Fuji Superia Reala Grain issue?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bdemers, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. bdemers

    bdemers TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I'm brand new to this forum, and I'm looking for some input...

    I am an amateur photographer just getting into the hobby. I'm shooting with an old Canon AE-1 Program camera and have just started using Fuji Superia Reala 100 film (upon many recommendations for its fine grain).

    I got my first roll of this film back, and had one portrait blown up to 11x14. I notice, particularly in the arms and face, a distinct graininess to the image. With any close looks, the skin almost looks sandy or bumpy, instead of natural and smooth. I understand that all films are subject to graininess when they're blown up, but I've heard so many great things about this film, I didn't think it would be an issue at only 11x14.

    Is this the limits of the film, or is something else at work here? I had the picture blown up at a photo shop (not CVS), but they do send-out for large prints. Is it possible that their equipment would cause this?

    I am going to try to take a picture of the picture (if that makes sense) to demonstrate the grain I'm seeing. Maybe someone here can tell me if it's normal. If all goes well, I'll be posting the picture soon...

    In the meantime, thank you for reading, I appreciate any suggestions you might have!
     
  2. bdemers

    bdemers TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a rough scan of the 4x6 picture as it came back from the photofinisher, just for you to get an idea of the picture... keep in mind none of these have been properly color-balanced or anything, so they don't all look the same.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture taken of the 11x14 with a digital camera in macro-mode:

    This is the face:

    [​IMG]

    and here is one of the arms:

    [​IMG]


    I hope i'm not the only one who sees noticable grain, expecially in the face. This is not the digital camera, it is on the photograph itself.

    Can someone suggest if grain this noticable is usual for Superia Reala 100 film, or if this is the fault of my photography techniques, the photo-finisher, or something else...?

    Thank you, I hope to figure this out!
     
  3. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    Well, one thing, the quality of the optics of the lens you used. Another is the fact that you got it enlarged at a drugstore like CVS.

    Last year, I had to take a photography class, and our professor made us shoot film in the studio. My college, in NYC, has probably 30 pro/non-pro photo labs within a 10 block radius. Our professor gave us specific places to have our films developed. I can honestly tell you that people who had their films developed at regular drug stores (rather than the more expensive pro-labs he recommended) turned out PRETTY bad in comparison.

    I also used my Canon Rebel 2000, with it's (reputedly AWFUL) lens bundled w/the kit...surprisingly one pro-lab made prints that shocked me, because they were sharp, clear, with clean colors (compared to the mini-lab prints I've gotten done at Costco, "blurred" looking). Also another thing I've noticed, most of the film photos I've gotten that I was very satisfied with were printed on Fuji Crystal Archive.

    If you want a good basic camera, I would get a used Rebel 2000 body off ebay (less than $75 from what I've seen), paired with a 50mm/1.8 (EF?) Canon lens ($65-70). It's TACK sharp w/good contrast. And Reala is a great film, it should give smooth tonality.
     
  4. bdemers

    bdemers TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you,

    I do want to clarify, in case anyone else ventures to answer, that the enlargement was done by a photography store. What i meant by "not CVS was that it wasn't a drug-store, but indeed a photography store, a small family owned operation, but probablly the equivilent of a Ritz Camera or something. I'm not sure I'd call them a pro-lab, but they do cater to photographers only.
     
  5. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    Oh sorry, I thought you said u got it done at CVS. But I think in general, "mini-lab" prints don't give as good results. I wonder if they made that enlargement by hand.
     
  6. bdemers

    bdemers TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know either. I think I'll call and ask next time. But to be honest, i don't know what's better. Doing a print by hand is the technique photographers have used for a hundred years, and oftentimes with great results (if they know what they're doing). On the other hand, i keep seeing all these places that do a digital scan and print from that... but I'd have to assume the quality can vary greatly with the scanner and technology they're using. I don't know. I'll try a few more rolls like this, but if I don't get better results elsewhere, I may have to move to Velvia, or some other kind of slide film, because graininess like this is unacceptable for film that can cost up to $6 a roll.
     
  7. John Orrell

    John Orrell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Land of 365-day Winters:North West England :(
    I don't think you're enlarging the photo beyond the size of the grain or else the profile of the arm where it meets the background wouldn't be as smooth as it is, but I do agree there are tonality-issues where the tones don't fade into each other evenly. I can't see it being a lens-problem at your end: a lens is either sharp and gives good contrast, or it isn't and it doesn't; I can't see it introducing the artifacts you see here. Which leaves only the printing-process. I used to get similar results scanning slides on an old Canon 2700 SCSI scanner, basically because it was crap. Try elsewhere.
     
  8. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    GEEZ, $6 a roll...My school is also located a couple blocks south of B&H. Over there, Reala 35mm is $2.69 a roll. When I first bought Reala at B&H, the guy told me it's "consumer-grade film".

    I wouldn't expect consumer color print film to be $6 a roll. Heh, must be because digital is taking over.

    But I don't think it's a matter of slide film vs. negative. I think it's just bad printing. Usually an 8x10 print from 35mm is a big enough size w/out large grain being an issue.
     
  9. ajmall

    ajmall TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    the first time i used it i shot the scottish highlands and got some great fine grain shots but that was with lots of light. i recently used to do some long exposure shots of london at night and had about 3 good shots- the rest were really grainy.

    was the enlargement from a print or neg? obviously print to print will be bad quality. if u did it from negative then try another place. i've had enlargements at jessops (in the uk, equiv of bh photovideo) and if u don't like them u don't have to pay and they'll do them again.
     
  10. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    could the shots be slightly underdeveloped?


    md
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I can't tell much from the example you've posted. I would have to look at the actual photos, or at least a scan from the neg. Fuji Superia Reala has a pretty good reputation. It is consumer film, so you should be able to find it for a lot cheaper than $6 a roll; that's what Fuji NPS or NPH costs around here.

    I would see what prints from another source looked like, and also shoot some other ISO 100 films to get an idea of what the grain should look like.

    There are many variables that can affect graininess:
    it could be a bad emulsion batch from the factory
    it could have been locked in a hot delivery truck for days while being shipped
    the exposure could be off
    the processing chems at the lab may have been off
    the temps may have been off
    even though it's film, it may be being printed digitally (possibly with new equipment that they are still trying to figure out)
    and on and on...

    Also, if you really have an aversion to grain, I'd say go to a bigger film format if you want to enlarge beyond 8"x12". But remember, grain isn't always bad, and most folks don't look at bigger enlargments from right next to the photo, they back off somewhat.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
fuji reala grain review
,

fuji superia reala

,
fuji superia reala 100
,
fujifilm superia grain
,
is there a difference between fuji reala 100 fuji superia reala 100
,
superia reala scanning
,
superia reala vs 160s