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Author Topic: Velvia vs Provia  (Read 2824 times)
JoeKitchen
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« on: August 14, 2013, 09:11:43 AM »
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I am going on vaca in Europe next month and I have no intention of lugging my Phase/Arca system around (especially considering Oktoberfest is a planned stop).  So I am instead going to bring one of my smaller film cameras and can not decide on which film to use.  I have used Velvia 50 in the past and love the color, however 50 ISO is kind of slow for hand held shots, especially in the dusk hours.  I am thinking about Provia 400, but have never used it. 

How is Provia's color?  Is it similar to Velvia?  And what is grain like; course (like Tri-X) or finer?
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Joe Kitchen
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torger
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 11:03:31 AM »
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Here are some film comparisons visualized... seems to be Provia 100F not Provia 400 though. As far as I know it should be less contrasty and less saturated than Velvia, ie more natural.

http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/06/colour-film-comparison-pt-3/
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 11:05:06 AM by torger » Logged
Chris Livsey
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 11:13:05 AM »
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http://petapixel.com/2013/07/20/fujifilm-officially-discontinues-neopan-400-bw-film-and-provia-400x-slide-film/

400 gone.

I have just shot 5 rolls of Provia 100F in 35mm and can't fault it. There is something about a sheet of transparencies, better still 6x6.



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Codger
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 11:42:59 AM »
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Joe, years ago I made the decision to work only with Provia despite the overwhelming popularity of Velvia.  To my eye Velvia was just "too much" and I preferred a more natural appearance.  Make no mistake, Provia still gives a nice "kick" to contrast and saturation, but more in line with what grown-ups do with digital postproduction these days.  I carry Provia 100 and 400 on my hikes, and use the faster ISO when there's too much breeze to contend with, or when the light is slipping through the "magic" hour.  On the light box I can't tell them apart.  That said, you can also try Velvia 100: it's available through B&H Photo in NY.  Why not stock some of all three?  You can change situationally and keep notes on what you used, and where.  Later, a review will advise you how to proceed for the next outing.  Have a great trip.
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epines
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 12:04:57 PM »
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From my experience with Provia 400 (about 10 years ago), it's surprisingly grainy. Provia 100, as you probably know, is quite fine-grained. If you want a 400 film, I think you'll get better results from Portra 400. Easily shot anywhere from 200 to 800. Finer grain than Provia 400.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 01:07:43 PM »
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Thanks for the replies.  Still not sure on this, but probably will do Provia, if I can get it.  If not, Velvia 100 will be the go to film. 
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Joe Kitchen
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:09:49 PM »
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Provia is fine grained, stable for pushing, very detailed and boring.

I've shot a billion roles of it because it was adjustable and stable, but man it took a lot of work in analog to make it pretty.

I don't know what transparency films are left, though my two favorites were AGFA 100sx (I think that's what it was called and we know agfa is gone) and Kodak EPR 64.  EPR was in my mind beautiful, but rated out about 30 asa and was still grainy.  I like grain so it never bothered me.

Another thought (you'll laugh at this) is find an old fuji S2 and shoot only jpegs.



That camera shot the best film like (epr) jpegs I've ever seen and you can buy the camera used for the price of a pair of jeans.



IMO

BC
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 05:42:52 PM »
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Provia 400X is very nice, much better than the old 400.  It has just been discontinued - get it while you can!
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 05:46:00 PM »
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Hi James,

Just grabbed an Fuji S2 on EBay should be fun.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/300787461466?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Ciao

Simon
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Simon Harper
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DanielStone
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 06:27:08 PM »
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I'm a fan of Ektachrome(and just like Cooter, EPR64 was my all-time favorite, Ektachrome 100(EPN) a close 2nd) and still enjoy shooting a stash of E100G.


however, Provia 100F is really nice. But again, to mirror Cooter's sentiments, it is BO-OOOOORING. To my eyes at least. Goes really blue in the shadows(I pretty much always use an 81A when using it)....

Anyhow.... Velvia 100(NOT 100F) is essentially Velvia 50, but with another stop of speed. Super fine grain, very nice palette, and has that "Velvia" contrast and saturation so many enjoy using.

My favorite Fuji slide emulsion (was) Astia 100F(now disc'd). Softer in the contrast range, but could still pull and push very well(-1 to +3 or so) and it retained a relatively straight-line, technically speaking.


If you want SLIDE film, I'd take Provia and some warming filters. Or as another member above suggested, shoot Porta 400(fantastic film, btw!). Still carry an 81A at least, since having the film correctly exposed makes post SOOOOO much easier.

cheers!

Dan
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Telecaster
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 06:40:44 PM »
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Hey, bcooder, thanks for the S2 tip...I liked EPR.   Smiley

I've been going through my dad's archive of transparencies from the early 1950s into the early '80s (when he switched to color neg). In the '60s he experimented off & on with Ektachrome...that stuff has not held up well, even though it was rarely projected and has sat in cool, dark storage for 30-40 years.

And then there's Kodachrome. It looks gorgeous regardless of type or age. It's got the color palette(s) I grew up with...and now that I'm seeing so much of it again I realize how much I miss it. It's not as accurate as Provia nor as bold as Velvia. But viewed on a light-table via a loupe it has lovely tonal subtlety and an almost 3D quality. This doesn't translate at all when scanned or re-photographed...shame.

I've attached a photo shot on 35mm type A (ASA 16) in July 1958. My mom, two years before I was born, while on vacation in Chicago. Not bad for a 55-year-old slide.

