A) filter helps to remove the orange cast.

Also if you are looking at older slides that were not stored properly they may have faded a bit, so the colours will look “off”.

In the end if you see a properly exposed slide using the correct filter, you will see the difference.

Phil.
08-28-2014, 03:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Not me; I love slides.
There's nothing like the rich colors of a transparency on a light table or the impact when projected.

I'd like to continue shooting slides, but it's sure not getting any easier.
There are far fewer color slide films available now.
They're more expensive and harder to find.
The same goes for processing.

With Kodak is out of the game Fuji has little incentive to innovate.
As profits decline I expect Fuji too will abandon slide film production.

Recently I purchased a Pakon scanner which can't handle mounted slides.
I may stop shooting slides completely mainly for this reason.

Meanwhile I have ordered a few rolls of Ektar, and I'm looking at the Portras...

Chris
Similar sentiments here, though I purchased a PIE PrimeFilm XE for handling slide scans. Definitely a bit more of a chore when I'm used to the Pakon, but I shoot slide film probably only about 10% of the time so the extra effort is sometimes worth it. Also has the added benefit of much higher res than the Pakon so if there's a color neg scan I like from the Pakon that I want to really get into, I'll rescan it on the PIE.

I'm not sure Fuji needs to innovate much more than the Velvias/Provias - they're remarkable films.
I adore Ektar. Never been a fan of the Portras, with the exception of the slower version, very occasionally for, well, portraits. Used for anything else though it generally displeases me. Different strokes and all that....
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