starting with slides (Fuji Astia questions)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Slixtiesix, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    hello community,
    until now I have only shot black and white and color negative. Now I am curious about slides and recently bought some Fuji Astia 100F.
    I´ve read that this slide film has a wide exposure latitude and neutral color balance, which would make it ideal for beginners.
    What should I pay attention to when using slides, especially with regard to the Astia? I´ve heard that it is the best way to slightly underexpose them (why?). Some people also claim that color filters are useful to compensate the bluish cast of slide film. Should I use the box speed? I´ve heard that it is also possible to push and pull slide film, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
    Maybe someone can recommend a good website that deals with the topic?
    Greetz, Benjamin
     
  2. Windscale

    Windscale Member

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    You need no website to get started. Fire a few rolls at box speed and you will get the behaviour of the film. Then you start doing the extra bits (filters, over or underexpose etc.) to get your picture in mind. It is really not much different from print films.
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I have not found Fuji slide films to need any filter on the lens for normal photography. The thing with "slide" or "reversal film" is that the film you shoot in the camera is the final product. With color negs you make corrections when you print. With slides, what you see (in the processed film) is what you get, unless you scan and print, then you can make corrections just like color negatives.
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    There is no blueish cast. You don't need a filter. If you are shooting on a cold (color temperature wise) day like a very cloudy day a warming filter can be used to balance it out to normal daylight. Try an 81A or B for those situations. Other than that just shoot it at box speed and have fun. Don't bother under exposing when starting out. Just shoot it. You'll learn by experience what works and what doesn't.
     
  5. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    It is not a good idea to underexpose slide film, however it IS a good idea to expose accurately. If you blow out highlights, they are gone. But Astia is a very forgiving film..no need to underexpose.

    You can't make a general statement about slide film being "blue", as modern slide films do not tend to go blue like slide films (Ektachrome) did 40 years ago.

    It is possible, particularly if you do it yourself, to "push" slide film. By push I mean underexpose and compensate (to an extent) by extending the first developer time. This does not result in "ideal" results as it increases contrast.
    Unless you pay for expensive "custom" processing from an ever-dwindling group of "custom" labs, you aren't going to get "push" processing from normal slide developing services.

    If you need more speed, use Provia 400.
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Astia is superb.

    Just shoot a roll and bracket each shot, and take good notes of how you exposed each frame. Then, after just one roll, you will learn everything you need to know to get optimal results. Bracketing your first roll +/- 1 stop should provide an excellent lesson. Get yourself a loupe or a projector and go through your bracketed slides and see for yourself.

    In the old days, when a lot of people were actually projecting slides (okay, I know some people still do!), some people would advise to underexpose in order to get more saturated colours***. Today, most slides are being scanned... rather than projected or printed to ilfochrome. For the scan-based workflow, you really need to expose in a middle-of-the-road, standard, conservative way, i.e. trying to preserve as much highlight and shadow detail as you can.

    ***N.b. even those people who did underexpose typically did so by only small fractions of a stop. 1 stop of over/underexposure, with slide, will typically yield noticeably inferior results. So... for now, bracket when you can, until you feel confident in your metering practices.
     
  7. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    You need to ask yourself. How are you planning to share your images? Are you going to produce prints from your chromes? I use chrome film mostly and had moved away from color neg film. Why? Because I like the color pallet of chrome film. Neg film has a softer range to me. More like water colors. Where chrome film is more like an oil paint. Richer colors. These are all my thoughts of course.
    You should experiment.
    On exposing your chrome film, I would aim to be under just a bit. You'll save your high lights this way. With blown out high lights you can't get a good print. I use a spot meter and place my high light down to a zone five. Then, when I print or ask my local lab to print. It's easier to bring up the print, work up the shadows and save the high lights.
    Astia is a great film. I use that and Provia 100. Velvia is fun too!
    Have a ball with the film!
     
  8. OP
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    Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Ok, thanks a lot for the good advice!
    Seems like I´m simply going to roll it in the camera and do some bracketing.
    Greetz, Benjamin
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    P.S. Go ahead and bracket in half-stop increments on your first outing and you'll see that with slide there will be relevant differences.

