Fuji Provia F - Yellow cast ?

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I read the following from a good photographer....

The printer at my prolab said he can't even believe Fuji is selling Provia F. Fuji won't sell it in Japan, as they fear Japanese consumers are too peculiar about the colors. According to the Fuji engineer in Tokyo to whom my friend spoke to (via email in Japanese...friend is a translator from Japanese to English), they have a problem w/ yellowing in the colors and haven't been able to fix the problem yet.

Has anyone noticed this problem with Provia F. I have not shot this filnm under all conditions yet, so maybe these problems have not surfaced yet for me. Or maybe this guy got a bad batch of film? Any heavy Provia F users who shoot landscapes, your opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you.....

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), June 07, 2000


This is my primary film. It's a very saturated film that IMO doesn't have a distinctive overall cast (unlike its predecessor the plain Jane Provia). It's 'neutrality' is precisely one of the things I like about it. The other is the general lack of reciprocity correction for most architectural scenes (a working photographer's dream), even at dusk.

-- K H Tan (kahheng@pacific.net.sg), June 07, 2000.

I think it has a strong yellowish cast. I am surprised about how many people rave about the film. I still use it at times because of it's other advantages, but not as much as I otherwise might.

-- Howard Slavitt (info@naturelandscape.com), June 07, 2000.


The latest issue of Practical Photography has the results of a comprehensive test of color transparency films. They also found this film (Provia F) to have a yellowish cast.

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), June 07, 2000.

Well I haven't seen this 'yellowish cast' in Provia F. Not in regular 4x5, Quickload 4x5, 120 roll film or 35mm roll film. i've shot it in full daylight, "golden hour" light at the beginning and end of the day, with Nikon Speedlights, with Lumadyne, Balcar, Norman, Speedotron, and Elinchrom studio flash systems, with a variety of reflectors and Chimera, Plume Wafer, and Balcar Prisma lightbanks.

What I have noticed is that if your lab is running with Kodak biases the speed is a little lower than if they are using Fuji aimpoints.

I've shot several hundred sheets and rolls.

You should test and make your own decisions and not rely on others and spread rumors. If you are reporting the results you have found at your lab (and every E-6 lab is different) that's one thing; rumor mongering.

P.S. I don't work for Fuji

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 07, 2000.

The Provia II had a magenta tendency that killed some greens and blues. The Velvia has sometimes oversaturated greens and I find the Provia 100F to be in between. I have shot one box and a few rolls so far, mostly inside but also for landscape. I like it! It is very sharp, contrasty (actually a little more contrasty than it's predecessor), has a rich tonal range, but needs, seing my results, to be rated around 80 ASA. I had not noticed the yellow cast so far, but will open my eyes. But perhaps are there different qualities, as I live in Europ...

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), June 07, 2000.

Update on previous posting:

Bill contacted me to find out where Practical Photography Magazine could be found, so he could review the test of color transparency films I had mentioned in my previous posting, particularly the Provia F test results.

It's a British publication. I tried to find a web site for it with no success. Borders Book Store carries it, as well as Barnes and Noble.

The test rated just about every available color transparency film on the market, and print films as well, for a variety of characteristics, rating each one on a scale of 1 to 10.

If I remember correctly, the editors remarked that Provia F had a yellowish cast, noticeable in skin tones. They also raved about its lack of grain and sharpness. Overall, they rated Astia as the best one of all films tested.

I don't place much stock in these magazine tests, preferring to go by my own experiences, but I thought it interesting that these testers/editors found the yellowish cast mentioned by Bill in his question. So I guess it's more than just a rumour.


-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), June 07, 2000.

I thank all you all for the response... it'a amazing how this experience is common. I did finally get a hold of a Fuji engineer today. They confirmed the problem, and are currently working to remove the cast out of the film The Fuji engineer did identify a fix, use a Magenta 05 filter, and the cast will not appear on film... so it's probably not quite a yellow cast....so Ellis, this is not a rumor. Th Fuji engineer explained, this cast came as a result of Fuji designers trying to make the film reproduce perfect skin tones. Now they are tweaking the colors to find the perfect balance so skin tones are true as well as landscapes.

