If you’ve never shot a roll of slide film, you should absolutely do it now. The sensation you get from holding the diapositives (or slides if you’re shooting 35mm and you get them mounted) is exhilarating. I still get the same rush of looking at them the 20th time as I got the 1st time.
It’s hard to overstate how much I love Provia. My first foray into slide film was Ektachrome as soon as the new stock came last year. Since Ektachrome wasn’t available in 120 and I wanted the chance to shoot through a roll in my Mamiya on a trip to Arizona we were taking in October, I picked up some Provia. The vibe of it is just unreal. The tones are amazing and there’s so much clarity… I took a good scan of the first photos and printed it out into a 24in x 36in sheet and it couldn’t look any better. I honestly think it’s sharper than an equivalent shot on my digital camera (Sony a7).
That’s enough of the good; as for the bad, it suffers from the same qualities all slide film have and it can be a bit persnickety. Like all slide film, you have to nail the exposure and keep the scenes fairly low contrast or the scene or will get blown out in a hurry. That said, Provia has one the widest exposure latitudes of it’s slide stock peers. As for its quirks, it tends to be pretty cool. If you don’t have a warming filter on your lens, you will almost assuredly have to do some post processing white balance adjustments. For those that have warming filters, I typically use an 81A but if it’s particularly cloudy or closer to dusk, I’ll switch out the A for an 81B and everything tends to work out fine.
Those first shots are from my first roll on a visit to Arizona. The weather conditions were perfect – a lot of sun and crisp temperatures. The second set are from a quick stop in Hocking Hills one late afternoon. It was a lot more cloudy and all the shots came out with a bit of a blue wash that had to be corrected post.