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  1. #1

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    Shooting in the dark at weddings

    I'm attending a wedding tonight. I thought it might be fun to try and photograph people during the dance. I'm assuming low light conditions but have no idea what they will actually be like. I'm assuming I should look for 1600 or 3200 ISO. My Pentax ME Super only goes to 1600, so I'm not sure 3200 would even be usable. I've read a little about pushing and pulling but I really don't understand it yet. What B&W film would you go with? If I'm suppose to push or pull, just tell me the ISO to set the camera and I'll work out the development details later. The fastest lens I have is a 50mm f/1.7
    Thanks for any advice,
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  2. #2
    andrew.roos's Avatar
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    I would use Ilford Delta 3200 or Kodak T-Max 3200 (both B&W films) rated at 1600 ISO (if lighting allows) or 3200 ISO (if necessary). If your ME super has exposure compensation then you could get 3200 ISO by setting it to 1600 ISO and also setting -1 EV exposure compensation. Both films are actually rated around 800/1000 ISO so you get 1600/3200 by pushing. Of course (indirect) flash is the preferable alternative.

  3. #3

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    This is just my personal opinion, but I've shot many - dozens if not hundreds probably - rolls of Tri-x or HP5 pushed to 1600 in low light: street scenes, stage plays, bands in small clubs and bars. That would be my first suggestion. Shoot wide open or close to it, at the slowest speed you can handhold. 400 is actually quite fast; you might not have to push.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew.roos View Post
    I would use Ilford Delta 3200 or Kodak T-Max 3200 (both B&W films) rated at 1600 ISO (if lighting allows) or 3200 ISO (if necessary). If your ME super has exposure compensation then you could get 3200 ISO by setting it to 1600 ISO and also setting -1 EV exposure compensation. Both films are actually rated around 800/1000 ISO so you get 1600/3200 by pushing. Of course (indirect) flash is the preferable alternative.
    OK, just so I get this straight. I can shoot this film with either a 1600 ISO setting on the camera, or at 3200 ISO if I give it a -1 EV? I don't have a flash. This will just be for learning and fun.
    Thanks,
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    This is just my personal opinion, but I've shot many - dozens if not hundreds probably - rolls of Tri-x or HP5 pushed to 1600 in low light: street scenes, stage plays, bands in small clubs and bars. That would be my first suggestion. Shoot wide open or close to it, at the slowest speed you can handhold. 400 is actually quite fast; you might not have to push.
    OK, when you say to push. That means I take the 400 ISO film and set the camera to 1600?
    Thanks,
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    Kenton Brede
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbrede View Post
    OK, when you say to push. That means I take the 400 ISO film and set the camera to 1600?
    Thanks,
    Yes. If 400 doesn't give a reasonable exposure, under-expose (by dialing in a higher ISO) and over-develop to compensate.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    Yes. If 400 doesn't give a reasonable exposure, under-expose (by dialing in a higher ISO) and over-develop to compensate.
    Got it, thanks!
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  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    "pushing" really only refers to an adjustment to the development. It doesn't improve the shadow detail (the dark parts of the scene will lose detail) but the mid-toned subjects will have their contrast bumped up, and will look better for it.

    And the suggestion to set the "ISO" on the Pentax to the maximum of 1600 and adjust the exposure compensation one stop may not work - the exposure adjustment control may be limited by the travel available in the film speed dial.

    If you use manual exposure, you can meter at 1600 and then manually open up a stop.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    I really wouldn't trust your meter too much, anyway.

    For what my experience is worth, I've found it helpful to get a reading from a light source and simply use that when photographing on manual.

    With less light, well...it'll be too dark, anyway. That way you can concentrate on making images and not fiddling with a meter.
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    "pushing" really only refers to an adjustment to the development. It doesn't improve the shadow detail (the dark parts of the scene will lose detail) but the mid-toned subjects will have their contrast bumped up, and will look better for it.

    And the suggestion to set the "ISO" on the Pentax to the maximum of 1600 and adjust the exposure compensation one stop may not work - the exposure adjustment control may be limited by the travel available in the film speed dial.

    If you use manual exposure, you can meter at 1600 and then manually open up a stop.
    OK, thanks, good to know. There are some kind of limits to the EV dial, depending on what ISO is dialed in. I've noticed this playing around.
    Thanks,
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    Kenton Brede
    http://kentonbrede.com/

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