Ellis, it seems that asking a simple question on this forum is considered "rumor mongering" to you? I thought this was the purpose of the forum - to see if ones experiences are unique or possibly widespread. Who got damaged in this alledged "rumor"? Maybe people actualy benefited from this post? I sure hope your scare tactics of "rumor mongering" does not prevent others from reducing this forum to reporting lab test results only? If others feel I am violating the purpose of this forum, please advise me so in a post, and limit my questions and responses to solid test results only...

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), June 07, 2000.

I shot a few rolls of F and while the yellow cast was not noticed, - in fall landscapes I did notice that the reds had a tendency to go muddy brown and lifeless with a slight underexposure. Velvia on the other hand seemed to hold onto the reds far better even with underexposure. The grain in F I found was exactly as claimed by Fuji, but on the whole I was quite unsatisfied with this film and have been waiting for somebody to tell me that it is all under control now. Obviously, it is'nt. Too bad, the frain is amazing!

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), June 07, 2000.

I also mailed Fuji in Japan to ask about why Provia F wasn't available for domestic release, and was told that it was still "under development" (despite being availble in Europe and the US) with release expected onto the Japanese market some time this year - so a fix may be pending soon.

Last month's issue of Asahi Camera had a quick comparison test between some re-imported Provia F and RDP-II. A yellow cast was reported in skin tones, not otherwise noticeable in other subjects, but the reporter did say that this might have been due to the film being subjected to less than perfect conditions while being re- imported. Colour saturation is slightly lower than RDP-II, and this was especially evident when both films were push processed.

Lack of local supply notwithstanding, I don't plan to switch from RDP-II as my standard ISO100 film anytime soon, at least in 120 and 5x4".

-- Mark Brown (mark@enri.go.jp), June 08, 2000.

I have been shooting about 40 rolls (120) of Provia F purchased in France as well as from UK stock. For me they both performed well without yellow cast. I usually shoot Velvia and ProviaF at the same time and cannot understand how Velvia users may complain that Provia F has an unnatural colour balance. Regarding the Pratical Photographer test, this is one of these funny, popular mega tests which do not mean a lot. Contradictory key elements (rendition of skin tones, of dull landscapes, of still-life colours) were appreciated and put together to issue a final rate on a scale of 1 to 10. How the different key points were mixed and put together to issue the final rate is a mistery but looks like strongly oriented towards strong colour rendition films.The most neutral films like Ektachrome E100s or Agfa were definitely under-rated

-- Jean-Marie Solichon (jardin-exotique@monte-carlo.mc), June 08, 2000.

I have shot Provia F in 35, 120 and 4x5. After reading the review in the British magazine, I went back and looked at my shots, particularly the 35 with people. I guess that skin tones may be slightly yellowish, but without an identical shot on another film, a MacBeth color checker, or a preconception from reading the review, the cast is negligible. Given that I can't control lighting and can digitally fix any color cast I don't like (whether real or imagined) I am happy to have the pushability of ProviaF. I rate it at EI80, but often expose it at 160. I shoot two identical sheets. If I don't like the first, I can push or pull the second to get exactly the exposure I want. Cheaper and more reliable than bracketing!

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), June 08, 2000.

Is it fair to assume that Astia is better suited for portraits, and Velvia better suited to landscapes?

The last 4x5 transparency I shot was Ektachrome 64, and it left a Blue taste in my mouth...

-- Bruce Gavin (doc@compudox.com), June 08, 2000.


This is classic rumor mongering: "I heard from a friend who heard from a friend... " a description which fits your first paragraph. The comment is then racially biased by the comment about "Japanese consumers (being) too peculiar about the colors..." implying that all us non Japanese are stupid (to use this clearly inferior film) or too insensitive (to the color problem) or both .

Your second post both clears up the situation (you've talked directly to a Fuji rep) and clouds the issue. Magenta corrects green back to neutral, blue corrects yellow back to neutral. I have to say that I have with a couple of boxes of RDPIII Quickload noticed that a cc05M filter would have cleaned up my midtones on some wood floors, when compared to RAP (Astia) shot at the same time. But I haven't seen it with other emulsion lots of RDPIII QL or with other sizes of RDPIII.

