Fuji NPS, NPL for architectural interiors

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When photographing architectural interiors, I normally use Fuji transparency films (Provia 100F, Astia and RPT II). Earlier this year, however, I started using Fuji NPS and NPL to make "backup" color negatives at the same time, and found that the cyan-sensitive 4th dye layer sometimes solved mixed lighting problems (usually the presence of fluorescent lights in addition to tungsten and daylight) that could only have been addressed previously through much more time-consuming procedures such as separately filtering multiple exposures or gelling individual light sources. I have a couple of questions for more experienced users of these films:

1. Color temperature/filtration. In a mixed lighting situation, I've assumed that the film can take care of the fluorescent problem, but wondered about whether I can help these films do a better job by by metering and filtering for the non-fluorescent (LB) color balance at the time of exposure (I use a Minolta Color Meter and carry a full set of Lee filters). Do you rely entirely on the ability to make color balance corrections in printing these negatives, or do you supplement that control by metering for an average color temperature, and then exposing with an 81/82 series filter?

2. Long exposures. Since large format cameras usually require relatively long exposures for architectural interiors, and the PDF film data sheet for NPS indicates that it was designed for shutter speeds 1/8 sec. or faster, do you routinely use NPL for all your low-light daylight and tungsten illuminated spaces? I see that the "2001 ProNet Film Users Guide" indicates reciprocity corrections for NPS only up to 2 sec., while exposures of 10 sec. are "Not Recommended." For NPL, on the other hand, Fuji lists corrections up through 32 sec.

3. Printing guides. I don't make my own C-41 prints, and wonder what techniques seem to work best for helping printers make good prints. If the lighting is such that I can't supply an optimal transparency as a guide (perhaps because of fluorescent contamination), I've sometimes had trouble getting my lab to make a color-neutral print. Do you expose a sheet including a Macbeth Color Checker in the scene, or perhaps an 8x10 grey card and white card in combination?

Thanks in advance for the benefit of your experience.

-- Christopher Campbell (cbcampbell@mediaone.net), October 05, 2001


A reciprocity correction chart for NPL and NPS has been published in View Camera magazine- it works well. I have used NPS for fairly long exposures- up to 8 sec +/-. I do not use supplemental filtration with either film. In situations where it is not clear which film is more appropriate, I make a negative with each. As far as the color balance of prints is concerned, this is where you need a printer with a good eye for color. My printer is able to do a great job of balancing color without a reference. He spends quite a bit of time with the proofs to get the balance right on them. I let him know if they need adjustment, which is rare and subtle.

-- David Rose (DERose1@msn.com), October 05, 2001.

Christopher brings up a few good questions; ones that I have been thinking about for a while without any resolution, although I have been using a printer that is very good about obtaining a suitable color balance in the prints without the need for a MacBeth color checker for reference.

I would add two additional questions to the group:

How do you know which film to use if you do not have the primary light source the films are balanced for? That is, if you are shooting under a mostly fluorescent lighted scene, or unde a scene with fluorescent and metal halide, for example. In this case, there is no daylight, and no tungsten, so you can 't select the film based on having them in the scene.

I may try the route mentioned to shoot one of both NPS and NPL to help resolve this dilemma, but any thoughts would be appreciated.

The second is:

I have heard that NPS causes problems for scanners due to the film base, so I was wondering what the best method is to get high quality transparencies made later on. I have had high quality copy slides made in the past, but the contrast and sharpness is not up to my preferences. Any suggestions on a method, or a specific person or labe that knows how to do this to a high level of quality would be appreciated, also.


-- Michael Mutmansky (mjmlighting@home.com), October 05, 2001.

I only make prints from NPL but my teacher routinely makes trannies from NPL. He uses NPL when he has many light sources that he can't correct. I'm looking at my NPL contact sheets. I mix tungsten and fluorescent and everything looks fine. NPL looks pinkish to me but that fine (might be my printing). I don't own a colour meter or filters. I filter at the print stage. For question number two, I use NPL for every low light mix lighting situations. Overexpose your negatives a stop to two stops from "normal". Give the printer lots of density to work with. Trannies are a different medium than negatives. Therefore do a contact sheet and show him/her what you want.

-- David Payumo (dpayumo@home.com), October 06, 2001.

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