Color Slide or Negative Preferred in Photojournalism? : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

In photojournalism, there is no doubt that digital technology replaces film more and more these days. These sophisticated cameras are improving with each day and therefore, it isnt difficult to image a film-less profession in the very near future. However, until this day arrives, can you please tell me what the current standard color film is: reversal or negative? Thanks. - Steve

-- Steve Renaud (, November 24, 1998


Yeah...this is an interesting question that I ponder a lot myself and discuss with other pros as often as I can. Firstly there is no doubt that negative is a lot cheaper and easier but the colour saturation can never match transparency....also once you have made a colour transparency it is "set in concrete" can manipulated sure but the information stored within the film is far superior. But I have many fine colour images sot on fugi 800 that could never have been shot on when do use transparency.....whenever you can! Cheers Dave Hancock

-- David Hancock (, December 06, 1998.

I prefer color negative now for one major reason, today's desktop film scanners are able to get more information from a color negative than from a transparency. Slide film is still the major choice for a lot of jobs, but I think negative films have gotton so good and also have the advantage of quick processing in the boonies that they'll overtake slides.

-- Lee Taylor (, July 12, 1999.

It depends on what your client is looking for in a final product. For publication, transp. film is superior if exposed properly. For large prints, color neg films have warmer tones. Ask first.... then shoot both!

-- Donn Brown (, July 15, 1999.

I stopped shooting slides about ten years ago -- for quite a number of reasons. Probably the most significant was purely practical -- with the approach of middle-age, they were harder to see with the naked eye, than prints! But also, with negative being cheaper, I found myself less inhibited about shooting what might only turn out to be "record" shots (but which later I often found were better than I thought).

Nowadays negative is certainly easier and cheaper to scan than transparencies. And yet, if negative was less "inhibiting", nowadays digital is even more so: if you don't like what you got, you can just delete it. And do it again, if you are still there, or maybe just shoot a lot more at the time -- since it is "cheap". But therein lies a problem: it seems that photographs are becoming "cheaper" all the time.

Long ago, if you were shooting on half-plate or full-plate, you made sure everything was JUST so, before you even took off the lens cap. The times have changed, certainly. Indeed, this summer, in Xinjiang, China, I have come to see the advantages of digital. But I have also seen even more clearly the DISadvantages, too, so I won't be giving up my film camera yet awhile.

Both systems have their good and bad points, and, just like they claimed TV would kill radio, I don't see digital completely killing film, but becoming a useful ADJUNCT. Certainly it will make massive inroads, especially with consumers, who don't have to wait for their pix -- not even one hour.

Martyn G.

-- Martyn Green (, August 18, 2004.

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