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Thread: Velvia 50 revisited

  1. #1

    Velvia 50 revisited

    Is anyone still using Velvia 50?

    I have just been given some nearly outdated packs as a gift. My experience with this film is decades old and relies only on 35mm with a lot of bracketing.

    Found excessive discussions on the E.I. Their seems to be no clear current opinion whether ASA32, 40 or 50 or is the right setting.

    Is this just a pleasant chat indicating that this film needs careful exposure and prefers low contrast subjects or is it really slower than stated by Fuji?

    BTW, I know already that testing yourself is the best way to go but for the few sheets available it's not worth the effort...

  2. #2

    Velvia 50 revisited

    I, like you once received quite a bit of Velvia as a "donation".....In my experience....YOU MUST at least rate it a 40.

    I rated the stuff at 40...and pushed a 1/2 in processing....really looked good. I have also rated it at 32 and it looks equally good, but I find for my technique...40 was just the way to go.

    The first time I used it, I rated it at 50 and was VERY VERY VERY shocked...the film looked like I didn't bother to meter. But, some people claim it is fine to do this.....maybe it is for them.

  3. #3
    Tim Curry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Velvia 50 revisited

    Although it looks like Fuji may be going in the direction of Velvia 100, there are plenty of users who have decided that Velvia 50 is still a good film for some subjects. I tend to rate it "normally" at asa 40 and at times asa 32 (in lower light shots). The main consideration for me is highlight value. I've found that in most cases, 1 2/3 stops above zone V is pretty much it for the top end if you want to retain texture in the highlights.

    If there is a scene with a white flower as the subject in full sun, you are best exposing for the white flower and forgetting the rest of the shot. Let the values on other portions fall where they may. A reflector will help in the shadows if you can get the right light. Dull, flat overcast will give a very good shot, but don't forget to filter.

  4. #4

    Velvia 50 revisited

    Martin: It seems to me that we have been trained by advertising hype to genuflex and rush to buy the latest and that is how I read your question: "Is anyone still using Velvia 50?" Just because Fuji just introduced Velvia 100F does not mean that the previous version changes in quality or that everyone else bought the new hype. In fact, it looks as though Velvia 100F is a step backwards and many photographers are aware of it. You only have to look at Fuji's own brochures to wonder what on earth possessed Fuji to go ahead with it. Muddy reds, wildly exagerated neon blues, etc. are the new offering. Fuji may add heaps of additional layers and reduce grain but with its nasty excess bagage, Velvia 100F is no replacement for Velvia 50. As for ASA, it is old hat that most experienced photogs expose it at ASA40. Having said that, Their Astia 100F seems from all reports to be a much improved and great film. As for what Velvia 50 can do just look at David Muench's latest books, among them "Plateau Light". A bit longer exposure curve would have been one improvement to Velvia 50, unfortunately, though Velvia 100 is claimed to have that, it fails elsewhere. If the V50 you were given was kept refrigerated, thank your lucky stars.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 1999

    Velvia 50 revisited

    If you're just not sure, I'm sure there are more than a few of us here who would gladly accept a "re-donation."

  6. #6

    Velvia 50 revisited

    I have to ask one question, when did every camera or handheld meter in the universe become matched to everyone else’s in the universe? When you tell someone that you rate Velvia at 50, 40, etc., that is with your personal meter or maybe someone told you to rate it at 40, 32, etc. First you must calibrate your own meter then decide if compensation needed for YOUR proper rating. I remember reading the same about Kodak E100VS needing to be rated at 125 from some photographers. I rate my Velvia at 50 with my Sekonic L-508 and my friend, that I shoot with often, rates his at 32 but we seem to always get photos back from the lab that have virtually the same density. Wow, imagine that!


  7. #7

    Velvia 50 revisited

    Phew, was not aware that Velvia has such an emotional impact for a lot of people.

    Sorry if my question has been a little polemic but actually Velvia has not been among my favourites due to its (exaggerated) colors and its (disturbing) high contrast. Still, as I grow older I start to accept that there are subjects were Velvia is exactly the right choice despite of its shortfalls.

    Anyhow, as only one of you recommends to stick with 50 ASA I assume that this is not a good starting point.

    Will give 32 and 40 ASA a try and will have especially James and Tims comments in mind…

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Sweet, ID

    Velvia 50 revisited

    Martin- Pigpile!!! FYI, Tetenal (maker of E-6 development kits) recommends that Fuji films get an extra 25% in first developer. My guess (this is a pigpile, anyhow!) is that the ASA 40 you read a lot about has to do with this. You can then have a lab process normally (without the additional push processing cost) and get the extra exposure effect that it appears Fuji films need. If I'm at a scene that must be captured (you ask "aren't they all"?) I'll expose at least two sheets identically (at ASA40), and process one normally per the Tetenal directions. If it needs a little pushing, I have another to do so. If it doesn't, then I have another original (or two).
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  9. #9

    Velvia 50 revisited

    My own "revisiting" of Velvia 50, or more a rediscovery -- I use Provia 100F as my day-to-day film for 35mm. Although I like Velvia roll film well enough (which my 35mm camera meter prefers at 50), I like Provia better.

    When I started shooting LF, I assumed my film choices would transfer to the larger format. I shot several scenes with both Velvia 50 and Provia 100F. I was surprised to discover two things: (1) with my Pentax Digital Spot, I should rate Velvia at 40, just like everyone else; and (2) in every case where I shot both Velvia and Provia, I liked the Velvia shot better. Not just most of the time, but every single time! This took me by surprise. The Velvia shots looked like they had an 81A filter compared to the Provia shots, the sharpness and detail were at least as good or better, and color was far more pleasing. Shadow detail is non-existent for either film, so I don't see it as a big plus for Provia. In any event, I don't even bother buying Provia 100F for 4x5 anymore.

    I shot a few sheets of Velvia 100F this past weekend that I'll pick up today on the way home from work. I'm eager to see how it looks.

  10. #10

    Velvia 50 revisited

    I know I don’t get an answer to this, but what is ...Pigpile... ? Just wondering.

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