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08/08/2005 02:40:17 PM · #1
What's the difference between print and slide film?
What are the pros and cons of each?
Do they have to be processed differently?
08/08/2005 02:59:29 PM · #2
1. Negative vs positive images. As an aside, digital cams produce positive images, akin to slides.

2. Negatives have a greater tonal range available because they use an orange masking technique, so you get better prints from film negatives, as a rule, than you do from slides. Work shot for reproduction (as in magazines etc) has to be delivered as a positives, due to the photomechanical printing process, so slides are the color material of choice for commercial photographers. Exposure is especially critical on slides.

3. The processing of the film itself is completely different, two totally different chemistries. The same is true of the print-making process. Prints from negatives are easier and less expensive to make, at least at a decent quality level.

Why are you asking this in a DIGITAL photography forum?

Robt.
08/08/2005 03:58:26 PM · #3
Originally posted by bear_music:



Why are you asking this in a DIGITAL photography forum?

Robt.


I'm just wondering what the difference was because my dad has a Canon AE-1 that is just collection dust and I thought I'd give it a try. I figured there are still some film users here.
08/08/2005 05:01:54 PM · #4
Makes sense. Soldier on and let us know how it goes. And don't forget you can shoot B/W too :-)

R.
08/08/2005 05:41:11 PM · #5
FILM LIVES!! heh but don't think for a second I'm giving up my digicam.... :) I flip flop a bit, I have a film SLR and a p&s digital so they compliment each other quite nicely. for the shots I just can't get with the digital, chances are I can with the SLR.. due to focusing sped and longer zoom range.
08/08/2005 05:52:00 PM · #6
I've been dabbling in film as well recently and it's a lot of fun. One of the main difference between slides and film is that you have to expose for highlights in slide and for shadows in film. Basically, if you're using slides, be sure no to blow out your highlights, and if you're using film, be sure not to lose detail in the shadows. Film developing is very forgiving, so you probably have to be more careful to get your exposure right with slide (positive) film.

To help with this, a good trick I learned from a photography teacher is to set your camera's ISO to half what your film is when shooting negative film, and to set it to twice what your slide film is. So if you're shooting ISO 200 negative film, tell your camera that it's really 100 so it exposes a bit longer, filling in your shadows. If you're shooting ISO 200 slides, tell your camera that it's really 400 so that it speeds up the exposure and doesn't overexpose the highlights. This is an old photographic technique, but as a new film photographer, it was new to me. Hope this helps. :-)
08/08/2005 05:56:02 PM · #7
Originally posted by PhilipDyer:

I've been dabbling in film as well recently and it's a lot of fun. One of the main difference between slides and film is that you have to expose for highlights in slide and for shadows in film. Basically, if you're using slides, be sure no to blow out your highlights, and if you're using film, be sure not to lose detail in the shadows. Film developing is very forgiving, so you probably have to be more careful to get your exposure right with slide (positive) film.

To help with this, a good trick I learned from a photography teacher is to set your camera's ISO to half what your film is when shooting negative film, and to set it to twice what your slide film is. So if you're shooting ISO 200 negative film, tell your camera that it's really 100 so it exposes a bit longer, filling in your shadows. If you're shooting ISO 200 slides, tell your camera that it's really 400 so that it speeds up the exposure and doesn't overexpose the highlights. This is an old photographic technique, but as a new film photographer, it was new to me. Hope this helps. :-)


Are you getting good results with this trick?
08/08/2005 06:09:41 PM · #8
Magazine photo buyers want to see slides. Negatives are more forgiving. Editors are slowly coming around to accepting digital files. I expect digital will be the standard in a few years. You can always make digital files from film.

Take some pictures with slide film, bracket some. When you get them back if you dont fall in love with them move on to digital. If you do fall in love with slide film buy a meduim to large hammer and smack yourself in the head everytime you think about slides until you totally forget about them.

Tim
08/08/2005 06:18:54 PM · #9
A year or so ago I took a photography class at a local community college. The prof wanted us to use slide film.

