View Full Version : 8x10 Color negative or Chromes?

22-Jul-2010, 19:03
I have a personal project to do on location so i have to go back home with a shot done. i'm currently thinking of shooting 2 b&w sheets, and 2 colors of exactly same image/same settings, to be sure i have the picture. im carrying b&w also because i can develop it at home and see how the image is coming and if is worth to develop the color wiht my nearby lab in nyc.

since i can choose and the price is almost the same for both type, my only question might be: which one is better for scanning (i have the v700 flatbed and if the photo is worth i'll go for the drumscan) it? and in general?

i used to shoot only in chromes 10 yrs ago, but now that i'm back on film i dont remember WHY! hehe...

23-Jul-2010, 04:38
I think people shot chromes in hopes of getting published in a magazine or something. It was easier for graphic artists to make accurate litho prints from transparencies than it was negatives, which are kind of open to interpretation.

Nowadays, reproduction is done from a digital file, so the question becomes which medium is better for scanning. If you are going to do the scanning and digital editing yourself, then I would say negative. If you are having someone else scan, it might be better to shoot positive for all the same reasons as before.

Tom Monego
23-Jul-2010, 07:07
I'd say chromes, the V700 only has a generic profile for negative material. I negative conversion hasn't impressed me with this scanner, but most of my color negs are at least 10 years old so they may have lost something. Chromes are just better as you know what you are looking for, but negs have more dynamic range.


23-Jul-2010, 10:04
From my perspective (drum scanning), Chromes and Negatives scan equally well. The difference is dynamic range and to a lesser extent color saturation.
On a negative, i can pull so much more information from the shadows then a chrome.
On a chrome, you have very delicate highlights and they can easily blow if your exposure is off. You cant really fix that in post.
Chromes are WYSIWYG, negs are much more open to interpretation and i think thats great. Scan wide and then choose what you want.
I scan far more negative then chromes but sometimes there is nothing better then viewing an 8x10 chrome down on a lightbox. Still gets my heart going everytime.

If youre shooting B&W negs, I would also shoot color negs. Shooting negatives gives you the option of capturing much more of what you see then a chrome can.
When i come across a scene that i cant decide if it would be better as a B&W or color image, i shoot both. Although that does get expensive quickly!
Still better then just desaturating a color image, it isn't the same. You loose some of that B&W neg feeling that cant and shouldn't be replicated.

I mostly use my v700 for reflective but i occasionally scan some color negatives to see whats on them.
It came with SilverFast in the box. I found that it was so much better then the epson scan software and didn't crash as much!
The silverfast profiles for negatives aren't all that bad. They are not perfect but not bad. I was actually surprised when i first tested it.
It can take a number of tweaks to get it right but you can scan a good neg with it. Also you may have to pick a profile that isn't your films.
Silverfast can also have problems with neg exposures that aren't in its optimum range. It also tends to be a little more saturated then i like but that can be worked out.
Trial and error is fun. Once you get the hang of it, it get easier and faster.

Stephen Willard
23-Jul-2010, 23:15
I just did a lot of film testing this spring for determining film speeds and characteristic curves for color films. The Kodak Portra 160 VC won hands down with 12 - 13 stops of light from pure white to pure black. Color transparencies range between 3.5 - 4.5 stops of light from pure white to pure black.

Portra 160 NC came in second with around 9.5 to 10.5 stops and Kodak Ektar was 9 stops. Portra 160 VC had the straightest characteristic curves of the color negative films I tested with all three layers equally spaced and parallel. This tells me that the film produces a balanced color rendering with pure grays. Ektar had the greatest red saturation, but Portra 160 VC was not far behind. Portra 160 VC showed the greatest green and blue saturations of the color negative films I tested.

I cannot speak about scanning because I use only traditional printing methods.

Frank Petronio
23-Jul-2010, 23:20
Just shoot Portra 160 or 400NC, choose the ISO to match your B&W. Or skip the B&W and learn how to convert color to B&W more effectively. I promise to keep it a secret if you do.

25-Jul-2010, 07:19
thanks guys!!!

i'd definitely choose Portra 400NC, i never liked vivid or saturated colors of velvia and with 400 ASA I can shoot in the morning city streets at f22 1/30. the difference between the sky and the building are most of the time 4/5 stops difference so with a color negative i'm sure i can get some result! and sinc ei;m not going to print huge print i think the grain is not an issue right? make sense my reasoning?
thanks for al the suggestions!