Good films for shooting live shows / low light?
I'm weaning myself from the d****al teat and using film more and more. I'd like to start shooting some of the live music shows with my Canon EOS Rebel G and 50mm f/1.8 "nifty fifty" lens. Wondering which color and B&W films are especially good for this use. And please do share some relevant examples of your favorite film being used for live music!
Note I am talking about small local venues, not big name concerts or anything like that.
Searching my way to perplexion
Ohhh this looks like it should be a good read. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Travis Nunn
Well I got reasonable shots using Fuji superior color 1600 asa..... zoom set at 150mm f4.5 at about 1/30 sec (no support).
Originally Posted by viridari
A lot of camera shake even using a sigma 24mm f2.8 with 1600 asa inside a church.......using a f1.8 lens would certainly be useful.
Try push processing XP2 for B&W, it gives superb results.
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If your Rebel supports manual ISO setting, it's hard to beat HP5+ or TX400 pushed to 1600-3200. If not I'd go for Delta or TMax 3200 at box speed.
I've tried Superia 1600, but I'm severely unimpressed with it. Awful grain, awful colour.
Ian Can you expand on this? I note in the Ilford info sheet that XP2+ can be exposed at EI 800 but Ilford recommends the same dev time whatever EI is used and EI 800 is the highest speed mentioned. All of this of course refers to C41 development.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Are there ways of pushing XP2+ satisfactorily to beyond 800?
Yes, I have the C41 dev times for push processing XP2 in the UK, unfortunately I only have the XP1 times with me here in Turkey.
Ilford published times for pushing XP1, but a big problem with XP1 was the normal dev time was longer than conventional C41 colour films which caused problems with many labs. So XP2 was introduced and is more compatible needing normal C41 times, however Ilford dropped the push process times and no longer recommended it because they were trying to sell the film as being 100% C41 compatible.
But XP2 can be push processed very easily as long as you do your own C41 processing, I used increased dev times for 800 EI & 1600 EI, I preferred not to push more than that. I may have some notes here - I look tomorrow, I'm 2 hours ahead of you
Thanks Ian. This would certainly be helpful. I have tried D3200 at 1600 and it looks OK but I have some concerns beyond 1600 so a speed of 1600 would meet most of my requirements. A selling point of XP2+ that reviewers and Ilford alike "sell" is the ability to expose at different speeds on the same roll and this is clearly a plus point in its favour. In effect anything between 50 and 800 is said to be possible which covers a large range of lighting conditions. While the range of 50 to 1600 may be beyond a realistic goal when push processing is involved, it may be that 400 to 1600 is possible. It might be that 200 is finer grain than 400 in a chromogenic and 100 finer still but as the film is designed for exposure at 400 with very acceptable prints then I for one wouldn't have any real interest in lower speeds than this.
Have you been able to compare negs and prints of XP2+ at 1600 with those of say D3200 at 1600?
B/W: Ilford HP5, Delta 400, Delta 3200 or Kodak equivalents. XP-2 as well, though I don't like it's look as much as a standard b/w film, and it offers nothing that I can't get with a b/w emulsion. If you come into some cheap or free, though, I would have no qualms about shooting it. As far as 400 films go, for high contrast light, I like HP5. For very dead light, prefer Delta 400 or T-Max 400.
Color Neg: Fuji Superia 800, or Kodak equivalent. Pro 800Z or Porta 800 work, but are more expensive and provide no practical advantages over the consumer films. Also, they are not as sharp as a consumer 800 film due to having softer grain. The only "Pro" film that I feel is worth using in these situations is Fuji Pro 400H. It has a very unique look and is quite different looking in low light than any film I've used. Very saturated, yet fine grained even with pushing. If you can get away with a 400 film in your lighting situation, I'd try some.
Transparency: Kodak 320T - Best color film for this *by far*, but no longer made. Its only drawback is that you should use a spot meter with it so you can figure out your development instructions. Now, Provia 400x is the best option for a transparency film, though it is daylight balanced and will require major color adjustment to print, *if* you want white light to look like white light, which you may or may not want.
For small local venues, I would start with the "3200" films, based on experience. If they actually have decent stage lights, you can do OK with a 400 film. The great thing about the "3200" films is that you can also get shots off stage that would be impossible with 400.
I would not use Fuji Superia 1600 unless you need to. It is a useful film, but Superia 800 pushed is far sharper and less grainy.
Do not use flash. Your pictures will suck, people will hate you, and good photographers will make fun of you.
Also, do not overdevelop unless you need to. It can often be better to add contrast to a flat negative in printing than to try to tame it on pictures shot in contrasty stage lighting.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 01-04-2009 at 06:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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