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5D settings to replicate Velvia and Provia?

Jonathan Griffith , Dec 23, 2005; 03:29 p.m.

Hi there I have just made the jump to digital and am having problems trying to replicate Velvia and Provia on the 'picture style'. This may be a bit of an odd question (like i said just starting to get to grips with digital). However you can customise the contrast/saturation etc and most importantly the colour tone which seems to me the key variable to try and emulate the provia colour saturation. Can anyone help me out or am I just being plain stupid? I recently shot some stuff and was pretty upset by the lack of colour in a sunset shoot (even though i increased saturation quite some bit). Thanks for any help Jon

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Daniel Taylor , Dec 23, 2005; 03:47 p.m.

My recommendation is to set the 5D to be as neutral as possible, then do your "style" manipulation post process. Although even then, the color palettes of Velvia and Provia are hard to emulate.

There are some plugins which claim to help you simulate these films.

Preston Merchant , Dec 23, 2005; 03:49 p.m.

It will be more fruitful to shoot RAW format in some "normal" parameter, then punch things up in a photo editor / converter like Canon's Digital Photo Professional or Photoshop. The little monitor on the back of the camera won't give you an accurate rendering of color or contrast, so you'll be judging on your computer's monitor. There are far more tools for color and contrast in those programs than in the menu settings of the camera--and in DPP you can tweak them anyway.

Michele Berti , Dec 23, 2005; 05:10 p.m.

The best way to replicate Velvia and Provia is to shot film :-) There are some plug-ins which bump saturation, cool or warm this and that.... but the result isn't the same than shooting the velvia

Jim Larson , Dec 23, 2005; 06:53 p.m.

Ignore settings. Shoot Raw. Figure out what you need to do in post processing.

Les Sarile , Dec 23, 2005; 08:57 p.m.

I am not sure that the 5D can simulate the resolution of either - in 35mm format, unless you intend to add information that isn't there.

John Crowe , Dec 23, 2005; 10:31 p.m.

Most if not all digital cameras put out a very bland image file. Most if not all images need immediate contrast adjustment and sharpness adjustment in post processing software. By increasing the contrast further still and by throwing in a moderate increase in overall saturation you can come very close to Velvia. The plug-ins appear to simply adjust colour balance and individual saturations more specifically. Currently you have to pay for these but by using your own colour sense you can come close.

The bland output file is both wonderful and awful at the same time. Wonderful because it allows the individual photographer to determine his/her own palette and awful because you can't get the image the way you want without a fair amount of post processing. If the film companies were smart they'd sell the colour formulas to the camera manufacturers who would then have a built in menu in the cameras for settings such as Fuji Velvia 50, Kodak Kodachrome 25 etc...I think something of this nature, perhaps without the brand names, will be introduced within a couple of years. The only problem is that after 20 years most people won't know what the settings refer to.

DSLRs have built in adjustments but so far I have found them to be in increments so small that it is not worth adjusting them. So as others have said leave them so the camera at least records everything in the scene and then deal with the particulars after.

Giampi . , Dec 23, 2005; 10:41 p.m.

My take is that when using a NEW medium you should exploit and explore that medium without contraints. I think trying to "emulate" is indeed a constraint. But, that's a difference in philosphy. I have mine you have yours.

Having said that, the 5D is capable of doing what you want however, to REALLY emulate those emulsions someone would have to spend a great deal of time and money creating a computer (software) model which could then, be translated into the adjstments available in a RAW converson program and/or Photoshop (the BEST tool for digital imaging).

It's not just a matter of saturation and contrast, it's much deeper and much more complex than that. It would require measuring how the film reacts to different light intensities and temperature, different color schemes, different contrast scenes, etc... A huge and very expensive undertaking which only the film companies would have both the fund and interest in doing.

Wonder why they haven't done it yet? Most liekly they have been working on it for a long time but, want to continue selling film as long as they can :)

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Dec 24, 2005; 12:15 a.m.

If you shoot RAW and convert with RSP (Rawshooter Premium), the "Vibrance" control does a good job of producing Velvia-like colors in digital. Setting it to values in the 6 to 9 range did just about the right things for my fall foliage shots.

You can also do the standard Photoshop trick of converting to Lab mode and in levels, moving in both end sliders for both the a and b channels in the Levels control.

I suspect, though, that it's like sharpening. I find that I'm using less and less sharpening as time goes by, and suspect that I'll see the same effect with the Vibrance control.

Mike Smith , Dec 24, 2005; 03:31 a.m.

The better question may be how do you set up your processing software to emulate film.

Often film purists point to a digital file as being inferior to a film frame but they are not comparing apples to oranges.

A raw file is just that a raw file. A Velvia frame is a batch processed frame with emulsion, paper, amount of sharpening etc. already chosen by the film and processing companies. Those steps haven't been performed on the raw file yet.

Most people use PS to process raw files. That is where you will choose your "emulsion", sharpening, etc. Once you figure out how you want your pictures to look on your printer save the steps in your software so you can batch process files in the future.

BTW each time you change output options you will have to change your software settings. I have three printers, a Dell laser, an Epson ink jet and a Canon ink jet. To produce three similar prints would necessitate 3 different treatments in PS.

Hope this helps.

Mike


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