Every film I have ever used from seems to be continuously "tweaked from year to year. Kodak Lumiere really sucked when it was first introduced but at the end it was pretty decent, tho nowhere near as great as Kodak originally touted it to be.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 08, 2000.

We should not forget that an individual labs processing and chemistry can effect color balance. If I remember correctly from my days of processing E-6 when I was assisting, the pH of the color developer can shift the color along the yellow/blue color axis.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 08, 2000.

Ellis, I clearly did not make racist statements, I am not rumor mongering, I am not biased towards any film maker or Country.

I am simply trying to improve my photography. I am sorry if this offends you. Maybe you are reading way too much into all this? No other posters seem to have a problem with the post, its been very informative, and has probably helped many of us.

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), June 08, 2000.

>Lack of local supply notwithstanding, I don't plan to switch from >RDP-II as my standard ISO100 film anytime soon, at least in 120 and >5x4".

Unless they do what they have done here when Provia/RDPIII was introduced. It has replaced RDPII, which is no longer available.

Tim A

-- Tim Atherton (tim@KairosPhoto.com), June 08, 2000.

Provia II 120 is being sold at B&H for only $1.99. That is a good indication to me, its being closed out. The B&H rep said it was, but he did not hear this officialy from Fuji. For that price I bought a bunch of it for test rolls!

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), June 09, 2000.

Bill, just a follow up to my original post - my lab uses Fuji chemistry (Fuji locally reckons that they are the best lab for E6 processing) and I don't see the yellow cast in over 100 rolls of 120 shot in assorted conditions. Maybe its the chemistry as well?

Personally, I am not much for magazine test reports. They would no doubt make good starting points for comparisons (not many people have the resources to test 50 or more different films) but I haven't personally come across a film that sucked - but 'misused' yes.

Each film has its own unique character that is best suited for some types/situations of photography where another film might not work. I even liked RDPII for a while until I used RDPIII.

Give me two colour films, and its RDPIII and RVP. Give me only one and I'll take RDPIII anytime in any format. Shoot some yourself and judge. It's a really excellent slide film - little grain, rich colours, long exposure times with no reciprocity correction needed. Quite the winner in my books.


-- K H Tan (kahheng@pacific.net.sg), June 09, 2000.

To reply to Bruce above, there is no question in my mind that Astia is better for portraits. Joseph Holmes, among others, has suggested that Astia is the better film if printing will be done via scanning/lightjet. Apparently Astia has a much better dynamic range for holding highlight details. Its slightly lower saturation can be enhanced digitally if desired. Velvia is still wonderful for landscape, but except on sunny days, speed is a real problem for me, so I am using mostly Provia 100F now.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), June 09, 2000.

Bill: I never said you were "clearly (making) racist statements" or had any sort of bias. But the commennts you repeated did show this bias. Deny that as much as you like, but that bias is still there. My apologies to you if you thought I was calling you a racist or a bigot, I did not and it wasn't my intention for my words to be read as implying so.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 09, 2000.


Oh pooh, pooh on the politically correct jabber... it has absolute no place here, and is demeaning. Anybody with an ounce of sense knows there are real physical differences between various peoples. The Japanese are reputed to have the most color sensitive vision of any people in the world, hence they do nearly all the pearl grading that you and I cannot differentiate.

I have read and enjoyed the number of posts you have here that span several years, and find them to be completely informative. However, I find digression into politically correct nauseating. As I friend and learner from your many posts, I would ask you please leave politics out of these fora.

-- Bruce Gavin (doc@compudox.com), June 10, 2000.

Glenn wrote:

To reply to Bruce above, there is no question in my mind that Astia is better for portraits. Joseph Holmes, among others, has suggested that Astia is the better film if printing will be done via scanning/lightjet. Apparently Astia has a much better dynamic range for holding highlight details


This sounds like Astia is superior in all respects, unless you like unrealistic gaudy colors. I just bought my first box of it but havent exposed any yet.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@mr.net), June 11, 2000.

