View Full Version : ISO 400 at night..

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12-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Without doing the pulling and pushing stuff, and using only local lights, do you manage to take street photographs at night with film ISO 400???

12-10-2011, 04:46 PM
f1.4 lenses are a big help, but it depends on light levels as to what you can get away with. Nothing wrong with pushing things. Tmax400 and Tri-X push quite well to 1600.

Roger Cole
12-10-2011, 05:10 PM
Depends, how bright are your streets?

No, because Tri-X looks so good in Diafine at 1250-1600 I don't bother. I stock Tri-X as my standard 35mm 400 film. I also keep TMZ on hand and for street photography at night, something I don't do much but do occasionally, I'll use that at 3200 or even 6400. But I shot photos at a street arts festival recently when I was out of TMZ and I used the Tri-X/Diafine combo and got some good shots. In some cases shutter speeds were really straining the limits of hand holding with my f/1.7 50mm lens, but I do have some good ones.

I've also seen good results from others pushing HP5+ to 1600.

12-10-2011, 05:14 PM
I don't want do pushing because I will mix night shots and day shots on the same film.

12-10-2011, 05:21 PM
Without doing the pulling and pushing stuff, and using only local lights, do you manage to take street photographs at night with film ISO 400???


I expect that many of Brassaï's famous shots were done on slower film...

You don't have to push, you can just expose for the most compositionally important light and let the shadows go to heck. Also, longer exposures might be easier with a monopod. I also really like RFs for available light work, even though my fastest lens, a Nikon 50/1.2, is an SLR lens.

12-10-2011, 05:33 PM
Its easy in urban city areas. There is always spill light from store fronts, or right under street lights. A steady hand, and good timing is all you need, but fast lenses do help (f1.2, f1.4, f2). Ive even shot with 200 iso films.

If all else fails, get a flash, and learn how to use it.

12-24-2011, 09:49 PM
I've been in the same spot and decided I'd rather shoot delta 3200 at 1600 then push a 400 two stops.

12-25-2011, 12:48 AM
My iso 400 film is always what is in my camera. I use it a bit a streets in the night too. As for aversion to pushing, I manage by using stand dev with rodinal, the results might not be to your liking but it works for me. :) (film is triX rated at 200 to 1600 and in between)

12-25-2011, 01:22 AM
I don't know what body you plan to use, but getting a second body is useful if you do night photography a lot.

If you want to capture moving objects like passers by, there is nothing better than TMZ (35mm) or Delta 3200 (120). I’d use these films at EI 1600. These films are not very useful if your shutter speed is longer than a couple of seconds.

If you are mostly concerned about stationary scene, I’d use Fujifilm Acros 100. This film has very little reciprocity failure so that if you use long exposure this is the fastest film available. I often expose Acros for a couple of minutes in dark scenes.

12-25-2011, 04:46 AM
I regularly shoot at night with an f3.5 lens and ISO 400 film. It depends on what you're taking pictures of.

Steve Smith
12-25-2011, 04:53 AM
I've been in the same spot and decided I'd rather shoot delta 3200 at 1600 then push a 400 two stops.

Strangely, I have found it better the other way round.


12-25-2011, 05:10 AM
I wouldn't see it as an issue particularly if your using a tripod and doing long exposures if things get too dark. I can hand hold 35mm camera's reasonably successfully at 1/4sec and for some reason I like doing that. To do that though I will use any available object (wall... post... anything) to lean on.

Of course long exposures in dimly lit streets will render the street pretty desolate for the people may not even be seen in the exposure. So long as your into that I guess. I have always usually used slower films unless I want the effect of grain etc. 100 to 160 iso films are common place for myself personally.

03-11-2012, 07:00 AM
I am new to photography and use 35 mm so take my advice as such...

