So, with my last order of film from B&H, I decided to toss in a couple rolls of slide film. I chose Fuji Astia, based on a quick browse through flickr for images with various slide films. There are a couple of reasons why this was, perhaps, silly — for one thing, I had just about sworn off Fuji (I prefer Kodak’s colors), and for another, I should probably have gone with the equivalent consumer emulsion instead, since it’s the same darn film. Odds are that the reason why I found the Astia images on flickr more compelling is that there’s a selection bias because it’s a “pro” film.
Whatever. It also has a cool name.
I’ve read that it’s best to underexpose slide film a bit, and my camera’s meter sometimes overexposes anyway, so I bracketed my shots, taking one as metered, one a stop darker, and one two stops darker. I had the roll processed at AG Photo, a lab not far off one of my commute routes. I could have saved money by shooting several rolls and mailing them off somewhere, but I wanted to see the results of the first roll before I did anything else.
Surprisingly, I found that the shots I took as metered were by far the best. The highs didn’t blow, for the most part, and the colors and contrast were markedly better than the underexposed shots. Too bad, really. I would have liked to pad the margin of error a bit more by rating it at 200.
I don’t have a slide projector, so I made do with viewing them against my laptop screen and (once I got home) my film scanner’s tiny slide lighty-up thingy. The colors were beautiful, and when viewed with a loupe, there was considerable detail.
Unfortunately, those things did not carry over to my scans. I don’t know why, but I found it far more difficult to coax those nice colors and that rich detail out of the slide and into my computer. Quite frustrating. Hopefully this is one of those areas where practice makes perfect. Still, I got some usable results:
Of course, now I need to be a flipping slide projector and screen so I can become that guy who wants to show you his slides. Oh, well. Embrace the inner dork.