Help with slide film developing for prints.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SC, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. SC

    SC TPF Noob!

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    I understand that slide film should be used for better quality photographs, but after I take the picture, what do I do? I have researched this on the web, but have only managed to confuse myself, and could use a little help! What is the process in developing slide film for use with prints? Are the slides usually developed into small prints and then selected for enlargements? or viewed as a slide, then sent for enlargements. Should the film be cut into individual slides or kept as a roll? Should the slides be converted to negatives, then printed or printed directly from the slide film. Also can you recommend a lab for processing?

    Thanks for any help!
    SC
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    Slide film doesn't necessarily make better prints. If you are scanning the slides and printing from an inkjet printer, you would probably find slides easier to scan.

    If you are taking your film to most film labs you will probably find that high quality prints are cheaper from negs (also called "print film"). Although as labs cross over more into digital technology they should be able to print from either with ease.

    Most folks look at individually mounted slides, but you should do whatever works for you. To mount or not to mount is a decision for you and your lab.

    Although I'm sure there are other ways, the only way I can think of off the top of my head to make a neg from a slide would be to use a digital or positive to positive chemical process to make a print, and then photograph the print with neg film. Seems like a convoluted path to get a print. I guess you could go directly to neg film with a film recorder from a scan.

    It depends on what process you are using to make the print, but if you want standard, chemical prints you should probably shoot neg film. If it's a print from a scan or an Ilfochrome, you should shoot slide film.
     
  3. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Most minilabs to day can make prints directly from a slide. Any lab running Fuji Frontier equipment can, at least.

    As for making negs from slides, you can buy a slide duplicator which attaches to your SLR just like a lens (or with a T-mount). A duplicator with a zoom so you can crop the image is about $85. Adorama sells them I know, B&H probably does as well.
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I a little confused by your questions.

    Slide films are processed with the E-6 system (Kodak) and produce positive images on the film

    There is an old believe that slide film (positives) gives you richer colors that color print film (negatives). I do not know if this true.

    As for converting slides to negatives I cannot think of reason to. I have had prints made from slides with no problems.

    As for a lab, start with looking around your area
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    Now it's been a few years since I've had prints made from slides at the local pro labs, but before every thing went totally digital prints from slides were at least twice as expensive as a print from a negative. Shop around, you'll probably find several different deals.

    I do think slides look more vibrant when viewed on a light table or projected on a screen, but I've always attributed this to the way it's being lit. Once you make a print from the slide it looks just like a print from a neg to me.

    An advantage of making a print from a slide would be that you have a color correct example to look at while making the print. When printing from a neg there is only the photographer's memory to consult.

    Different films have different looks. There probably isn't any print film that looks quite like Velvia. On the other hand, I've never seen slide film that looks like Konica 3200(print film, shoot it at 800 for saturated colors and awesome grainy texture). I'm sure there are many other unique films out there.

    Slide film tends to be more contrasty than print film. Print film usually has a fairly wide exposure latitude; it leaves some room for mistakes. Slide film has a narrow exposure latitude; be off by a stop and you'll see it.

    Both kinds have pros and cons; try them both.
     
  6. SC

    SC TPF Noob!

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    Probably all I want to do with the film is make enlargements of wildlife photos. 11x17 max, if that is possible. Many post and wildlife photographers state that Velvia is the way to go, but if I am making enlargements in print, maybe Velvia is not the best? Is slide film only best for those who may be published? I think my best solution if I use slide film is to get digital scans from slide, will digital scans from slides make better prints than negative film, or does it make any difference?
     
  7. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    The only reason to have scans made of your slides would be if you were printing from your computer at home. Any professional lab can make prints directly from your slide.

    Velvia has a finer grain than any print film I've seen, so it should give higher quality enlargements than negatives do. 11x17 is puching even Velvia's ability. I'm not sure any 35mm print film will give high quality prints that size. Someone else can probably tell you better than I could.
     

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