View Full Version : the new Astia 100F-- anyone tried it?
Astia 100F sounds like a fabulous film-- has anyone tried it in LF yet? I've called around all over the place and no one has 8x10 in stock-- apparently it's special order only.
I love it and use it for specific things. I now use it exclusively for my winter images, no more green shift and over saturated blue shadows. Thatís if I donít want that effect! The film also has wonderful shadow detail and is SOOOOOO SHARP! Lastly, it scans very well and with the digital age thatís important.
On a recent trip to Mono Lake/Death Valey I shot Astia 100F along with Velvia 100F in 4X5 (same setup so I could compare). Shooting was early or late in the day when contrast was low. The shots with Astia just looked too flat for these conditions. I really liked the results with Velvia 100F, although I might have preferred something with slightly less contrast and saturation. While I didn't shoot Velvia 50 for comparison, I think that Velvia 100F may be my new favorite film.
I tried it in 4x5 - it was a while back (sample box from Fuji before the release - Fuji Iceland that is...) so I'm trying to remember now.
I'm not 100% sure it's an improvment. It had a bit more saturation - but somewhat cooler - more towards the (yucky) blue/green/cyan look of Provia, was (I think) supposed to be a bit sharper - but then Astia itself is pretty danred sharp - it was also a touch more contrasty. So in a way they have "improved" out all the things I like(ed?) about regular Astia... I found it a bit harder/harsher/more cotnrasty than Astia and not as warm.
It still has a sort of Astia "feel" - but they've changed it... so it really depends if you like how they've changed it.
As for their "fourth" layer technlogy - I've always liked how this works in NPS for mixed light interiors and I wasn't sure how it would work in a slide film. In Astia, it didn't really seem to work at all. I imagine it might work with skin tones or very slightly mixed light. (the Veliva 100F I tested at the same time gave better results, though still not that great).
Have you tried if Samy's has it?
I've been shooting it with people for the last few months (in 35mm, 120, and 4x5), and I've really liked it so far for that purpose, the skin tone is very nice even with imperfect complexion, with enough contrast and saturation that colors look nice too, not too de-saturated. I'd recomend doing an E.I. test on the film batch you get though. My first box tested out at 64, my second at 100, this was shooting a gray card with studio strobes, and white and black cloth next to it to judge high and low densities. With this film I liked the look of the high and low values when the gray card read about 0.90 or so.
Chris - BTW all my project stuff is shot on (outdated) "original" 8x10 Astia (I have about 500 sheets left... stored on the back deck right now until I can find an old freezer!)
I shoot 4x5 landscape photos and my film of choice is Velvia. However when a scene has too much contrast, like redwoods or some sunsets, I'll use Astia 100F. It has at least a stop more range than Velvia. It is also quite warm like old Velvia so I don't need a warming filter with it. Pushed one stop it's still quite good and still has more dynamic range than Velvia.
I've just finished up my second box of 10 sheets (4x5) of this film and find it's a pretty nice film all the way round. I know the popular majority say that it's best suited for portraiture because it gives really nice skin tones. However, since I don't shoot portraits I can't attest to that.
Others have said it's best suited to pastel-type colors and that it doesn't render great color saturation. I have to say that I've not found this to be the case. I shoot slightly on the under-exposed side of things and the colors rendered are quite beautiful. I would recommend tests to find the true EI of the film though.
My next project is to enlarge some of these images... from what folks have told me, the grain structure is very fine and will give extremely sharp images (if focus is on!).
Folks like different looks from their films and, as a result, prefer one type of film over another. I like shooting Provia but I know of people who don't, for one reason or another. I also like Velvia for its color saturation.
In conclusion...I think Astia is a fine film and, after inspecting the enlargements from it, will most likely shoot more if it turns out as well as I think it will.
I was the beneficiary of a happy accident last year when a lab wrote of 76 rolls of 120 E100G. If I had to find a new lab, I would also try some other films.
I have always been inclined towards yellow boxes - in no small part due to toe and shoulder shape of the film's curve and the general 'contrast'.
All that changed. Astia 100F in 120 and 4x5 I have found to be a better 'Kodak' film then anything devised at Rochester. It instantly became standard faire.
If what you seek is in-ya-face colour it hasn't got it. If you want gently toned shadows and highlights on the other hand then give it a try.
Can't say I've seen any in 8x10 though.
Michael E. Gordon
Chris: knowing that you print digitally, you can dismiss the less saturated/punchy comments. A simple S-curve in Photoshop gives it the Velvia look and better contrast, but you still gain the benefit of better dynamic range. With Astia, I've found it hard to block shadows (unlike Velvia) and blow out highlights (unlike Provia). I concur with all the other positive comments made about Astia. For my color work, I probably shoot V100F and Astia 50/50.
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