Quality of reversal films

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by benjamin_ng, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. I'm new to reversal films. I just developed a few rolls of reversal
    films as a try. And the result is unexpectedly good.

    In comparing them to the negatives taken on the same day, the colors
    of those reversal films are much more saturated. (I haven't
    outputted into photos, but rather scanned with a film scanner and
    compared on screen.)

    My questions are:

    1. Is there really a big difference between negatives and reversal
    films, or we could narrow the gap during the printout/scanning of

    2. Any recommended reversal films: for portrait and for scene?
  2. I like using Provia 100 for portraits, although I feel that without a
    warming filter, the color can be a little cool sometimes.

    For scenery, I love Kodak Ektachrome Infrared EIR. It's one of my
    favorite films. Exposed through a yellow filter, it produces
    beautifully saturated false color images.
  3. Kevin,

    What's the warm color filter you used with Provia 100? 81A?

    Is "Kodak Ektachrome Infrared EIR" ordinate color reversal film? I see the work "infrared" in it.
  4. The filter that you should you is really dependent on how warm you like your pictures to turn out. If you're shooting portraits outdoors, you should also consider what season it is and the altitude of the location you're shooting at. I use an 81C in summer.
    I presume you meant to ask if Ekatachrome Infrared is ordinary film. It's ordinary in a sense that you load it in your camera and shoot it like you would other types of film; no expensively sophisticated camera needed. The color rendition is however, far from ordinary. Click here or on my name and you should see a couple of photos that I took with this film. Like all film, you can also control and tune the rendering of colors with various filters. Jute note that should you want to try using this film, there are specific storage and handling instructions to follow, and you'll need a #12 filter, but other than that, it's pretty normal. Oh yes, almost forgot, beware of cameras that have infrared film advance.
  5. The infrared is a specialty film, so that doesn't really answer the question as to the comparison with standard negative films. Fuji Velvia is generally considered one of the most saturated, and in addition has fine grain and velvety blacks. However, you will have to be careful in situations where there is a lot of light contrast as it can't handle it, so you may get some disappointments until you get used to its limitations. Also, it is a slow, 50 ISO, film so you'll usually need a tripod. There is a 100 ISO version coming out soon that should be worth trying. My favourite all-round is Provia 400 ISO. It is still fairly fine grain, I can hand-hold it in most situations, it can handle a slightly wider contrast range compared to Velvia (but none can equal the negative films in this), and the colours are very pleasing for most situations, though can be slightly on the cool side in shadow (an inconvenience easily dealt with by colour balancing in Photoshop). There is no doubt that you can play around with saturation in Photoshop and produce some very saturated results with negative film. One, Agfa Ultra, is designed specially for its high saturation/high contrast look, though I don't think it will give you the grain-free, highly detailed result of Velvia or Provia.

    My advice as a relative beginner, who has been getting used to colour reversal film for the past six months, is to choose one film and get used to its qualities and limitations for a while, rather than switching around. Fuji Provia is, I think, the best choice for experimentation as it will handle a wider range of situations compared to Velvia. Have a look at the following for examples of Velvia colour --



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