New to medium format not new to photography. Night time exposure help!

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Kenski, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I am new to Medium format but FAR from new to photography. I grew up with a father who shot for the Cleveland, Ohio fire dept before he became a fire fighter and an Uncle who shot for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Newspaper) so I have been around good mentors.

    I fooled around in high school with film but stopped. In 2003 I picked up a Digital Canon and have been shooting ever since. I shoot mainly studio work but I do weddings also. I try to stay away from LARGE weddings and stick with the intimate beach weddings as the couples are more relaxed and just ALOT of fun. When the money is right, yeah I will do a large wedding!

    I have just picked up a RZ67 with a 50mm and 127mm lens, Polaroid back, 2x120 backs, waist level viewer, and a winder. I am very excited about shooting film as I have helped process film before just never made my own prints. My dad has a complete dark room at home and I told him NOT to get rid of it as I want his enlargers. I just do not have any room in the Condo I am living at right now but in less than two years I will be transferring and will be looking for a place to set up enlargers.

    My plan is to shoot some boudoir sessions with it, studio work, and commercial work. I know I have PLENTY of light with my Quantum T5d-R's and Photogenic strobes but I do not think I will ever give up digital. I am sure I will supplement my digital with medium format at weddings but can not EVER see dropping digital for the film.

    I redid a bridal shoot for a couple because their "PROFESSIONAL" photographer did horrible on their wedding shoot using medium format. They actually got their negatives from him and I fixed as much as I could by scanning and TRYING to get the exposure right. A close friend of mine had the same problem and I am STILL trying to get his pictures fixed.

    I have done a good amount of research into the camera and lenses but the film kills me! :smile: The camera came with the 127mm and I will be getting a 110 and 180 soon just need to find the right price. But the film, Wheeewwww, I just dont know WHERE to start! I have had good luck with Ilford in the past so I think I will stick with it.. I have the Pan F PLUS, HP5 Plus, and Delta 100. What I REALLY want to get into is outdoor night photography and with a digital I set it up on a tripod, ISO 100, and long exposure. NO problems. With Medium Format though, I am a little lost and confused. I want to enlarge to a minimum of 11"x14" but do not want to see ALOT of grain. Would I be better to shoot a slow film using long or multiple exposure or go with something high? I know the faster the film the more grain but can anyone give me a hand here?
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Welcome to APUG!

    Um... what's A LOT of grain to you? I've shot 35mm Tri-X 400 and enlarged it to 11x14. There isn't a lot of grain there and quite honestly, I don't see it. If you are using 6x7 and proper exposure, I don't think you'll have problems. Beyond that, you'll just have to try it out and see if what you see is to your liking.
     
  3. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    Well, I know I can not compare 35mm to MF, its like comparing a APS-C to FF Digital but that is all I know is when it comes to film really is 35mm. I know what 35mm looks like shooting long exposed night shoots and then blowing it up.
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Enlarging 6x7 film to 11x14 paper is little better than enlarging 35mm film to 5x7 paper. If you take you 35mm film and enlarge it to 5x7 - you can simulate what you can expect. This is not precise because of aspect ratio difference but close. Keep in mind though, you'll be standing farther away when you view 11x14 photographs than looking at 5x7.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG

    It is a bit difficult to answer your question about grain without knowing what you consider to be acceptable or objectionable. That being said, in 6x7 format grain isn't often a problem until you get up into the higher speed films (e.g. Delta 3200) or grainy film+developer combinations (e.g. HP5+ and Rodinal - and maybe not even then).

    Can you point us to something that shows what sort of night time scene and lighting condition you are considering? As a brand new member, your ability to post links is temporarily restricted, but directions on what to "Google" may help us find any examples you might think helpful.
     
  6. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    I am in the military and on deployment so our internet is VERY VERY VERY slow.. It is basically a ISDN line shared with about 300 other people and I can't WAIT to get back home here in a month because of it. Ughhh... Let me see if I can come up with some examples for you to view.

