film asa

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Ian Mercer
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film asa

Post by Ian Mercer » Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:58 pm

Hello
Advise please on the best speed film to use in an canon a1 waterproof camera on the water (sea / river touring ) ? I have Digi as well but it is not all way safe to use while paddling. I have my films developed straight to CD rom, But I am disappointed with the poor images compared to my digi shots (a lot more grainy) , Am I using the wrong film speed or developer I am sure their is a photo expert out their who can advise in terms an idiot like me can understand.

Ian Mercer

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Douglas Wilcox
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poor cd pics

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:19 pm

Hi Ian,
Iusually send off my fils, asa 100 to 400 to kodak for picture cd, great results. Recently I got local photo shop to develop film and cd, absolute crap. I could have done better with a crayon.
Have you tried genuine kodak picture cd?
Douglas

sporty dave
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Re: poor cd pics

Post by sporty dave » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:10 pm

If the developing and Cd burning is being done well and the shots are still grainy look at the film speed.

The faster the film the larger the crystals on the film. This can lead to grainy pictures especially if they are blown up a bit, however they should still be better than digital unless you are using 6 mpixel or greater (really pro kit)

Basically use the slowest film you can get away with 200 is usually ok in reasonable light for canoeing I have used up to 800 outdoors in Wales in the middle of winter and 1600 indoors with no flash at a pool session.

Use a wider apperture if possible so that you can run a higher shutter speed to get rid of any blurring you may have (from using the slower film), some cameras (such as my Dynax 5) have a sports mode that sets this stuff for you plus runs continuous auto focus to make life easy.(I don't know about the camera you were asking about) The downside of the wider apperture setting is that the depth of field will be lost which will mean that the great scenery in the background will disappear...

Some of the photos that I have taken are on my club website www.ussu.net/canoe . They were all scanned from prints on my home scanner and have been shrunk in photoshop to make them download fast so the colours are a bit off but you should catch the drift. The best ones to look at are probably the shots from Gower (200 film I think and from the pool sessions (800 for a few but mainly 1600)

Also make sure that the lens is really clean and that the grains aren't dirt on the lens... 8o
Edited by: sporty dave at: 8/31/03 12:01 pm

spankerrobbie
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poor quality neg scanner.

Post by spankerrobbie » Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:01 am

I have founf that if the photo developers in question are using a poor quality neg scanner (after the roll has been developed) the corresponding digital images are also poo. check the file size on the cd, if the images are jpegs, and less than 2 megabytes, the neg scanner is pants and they are scanning at a poor resolution.

I have found that if good quality digital images are required from film, the only way to get them is to have prints done at 6x4, and scan them into your pc at high resolution (300x300) then tune the image to fit the required file size / quality

most modern scanners are excellent for this purpose, and give far better quality digi images than neg scanners do.

check what hardware the developers are using if you can!

Steve B
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Re: film asa

Post by Steve B » Sat Aug 30, 2003 3:15 pm

Oh dear, I have to disagree with quite a bit of what's been said so far, hope I don't upset anyone...

"I am disappointed with the poor images compared to my digi shots"

You don't say what film you're using or which digital camera you're comparing with, obviously that makes a difference. But even without knowing the specifics, I'm not particularly surprised. Any half-decent digital camera will give a noise-free image in normal daylight, but the sort of film you'll need to use to get the best out of the Canon A1 (200 ISO at least) will show some grain. So subjectively, the digital image will look cleaner than the scanned neg or print. This is true even when the bare mathematics would suggest that the digital is lower resolution than the scanned print.

The Canon A1 is a great camera to take paddling because it's truly waterproof, incredibly robust and easy to use with cold wet hands. But don't expect too much of it, it's basically a cheap compact made a bit more expensive by the waterproof case. It doesn't like poor light, but you can help it a bit by using fast film, and I use Fuji 400 almost all the time. It's tempting to go even further and use 800, but in my opinion (and it is a judgement call, this is not scientific) the extra grain and lower colour saturation make it not worthwhile.

