Fuji Reala too contrasty

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by larry n., Nov 5, 2005.

  1. I've often read recommendations for Fuji Reala 100 speed color
    negative film, but when I tried it I found it incredibly contrasty.
    Is there more than one version of Reala out there?
  2. it's depend on the lighting, for example if you shoot under very snny days, there will be lot of contrast no matter what film you use, if you shoot under cloudy days, the contrast will be lower.

    you may try pro 160s which is lower contrast.
  3. Hi,
    I do not as a rule use print film as shoot for stock on E6 but your comments on Fuji Reala grabbed my attention.
    It really depends on the subject you are shooting. Reala is an excellent medium for landscapes and natural history but I would not use it for still life, studio or portrait work.
    Contrast levels can be high but bearing in mind the amount of layers Fuji use in the emulsion its not surprising. This is a reduced grain film and because of this sacrifices are made elsewhere. If you are shooting landscapes then try using a neutral density filter, it will make exposures that bit longer but you should be on a tripod anyway so it won't affect the way you work.
    If you are still not happy then I suggest moving over to a professional fuji film such as NPS 160, it is aimed at portraiture & wedding photographers but I use it for the odd landscape and just rate it at 100 asa/iso. Results are stunning with rich colours and very even contrast ranges.
    Hope this helps........Gary
  4. Norman, you are the only person I've heard complain about Reala being too contrasty. I've shot Reala at weddings for years and it is an exceptional fine-grain film which holds highlight detail while providing good shadow detail.
  5. I believe reala 120 and reala 35mm are different films. The 35mm is more contrasty and when printed via frontier (aka a&i) they can sometime turn the contrast up a bit. I often request they lower the contrast and that improves the print somewhat.
  6. It does depend on how it is printed. With that in mind, I've shot a lot of Superia-Reala in 35mm, and whenever I've had it printed by a Noritsu or Agfa lab, or scanned the film myself, I've always found the contrast to be moderate, and definitely not excessive. It's a very good portrait film, actually, when you want punchy colors but don't want your subject to look red and angry.
  7. jtk


    I've no interest in minilab scans, since they are inherently poor quality, but Reala is a moderate-to-low contrast film when more properly scanned (my experience at 4000ppi with Nikon V and Minolta 5400II ).
  8. Are you sure you used Superia Reala 100 and not Superia/Press 100, otherwise I can't see how Reala 100 can be "incredibly contrasty" as you say. Even if it's used in full sunshine/high contrast situations, it still is not more contrasty than any other print film I know of in the same situation. Really, you should try it once more in good lightening. When compared to Superia/Press 100, there is a huge difference in contrast and saturation. Also Superia/Press 100 tends to react to reds much stronger than Reala, this is why skin tones shot with Superia/Press 100 look like steaks on a barbecue.
  9. How did you conclude Reala is "contrasty"?

    I've found the opposite to be true- that Reala is great for high-contrast scenes but looks dull under flat lighting/moonlight. I scan negs myself and then output to a Frontier. Minilabs can make anything look contrasty when they print, so be careful.
  10. Scanned Reala has some of the widest range available on a color film, at least in 35mm. The medium format version has less shadow lattitude.
  11. "I believe reala 120 and reala 35mm are different films."

    Reala 120 and Superia Reala 35mm are different generations of the same film. I've shot the two side by side at events and haven't noticed a difference.

    "The 35mm is more contrasty and when printed via frontier(.)"

    Any time you scan a color negative film with a relatively wide tonal range in order to print it (e.g. with a Frontier machine), you are apt to see a little more contrast in your prints than if you'd made an optical print. Another variable is what contrast C paper is being used in the digital-to-C-print machine.
  12. According to Ctein (or Cher, or one of those single-word names that
    Richard Sintchak gets mixed up ;-) contrast of slow filems goes
    in this order, from least to most:
    Agfa XPS 160<BR>
    Kodak Portra 160NC<BR>
    Fuji NPS and now Pro 160S<BR>
    Fuji Reala 100<BR>
    Fuji Pro 160C<BR>
    Kodak Portra 160VC<BR>
    Fuji NPC<BR>
    Agfa Optima 100
  13. jtk


    It's more normal for proper scanning to flatten than it is to increase contrast. This is desirable...it allows more-post controls in post-processing, where they belong. Japanese lenses have long favored higher contrast due to a cultural perception...same with minilabs. As well, higher contrast is easier to color balance than is lower, which makes that a minilab technical goal.
  14. Truly an incredible discussion about the contrast of digital prints. The contrast in the digiprint tells you almost NOTHING about the contrast behaviour of the negative film itself. Once scanned, the contrast can be adjusted in a wide range by the operator (or by automatic settings) of the digital printer. One can easly produce a flat digital print with pastell colours from Agfa Ultra 100, and a high contrast, oversaturated print from a Portra160NC negative. Quality problems with digital prints are often caused at the digital "optimization step", when the automatic tries to "boost" image parameters.

    The 120 Reala is a relatively low-contrast, medium saturation film (by todays standards), mainly aimed at the needs of professionals, while Superia Reala is a better-than-average amateur film, which fills the market niche between Superia100 (pure amateur) and the very expensive Pro films.

    In my experience, these are quite different emulsions (how do you define "different generations of the same film"? That means nothing.), and Fuji just uses a well-established name twice for marketing reasons.

    BTW, Fuji films are much more prone to processing errors (often misinterpreted as low batch-to-batch cosistency of the film itself) than Kodak films, so unusually high or low contrast in the negative (!) might point towards lousy (poorly standardized) processing.


  15. Thanks Georg. That was a very informative post.
  16. Agree with most posters on this matter - check with your printer, because negs are just the first step in the processing chain, with plenty of opportunities for all players to produce poor results. Minilabs are used to processing flat digital input, so it is usual for them to bump up the contrast. Even really good labs are guessing on colour balance. Why don't you pony up for a scanner, then you can send files to be printed on a Frontier?

    120 Reala is a dinosaur emulsion, predating its 35mm counterpart by seveal generations. Like many who shoot both, I prefer it. I believe S/Reala in 35mm should not be referred to as an 'amateur film' - this is misguided, since it does far better for general purpose photography than NPS/NPC (and NC160) with finer grain, below average contrast and 'bright' results given good processing. If you think Reala 120 / Superia Reala is contrasty, give Superia a try; really profound, blocked up shadows abound in most images!

    An afterthought - check the paper and processing - use a lab which uses Crystal Archive glossy on a Frontier with 'portrait' set for the print run.
  17. The contrast in the digiprint tells you almost NOTHING about the contrast behaviour of the negative film itself
    Yep. If you're getting high contrast with with Reala, you might want to change labs.
    35mm Reala and 120 Reala are *different* emulsions. The 35mm version has slightly more contrast, more shadow detail (speed), but I don't like it's palette as well.
  18. To get an accurate idea about the contrast of a particular film you really need to compare them having all been printed on the same eqipment & paper. And it's no use comparing them if they have been printed on any type of digital lab (frontier etc.) because all sorts of software interference occurs (sharpening, grain reduction, contrast, saturation etc). These can vary depending on how the machine is set up. If they are optically printed you get the true quality of the negative, you get to see the actual grain of the film, the only variables are the paper & chemistry.
  19. You can compare contrast by using your own scanner and setting
    software to the same color balance and exposure between films.
    Ctein compared contrast by printing on Kodak Supra paper.

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