Yes, Astia is a great film. Apart from its very accurate colour, Fuji claims it needs neither reciprocity nor colour correction for exposure times up to 32 seconds, which is pretty helpful in the field. I also subjectively feel that it has about a stop more "latitude" than Velvia - what do others think?

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), June 11, 2000.

If you liked the Kodachrome look, Astia will probably suit you even better. It is not as sharp as other Fujichromes, but has more latitude. A scanner will reproduce the shadows details from an Astia slide much easier than from a Velvia taken in the same conditions. I use it when I have to shoot in sunny weather, for product photography with or without strobes and for very colored subjects (flowers). You are right about this film being the best one for portrait. But when the light is soft, colors dull, and a realistic look not really wanted, Velvia or Provia will give more punch and presence to the image (although this can be partly computer corrected too). I always take two backs with me loaded with two films to suit the different lighting conditions I am going to encounter throughout the day.

Provia has more latitude than Velvia and has better reciprocity failure too. It is particularly good for detailed shadows and gives very nice interiors photographs. A film, available in rollfilms only, that I occasionally use for specific purposes is the MS 100/1000. It is interesting when one has to avoid burning the highlights (Flushing water, fields with white flowers and so on). At it's normal ASA setting it will always keep some matter due to it's masking properties.

But the trouble of using many films shows in times of great excitement, when after shooting hastily what I thought was the picture of the day, I realize I made the exposures with the wrong ASA setting!!!

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), June 11, 2000.

FW, that is my finding too about the increased recording range of Astia versus Velvia, especially in the shadows. It, and the new version of RTP are my choice for photographing interiors.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 11, 2000.

Okay I finally saw the dread yellow cast on Provia F. I think this is a bi-product of Kodak possibly changing the formulation of it's E^ developers. Why do I think this?

First of all, the film I saw it was not mine, it was in a fellow professional's testing 9this guy is at the very top of the international list of commercial photographers. His test rolls from one emulsion batch a few months back were perfectly fine: Color was right on the money in terms of neutrality. Lighting for the tests (Large Chimera softbox and Dynalite strobe) was his standard studio set up (Large Chimera softbox and Dynalite strobe) and a second test in daylight. So he is getting ready to switch emulsions and the new emulsion tests come back yellow (roughly cc15Y would be my guess. He does the tests a second and third time, this time also testing film from the previous emulsion batch 9which is in date and has been refrigerated) as well as the new emulsion, and he processed the film at two different labs.

The results were that the old, tested and known for neutrality batch is now yellow as well, and at both labs.If everything is the same: camera & lens, lighting set up, and film emulsion, the only variable I can think of that would cause this change is the processing.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), June 15, 2000.

Hmmm, Now we've got a vote for Astia holding both highlight and shadow detail better. I've gotta get out and shoot some of this stuff, and see what it does on Ilfochrome.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@mr.net), June 15, 2000.

Just got 16 Astia Quickloads processed after managing to get away for a long weekend. On one scene, the spotmeter was reading EV6 - EV12, i.e. a 6 stop range, and the slide has retained excellent detail in both the shadows and the highlights. If I recall, I placed the exposure bang in the middle on EV9 ; I was expecting to lose some of both the shadows and the highlights, but the light was fading fast in the late afternoon so I crossed my fingers and I am now very impressed with the final result. It may be because the camera was well shielded from flare. I would normally try to keep within a 4.5 - 5 stop range with transparency film - do others work within similar parameters?

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), June 19, 2000.

Now I've really got to try it. Yes, I dont usually (or ever) expect Velvia to record more than about 4.5 or so at best, although i've never analyzed them to the quarter stop.

I've had a bunch of Astia loaded for weeks, and just havent gotten out to use it yet.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@mr.net), June 24, 2000.

All I can say is that Provia 100 F is my favourite film. I don't find that yellow cast. I often use Sensia but just because it's cheaper.

-- Jamaica Daddy (larry_manetti@hotmail.com), January 01, 2002.

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