160 or 400 in the golden hour

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by j-dogg, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    What do I use? Shooting kodak portra VC, I have the ability to shoot both simultaneously. Portrait on a sandy beach scene, cameras are Nikkormat FTN, Minolta Maxxum 4 and maybe my Nikon FG.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    160 if you want shallower D of F and your subject will be relatively still. 400 if you want deeper D of F and/or need a faster shutter speed.

    Just to clarify, by "golden hour," I am not assuming that you mean at sunset, but that you mean in the late afternoon, when there is still plenty of light for hand holding either of these films.
     
  3. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    You are talking sunset when everything gets that nice color right? If that is it, I would use the 400, and try to get my subject to stay as still as possible. Kodak VC for me at least makes well lit Reds and Blues really stand out, if you want balance that blue water, red sky, subject thing use the 400 and maybe a bounced flash or better yet a reflector on your subject if you are afraid of blur. 160 will get you a dark background with just so colors, and a blurred subject unless you use lighting, then the background will really fall out.

    Unless you are looking for really deep DOF you will probably be happy with both 160 or 400 for DOF, I know that sounds stupid, but I shoot 120 in a Pentax 6X7 and at sunset the aperture numbers for 400 and 160 are closer to each other than at noon for me. If I want deep DOF at sunset a tripod is involved and no one can be in the shot without flash.
     
  4. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    It's going to start in late afternoon and progress into the sunset.

    I don't have anything to bounce a flash off of or any external lighting, well, not yet. But I will not have it by time to shoot.

    For the close ups, well, relatively speaking, the portrait shots, I want a shallow DoF but while they are wallking on the beach or whatever (I don't do much posing, catch the subject in their natural state) a larger DoF will suffice.

    I'll probably pop off some digital as well but the focus of my work will be 35mm ftw.
     
  5. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you have a flash that you can point up you can bounce it just attach a anything that is made of stiff white paper to your flash with a rubber band like an envelope, business card, 3x5 card, back of an old photo, you get the idea. Suddenly you have a whole lot of things you can bounce a flash off of, provided you have a rubber band or something to attach the bounce card to your flash.

    Digital, it doesn't have the same tonal range as film, but you can use it for test shots to see what film you want to use. I believe that digital photography is the fastest way to learn that basics of how to perform a given film technique, it won't show you everything, but it can be a great learning tool as long as you shoot, look adjust and remember, spray and pray is not the way to learn.
     
  6. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you want to see what 400VC does at Sunset, follow this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/49211508@N04/4781485150/ to a rather embarrassing dust and lint covered negative scan, but you get the idea. Sorry for the lousy scan, it was the first scan with the new scanner.
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I'd use the 160 as much as your shutter speed permits. 400 will be contrastier than normal, which could be a potential problem when it's time to print it.
     
  8. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    You can also take a simple 'flip-open' reflector with you. I often use one held in my left hand with the camera in my right. If you have an assistant that's even better.
     
  9. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    The digitals came out good, which in my past experience usually means the 35mm will look spectacular.

    I shot 400 was mostly overcast the whole time, spent the roll, only had 16 exposures left. I upped the exposure compensation toward the end by .5 and 1 ev, on 3 frames. With my Minolta Maxxum 4 and the Maxxum 35-70 f3.5-4.5, heard a lot of good reviews about that lens and how well it shot when stepped down. Also shot a couple with my good old Promaster 70-300 macro (same as Tamron)

    I might load a roll of 160 in my Nikkormat and see if I can shoot them again. I really wanted to do it but I only had 20 minutes of good light before it got too dark. They were pretty late being there.