Comparison: Velvia 50 vs. 100F

Discussion in 'Nature' started by todd_caudle, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. The results are in. I loaded 25 holders, one side w/
    Velvia "Classic," the other w/ 100F, and shot duplicates of all
    scenes, changing only the shutter speed. (I would post images, but
    not sure my inadequate scanning ability would suffice, so words will
    have to do for now.) Here are my initial thoughts, fwiw:

    1) It appears that there is actually slightly more than one stop
    difference between 50 & 100F. Probably should've changed exposure by
    1 1/3 stops instead of just one. This warrants further testing.
    However, the difference is slight enough that it does not alter my

    2) If you were hoping for a 100-speed Velvia with the same color
    pallette as 50iso, you'll be disappointed. I'm underwhelmed in most
    situations. The color of 50iso is noticeably warmer, meaning that
    those nice, brilliant alpenglow sunrises look more vibrant with 50.
    The 100F is much flatter.

    3) In overcast light, the 100F looks quite good, rendering a more
    accurate, but still nice color. Parry's primrose that I shot
    alongside a stream looked much more true to life than 50iso. Greens
    looked more blue-green, as they were in real life, than the warm
    green of the 50.

    4) Shadow detail was a bit better on the 100F. On some shots using a
    graduated ND filter, the transition was less evident due to the
    increased detail where the transition of the filter came into
    contact with shadows.

    5) As far as grain goes, my unscientific eye could detect absolutely
    no difference between the two. Both Velvia classic and 100F show
    amazingly fine grain in large swaths of empty blue sky. Pretty
    impressive for a 100-speed film.

    Conclusion) I was really hoping for a 100-speed replacement for
    Velvia classic, as I don't want to carry multiple types of film in
    the field. For 10 years Velvia has been my film of choice, an
    emulsion that, for my taste anyway, always did what I wanted it to.
    Overall, 100F is a disappointment. Shadow detail is nice, but when I
    look at a photo, I want to be impacted by the whole of the
    photograph, and in that I found the "oomph!" of 100F lacking. If you
    plan to shoot anything with red, yellow or orange hues in it, skip
    the 100F.

    Interesting when one considers that many times, when Fuji was
    releasing a new version of Provia, rumors had it that it was
    actually a stealthy way to release a 100-speed version of Velvia,
    while in truth it was just a much less saturated film. Finally,
    after over a decade of producing THE film for landscape
    photographers, Fuji releases an actual 100-speed version of Velvia,
    a film that looks notably different (and not in a good way) from its
    successful predecessor. What were they thinking?
  2. Thanks for the report!

    I havent shot Velvia 100F myself, but it looks like Velvia 100F is just a warmer version of Provia 100F. Velvia 100 (available only in Japan, and not to be confused with 100F), may have more of the classic Velvia look.
  3. Todd
    I didn't do any close comparison with Velvia 50. But I shot one roll in a zoo last weekend and did one comparison shot with Provia 100F pushed one stop. I've noticed that Provia 100F pushed is much better saturation than rated at 100. But nothing like velvia. A good majority of people into wild life/birds photography use this technique for speed and color. I've noticed that Velvia 100 is better than Provia 200. You are right. It's not a replacement for velvia 50. But I felt some situations velvia 50 was over saturated and Provia was under saturated. So I like Velvia 100. It's green is great. It's not warm like Kodak or dull like Provia. The colors are bright. Here's the comparison shot. [​IMG]
    Vevlia 100 is better for skin too. So this will be my all time film. I may have to use faster film for action and velvia 50 for scenes those requires high saturation. Since I shoot birds most of the time, this will be my favourite film.. I've noticed that the pictures has the '3D' effect of velvia 50 unlike Provia. Here's a sample of green. This is raw scan. Shadow details are missing because of my low end scanner
  4. Oops!! 'Green' shot is not coming up. Here you go
    [​IMG] </html
  5. guys can't get Velvia 100 (not F) in the states? Really? I in leaving Japan soon after a two-year stint... I may have to pick some more up before I leave.
  6. I cross-posted this topic on the LF forum as well, and it's getting some pretty good response. Might want to check it out for further opinions.
  7. "Cross posting" is not permitted on Please don't do it again.

    If everyone cross posted everything to every forum which might conceivably have an interest in a topic, we'd be knee deep in duplicates.

