Inside Avail. Light Prime Shooting..

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by SilverGlow, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    I'm just coming back to film from digital, after being gone for about 8 years. I want to do a lot of shooting with a 50mm F1.2 lens, available light, and inside. The genre is candid (contrived) portraiture. What film would be good for this? What "white balance" issues would I have to consider with choosing a film? I don't want the yellow casts I remember getting many years ago. The available lighting will often be incadecent, and sometimes flourescent (which I hate). Do today's 400 ISO films provide very fine grain? Good enough for 8" x 10" or a little bigger?

    Any tips and advice are welcome!

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Film has improved enormously in the last few years. Guessing that you are referring to colour film, you should find that ISO 400 film has sufficiently low graininess for 8x10 and bigger prints. I use ISO 800 quite a lot, and my standard print size is about 10x15 from 35 mm. I'd recommend Portra 800, but many of the ISO 800 films are good. Portra 800 can be pushed. With 'Push 2' development I rate Portra 800 at EI 2000 and Fuji Pro 800Z at EI 1600.

    Colour balance can be changed in post production if you shoot negative film. Will you be printing conventionally or from scans? Colour correction is a lot easier digitally.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not sure how the cannon f1.2 lenses perform but the nikkor 50mm f1.2 is extremely soft at 1.2--you're better off shooting between f1.8 and f2.
     
  4. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    Helen, thanks for your response. I should've mentioned that I want to shoot about 75% B&W and 25% color. The genre is wedding ports. I intend to shoot both digital and film, using film primarily for the black & whites but some color too.

    I've got a gig this Saturday and will try the Portra 400. I've got TMAX 100 and 400 for the B&W...what are your thoughts on those for B&W? I shot engagement shots last weekend with C-41 B&w and that was a big mistake on my part...live and learn lol

    And yes, white balance corrections are so much easier in digital raw. The other thing I miss about digital capture is that one can change the ISO from shot to shot....I might buy a 2nd film body to hold a different lens and ISO film....going back to film is so much fun, seriously...it has gotten me out of a creative block....
     
  5. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    The Canon 50mm F1.2 is a great lens, but ONLY if one can work it in a way to compensate for it's design flaws. It has the dreaded focus creap especially if the center focus point is being used, and shooting close and fast...I've learned to move my body a tad back when doing that type of shooting, and when I do even wide open F1.2 is razor sharp....it lacks a floating design and why Canon didn't use that design with this lens as it did with the primes 24mm, 35mm, 85mm, and others is beyond me.
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    My original comment was meant to indicate that colour correcting film in post is easier if it is done digitally than if it is done traditionally. With both film and digital capture, if you do not start out by using filters to balance all you are doing is changing the colour balance in post.

    As far as changing ISO goes, you can just load up with Portra 800, and then expose it between 800 and 200 with normal development - the greater the exposure the lower the graininess. Portra 800 has enormous dynamic range, with the 800 speed rating being set by the shadow exposure. If you are scanning you can use it as a versatile B&W film. There's little point in using C-41 B&W film. If you aren't printing larger than 8x10 you should find the graininess acceptable or unnoticeable, especially if exposed at EI 400.

    I like both TMax 100 and 400. The current version of TMax 400 is a remarkable film, with very low graininess for its speed. I usually use TMax 100 at EI 125 with Diafine.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  7. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    When I used color film last weekend for a few shots at the wedding, I though to gel up my flashes, but then thought I would simply scan them into a digital file for easy corrections, then later regretted not gelling. Yea, I'm all over the place, as I'm still yet to determine which camera workflows to use for my color film shots. Maybe a sign of my forgetfulness with film, or maybe digital has made me "lazy" but I so much prefer shooting weddings with digital cameras. Mitigation of issues is often faster, and the results more predictable. This is not to suggest that I am not going to move forward with the integration of film in my future weddings, but rather, just stating my frustration with film. Still, none of these learning opportunities have quashed my excitement with film. Yet. lol

    I think for my film shots, I will not scan but rely on a film lab to process the film and print it too, so the process stays analog from beginning to end. I don't know why, but shooting with analog, then converting to digital rubs me the wrong way...as though doing so defeats the whole idea of keeping the process analog from shutter release through the printing...yea, I accept the possability that my thinking is irrational....you see I'm still trying to get my head around film and best practices for film....too much digital on the brain.

    Thanks again for your advise,
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There's something strange about your problem with film and ungelled flash - you should not have had any more of a problem with film than with digital.

    Many labs do their routine printing of film with digital printers - ie they scan then print onto light sensitive paper using RGB LEDs or lasers, thus enabling them to do digital correction.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  9. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

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    Could it be the lab I used? The skin tones seemed to have a very subtle green cast...I was told they would correct skin...perhaps I need to make a phone call....the old lab I use to use and came to love is out of business :-(
     
  10. Rem

    Rem TPF Noob!

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    Often "available light" shooting in pretty high contrast,for instance, stage light. Then a soft-wide open can be a plus. With rather soft room light,window light etc you may like to stop down a tad.
     
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Totally agree, in fact I often shoot my f1.2 nikkor wide open because I really like the look--highlights are bloomed in such a way that you can really "feel" the light in the photograph.
     

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