When I shot wedding every week I used Agfa Portrait 160, I loved the tone.
I shot a little Fuji 160 and 400 too.
Now I would use Portra 160NC.
In very bright conditions the film will allow you to capture detail in the dress and in the grooms dark suit.
I personally would only shoot VC or Fuji if the weather is dull.
B&W is a great idea this couple didn't want it but I took along my old F2 loaded with APX and shot off a roll anyhow, the bride was thrilled with this shot:
I gave them one framed as an extra.
Have you discussed the style of photography with couple? If doing a documentary style, capturing the moments they don't get to see themselves; I would do this in B&W. Delta 100 and Acros 100 are very nice smooth portrait films.
For a more formal range of shots, I'd go for colour Pro 400H myslef. The Portra films are equally good.
Interesting comments from Rob, I'm looking for an optical pro lab myself.
I thought I would join in with this one as I have just received an e-mail from a friend asking me to take some photographs of his wedding based on some pictures of him I did a few weeks ago (one of which is in my gallery).
I have told him that despite never having shot a wedding and never intending to do so in the future, I will make an exception in his case!
I have about ten rolls of Fuji NPS 160 which I intend to use. I receved 15 rolls free with a Mamiya RB 67 I bought last year. It seemed to work well when I used it for my in-laws wedding vow renewal last year so it should be good for this. I will probably do most of it in black and white though. Probably FP4+ or PAN F.
He did mention that other, silver free technology but I think I have steered him away from this as we are talking about doing a small number of quality portrait and group shots rather than the 1000s of images which most brides (or their mothers) seem to expect today.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
I specialise in weddings shot on film and, for me, I now believe Kodak Portra NC 160 & 400, is not only the best film to shoot a wedding on, but the simply the ultimate medium full stop. The colours and skin tones are absolutely beautiful, and, of course, the latitude is immense - this is so important for weddings. I dont use the VC version - I think this is tailored more to the US taste and style
I couple this with HP5 for B&W, and sometimes some Delta 3200.
It is possible to shoot nice wedding photographs with a DSLR - but you hardly ever see them - All I see all the time is vile colour, blown highlights (in an unpleasant digital way) whenever I look at the average digitally originated wedding photographs. The other reason I would never shoot a wedding digitally is that, talking to other photographers, memory cards seem to fail alarmingly often and then there is the cost and risk of trying to have the data recovered.
Equip yourself with fast lenses too - My main lenses in 35mm are the Nikon 85mm f1.4; 50mm f1.4; 17-35mm f2.8 and be prepared to hand hold at slow shutter speeds.
I rarely find 400ASA too slow. And I hate flash and only reserve it when there is no other option, or if a little fill is required.
What I would say is don't underestimate how tricky it is to shoot a wedding, and also if you are shooting, it is very difficult to play any part as a guest, simply because you are too busy.
Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
Superb lab with all services - colour / b&w hand /optical printing etc.
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Truer words have never been spoken.
Originally Posted by Matt5791
I think you guys are nuts.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
You didn't indicate what glass you have! If your glass is no faster than f/2.8, then I would use Fuji Pro 800Z and expose at EI 640.
Only if your glass is about f/1.8 or faster should you venture down into the 160 to 400 film speed range inside a church.
Remember, with color neg films, you have to hold the shadow detail down in the toe, which is tricky when you consider you also have to hold the highlight detail of the lace in the bridal gown.
First and foremost, though, always plan on being barred from using flash during the ceremony, as sometimes the minister can get cranky and can pull a switcheroo at the last minute. That is why I recommend the higher film speed.
Originally Posted by GeoffHill
By the way...
By the way, when you go to the church to scout it out, take along your camera and shoot a couple of test rolls of the interior to get a handle on the exposure values.
Also, if you scroll up and look at the photo that Mark Antony posted, you'll see the problems of B&G shots all at once: In order to hold the highlight of the groom's satin white tie against his white shirt, it caused the white bridal gown to end up muddy.
Originally Posted by GeoffHill
I second Portra for anything that involves people. I did portraits with Ektachrome 100GX once, and while the detail and the technical quality were amazing, the flesh tones were pasty and lacking in punch. The next time, I used 160NC, and everything about it was right. VC will have more saturation, but also more contrast. Properly printed NC does not look flat like many people complain. It's a more subtle film, but it still has plenty of saturation.
As others have said, the available printing method will make an impact. Shoot a test roll to get a feel of how the lab will print your pictures. And bear in mind that a scan and an optical print don't look the same, especially if you shoot with flash. When I printed in the darkroom colour film shot on flash, I found out that many of the blown highlights problems I was having were due to the poor scan.
Of course, with B&W, you can adjust development and make outstanding negatives that will print like a charm...
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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I like to believe that I'm a reasonable experienced amateur photographer, but I wouldn't even think about being the official photographer at a wedding!:rolleyes:
Originally Posted by mark
It's not about which film to use (the pro's are so experienced that they don't even have to think about the technical side)....it's about posing, relaxing the subjects, keeping folks happy and cool, not taking over, and helping everyone to have a good time.
If you mess it up, you've no second chances!!!!