Fuji Velvia revisited

It’s been over a year since my last roll of slide film. These days, I am shooting much less film than I used to. The convenience of digital and my heavy involvement with video have made me use less this wonderful medium. With a camera like the Nikon D800E, I have plenty of resolution for large prints. This camera also gives me the ability to easily create panoramic images by stitching shots. Stitching also makes it easier for me to create images with much higher resolution than my medium format or even my large format camera.

I still love shooting film, especially medium and large format, but my free time is limited, and film requires time both on the field and at home (developing, scanning).

About Fuji Velvia, I had a few rolls left on the fridge (expired one year ago, but no problem if they are leptin the freezer), so I thought it was time to go out and make some images. My choice of cameras were the Plaubel Makina 67 and Fuji GSW690iii.

(Fuji GSW690iii, Fuji Velvia 50, aperture:f/16, speed: 1/2, polarizer filter)

(Fuji GSW690iii, Fuji Velvia 50, aperture:f/16, speed: 1/4)

I used Fuji Velvia 50 which I consider it to be the best version of Velvia (other versions are 100 and 100F). The low ISO combined with a medium format cameras where apertures usually are f/11 and above means that a tripod is necessary. Add to that a polariser filter and you shoot near ISO 12. Far away from the crazy ISOs we are used to see today !

The most distinctive characteristic of Velvia 50 is it’s colour. Vivid with a wonderful rendering on green, yellow and red. There are ways to emulate it with presets using Photoshop, Lightroom or other software, but personally I find its palette unique and very very difficult to replicate, especially when looking at a large print. It’s a wonderful emulsion, and one I hope that will remain in the market for a few more years, it would really be a pity to see a film like this discontinued.

Sunrise at Kastoria
(Fuji GSW690iii, Fuji Velvia 50, aperture:f/16, speed: 1/30)


(Fuji GSW690iii, Fuji Velvia 50)

Shooting with Velvia is quite tricky. This is a very demanding film and exposing it correctly is not easy. There is no room for error, even half a stop overexposure or underexposure can make a huge difference. I rated these rolls at ISO 40, and I found some of my images were a bit overexposed, so I’ll probably stick at ISO 50 when I calculate exposure.

In today’s world of HDR and heavily saturated images, the look of Velvia might not impress as it did a few years ago, but I find it a great landscape film, and I hope I will find some time soon to shoot a few sheets of 4×5 Velvia.

Enjoy the rest of the images.





More images shot with Velvia will be uploaded tomorrow.

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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One Response to Fuji Velvia revisited

  1. Brian says:

    It’s understandable to not shoot film as much as before – but I’m glad to see you found some magic in it again – or at least it seems. The photos are great and thank you for sharing!

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