-Dave-
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 07:20:18 PM »
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Hello,

My all time favourite trannie film was Kodak E100VS. Clean whites and lovely skin tones.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 08:12:39 PM »
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It is funny all thes thoughts on one film vs another.  I just turn 31 this month, so I never worked intensely with different films and really started to gain a sense of the differences in color and look.  However, it has made me look more intensely at the differences between MF files and Canon files. 

I can positively say, I prefer the color of my Phase files over the Canon. 

After reading all of your response though, it is a hard decision.  I loved the look of Velvia; maybe Velvia 100 is the better choice. 
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Joe Kitchen
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TMARK
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 08:54:20 PM »
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Astia and E100vs or G were he chromed I liked. I never liked Velvia. In fact, I threw away a case of it after the guy I was giving it to didn't show up twice.

I'd shoot Portra. It is an amazing film. One of he best films I've ever used. Fine grain, usable with good results from 200 - 800 with normal development. Can be pushed to 6400.

As to the S2, when I first saw files from that camera I wanted to toss my d2x. Truly beautiful files. Does anyone know if the S5 files re as nice?  I ask because it had the D200 body, which was far better than the S2 body.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:02:40 PM »
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I never warmed to Velvia - too saturated, something like a beverage with too much sugar and artificial color.  Provia is nice unless there are shadows, where it has a blue cast.  Astia is quite accurate and would be my choice.   I would choose Kodachrome, if it were available - just lovely color.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2013, 09:25:42 PM »
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I had good results scanning Provia 100F on both Nikon coolsan 9000 and Imacon III. Much easier to scan than Velvia for sure.

Now, there are some negative films I would not overlook, Portra 160 and Ektar 100 for example.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 03:56:08 AM »
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As to the S2, when I first saw files from that camera I wanted to toss my d2x. Truly beautiful files. Does anyone know if the S5 files re as nice?  I ask because it had the D200 body, which was far better than the S2 body.

The only issue of the s2 is it's a cheap camera, but it works, works well.

The only issue with the s2 files is they are that fuji 6mpx interpolated to 12mpx and they tilt the senosr so sometimes diagonal lines might rasterize.  You'll see it, nobody else will, though new post production processing will fix most of it.

The S2 jpegs are thick, like drum scanned film.  You can literally be 3 stops under and pull them out.  

My way of working with it was to do a basic white balance, then use lee filters for the color I wanted, in other words I treated it like transparency film.

The images I placed earlier were all shot this way.  All three were from two large clients and the studio work was the first job we tethered from the video port of the camera to a 12" tv.   It worked, they loved it, but it was early on with digital capture and the client "demanded" film in parallel.  After the weeks shoot they only selected one film image, 20 something S2 images.

The guy leaning on the boat, I literally, pulled the jpeg out on location, uprezzed it, cleaned up a few spots and handed it to a client on a cd.

They printed it 4 days later.

This was studio work and I purposely blew the highlights, though this is a small jpeg from the shoot so it has a lot of compression.



I could kick myself as I gave the S2 to a friend when fuji gave me an s3 that wasn't the same.  I briefly tested the S5 but found the look very different.

Simon,

Your going to love it, just don't pixel peep, look at the files as film, shoot it like film for the look you want out of camera and you'll be happy.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 04:00:30 AM by bcooter » Logged

ondebanks
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 05:34:08 AM »
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I am going on vaca in Europe next month and I have no intention of lugging my Phase/Arca system around (especially considering Oktoberfest is a planned stop).  So I am instead going to bring one of my smaller film cameras and can not decide on which film to use.  I have used Velvia 50 in the past and love the color, however 50 ISO is kind of slow for hand held shots, especially in the dusk hours.  I am thinking about Provia 400, but have never used it. 

How is Provia's color?  Is it similar to Velvia?  And what is grain like; course (like Tri-X) or finer?

I see that you have a preference for a reasonably fast slide film.

Provia 400X (which you should still be able to find) has finer grain than the 400F which it replaced.

But Fuji changed its spectral response too, cutting off the far red end earlier. Maybe good for skin tones, but bad for astrophotographers for whom Provia 400F had been one of the best films, in terms of response to both blue and red objects and low reciprocity failure. That was a setback, but not nearly as bad as the disaster of Kodak E200 being discontinued in 2009 - best colour astro film of all time.

Anyway, I think there is now no slide film from a big name manufacturer which is faster than ISO 100? That's a pretty bad state of affairs. Of course you can push process for more speed, but that increases grain and contrast.

But just for cheap thrills, and a little more native speed, you could also try the more obscure brand Rollei Digibase CR200 slide film (apparently the old Agfa 200 RSX II emulsion, which was not bad.) Eg. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/856043-REG/Rollei_AGFA_812212_Digibase_CR200_PRO_35mm.html
...although people complain of a yellow cast in recent batches: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/115563-rollei-cr-200-slide-film-aka-aviphot-chrome-200-sliide-film-yellow.html

Ray
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2013, 06:06:33 AM »
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Hi,

Personally I preferred Velvia over Provia, except for scanning. In my film time I limited myself to 100 ISO, never found faster films really satisfactory.

Print film may be a different matter.
Best regards
Erik


I am going on vaca in Europe next month and I have no intention of lugging my Phase/Arca system around (especially considering Oktoberfest is a planned stop).  So I am instead going to bring one of my smaller film cameras and can not decide on which film to use.  I have used Velvia 50 in the past and love the color, however 50 ISO is kind of slow for hand held shots, especially in the dusk hours.  I am thinking about Provia 400, but have never used it. 

How is Provia's color?  Is it similar to Velvia?  And what is grain like; course (like Tri-X) or finer?
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Mr. Rib
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2013, 06:53:09 AM »
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Cooter, I'm sold- I'm getting myself one of these Fuji S2, just for the heck of it
Smiley
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