In doors at night low light colour film options.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ajuk, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    OK it would seem that if you want to shoot indoors at night that even in the days when film was a lot more popular your best bet was to push 320T, I don't quite understand why there wasn't a demand for fast colour negative tungsten balanced film, anyway there's a few options I'm leaning to.

    Shooting with Portra 800 and just correcting late.
    Shooting Portra 800 with an 82b and also correcting in post as a compromise.
    Shooting with Fuji 1600 or maybe even 400x pushed two stops and an 80b still even with such a fast film I'm left with the equivalent of 500 or 640 and my 50mm lens is only a 1.8 (I do need a 1.4.).

    I'm not sure if I can think of anything else, what would be the best option?
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If you mean what is your best option in color film in terms grain then I rate the following from least to most grainy based on their box speed - Kodak Portra 800, Fuji NPZ800, Fuji Natura 1600, Fuji Superia 1600. Fuji Superia 1600 grain is not close to any of the others.
    I have also pushed process Fuji Provia 400F by 2 (1600) and gotten better grain then Fuji Superia 1600 but not as good as Natura.

    I wish Fuji Natura becomes available in the US!

    At box speed the following are very good - Kodak Portra 400, Fuji 400X and Fuji 400H. Again Fuji Superia 400 and Kodak Max 400 are not close to these.
     
  3. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    I wasn't really asking about grain, I know the Fuji 1600 will be the most grainy result but with an 80b filter the colour should be almost perfect with very little change needed in post, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Are you sure Natura isn't just Superia 1600?
    I'm trying to take photos indoors at night under tungsten lighting with no flash, and I don't really want the colour balance to be too out. I know with the
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    New Portra 400 seems to be the best. Pushes well to 1600.

    Lighting these days is mixed, how many tungsten bulbs do you find? Most have been replaced by those awful flourescent bulbs that don't have the same temperature as the tubes.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I had good luck with Portra 800 under tungsten with no filtering at all.
    I think some of the fuji 4 layer stuff does well also.
    Not ideal but correctable.
     
  6. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    All I listed are daylight balanced film and all will require the same treatment.

    I am sure that Fuji Natura (ISO 1600) film is not Fuji Superia 1600 and most evident in terms of grain.
     
  7. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I usually just shoot Portra 800 and correct it later (after scanning). Portra 400 is preferable if I don't need the extra stop. If I'm going to be shooting ONLY under tungsten and I can spare the light loss, shooting with a KB 6 filter can help a bit with the colors without dealing with the full filter factor of something like an 80b. I've found that unless it's REALLY low color temperature light, shooting without a filter with either of the above films works pretty well.

    While there are a lot of compact fluorescents, many of them are still 'balanced' at tungsten-like temperatures. So the above still works, though you have to contend with the green with low CRI bulbs.

    I can provide you with links of examples if you want.
     
  8. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    I haven't got a KB 6 filter (80D) but I do have an 82B that I was thinking of using as a compromise are they quite similar?
     
  9. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    I don't think either of the Fuji 1600 films are made anymore.
     
  10. Markster

    Markster Member

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    I was about to post a question on this very topic... I've noticed just how badly the Ektar 100 line is balanced to blue light when any kind of low-light indoors shot (even if there's enough light on the meter) comes out very yellow.

    What would be the best filter to counter-act this?
     
  11. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Here's another option... shoot motion picture film!

    They make a 500 ISO tungsten balance film.. 500T. You can get it in large rolls at cheap prices if you look hard enough, and a few places will process it in 35mm cartridges.
     
  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Same feelings here.

    As you're in the UK, buy up some 800Z from 7DS before it all sells out.

    Incidentally, Superia 1600 & Natura are the same film. I haven't heard any official word of their death yet.
     
  13. Markster

    Markster Member

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    This doesn't work because in SLR cameras the film is shot in landscape (narrow side across the film strip) and in motion the film is shot in portrait (long side across the film strip) so it would be too wide to fit in the camera unless you manually trim the film and add your own sprocket teeth....

    Not really a feasible option, and motion film isn't exactly cheap.
     
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  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hmmm... I hate to say it but you're completely wrong.

    The film is exactly the same size, and it works fine in any 35mm camera. I've done it, and I certainly wasn't the first!

    Plus, you can buy "short ends" very cheaply from different places and on eBay. In fact, a member on APUG was selling 100 foot rolls of 500T for about $25 if I recall correctly.

    To answer your filter question, that would be an 80A filter to convert day-light film (actually more yellow sensitive, hence your yellowish indoor pictures) to tungsten light. Ektar is day-light balanced; day-light is very blue; the film has to be more yellow sensitive to make bluish light appear white; tungsten light is yellow compared to daylight; the film sees it as VERY yellow. Tungsten film is more blue sensitive; this makes yellowish tungsten light appear white.
     