    P.P.S. The comments about colour cast are probably derived from provia 100f, which can tend to go bluish in some light. Astia is generally more neutral in its colour as a function of the colour temp of the light; it actually makes a pretty good portrait film. Provia 100f and 400f go to blue quite readily, in my experience; 400x less so.
     
  10. OP
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    Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Ok, I´ll try a sequence of -1 -1/2 0 +1/2 +1 f-stops.
     
  11. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    One more thing. If you plan to scan, low saturation, low contrast films like Astia are generally MUCH better than high saturation, high contrast films like Velvia. One reason for this is that the low saturation image gives you a file that you can work with and change ALOT more easily. For instance, it is ALOT easier to saturate the colors of an image shot with Astia than it is to desaturate an image shot with Velvia. And with its low contrast, it is MUCH easier to increase contrast with a file made from Astia than it is to try to recover shadow detail from a file made from Velvia. In addition, more 'punchy' films like Velvia tend to be more plagued by color casts, which will need to be removed. This is MUCH less of a problem with a lower saturation and more accurate film. On the other hand, if you plan to print by traditional means (ie Ilfochrome) or project, then you have to pay more attention to which film will give you the results you are looking for.
     
  12. tim_walls

    tim_walls Subscriber

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    TO be fair, Velvia is a dog to scan full stop. (Fortunately we don't talk about scanning here, *cough*.)


    Kodak Ektachrome E100VS is a lovely punchy/saturated film which scans like a dream (all the current Ektachromes scan well actually - I find them easier to deal with than any of the Fuji films, although Provia/Astia are of course a lot better than Velvia.)


    Actually, if someone held a gun to my head and told me I could save one and only one type of film - every other film type be it negative, slide, instant, black & white, the works would be abolished forever - I would without hesitation choose to save Ektachrome E100VS. I simply love that stuff.
     
  13. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    I guess it all depends on what kind of look you are after. If you like the way that E100VS looks when scanned, then it is obviously a good choice for you. What I meant to say was that a scan from a low saturation film like Astia or maybe E100G (which is more saturated than Astia) can more easily be manipulated with software to get a given look. It's kind of like comparing a raw file from a DSLR to a JPEG that already has saturation, contrast, etc set to the max.
     
  14. tim_walls

    tim_walls Subscriber

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    Aah. Well, if you mean which gives the easiest scans to manipulate then you may be right, but we're absolutely off topic for APUG.

    Velvia is hard to scan to get something which resembles the projected slide. The Ektachromes all scan easily to get a digital image that is a good representation of the slide. Anything else is beyond my ken - as far as I'm concerned the finished product is what goes in my projector.
     
  15. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    One more thing. Is it just where I live? Or is Astia one hell of a hard film to get? Here in Sacramento, CA, I can buy MANY different kinds of film. I can even get all the Kodachrome I could EVER want at Pardee's Camera. But if I want Astia and don't want to wait a week to get it, I better be prepared to make a drive to San Francisco.
     
  16. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

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    I just scanned a roll of Astia this weekend. It's my favorite slide film of all. One thing to be careful of, as has been mentioned, is be careful and do the exposure right. One trouble spot is "automatic" non-ttl flashes. They can sometimes put out too much light and you'll lose highlights.

    I LOVE this stuff...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    RE: scanning, my experience is that the velvias are basically unscannable, except by drum. Astia scans far easier, requiring no special measures to get good results. One still has to expose thoughtfully, of course. But truly astounding overall detail (including good levels of highlight and shadow detail) are possible with astia. Astia's tonality is a world apart from the velvias or provia 100f/400f, delivering far more pleasing skin tones.
     
  18. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    Astia 100F is great, great stuff. It pushes to ISO200, it doesn't share the goofy blue shadows color-cross of Provia, but I do find it tends to have a very slight yellow bias. I'm scanning it nowadays so that's not much of an issue. Helpful that it's got a nicely manageable contrast. Closest slide film in this regard is probably K64.

    The only filters I use for Astia are a polarizer, and a split ND for keeping skies from burning out/bumping up foreground exposure on sunrises/sunsets.