Slide film...convince me!
Old 02-17-2016   #1
FujiLove
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Slide film...convince me!

I got back into film photography 18 months ago and have been loving shooting B&W and colour negative film, processing it at home and printing it in my little darkroom. What I haven't yet tried is slide film. Well, when I say I haven't tried it, I mean since I was about 14 years old when slide was all I shot back then.

I realise there is no practical way to print from slides in the darkroom these days, so I'm wondering whether I should give it a try. There still seems to be a lot of people shooting it, so how are you viewing your photos? Are you scanning and printing via an inkjet? Mounting and projecting? Or maybe just using a light table and a loupe?

To make things a little more complicated, I only shoot medium format 6x7, so again, I'm wondering whether that will make things impractical...or maybe 6x7 slides are just too lovely to miss out on?

My only remaining scanner is an Epson v550 flatbed and I don't have the budget to get a dedicated medium format scanner (or the patience to use one very much).

So what do you think? Is slide film worth giving a go? If it's a, "yes", which emulsion would you recommend starting with?
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Old 02-17-2016   #2
JP Owens
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Having shot a lot of slide film back in the day, I can't understand why anyone would want to shoot it over digital. Limited dynamic range and thus little exposure latitude, hard to get good prints from, and inconvenient to share with others. Don't have much nostalgia for the stuff.

But, if you haven't shot it before, couldn't hurt to shoot a roll or two. Easy to process in your bathroom sink.
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Old 02-17-2016   #3
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I believe that digital > film for colour. I think this is especially true for slide. I can't see any reason to shoot slide instead of having a nice raw file. No development problems, no scanning, no colour problems, no expensive drum scans.... The only reason I would use it is in my 4x5 or 8x10 because there's no digital option. But to be honest I probably wont as it now ridiculously expensive to buy and develop.

Despite all the myth and hyperbole surrounding things like Velvia and Kodachrome I feel that digital trounces it in every way.
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Old 02-17-2016   #4
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check this out and decide:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ight=drum+scan

many will say digital is superior... but is it the question you ask - what is superior? to me the slide is still different from digital (and I am not saying better or worse - but different). especially when projected on the wall using traditional slide projector...
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Old 02-17-2016   #5
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Slide film is wonderful. When you hold it up to the light it is gorgeous. It looks wonderful projected, too. If you can appreciate that, then perhaps you should try some. Is it that big a decision to try a roll? I would have thought not, but...

Bear in mind that if some people "...can't understand why anyone would want to shoot it over digital." or "...can't see any reason to shoot slide..." it means precisely that: they can't see, they can't understand. This doesn't mean they speak for everyone. There are still a lot of people shooting transparency (whether it is mounted as a "slide" after development, or not, is another matter, not all transparencies are slides) because there is, quite simply, no more beautiful way of viewing a colour image, and this is the case no matter how much dynamic range or megapixels your digital camera might have.
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Old 02-17-2016   #6
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There is nothing quite like the beautiful coloured jewel that is a correctly exposed transparency. What you do with it is up to you.

Ah...Kodachrome...sigh.
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Old 02-17-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
I got back into film photography 18 months ago and have been loving shooting B&W and colour negative film, processing it at home and printing it in my little darkroom.
You print colour negative. At home.

And worry that slide film will be inconvenient?

For me (I don't have a darkroom) slide film is the most obvious choice to shoot film. I get finished picture on film, scanning is way easier than C-41 and ordering prints from negative or slide film is the same.
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Old 02-17-2016   #8
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Back in the late 1980's the newspaper I shot for started using drum scanners as the first step to turn the slide film we were shooting into separations for printing in the newspaper. Fascinating to watch the scanner in operation; but, they were finicky and required a skilled operator to get good results from. Interesting link. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 02-17-2016   #9
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Regarding the digital vs film comments: that's really not the question. I don't own a digital camera and have no desire to. Been there, done that, hated every minute. I'm interested in understanding why the people who shoot slide film do it, and what their process is in terms of viewing the images.

Projection seems like a great idea, but is that even possible with 6x7 negatives? I have a look for a medium format projector, but the only one I found was 6x6 and was more expensive than a Hasselblad V system!

