Colour negative reccomendations for dark environment

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Splin, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Splin

    Splin Member

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    Hi,

    I am planning ahead a trip to old fabrics factory. As I'll be chasing mainly people at work and their personal portraits I am looking for a film which would do well in dark environment. I had a thought to go straight with kodak portra 800, but as I have rather bad experiences using portra 160 in shadows then I started to wonder how good idea this actually is.

    I have some kodak bw400cn as well in case I should want to go with bw. Ilford xp2 would be another option. I have to stay with c-41 line for fast turnaround in this project.

    Thank you!
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    What format? What are the fastest lenses you have? Any possibility of fill flash?
     
  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    IIRC portra 800 is a very good film. Beware of non-daylight balanced lights because they will reap havoc.

    Why don't you test a roll to see if it suits your needs?
     
  4. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I like Fuji Superia 1600 much. Some people say that it need to be shot at 800; well, it gives better results when overexposed a little, but I like it very much at 1600, too. Just don't try to underexpose it. I'll scan some as example in a minute...
     
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  5. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'd use Portra 800 or Fuji 800Z. Actually, I'd use the Portra, since it's in my fridge, but both should be nice.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    How much light, what lenses, and what format? Are they posed? Hand held? Nothing can be answered until you say those things, except perhaps some general recommendations for some fast films. These would be Pro Pro 800Z or Portra 800 for medium format, and either of these plus Superia 800 and Superia 1600 for 35mm. There is a Kodak consumer 800 film as well. Though I, and some others, think it is crap, it is also an option (35mm only).

    If 400 film will do, there are a few more options.

    As for the comment to beware of non-daylight-balanced films...it makes absolutely no sense at all. There is nothing else fast to use in the situation (except digital). Exactly what films are you warning the OP to beware of? There are none that are fast. As for non-daylight color neg films that may still be found in usable condition (NPL is gone, 100T is gone, but they are still usable), none of them were fast, so the OP would not even be considering them, let alone what is left (64T and T64), because they are slow and they are transparency films. 320T might be able to be hunted down, but it is not C-41. Additionally, you can't make the statement you made unless you know what color the lighting is. In fact, if there were such a thing as a fast tungsten-balanced neg film, that is surely what I would think of as the go-to tool for this situation, barring further details. It is "wreak", not "reap", and I am curious as to exactly what sort of "havoc" you think a non-daylight-balanced color negative film would wreak when shot in a situation about which we know almost no technical information.
     
  7. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Examples of Superia 1600, shot at box speed in available light, developed in Jobo processor with Fujihunt C-41 kit and scanned with Nikon Coolscan V 4000 dpi. No noise reduction, GEM, ICE or any other cheating. Adjusted some curves to match optical prints. I like 9.5x12" optical prints much. Easy to print on Supra Endura.
     

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  8. Splin

    Splin Member

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    Thanks for the examples hrst, indeed they are quite good for 1600 considering it is a colour film.

    It is a working fabrics factory, so there should be "some" light. Half of the factory is modernized and half of it is old soviet style. So in some areas there should be plenty of light while others could be quite nitty & gritty.

    I have two 35mm bodies. Fill flash is an option. Lenses are Nikon- 50mm f1.8, 105mm f2.5 & 35mm f2.
     
  9. Ihmemies

    Ihmemies Member

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    Superia 1600 is very, very impressive if you expose it properly. It doesn't tolerate much overexposure, and underexposure produces very thin shadows - which in turn appear really grainy. There is no real 1600 speed alternative if you want a fast color negative.

    Some s1600 shots: http://hakkarainen.kuvat.fi/kuvat/2009/2009-10-01+-+Sitsit/
     
  10. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I almost agree with Ihmemies, but in my experience Superia 1600 tolerates overexposure quite well, as most color neg films.

    I like it and it would be nice to try out some push processing to see if it has any benefit shooting in very low light (underexposing 1 stop), but the worst thing about Superia 1600 is the price. It may be the most expensive color neg film.
     
  11. Splin

    Splin Member

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    Wow, really nice! Although it has an impression that it is not shot with film but with digital. But grain levels are really good!
    I really like the cinematic look of portra 800.

    Right now it seems that I have some issues with portra delivery. Local shops are not able to get it in my given time limit(week and half) plus stores are empty.
    I have to look what fuji has to offer since fuji presence is much stronger here. I have heard that NPH 400 is quite good. Are there any other viable options beside Superia 1600?
     
  12. tim elder

    tim elder Member

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    Fuji Pro 800Z is a great film for this type of work, especially if you want to reduce the exaggerated effects of mixed lighting.

    Tim
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have shot 800z at 1600 and dev'ed for 3200 and it looks good, at least in 645 format.

    The slide film provia 400x also works well to those kinds of speeds.

    Ultimately, though, one wants to use a combination of fast lenses, modertately fast film, and clever attention to the direction of ambient light... i.e. know which shots not to take and how to gently coax your subject into the right spot. You don't want to try to do it all with only one of these factors. It takes all of them to get good available light results.
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    To get as much help as possible you need to tell us where you are. U.K.? U.S? Europe? www.fujilab.co.uk is selling Fuji pro 400 (35mm) at £1.73 per 36 exposures. It will deliver to non U.K. destinations. The film is outdated but has an expiry date of October 09 so is as good as new.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. hrst

    hrst Member

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    No it certainly does not. Its look is more far from digital than with many other films.
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I like Fuji Pro 800Z.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I'm impressed with the colour balance of these shots in artificial light, was the lighting fluorescent or tungsten ?
     
  18. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I reccomend Portra 800 for color or T-Max 3200 for black and white which can be push processed to 25000 :surprised: