Shooting Indoors with Colour
I recently asked about shooting concerts indoors. It turns out I have to shoot in colour. Any recommendations on the best film to use. It looks like the Kodak 800 Portra is the best, but the price per roll is a little high. The Fuji 800 is considerably less. Any thoughts??
if you've been asked, I assume you're getting paid. Therefore, you need the best tool for the job and $$ should come second. Search "portra 400 rated at 800 or 1600" on google or flickr and you'll be amazed.
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
It's a volunteer position with a local classical music festival. On BH, the kodak goes for 10$ while the fuji is 4$.
Get the Fuji the Portra is a good film but for Concert Photos a certain grittiness is nothing bad, I also believe that the Fuji handels mixed lightsources better than the Kodak product.
Thanks, that's nice to hear, considering the price difference!!
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If there's going to be stage lighting, I would favor slide film - either pushed Fuji Provia 400x or Kodak E200 (if you can find it).
Although pushing does reduce Dmax, the shadows are still cleaner and less murky to my eye than the lab scans I usually get from color negative film shot in dim light. I may just need a better lab to better appreciate what color negative film can do in these instances, but hey, someone's gotta keep buying Provia 400x
But if it's standard tungsten or fluorescent lighting, then any color negative film would handle it far better. Kodak Portra 400's low-light capabilities are, based on my few experiments, really impressive. I haven't shot Portra 800 in a while, although I'd guess it would handle at least a one-stop push fairly well.
Fuji Superia 800 is quite good too, and easily found in drug stores. However I've noticed it does have greater contrast, saturation and grain than the Portra, particularly when I push it to 1600 (as I'm usually forced to do in such situations). On a related note, I've also had minor success with Superia 400 exposed at EI 1000 and pushed two stops. As always, your results may vary.
In any case, assuming that you don't want to use any flash, it looks like you'll have to push whatever film you shoot. Make sure you use a lab that can handle push processing, and also that your metering is on target before you burn too many frames. Heretical as it may be, this is where having a d*gital SLR to at least preview your exposures may not be a bad idea.
Last edited by jmhaag; 06-18-2012 at 01:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I've shot Portra 800 in 120, I thought it was going to be grainier than it came out, but it was very nice actually. It's faster than Portra 400, by more than a stop according to the curves published by Kodak.
Thanks. Since I never shoot colour, I might bring along a DSLR just to be sure. Although with that said, I've never botched an exposure using a spotmeter. It looks like the Kodak Portra 800 is going to be my choice. Since it's classical music, I would prefer a cleaner grain.
Originally Posted by jmhaag
Test some of each.
If they want good work there should be no problem with you getting "on stage" at a "dress rehearsal" to incident meter.
Also even in volunteer situations hard costs are many times covered by the organization.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Last time I saw someone boasting of 400X pushed to 1600 is so amazing and detailed, better than Portra, they shot a portrait of me. It was ugly a sin. Mirror breaking. Terrible red skin, the highlight side of the face (not even actual highlight values yet) were just totally gone/clipped, and absolutely no shadow detail. I think it was the worst thing I've ever seen tbh.
I assume he's shooting medium format. As that's what it says in his tag, he can get Superia 400 XTRA in 120 still as well.
Excuse the (lack of) photography here. I haven't balanced the following image, or done much with it, but it may serve as an example.
Portra 800, 6x7cm. Without getting into scanner specifics, I can say the grain doesn't seem well resolved on my scanner, therefore I can say this would or should mean large prints without obtrusive grain. The contrast range is massive. The foreground is flash lit, the source is the overhanging material, no lighting in the background, other than available tungsten (sub 3200K) from the tiny little down lights you can see in the background.