    This thread belongs in the "Film and Processing Forum" anyway and I'm going to delete on of these posts and move the other one there.
  8. Bob--

    You might reconsider. Velvia 100F is probably the most talked about new product used by "nature" photographers out there at the moment. Look at how much interest there is in it here! I would never have seen Todd's comments if it were on some sort of "Film & Processing" forum. Since when I see something with a title like that, I figure it's mostly about weird b&w processing and never bother to look. This is the thread I've been checking here the past day or two--not the others. The context of the post is clearly that of landscape photos, specifically. BIG mistake to take such a narrow view.

    Kent in SD
  9. Bob-

    Why are the film and processing, travel, and lighting forums not available from the upper drop-down menus as the others are? Is there any reason for that? Just wondering.
  10. Todd,
    What area of the country did you test Velvia100F? Did you photograph any redrock at sunrise/sunset? How about in open shade or reflected light in canyons.
  11. Alan, the shots were all in Colorado, with a wide variety of colors. I shot sunset in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness, sunrise at Great Sand Dunes NP the next morning, then because I had heard that 100F's most prominent differences were in reds and greens, I went to Paradise Divide near Crested Butte for late-afternoon shots. The tundra up there is really green, and there's a mountain named Mount Baldy up there that has lots of red color in the rock, so I could get both colors in one shot. Overall, the biggest disappointments for me were the reds and the reduced saturation. The latter is one of the biggest reasons we buy Velvia, why change it now?
  12. I just got my first 4x5 QL Velvia 100F processed today. Generally, I would agree with Todd's characterization of the film but not his disappointment. For me, this is exactly the film I have wanted. The speed and grain of Provia 100F, with better scanning and punchier colors, but not the somewhat artificial colors of Velvia 50. I shot some garden scenes, and the reproduction of colors was certainly more accurate than Velvia 50. I would probably still choose Velvia 50 for sunrise/sunset colors.

    Hopefully, demand will allow Fujifilm to continue production of both films, or perhaps import Velvia 100 (not F) into the U.S. market.
  13. Glenn, good thoughts. I agree that there are those who mockingly refer to Velvia classic as "Disneychrome" who are going to love this film. I'll still use my stock on hand for more subdued lighting situations. But, as you said, if you want punchy sunrise/sunset shots, fuggettaboutit! I just don't understand why they call this Velvia. The saturation and crisp color has been the film's big selling point, why change now? They should've called it something else.

    It, too, hope that the straight 100 becomes available in the States, and that it's what I hoped for, a 100-speed Velvia.
  14. I've corresponded with Jeff at Badger Graphic re: Velvia 100 (non-F version) and he says he will check into it. As some of you may know, he's well-known for obtaining hard-to-get Fuji film from Japanese sources.

    Anyone who's interested in getting Velvia 100 might let Jeff know that you're interested; I expect that he'll be successful in obtaining a supply (
  15. Unique Photo is stocking Velvia 100F wtih good prices as well.
  16. Just came back from a trip to Hokkaido, Japan. Of course I stocked some Velvia 100. And of course I picked up a box of Velvia 100F as well and compared them both with Velvia 50. Most pictures I took with all three films and even bracketed the metered value with -0.7 and +0.7. Here is what I think:

    1.) Velvia 50 has to be used at least 1/2 stop slower. When overexposed the greens become really artificial and the entire image looks greenish. When exposed correctly there is still a slight green cast. The image is kinda cold. When underexposed the blues are very deep and rich but shadow detail is lost.

    2.) Velvia 100 (japanese film): The colors are extremely saturated but still correct maybe slightly warm. It's very sharp (I looked with a 8x loop on 6x4.5 slides, almost no grain visible.

    3.) Velvia 100F: The colors are flatter than Velvia 100, but they are also more natural than Velvia 50. There is no visible difference in sharpness and grain.

    My summary: I really like the Velvia 100. If I can't get anymore I still would use the Velvia 100F first andn than choose Velvia 50.

    Of course I went back to the photo store in Japan and bought a couple of boxes more of the Velvia 100. But it's not gonna get me far.

    I hope there will be more discussions here ....

  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As far as I know, only the Velvia 100F is available in the US; the non-F Velvia 100 is not. Back in late June, I was in New York on my way to Arctica Norway and I picked up a few rolls of Veliva 100F from B&H just to test it. Since I was in the Arctic, there was a lot of snow scenes, not your typical red rock, green tree type landscape situation. So my experience with Veliva 100F is still limited.

    Essentially the exaggerated green is still there and the film is quite saturated. I shot some birds with it and it looks a bit unnatural just like Velvia 50. All in all, I think 100F is very similar to Velvia 50 but at true ISO 100.

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