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Thread: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

  1. #1

    Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    Hello, just a quick question. How much dynamic range in stops / exposure values should I be aiming for with Provia 100F and Velvia 50?
    Thanks
    Gary


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  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    You need to be more concerned with the centerpoint of optimal color saturation for respective hues. But that comes with testing and experience, and no doubt much debate from those unfamiliar with the principle. So I'll dumb it down to the common denominator everyone understands, and that is with respect to midpoint exposure being based on a standard 18%, and how much you can get away with plus or minus from there. Dynamic range per se is a bit misleading, cause it tells one almost nothing about the actual color reproduction quality of the extremes. Certain individuals might chime in with some overtly optimistic opinions based on what a densitometer or high-end scanner can pick up, but which won't print worth a damn. That's particularly the case with the deepest pits of Velvia, which dig way down there, but are almost completely unusable.

    So I'm going to give you a conservative estimate instead, and others can give their own opinion. Provia 100F has a little bit less range than older Provia products. Anything above 1-1/2 stops above middle gray is going to wash out rather quickly and be only partially usable. Same goes the opposite direction. But if you squeeze hard enough on the lemon, and do curve corrections in PS or masking for sake of optical printing, you might gain 2 stops both directions, so an overall dynamic range of 4 stops. Some will no doubt argue 5 stops, but then you'll be into distinct fade-off somewhere.

    Velvia will penalize you about half a stop on the upper end, and perhaps a full stop at the bottom end. With very careful metering, you might get a 4 stop range, but with risk of hue crossover. What I really liked Velvia for was not full contrast range subjects, but low contrast scenes where I wanted more punch and hue saturation, like in foggy or rainy conditions. Or you could let the shadows dump into black and thus underexpose a little for sake of better highlight reproduction.

    The best idea is to do bracket tests on 35mm film of various representative scenarios to see what you can get away with, before buying a bunch of sheet film. Ideally, you'd want both Velvia and Provia on hand; or just forget about all of that and buy Ektachrome 100 instead, which has higher odds of remaining around anyway.

  3. #3

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    Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    Drew’s experience matches mine. +/-2 stops around 18% grey, beyond that the shadows dip into purples (or other hue crossings depending on the situation) and the highlights wash out. It is best when used within -1.5/+2.

    Unless contrast is very low already, this requires judicious use of grad filters and under non extreme dynamic conditions, ie. better for sunrise/sunset or shadowed areas (forests, overcast days,….).

    E100 is cooler but doesn’t shift hues as quickly, it can handle a bit more, maybe -2.5/+2.5 if you are willing to work it in PS. It is also 20% more expensive than provia 100F for what’s an already expensive product to start with.

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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    I'll second Drew and Kiwi's comments regarding Velvia 50. I find that Provia does give you a touch more range (-2.5/+2.5), slightly more than the current Etkachrome 100 too.


    Tim Parkin, who occasionally contributes here, posted this example of Velvia some years ago. Interesting information but scanning colour targets photographed in a controlled situation is different to most photographic situations, even if you do have access to a Heidelburg Primescan. It does illustrate Drew's comments on the response of different hues though.

    Velvia Dynamic Range by Tim Parkin, on Flickr

  5. #5
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Darragh View Post
    I'll second Drew and Kiwi's comments regarding Velvia 50. I find that Provia does give you a touch more range (-2.5/+2.5), slightly more than the current Etkachrome 100 too.


    Tim Parkin, who occasionally contributes here, posted this example of Velvia some years ago. Interesting information but scanning colour targets photographed in a controlled situation is different to most photographic situations, even if you do have access to a Heidelburg Primescan. It does illustrate Drew's comments on the response of different hues though.

    Velvia Dynamic Range by Tim Parkin, on Flickr
    I agree. More range with Provia. But nothing pops like Velvia 50 if you can live with dark shadows like the trees on the right side.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...7715763486212/
    Provia is nice but the reds are more orangey than Ektachrome which are cooler.
    Provia:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...7715763486212/

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    Gosh. When it comes to prints, and the specific film behind them, just the lighting balance can favor or diminish which colors looks dominant. I just switched the track lighting bulbs on my display wall to 5000K in order to match my lab standard. Before, I used warmer bulbs, preferably 4000K, but some 3500K too. Now all of a sudden, the blues and cyan hues are more alive, but the reds are backed off a bit, and reddish earthtones a little more reserved. That's no surprise. All I'm implying is that lighting itself can be an even more dominant factor than the choice between Velvia or Provia verus Ektachome. .... But with respect to the framed black and white prints, wow, 5000K really improves those, especially the cold-toned ones; and all the subtle toner qualities are a lot more evident too.

  7. #7

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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    My rules for using color positive film are:
    Anything at or below 1/60 @ F8 is fine.
    Anything 1/80 @ F8 is border line (better to skip it)
    Anything above 1/125 @ F8 - I don't do it.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    What on earth are you talking about, Sergey? F/8 might be just fine for a generic snapshot mentality with small gear; but I don't think I've ever taken an actual view camera exposure at f/8 in my entire life - rarely at f/16, mostly at f/22 or f/32 for 4x5, and even smaller, generally f/45, with 8X10. And very few people are as nitpicky as I am about precise enlargements. Are you just referring to reliability of large format lens leaf shutters? With chrome films per se, using various formats, I done entirely successful exposures anywhere from 1/2000th clear down to half an hour long. But with view lenses per se, exposures as long as even 1/60th are rare - more often 1/15th down to several seconds. It's just the nature of depth of field issues, available light etc. I don't use strobe.

  9. #9

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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    I always measure at that setting and then translate into the actual gear (camera\lens) settings
    My math teacher kept saying that if students don't do match their brain become moldy...

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    Re: Provia 100F and Velvia 50

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeyT View Post
    I always measure at that setting and then translate into the actual gear (camera\lens) settings
    Don't sweat it. I think that that was clear from your post.

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