Regular vs. "Slide" film

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by New Hampshire, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I will show my noobieness (is that even a word!? :lol: ) by asking this question, but:

    I read about other photographers here liking slide film like Velvia for Landscape pictures (the area Im interested in photography.) Whats the difference between "regular" film and "slide" film (yes I know what a slide is, just what the difference is what I mean :) .)

    Also, can you still make prints from slide film? Like say, can I take slide film down to the local developer and have them make prints, or can "slide" film only be used to make slides unless scanning and printing out of photoshop?

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "Regular" film is print film, which is negative.

    "Slide" film is positive film, so you can look right through it, (or project through it) and it looks right.

    With slide film, you cannot make adjustments during processing for bad exposure. What you shot is what you get. This is a double-edged sword. If you want to see what you REALLY shoot like, try slides. Otherwise, the photofinisher machine will automatically correct for exposure & color balance.

    You can request that they make no corrections, if you'd like...
     
  3. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    slide film generally has finer grain and better color reproduction.
    The colors on such films like velvia are said by some to be
    too saturated...posh i say.

    yes, prints can be made from slides. Now days all printing is digital
    and a scan is made of your slide (very high quality if you go to the right place) and a print is made from a high quality printer.
    Optical prints can be made from slides and from what i hear, they are fantastic. however, i have not found a place that does it around the bay area.
    The process is called Ilfochrome and ilford does still make the paper and chemicals needed to do it. im currently looking into learning how to do that,
    but i have had prints made digitally from my slides and they always look wonderful.
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also, the tonal range of slide film is narrower than print film and therefore slide film is less tolerant of poor exposure. You can get away with slight underexposure or overexposure with print film but the exposure as to be spot on with slides.
    If you don't plan to project your pictures (so you don't need a slide) try to get a print of the same picture from a slide film and a print from a negative and see which what you like best. Also, you don't have to use Velvia to shoot landscape. I know most landscape photographers do but see what suits you best.
    I usually use Fuji Reala (print film) for landscapes as I find the results more pleasing than Velvia (less contrast, and less saturated, more natural looking colours).
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Transparency or "slide" film was "regular" film in the commercial photography business when film was still used for that purpose. I would say that for every frame of color negative film I shot over the years, I shot 1000 frames of transparency film so it was my "regular" film to be sure. Commercial photos were made on positives so they could be photographed by a process cameras to make color separations for printing. On a transparency, nothing is adjusted or corrected or fussed with. It is what it is and the photographer needs to capture the subject exactly as desired. Commercial photographers who still use film still use transparency film because it scans a little better to create digitized images. The days of process cameras are long gone. Printing presses today are digital.

    Of course, amateurs use the film as well for making slide shows. Transparencies project very nicely on a screen with large, colorful images.

    Yes it is possible to make prints from transparencies. The most common way, however, is to photograph the transparency on color negative film which is, in turn, printed. It is called an internegative. There are chemical processes for printing positives also, but the internegative represents the vast, vast majority of this kind of work.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great explanation.

    Since this is the beginner's forum, I want to add one point: when shooting slide film, the film isn't used to make slides... the film IS the slide. The film is cut and mounted into frames, creating slides.

    Pete
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    From a practical point of view I would say this to a person shooting slides for the first time.... bracket, bracket, then bracket again. Slide film has a very small window of forgiveness.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Indeed, not much exposure latitude. Actually digital doesn't have much latitude either.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    so i hear... but i think you get an idea that you are over or under exposed with digital before you waste your money. I have wasted more than a dollar on slides.
     
  10. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for the great info. So basically I will read between the lines and "walk before I run" by starting with print film and THEN consider the possibility of moving on to slide film.

    Thanks again!

    Brian
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My intent wasn't to scare you off. If the final "product" you want is a print, then using color negative film is the way to go. If, instead, you want a scanned digital file or a slide that you can project on a screen, then the transparency is the way to go. It's that simple.
     
  12. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    Nope, not scared off. Just realizing (since it was noted slide film is less forgiving) that I need to work on basics and get some good shutter time before I fancy myself good enough to tackle Slide film :lol: .

    Brian
     

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