Question about Slide Dynamic Range

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Graham Fountain, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Is it really true that slides can record less of a range between highlight
    and shadows than negative film? The reason I ask is, I finally got back the
    slide film that I shot for the Backlit SI. One of the shots that I intended
    to use for the SI was a shot of a spider web around the cross of a grave. I
    positioned myself so that the sun was right at the centre of the cross. My
    aim was to record an image that was pretty much how I saw it - a cross
    sillhoueted with this kind of halo effect from the spider web. I had heaps
    of B&W film so I took a few shots, some metered off the sky, some off the
    cross, with 1 stop bracketing on each. None of the B&W photos turned out
    how I intended, the cross was sillhouetted alright, but the highlight behind
    it was just one bright glow, no sign of the web. Now admittedly this could
    be caused by a development problem, but I also took a couple of shots on
    colour negative film which were pretty much the same, and one shot on slide
    film (I was getting near the end of the roll so only took 1 shot). Well I
    got the slide back, and the web is clearly visible, giving pretty much the
    look I was chasing, AND there is still detail in the cross - it isn't
    totally sillhouetted. This is clearly visible when looking at the slide,
    but if it is scanned on a frontier, I get either the highlights, or the
    shadows, but not both.
    There are several other slides that seem to have recorded more than what I
    would expect from colour negative film too.
    The films in question were Fuji Sensia 100, Fuji Neopan SS 100 and Kodak
    Gold 100.
     
    Graham Fountain, Oct 26, 2004
    #1
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  2. Graham Fountain

    McLeod Guest

    Unless you printed the image yourself it's very hard to compare the
    results from a slide to a print. A minilab printer operates much the
    same way as a light meter and will try and print the scene as close to
    midtones as possible. It has no idea how you shot the scene and
    neither does the human operator without your input. Your best bet is
    to look at the negative and if the detail is there take your print
    back and ask them to reprint it. Explain what you want. A lot of the
    time the operator isn't even there when the film is running through
    the machine so they have no idea what you had in mind when you took
    the shot.
     
    McLeod, Oct 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. I was the operator, and the detail just aint there in the negs. Frontiers
    allow you to brighten or darken the image. When doing the slide I was able
    to darken a little and it pulled up the detail that I could clearly see in
    the highlights, although the shadow detail was lost. If I lightened it, the
    shadow detail came up nicely but it lost the highlight, so it seems the
    slide has more dynamic range than the frontier lab. On the negs however,
    lightening and darkening didn't pull out that detail.
    Where I work we now have a frontier digital lab that is mainly used for
    digital prints, and it does have the option to print from film as well. We
    don't however have a film processing minilab, only the printer. So I process
    my own B&W at home, get colour done at a local minilab, and have to send my
    slides away to Sydney for processing, hence the almost four week wait. Then
    I take the negs/slides into work for printing.
    I am seriously considering getting the chem to do my own E6 processing so I
    can avoid the long delays.
    Looking at the negs I can't see the detail that is so clearly there in the
    slide.
     
    Graham Fountain, Oct 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Graham Fountain

    Chris Brown Guest

    Slides generally have more contrast than the original scene, wheras
    negatives generally have less contrast than the original scene. This is
    independent from the dynamic range that they're able to capture, which is
    generally greater in print film.
     
    Chris Brown, Oct 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Golly, but minilabs have changed since I used to work at a few - back
    then (7~25 years ago), operator skill was the difference between crap
    and decent prints. My goal was to give the customer prints that would
    make them happy or redo them until they were...

    My few experiences with taking print film to other labs were usually a
    disappointment, but since I normally shoot slides where the goof-ups are
    mine and mine alone, I have only me to be disappointed with. =) Same
    goes - but even more so - for digital, can't wait for my DSLR to arrive!

    Bob ^,,^
     
    Bob Harrington, Oct 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Graham Fountain

    McLeod Guest

    Then there is something wrong with your exposure or processing. A
    modern medium contrast professional film should be able to have detail
    in a 6-9 stop range, depending on the film. The choke point is the
    printing which can only use about a 3 1/4 stop section of that scene.
     
    McLeod, Oct 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Yes, because of the reversal process. It's inherent in reversal processing.
     
    Uranium Committee, Oct 28, 2004
    #7
  8. Graham Fountain

    Mr Jessop Guest

    As for fuji frontier machines AND the question of slide and print film well
    the frontier should be able to compensate for areas of under and
    overexposure on the same neg. It is because they are typically scanned and
    printed via a laser system. It is this system that has allowed minilabs to
    print digital files with minimal upgrading. This usually consists of a
    simple terminal that customers choose photos from downloads of their memory
    cards. The only reason slide is said to have less lattitude than print film
    is because alot can be compensated for in the printing stage. however if
    you are printing your slides then the latitude should be similar, especially
    on a diamond laser lab.
     
    Mr Jessop, Oct 28, 2004
    #8
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