Fuji Velvia 50, 02 January 2010


With the start of the new year, I thought it would be fun to show off a new film I’ve just recently shot. Okay, so I’ve already displayed Fuji’s Velvia slide film before, but this is a slightly different version, rated at ISO 50, rather than the ISO 100 film I’ve previously shot.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon N80 SLR (35mm)
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
Film: Fuji Velvia 50
Metering: TTL

As you might imagine, at ISO 50, the film is somewhat difficult to handle in low light conditions, [1] but with patience (and possibly a tripod, if you’re really having trouble), the results will be spectacular. As with the ISO 100 film, this film seems to benefit from a half- to full-stop underexposure, [2] depending on the lighting conditions.

I shot this particular photo outside my Mom’s church, Christ the King Church [3][4] in Norfolk, Virginia. As you can see, Norfolk does actually experience real seasons – rather nice, I think, compared to some parts of the world that appear to be uni- or bi-seasonal. I set the lens to its widest aperture setting (f/1.4 – not too shabby for a non-specialized normal lens), which gave the autofocus mechanism a bit of a seizure, since I was standing close to the lens’ minimum focus distance, but the end result here is tight focus on the leaves, with the background (and even the tree trunk) rendered nicely out of focus. The low speed is also quite apparent in the out-of-focus elements, as they’re rendered in smooth tones, rather than the grainy texture you’d find in a faster film. Since the day was overcast, I only needed a half-stop underexposure to get the saturated colors you see here (the film did the rest, being itself a highly saturated film).

A point of interest here is that I like this photo so much that it is currently the background to my computer’s desktop, the background on my Android phone, and my profile picture on Facebook. And now, it’s on display here. Amusingly enough, I’ve actually made four different formats of the same composition to accommodate these various locations, as each format is slightly different than the others. Fun times!



[1]: Believe it or not, my N80 is capable of handling film that’s rated down to an impressive ISO 6 – God only knows if anyone ever manufactured a film at that speed. This could simply be a similar matter to the speedometer in your car going up to 120 mph – as in, yes, it’s technically feasible, but nobody expects you to ever get there. [*]

[*]: OTOH, the ISO ratings on my N80 max out at ISO 6400, and I’ve definitely shot film at that speed…and I may have accidentally pushed my car up to 115 mph once or twice…

[2]: Also known as Exposure Compensation, if you’re feeling all fancy and such with the photographic terms. Being rather less than sophisticated in my speech and mannerisms (not to mention vocabulary, intelligence, etc.), I usually don’t bother with such fancy talk, but do what makes you happy.

[3]: In case you’re wondering, the church’s denomination is Roman Catholic.

[4]: Before you ask, yes, before I became the heathen agnostic that I am now, I was once a confirmed Roman Catholic, [**] and back in the day, I used to attend services at this very church. My lapse in attendance actually has nothing to do with the church or the community, as both are just fine – in point of fact, I still occasionally perform volunteer with the church when I’m in town. Also, as this is my Mom’s church, I would be remiss if I didn’t do a little promotion for them, so if you’re interested in learning more about the church, feel free to check out their website.

[**]: And yes, I am well aware of the irony of becoming a confirmed Roman Catholic just before I stopped attending regular services, so don’t bother pointing that out. For those of you who don’t know, Confirmation (yes, capitalized) is one of the seven Sacraments (also capitalized) of the Catholic Church, each of which is considered an important step in one’s spiritual development (although strictly speaking, Marriage and Holy Orders are equivalent to each other, as both are technically a form of committed relationship, the former between individuals of the opposite gender and the latter between an individual and the Church at large). And yes, I am also well aware of the irony of knowing all of this information, even though I am no longer a practicing member of the Church. What can I say? I’m weird like that.


One Response to “Fuji Velvia 50, 02 January 2010”

  1. […] of y’all who’ve read some of my previous posts (last year, that is) know just how much I like shooting Fuji’s Velvia color-reversal film. If you haven’t, go […]

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