Also, it really depends how dark it is at the reception. I tried something similar at a family wedding a number of years ago (also with an ME Super, BTW), and the DJ at the reception decided the lights should be extremely low - I tried to take a meter reading with a handheld meter and the ambient readings were approx. EI 3-4. As I recall, I gave up on the ME Super's aperture-priority mode as it kept telling me I need 1 or 1/2 second exposures, which weren't going to happen handheld
Ultimately I tried to take pics with the shutter at 1/30 (the slowest I can reliably handheld), and open up to f/4 max (anything wider the depth of field becomes problematic for me). At the time I hadn't done much developing on my own, so I had a local lab do it and push it to the max they had on their charts. Unfortunately this meant a good 80% of those reception shots were blank
From this experience I learned a couple of things, namely:
- use a flash if at all possible at future wedding receptions - the guests are probably too drunk to care anyway
- I learned how to use "semi-stand" development for this type of situation and future development. It develops whatever the film can record, so if it was shot at 1600 or 3200 (or even different ISOs on the same roll of film) it will develop what is there. It also works exactly the same for most if not all b&w films. Semi-stand is done using extremely diluted developer, for long periods of time, with minimal agitation. It is usually done with Rodinal - I use a dilution of 1+200, agitate for 30 sec, and then leave for 1 hr, and agitate for another 30 sec, then leave for another hour. Rinse, fix, rinse as normal.
So, in the end, I'm not sure if my 1/30, f/4 experiment with Tri-X would have worked with semi-stand given the exceptionally low light conditions, but if I do run into that situation again, at least the semi-stand development would give me a fighting chance
Good luck (and buy a flash)
i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.
- phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds
Of course by the time you read this, the advice will be a bit late. Oh, well.
Originally Posted by kbrede
Use a film that's made for speed, like TMax 3200 or Delta 3200. I have tried TMax 400 at 1600 and 3200, and it's OK at 1600, but at 3200 there isn't enough light for it to get any shadows at all. Below Zone V, it's toast. I recommend using a seperate light meter. The last time I was shooting in low light, I was using Delta 3200 @ 3200, and f2.8 at 1/2 second with a Pentax 645. I know that TMax 400 wouldn't hold the shadows.