Using a wider aperture is not an option because the A1 is auto only and doesn't have a 'sports' program to force high shutter speeds. In any case it doesn't sound like camera shake or motion blur was a problem for you, you were quite specific about grain not blur. (Always assuming that you know the difference :-) - I'm sure you do!)

Yes processing does make a difference, but you will usually find that the negs are fine, it's the prints that can sometimes be poor. If you want to scan your own, you will get the best results from bigger prints. Scanning from 6x4 prints is hopeless, it's absolutely the worst possible way to get a digital image. In theory you will get the very best results by scanning the negs, thereby totally removing the losses that you get even with good prints. But most home computer scanners can't scan negs properly (it needs very high resolution and different optics) so prints might be your only option.

I haven't used the CD services enough to have a really informed view on them, but I did try Kodak Picture CD out of curiosity when Jessops had a cheap deal on. Quality was absolutely fine, but the maximum resolution wasn't as high as I would have liked. Great for viewing on your television or for web pages, but not ideal for printing. The old Photo CD system was better, but I think they've phased it out.

Steve B.

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Jim
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Thought about completely different film?

Post by Jim » Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:41 pm

Steve is the pro so his advice is the stuff to go with!

Personally I have stopped using colour print film altogether and now almost exclusively use Fuji SensiaII 400 ASA film for all my paddling shots. It's a high speed slide film that gives very nice results, I buy it process paid, but you can get it without processing and you can order CD's with the pre-paid processing if you want to. You will need to try a roll or 2 in the camera to see if it suits you, I don't get especially good results from my compact and use an SLR to get the maximum out of the film, but I still prefer it in the compact to print film.

I also use Fuji Velvia 50 film in the SLR for landscape stuff (it's very slow and a tripod is recommended), they have recently released a 100ASA version of it though which might be suitable on bright days, personally I'd stick to 200 or 400 for action/low light pictures (well it's always overcast when I'm on the river!).

I'm just making a suggestion, if you want the prints to hand round in the pub you probably shouldn't go for slide film, if you want fantastic pictures and will be handing round CDs you should try it before deciding!

JIM

Steve B
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Steve B » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:32 pm

I might give that a try, Jim (Sensia 400 processed to CD) - although as you know I've gone almost 100% digital, the Canon A1 is still the only camera I can subject to serious abuse. Where do you buy it/get it processed?

Steve B.

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Jim
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Jim » Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:46 pm

I tend to buy from Jessops:
Everywhere else the process paid costs £10.50
In Jessops it costs £8.50
A 10 pack in Jessops is priced at £77
There is almost always an offer for 10% off if you buy 10 so I normally end up with 10 for £70.

The process paid obviously goes to Fuji labs who seem very good for the processing (and quick, if I post on Monday I have the slides on Saturday at the latest, usually by Thursday!). I've only had a couple of CDs from them which were mostly sunsets with huge areas of dark sillhouettes and I wasn't terribly happy with the colours in the scans, the resolution was fine (supply 3 resolutions.

I've had the Velvia which is not prepaid developed at Jessops before and they are good. I also had some done by Dlab7 (the processing side of 7dayshop) which were good except they don't put index numbers on the mounts and with the number of slides I need to keep track of this is a bit of a nightmare for me (yes I know I can get sticky labels or write on them with a pen) - they also offer various quality CDs (which I haven't tried) and you know all about their prices! For the last couple of weddings I've been to I have actually used professional print film (Fuji NPS) designed for portraiture and had it developed at Dlab7 and printed to 9 x 6 and I'm really pleased with those! They certainly seem competent (unlike the high street processors, and don't get me started on the mess boots have always made of my negs in the past!).

JIM
(enthusiastic amatuer)

Steve B
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Steve B » Sun Aug 31, 2003 10:06 pm

Thanks Jim.