Is it even possible to get decent scans of slides out of a flatbed or are they too hard to scan with those? I couldn't afford to have many slides run through a drum scanner.
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Old 02-17-2016   #10
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"Bear in mind that if some people "...can't understand why anyone would want to shoot it over digital." or "...can't see any reason to shoot slide..." it means precisely that: they can't see, they can't understand. This doesn't mean they speak for everyone."

Like I said. He should shoot some. Slide film properly exposed is beautiful to look at with a loupe. But if you are going to shoot it on a sunny day, you are going to either get blown out highlights and properly exposed shadows or inky expanses of black and properly exposed highlights.

There is a certain esthetic that results. Look at any of David Allen Harvey's pre-digital stuff. He chose to keep the highlights and let the shadows go to black. That look shouts "DAH."
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Old 02-17-2016   #11
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i gave up on slide, but that's because i don't develop myself, i don't project it, and it got prohibitively expensive and cumbersome (and risky- they lose films, mess them up...) to get it done by a lab.
Scanning them is OK but doesn't have any advantage over digital shoots nowadays.
If you plan to mount and project 6x7 slides, go for it. If you plan to scan them, i would not bother.
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Old 02-17-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
You print colour negative. At home.

And worry that slide film will be inconvenient?
LOL, well actually I find colour printing at home really easy. Not sure why people have a problem with it to be honest. It took me about eight or ten prints to get the colour balance sorted for a couple of emulsion/light/paper combos and off I went! I use a heated Nova slot processor which takes about 3 minutes per print.

My walls are now full of lovely 16x12" colour prints
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Old 02-17-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
"Bear in mind that if some people "...can't understand why anyone would want to shoot it over digital." or "...can't see any reason to shoot slide..." it means precisely that: they can't see, they can't understand. This doesn't mean they speak for everyone."

Like I said. He should shoot some. Slide film properly exposed is beautiful to look at with a loupe. But if you are going to shoot it on a sunny day, you are going to either get blown out highlights and properly exposed shadows or inky expanses of black and properly exposed highlights.

There is a certain esthetic that results. Look at any of David Allen Harvey's pre-digital stuff. He chose to keep the highlights and let the shadows go to black. That look shouts "DAH."
Good point about the dynamic range, and thanks for the heads-up on DAH. I haven't really looked at is work before.
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Old 02-17-2016   #14
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I loved shooting slides. But they are very hard to scan well and making prints was a lot easier with print film. Imagine that..

Still, why do you need convincing to try?
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Old 02-17-2016   #15
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While slides are not very practical nowadays, they can still deliver a couple of interesting "edges" over digital:
- if you shoot big enough (LF) the resolution is simply trumping digital for the time being
- if you particularly like the colour palette of one of these films, then you save a lot of effort over trying to recreate that palette digitally
- a transparency is still a material artefact, although its life is not as long as that of silver film
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Old 02-17-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Slide film is wonderful. When you hold it up to the light it is gorgeous. It looks wonderful projected, too. If you can appreciate that, then perhaps you should try some. Is it that big a decision to try a roll? I would have thought not, but...

Bear in mind that if some people "...can't understand why anyone would want to shoot it over digital." or "...can't see any reason to shoot slide..." it means precisely that: they can't see, they can't understand. This doesn't mean they speak for everyone. There are still a lot of people shooting transparency (whether it is mounted as a "slide" after development, or not, is another matter, not all transparencies are slides) because there is, quite simply, no more beautiful way of viewing a colour image, and this is the case no matter how much dynamic range or megapixels your digital camera might have.
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Old 02-17-2016   #17
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It is all very individual and I certainly encourage anyone to try.

It can cost quite a lot to process, though in some places it costs little. Like here in NL the Hema chain develops an E6 roll (135 or 120) for 3,50Eur.

The films tend to be expensive but sometimes one can find them for rather little (old stock). For fresh film Agfa Precisa is a very good film that costs much less than the Fuji stock and performs (in my humble opinion) just as well.

The more limited dynamic range is often mentioned as a drawback but I personally don't find it is. It's all a question of perspective and desired look. Slide film is what I've shot the most over the years and I'm used to the look, and in fact particularly like it for sunny days.

