5D settings to replicate Velvia and Provia?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jonathan_griffith, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Hi there
    I have just made the jump to digital and am having problems trying
    to replicate Velvia and Provia on the 'picture style'. This may be a
    bit of an odd question (like i said just starting to get to grips
    with digital). However you can customise the contrast/saturation etc
    and most importantly the colour tone which seems to me the key
    variable to try and emulate the provia colour saturation. Can anyone
    help me out or am I just being plain stupid? I recently shot some
    stuff and was pretty upset by the lack of colour in a sunset shoot
    (even though i increased saturation quite some bit).
    Thanks for any help
  2. My recommendation is to set the 5D to be as neutral as possible, then do your "style" manipulation post process. Although even then, the color palettes of Velvia and Provia are hard to emulate.

    There are some plugins which claim to help you simulate these films.
  3. It will be more fruitful to shoot RAW format in some "normal" parameter, then punch things up in a photo editor / converter like Canon's Digital Photo Professional or Photoshop. The little monitor on the back of the camera won't give you an accurate rendering of color or contrast, so you'll be judging on your computer's monitor. There are far more tools for color and contrast in those programs than in the menu settings of the camera--and in DPP you can tweak them anyway.
  4. The best way to replicate Velvia and Provia is to shot film :)
    There are some plug-ins which bump saturation, cool or warm this and that.... but the result isn't the same than shooting the velvia
  5. Ignore settings. Shoot Raw. Figure out what you need to do in post processing.
  6. Most if not all digital cameras put out a very bland image file. Most if not all images need immediate contrast adjustment and sharpness adjustment in post processing software. By increasing the contrast further still and by throwing in a moderate increase in overall saturation you can come very close to Velvia. The plug-ins appear to simply adjust colour balance and individual saturations more specifically. Currently you have to pay for these but by using your own colour sense you can come close.

    The bland output file is both wonderful and awful at the same time. Wonderful because it allows the individual photographer to determine his/her own palette and awful because you can't get the image the way you want without a fair amount of post processing. If the film companies were smart they'd sell the colour formulas to the camera manufacturers who would then have a built in menu in the cameras for settings such as Fuji Velvia 50, Kodak Kodachrome 25 etc...I think something of this nature, perhaps without the brand names, will be introduced within a couple of years. The only problem is that after 20 years most people won't know what the settings refer to.

    DSLRs have built in adjustments but so far I have found them to be in increments so small that it is not worth adjusting them. So as others have said leave them so the camera at least records everything in the scene and then deal with the particulars after.
  7. My take is that when using a NEW medium you should exploit and explore that medium without contraints. I think trying to "emulate" is indeed a constraint. But, that's a difference in philosphy. I have mine you have yours.

    Having said that, the 5D is capable of doing what you want however, to REALLY emulate those emulsions someone would have to spend a great deal of time and money creating a computer (software) model which could then, be translated into the adjstments available in a RAW converson program and/or Photoshop (the BEST tool for digital imaging).

    It's not just a matter of saturation and contrast, it's much deeper and much more complex than that. It would require measuring how the film reacts to different light intensities and temperature, different color schemes, different contrast scenes, etc... A huge and very expensive undertaking which only the film companies would have both the fund and interest in doing.

    Wonder why they haven't done it yet? Most liekly they have been working on it for a long time but, want to continue selling film as long as they can :)
  8. If you shoot RAW and convert with RSP (Rawshooter Premium), the "Vibrance" control does a good job of producing Velvia-like colors in digital. Setting it to values in the 6 to 9 range did just about the right things for my fall foliage shots.

    You can also do the standard Photoshop trick of converting to Lab mode and in levels, moving in both end sliders for both the a and b channels in the Levels control.

    I suspect, though, that it's like sharpening. I find that I'm using less and less sharpening as time goes by, and suspect that I'll see the same effect with the Vibrance control.
  9. The better question may be how do you set up your processing software to emulate film.

    Often film purists point to a digital file as being inferior to a film frame but they are not comparing apples to oranges.

    A raw file is just that a raw file. A Velvia frame is a batch processed frame with emulsion, paper, amount of sharpening etc. already chosen by the film and processing companies. Those steps haven't been performed on the raw file yet.

    Most people use PS to process raw files. That is where you will choose your "emulsion", sharpening, etc. Once you figure out how you want your pictures to look on your printer save the steps in your software so you can batch process files in the future.

    BTW each time you change output options you will have to change your software settings. I have three printers, a Dell laser, an Epson ink jet and a Canon ink jet. To produce three similar prints would necessitate 3 different treatments in PS.

    Hope this helps.

  10. "I am not sure that the 5D can simulate the resolution of either - in 35mm format, unless you intend to add information that isn't there."

    Oh please! Get a grip on reality Les.
  11. Hi guys
    Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies! I forgot how good this forum is! Anyway being a new convert to digital I am still not very keen on the whole post-processing stuff. In the past I have done an absolute minimal amount of alterations to films prefering to accept that the 'art' of photography is in taking the photograph and knowing what you are doing rather than touching it up afterwards and turning a 'good' photo into a 'very good' photo. However this is of course just my stubborn view on it all! and I realise that I am going to have to stop this attitude and get with the times (unfortuntely). However these mentions of 'plug-ins' sound interesting. Does this mean that i can batch process my RAW images and convert them all at the same time to a Velvia like emulsion? I realise that they might need a bit of tweeking afterwards but getting them 80% there would be great. I tend to do mass photo shoots out in the Alps and leaving on the 3rd for a couple of weeks. I expect to take around 2000 shots so could do with saving some time! Where can I find out about these plug-ins?

    Many thanks for all the help and advice

  12. >>In the past I have done an absolute minimal amount of alterations to films prefering to accept that the 'art' of photography is in taking the photograph<<

    Then, you must have sent your pictures to a lab!

    Otherwise, having done B&W and darkoom work for over 20years I can tell you that Digital Darkroom work (post-processing) is infinitely easier, faster, cleaner and healthier!

    I can shoot far more pictures and finish them in far less time now, simply because I don't have to prepare, mix, test, replenish, clean, etc... anymore.

    They say you can never say never, well...I am saying it here and now:

    I will NEVER go back to doing darkroom work again!

    <insert dramatic music here>

    <cut to next scene>

    <me mixing chemicals getting ready to make prints in a wet darkroom>


    But, seriosly doing PS work takes nothing away from the "art". In fact, that's an art in and of itself just like making a great Cibachrome print was...and still is.

    Merry Christmas!
  13. Nothing beats the punch of slide film like Velvia and Provia, eh? One of the reasons I still use two film bodies (EOS 5) besides a digital (10D).

    As has been mentioned, shoot RAW, touch up in post processing. Try the Digital Velvia plugin availble from Fred Miranda. Still doesn't touch Velvia, but not a bad plugin. Takes some time getting used to.

    Neville Bulsara
    Travel and documentary photography

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