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  16. Markster

    Markster Member

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    That's quite possible. I recall the issue was brought up on these forums before and I recall what I typed was the general answer. If I'm wrong I stand corrected! However, from what I've seen of motion film and what I've seen of SLR film, they are oriented perpendicular to each other, so it made sense.


    P.S. thanks for the filter response!
     
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  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    It's true that the orientation of the film is different in motion-picture cameras.
     
  18. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    It's possible. But like I said, in many cases you can just shoot with no filter and correct it in post. It might not be 'perfect', but often plenty good enough. I see you were already in my flickr stream, but I'll post these examples here anyway.

    I'd draw your attention to the blues and the reds in the below shots, as well as the skin tones. Obviously, the blues look better in the daylight shot and the shot with the KB6 filter.

    Not as immediately obvious, the reds also look better in those shots. That's probably because the blue layer was boosted to compensate for the lower color temperature of the tungsten/no filter shot. Which ends up adding blue all over the picture. And since the red colors register primarily on the red sensitive layer of the film, they aren't as affected by the lower color temperature and lack of blue light. This is unlike a neutral gray, which is nominally registering on all three color sensitive layers equally in proper lighting, and overly warm (too little blue) in mismatched tungsten lighting. So adding more blue to adds more blue to the red (duh) making it more purple, while at the same time moving the too-warm grays to a proper neutral.

    Note, full filtering with an 80A would provide better results than the 80D. If you can afford to, put the 80A filter on your lens and be done with it.

    With that being said, the unfiltered shots look pretty good in my opinion and are perfectly usable for me. 99% of the time I just shoot whatever film I have (sans filter) in whatever light I'm in and don't worry about it at all. But I don't shoot product shots, etc., where ultimate color accuracy is needed. Lastly, I'll say that in my experience Portra 800 is also up to the task. If you need the extra stop of sensitivity and can handle the extra grain, it's a wonderful film.

    Portra 400 in daylight:
    [​IMG]
    Portra 400 proper exposure + hand by ezwal, on Flickr

    Portra 400 in tungsten (3200 K):
    [​IMG]
    Portra 400 Tungsten proper exposure + hand by ezwal, on Flickr

    Portra 400 in tungsten w/ KB6 (80D) filter:
    [​IMG]
    Portra 400 Tungsten KB6 proper exposure + hand by ezwal, on Flickr
     
  19. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I do just want to clarify something. I'm not trying to make myself to be any kind of expert here. I've just found that after doing some simple testing (and blowing $40 on a filter), 99% of the time, I don't worry about tungsten lighting because I'm ok with the results I get.
     
  20. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Tim, just to clarify, that's without post-correction, right?

    Also does that filter add a bit of polarization? I notice in the unfiltered the color card is washed out with light. I don't know if the filter changed that in the following pics or if it's just the random placement catching the light in the worst way?
     
  21. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    These are with corrections. They were not wet printed, but I can tell you nothing fancy was done in photoshop or in the scanning stage. I would think that color balancing during wet printing would get you basically the same results.

    Glare: just ignore the glare. I'd be surprised if the filter affected polarization in any meaningful manner. I shot these with a rangefinder and wasn't particularly mindful of reflections on the cards in any of the shots. After I got them back from the lab, I had a "Doh!" moment. But I don't care enough to shoot them again :smile:
     
  22. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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  23. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    :confused:
    :laugh:
     
  24. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    I believe Fuji only makes the one 1600 colour film.

    They make 200, 400, 800, and 1600 according to both websites above, and their main international (English) website:

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/films/color_negative_films/

    You'll note that the same speeds are present on the English and Japanese websites.

    However, B&H states that 1600 Superia is "Discontinued".

    Fuji's marketing is absolutely awful.Their main website says something untrue when relayed from a major international supply house.
     
  25. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    There're some interesting articles relating color temperature and a daylight balanced film on Fuji's Japanese website. It explains basically about the exposure program of their Natura film and cameras (NP mode), but I think the theory can be applied to any daylight balanced color films. I don't think there's anything new to the experts here, but it explains the theory very well.

    Pitty Google translation doesn't work very well with Japanese.

    Secrets of the NP mode 2: colors of light
    Secrets of the NP mode 3: colors of light
    Secrets of the NP mode 1: surprisingly dark?
    Secrets of the NP mode 4: look at the effectiveness of exposure compensation
     
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  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Don't forget with an 80B filter you lose around a stop and a half of the films speed.