It had to come to this. After reading the usual forums I got the impression that slides/reversals/chromes were something out of the ordinary. I had a quick slide period with the Canon EOS 100 before entering the digital bandwaggon with the Canon EOS 350D. The result is in a cabinet somewhere and while the colours were “poignant” many were underexposed and did not enthuse further experimenting. Also it was quite expensive.
Some earlier Canon EOS 100 slides are:
After these few rolls came the digital era until I discovered film again. There is no doubt that the digital camera’s quick feedback loop is beneficial for my photography but the quality, grain and fun of film is hard to beat.
Medium format slide was expected to be something out of the ordinary. Several internet forums claim just that. Soo… I just had to try it and ordered a bunch of films (Velvia 100 and Provia 100) as well as a Tetenal kit with E6 developing agents. Of course my intention was to develop in the kitchen sink as always:
The temperature controlled environment for developing in colour. The 200 W aquarium heater is connected to a precise PID-regulator which keeps correct temperature to within +/- 0.1 C (or so it claims, works well enough anyway). Not visible at the bottom of the tank is a Gardena-pump for circulating the water. The setup is described here.
My “to-go” medium format camera, the GA645Zi, was used with the first few rolls. Firstly because it is a handy camera to carry along which would allow many different subjects during the first few rolls (16 exposures on a 120-film) and, secondly because of its precise exposure meter. Experience from my previous rolls, as well as widespread internet rumours/facts, really promotes that chrome film have a small exposure latitude. Some shots were somewhat underexposed but in general the Fuji GA645Zi did well with the Velvia.
Here are some examples in no particular order. The web does not give them justice though. No matter how I tried to scan and postprocess them, the originals really are in a league of their own. The colors so full of life one can almost touch them. (Yeah, being on film one actually can touch them but that’s not what I meant, you know what I mean…:)
When I got the roll out of the stabilizer bath and could have a first vada of them I got goose bumps for five minutes!! I kid you not, it was a slight shock to see the colours and all the detail in them. At first the film is rather thick and mushy but it dries and get thinner and clearer. But the colours were there from the start:
Vadstena harbor. Here the small exposure latitude of chrome is apparent. This was way to dark initially and had to be post processed quite a bit. Had I exposed more the clouds would have been washed out completely.
For my third roll I used the Fujifilm GW690II, a camera with huge 6×9 cm film area. I was not let down this time either and it is a peculiar feeling watching through a chrome of that size.
Specially the last one look fantastic when watched through the film. It is a pity the fulness of the colours does not come through on the web…
Currently I have another film loaded in the Mamiya 7. I bet that 6×7 also will do the film justice.