The FILMINA process for B&W slides maximizes the quality of every film, giving a density and brightness impossible to obtain with the traditional process of B&W printing. It also makes scanning easier and gives finer grain.
This process is possible with several emulsions, offering a wide aesthetic range to choose from.
Basically, we’ll focus our attention in two characteristics:
1- Films with triacetate or polyester base.
2- Films with clear or tinted base.
Polyester base is clearer, more resistant and long lasting than triacetate ones, but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better quality, as there are a lot of factors at stake.
The clear or transparent base is also preferred over the tinted one, but in practice -like what happens with polyester and triacetate- it doesn’t necessarily give better quality. It will give better brightness in projection, but perhaps it may not offer the best density, definition or contrast.
In fact, the slight violet or grey base in some films is not only imperceptible in projection, but it also helps to neutralize the warmness of the lamp in many slide projectors.
With such a confusing scenario, I’m going to list the different films compatible with the FILMINA process, giving a brief description of their characteristics. My purpose is to offer an orientation, but it must be your discerning eye who will finally decide which one suits you best.
The indicated ISO sensitivity it’s the one for which the process has been calibrated. Unless otherwise stated or if your photo equipment gives different results, is best to stick with it. Just as it happens with colour slide film, the exposure range is much more restricted than with negative film.
The most contrasty film of the Ilford portfolio. Very fine grain and excellent definition. It’s recommended to process it as soon as possible after its exposure, as the latent image debilitates at great velocity, and never put it back in the fridge. Slightly tinted triacetate base.
Classic look with excellent tonal range and very good contrast. Fine grain and very good definition. As every Ilford film, the final tone is quite neutral. Slightly tinted triacetate base.
Excellent tonal range and good contrast. Despite its bigger grain, it’s still very nice compared to its negative processing. It’s possible to push process it at 800 ISO, but contrast and grain gets bigger. Very sensitive to high temperatures, time and X-rays: use it ALWAYS fresh. Slightly tinted triacetate base.
Very contrasty. Grain is between FP4 and HP5, specially near the first one. It has a peculiar look due to its slight infrared nature and, of course, it can be shot like that. Slightly tinted triacetate base.
Fine grain and excellent definition. Tonal range is not as high as with classic film emulsions, but very good anyway. Slightly tinted triacetate base in 35mm. Clear base in medium format.
The succesor of the mighty Agfa Scala, one of the great classics of B&W slides. Good definition and contrast. I process this film in a different way to get a better “Scala look”. Conceived as a slide film, it has a clear triacetate base. Scala and Silvermax are the same film. Shoot it at 100 ISO if you prefer higher density.
Good definition, fine grain and low contrast. Very soft quality, appropiate when looking for a flatter look than usual. Clear polyester base, very bright in projection.
The unique film that can only be processed as B&W slides. Very atmospherical, with a classic cinema look, good definition and contrast. On the contrary, it’s very temperamental in its behavior due to slight production problems in a few batches. Clear triacetate base.
The Velvia of B&W slides. Impressive definition, very fine grain and very high contrast. So high, that it requires a certain practice to control it. Clear polyester base, very bright in projection.
High contrast and good definition. Perfect for infrared photography. Clear polyester base.
Same film than Rollei Infrared.
Very fine grain, good contrast and excellent definition. Clear polyester base.
This film is only available on 35mm cores, because it’s conceived for motion picture filmmaking. Processed as a slide, it gives good definition and low contrast, as well as fine grain. Slightly tinted triacetate base.
· It’s recommended to use always FRESH film. Some emulsions get higher fog level with time or bad conservation, and the Dmax is also disminished.
· Likewise, it’s recommended to process the films as soon as possible after its exposure.
· Remember to shoot the film with the same precision as a colour slide film and at the ISO specified in the list.
· If you still have doubts about which film suits best your project, just contact me at email@example.com