Colour transparency film for professionals

Shooting on slide film, known as transparency film, gives you much more accurate colours and often far sharper pictures than the same from negative or print film. Here's a round up of what's available in professional versions:

| Film

Fuji Velvia
Colour transparency film for professionals: Fuji VelviaVelvia has captured the hearts of many photographers. It's liked for its high contrast and vivid colours that leap of the light box. It's so punchy that most rate this ISO50 film at ISO32 to tone down the saturation. As for sharpness, Velvia equals Kodachrome 25 which takes some doing. A film that's highly recommended for natural history and landscape photographers, Velvia is available in 35mm, 120, 220, 35mm bulk lengths and up to 8x10in sheets.

Fuji RTP
A tungsten balanced emulsion that's available in 35mm, 120, bulk lengths and sheet film in sizes up to 11x14in. If you intend shooting interiors or night scenes and prefer to work without colour correction filters this ISO64 film is a great choice.

Fuji Astia

Colour transparency film for professionals: Fuji AstiaWhere Provia and Velvia give warm saturated colours Astia, the latest film from Fuji's stable, offers a more neutral colour balance. Like Provia it's rated at ISO100, but contrast is slightly less harsh so it maintains detail in the shadow areas while highlights sparkle. If you have an overcast day Provia may still win out, but in bright conditions Astia is the one to choose. It's available in 35mm, 120, 220, bulk lengths and 4x5in and 8x10in sheet film.

Fuji Provia 100
Colour transparency film for professionals: Fuji Provia 100Provia replaced the old favourite RDP several years ago and is the choice of portrait and wedding photographers because of its pleasing warmth that enhances skin tones and the high contrast to lift a dull day. This ISO100 film offers all the right ingredients combining excellent sharpness, super fine grain and vivid colour rendition. What more could you want?
It's sold in 35mm, 120, 220, bulk lengths and sheet film up to 8x10in.

Fuji Provia 400
Colour transparency film for professionals: Fuji Provia 400Action photographers and low-light shooters who need the speed but still require fine grain and good sharpness should try this film. Like the ISO100 version, colour rendition is good with a hint of pink to boost the flesh tones. Shadow detail is handled well while grain is small, considering the speed. This ISO400 film is just available in 35mm and 120.

Fuji Provia 1600
Colour transparency film for professionals: Fuji provia 1600This film for low-light action photography is used by sports photographers around the globe. Reasonable contrast and decent grain structure gives you action freezing images that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago. It's currently only sold in 35mm format.

Fujichrome MS100/1000
Colour transparency film for professionals: Fujichrome MS100 What's so special about this new film? The clue's in the name - an ISO100 film that can be rated at speeds up to ISO1000 when the light fades. Just mark the film P1, P2, P3 or P4 so the lab push process it at ISO200, ISO400, ISO800 or ISO1000 respectively. As standard, the film offers stunning sharpness, a good density range and fine grain that's equivalent to Fuji's other ISO100 emulsions. Take it to P1 and quality is still very good, although there's a slight drop in contrast. P2 also delivers decent quality, but go to P3 and P4 and you'll see a noticeable drop in contrast and sharpness, but you'll have the shot, and that's often the more important point. It's available in 35mm, 120, 220 and bulk lengths.

Colour transparency film for professionals: KodachromeFrom architectural to medical photography, Kodachrome 35mm film has been the choice of a wide variety of professionals for decades. Available in two speeds ISO 64 and 200 (ISO25 has sadly been discontinued), these films are processed in K-14 chemicals making them slightly less versatile than Ektachrome, but there are benefits. Kodachrome films are the most archival transparency films, so you're pictures will probably outlive you.

Kodachrome 64 has extremely fine grain, offer exceptional sharpness and subtle colour reproduction, making it ideal for a wide variety of applications including travel, nature, advertising and medical.
Kodachrome 200 also has remarkably fine grain and sharpness for the speed which helps in low-light situations and when the subject's moving. It goes without saying that this film is well suited for sports, editorial and stage-performance, especially as the film can also be pushed two stops up to ISO800 for use under stadium lighting

Kodak Ektachrome
The Ektachrome family are non-process paid E-6 films that can be processed at any lab around the world.

Colour transparency film for professionals: Ektachrome EPNEktachrome EPN is a daylight balanced ISO100 speed film that offers excellent highlight detail, accurate neutral tones along with fine grain and high sharpness. This old favorite is perfect for studio still-lifes and architectural photography and comes in sizes from 35mm up to sheet film.

