Sunday, October 3, 2010

F300EXR – Review Part 21 – Film Modes and Saturation

I shot a lot of Kodachrome slide film back in the day … and one thing you learn to do with slide film is slightly underexpose to (a) protect your highlights and (b) increase color saturation.

The cool thing about digital is that it acts a lot like slide film. For the most part, digital capture has poor dynamic range, matching slide film in behavior and character. And, of course, underexposing deepens color and increases saturation. This can be very handy …

So I whipped up a matrix with six images of a red car sitting in front of my car in the parking lot just before breakfast this morning. I shot the 6 film modes (this was the moment when I realized that my entire morning of shooting had to be written off as a valid comparison between the F70 and the F300 … *sigh*

The two exposures here are 0EV and –1.33EV. Now, that will seem like a lot of negative compensation, but this was a wicked bright day outside and I found that this much compensation made for some really nice looking images. The following crops are in fact not crops. They are complete images reduced to 512px on the long side, for a total width of 1024px for the images side by side and a bit more for the text.

All that to suggest that you click through on this image, as it needs to be seen big to see the subtle and not so subtle tone changes through the six variations …

film_modes_f300[1]

As always … if you want to process your images, the 0EV + PROVIA image top right is the way to go. You can as as much or as little extra saturation and contrast as you like. But try and make the middle left image look like the top right image and, well, that’s not gonna happen.

For those of you who do not process … any of these would be fine. And there are three variations missing from each line directly between the left and right versions …

3 comments:

Clive said...

Kim,

Which image most closely represented the colour of the car on the day please?

Kim Letkeman said...

Clive, I'm rather color deficient ... but I thought of the color as pretty close to top left ... Provia underexposed.

Kim Letkeman said...

Oh ... and I should point out that underexposing a dark object is actually the right thing to do, as you are telling the meter that you want the frame darker than mid grey level, and in this case the frame was mostly that car. This is why the color is correct.