Leaving aside the scanning aspects, I like Portra 160NC.
Mixed lighting is asking for headaches (and if you think you can fix it in post, that's even more headaches), if you're in a controlled situation and don't need to shoot with mixed lighting, and if as you say you're new to this kind of photography.
First you've got the issue of balancing flash and ambient light levels--aperture and/or power setting on the flash will control the flash level, and shutter speed will control the ambient level. You can think of whichever is greater as the main light and whichever is less as the fill light. A meter that reads ambient and flash makes this much easier. The alternative is a lot of testing and note taking, from which you'll learn quite a bit.
Then you've got to match the colors of the lighting sources, and ideally gel the flash to the same color as the ambient, and then you might need a filter on the lens to match them to the film. If you've got three or more colors of light, it gets more complicated. You can use a color temperature meter, but it's expensive, particularly if it reads flash. You can also approximate based on generally accepted values for flash and tungsten, and if there are fluorescents in the mix, you can look most of them up in tables. You can also test, but if you want to see how the specific film responds to the light, this takes time, and if the exposure time is particularly long, there may be reciprocity related color shifts.
Do you need an aspirin yet?
Better to go with the available light to start with, if it's all of the same type and you feel you can use it in an interesting way, or use strobes with modeling lights so you can concentrate on the main issue of how to light the subject without worrying about the fussy details of mixed lighting.
I've found the Fuji 160s better suited to mixed-lighting conditions than their Kodak counterparts.
both are terrific films, with either my choice of 160nc(Kodak) or Fuji 160s. both are negative films. just remember though, that reversal(chrome) films generally have a slightly higher resolution, but less in the way of usable dynamic range.
in the end though, you might want to ask this same question over at www.hybridphoto.com.
Color Negative: Fuji Reala
When I was using slide film many a moon ago for wedding I made pics with Kodak Ektachrome X.
B&W: Kodak TMX or Ilford Pan F Plus
Like David said, mixed lighting is going to be a pain in the ass. For the best color balance it is better to use strobes or continuous lighting, but not both. The exception would be to balance flash and ambient daylight, since flash is daylight balanced. I'm partial to Kodak Portra 160 NC, Portra 400 NC if I need the extra stop, for this sort of thing. Nothing at all wrong with the Fuji counterparts. It' a question of taste.
David is spot on.
As I wedding photographer I'm always challenged by light temperatures because conditions vary as well as different temperatures of light. Even daylight temperature changes depending time of day and what's up in the sky. People give me weird looks when I have some lights turned off during certain times!
However, some compensating can be done with the enlarger. But if you have two or more different temps. of light one is going to look different if you're after good color with the faces of your subjects. In my mind, I would use flash as the temperature is fairly consistent and once you have everything set up then you can rock & roll with each negative the same if you keep the lights as they are as color can vary from a lot to just a little as you increase or decrease power.
That's where digital has an advantage as processing the RAW files has a pretty wide latitude with color correction. That's why constant lighting using fluorescent and now LED is getting some use as the temp can be adjusted in post if shooting RAW. Color correction can be worked on during making the image but I usually fine tune during process.
Hope this helps you.
Because I am kind of dumb sometimes. Sorry about that.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Look, I'm not trying to stir up a whole hornet's nest here. It may well be a better question for hybirdphoto.com but since I tend to post here rather than there, my immediate thought was to seek the, usually excellent, advice that I tend to get here. Apologies if some feel that was inappropriate. Maybe we can just forget I mentioned s******g which I only mentioned in order to try and provide as much information as possible.
Thanks for all the tips about films. I have used Portra 160 before (for outdoor photography) and really liked the results I got so I would very much lean now towards using that if it is regarded as good for portraits as well.
Thanks also for the information and thoughts about lighting. I'm going to have a think about that stuff in order to digest it a bit, and then will probably be back here with some more questions ....
Hugh, the issue that is a hybrid question is how the scanner renders the grain. You will find a reference to how dye clumps and such are rendered... in short, the grain you see from a normal scanner is not the actual film grain but rather something a bit more clumpy. So there is a real reason why when people compare digital files to film scans, they are not doing the film justice.... most of these films were simply not engineered to be scanned (if they were they'd have no mask, for starters). Having said all that, again, your enlargement factor is quite small so I don't think it'll be an issue. If you flatbed scan and it is an issue then oversample (2x or 3x) at 16 bit per channel, do a quick grain treatment, then downsize and *poof* the grain will be gone. The film image contains waaay more info than you need for your enlargements. if you do a drum scan then the operator should know how to diminish the appearance of the grain via aperture selection. You can help him/her or yourself out by erring on the side of overexposure.
Concerning mixed lighting, I do not agree that digital post processing fixes the issue... at least not entirely. There is a big difference between doing auto white-balance on a raw file (which has r,g, and b info stored separately) and doing the same thing on an image where the colour channels have already been combined and thus their colour renditions are already mixed. This issue is the heart of why raw processing has become de rigueur in the digiworld. Anyway this discussion can be had elsewhere, as noted....
Anyway, my experience is that the fuji pro handles the mixed light like a champ.
Given the way the industry works now, I'd be very surprised if there is anyone on APUG who shoots colour, and who hasn't had at least some of their negatives scanned and printed.
I get optical prints when I can, but from 120 if something is proofed for me, it will almost certainly have been proofed using scanning technology.
For that reason, I think I can give a reasonably informed opinion on films and the question originally posed, because I've seen how the films I use respond to both workflows.
If I had started this thread here, I'd probably have mentioned in my post that I would be checking at hybridphoto as well, but I wanted to get an answer from those who were more into optical printing as well.
The Portra NC films perform well both ways, and give excellent results with skin tones, and wedding dresses :).
(By that, I mean they hold both shadow and highlight details well, and have natural colour).
With respect to the question of mixed light sources, my advice would be to use the flash and/or light from the outside as your main light source(s), and try to make sure that any other source is both warm (tungsten) and considerably less bright than your flash and/or outside source.
I would also suggest that you speak to your lab and ask them what they would recommend. When you do, be sure that you specify the character of what you are looking for. In my case, I'd be looking for the subtle colour and contrast that the Portra films and optical printing excel at providing.
I second this, lovely film, one of my faves.
Originally Posted by Athiril
I don't think that light from outside is going to be an option in the places I will be shooting this. There are likely to not be any windows at all as it is going to be done in band rehearsal rooms. Have you seen any of these places? I've spent a significant portion of my life in them and they are almost all windowless horrible dumps (or at least the ones my band practices in :-)) So, I don't think the mixed lighting can be avoided completely. I'm going to do a bit of reading about this colour balance business. All your comments have made me a bit more aware of the issues involved in this.
Originally Posted by MattKing