Just a theory... based on experience

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by iosif_astrukov, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. For at least 3 or 4 years, I am battling to have a good final slide film (Velvia 50 and 100) - most of them are heavily underexposed, 1 or even 2 stops, I have had even fully black one. Of course the colours are also changed. At the beginning I was blaming the development, as the machine E6 is long gone and they develop it by hand in Jobo and with Tetanal. But as there are 4 places here, which still develop E6, once they even used Fuji chemicals in 6 baths and all of them get similar results, I start looking for other reasons. The people who develop it are my friends and they supposed my camera had some issues. We made a test which wasn't very convincing... the difference wasn't visible. Slowly I was starting to think, that there is something else wrong - as Fujifilm had no longer competition on the slide market, I was wondering if something had changed in the production line. A theory that was rejected from everyone I talked to - indeed it sounds strange.

    But... today I got my first new Ektachrome and it is absolutely PERFECT!!!! I haven't seen such a good film for years! And I shoot slides for over 10 years now...
    The shooting conditions are absolutely the same - camera and development.

    With a lot of regrets I will have to say 'goodbye Velvia', you was gorgeous... once.
  2. I've used Fuji Provia 100f in medium and large format , and developed at home for more than a few years and have
    not experienced those problems ( ignoring bad exposure choices ) . I used to use Kodak EPP film , with success , but
    don't shoot 35 mm anymore , so I'm hoping they bring Ektachrome out in 120 soon . Peter
  3. here is a snapshot on my window with my iPhone of the two last films - even here it's visible

  4. I never did like Velvia, and indeed thought it had a purple cast, such as I see in your sample. I always much preferred Provia. Did you ever try Provia?
  5. I'm not seeing an exposure issue with the Fuji film, one of the Ektachrome frames is much more under-exposed.

    The purple cast looks much more likely to be due to poor processing.

    You say your local labs use hand processing? The official E6 process uses a chemical fogging bath instead of a 2nd exposure, but the chemical used is toxic and hazardous. I'm wondering if your local labs' chemistry requires a 2nd 'fogging' exposure, which could easily cause a colour cast if not done properly. Or maybe the E6 kits they use aren't fully compatible with Fuji's colour couplers? Fuji's official processing chemistry is CR6 (Chrome 6), which is supposed to be fully compatible with E6, but may not be compatible with some off-brand E6 kits.

    Also, if mixed films are being processed in the same chemistry, there may be contamination through by-products of other film makes and types.

    Improper conditions during transport or storage might be another explanation for the Fuji film's poor colour.

    Really, if you're getting such poor results from 35mm slide film; is it worth using film to shoot colour at all? And what can you do with a tiny colour image like that? Only project it or print it rather poorly. Because if you scan it you just end up with a digital file that you might as well have shot digitally.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  6. AJG


    When I still shot a lot of E6 but when digital had started to kill demand for lab services I had problems with a previously reliable local lab that wasn't running enough film to keep the replenishment rate up and every E6 film came back somewhat magenta--there weren't any clean whites to be had from fresh reliably sourced film. Another lab with the same batch of film came back perfect. I know that this can be tough for a lab--demand is down, and if you raise prices to compensate for not getting as many rolls through a batch of chemistry then demand goes down further, which depresses volume through a batch even more... Was the E100 run through a brand new batch of chemistry? Is your Velvia in date and coming from a reliable source? When I shot a lot of E6 for clients I used mostly Fuji Astia and Provia since I didn't like the exaggerated contrast and saturation of Velvia for the work that I did. Perhaps the characteristics of the film and type of chemistry are interacting to produce the results that you don't like.
  7. Colin - yes I have tried all the slides that there were once on the market, starting with Senisa once upon a time :) Provia isn't bad, I have some very nice shots, but Velvia is (was) with greater contrast and sharpness somehow, that I like more... The same was with Ektachrome VS once - the two was my top favourite before

    Rodeo - it is a hard question already, sure I shoot a lot of digital, but still film has it's own unique feeling and vision I love...
    about the exposure on the snapshot - the two velvia shots are +1, +1,5; and the Ektachorme you see is BKT series - 0/+- 1,5

    AJG - all the films came from the BH store, travelling the same way and developed by the same labs
  8. Not that is is a major concern, but I shot my first Fuji slide film back in 1973 and fresh, and from the start, it had a lovely violet color cast.
    CA SF Bay fr cable car term cr.jpg
    Dock of the Bay​
    This was not unappreciated.
  9. It almost looks like the Velvia is heat damaged (bad storage?).
  10. Just as a general observation:

    About a year and a half ago, I started noticing issues both with Velvia and Provia when processed at a local lab. This particular lab runs a minilab-type E6 processor. My specific problems were higher than expected density under conditions and with cameras/lenses that had previously given excellent results, and occasionally the color being a bit underwhelming from Velvia. This was true in both 35mm and 120.

    I sent some to Dwayne's, and got back the beautiful, jump-off-the-table Velvia I know and love.

    Back in November, the local camera store got their hands on a decent sized shipment of E100. They'd asked my opinion of the local lab since I was the only regular customer they knew of who shot a decent amount of E6. I said that I had been underwhelmed, but that maybe if they had enough volume things would improve.

    The last batch of E6 I dropped off at the local lab was right after the first of the year-it was a couple of rolls of E100 and a roll of 220 Velvia 100(yes, it was in date, to the general amazement of the lady who runs the lab). I was told at the time that it would PROBABLY be a two-day turn around on the E6 because apparently they've been doing enough since around the first of December to keep the E6 machine tied up for ~7 hours a day, 5 days a week(and most of it E100). They DID manage to work mine in the next day, and it was beautiful-the Velvia was just as I'm use to seeing.
  11. oldwino - I always keep them in fridge
  12. Which pictures are you referring too?
  13. The top strip:

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