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  1. #1

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    Pushing 400 ASA film.

    My plan is to shoot 400 B&W film in a club with my Leica M3 and 50cm F:2 Summicron(relatively new to me) I have to say that it has been a long time since I have shot available darkness shots and am wondering which film and developing techniques I should use? The film that I have available to me is new TMax 400, HP-5+, Agfa APX 400, Kentmeer 400, and Fortepan 400. I will be able to use a good light meter (sekonic l-508) and may be able to shoot at 400, but might like to push at least one stop to 800.

    For those with experience in this light, what would you use? I have a 9cm Elmarit f:4 that I might like to use also so an ei. of 800 might be uselful.

    I don't have Acufine or Diafine developers or Rodinal, but can mix up pretty much any other developer.

    My plan is to shoot on Sunday afternoon, so I would like to get this information soon ;-).

  2. #2

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    Pushing 400 ASA film.

    In my opinion, I would just meter the scene and shoot at speeds lower than 30. I did some night/indoor restaurant shooting a while ago with ISO 100 film in a Leica IIIc and didn't have any issues.

    Here's a sample shot (indoors, ISO 100, 1/15, f 2.0, Nikkor 5cm - pretty much as close to dark as you could be and still see to eat):



    Btw: I forgot to mention - developed at 80 F for 3:30 at ISO 100. No pushing or pulling. Regular Arista Premium bulk film.

  3. #3

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    I expect to have better light than that. It will be a stage act and I should be able to get very good incident readings and I have the spot function of the meter if I choose to use it.

    More concerned with which film and developer.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  4. #4

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    The film I used was Arista Premium ISO 100, and the developer was Arista Premium developer, if that helps.

  5. #5

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    Pushing 400 ASA film.

    Here's a couple from outside, same film and developer.





    And here's one in literally no light. Looks like a flash, but was really just a street lamp a half a block away. The booth was tucked back in an alley between two buildings.



    I think it was 1/10 sec. exposure.

  6. #6

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    Pushing the TMax 400 to 800 is something I done a lot, the reason is that the development time are the same, so you can shoot both 400 and 800 on the same film.
    I've haven't noticed any diffence in the print shooting the TMax at 800.

    Jesper

  7. #7
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    TMAX would be my preference out of those choices. If there is relatively little motion in the stage act, I'd say set your camera to f/2 and 1/30 and brace on a table/wall as available. You're likely not going to have any shadow detail with contrasty night club lighting. Don't overdevelop the highlights and blow them out to try and save shadow detail. Less agitation in the developer (+ longer time) should help tame the contrast as well.

    I shot a bunch of Tmax 400 at a concert, I had an f/1.2 lens available and used it to get shutter speed up to stop motion blur (1/60th ended up being OK). It's still contrasty but it worked. D76 was all I had to use, it was fine.

  8. #8
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Of the films you list I'd use Tmax 400, shoot at 400 & 800 as needed and just develop normally in either Tmax or DD-X. No push needed IMO.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    If you sneak in a monopod you won't need to push, most likely. Hand held with an f/4 lens 90mm - different story. You'll need a 1/60th of a second as a bare minimum for sharp pictures (if that's what you're after), especially if you make big prints.

    Keep in mind the huge brightness range with stage lighting. You may wish to just leave some of the shadows black for that reason. Mind the highlights. I would use a spot meter unless you can go up on stage and measure the light the performers will be in.

    Both HP5+ and TMax 400 push to 800 with ease. I even think HP5 doesn't come alive until you start playing with a tad bit of underexposure and some appropriate processing. Both films will do well.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #10
    garysamson's Avatar
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    I would suggest Tmax 400 and Kodak Xtol and use the spot meter to determine the correct exposure as suggested above.

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