It takes me some time to get through film rolls. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m hyper-aware that every picture I take is another exposure that I’ve used and can’t instantly view and erase if it’s crap. I go at a much slower pace with film. When I finally get through a film roll and get it developed, I’m usually surprised at what I see. In today’s post, I’m going to share some shots from two recent 35mm Fuji rolls: Superia 400 and Velvia 100.
Bear in mind that I don’t think anything below is portfolio worthy, but getting back into film is a challenge and an adventure that I enjoy sharing. It might help someone to see some examples of what the film looks like, and of course it’s a learning experience for me to see the results of my carefully planned shots. In the end, there are some keepers and there were some throwaways. Let’s check out the Superia 400 keepers first.
I like the versatility of Superia 400. It really seemed to perform well in a lot of different lighting conditions. No real complaints here!
I debated whether or not I should share these, because as it turns out slide film is particularly hard to scan (or so says the internet). I had a local lab here develop and scan this roll, and I had them scan it twice because I thought something was off with their machine. The fact is, the developed film slides look so much better than these scans when viewed through a loupe on a light table. It’s night and day sharper and more true to the colors I remember seeing on the film, and even after being re-scanned the results came out blurry and the colors seemed off on the scans. I might have another local shop take a look, but for now I’ll share what I have with this roll under the condition that if you REALLY want to see some accurate Velvia 100, well…you’ll have to come over and take a look at the slides. Please bring beer when you do.
I think I’ll use Superia 400 again but I’m not sure if I’ll go back to Velvia 100. To be fair, it’s possible that I didn’t shoot the Velvia 100 correctly. I used it (mostly) on a hike through the Laurentians, and I didn’t stop to mount it on a tripod. I don’t think my shutter speeds were ever slow enough to introduce any shake (there was plenty of light), but I won’t rule out the possibility. It’s convenient to blame the scanning process for some blurriness on this roll at 100%, but instead of spending more time and money to figure out the issue I’ll stick to higher speed film that I’ve already seen will produce sharp results.
I love the Velvia colors and I’ve read about it’s incredible sharpness, but in my experience that’s only on the developed film, not so much on the scans (seen here). The scans aren’t bad but to beat a dead horse: it’s much better when viewed on the developed film. Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it as I usually keep the files on my computer, so I think for now I’ll stick to the great Velvia film simulation on the X-T1 for my landscape and nature needs.
My next ‘Recent Developments’ post will probably feature some Porta 400 and some Tri-X 400, but as with all things film related: it’ll take a little more time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to film, it’s not to be too hasty with the shutter. As soon as the right photos come along, I’ll be sure to share them here.