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03-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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Slide film

Hi folks...Well, it is time to move forward. I keep reading about how cool slide film is and the results I have seen are spectacular.. What do I need to know?
Does it load the same?
What about processing?
What about speed?
What brand and type do you folks use and recommend?
Thanks again,

03-24-2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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Oh how you'll love slides/transparencies! Get a light table and an 8x loupe and prepare to scare yourself!

Nearly all the hot rod pro landscape shooters of of the '80's and 90's shot on Fuji Velvia 50. It has been reformulated and is now available in 50 and 100 speed. The guys shooting large format landscapes still mostly shoot Velvia. It has "enhanced" colors that really pop. The greens and blues seem most noticeable, but people's faces come out too red to use it for portraits. This is a very contrasty film that works best in subdued light--not direct sunlight. It's also a macro favorite. Actually, it does well with sunlit subjects, but best early and late in the day when the actual contrast isn't so harsh.

Kodak E100VS (stands for Very Saturated) was developed to compete with Velvia in the "enhanced color" transparency market. It does a phenomenal job and is a step better when light conditions are harsh. It seems to pop the reds and browns more than Velvia.

Every time I shoot either one I'm convinced its better than the other. Truth is I carry both Velvia 50 and E100VS and use both with glee!

For more neutral colors try Fuji Provia100F. It's great for winter scenes with snow that you want truly white. Better for people pics than either of the aforementioned emulsions.

These films all have very tight grain structure and don't really show the grain, so that nice film effect isn't much a part of these films. E200 and Provia400F are faster films with a bit more grain, but nothing like the black and white grain effects that tend to be so pleasing. I've used Provia400 for "critter work" since it first came out. It still has decent colors, just not like Velvia or VS.

I'll defer to other forum members for input on portrait slide films. I seldom have a person in my viewfinder.

These are all E-6 films that require E-6 processing which is getting harder to find locally anymore. Fuji sells mailers (about $5 from B&H for 35mm) for E-6 processing at their approved lab.

Believe me it's worth the wait to get your slides back!
03-24-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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shoot as big as you can afford! the coolness of slide is being able to see the picture. the bigger the better.

the film operates the same as any other 35mm in terms of usage.
400X is nice, but very very expensive (but pushable to 1600). Astia 100F is the finest grained fuji has and has natural colours. just pick and experiment, check out the fuji site for more explanations.

the weakness of slide is the lack of the dynamic range of negative film (it's like digital) and you have to get your exposure right because most films don't have a lot of tolerance. say goodbye to shadows and highlights.
03-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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slide film is expensive, both to purchase, and to process (third party processing)

fast slide film is ridiculously expensive (15-20 bucks a pop)

slide film has less dynamic range than negative film, sometimes less than modern digital cameras, and cant hold a candle up to BW's ability to maintain highlights.


very sharp

depending on type of film, some really great colours

easier to store, and slide film generally curls less (than colour negs for instance)

Having said that, film photography in the current age is only as good as your scanner. In some cases a neg's large dynamic range is lost, likewise a slides sharpness might get damaged as well)

so unless you have a primo scanner, or a primo englarger, i would not bother with slide film unless you want to burn through some cash.

kodak ektar FTW!

03-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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On a side note, I just found 600 odd slide films in our storage room. So far, out of the 100 or so I have scanned in 95% are in excellent condition. All seem to be Kodak Kodachrome. BTW, all are from the late 50's to early 70's. You have to store them well to make them last, that goes without saying though.

Back on topic, slide film is pretty expensive. I'd save it for very special occasions, even then I'd probably just use a higher end negative film.
03-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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A few points to ponder:
Negative film has awide latitude, slide film does not.
While in negatives you shoot for the shadow, in slide film you shoot for the highlight! Highlights must not bloom

While in negatives you overexpose to saturate colors, in slides you underexpose to saturate colors

I prefer the Fujis myself
03-24-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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I just shot 2 rolls of provia 100f with my 6x7 and I can't wait to get them back to check out the results, it'll be the first chrome film I will have ever shot. Looking at the BW negatives that I've gotten out of this camera I can't wait to see the chromes.

