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  1. #1
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    What fast 35mm colour films are good for weddings?

    I am shooting a wedding for a friend this summer in July here in the UK. The ceremony is quite late at 15:00, and it's a traditional church, and quite a small one at that. The bride is due to be wearing an ivory dress. Both bride and groom are caucasian.

    I use a Nikon F5.

    I've only done one or two weddings (for friends) and although I love to use Fuji 160S generally, I'm thinking I might need something faster for this booking.

    Having done a bit of reading, I notice the Fuji PRO 800Z seems geared to exactly this kind of thing. Has anyone used it who can tell me their views?

    http://www.fujilab.co.uk/catalog/800z-pack-p-52.html

    What 35mm colour film would you recommend for faster shutters? I am interested in natural tones - not over saturated one's. Prints are unlikely to exceed 12 x 8.

    Ta

    Ted
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  2. #2
    eddym's Avatar
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    I'd go with Kodak Portra NC400... or do they still have an 800 Portra? Normal saturation and contrast and excellent flesh tones. If you're shooting available light though, you may need filtration in printing to overcome the lighting in the church.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I shot a wedding one time with Fuji Reala and the bride complemented me on how I make her skin look good.

  4. #4
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    if it were me, I'd shoot Portra 400nc or Portra 800. I'm a kodak guy by choice. Both are extremely fine-grained, and have a very natural color palette.

    leaning towards the portra 800, just for speed.

    most churches from what I've found when shooting as a 2nd for other photographers at weddings is that they are fine with letting you shoot a bit in the church say a week or month in advance to see what works best.

    try contacting the church to see if they can let you shoot a test roll or two to see what results give you what you want.

    Fuji 400h is a great film as well, similar to 400nc in contrast, the 800Z is higher in contrast and saturation, but a nice film nonetheless. shooting 400h at 200 or even 100, gives nice pastel colors from what I've found, similar to the link below.

    this guy shoots 400h primarily in a contax, also in 35mm, just for reference:

    http://www.josevillaphoto.com/

    -Dan


  5. #5
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    almost forgot,

    most of Jose Villa's work is outside weddings, so adding a slight warming filter might help to keep the bluish cast of inside light from spoiling shadows.

    -Dan


  6. #6
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    Daniel

    Other than speed, what is the difference between Fuji 400H and 160S?

    I know everyone raves on about Kodak Portra but in my limited experience I did not get pleasing results with it. Due to having a bad start with Kodak films I have always since leaned towards fuji and prefer to stick with what I know.

    Ta

    Ted
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  7. #7
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Kodak 400NC
    Kodak 400VC
    Kodak Portra 800
    Fuji Superia Press 400
    Fuji Superia Press 800
    Fuji Pro 400H
    Fuji Pro 800Z

    For indoor pix, I would always favor the Fuji, unless using flash.

    It sounds like you are set, but FWIW, I would not use any one of these films in small format at a wedding for 8x12 inch prints. For my own personal work, or for smaller prints, no problem, but not for someone else.
    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)

  8. #8
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    both are great films.
    both are slated and reputed to have a more "natural" color palette. the 400h having a 'slight' bit more contrast overall than the 160s.

    I've only shot the 160s on a few occasions when I was out of Portra, but from what I found it was a very nice film! A tad more saturated IMO than the 160nc from Kodak.

    400h is a neutral colored film(from what I've found), and to me, is best rated at 320, helping to reduce contrast(you can even rate it @ 250 if you want even lower contrast). of course this depends on your lab(or if you develop it yourself). consistency counts, especially with professional films such as Portra and the Pro line from Fuji.

    sorry though I can't really break down every little detail between 400h and 160s, cause I just don't know . But from what I've found from shooting film at weddings as a 2nd shooter, Fuji AND Kodak give great results.

    there are other factors of course(are you scanning yourself, assuming you're doing a hybrid process when going to print). both films scan very well(400nc vs 400h), but the level of competence and 'know-how' on the operators part(whether its a big money drum scanner or a Noritsu lab-scanner) plays a big part on the final output of the film in a digital format.

    if you want to stick with Fuji, I'd lean towards the 400h. Just for speed, unless you have all 1.4 and 1.2 lenses, and like wide-open shots in order to maximize shutter speed.

    -Dan


  9. #9
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    Other than speed, what is the difference between Fuji 400H and 160S?
    Pretty much everything!

    One is a normal-contrast, subdued saturation film, and the other is a slightly-higher-contrast, more saturated film. IMHO, 160S looks like a "normal" picture with about 20% of the life "pulled out of it in Photoshop" . 400H is a much more natural-looking film to me.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-17-2010 at 05:30 PM. 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
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    just out of curiosity, are you shooting all available light for the church/ceremony/inside shots? or will you be bouncing flash off a nearby-wall as fill?

    my experience with mixed lighting(flash/ambient window light) favors the fuji.

    most of my portrait/headshot work I've shot is done natural light(genereally towards sundown, the last 1-1 1/2 hrs of the day)

    -Dan

    EDIT: what didn't you like with the Portra just out of curiosity?


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