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  1. #1
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    Delta 400 for outdoor wedding?

    I'm looking for some (quick) advice re film choice for a wedding this weekend.

    First, the facts...

    It's a pretty low-key wedding and I'm the 'photographer' - the happy couple have been made aware that when you get a freebie there are no guarantees. I confident enough, but not prepared to promise 'pro' results.

    I'll be using 35mm. Camera gear will be Minolta Dynax 7 and 600si bodies, with 50mm f/1.7, 50mm f/2.8 Macro and 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 lenses and one 5400HS flash shared between bodies. The only filters I have are a Cir-Pol, UV and cross-screen that fit the zoom lens.

    The wedding is outdoors, starting at 4.30pm - sunset is 5.30pm, expected showers/overcast conditions.

    I don't know what colours they're wearing, or even skin colour of anyone except the fair-skinned bride.

    I'll be carrying the bride's Canon 350D (Rebel XT) digi, but trying hard not to use it much and loading colour in one body and B&W in the other.

    For colour I'll probably use a roll of Reala that I have in my fridge, then load Superia 400 for the later shots.

    My question is really about what B&W to use. I think 400 would be the best to use considering the expected conditions and the late afternoon start. I can get most Ilford, Fuji and maybe Agfa easily, but not so easy to get Kodak at my regular place.

    The B&W film will be processed for me - I don't do it (yet). For those who may know of him, I will be taking it to Les Porter in Newcastle.

    Is Delta 400 the best option, or maybe HP5+ or something different??? I recently used Delta 400 at another wedding, but it was 9 years out of date - I was still impressed with it though, so I can only assume that fresh stock will be as good or better. That is my only recent B&W experience.

    If it makes a difference to your advice, the normal flash sync is up to 1/200 before it goes to the short-range high speed sync - and I'll be hoping to shoot between f/2-f/8 with the 50mm and f/4.5-f/11 with the zoom, using the flash to fill any shadows.

    Thanks muchly for any advice.

    Regards,
    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  2. #2
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    First bit of advice is if you really love the couple and your own sanity, hire a professional for them.

    Secondly: keep it simple. One camera and the strobe and back-up in case you drop your equipment in the punch bowl. Don't laugh, it's happened--though never to me. Make sure you have all necessary batteries.

    With high speed film, your flash synch should be high enough to avoid ghost images in case the sun comes out at the wrong time. If you think that will be a problem, tell your subjects NOT TO MOVE a muscle until you tell them after the flash goes off. And be sure to ask them if the flash went off; they'll think you've been hitting the punch early, but with an slr you can't always tell, can you.

    Good luck: and remember, unbeknownst to the world, Murphy of Murphy's Law was actually a wedding photographer by trade and also an incurable optimist.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  3. #3
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    First bit of advice is if you really love the couple and your own sanity, hire a professional for them...
    Thanks John. A pro is absolutely not an option - they can't afford it and they're in much better shape than I am!!!

    I should have mentioned that I'll have my son's Dynax 5 in the car as a backup in case of wayward punch bowls - that way I can be fairly safe in loading both of my bodies.

    If Murphy turns up, I hope I'm holding the Canon at the time

    Thanks,
    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  4. #4
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Get hold of a reflector - buy, borrow, rent, steal, jury-rig...whatever.

    Have them with their backs to the sun to avoid squinting, and to have the reflector bounce back some nice light back on them. That plus a small flash will help a lot.

    And see if they can't at least spring for a second roll of film.

  5. #5
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
    Get hold of a reflector - buy, borrow, rent, steal, jury-rig...whatever.

    Have them with their backs to the sun to avoid squinting, and to have the reflector bounce back some nice light back on them. That plus a small flash will help a lot.

    And see if they can't at least spring for a second roll of film.
    Thanks Colin. I have some A3 (I think) cardboard sheets in both silver and gold - will they do as a reflector? I've never used a reflector, so I'll have to try to get my wife to help me out beforehand and see if I can make it work.

    I'll get at least 1, possibly 2 rolls of B&W, and I've got heaps of Superia 400 to use after the Reala 100 is finished. Shouldn't be a problem there. If I run out of B&W film I'll just shoot with their Canon and they can convert those if they want. I don't expect to be at the reception, just the ceremony and some shots after. The details a still a bit sketchy - that makes it even more fun

    Regards,
    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  6. #6
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Hang the expense and get at least one more roll of B&W. The details are still a bit sketchy and the wedding is in two days time? Good luck, my friend.

    Seriously, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the venue BEFORE the wedding with the B&G for a run-through.

  7. #7
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    I'm sure the details have all been attended to (except photos it seems) - it's just the info that I have is sketchy. I wasn't a guest (nor did I expect to be) so I know pretty much nothing about how it's going to run. Still waiting for more detailed info, hopefully tonight.

    I know the venue, but getting hold of the couple is rather hard at this late stage!!! I am trying though.

    There's nothing like pressure to make life interesting...
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  8. #8
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Gordon, regarding the B&W film, ask Les what their B&W processing is set up for.

    Once you know what they prefer, use that.

    If you are going to be shooting B&W in lowish light, and with bad weather forecast, you may be requiring a speed bump.

    You could look at the Fuji 1600 B&W film. I would suggest you expose it at 800 ASA and tell the lab to process it as though you had exposed it at 1600 ASA.

    This film has a higher contrast and for low light is usually a very good thing.

    You can look at my gallery and check out a picture of my brother, it was done on Fuji 1600 film at exactly those settings.

    My personal preference with B&W under those conditions is to use a more conventional B&W film, either Ilford HP5+ or Fuji Neopan 400.

    Good management on the day!

    Mick.

  9. #9
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    When will you be shooting? During the ceremony, beforehand, or afterward? What sort of pix are these supposed to be? Candids, or posed "portraits'?

    Honestly, if they are posed shots, you are going to be pretty well screwed. These things tend to run late, so your shots will have to be beforehand to have any natural light...then they will be rushed and everyone will be stressed. That is, unless you can get a scheduled time to shoot, and they don't mind seeing each other before the ceremony. If they are supposed to be posed shots, my suggestion is to do them another day; after the honeymoon, for instance. (Some folks don't like to dress up before the actual wedding.)

    If they are supposed to be candid in nature, or absolutely NEED to be taken on the wedding day itself, I think that film would be fine, if you are familiar with using it. It is not very forgiving with exposure and development, however, so make sure you are metering well. I suggest an incident meter, not your in-camera reflected meter. Following one of those things in difficult lighting situations (low light, backlit, high contrast, with fill flash, etc.) is a recipe for disaster. I might consider BW-400CN (or XP-2) for this scenario (which, BTW, sounds totally jacked up).
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-16-2009 at 02:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #10

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    It's also worth thinking about chromogenic black and white, like Ilford XP2. Plenty of exposure latitude, low grain, and easy to scan/print. I took a load of shots at a friend's wedding [they had a photographer, this was just for fun] and shooting on a C-41 film made getting prints straightforward and cheap.


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