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Reflections in Velvia....

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
...and a double self-portrait, all for the price of one :).

This is I, trying to shoot a full roll of film after picking up my analog camera in a very long time so that I could see whether going back to film and scanning is a feasible activity or not. I wasn't paying much attention to subject or composition. Rather, I was looking for contrasty scenes with some spectacular highlights to test the difficulty this would introduce. I should confess that I was pleasantly surprised how well it turned out to be.

As a side effect, the picture looked kind of interesting so I wanted to share it here and ask for your C&C anyway.

Shot with EOS 3, EF 70-200 f2.8 IS L, Velvia 100F positive film, scanned with Canon FS4000:



Cheers,
 
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Jim Galli

Member
I cut my teeth on Velvia 50 and a Nikon FE. It made me instantly in a class by myself (though I certainly wasn't) but that little camera and Velvia WITH A TRIPOD were black magic.

But that was then and this is now. Velvia was the last logical stepping stone to digital color. It has a similar overblown pallette of dripping colors to today's DSLR's. But if that's what someone wants, the DSLR's do it better.

Now I'm a film guy and I love it when people re-discover film. Just not sure it's a re-discovery with velvia. Put some Delta 100 in that thing.

It's a terrific picture btw! Lots of interest.
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
I cut my teeth on Velvia 50 and a Nikon FE. It made me instantly in a class by myself (though I certainly wasn't) but that little camera and Velvia WITH A TRIPOD were black magic.

But that was then and this is now. Velvia was the last logical stepping stone to digital color. It has a similar overblown pallette of dripping colors to today's DSLR's. But if that's what someone wants, the DSLR's do it better.

Now I'm a film guy and I love it when people re-discover film. Just not sure it's a re-discovery with velvia. Put some Delta 100 in that thing.

It's a terrific picture btw! Lots of interest.
Hi Jim.

This I appreciate so much. You are right in your assesment of Velvia. It was the only film I still had stashed in a box somewhere, before discovering some old Fuji Pro 160S rolls in a shop which I bought the lot. So I wasn't focussing on the Velvia per se. Thanks for recommending Delta 100, this is exactly the kind of advice I am hoping to get from film experts like yourself. I'll see if I can get my hands on it soon.

Cheers,
 

Ron Morse

New member
That is nice Cem. I have the same camera and lense but have been using kodak gold and some different fuji film. I haven't used velvia in years, I must get some and try again. You have encouraged me to give it another shot.
 

Jim Galli

Member
Delta 100 is Ilford's premium black and white film. It's a traditional B&W geared mostly to those who can develop it themselves. It isn't a C41 process. Freestyle in Los Angeles has it.
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
That is nice Cem. I have the same camera and lense but have been using kodak gold and some different fuji film. I haven't used velvia in years, I must get some and try again. You have encouraged me to give it another shot.
LOL, it seems that I have achieved the inverse effect of steering you towards Velvia, which Jim wouldn't like. But please, do go out and shoot some film, it is therapeutic.

Cheers,
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Delta 100 is Ilford's premium black and white film. It's a traditional B&W geared mostly to those who can develop it themselves. It isn't a C41 process. Freestyle in Los Angeles has it.
Jim, thanks again. Realizing now that I will be looking in vain for this film here in the Netherlands, what other commercial films for C41 process can you recommend to me?


Cheers,
 

Jim Galli

Member
That is it but I feel badly that sometimes I throw this out casually and you guys with no darkroom I could create problems and expense for you. It isn't C41. It's traditional B&W film that you'd have to find someone willing to do old fashioned non machine developing. Kodak is still the C41 process B&W people I suppose.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jim,

I just found my 35mm tanks, LOL! Why do you like delta over say TriX? Much smoother tones?

Anyway, I'm going to try to mirror what Cem shoots and maybe you can guide us with the processing. I have 10 year old Dektol and various powders but will refresh everything.

I have in my freezer, in addition to the the 8x10 Polaroid my good wife put their for "safety", reporting just the 35mm film:

1 Superia Extra
1 Kodak Technical Pan
1 Kodak T Max 400 B&W
3 Kodachrome 2 for slides, LOL!

Asher
 

Jim Galli

Member
Simply personal preference. I either want zero grain, or so much grain it's about the grain. If I'm in a club and Hootie Williams is at the piano smokin' then grain is where it's at.

Jim,

I just found my 35mm tanks, LOL! Why do you like delta over say TriX? Much smoother tones?

Anyway, I'm going to try to mirror what Cem shoots and maybe you can guide us with the processing. I have 10 year old Dektol and various powders but will refresh everything.

I have in my freezer, in addition to the the 8x10 Polaroid my good wife put their for "safety", reporting just the 35mm film:

1 Superia Extra
1 Kodak Technical Pan
1 Kodak T Max 400 B&W
3 Kodachrome 2 for slides, LOL!

Asher
 

Mike Shimwell

New member
I just developed my first roll of Efke (Adox) 100 in Rodinal and (apart from the spotting..) am really pleased with the scans. The grain structure is nicer to my eyes than FP4 and the tonality is lovely.