I settled on tri-x 400 because the advised development time for iso 400 and iso 800 are the same. I would then expose on the same roll shot at both iso. my contact print are then heterogeneous but I would do a small print anyway if I think a photo is interesting so I can then adjust when I print individually

03-11-2012, 07:15 AM
hi marciofs

i used to expose lots at f22 @ 45seconds for overhead vapor lamps and doing
"ground-work" i think it was tmy ( 400 ) .. so it might be a few seconds at f4.
before you shoot anything "important" maybe you should bracket the same scene ...
5, 10 20seconds &c

have fun !


05-15-2012, 11:49 AM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6155/6231443466_60c476248c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/15481483@N06/6231443466/)

Cafe Diplomatico (http://www.flickr.com/photos/15481483@N06/6231443466/) by Missi1005 (http://www.flickr.com/people/15481483@N06/), on Flickr

Arista Premium 400, not pushed. you may need a fast lens but it all depends on the available light.

05-17-2012, 02:03 PM
Night photography, outdoor in available light falls in the EV 3 to 5 range at 100 ISO, let's take EV 4 at ISO 100 as a typical value.

With a 400 ISO film, you could take hand-held pictures at 1/8th@f/2.8 free hand. This exposes you to both motion blur and imprecise focusing, as focusing at night, with whatever camera, is risky stuff (if you go for optimum sharpness, that is).

Using a tripod would make things much easier. You can use a ISO 100 film, take pictures in the same situation at 4"@f/8 or, as you use black & white, you can take to luxury to expose even more (8" or 16") to open the shadows more and have more printing options in the darkroom.

Check reciprocity failure of your film. Prefer films which have no reciprocity failure for this kind of use (until 16" or so of exposure).

EV tables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_value


PS When using the tripod with these long exposure, beware of ground vibration induced by underground trains, truck, buses, etc. Also consider that during the 16" or so exposure people walking will basically leave almost no trace in the picture. This can be interesting for architectural subject: using long exposure will eliminate the human presence in the picture.

05-17-2012, 10:02 PM
I'm sure it really does depend on exactly what you're shooting at night. But for me, walking around on city streets with average sort of street lamps and stuff, I'm always good with my 400 speed and my 50mm 1.7 lens. I'll shoot wide open and hand held the shots with 1/30, 1/15, or 1/8 shutter speeds with pretty good results most of the time. Sometimes I'll steady myself against a pole or building if need be.

07-15-2012, 04:16 AM
Without doing the pulling and pushing stuff, and using only local lights, do you manage to take street photographs at night with film ISO 400???

Yeah, sure. Now, the result of course depends on a lot of things; how fast lens you use, light conditions, how good you are at handholding on a bit longer exposures etc.

If you are using Tri-X (probably works the same way with other similar films too), the development time for shooting at 400 and 800 is the same, so you can push one stop even if you shoot the same film at 400 during the day.

Also, with most cameras it is possible to change films in the middle of the roll. Just make sure you don't rewind it all the way in to the cartridge (this may take some practice on some cameras). Mark the roll with the number of exposures. When changing back, just shoot the amount of exposures taken with the lens cap on, and you are back where you started. This way you can use one body but different films for daytime / night time.

Mark Fisher
07-15-2012, 08:55 AM
I'd try opening your lens all the way up and shoot at the lowest speed you know from experience you can hold..and see if you like the results. In the end, it is a night shot and you probably want the shadows to go black anyway so. ...Missi's picture above is a good example. If you shoot handheld a lot at night, I'd highly suggest a range finder of some flavor...that alone is good for about 2 shutter speeds.

Richard Sintchak (rich815)
07-15-2012, 11:06 AM
As others mention will depend on just how dark it is and how many street lights might be around. Wet nights make a difference too, as does the camera's hand-hold ability. I've been surprised how nice many night shots have come out using 400 speed film and shot with my Contax G2 with my 45/2 Planar wide open at 1/15th. Other times, also as mentioned above, Tri-X at 1600 developed in Diafine is really nice, this shot with my Rolleiflex TLR:


To do it best maybe do not mix day and
night shots on the same roll...