High speed slide film?

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I was looking today on the B&H site and I noticed the highest speed slide film in sheets is 200. I don't really get it, in large format you should be able to take advantage of the really fast emulsions without being worried about grain. How come there is no demand for hight speed film? (I assume there is no film because there is no demand).

-- Sorin Varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), February 20, 2001


I've wondered about that myself, mostly as I've been cursing the lack of enough speedotron gear on location shoots...Seriously though, what did you see that was 200 asa? Was this Ektachrome 200? (the old Ektachrome 200, EPD). I can't remember when there was ever a faster transp. film than asa 200, that's just the way it is....

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), February 20, 2001.

I was actually wrong, the higest speed is 100 for slide film, 400 for negative. This doesn't make any sense to me.

-- Sorin varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), February 20, 2001.

Most 4x5 chrome film is used in professional studio product work, and in architecture where high speed isn't necessary. I guess interior architecture and landscape work just can't sustain the profit margins Kodak and Fuji lust after. Your best bet is to shoot Provia 100F and push it 2 stops, or shoot roll film.

-- Glenn Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), February 20, 2001.

"I've wondered about that myself, mostly as I've been cursing the lack of enough speedotron gear on location shoots."

If that is the case you'll be better off switching to Balcar as the Balcar heads are much more efficient at turning electricity into light than Speedotron according to my A/B/C/D comparison tests (A= Speedotron, B=Balcar, C=Elinchrom, D= Norman) tests of electronic flash equipment last spring. Balcar was the most efficient, Speedotron and Elinchrom were just about tied, and Norman was 1/2 as efficient as Speedotron.

Both Provia 100F (RDPIII) and Astia (RAP) push very nicely up to two stops -- which for me means an E.I. of 320 as my normal rating for both films is 80. Perhaps the new provia 400 will be released in 4x5 or (even better) 4x5 Quickload.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), February 21, 2001.

To my mind, the problem with high speed colour film of whatever flavour, slide or neg, has always been the awful colour rendering, not the grain size. In the past, a few high-speed (400 ISO) slide films have been released in 35mm size. They've always bombed because they looked closer to Autochrome than Kodachrome!
Ellis is right, the colour from pushed film is better.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), February 21, 2001.

Sorry, it was Glenn who recommended pushing Provia. Apologies to both Glenn and Ellis.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), February 21, 2001.

Hey Ellis, that was meant as a joke. I actually got a bigger chuckle out of your suggestion to switch lighting gear, though. I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure of working for state government, but needless to say, we aren't going to get new strobes anytime soon. We've never had that big of a problem in this area. We subscribe to the "available light theory", that is every light available. Even if it's totas with gels, or lumedyne heads slaved and hidden in a corner. Mostly just alot of multiple pops. We also run our own E6, so if we really needed an extra stop out of Provia, it'd be no big deal. I just read in PDN that an improved Provia is coming out, that Fuji claims you can push up to 2 stops with no change in contrast, our color. So, we'll see, sounds pretty good though. Now if they'd just make it on a polyester base.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), February 21, 2001.

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