It was a good experience - I have been digital for a long time and I was getting sloppy. Having only 36 exposures and having to pay $$ to develop them makes you think before you shoot - and thinking before you shoot is probably the single best thing you can do to improve your photography skills.
08/08/2005 06:55:51 PM · #10
Another benefit not mentioned is that slide film is just so beautiful and vibrant when they are being projected. A look you can never have with your prints, and second hand slide projectors + screens are incredibly cheap these days.

Not reason enough I think to use slides. but if you're shooting slides, it would be nice to see them being projected instead of on a light table or through a loup!
08/09/2005 02:42:12 AM · #11
Thanks for the info and advice. But I have one more question. Can I get slide film printed from places like Costco? Or do I have to go somewhere special?
08/09/2005 02:55:52 AM · #12
Originally posted by PhilipDyer:

I've been dabbling in film as well recently and it's a lot of fun. One of the main difference between slides and film is that you have to expose for highlights in slide and for shadows in film. Basically, if you're using slides, be sure no to blow out your highlights, and if you're using film, be sure not to lose detail in the shadows. Film developing is very forgiving, so you probably have to be more careful to get your exposure right with slide (positive) film.

To help with this, a good trick I learned from a photography teacher is to set your camera's ISO to half what your film is when shooting negative film, and to set it to twice what your slide film is. So if you're shooting ISO 200 negative film, tell your camera that it's really 100 so it exposes a bit longer, filling in your shadows. If you're shooting ISO 200 slides, tell your camera that it's really 400 so that it speeds up the exposure and doesn't overexpose the highlights. This is an old photographic technique, but as a new film photographer, it was new to me. Hope this helps. :-)


Hmmm, somehow that doesn't add up for me. I can see getting away with overexposing neg film by one stop and getting decent results, typically C-41 emulsions have that kind of latitude. Doing the opposite with slide film is asking for disaster. You may not get blown highlights, but you won't get any shadow detail at all. You might get away with underexposing slide film by 1/3 stop and pick up some increased saturation with some emulsions (velvia is one that springs to mind), but one stop is just not going to work. Unless your meter is off in the other direction by 2/3 stop.
08/09/2005 03:01:57 AM · #13
Originally posted by autobahn123:

Thanks for the info and advice. But I have one more question. Can I get slide film printed from places like Costco? Or do I have to go somewhere special?


You probably can get prints made, but they'll be more expensive and your exposure better be dead on. With a direct positive print, you'll also pick up a lot more contrast. You might be better off shooting print film if prints are what you want.

With slides you should consider having an internegative made, which is a copy of your slide shot on color negative film and the print gets made from that. I used to have 6x7 internegs made for my chromes that I wanted prints of, they were quite nice.
08/09/2005 04:27:03 AM · #14
Originally posted by Spazmo99:



Hmmm, somehow that doesn't add up for me. I can see getting away with overexposing neg film by one stop and getting decent results, typically C-41 emulsions have that kind of latitude. Doing the opposite with slide film is asking for disaster. You may not get blown highlights, but you won't get any shadow detail at all. You might get away with underexposing slide film by 1/3 stop and pick up some increased saturation with some emulsions (velvia is one that springs to mind), but one stop is just not going to work. Unless your meter is off in the other direction by 2/3 stop.


exactly. from the earlier replies it seemed like nobody here shot film, it felt a little lonely

Message edited by author 2005-08-09 04:27:21.
08/09/2005 04:31:55 AM · #15
Originally posted by saloonstudios:

exactly. from the earlier replies it seemed like nobody here shot film, it felt a little lonely


Don't feel lonely. There are actually quite a few of us here.
08/09/2005 07:30:26 AM · #16
I dont know if they still manufacture it but I used to use Kodachrome 25 slide film when I was in the Middle East - the colour saturation on asa(iso now) 25 was amazing.

35m slr's are great to use, sadly mine is slowly giving up the ghost and I have to put tape round the door hinge to stop light getting in.

Sadly it was announced yesterday that one of the big chain stores in the UK (Dixons) will no longer be selling 35m Cameras, once they have sold their current stock thats it.

I would like to get hold of a Canon Eos 3 but they are still pricey, maybe one day.

I also used to shoot with a b&w slide film made by Agfa but I dont know if that is still going, I think it was Agra DiaDirect or something similar. Great b&w shots with that.


08/09/2005 01:16:57 PM · #17
I was considering buying a film camera body for use as a second body when shooting weddings. They seem downright cheap when compared to digital SLR bodies...

