one film for TLR street photography - does ISO 100 work?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by valdez, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. valdez

    valdez Member

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    I now have two medium format cameras - a Rolleiflex FX TLR and a Hasselblad. When I initially got into photography, I had planned to focus on landscapes and other static things (hence the initial Hassy purchase). But my interest subsequently evolved into more spontaneous people-oriented ("street") photography without a tripod. I have tried unsuccessfully to like the Hassy off a tripod. It's just to big and bulky. Enter the Rolleiflex. What a magnificient and eminently portable camera. Problem is, I absolute love APX 100 in medium format. So I'm wondering if any of you TLR "street photographers" have become comfortable using a 100 speed film as your main film, or have you found that an ISO 400 film such as HP5+ or Tri-X is necessary for this purpose. The side mounted ttl flash of the FX is a pita because of lateral shadowing. Thanks very much.
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    There are others here that can answer this better, but I think you will find TX or HP5 rated at 200 to 320 best for street work, if you are looking for the classic street look in your images.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Obviously it depends on the lighting conditions that you anticipate shooting under, but a TLR, especially with a waist-level finder is an inherently stable camera to hand hold and there is no vibration from mirror slap. You will probably find that you can shoot hand held at speeds longer than you could with an SLR. Of course, none of that helps with subject motion.
     
  4. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    It's not exactly street photo, but I've shot with a Mamiya C220 hand-held using NPS (ASA 160 nominally) at 80, and Provia at 100. Unsharpness at normal enlargements is due to my scanner, and not motion blur, as far as i can tell with a loupe.

    For street in MF, given that the lens is slower wide open, I'd be personally tempted to use Delta3200 at 1600. This allows for a reasonable f-stop for depth of field, and a shutter speed still measured in fractions of a second.
     
  5. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Depends on your definition of "street photography."

    You say you favor spontaneity. If you want to do handheld fast-paced zone-focused work, then you'd need to hit something like 1/250 @ f/16 or higher with that 80mm lens -- so if most city sidewalks are shaded, figure that even ISO 400 will only give you 1/250 @ f/8, SO..... fuggedaboutit!

    • [list:a3aabce974][​IMG]
    • (Fort Street, Honolulu - 6x6 Delta 400)
    [/list:u:a3aabce974]Look at pushing, using a highspeed film, or working some other way (like: spending the time to focus).

    KB
     
  6. pierre

    pierre Member

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    It's not my main thing, but I've done a little street photography with a 35mm camera. Even with one of these, with a much faster lens than the Rolleiflex TLR, you tend to need ISO 400 if only because not too much is going to just sit or stand there and pose for you (and it wouldn't really be street photography if it did), plus there is often shade from buildings on the street, even on a bright sunny day. I almost always use ISO 100 film for other things, but it's just too slow for most street photography. The issue is not really whether or not the camera has mirror slap or whatever or is easy to shoot handheld, but rather the film speed you need for a certain amount of action. If that weren't the case, Plus-X and FP4 would be the classic street photography films rather than Tri-X and HP5. Of course, other people's opinions, including mine, are no substitute for just trying it out for yourself. Who knows, maybe you can make ISO 100 film work for what you want to do.
     
  7. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    in my rollei (for wandering the streets and in and out of coffee shops and such) I typically shoot txp320 and push it to 800, 1600 or 3200 depending on the time of the day.

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've done street photography with a Bronica ETRS and films down to 40 ISO. Nowadays I use any of several folding cameras, and 100 ISO film (APX 100).

    I find that using a faster film only limits the available range of shutter speed / aperture available
     
  9. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    Ole, you must wander around at different times of the day than I do. Since when does anything really exciting happen at high noon? and if it does it gonna be in some dingy shadowy corner..

    Nope, for me a slow film limites my range of shutter speeds right down to the tripod and "please sir, don't move for a minute" but that's just me! :smile:

    Cheers,
    Ian

    PS I've uploaded three photos shot with my TLR, all pushed to at least 1600 and all developed in D76... and all shot in crappy light too. Now there's a showdown!
     
  10. 127

    127 Member

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    One thing to consider is that 400 is only two stops brigher than 100 (3200 is 5 stops, so thats a bit more usefull). So you're only opening the shutter one stop, and the apperture one stop. In most cases this isn't a problem. I wouldn't describe my stuff as street, but I've not had to many problems getting enough on 100 outdoors (dark alleys excpted). No, interesting things don't always happen in bright places as noon, but you've got at least six stops below that before you start running into serious problems.

    Of course loosing two stops on the apperture makes your focusing a lot more critical, and often you don't want to be messing with focus, and mess a great expression. In those cases, I'd just set the focus to 2 or 3 meters, stop down as far as I could, then figure out the depth of field I had, and be ready for people to walk into range...

    Hey - get out there and try it. If it doesn't work, try something different...

    Ian
     
  11. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Developer choice is also important here-some will give you an extra 2/3 stop or so , eg FX2/37/39. Or you could use APX 400 if you like the 100.