I too would also be curious as to some recommendations for different slide films for different occasions. I would like to try velvia 50 for my landscapes but adorama was out of it in 120 size last time I ordered film. I'd also be interested to know where people send their slide film out to for development. I sent mine to Dwayne's at the recommendation of the guy who runs the local film lab here, but I've heard mixed things about them. Haven't gotten mine back yet to see how I feel about their service so we'll see. Too bad our local lab doesn't do E-6 anymore.
03-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Well, I got to say. It sounds good, but over whelming right now. It does not sound like the kind of thing I would do often as the price makes it un-reasonable for me. But I do have to try it once and see.

03-24-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
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You don't have to spend big money on film. Sensia is a fine film and might be the ideal film for your needs - a good all-rounder, not dissimilar to Astia. Perhaps less subdued? I can't be sure. Good skin tones, anyway. Steer clear of Velvia unless you're trekking into the hills. Provia is brilliant but it's an investment.

Don't be put off shooting slides. It's easy really. I don't recall what you're shooting with - it's an ME Super, isn't it? A brilliant camera for the job. Just make sure that in mixed or tricky/high-key lighting you stop down 1/3 - 1/2 a stop to preserve the highlights and get the full richness of the colours (underexposure leaves more dye on the base). It's not so important in flat or diffuse light, although it doesn't hurt.
03-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #10
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You should definitely try it -- especially if you have access to a good film scanner.

(1) Unless you really want to use a slide projector, ask your lab for 4- or 5-exposure strips (printfile makes nice storage pages for 5-exposure strips) instead of mounted slides.
If your lab seems surprised by the request, get a new lab.

(2) Bracket 1/2 stop for anything important

(3) Don't use Velvia to take pictures of humans
03-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Pictures speak louder than words... so I thought I'd post some examples of slides. I love slides!

These are all unprocessed straight out of the scanner, only resized. So they are only as good as my settings while scanning, but should be somewhat consistent. Usually you would want to do a little PP to get the most out of the slide.

Sensia and Velvia are the two I use most. Sensia is a good value film, but when you want vivid colours try Velvia.

Notice how Sensia is quite neutral in colour and generally pleasing to look at.

Fuji Sensia 100

Fuji Sensia 100

This is the Portrait on Velvia example, sea and sky look very nice though.

Fuji Velvia 100F

You can get some deep colours out of Velvia. I like the results of blue and purple especially.

Fuji Velvia 50

Hope you can see the pictures, if not, tell me and I'll fix it.
03-24-2009, 03:58 PM   #12
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doesn't anyone shoot Kodak slide? Or Kodak at all?

I'm right with you here, Javier... my very first slides should come back from Dwayne's on Thursday!!

I say just jump in and enjoy it. And you might want a slide projector too

(BTW, I plan to shoot a roll of Provia 400X next... my last was Kodak Elite Chrome 200 pushed to 400... it'll be interesting to see what comes out)
03-24-2009, 04:02 PM   #13
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Wow, I forgot how saturated and rich the colors can be off slide. Love those skies!
03-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
Well, I got to say. It sounds good, but over whelming right now. It does not sound like the kind of thing I would do often as the price makes it un-reasonable for me. But I do have to try it once and see.
I don't think you'll be able to find any 99 slide film at the dollar store.

I've used slides before and I really like the results, but until I can get my own film scanner, I'm going to hold off on using anymore. The lab that I use will scan them to CD, but I'd have to pay $16.95 for a 24 exposure roll or $19.95 for 36 exposures on top of the cost for developing. Once I do get a scanner, I'm definitely up for trying some Velvia or Kodak 100VS.

In the meantime, I'll have fun playing with the regular print films.

03-24-2009, 05:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
doesn't anyone shoot Kodak slide? Or Kodak at all?
Well, I do, sometimes. I like Tmax P3200, and I have some Tri-X as well, even. I haven't done much color film of any kind in a long while, (Some Fuji print films when an occasion or the odd job called for it, mostly.) It's been a very long while since I've done chromes, as well: I haven't tried any of the new ones.

Digital's largely-replaced the color-or-slow-film body in my bag, (in fact, brought color back into my work, to be honest. ) but I'm really tempted to run some chromes in my Mamiya as soon as I'm sure of my shutter accuracy: (And, well, once I'm comfier on the digital learning curve.

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