BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Kevin  P. Scully

Film Types

I am a beginner photographer, I just bought my first SLR (Minolta Maxxum 5) 5 months ago. I have taken many rolls of print film and have been expressed with my pictures. I then noticed the slides of my friend. The colors seemed to be more vibrant and saturated. My question is, which film is better for a beginning photographer, negatives or slide film?

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2/10/2003 9:29:52 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Slides often look better than prints because the light shines through them giving them a luminesence, while prints can only reflect light.

Slides are very unforgiving of exposure errors and so are a good learning tool, especially if you keep notes. You can compare your notes to the slides and learn when your camera's meter is likely to be fooled so that you can recognize when exposure compensation is required.

Print film has very wide exposure latitude and is very forgiving of exposure errors. It is difficult to judge the negatives because of the reversed colors and orange mask, and the quality of your prints is heavily dependent on the printer getting the focus and color balance right. Adding +1/2 to +1 exposure compensation to many print films results in more saturated colors.

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2/10/2003 11:33:19 AM

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