What 4 Owls Have Told Me About 4 Color Films

Continuing with the Showdown that I started a few days ago.  I’ve been using E100 over a year. I’m midway in a film showdown between Kodak E100 vs Fuji Velvia 50.  I had always preferred Kodak in the past, however, after some 35 mm experiences last year I had doubts.  I had always used E100GX, a warm toned film of the old generation.  The new film was based on a colder version E100G.  But to be fair, I decided to do some formal color test comparison.  This is Part,  I am comparing four images of the Owl Mural made with four different films: E100, Velvia 50, Portra 400 and Lomo 800.  For the direct comparison of the E-6 films I used my Mamiya-7’s; the Portra was exposed using a Mamiya-6; and the Lomo 800 was exposed using a Diana F+, for the Frugal Film Project.

First I’ll show them in pairs, then break down my critique of each one.  Naturally I have selected my personal favorite for the Header image above.

Left: Lomo 800; Right: Portra 400.  I made no adjustments for tone or contrast; only cropping to make them comparable in size. All of the image were exposed on overcast days. The first comment I can make is that both C-41 films are truer to the actual mural colors.  The Portra 400 has a richer color tone which I would expect for the lower ISO film.  But you have to admit that the Lomo 800 is very good, especially since it was exposed using a plastic camera.  The winner here is Kodak Portra 400:

Owl_Portra400_Labels
Portra 400

Now for the main event, E100 (left) vs Velvia 50 (right):

As one would expect, the E-6 films have a more saturated color.  Not quite a natural representation.  But in my lifetime experience with film (going back to childhood)  I’ve mostly shot E-6.  As a field scientist back in the pre-PowerPoint days, I needed to show my information in slide presentations.  So that meant E-6 films.  In my earlier professional days I used ECN films.  When that was discontinued I switched to Kodak E100GX.

If you read my earlier experiences with E100, you’ll be able to decide which one I prefer.  I simply find the E100 too cold. So the Winner here is, Fuji Velvia 50.  I enjoy the richer and brighter blues and purples……

Owl_Velvia50_Labels
Fuji Velvia 50

So these are my two favorites.  I can accept either one depending on what I am trying to demonstrate.  Which one do you prefer?

Stay tuned, right now I am continuing the side-by-side testing of these films as my Mamiya 645’s take a tour of my flower and vegetable gardens.  I’m going to give E100 every possible chance to show me something that I’ll like.

And I may do a follow-up Road-Trip landscape comparison.  In that case, I’ll see if a warming filter makes me feel better about the new Kodak E100.

5 thoughts on “What 4 Owls Have Told Me About 4 Color Films”

  1. Very interesting. I love Kodak Portra, and shot a lot of it. I wonder if my Kodak days are over, I can seldom afford any film at all now, and if I can it will be Fomapan 200. For me, this is the best cheap B+W film. Thanks for sharing the results.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve done a ton of E-6 throughout my days, but I’ve been shooting Porta400 for so long it’s become my standard. Most of our photography team where I worked in the late 90s and early 2000s pretty much standardized on it for its overall performance.

    Liked by 1 person

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