Regarding slide film, I don't think my technique is good enough to shoot it. I rely entirely too much on RAW format to save my bacon!!
08/09/2005 01:35:28 PM · #18
Originally posted by Spazmo99:


Hmmm, somehow that doesn't add up for me. I can see getting away with overexposing neg film by one stop and getting decent results, typically C-41 emulsions have that kind of latitude. Doing the opposite with slide film is asking for disaster. You may not get blown highlights, but you won't get any shadow detail at all. You might get away with underexposing slide film by 1/3 stop and pick up some increased saturation with some emulsions (velvia is one that springs to mind), but one stop is just not going to work. Unless your meter is off in the other direction by 2/3 stop.


I haven't shot a lot of rolls this way, but my results with both slides and negatives have been great so far. I found that the slides looked particularly good when slightly underexposed this way - nice rich colors throughout. While my experience is very limited, my photography teacher friend said that he doesn't know a single photographer who doesn't shoot this way. Why not give one roll a try and see how the results compare to your previous slide shots?
08/09/2005 02:01:54 PM · #19
i love shooting film, i usually shoot slides though, colors are so much better. for portraits though, fuji nps (negative film) has great skin tones. I usually shoot medium format but sometimes 35 mm, what I found is great to do (if you have time) is to take your d70 along with you, and expose your photo. Check the histogram and lcd for your exposure, then make the same settings on your film camera, adjusting for the d70's iso 200. So if I shot something on my d70 that looked to be exposed well at 1/500 f/8 iso 200, I would make my film cam 1/500 f/4 or 1/250 f 5.6 (or 1/125 f8...whatever u like) for velvia 50. Getting a great exposure on slides can be tricky but using your d70 as a sophisticated meter can really help and save wasted film costs! Course there's not always time for doing that kind of thing.

You can get prints from slides, but they are more expensive. I work at a lab and I'll tell you printing from slides is hit or miss, some enlargements we do look great, much better than negative film, some look awful. It's all about the exposure and the film, and I guess the lens they used as well. (and if the slide isnt from 1950 and scratched to hell)
08/09/2005 02:42:10 PM · #20
Originally posted by PhilipDyer:

While my experience is very limited, my photography teacher friend said that he doesn't know a single photographer who doesn't shoot this way. Why not give one roll a try and see how the results compare to your previous slide shots?


I worked for several years in commercial photography and if you tried to tell anyone to shoot chrome a full stop under as a rule, you'd get laughed out of their studio.

I'm not going to try it, because I've shot more than enough E-6 to know better.

BTW, are you projecting these to look at them?
08/09/2005 03:14:38 PM · #21
I shoot film also. It's way more expensive if you are expirimenting. I like the rich saturation of film. I'd love to shoot velvia but I don't know where to have it developed and how much it would be to get a print made.
08/09/2005 03:15:12 PM · #22
I totally agree on that silly rule about slide film. Slide = dead on exposure. No room for error. I still shoot a ton of 6x7 chrome for my landscapes and stock. Bracketing will give a buffer, and it will let you scan in a few exposures to increase the exposure lattitude.
08/09/2005 03:15:22 PM · #23
"Underexposing" chromes by a full stop is ridiculous. It is only gonna work if the subject has very little contrast OR if the "base" exposure were actually an overexposure. This is often the case when shooting landscapes, though, so... But all it really means is that you are adjusting exposure to favor the highlights, and I'd just as soon do it "manually".

As for internegatives for printing transparencies, that's what we used to do, but in the digital age a high-quality scan is the way to go, and do the rest of it digitally. Much more flexible.

Robt.
08/10/2005 11:58:22 AM · #24
Okay, guys - no need to get nasty over a simple suggestion. If you think this is a bad idea, then don't do it. I haven't projected any of the slides I've shot this way, but under an 8x loupe they look great. I'll try shooting a roll or two both ways and go with whichever way I prefer. You do the same and I promise not to laugh you out of any studio or call anyone silly and ridiculous. <snif!> :-)
08/10/2005 12:22:13 PM · #25
i'll never be able to give up film the more i use my digital the more i go running back to film i just started using slide film as well and i love it
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