    I am not too worried about exposure as I have a meter to help me with my exposure. I originally was going to bring the digital camera to use it for a meter but thought that is just stupid, Why dont I just pick up meter and then I can use it in the studio so Im not guessing all the time too. Easier and quicker to set up the lights.
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Welcome to APUG. I hope you enjoy your RZ67.

    Jeff
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    For your night shots, use Fuji Acros 100. You'll get fine grain and no need to adjust for reciprocity failure up to two minutes. That should fit right in with what you've already been doing with your digital.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Acros or TMY2 for B&W night shots, Provia for colour. Acros & Provia have no reciprocity failure out to about an hour or two at least, TMY2 has maybe half a stop at an hour but it has enough latitude that you can pretty much ignore it. So you'll soak up the most light with TMY2, but it has slightly more grain than the Acros or Provia. However, all three will look grainless at 11x14; the Acros will look grainless out to about 20x24".

    If you want a very smooth (grainless but slightly softer) look, use D76 at 1+1. For even smoother and even less resolution, D76 stock. For a tiny bit of grain and yet more resolution, use XTOL 1+1 or Rodinal 1+50 with either of those B&W films for beautiful results. The XTOL gives you a bit more shadow detail, the Rodinal a bit less.
     
  10. Joe O'Brien

    Joe O'Brien Member

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    Throw all sense of reason to the winds. Pan f+ in perceptol 1+2! I'm beginning to experiment with this combination myself and I have heard great things about it. You will have very little grain, however, your exposures may stretch into the hours :D
     
  11. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    hahaha... Not looking for hours though :smile: Some of the places I want to shoot are places I shouldn't be so I will be sneaking in to shoot them. Some will be lit so I know I can get away with 100. Some however will be darker so I know at least 400 for those. I wouldn't mind playing with a hour+ exposure though. It would be interesting.
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    TMAX 100 will give you the finest grain - slightly finer than Acros and with more manageable highlight densities. It is also finer grained than PanF. TMY2 would be a good choice for more speed.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you have not projection printed for some time, I'd start out with some subject matter that would allow exposure within the films reciprocity zone. You will have enough difficulty controlling evenness of development, contrast and getting a grip on exposure to get good printable negatives when starting out. Contrast control in the darkroom and making good prints will not be easy without properly exposed and developed negatives. Controlling "grain" in prints will be farther down the list of things to master.
     
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  15. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    Well, after doing some flickr'ng, I have seen some GREAT night shots with fair amounts of grain using Delta3200 pulled to 1600 but then I have seen some crap too. HP5 pushed to 800 seems pretty clean too! Heck, I just saw HP5 pushed to 3200 and was soft but looked good. I think it is going to be nature of the beast regardless when shooting night photography anyways but it can get bad with digital at times in the higher ISO ranges and that is what I am trying to avoid. I

    I am quite impressed actually with HP5 and I think it would be a good all around film to have in the bag.
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    If you want to push, try TMY2 (probably in XTOL) for that. It pushes just as well as HP5 and has much finer grain. Different characteristic curve though.
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    If you are using, as you say, a tripod, you'd better use a low ISO film, just like you use low gain on digital. Different films have different behaviours regarding reciprocity failure, I would read data sheets of various material and choose between low ISO films with good reciprocity behaviour. Colour can get complicated because reciprocity failure also means colour shift and some filtration might become necessary. B&W is easier because you only have to adjust exposure.

    So I would start with a film which has good reciprocity characteristics and do some brackets to see how it behaves outside of its linear response range, remembering that with negatives overexposure is always better than underexposure.
     
  18. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    I wouldn't even think to shoot without a tripod at night. Well, maybe at iso 6400 id shoot handheld but Im trying to avoid the grain. I think what it is going to come down too is just ordering several rolls of film and shooting till I find the right one for me.

    I will take into consideration what was posted here and roll with it. That is one of the best and worst things about shooting film. You have a wide choice!

    Thanks!
     
  19. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    Another quick question....

    I was reading the facts sheets for film and came across something I do not understand. It said when shooting for more than a 1/2 second, film needs to be exposed longer than the metered time.

    As Im reading the graph and the write up, it is basically saying if I use a meter and I meter it at f16 for 30 seconds, I really need to expose it for 155 seconds. How true is this?
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Very true.