Cem, I like the picture, it's interesting, and although I have always avoided Velvia it works in this case.

Sounds like we're all having fun:)

Mike
 

John Angulat

pro member
Hi Cem,

Before all the B&W purists emerge from hiding and jump all over your request
, for what it's worth try Kodak's TCN400 or Ilford's XP2. They are both C-41 processed and can be done at any mini-lab. This might be an easy way to ease yourself back into B&W. If you find you want to go further, then maybe try a traditionally processed B&W film such as Delta 100 (which imho is an excellent film).
 

Mike Shimwell

New member
John, what are you saying, if it's made with dye it's not proper photography:)




Sorry, couldn't resist. Actually it does scan easily and XP2 seems to have good exposure latitude too.

Mike
 

Kathy Rappaport

pro member
Cem

Good to see you in black and the color to me is wonderful. I've been playing with monochrome digitally but maybe I can play with some TriX.

Editing to add that I have never shot film in studio. Oh what fun that could be. I have a friend coming to take a portrait of me this weekend in my studio. Maybe I will get some film and try it! No histograms to worry about.

Do Pocketwizards work on analog cameras?
 

Sharkey Ward

New member
And Some

Hi Mike,
LOL!...and I ducked 'cuz I saw that coming!
I agree, the XP2 was pretty forgiving.
Using an EOS5 shooting fashion in the snow, I managed to take the ISO fro 50 to 1600 in one roll.

Worked so well I did it again the next day over the evening period. I remember the client took the lot.

Oh joy!
 
Traditional vs Modern B&W Films

I realise that this thread is getting rather off-topic, but since you guys are all steering him in the direction of Black + White film, let me chime in with my opinion. I have, for the past 6 months, shot basically nothing but B&W film, and have come to (for myself) realise some of their characteristics:

  • First of all, if you are going to the trouble of shooting Black and White film, you will definitely want to develop it yourself. You can kit yourself out (no darkroom needed) for about $50. If you are going to the trouble of having it developed, you may as well shoot colour film - and for this, Provia or Velvia are the best if you value vivid, deep colours (oh, lament the virtual disappearance of Kodachrome 64...)
  • The C41 black and white films (using dyes instead of silver grains) have by far the biggest dynamic range, which is why you can basically shoot at different ISOs in one single roll, just like with a digital camera. But your krappy minilab will have to develop it, they'll likely scratch it, it costs money, etc.
  • The traditional black and white films (I only know Ilford well, so this would be FP4 (ISO125) and HP5 (ISO400)) have much more dynamic range than digital sensors, or colour slide film. If exposed correctly, I am amazed at every last bit of detail visible on the film, in the highlights and the shadows. They have visible grain though, so if grain bothers you, give them a miss. They are INCREDIBLY easy / forgiving to develop yourself over a wide range of temperatures and water quality.
  • The "modern" black and white films (i.e. Delta 100 or Delta 400 from Ilford) have virtually no visible grain, but they have less dynamic range, and are less forgiving during development - it's easy to turn out a negative with too low or too high contrast. And they look much closer to digital monochrome conversions than what the traditional films do.

One day when I am able to scan (for now, it's an all-traditional process) I will start another post on my complete abandonment of my Digital SLR system, and now using film exclusively. And apart from colour film in my panoramic camera, it's all black and white. It's an interesting journey...

One thing is true though - the film cameras are, as tools, a heck of lot more pleasant to use in my opinion. The Canon EOS film bodies are pretty much like their digital counterparts though. But look to other makes, and a couple of years back, and they are much more compact, solid, simple, and direct. A real pleasure...

But my real point is, if you want to shoot B&W film, please develop it yourself! It's cheap and easy, you'll feel a lot more free to "experiment" again, just like you do with digital.
 

Mike Shimwell

New member
Hi David

An interesting post.

Although I do still use both, for the last 3 months or so I have basically only picked up the dslrs if I'm working for someone else or to grab low light shots of my family. Otherwise I've used my Zeiss Ikon - a rangefinder! - exclusively. I've shot colour negative and black and white film and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Regardless of the film v digital stuff, as a tool the Ikon is wonderful to use and that alone encourages me to keep on with it. I carry only one or two lenses and the film in the camera is what I have to work with.

Even though I intended to shoot only black and white (which I develop myself) I have found that shooting colour film has helped me with digital work as well - it opens up new colour pallettes. Also, not having a screen to review takes away pressure for me rather than adding to it. I use the camera for pleasure and accept that I will miss some shots. As for making big prints, I just don't. I can make a nice 18 by 12 from 35mm film with some care and that's more than enough for what I'm using it for.

In another thread Rachel asked what lens to carry for her 5D and fairly unanimously (including me - it's a great universal lens) the 24-105 was voted for. I haven't weighed them, but I suspect my 15, 35, 50 and 90 kit weighs less including the body and is much more compact to carry with the Ikon. Film, obviously, takes up more room than a 16Gb flash card...

Mike
 
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