As others mention will depend on just how dark it is and how many street lights might be around. Wet nights make a difference too, as does the camera's hand-hold ability. I've been surprised how nice many night shots have come out using 400 speed film and shot with my Contax G2 with my 45/2 Planar wide open at 1/15th. Other times, also as mentioned above, Tri-X at 1600 developed in Diafine is really nice, this shot with my Rolleiflex TLR:
To do it best maybe do not mix day and
night shots on the same roll...
You might not need as much exposure as your meter might suggest as it is trying to translate the scene into an 18% grey average daylight scene whereas you actually want it darker. i.e. to look like night time.
I think it important to remember a few things.
1-that the real speed of the film doesn't move near as much with a change of development as the typical EI change that gets applied. Shadow detail is lost.
2-that as the film curve gets steeper tone changes get more abrupt. Mid-tone transitions get grittier.
3-that printable whites are closer to the toe too. Detail is lost in the highlights too.
Pushing has become a technique of last resort for me because night street scenes are actually high contrast affairs.
If you apply classic Adams/zone system logic it is likely a pull is going to be indicated rather than a push.
rich815's shot above is a good example. The detail in the street lights didn't print and the detail in the coat is really limited. That's not a critisism, it's simply a choice based on the result wanted.
And something to remember is that at night we see mostly tungsten lighting, which usually means about a stop less sensitivity compared to daylight.
This. If you want a dark nighttime look you probably should underexpose according to your meter. I've shot 200 at night with a f1.8 lens and not had too many problems. Autofocus is pretty much useless though... For B/W I like the look of Neopan 400 or TriX at 1600 anyway.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
I have had very good results using http://www.scribd.com/doc/2604955/jiffy and only shooting one exposure with slide film. If you can nail the exposure with one exposure on slide film, you can't get much better than that. In fact for night photography, I use this rather than my in camera light meters [Nikon SLR] or Hasselblad, or even my Gossen. Light meters end up over compensating for the unlit areas, unless one uses a spot meter.
Just as a quick comment, some of these shots are gorgeous. Great work.
Its available as public domain Steve http://www.southbristolviews.com/pic.../JiffyCalc.pdf so no dload fees.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
Instruction for using it can also be found here ...
Thanks for the update!
Originally Posted by oneANT
Sure, as others have already said, all depends on how dark our streets are, how fast your lens is, how steady are your hands and what your subjects are.
If I shoot B&W at night, I push. However, I once decided to walk my (very dark countryside streets) at night with color 400 speed and my Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 to see what was possible. I didn't shoot moving subjects, but did quite alright with still ones handheld.
Upside Down Ultramax by Leighgion, on Flickr