Colour transparency film for professionals: Ektachrome EPTEktachrome EPT is a medium-speed film designed for tungsten light shooting. Its ISO 160 speed and tungsten balance make it the choice for shooting fashion and editorial work. It's also good for industrial interiors where light levels are low.
EPT comes in 35mm, 120 and bulk rolls.

Colour transparency film for professionals: Ektachrome EPJEktachrome EPJ
This tungsten-balanced film gives you an extra stop speed over EPT making it the sports photographers choice when shooting interiors. It's also good for stage photography and would easily find a home with medical photographers.

Colour transparency film for professionals: Ektachrome 400XEktachrome 400X EPL
This daylight and flash balanced film uses Kodak's dye filter systems and inter-layer chemical management to produce a set of colours with a hint of warmth.
Considering the speed it's exceptionally sharp and grain's kept to a minimum too. Its primary applications are sports/action and low- light photography. Like EPT it's sold in 35mm and roll-film sizes.

Colour transparency film for professionals: Ektachrome EPH P1600Kodak Ektachrome EPH P1600
If you need a subject freezing shutter speed and can put up with a little grain, try this ISO1600 film. It's ideal for low-light-level photography and action or sports, but also for use with longer lenses where hand holding can be a problem. Although it's rated at 1600 on the box the true speed is ISO400 and you push it two stops to get the quoted ISO1600. At ISO1600 you begin to see the harsh grain, but you can turn that to good effect.

Kodak Ektachrome E100S, E100SW and E100VS
The latest additions to Kodak's Ektachrome stable are Ektachrome E100S, E100SW and E100VS. All three deliver clean colours and extremely fine grain thanks to the impressive grain structure delivered by Kodak's T-Grain emulsion. This also ensures high sharpness and, being the popular, medium speed of ISO100, the films are easy to use with flash or in a variety of outdoor lighting conditions. They also have superb reciprocity characteristics which means you can get away with exposures of up to 10 seconds without needing to compensate with a filter.

A new interlayer structure assists when you want to push process.
Floral photographers will appreciate the two new spectral sensitising dyes that have been introduced to provide a broader range of blue-light capture. The E100S delivers contrasty images with loads of bright, saturated colours and is an ideal combination of clean, brilliant colours and excellent skin tone reproduction.

E100SW helps compensate for overcast or cool lighting conditions and is ideal for photographers who prefer a warmer image rendition where added warmth will benefit the image. This film has vibrant colour saturation with crisp highlights and rich blacks, good skin tone reproduction and fine grain and sharpness.

E100VS uses Colour Amplifying Technology to produce what Kodak claims is the most vivid, saturated colours available in any ISO100 transparency film, but Fuji will no doubt argue against this with its Provia film.

It's designed for a wide variety of subjects where brilliant and dramatic hues are essential. You can also push it one stop.

The family of films are available in 35mm 120, 220, bulk and large format sheets

Kodak Ektachrome E200
This daylight-balanced ISO200 film is claimed to offer lower contrast than other similar speed films so you get better detail in the highlights and shadows. There's also better tone gradation to create more natural looking images, especially with skin tones. These factors, and the excellent colour and image structure, make it hard to spot the difference between this and ISO100 emulsions. The T-Grain emulsion layers ensure grain is fine and sharpness is exceptional.
Like the ISO100 versions, reciprocity is superb and the film can be used between 1/10,000 second and 10 seconds without need of exposure or filter corrections.

This family of three films from Agfa is based on the original RSX with improved emulsion technology and include ISO 50, 100 and 200 speeds.

Agfa RSX II 100

Colour transparency film for professionals: Agfa RSX II 100Is available in the widest range of formats from 35mm up to 10x8 inch sheet, and is also the only speed that you can buy in 30m rolls. The speed makes it great for portraiture, fashion and advertising and it copes well with pushing. High colour saturation, extremely fine grain and superb sharpness are characteristics.

Agfa RSX II 50

Colour transparency film for professionals: Agfa RSX II 50Offers the finest grain of the trio and vivid colours along with excellent sharpness. It's perfect for still-life and studio photography and is available in 35mm and 120 rolls.

Agfa RSX II 200
Colour transparency film for professionals: Agfa RSX II 200 Consider this film if you need the extra stop speed when working in tricky lighting or to extend your flash coverage. It's not as fine grain as the other two but colours are still accurate and sharpness isn't sacrificed. It's available in 35mm and 120 formats.


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