Slide Film

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by sillyphaunt, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    So being the novice that I am, I never understood the positive side of having slide film. I thought the only reason was so you could show it on a slide projector?

    What is the reasons people shoot slide film as opposed to negatives?

    On slide film it comes out as a positive instead of a negative, right? Or am I not getting it?
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    Yes, a slide is a positive. That is a big advantage right there, because the printer has something to try to match. With a neg the printer's opinion comes into play, because they have to imagine what the neg looks like as a positive. Some photographers prefer slides/transparencies (what they call slides bigger than 35mm) because when they submit it for reproduction (to a printer or magazine, etc...) it should get printed with the "correct" color (this is sort of hoo-ha in my opinion, but it's not worth going into).

    Slides tend to have higher contrast and color saturation than prints from negs. This can be a pro or a con, depending on what you need to do. Slides are easier to scan than color negs (they don't have the orange film base to correct for). Slower ISO slide films look pretty good, but I think it usually looks worse than neg film at speeds higher than ISO 200.

    Another reason to use slides is that they are very picky about exposure compared to neg film. In the printing process exposure mistakes can be corrected for with neg film. You'll spot the exposure mistakes easy with slide film. It's goo for testing and learning proper exposure. Even experienced photogs who shoot slide film often test with Polaroid film to make sure the exposure is good; especially with the larger and more expensive formats.
     
  3. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh Thank you very much, that makes more sense.. See here I thought it was just for those old slide projectors when you wanted to show of your trip to the grand canyon. :lol:
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    Well, that looks good too. :) I occasionally shoot 35mm or 120 E6 for a job, but I only see it on a lightbox or the computer. There are medium format slide projectors on Ebay. I'd love to see what that looks like.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It's a hangover from the pre-digital age.
    Printing plates were made from colour separation negs.
    If you used neg film they had to make a positive before they could make separation negs. You lost a bit of quality - but mostly it made things more expensive.
    Using tranny you could go straight to neg. Cheaper and quicker.
    (If you submitted negs for repro they thought you were an amateur and everyone looked down on you.)
    Now, with scanners and PS, it doesn't matter - it's down to personal preference.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about the range of color and tone? Do you find that reversal film has a greater range than you can get on a print?

    Thanks in advance.

    -Pete
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    If you look at it via transmitted light, yes. You get better colour saturation than with prints (which work by reflected light). If you ever got to use Kodachrome 25 - the colour saturation on that was jaw-dropping.
    On a film scanner, though, I doubt if there would be much difference between neg and tranny.
    As for tonal range - there are a lot of variables that make it hard to do a straight comparison but under average conditions I would guess they are about the same.
     
  8. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    I remember viewing several slides at my old work, and I was never so impressed by color reproduction as I was when viewing well-taken slides, especially on larger formats like 120/220 or 4x5in (mucho expensivo), by using a light table and a standard loupe. Amazing clarity and crispness.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am shocked and dismayed that no one has mentioned the main reason to shoot slide film today. :mrgreen: And that, of course, is to be able to use it in a slide printer to expose to Polaroid film for emulsion lifts, image transfers and the like.

    Get it together, people. :razz:
     
  10. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Consider our bottoms spanked :lol:


    PS You should see 10x8 tranny's!
     
  11. ksmattfish

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

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    I don't know a lot about scanners, but in my recent research trying to do a better job scanning my BW negs it has been brought to my attention that film scanners are designed with the density range of chromes in mind. Apparently there is a much greater difference in the density with slide film than BW neg film, which is why BW negs that are scanned straight (no scanner software) often appear very low contrast. I don't know how it is with color negs, but I wonder if they also have a lesser density range than slides.
     
  12. ksmattfish

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

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    My main landscape photog buddy shoots almost all 4x5 and 8x10 Velvia. It is quite a thing to see. Almost makes me want to switch to color, almost ;)
     

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