High Speed Medium Format

Fireman Going For Lunch, Newton, MA November 2006

Fireman Going For Lunch, Newton, MA November 2006

I've been looking for a high speed film to use to take pictures at Fenway Park during night games. My previous attempts, using Fuji 800 NPZ, didn't meet my standards, so I did an experiment recently with Fuji Provia 400F film. I decided to post an unprocessed image to give people an idea of what is possible with this medium format film. The image was taken with a Pentax 6x7 camera and 300mm F4 lens, but is only about half of the frame - someone stepped into the scense just as I was taking the picture, so I've cropped them out. The film is Fuji Provia 400F, pushed 2 stops to ASA 1600. Exposure was 1/500th second, somewhere around F11, and hand held. Admittedly, this is a rather odd combination of film and equipment for street photography! It was scanned at 4000 DPI with a Microtek 120TF using Lasersoft Silverfast, and then stored at JPEG quality 8. The image above has been down-rezzed to about 1 megapixel. I haven't done any other processing to this image - no sharpening, exposure adjustment, noise reduction, etc.

The full size image, about 47 megapixels, compressed down to 13 MB at JPG 8, and you can download it by clicking here. Please be aware - this will take a *long* time to download over a dialup connection! Again, this image has not been fixed up, no sharpening, noise reduction, etc.

I've also run a copy of the image through Neat Image to clean up the graininess, which is visible at 1600 ASA. That image is smaller because it doesn't contain the detail from the grain but its still about 6MB - available by clicking here. You're welcome to download this and load it into Photoshop and play around with it. I suggest at least 1 or 2 GB of RAM and a speedy CPU.


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