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  1. #1
    /dev/null's Avatar
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    Film for night photography

    Hi,

    What would be a recommended film for night photography, say with shutter speeds from a few seconds max, maybe 5 seconds exposure most.

    I tried the Delta 400 (120) @3200 and developed in X-tol, it was OK, but maybe there is a b/w film out there that gives better results when doing night photography.

    Or I can shoot the Delta 400 @800 and increase exposure times. Anybody?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I have mainly used three films for night photography: Fuji Acros 100 has really excellent reciprocity, which makes it effectively faster than even ISO 800 films for long exposures (no correction required up to 2 min); Kodak TMax 3200 pushed to 6400, although very grainy as you can imagine, but capable of almost photographing the total darkness; Kodak Tri-X for good reciprocity characteristics and interesting highlight rendition.

  3. #3
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    hand-held or tripod?

    Makes a big difference to the answer.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  4. #4
    /dev/null's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Allen View Post
    Hi there,

    hand-held or tripod?

    Makes a big difference to the answer.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    Hi David,

    All tripod and no hand-held.

    Thanks.

  5. #5

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    I remember seeing a discussion in here about reciprocity behavior of many films. Unfortunately, I can not find the thread now.
    But as far as I can remember, chromogenic films (XP2 and BW400) seem to respond quite well to long exposure with small correction. Plus you get their speed!

  6. #6

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    Instead of thinking about a fast film to then push a few extra stops, why not think the other way around and use a 400 ISO at 200 or 100 or a 100 at 50 or less?

    Most night shots tend to have a lot of contrast between the shadows and any artificial lighting. If you rate Delta 400 at three stops more, you effectively underexpose a dark scene by three stops and then are trying to compensate by making the underexposed negative contrastier with extended developing. However, if you purposely overexpose and then cut the dev time to compensate, you will increase shadow detail, tame down the highlights and hopefully have a more detailed neg with lower contrast to give a lot more options when printing.

    Fair enough if you want a fast shutter speed to catch some action, but if you have five seconds on a tripod, most moving things will be blurred or non existent ghosts so you may as well have a longer shutter and a better exposed (and processed) neg.

  7. #7

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    PS. Though in answer to the original post, I prefer FP4 or HP5 on a tripod for smooth detailed night shots. However, I do a lot of hand held work on 35mm Delta 3200 just to totally contradict my last post, but in defence, the aesthetic I am looking for is different to detailed smooth night work.
    http://www.mike-crawford.co.uk/portf...urne-five.html
    When I do such work, and it involves a tripod, then will try to use FP4 or HP5. Would think Delta 400 rated normally or even 200 should work well.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by geostog View Post
    I remember seeing a discussion in here about reciprocity behavior of many films. Unfortunately, I can not find the thread now.
    But as far as I can remember, chromogenic films (XP2 and BW400) seem to respond quite well to long exposure with small correction. Plus you get their speed!
    In my experience XP2 does not perform as well as BW400CN concerning reciprocity, I always needed to extend the exposure greatly to obtain good detail. On the other hand it has a very specific look that can create interesting effects when underexposed.

  9. #9
    Jim Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauro35 View Post
    I have mainly used three films for night photography: Fuji Acros 100 has really excellent reciprocity, which makes it effectively faster than even ISO 800 films for long exposures (no correction required up to 2 min); Kodak TMax 3200 pushed to 6400, although very grainy as you can imagine, but capable of almost photographing the total darkness; Kodak Tri-X for good reciprocity characteristics and interesting highlight rendition.
    +1 for Acros 100 - I love it (despite what others have said in another recent thread! )
    Cheers,

    Jim.

  10. #10
    jcc
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    I second it. Acros 100 is best suited for long exposures, IMHO.

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