Seeking Recommendations for a Colour Negative Film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by BradleyK, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    A long-time shooter of black and white film (as well as - sigh - Kodachrome and Ektachrome), I confess to little experience with colour negative film. In fact, over the three decades that I have been shooting, I would (over) estimate to having shot less that 20 rolls of colour negative stock. So, here is my question: My nephew is getting married in June and asked if I would shoot the "candid moments" of his wedding (a professional wedding photographer, with d*****l, will be shooting the formal pics). Both my nephew (23) and his bride (25) are insistent that I shoot film (twist my arm, kids). The issue? He wants black and white (a mix of HP5/Tri-X and Delta 3200, depending upon the location), and she wants colour. So, what do I use? Do I push a 400 ISO film, when required, and hope for the best? Thoughts? Advice? Oh, and my nephew asked that I shoot with the Leicas "because they don't make any sound, so you won't be noticed when you are shooting people." An interesting remark, I thought, from a confessed technophile.
     
  2. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    You know, I hate to say this, but I'm afraid we're living in a time now where you just have to take what you can get your hands on.
     
  3. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    I've been shooting a number of friends/relatives weddings. I used to shot with fixed lenses (35, 85, 135). The lens i used most was the 85 (planar 1.4) that can be used without a tripod with a 100 iso. When available Fuji Reala was the main choice. Now i use Kodak Ektar (100 iso) and kodak portra (160 iso). This is my experience. Consider i live in central Italy where marriages take place (mainly) from april to september when there's plenty of light (sometimes too harsh....) To be honest i do not know the light conditions up there in BC. If i were in your shoes i would just use a couple of lenses (a wide angle and a short tele). I think you're in a privileged position. No pressure to deliver a "formal" product, possibility to take pictures to a young couple that is, from a photographic point of view, a great chance. I think your dear old leicas will outplace the "official photographer" super digital gear.Enjoy yourself :smile:
     
  4. powasky

    powasky Member

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    I would shoot Portra 160 or NPH400.
     
  5. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    What powasky said.

    I WOULD NOT use Kodak Ektar 100.

    Personally, I think you should let the hired pro take care of the color with his digital.

    If I were in your shoes, I would stick to B&W. and later - at your leisure- have silver gelatin fiber print made - in this way, you are value adding above and beyond what the hired pro will be furnishing.

    This is from being in your shoes once before.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2013
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Portra is sufficiently different from digital, it's worth evaluating. Use what B&W film you are familiar with. Familiarity is more important than specific choices.
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I would use portra but then I would refuse to do candid shots and using film. Doing candid means I would need faster film which is a disadvantage of film. I rather be the official photographer and take the the set up shots where I can supply enough light for film.
     
  8. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Another option is to think about saying NO. Weddings and photography are a sneaky plan of the devil to fracture families and it works. Sickness is a valid out. Use it!!!! Find some way out. I'd rather have teethe pulled by terrified amatuers (stolen fromW.S.Gilbert, I confess) than do another wedding. Save yourself first, then the women and children.
    Logan
     
  9. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Did you mention whether you're going to be indoors or outdoors? I like to use unfiltered tungsten-balanced film under mixed lighting indoors (without the use of a flash). I could be mistaken but I think you can still get tungsten balanced negative film in the form of 35mm cine stock (I am still using Fuji T64 which is an E6 film).
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'd use a flash, and film ISO 400 or slower. I also wouldn't worry too much about the "Leica request" except maybe in a church whre sound may be a problem. At reception... there is likely to be som much noise and excitement that nobody would notice even a really loud camera (like a Hasssssy).

    For color negs... Porta, for sure.

    For B&W... Ilford.

    One camera for each.
     
  11. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Scratch what I said above; this guy has the right idea.
     
  12. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I would go for B&W, high ISO, and concentrate on doing things that the official photographer cannot concentrate upon. He does all the formals, the groups, etc. and you do the candids, the "photojournalist" style.

    If you are working indoors, colour would add technical pressure because you would have to work with lower ISO, worry about colour balance, probably not using flash not to attract attention etc. Considering you are not in control of the situation (directing people, for instance, to move them in favourable light) I would just concentrate in delivering some nice pictures that the couple wouldn't otherwise have had rather than testing how good film can be in a wedding.

    The Leica suggestion, if you are "proficient" with it when focusing indoor, is a very nice advice indeed. High ISO, B&W, Leica, if the shots are good that makes a very nice manifesto for film photography in any case.

    For outdoors pictures you can and should use colour negative but, unless all the party - dinner takes place outside, I would say that your most precious opportunity to "add value" to the official photographer's work will be indoors and, in that case, I would go with B&W 3200 ISO and concentrate on candid portraits of people.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Portra 400 - a very flexible film.

    Portra 800 is still available as well.

    And I would be tempted to shoot the Black and White on Ilford XP-2 and have my lab make proofs of the whole shebang.
     
  14. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Portra 800

    Kodak's Portra 800 is a very flexible color film that will handle black and white wedding attire and provide great skin tones. It is fast enough for indoors, yet works outdoors as well. And it can be pushed all the way to 3200 though you will certainly lose some shadow detail. If you can't find that then use Portra 400. It does not push as well but it can do ISO 800 in a pinch. Portra 160 is a wonderful wedding film as well but is best used outdoors only.
     
  15. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Yes, Portra 800 and Portra 400 are the way to go. If you have a camera with good TTL flash, and the matching flash, that will help at times also. Know how to use bounce, diffusers, and all that, on the flash.
     
  16. BrendanCarlson

    BrendanCarlson Member

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    Well, whatever you end up shooting, test it BEFORE the wedding, you do not want to screw up because you haven't shot the film before. Get to know how it responds to different things such as underexposure and overexposure. It will definitely be to your advantage. Also, stick with what you know and comfortable with, don't change just because you think it might look slightly better; it's not worth the risk.

    I learned this the hard way... :whistling: