Why 35mm slide film?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sincere, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    Whats the advantage? Excuse me for being so blunt but i just never got into it.
     
  2. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    these days..not much. it was once professional standard practice to use it, but no longer. however, you can project them..onto screens, walls, people..and photograph the result (digitally, no doubt) ;-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  3. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Back when film and slides were all there were, slides had the sharpest images you can get. Kodak (only film I used) had ISO 25 and 64 slide film and the images came out fantastic. Actually all my "best" shots are on slides. Kodak had a display in Grand Central Station in NYC of a huge poster (maybe 20 feet by 10 feet) of a supposed ISO 25 slide film blown up to that size - they had the slide in the corner of that display.

    Back then even ISO 100 film was too grainy to blow up beyond 8x10 or 11x14 and I believe the processing of a slide into a print was also pretty straight forward. I also believe that processing slides was pretty screw up proof vs getting prints. I hated getting prints done from negatives because colors were always wrong. Back when I was a serious amateur I had only 2 places that I would go to have my film developed or have prints made from slides. Most people who process film don't understand photography and just pass them through. Even in digital I have had people process images that were garbage and I wonder how!
     
  4. julz

    julz TPF Noob!

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    you can also use slide film for cross processing if thats the effect you want on the photos
     
  5. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    You're making me shed a tear for my beloved Kodachrome.

    For the record, Kodachrome colors have proven to remain bright for over sixty years. Other slide films and all negatives turn to doggy poo after ten to fifteen years.

    Developed (no pun intended) by two PhD guys in the thirties, Dr. Godansky and Dr. Mannes, Kodachrome was nick-named "the best available from God and man."

    A lesser advantage with all slide film is cost when you're shooting a hundred shots to get one good one.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Never thought of that aspect, but - yeah, there would be a considerable cost savings if you only had to print the good ones.
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As it is the first generation and not altered (except for unbalanced chemistry) ... you really know when you have figured out exposure.

    When you make an exposure mistake with slide film ... it will tell you immediately.

    My best film images were taken on slide film ... especially Kodachrome 64 120 (6x6) slides.
     
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Long ago, in a galaxy far away ...

    ... before computers, the internet, and digital imaging, there were several factors that made slide film the choice of most true professional photographers:

    1. The first integrated color film (single shot, single piece of film, no permanent granular or patterned filter layer) was a slide film. It was a decade before color negative film appeared.

    2. Even when color negative film appeared, slide films were sharper. As time went on, color negative film caught up with the faster slide films, but the slower slide films were still quite a bit sharper than any print from a color negative.

    3. Prior to electronic digital scanning and electronic plate making, commercial color printing yielded distinctly better results when working from the original image in a color slide than when working from a second generation image, as is a print from a color negative.

    Skilled amateurs, as opposed to tyros or as they are now know - noobs, generally emulated the working pros by shooting slide films. This was probably more because almost all images that they saw and where the filim type was identified were shot as slides. The reason they saw images that were dominantly shot as slides was because almost all images they saw, other than the snaps shots of friends and neighbors, were printed on printing presses (e.g. in books, calendars, magazines, ...) and most printing companies only accepted slides for reason #3, above.

    The other big reason for shooting slides and transparencies (slides are mounted, transparencies are the same film but unmounted) was that the slide was a positive and its color and exposure could be easily determined. When printed, the printer could easily determine what it should look like. Negatives, on the other hand, are very difficult to judge. You can't do it by eye to any degree of precision. Without the aid of computers, printing color negatives is largely a matter of trial and terror.
     
  9. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    I am always amazed at the supernatural abilities attributed to Kodachrome. Who is behind the plot to deny us this miraculous product?! Why did serious photographers ever stop using it seeing as it was the best there ever was???

    Kodachrome is an excellent example of the power of nostalgia. For all it's wondrous powers both amateurs and pros stopped using and buying it. It's easy to say that serious photographers switched because it was easier to get E-6 processed or that they just didn't know what was up, but come on, the reason serious photographers pick the materials they do is because those materials give them better results. The reason modern slide films killed Kodachrome is because modern slide films are better in many ways.

    One example: The longevity of Kodachrome is often touted. What they don't tell you is that only works if the slides are kept in the dark. Exposure to bright light, such as when being used in slide projectors and enlargers, Kodachrome colors start fading almost 3 times sooner than E-6 slides. Yeah, K-14 is very archival, as long as you don't use the slide in any way that it was intended to be used. :p
     
  10. jchin

    jchin TPF Noob!

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    Someone at my photography club shoots digital and has her images made into slides. Supposedly slides have a "better dynamic range" than print.
     
  11. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    That's absolutely incorrect. I have Kodachrome slides that I took in the early sixties and a handful that my brother took in the fifties that I keep in a clothes closet in my home in humid New Jersey. They're still in excellent shape. ALL of my E-6 slides turned to doggy poo within five or so years.
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    So they are kept basically in the dark? My slides are still being sold, some after 15 years, by my stock agency... WTF are you talking about? Doggy poo on you.

    TBH, I don't keep any slides at home except in the dark. What I have is what was rejected by the agency and I only keep them for potential future use. :lmao: Translation, they never see the light of day. But then again, who keeps slides in full sunlight?

    I shot Kodachrome before Fuji came out with its great slide film and then, goodbye Kodak... It was especially good to say goodbye to their labs.


    Now, back to the OP's question.

    Slides, or transparencies as they are called if larger than 35mm, were the norm in the commercial arena when not doing B&W. And the reason is very simple. Once shot, a slide gives you the right colors according to the photog while a shot printed from a neg can become a totally different image depending on who is printing it.
     

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