As I've become better at scanning and post-processing I've also learnt how to deal with very dense shadows and burnt-out highlights. In terms of post-processing slide scans, I've found that probably the best way is to use Adobe Camera Raw. I used ColorPerfect for a long time but just didn't like how it handled the highlights; the conversion from a very dark linear scan into a positive image just never looks close enough to the slide itself. Anyway, there are ways to edit an image and one has to figure out what works bearing in mind one's preferences (as with so many things).

A slide held up against the light, projected or viewed on a light table is really wonderful. I like the really vivid impression it gives of the scene, it feels "rich" somehow.

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Old 02-17-2016   #18
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Fujilove,

Just buy a roll of slide and be done with it. Shoot it, dev it, scan it, look at it, decide. I really can't see the need for seeking external validation or confirmation about what medium to shoot. Slide film is slide film - it is what it is. The pros/cons are well known as it's been around decades. And surely you know yourself what you want to do with your own pictures - print, project, web, etc.

Asking 'convince me' and 'is slide worth it' on a film subforum is going to get the same results as starting the poll: "Is slide literally the best thing ever?" a)yes b)yes c)yes d)No - because I'm mentally deficient and I don't understand how slide is literally the best thing ever!
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Old 02-17-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipus View Post
It is all very individual and I certainly encourage anyone to try.

It can cost quite a lot to process, though in some places it costs little. Like here in NL the Hema chain develops an E6 roll (135 or 120) for 3,50Eur.

The films tend to be expensive but sometimes one can find them for rather little (old stock). For fresh film Agfa Precisa is a very good film that costs much less than the Fuji stock and performs (in my humble opinion) just as well.

The more limited dynamic range is often mentioned as a drawback but I personally don't find it is. It's all a question of perspective and desired look. Slide film is what I've shot the most over the years and I'm used to the look, and in fact particularly like it for sunny days.

As I've become better at scanning and post-processing I've also learnt how to deal with very dense shadows and burnt-out highlights. In terms of post-processing slide scans, I've found that probably the best way is to use Adobe Camera Raw. I used ColorPerfect for a long time but just didn't like how it handled the highlights; the conversion from a very dark linear scan into a positive image just never looks close enough to the slide itself. Anyway, there are ways to edit an image and one has to figure out what works bearing in mind one's preferences (as with so many things).

A slide held up against the light, projected or viewed on a light table is really wonderful. I like the really vivid impression it gives of the scene, it feels "rich" somehow.

br
Philip
Thanks Philip - I've heard it's a tough beast to scan without a high-end scanner (drum scanner maybe). Are you using a flatbed or a dedicated film scanner?
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Old 02-17-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardPhoto View Post
Fujilove,

Just buy a roll of slide and be done with it. Shoot it, dev it, scan it, look at it, decide. I really can't see the need for seeking external validation or confirmation about what medium to shoot. Slide film is slide film - it is what it is. The pros/cons are well known as it's been around decades. And surely you know yourself what you want to do with your own pictures - print, project, web, etc.

Asking 'convince me' and 'is slide worth it' on a film subforum is going to get the same results as starting the poll: "Is slide literally the best thing ever?" a)yes b)yes c)yes d)No - because I'm mentally deficient and I don't understand how slide is literally the best thing ever!
Sure, I can go out and buy some slide film and send it off for processing and I'll probably be down about £18. But I don't shoot a lot of images, and what I do shoot tends to be quite valuable to me. So if I'm left with something I can't scan, can't mount and project etc. then I'm not going to be happy. In other words, the raw materials for that roll of film will cost me very little, but the other costs (travel, hotels etc.) will add up to a lot.

I'm looking for the opinions of the people who do still shoot slide film, and I'm interested in why they still do it and how they go about viewing and/or printing the images. If you don't like this or other discussions, then perhaps you shouldn't take part in them, or in discussion forums in general?
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Old 02-17-2016   #21
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We call that phenomenon 'opinions' where I live.
Well--obviously. And they vary, and are not necessarily universal. Which was my point. I respect your opinion. But I don't necessarily agree with it.
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Old 02-17-2016   #22
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You've got everyone else's opinion, I'll throw in mine. Years ago, I probably shot about 8-10 thousand slides over some 15 years. Probably some 15 to 25 percent more b/w and color negative. Each has its own characteristics (imagine that). I never had a problem getting good photos with slide film from Kodak or Fuji, (Agfa was another story, but many people love it and get great photos. I am just not one of them). But I would try it, just to see what you get. I would suggest at least three rolls to be sure you can nail it. Having used Kodachrome, I am not convinced of digital being superior. Equal maybe, I don't know as I don't have a good high pixel full frame camera. I know people who do get very nice shots, but to me they just don't look the same. And that is just me. I don't require anyone else to think the same.

As to 6x7 projectors, they do exist. I haven't looked for one on ebay for a very long time as I couldn't afford them for what they would give me. When I want slides I stick with 35mm. Properly exposed they will still make stunning projections. Again, a personal thing I am sure.

If you shoot MF all the time, slides may have no practical attraction for you. But you won't know until you try.
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Old 02-17-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardPhoto View Post
Fujilove,

Just buy a roll of slide and be done with it. Shoot it, dev it, scan it, look at it, decide. I really can't see the need for seeking external validation or confirmation about what medium to shoot. Slide film is slide film - it is what it is. The pros/cons are well known as it's been around decades. And surely you know yourself what you want to do with your own pictures - print, project, web, etc.

Asking 'convince me' and 'is slide worth it' on a film subforum is going to get the same results as starting the poll: "Is slide literally the best thing ever?" a)yes b)yes c)yes d)No - because I'm mentally deficient and I don't understand how slide is literally the best thing ever!
<rant>

And while I'm on the subject...whenever you start a thread with a simple honest question (RFF is admittedly not the worst for this), some plonker always has to start being aggressive and claiming that this has all been discussed before blah blah/it's a pointless topic/go and Google it etc?

Annoying.

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Old 02-17-2016   #24
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Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
You've got everyone else's opinion, I'll throw in mine. Years ago, I probably shot about 8-10 thousand slides over some 15 years. Probably some 15 to 25 percent more b/w and color negative. Each has its own characteristics (imagine that). I never had a problem getting good photos with slide film from Kodak or Fuji, (Agfa was another story, but many people love it and get great photos. I am just not one of them). But I would try it, just to see what you get. I would suggest at least three rolls to be sure you can nail it. Having used Kodachrome, I am not convinced of digital being superior. Equal maybe, I don't know as I don't have a good high pixel full frame camera. I know people who do get very nice shots, but to me they just don't look the same. And that is just me. I don't require anyone else to think the same.

As to 6x7 projectors, they do exist. I haven't looked for one on ebay for a very long time as I couldn't afford them for what they would give me. When I want slides I stick with 35mm. Properly exposed they will still make stunning projections. Again, a personal thing I am sure.

If you shoot MF all the time, slides may have no practical attraction for you. But you won't know until you try.
I dug out a load of my old slides a few weeks back. Mostly taken while I was in my early teens and didn't have a clue about photography (I haven't changed much) and they still look stunning. Very rich and luminous.

Of course they are all 35mm and I'm not sure I fancy buying and using a 35mm camera just for slides so I can mount and project them. I really don't get on with the aspect ratio of that film.
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Old 02-17-2016   #25
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Clearly we have very different ideas of what constitutes aggression. Interesting that someone so sensitive has no issue with a bit of blatant passive-aggression though!

My apologies for bringing my opinions and humour to this thread. I didn't realise that you were literally only wanting to hear things you agree with.

I hope you get the permission to shoot a roll of film you are seeking. Let us know if you want approval to change your car or switch to a new blend of coffee!
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Old 02-17-2016   #26
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It is not a big deal to try. If you DIY BW and color negative. I have bunch of expired, discontinued film. If I want heavy, non digital colors on computer screen. Sometimes...
I could get slide look with slide film x-processed in the C-41 and edited in computer.
You could also edit C-41 to looks like slide.
If you want slide as the slide, it is not for scanning or printing, but for projecting.
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Old 02-17-2016   #27
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I have quite a few Kodal Carousel slide trays, each of them full. They go back to the 1960's. Someday I plan to scan some of them.

Why take slides when all I'm going to do is look and work on them with my computer?
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Old 02-17-2016   #28
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Does anyone on here scan their slides with a flatbed?

I gave up with 35mm negatives as the quality wasn't very good, but I'm wondering if it would be worth trying with medium format slides? Are they a lot more difficult to scan than colour negative?

I'm asking in case I end up with a slide I'd like to print, rather than something for sharing digitally.

I guess there must be a thread somewhere on here?
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Old 02-17-2016   #29
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Clearly we have very different ideas of what constitutes aggression. Interesting that someone so sensitive has no issue with a bit of blatant passive-aggression though!

My apologies for bringing my opinions and humour to this thread. I didn't realise that you were literally only wanting to hear things you agree with.

I hope you get the permission to shoot a roll of film you are seeking. Let us know if you want approval to change your car or switch to a new blend of coffee!
Your wisdom is really helpful, thanks.
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Old 02-17-2016   #30
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Does the Cibachrome (Ilfochrome?) process still exist?

I have some thirty year old prints that are still very good. OK they were expensive but worth it.
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Old 02-17-2016   #31
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I have quite a few Kodal Carousel slide trays, each of them full. They go back to the 1960's. Someday I plan to scan some of them.

Why take slides when all I'm going to do is look and work on them with my computer?
I agree. I need to go and see if I can find a sensible projection option. Meaning sensibly priced. I can't imagine I would enjoy scanning them often.

I have a dim and distant memory of someone constructing a backlit slide holder that was mounted on their wall and looked incredible. Not sure if it was on this forum? That would be a great DIY project
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Old 02-17-2016   #32
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Does the Cibachrome (Ilfochrome?) process still exist?

I have some thirty year old prints that are still very good. OK they were expensive but worth it.
Sadly not. I believe the production of both chemicals and paper stopped a few years ago. If it did exist, I would already be shooting slides and not trying to work out what to do with them!

I haven't seen many Cibachrome prints, but the ones I have seen looked beautiful.
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Old 02-17-2016   #33
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i've scanned a lot of slides on a flatbed (epson v700) and i found it easier than colour negs. However, what's dark is going to go black.
It's not too bad what it gives me, but again, has no advantage for me over a digital shot (even a non-fullframe shot, since i dont even own a fullframe digital).
I've printed some shots from scanned 6x9 slides and they don't look as good as i hoped for, but i admit it was not a high end printing, just a regular mail-out digital print service.
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Old 02-17-2016   #34
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Why take slides when all I'm going to do is look and work on them with my computer?
I can't see a reason not to.
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Internegative?
Old 02-17-2016   #35
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Internegative?

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I got back into film photography 18 months ago and have been loving shooting B&W and colour negative film, processing it at home and printing it in my little darkroom. What I haven't yet tried is slide film. Well, when I say I haven't tried it, I mean since I was about 14 years old when slide was all I shot back then.

I realise there is no practical way to print from slides in the darkroom these days, so I'm wondering whether I should give it a try. There still seems to be a lot of people shooting it, so how are you viewing your photos? Are you scanning and printing via an inkjet? Mounting and projecting? Or maybe just using a light table and a loupe?

To make things a little more complicated, I only shoot medium format 6x7, so again, I'm wondering whether that will make things impractical...or maybe 6x7 slides are just too lovely to miss out on?

My only remaining scanner is an Epson v550 flatbed and I don't have the budget to get a dedicated medium format scanner (or the patience to use one very much).

So what do you think? Is slide film worth giving a go? If it's a, "yes", which emulsion would you recommend starting with?
I used to print from slide film, and the process was to use an internegative, which added a cost factor, but worked well.

My question would be wrapped around the option of finding a wet lab that still offers the ability to produce an internegative from transparency film.

I know I can get a digital scan of a transparency, but in my case, that would still involve getting a higher quality scan than I have been able to achieve with flatbed scanning.

I have purchased about three new Epson scanners (V500 and V750) only to be totally frustrated scanning 120 film to the standards I require.

Like I said, I was happy with the Internegative process years ago, but is it still available in wet processing???

I have used Prophotosupply in Portland Oregon for high quality scans in the past to convert transparencies to digital.
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Old 02-17-2016   #36
Moto-Uno
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A picture's worth a thousand words ! And çuz nobody wants to come over for a visit and
hang around your computer to look at pictures. But every time we entertain there's always
people downstairs looking at my selected slides on a home built light table. Peter
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Old 02-17-2016   #37
FujiLove
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Originally Posted by Moto-Uno View Post


A picture's worth a thousand words ! And çuz nobody wants to come over for a visit and
hang around your computer to look at pictures. But every time we entertain there's always
people downstairs looking at my selected slides on a home built light table. Peter
Ah, now you're talking

I assume you can still buy mounts for medium format slides then?
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Old 02-17-2016   #38
Larry Cloetta
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I'm looking for the opinions of the people who do still shoot slide film, and I'm interested in why they still do it and how they go about viewing and/or printing the images.
FWIW, it is worth considering that when someone says that digital color is better than transparency color what they are saying, if expressed a little more accurately, is that they like digital color better for some personal reason of theirs. Those reasons might not apply to you. If ultimate dynamic range and resolution are the only things that count for you, then digital with a high resolution sensor is better, for you, than slide film. If qualities outside those two quantifiable measures matter to you, then slide film might be something you would really enjoy.
I shoot both color slide film and high resolution digital color. They're different. Better DR is not the same as better photograph. Some people here have said that there is no point in shooting color transparency film any longer. That is their opinion, I just can't see it. But that's only my opinion.
It might be difficult to get a good scan of an improperly exposed transparency, but that is an exposure problem, not a scanning issue. With a properly exposed slide, it is absolutely not difficult to scan-other than the fact that good scanning is not particularly easy to begin with, for any media.
You've got a MF camera. That right there is a great reason to shoot color slides, but mostly for projection, secondarily for creating huge vibrant prints.
A 6x7 projector is hard to come by. Hasselblad PCP 80 projectors are readily available, but are not cheap. In your position, buying one of those and projecting slides cropped to 6X6 or 6X4.5 would be the best reason for shooting slides, in my book. If that is not something you want to do, you lose one of the big reasons for shooting slides, IMO. Most people who do that will tell you that viewing a digital color photo on a monitor, or a large print, is a joke compared to the visual impact of a projected medium format color slide. That is the biggest reason I shoot MF transparencies. But, it's expensive, and a little cumbersome. I can show a photo to my family on a monitor, and have them say "that's pretty", then show them the same photo a month later, projected, and the usual reaction is "oh, my God!"
Personally, I prefer the available transparency emulsions to the available C-41 emulsions, so for film I mostly gravitate to black and white and slides, but that is a color palette issue, and personal preference only. Mostly Provia for people and general work, Velvia 50 for landscapes.
I scan with a Nikon 9000 MF scanner and use Silverfast software, both the Ai scanning software, scanning with multi exposure at 64 bit RAW, and their HDR processing software. Their HDR processing of the resulting RAW scans is absolutely critical to getting the scans I am happy with. Any drawbacks to the inherent dynamic range limitations of slide films are minimized with this method. 6x7 you will end up with around a 280MB TIFF file, with which you can do almost anything. Scanning on a flatbed with Vuescan wont get you the same results. You can get extremely rich files using this method which hold up amazingly well to processing in PS, with excellent tonal range. But then, at this point you are back in the digital realm, which perhaps you don't wish to be. But, you asked for personal opinions and experiences.
So, if I had a MF film camera, I would absolutely shoot color slides.
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Old 02-17-2016   #39
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My pleasure. I have two Coolscans (V and 9000) and have been very passed with the results from both. I'm afraid I don't have personal experience with flatbed scanners but I've seen very nice results from such scanners too.

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Thanks Philip - I've heard it's a tough beast to scan without a high-end scanner (drum scanner maybe). Are you using a flatbed or a dedicated film scanner?
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Old 02-17-2016   #40
Larry Cloetta
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Ah, now you're talking

I assume you can still buy mounts for medium format slides then?
GEPE mounts with glass cover slips are readily available. They're not cheap either, unfortunately, lol.
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