I rarely use slide film, but am always delighted with the results when I do.
Is it still popular?
Sure, I shoot a bit of slide, particularly when I'm holidays. If it wasn't so comparatively expensive to get developed I'd probably shoot it almost exlusively. Provia 400x is a real beauty. OTOH the couple of rolls of Ektar 100 that I've shot over the last while suggest that it could be a good alternative to slide for a lot of applications.
I'm confused as to why you linked to that crummy comparison though. He scanned with his HP Photosmart ? And he then concludes that his 30D is better ? hmmm. Is that shot you posted a slide image ? In B&W ??
Velvia is probably the most difficult film to scan; I prefer Astia for this reason.
Scanning Valvia on HP Photosmart is a good joke alright!
What's the difference with slide film? And what sort of costs are you looking at for developing?
Some of our old school lecturers in college use slides and I thought they looked class, the tones and colours in the pictures were beautiful! I was wondering what they were using...might give it a whirl, I've been wanting to try out some different film types of late.
Slide (E6, transparency) is just a world in its own with regard to colours and contrast. Typically much less grainy than negative film aswell. Its more difficult than print film to shoot well, you have to nail the exposure better with slide as its dynamic range is typically a lot less than print film, the highlights tend to blow out on overexposure and the shadows can actually go to opaque black if you underexpose. When you get it right its worth it though. Velvia, as slav points out, is probably one of the most difficult to get right as its probably the most contrasty and saturated of the various films (actually there's another film, fortia, available only in japan which is even worse/better but not many people here see it).
Dev on slide is 6.50 dev only if you drop it into abbey street. I don't have time to do that anymore (kids ...) so I generally use the fuji mailers, which are 8.50 a pop. This is considerably more expensive than c-41 which I do myself at home for about €1.50 a roll or so.
I've written an explanatory post here:
The Exif details attached to the photo explain that the scanner was a
Fuji SP3000. I desaturated the original to enhance the contrast.
And sure what thread is complete without examples
Here's a Velvia shot of the red red rooftops of Dubrovnik. Good example as to why you shouldn't neccessarily use a polariser on a wide angle using contrasty slide film at midday in the Mediterranean ...
Here's a Provia 400x shot, Temple of Minerva in Assisi.
Lastly here's a shot from a roll of Fortia I shot. Fortia tends to blow out the greens to a huge degree, check out some of the other shots on my stream tagged fortia for more examples. Some of them are just laughably over-saturated, the pictures you see are almost exactly as scanned.
I would not consider a Frontier as an option for slide scanning. Also I generally would not go for anything smaller then 645 format (there might be rare exceptions). Therefore the scanner should be at very least in Nikon 8000/9000 grade or better a drum scanner.
Otherwise pure digital process will produce better results at lower cost IMHO.
Sorry Anouilh, never saw your post there when I was posting mine.
I'd agree with slav on the scanner. Although apparently those frontier machines are actually capable of producing good scans, most places just give you fairly low-res 8-bit scans which are jazzed up to match whatever they reckon customers want. Typically this means over-sharpening them and bumping up the saturation and contrast. If you want to do it properly you have to do it yourself. I use a Nikon coolscan V to do all my 35mm stuff, probably the best consumer grade scanner you can buy nowadays. Sadly I'm stuck with a canon 8600 for my medium format which, from the point of view of getting a digital image out of the transparency, sort of obviates a lot of the benefits of using MF in the first place ...
Slide is amazing! The shot below was taken on Provia 100, but Velvia 50 is even better.
As mentioned, it's difficult to work with though because of the low dynamic range. I've found even if the highlights aren't blown, I can't get a good scan of a contrasty scene. I can see loads of detail in the highlights and shadows on the slide, but they seem lost on screen. Trying to bring out the shadows just introduces lots of noise. Maybe it's my screen, I don't know.
Slav, why do you say Astia is easier to scan, I'm curious?
I'd like to be able to develop E-6 cos it's so expensive in the shops. Sounds difficult though. I've seen interesting examples of pushing Provia 400 to 1600 on flickr. Anyone ever tried it? I wonder would a shop do it if you ask.
just shot some ektachrome last week, in me lomo, expired 2001 got a box of it, gonna send it in to get xproed and see the results :-)
Where are you getting it cross processed? I was thinking of giving that a go. Did you shoot at the rated speed? I've heard you should shoot as if you're going to push it.
200iso in sunny sunny weather... cant really rate it in a lomo, i emailed camera exchange and they said they'd do it
We've got hasselblad scanners in college, which ROCK for trannies!