    It is known as reciprocity failure. It is due to the fact that when the intensity of the light actually reaching the film is reduced to below a certain level, the response of the film to that light becomes less linear.

    All films exhibit this, but in different amounts. Many here on APUG can advise which films exhibit less reciprocity failure.
     
  21. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    That is due to the reciprocity failure I mentioned above. In dim light, at long exposures, film loses sensitivity and begins to behave like a film with a lower ISO rating.

    The additional exposure is to compensate for it. It can be done giving more time or by using a larger lens opening to allow more light to strike the film. With color there may also be a color shift, which is corrected by using filtration recommended by the manufacturer. A manufacturer might, for example, specify magenta color correction filtration and additional exposure thus: CC30M, +1 stop. So you would use a CC30 strength magenta color correction filter and open up the lens one stop. No filtration is needed with B+W film, just exposure compensation.

    I don't agree with polyglot that Acros and Provia have no reciprocity failure out to an hour or two at least-though they are very good in that regard, especially Acros. When I say no reciprocity failure to two minutes, that is what is specified by Fuji, with some correction specified beyond that. My own favorite color film for night exposures is Astia, because it has a layer which helps correct for fluorescent light. My city uses compact fluorescent bulbs in my part of town, which has old-fashioned streetlights, and it's difficult to color correct for them because they are not consistent in coloration one to the next. Astia helps with that a lot.

    Incidentally, there is also reciprocity failure with many films with very short exposure times like those from an electronic flash. In a sense, the film doesn't "react" fast enough, and the result is underexposure. With Kodak E100G it's above 1/10,000, if I remember correctly.
     
  22. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    well, this is all making more sense now... I guess I just need to do my research on more than till I find the right one I am looking for.. Really, if I am metering 30sec and shooting 155, thats not that big of a deal as long as I am using my tripod..
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Another thing you need to become familiar with is the fact that reciprocity failure has a tendency to change the apparent contrast. This is due to the fact that the shadows, which are of lower than average intensity, may require more compensation, while the highlights, being of higher intensity, may require less compensation.

    The net result is that the resulting negative or slide may yield final results that have a very distinct appearance. Long exposures at low light levels require practice :smile:.
     
  24. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Alls I have to say is that I have seen test (hearsay I know) and have experienced Fuji Acros to go up to 15 minutes with barely a 1/2 stop compensation. I originally read some test and thought they were bogus until I did it for myself. I did a 7 minute exposure that came out precisely as predicted. Just my 0.02$....../intoxicated
     
  25. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Except that as posted above, with films like Acros and Provia, no such correction is required. At most half a stop for hour+ exposures (1 hour becomes 1.5 hours but 10 minutes would remain unadjusted as 10 minutes). That's why we're recommending those films for night photography.

    If you shot with something like Pan-F, you would need to make such a correction. However, I've found that the reciprocity performance of the Ilford traditional (non-Delta) films like Pan-F, FP4 and HP5 is not as bad as the data tables that they provide for those films, so you don't need quite as much correction. However with a negative film it's always a lot better to overexpose than under, so you'll not have any problems if you just follow the table and be conservative.

    Of course, using Acros, Provia or TMY2 will be much easier because you apply little or no correction; no thought is required, and you don't end up with stupidly long exposures. For example if you wanted to follow the official table for HP5 and your metered exposure was an hour, your corrected exposure will be about 30 hours: it might be a bit of a problem to fit that into a single night! If you use TMY2 instead and don't adjust the exposure, you've merely under-exposed by 1/2 a stop, i.e. at EI560. TMY2 has enough latitude that you'll probably get your full tonal range without even adjusting development; if you push it a stop you'll get everything.
     
  26. Kenski

    Kenski Member

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    it is still a bit confusing but Im getting it. I learn by doing not reading so much so with the posts here and actually shooting and developing, I shouldn't have a problem. Im glad to get this help before I go shoot because I would be UPSET! :smile:

    The only thing that is really helping me right now is knowing my camera is several thousand miles away right now and I have alittle over three weeks before I will get to shoot with it. Gives me time to do some research before I really screw things up!