Tag Archives: Film Tests

What the Irises Tell Us About Velvia 50 and E100 Films

The Irises display more of a difference, being both richer is color and truer to the colors I saw. You’ll have to trust me on that.  I had intended to make Portra 400 images for all the garden shots, but that camera malfunctioned.  However, I do have some Portra 400 35 mm images.  One posted ant the end for comparison.  As before, you’ll have to make your choice based on which color balance you prefer.

We will start with Yellow Irises, since we did see a difference in the Yellow Tulips:

 

As before, the E100 is on the left and the Velvia 50 is on the right.  You can see the richer saturation in the Velvia 50.  Something that we are expecting.

 

Varying the contrast and brightness had no affect on the absolute color, which is what we are interested in here.

Now we move on to Purple, which was a color that Velvia 50 favored in previous examples:

 

As before, E100 on the left and Velvia 50 on the right…….

 

For me, the Velvia yields a more attractive color and is closer to what I saw.  Now let me tell you a little secret.  Once in a Physics experiment in college, it showed that I tend to see a little bit into the UV spectrum.  That is probably why the richer purples appeal more to me.

However, if you want truer color I think we have to get out the Portra 400 (below).  Again, I think it is an aesthetic choice…….

 

Portra_Purple_Iris

Prelim Discussion of IR-Sensitive B&W Films Part I: SFX-200 and Retro 80S

I typically use Ilford SFX-200 as my IR-Sensitive film.  When I started, I used it with my darkest red filter:

But now I use my IR-695 filter:

 

Recently I’ve had two IR-sensitive film come my way: Rollei Retro 80S and Washi-Z.  Let’s start with the Rollei film. Because of my positive experience using the 695 filter, I tried this with the Retro 80S.  It resulted in interesting but very high contrast images:

Retro_80S_Cathedral2

Compare this to T-MAX 400 with a Dark Red filter (sorry that’s the film I had in the other Mamiya-7 at the time):

TMAX_400_Cathedral2

Here a direct comparison of the same scene, SFX-200 and Retro 80S, both with the IR-695 filter:

Retro_80S_Cathedral1SFX_Cathedral1

Can you tell which is which? The Retro 80S is the upper image, the SFX-200 is the lower image.  The SFX image preserves the fine high altitude clouds better…..

I have recently read an article on the Retro 80S, where the author only used the dark red filter.    @EMULSIVEfilm also has another recent article comparing Retro 80S and Retro 400S, again both using the dark red filter.  So now I’m going to embark on a set of side by side Retro and SFX images making, using only the dark red filter.  Can’t wait to see what happens……

IR_Filrm_Test_120

Washi-Z discussion coming in Part II.

Kodak E100 vs. Fuji Velvia 50: The Showdown Begins

I have to admit that I was disappointed with early my 35 mm E100 results.  I felt that the film was cold and realized that it was based on the old E100G, a film I only used with a warming filter.  My favorite of the old Kodak E-6 films was E100GX, the warm toned film.  I used it extensively in Patagonia and mourned its loss.  You can also check out our first Patagonia Calendar.

But I digress.  Let’s get back to the purpose of this study: Kodak E100 versus Fuji Velvia 50.  After my E100 doubts I happened upon this old Velvia 50 image of Boreas Pass and thought about a comparative test:

BoreasChasingFall

So I set up my two Mamiya 6X7’s for the test.  There was one difference:  The Velvia 50 camera had a 43 mm lens and the E100 camera had a 50 mm lens.  We can debate if that makes a difference, but for Showdown Part II, I’ll be using matching camera set ups.  So hold your argument for later.

Here are the side-by-sides: Think about which is which and I’ll tell you at the end.Peacocks_E100Peacocks_Velvia50

Owl_E100Owl_Velvia50

Details regarding what I learned from this Owl are discussed in my next posting…………

Coke_E100Coke_Velvia50

In all cases the top image is Kodak E100 and the bottom image is Fuji Velvia 50.  There were no adjustments made to color balance.  You may note that the Velvia 50 images are more color saturated and have some purple or pink in the sky.  The E100 is less saturated and has a colder sky. Now it’s up to you.  Which do you prefer?  Keep in mind that this is an overcast sky.  So I’ll add one more pair.  I wanted to capture my purple house, but in the morning the house was too dark.  But you can see that with a clear sky the Velvia 50 (bottom image) has the saturated blue sky:

Sky_E100Sky_Velvia50

The snow is still holding that purple cast in the Velvia 50 image.  E100 has a truer presentation of the snow.  Comments, perspectives appreciated.

Next, we’ll take a look at my Garden Flowers using my Mamiya 645’s both with 80 mm macro lenses..  Since I have something blooming all summer, I’m shooting two rolls of each film throughout my gardening season, and I’ll post as I go……..

Lomo Purple Update @EMULSIVEfilm

64819-1-12x8-Drum1_Edited4_Posted

 

My Kodak E100 Experience: Hot or Cold?

I waited with baited breath, as they say, for results from early E100 Film Testing.  Always reliable, I delved into the EMULSIVE Review, which compared various exposures, by processing at EI 100, 200, 400 800.  At first glance I like the EI200 images, so I started by comparing EI 100 vs EI 200.  The Cameras, my nearly identical Minolta X-700 with Tamron 28-200 zoom lens, which I’ve used for a number of side by side film tests:

 

Two_X-700

I took a second look at the EMULSIVE results after reviewing my own tests, and can’t believe that I didn’t see the EI 200 images were colder.  Also, the example scenes were not typical subjects that I would have photographed (the exception being flowers).  I had fears about the new E100 because I new that it was based on E100G, which I had always found to be too cold.  I always used a warming filter with the old E100G.  The long gone warm tone balanced E100GX had been my favorite.

So my results, E100 @ EI 125 (following Galen Rowell’s recommendation) on the top and EI 200 on the bottom.  All of the photos are the original raw scans with no adjustments of brightness, contrast or levels and no warming filter:

E100_125_MeteredE100_200_Pushed

The Cathedral Rocks in Arizona,  I tried to get the same perspective, but there is a slight difference. Below viewed from a distance:

E100_125_Metered2E100_200_Pushed2

And zoomed in:

E100_125_Metered3E100_200_Pushed3

Note the color of the Red Rocks and the Soil.  Since I frequently shoot Red Rocks, I’d like them to have the truer Red of the EI 125 images.  Below I’m showing the EI 125 exposed a +1 stop.  It probably offers a truer color rendition:

E100_125_TrueColor

It’s probably time for me to test E100 with a warming Filter vs. Portra 400.  I’ve found Portra 400 to be an acceptable color film for my current use.  I’ve also been spoiled by the wide latitude of exposures that a C-41 film allows.  Since I mostly shoot B&W now, I’m not sure that E100 has enough zip to bring me back to E-6.  But I’ll wait on a final E100 choice after the 120 is available.  I’ll test that vs Portra 400.

Favorites from Silberra PAN 100

Similar issues with PAN 100 as I had reported for PAN160.  All images here have been significantly altered for brightness and contrast in Photoshop.ArizonaSky1

Arizona Skies have been generally more interesting than in Front Range Colorado.  Back in colorado that dead blue sky that frequently shows itself is anathema to Photography.

Superstition3

 

 

Ditto on no more Film Testing………

Results of Film Expertise Survey and My Personal Thoughts

I have my favorite films and I ask myself whether it is worth the time to learn about new films?  My favorite B&W: Kodak T-MAX 400, Ilford SFX-200 and I when I want less contrast Ilford Delta 400;  I also want to spend some more time with Ilford Delta 3200 My Favorite Color film for now is Kodak Portra 400;  I am presently testing the new Kodak E100.  So I have 3 main films (bold); one that I use under certain conditions (bold italic and posted image below); and two that I am experimenting with (plain text italic).

Fern_Canyon4

So I posted a Survey on Twitter and asked the followers of both of my Blogs to add their comments.  The Twitter Survey ran for a week with the following Results:

Survey_Results

Most of my blog followers are also on Twitter, so their votes are included above.  I agree  with the survey results: 48% of you say 3-4 films and 23% say 1-2 films.  Total for less is more: 71%.  So most of us agree that you cannot be an expert with dozens of films.  My husband said that his answer was 5+ films.  He really likes to find special films for special circumstance and does more experimentation than I do, which is a film multiplier.   @donkittle on Twitter wrote to me supporting different films for different situations also.  I typically shoot 3-4 different types of scenes/subjects.  So following this approach may explain why I only need/use 3-4 film types.  And I think that most photographers in that 71% are doing the same, typically shooting select films for their preferred subjects and no more.

I am open to experimentation on a limited basis, or using a certain film according to the conditions if I know that it will perform better (Delta 400) than my usual B&W (T-MAX 400).  We should all consider new films from time to time.  But film testing is time consuming, and I think that my days of trying new films are pretty much over once I’m done testing Kodak E100.  If I like the new E-6 film, then it will largely replace Portra 400, since ISO 100 films are better for travel (i.e. they survive possible airport X-ray mishaps better; also some film travel tips here and more here).  But since I already understand Portra 400, I can pull it off the shelf when I need it.  And although I don’t like the color balance of Portra 160 for my landscapes in general,  I can recommend it for Pinhole Cameras.  So another case of a special film for a special case.

Now lets consider some Favorite Films of Famous Photographers.  I’ve tried researching this on the WEB.  Lot’s of discussion of gear (cameras, lenses, etc), but very little on Films used by the Famous.  So isn’t Film part of your Gear?  Isn’t that why we choose certain films for certain circumstances?   Hey, if you become famous, please include preferred Film Types in your Gear……..  Here’s what I found after a few hours of searching for a some of my Favorites who considered the Film a part of their Gear:

I realize that it may be harder to find this information for deceased Photographers. But if you are still alive, please let us know what type of film you most recently used (even if you have switched to digital).

A Final Thought from the Weston Interview linked above:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

 

 

 

 

 

Silberra PAN 160

As part of my Arizona Project, I am testing some films.  Some completely new, like Silberra PAN 160 and PAN 100;  and films new to me like Ilford FP4.

 

 

Silberra is a new Russian film that has been in development for 10+ years.  I backed it in Indiegogo.  Today I’m posting results from my journey around the Phoenix area: Below, Four Peaks……..

4Peaks_Enhanced

I’ve discussed on my Photo Diary, some problems that I’ve experienced with Silberra Film (and similarly with Ferrania P30).  My main problem was controlling the contrast and exposure.  All of the images here have been adjusted significantly in PhotoShop.  I am largely a T-MAX 400 + Ilford user (especially SFX-200).

 

So I am posing the question here (also on Twitter as a survey):  How many types of film is it possible to be an expert user?  I like supporting new films, but I’m really into getting my best results that can also be printed in the darkroom without a tremendous effort in manipulation.

Print your comments here and I will include them in a future article: