From the start of my “film shooters career” I was shooting either negative color film or BW negative film. My favorite emulsions were and still are Kodak Portra 400 for color and Kodak Tri-X 400 for BW shots. It’s staple, one of the most forgiving and beautiful films for my taste. Slide film on the other hand – I knew about it, but there were few factors that put me out of shooting with it:
- The narrow dynamic range of slide film.
- Legends about how precise slide film has to be metered.
- The difficulty of finding a lab that develops E6 process films (at least here in Lithuania).
But, despite the factors mentioned above, I just finished a box of Kodak Ektachrome E100, my freezer contains 5 rolls of Fuji Provia 100 and my Rolleiflex is loaded with Velvia 50. Well… hello slide film. What changed? Well, it was an accident -– I got a gift, a roll of 2008 expired Fuji Provia 100F, I shot it and after receiving my scans I had sort of an eye-opening experience. Slide film is real beauty… It’s just different, it’s vivid, it’s alive and I just fell in love with it.
The day after getting my first Provia scans I bought 3 different slide film emulsions to have some “positive” fun. So, here we are – first roll went through my trusty Yashica. Who said that MAT-124G doesn’t have a sharp lens?
The JPGs of Kodak Ektachrome E100 that I received from the lab are very promising. When the light is good the colors are spot on and the sharpness, three-dimensionality are outstanding (the axe, the girl pictures). In the case of more difficult scenes – backlight, for example – I did experience some color shifts. But even in this case, I think that the scenes came out quite well exposed I’ll just have to learn how to handle them in post process.
Getting back to those “slide film difficulties”. Yes, it’s easier to block blacks or highlights, but I don’t find a shortage in latitude and I don’t have make extra efforts for metering with slide (yes, I was a bit slower / careful than usual). This issue of narrow latitude and precise metering – it appears that there is still enough space to keep both shadows and highlights without blocking them (for example picture of car and the electric pole).
The last thing –- developing stays the same limited, but on the other hand, it led me to start sending my film to an amazing photo lab in Spain and those guys do an amazing job!
So much for now, and like one guy said – “I’ll be back” with another tested emulsion.
Thanks for reading and have fun!
Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?
Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.
This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
Share your knowledge, story or project
At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.