I want faster color slide film. What are your suggestions?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jpo3136b, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. I've started shooting some underwater macros in a freshwater stream using a plastic bag housing (EWA Marine UF). Pentax K1000, 55mm Takumar on a reversal ring. Tomorrow, I'm going to add in a strong yellow-orange or a Red 23 to cut blues based on the conditions I observed. I was using Ektachrome E100G at 100ASA. A lot of the shots today were at f/4; I want two more stops for DOF alone. Add in that filter, and I will need three to get what I want. Today's film is undeveloped, but I know I need some improvement in it. I can feel it happening.
    As I looked at this situation, I just felt like I should be using about 1000ASA film, or slightly faster. I could pull that off in black and white, but I want to get it done in color slide, E-6 home processed. The project requires film for my main shots, so I'm nixing the digital option. It's a ways out there and back, so I kind of need a plan for improvement that has a reasonable amount of security. Extensive testing in the field is not really the best option.
    What are your suggestions? Can that Ektachrome be pushed two stops? The tech pub only has guidance for a one stop push. Got another film type suggestion instead? I'm going to want E-6 color reversal; spooled to 135 format.
    My goal is to find something that would behave like 1000 or 1600 ASA films, but in color reversal. I feel like that would be the right answer, but the products I'm familiar with don't do that. Your suggestions?
  2. I would go with Ektachrome 200 also known as E200. It can very easily be push processed and shot at 800. I have shot it successfully at 400 and 800 having it push processed. I have heard of a couple people going all the way up to 1600 but I have not seen any results.
  3. Haven't used it, but will load some soon, so this is a non confirmed advisory: Provia 400X, or just push Provia 100F to 400 which I've done and results are not only usuable but pretty darn good.
    I've pushed Kodak 100 films but I find Provia is pretty consistent, better colors (slightly warmer), doesn't get muddy, and grain is lower than some 200ISO slide films out of the box.
    Really to go to 1000 the only option I see is Provia 400X, Provia could go to 800 and be usuable depending on the output, but 400 is as far as I typically would recommend.
  4. I know I should have used a mirror or some kind of bright reflector to bounce some more light in there. Maybe that would get me to 800. That'd be a one stop on that Provia.
    I will continue reading suggestions if they come by.
  5. Sensia 400 will push 1 stop nicely to 800 without much grain increase or color shift.
  6. Provia 400x is technically superior at ISO 400, 800 and 1600 to all other available slide films. There are a variety of reviews online. Use it and you won't be disappointed.
  7. Or you could shoot Porta 800 and have slides made from it at time of processing at Dale Labs. That is if you want slides.
  8. From my own experience I highly recommend Fuji Provia 400X pushed to EI 800 or 1600. The best film for your purpose.
    Pushed to 800 you get minimal coarser grain and a little bit more contrast compared to EI 400. But the difference is very small, you can only see it with a loupe in a side by side comparison. This film is excellent at EI 800. No colour change. Very high resolution and very good sharpness. Much better than any other 800 CN film.
    Pushed two stops to EI 1600 the grain is visibly coarser compared to 400, but yet very fine for such a high speed. Contrast is increased to Push 1 at 800, but still very good. No colour change. The overall results at 1600 are very good.
    Fuji has designed this film for push processing up to two stops, and you see it in the excellent results.
  9. I recommend Provia 400X. I've been using the film since it was released in Japan three years ago. I've been very pleased with the results... realistic, vibrant colors and good sharpness, low grain for a high speed film.
  10. Another vote for Provia 400X (I used 400F), pushed to ISO 1600. It seems ages since I used film but the results were good. Count on professional processing and dito prices.
  11. The standard underwater photography answer to this is to stay with the slow film, but add a flash.
  12. I am beginning to detect a bias towards Provia 400.
  13. Another vote for Fuji Provia 400X
  14. Both Provia 400 and E200 can be pushed out to 640-800 with good results. However, those results are wholly dependent on good exposure and a lab with a sufficiently-tight E6 line to assure a 2-stop push. That's not so easy with E6 labs vanishing and survivors not caring as much about quality. Worth a try.
  15. I ordered some of that Provia 400. Even at 400, there's two stops more right there. That'll get me to f/8. I bet by the time the Provia gets here, I will probably have a better chance of being successful with it.
    Thanks for all your help. J.
  16. The only drawback to Provia 400X is that it costs more. However, I find that the cost is justified... it's a great film.
  17. And, Sam, I agree about the flash; yet, I live in a mountainous area, and have the smallest of the bag housings. I will mostly use it for shallow water photos, and plan to use it for photographing water sports like swims and triathalons. Last time I was at one, I wanted to swim out there and make some photos of the swimming event. I imagine I will get the most use out of it in creeks and marshy areas.
    In these few attempts so far, though, I can see that using one of these bag housings is the way to go. I wish I had tried one years ago. Just being able to get wet with the camera and not having to worry about it (the lens assembly, in particular) is really going to open things up. I foresee this as becoming something I am going to really enjoy using.
    In order to do the underwater equipment "right" I would have needed to spend considerably more (improved housing, strobe arms and housings). I think I am going to go with the faster films for now. Maybe after a few years of use I might see a stronger need; but, for now, I'm going to go with this. Thanks, though.
  18. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Rather than a flash since you are using a K1000 and only have manual exposure options maybe a better option is to work with an underwater flood light? That way you can better get your exposure accurately; I guess depending on what you are shooting it might scare things away, but its a good option.
  19. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    Another option: Use ISO 400 or 800 color negative film, and send it to Dale Labs for to print as slides (they return negatives and mounted slides). Fast negative film has better grain than slide film, and you'll also get more exposure latitude.
  20. Wow I thought I already said that... :)
  21. Fuji Provia 400X. Try it, you'll like it. Only a smidgen less definition than Provia 100F, and two more stops. Seriously, this stuff is the bomb. It's also expensive.

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