Ilford 3200 Film
I have a project coming up for which I will shoot a Holga with Ilford 3200 film in pretty low light (perhaps a very weak keylight on the subject's face, but the rest of the space will be nearly black). I also want a lot of grain, which is another reason I am choosing 3200 speed film. Speaking of, does anyone have any shots of a shot taken with 3200 speed film? I would like to see just how much grain I will have.
Up until now, I have been using Arista film with Arista film developer and Arista fix and it's worked great. First off, since this film is so sensitive I suppose I should really plug up the Holga well. Tape it up good all over.
My main question is this: will Arista-branded developer and fix work with the 3200 film, or should I get something else that may be better suited for Ilford's film? Again, I need this to come out as best as I can.
I do have some shots taken on Delta 3200 in medium format, but you're not going to get a really good idea of grain from a image posted to the web. D3200 gives moderate to heavy grain depending upon of course, the developer. Arista film developer and fixer will work fine with D3200. You just need to run some tests to find the best development time and rating of your D3200. I found that D3200 has an effective ISO of about 1600 at best. Take this into consideration when preparing for shots or setting up lights. If you want the most grain from D3200 then purchase a bottle of Agfa Rodinal. You can purchase it from Freestyle photographic in LA.
Other than that there's not much to add. Good luck. Sounds like a neat project!
Holga+low light=a mostly blank negative, unfortunately, because they are set to be used outside. Then again, depends on what you mean by "low". You might get something with the setup you described. If you could use flash for the mainlight instead of a hot light, you will be fine. Remember that the film is actually ISO 1000, so any higher rating will in fact be an underexposure, for which you can compensate in development.
As for grain, you will get it from Delta 3200, but it is actually quite neat and mild compared to what you would get from a jacked up exposure made on HP5 or Tri-X. The latter have more random and clumpy grain.
The best way I have found to get grain is severe overexposure. Rate your Delta 1000 at EI 64 or 32 and see what happens. You will likely have to bleach back your neg. a bit, but it will sure be nice and grainy.
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Fear this may be the case as even with 3200 you would probably need to open up the lens or use a slower shutter which can't be done with the Holga. Certainley worth doing a test though as you may have enough light, though could you use an extra tungsten light shadowed down to create a stronger key light? However, with the grain, Rodinal will certainley give more but you may want to experiment with print developer which will increase the grain add contrast, (possibly density too) but will give coarser results. If Rodinal 1+25 @ 20C for 13 minutes is good, (it was for me), try something like PQ Universal 1+9 @ 20C for 6 minutes as a test.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
All the best
hmmm, my Holga has a 'B' setting. not great hand held of course I've shot at night with long exposures so it's doable if yours has this setting. It's on the bottom under the lens.
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I have two Holgas & they both test at close enough to f/8 at 1/100.
I shoot reasonably often in poor light (big rooms with a few fluoro tubes) & my exposures are generally f/2.8 or f/4 at 1/30 approx at 1600 ISO.
So I think you will be underexposing at 3200 based on how I understand your lighting.
As for grain I have exposed Delta 3200 in 120 & processed in DDX & the grain was not too big. It's quite different than shooting the same film in 35mm. Of course Rodinal will be different. You should run some tests if it's important.
I agree with goldie - given the Holga's fixed shutter speed (although I think mine is a bit slower than 1/100) and aperture, and the indicated "weak key light", I don't think 3200 ISO is going to work.
If you want a similar effect (although perhaps without the vignetting), I suggest using a different camera that has a larger aperture and slower shutter speed, and either apply some Vaseline around the edges of the lens, or invest in a Lensbaby. I can't say I've ever recommended either of those before, but I think this situation calls for it
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Go 35mm instead
Shoot 35mm Delta 3200 instead of medium format. If you want a lot of grain, I think you will be disappointed.
The Holga will give you vastly underexposed negatives in the dark (I have learned this the hard way), so consider cropping a 35mm frame to square, and do lots of burning and dodging in the darkroom to simulate the Holga effect. You can try diffusing the light too, which is as easy as using parchment paper with holes cut in it for areas that need to be sharp. The trick is to keep the paper moving, or its texture will be imparted to the print (the farther from the print surface the parchment is, the more diffuse it will become. Move the parchment sideways, or in a circle to blur the texture of it, and up/down to increase/decrease diffusion).
35mm gives you more freedom with exposure, and you'll get more grain. Remember the Holga is wide angle, about equivalent to a 35-40mm lens on a 35mm camera. And you'll get more frames to work with on the same roll.
Delta 3200 will work fine with the Arista chemistry, but you may have to do some testing to find what exposure/dev time you need to get good results.
Delta 3200 is really really nice film, with an almost 'romantic' look in normal lighting. Have fun with it.
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OK, let me explain the project a little better.
The idea is this: the room itself will be almost pitch black dark, with a man facing away from the camera into a mirror with a satisfied look on his face, dressed in a suit. There will be a trash can slightly off frame in the front, filled with miscellaneous trash with a visible wedding band on the top. I understand I will need a flash on the subject and on the trash can.
I want the photo to be 8x10, matted with a nice frame. I don't need a huge amount of grain, but I'm thinking with 3200 speed film I should get more grain than a 400 speed film.
If the Holga's 1/50 shutter speed and f/8 or whatever is unable to capture enough light with the strobe, I guess I will just push the development. The question is, how will I know I need to push the development until I see the developed negatives? Should I just preemptively push two stops or whatever as soon as I develop the negative?
I "could" do it with 35mm, I "could" do it with digital, but either aren't really what I want. My 35mm SLR is a Nikon EM (won't have enough control), and my digital...let's not go there. There is a stark difference between grain and noise. I like grain, I hate noise.
I am picking up a Canon Rebel from a freecycle member this weekend, so perhaps that will be better for this project if I am able to find Delta 3200 in a shop somewhere in Charlotte, NC. The one shop I know of says Ilford stuff is really hard to order.