Fuji Velvia 100
is a new derivative in the Velvia line of films. It is said
by the Fuji Film Corporation that the production of this
new version is necessitated because of the inability to
obtain the raw materials needed for Velvia 50. I have know
way of knowing if this is reality, but what it does mean
is that Velvia 100 will replace the tried and true Velvia
50 at some point in the future. (update - Velvia
50 will be produced again!)
I have just gotten
my first roll of Velvia 100 back from the developer. I am
impressed. There are definite performance differences between
Velvia 50 and the new Velvia 100, but my initial impression
is that most of the differences are positive.
I have seen other
reviews on the web where people pick apart every nuance they
think they see and declare the new Velvia a failure or success
based on these observations. I simply can't find many differences
between the appearance of the two. They both enhance and exaggerate
colors to give your images a wonderful pop. The only difference
I have seen thus far is the way tungsten lighting shows on
the film. I did a long exposure of an interior and the results
came out redder than I am used to with Velvia 50. With Velvia
50, I would get more of a yellow hue from the tungsten lights.
I don't necessarily think this is a weakness yet, just something
to expect in certain situations. Other users have reported
that the new emulsion does tend to shift red more often than
the old Velvia 50.
FujiFilm touts on
their website that Velvia 100 has "improved neutral tones".
I take this to possibly mean more natural skin tones. If this
is what they mean, then they should not be so quick to mention
this. The performance of rendering skin tones is very similar
to Velvia 50, which is to say it is not good! White people
still look like they have severe sunburn. It may be slightly
better, but still not accurate. Not a problem for me - I realize
if I do take a picture of people while using Velvia there
will be a shift to red and I just have to deal with it.
FujiFilm also claims
improved reciprocity performance compared to Velvia 50. My
long exposure shots (up to 2 minutes) did come out very well
exposed with little need to compensate. I will still tend
to add exposure, but it seems that the performance during
long exposures is much more linear than the old Velvia.
A big advantage
to Velvia 100 is the 1 stop increase in speed over Velvia
50. I have heard some reports that shooting this film at a
rating of 125 will give better results. This is entirely subjective
and depends on your subject, the look you are trying to achieve,
and how you meter for exposure. I will not go as far as changing
the ISO rating of every image, but I will still tend to underexpose
1/3 to 2/3 of a stop compared to the meter reading. In my
opinion, this results in more saturated colors and gives me
the look I want to achieve.
The new Velvia
100 is definitely worth trying out; however, I have found
that I tend to want to load the old rolls of Velvia
the freezer rather than pop in a roll of the new Velvia 100.
After some time with both, I prefer the yellower and warmer
colors of 50.