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04-29-2009, 02:24 PM   #1
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First roll of Provia: I'm hooked!

Well, I struggle weekly with scanning colour negative film, to the point where the best way to get accurate colours is to scan as a positive in the holder, and use the leader to set white and black points on the histogram (use the exposed black portion as the black point, and critically, the unexposed transparent orange mask as the white point). Then I scan as positive .tiff, open in GIMP, invert, save, then go into LR for my usual white balance punch/saturation,sharpening etc, which takes so long because of the low density. I can't seem to get the Epson software to keep colour correction and auto-exposure separate, and I can't seem to keep the histogram 'saved', so I have to manually use the marquee tool to select each frame.... silverfast or vuescan demos left me wanting with their implementation of multipass/digital ICE.

So I shot an old roll of Provia I had in my freezer all winter, it was given to me in a bag of film from a local pro photog.

Scan, open in LR, tweak white balance, punch, flat contrast, minor sharpen. Pretty effortless! Really need to expose bang on, as there's not much latitude to boost shadows, and the density is a challenge for my flatbed Epson V500. Resized from 3200 DPI .tiffs.

Holls enjoying a spring snowfall.



Crumbs on the counter at Da Capo cafe. Green from fluorescent light in the espresso machine.


Downtown from Oliver Square, a bit of extra contrast (too much?)


ISO 100 is a challenge for me, but the ease of scanning and processing makes it SO worthwhile. It was only $8.00 CAD to send away for development. Took 2 weeks though.

04-29-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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if you get the chance, try out 400X ... great in MF
if you want some more Provia 100, i have some fresh rolls in my freezer i probably won't shoot that i can sell for a reasonable price.
04-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
if you get the chance, try out 400X ... great in MF
if you want some more Provia 100, i have some fresh rolls in my freezer i probably won't shoot that i can sell for a reasonable price.
135 Provia? I'll PM you.

And artobest, I'll have to look into it. That would be the Provia 400X, right?
04-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #4
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Nice skin tone.

04-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
Well, I struggle weekly with scanning colour negative film, to the point where the best way to get accurate colours is to scan as a positive in the holder, and use the leader to set white and black points on the histogram (use the exposed black portion as the black point, and critically, the unexposed transparent orange mask as the white point). Then I scan as positive .tiff, open in GIMP, invert, save, then go into LR for my usual white balance punch/saturation,sharpening etc, which takes so long because of the low density. I can't seem to get the Epson software to keep colour correction and auto-exposure separate, and I can't seem to keep the histogram 'saved', so I have to manually use the marquee tool to select each frame.... silverfast or vuescan demos left me wanting with their implementation of multipass/digital ICE.
Oh, is that all. No wonder I'm tearing my hear out about getting scans to come out the same way twice.
04-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Oh, is that all. No wonder I'm tearing my hear out about getting negs to come out the same twice.
Well, every film has a slightly different orange mask. My EPSON scan software can usually correct the colours OK in negative color film mode, but it automatically does an 'auto tone', which can unacceptably boost low key shots into grainy, posterized hell. I found an old website about using the leader with the half-black and half-orange sections to set the histogram and effectively render the mask 'clear', but then you've got to invert the image post-scan. The upside is you get an image 'straight' off the film, without any white balance manipulation, cool for exploiting fluorescent/sodium/tungsten lights.

As everyone will attest, the scans I posted really don't do justice to holding the slides to a light source, the detail is incredible. I think I'll save up for a light table .

I'm really happy with Provia's balance of accurate punchy colour and good skin tones. And the smooth grain, too!
04-29-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
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very nice and very pleasant tones, especially the skin tones. well done.
04-30-2009, 02:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
And artobest, I'll have to look into it. That would be the Provia 400X, right?
Yep, X. There's no 400F as far as I know.

04-30-2009, 03:12 AM   #9
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slide film FTW I'm currently infected with Velvia 50
Flickr: patrickhh's stuff tagged with velvia50

BTW: I also have a hard time getting sensible looking images out of color negative scans. by now I use color neg only in my toy cameras where you can't set up the exposure properly. B&W and slide film for everything else.
04-30-2009, 04:46 AM   #10
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Provia is really really good . Might be better than velvia if you intend to scan. The provia is quite similar to velvia, for example if you put a S curve with photoshop , the results get very similar and you have the added ability of saving some of the shadows and highlights.

But for some reason I do prefer Velvia 50 than Provia. The 400x variant is really good though and pushable to 1600.
04-30-2009, 07:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
Yep, X. There's no 400F as far as I know.
F is discontinued stuff. X is the new stuff. B&H has the best prices on it.
04-30-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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I love Provia too. Great neutral tones, punchy contrast.
04-30-2009, 12:02 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks for sharing those. Wonderful clarity and color rendition. I guess I'll have to run a roll (or ten) next time I go color.
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