Candlelight Church Service--what film and developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BardParker, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    Candlelight Church Service--what film and developer?
    I want to photograph the end of our Christmas eve service from the balcony at church during the singing of Silent Night. The lights will be out and everyone will be holding candles. I am going to use my Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens as the leaf shutter is nearly silent and manual winding very quiet. Not enough room for a tripod, so I will be using a monopod. I have the following films available: Tri-X, TMax 400, Arista EDU Ultra 400, Ilford XP-2, Ilford HP-5+, and Ilford Delta 3200.

    My developers on hand from a recent Freestyle order include Arista Premium (F76+); rodinal; tmax developer; and HC-110. I'm fairly new to developing but have had good results with Arista Premium developer and rodinal. Have not used the others yet.

    I am leaning toward Tri-X or HP5+ pushed to 800-1600 in the Arista Premium developer; or Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1600 in TMax developer.

    I would like to print at 11x14 or 16x20.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Kent
     
  2. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    My favorite would be the Ilford 3200. I expose it for 3200 and process it in Arista liquid developer, 1:7, for 14 minutes. Works great.
     
  3. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    Mamiya 7 ISO control only goes up to 1600. Process for more than 14 minutes, or would this matter much?

    Kent
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    heykent

    overexpose it 1 stop over manually ...
    yep the 14mins matters, have fun :smile:
    john
     
  5. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    If the camera is set for 1600 ISO and you want to shoot at 3200 ISO using the camera's metering then you need to expose for one stop less than indicated (i.e. dial in -1 EV exposure compensation).

    I think it's going to be a difficult metering situation since the bright candle flames will probably cause an averaging meter to indicate too short an exposure. If possible, use a spot meter aimed at a candle-lit face, but excluding any actual candles. The ultimate exposure computer (http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm) gives LV 4 for candle-lit closeups - this would be e.g. f/8 1/8 second at ISO 3200. If necessary you could use this as a starting point and bracket a couple of stops either side of this in 1-stop steps.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2012
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Andrews suggestion of using the Ultimate Exposure calculator is a good one.

    Any of the films listed would do fine in MF.

    Of the films you have listed I'd go with T-Max 400 shot at 800 and developed normally.

    The reason is that you are shooting a scene with a wide angle lens from a distance that will render the details; candles, faces... relatively small. In that type of situation I would personally want grain minimized so that the small details in the subject matter don't have to compete with the grain.

    Your T-Max developer should give you the best shadow detail, I'd start there. You can make T-Max's tonality look more like Tri-X's by using HC-110 and/or messing with your agitation, if you were so inclined, but that will require some practice. To that end you might consider shooting 3-rolls and developing one in T-Max normal, one in HC-110 normal, and saving the third as a spare adjusting development/developer choice as needed after you've done test prints from the first two rolls.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Tri-X and HP5 are both slower than Delta3200.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yeah, that's it !
    it must have been the dinner i ate
    removing all the blood from my brain
    making me say total insane things ...

    thanks for pointing this out,

    OP sorry for the confusion ...
     
  9. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    A few years back I shot a candle lit scene in a church at Christmas and it was quite dark. I used Provia 400X pushed to 800 in a Konica Auto S3. From memory I was shooting at 1/8 at f/1.7
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Only a guess, but I would say monopod, Tri-X, full aperture at 1/4 second and over develop by about 2 minutes.
     
  11. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2012
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Well the deed is done now, Kent. Let us know what you chose and how the negs turned out. Better still scan them and let us have a look

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  13. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    The candle light part of the service is very short- only about 2 minutes. In addition, the candles are lit by ushers on the end of a pew, then each person turns and lights the next person's candle, etc. So the light level is constantly changing throughout the hymn, and it is not until the last verse that everyone raises their candles that the light level is fairly steady. I didn't think this would be so challenging! I shot 2 frames on AEL mode and other 8 in manual at 1/2, 1/4, 1,8 1/15, and 1/30 sec on aperture of f/4. I was able to sqeeze a small tripod in on the front row of the balcony. All in all, it was a fun exercise and I'm probably going to develop the film in tMax developer today following the massive development chart app recommendations. I ordered a V700 scanner from Adorama but it has not arrived yet, so I will scan the negs in a few days and get back to everyone.

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas to everyone!

    Kent
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2012
  14. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    Here is one of the first negs of Delta 3200 @ 3200 developed in tMax developer for 8:30. Mamiya 7, 65mm f/4 lens, 1/8sec, tripod.

    [​IMG][/url] img001.jpg by KentWebb, on Flickr[/IMG]

    New V700, Straight scan,

    I'm open to suggestions...

    Regards,

    Kent
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Looks good, you chose wisely going with the 3200 @ 3200, I think the candle looks blown out but its to be expected and the people are a little dark but the overall scene looks really nice. Can we see the 1/2 and 1/4 and 1/16 (or was it 1/30?)

    I can't seem to figure out the difference between the AE and AEL and I'm always afraid I'll lock the exposure then get stuck with it haha

    I did figure out the getting past 1600 on the Mamiya.. I still can't understand why they don't just have that as an option.. Why they limited to 1600 and not 3200...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Maybe try reducing contrast and printing a bit darker. Might get more detail from the candle light.
     
  17. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Lovely shot! Glad it worked out so well.
     
  18. joho

    joho Member

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    Hi!
    try kodak tri-x at 2000ASA
    in dektol 1:4 24cel about 68-farhrenheit
    for stater at 4 min with 5 sec agitation every 60sec
    along wash in water stop bath this is so the developer is still
    in the film emulsion wash it slowly
    1 min wash bath with full agitation 60 sec dump, and refill with water - full agitation 60 sec dump-repeat 3times
    [also if you let the wash bath sit there is a difference...
    fix, wash, and dry!

    I think a lot is based on your equipment lens camera ...etc..
     
  19. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Brad that's a fabulous pic.
    Just gorgeous!
    The candles effect is particularly spectacular!