A couple of things you've said suggest that you think I'm a pro photographer, but I'm not, at least I don't think of myself as one. I do handle a lot of images in the course of my work, and I do use a camera (mainly for desktop shots of products for catalogues) but a real photographer would regard me as a meddling amateur.

Steve B.

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Jim
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Jim » Sun Aug 31, 2003 10:42 pm

"A couple of things you've said suggest that you think I'm a pro photographer"

I think you work in graphics in some way (publishing?) - I realise you don't need to be a photographer for that, but you certainly know a lot about the image manipulation and post processing side that I don't!

If you were a "real" photographer you'd be telling us all to use a medium format camera or something :-)

Just wondering, a few of us do get paid, or get sponsorship for our photo's, whilst that doesn't make us pros, it must make us something - do we call oursleves 'skilled' photographers or something like that? :-)

Anyway, if you can take catalogue shots you must be better than me, all that fiddling with flash is beyond me (well the principle is OK but the technical details - woah!).

JIM

Richard Seaby
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Richard Seaby » Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:39 am

I re scanned one of the negs with a good slide scanner (Nikon) we use a lot at work - still a poor image - even with a file size of 40MB! I think that the neg is actually poorly developed or the film is of low quality.

As for film choice - I never use much above a 200 - I mainly stay at velvia 50. The principle being if the light is crap the picture is crap! (I use a lot of images in my work and we end up being quite choosy). I tend to be after “big views” rather than groups round the bonfire type picies.

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Douglas Wilcox
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big views and round the bonfire type picies

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:34 am

Hi Richard,
Both of the above at:
"24 hours in the Sound of Jura"
Douglas :)

Steve B
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Re: Thought about completely different film?

Post by Steve B » Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:49 pm

Richard> "The principle being if the light is crap the picture is crap!"

Couldn't agree more, the light is what makes the picture (painting with light and all that). Unfortunately in our sport (in the broad sense, not just sea paddling) we often have to contend with both low light levels and relatively fast moving subjects. In addition, the original question was specifically about a low price compact; I can't remember the maximum aperture of the A1 but it's not great. And in any case it won't give the best results at full aperture. So all things considered fast film - which is pretty good these days - is the usual advice and it's worked for me.

Velvia 50 is the choice of many professionals but it's three stops slower and that could be the difference between a 1/125 exposure and an unusable 1/15. A photographer friend of mine uses Velvia all the time, but he takes landscapes using a tripod. But clearly if you have the conditions and the equipment a finer film is very much to be recommended and on reputation (can't speak from personal experience) Velvia gets the accolades.

Steve B.

TheAdder KEA
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Film Speed / Digital

Post by TheAdder KEA » Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:58 pm

Jim

try

www.mx2.org or www.7dayshop.com
for film

Adrian


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Jim
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Re: Film Speed / Digital

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 01, 2003 6:15 pm

You assume I plan my film purchases :-)

When I look in the fridge before heading out and find I have no film left I tend to go straight to jessops, I have even been caught out when they haven't had any and I've had to pay full whack elsewhere :-(

Do I keep all my film in a fridge? No, I intend to but most of it ends up living in the pelicase or the bag :-)

Steve - I've shot a few rolls of Velvia in the last couple of years (always waiting until I think I'm going to use the whole lot on landscapes) and can confirm it has fantastic colours and fine grain. I even have a few boating pictures (from holidays in the states where I didn't use it all before getting back on the river) - including one on the Dosewallips where Mark is throwing a cartwheel and I've managed to hold steady enough that the rocks are perfect (probably wouldn't hold up to close scrutinisation), the water is slightly milky and Mark has some motion blur! It was a fluke, I was in the boat at the time and the exposures are long enough to get ripple shake! The scans don't do it justice, but I will try and get some online soon!

Like I mentioned before, the new Velvia 100 looks interesting, magazine reviews reckon the grain is finer than other 100 films, of course kodak will bring out a competitor for it!

Forgot to mention before, the Sensia comes in 200 and 100, I just never found the need to try either because the 400 works so well!

JIM

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