How well can my camera meter in low light requiring iso 3200?

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Treymac

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Hey guys. Tonight I'm going out and photographing a band at a dark lit club. I've bought Delta 3200, but in low light situations, how well will my camera be able to meter for it? I'm using a Minolta x700, with a Tamron 28-80mm lens. But I might go with a Canon AE1 program with a 70-210mm lens.

Thanks.

Update: I just realized that my Minolta only goes up to 1600 ISO.

I've never tried pushing film, but should I try using HP5 400ISO at 1600?
 

MartinP

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You can use the Delta without a camera-meter problem. Set it to 1600 and remember that the things you want as highlights are probably appearing against a very dark background - so add only 1 1/2 stops (or so) on to the averaged readings from the camera. Alternatively, meter of the palm of your hand in similar light to the subject and then don't add a stop, as one would usually do. Either case would take care of the film/meter difference. The second method would probably be more accurate.

If there isn't even enough light for that sort of metering, take a reflected light reading off a piece of white paper and add only two stops instead of the usual three.

DDX to devlop the film, or maybe Microphen ?
:smile:
 

2F/2F

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In a dark club (and most other times), your in-camera meter will screw you almost every time. It will either underexpose your shot because of a few very bright areas within the composition, or tell you you need a way slower shutter speed than you actually do because it is reading many dark tones, and telling you how to expose to make them grey. In-camera meters are stupid; especially in tricky light. They have no idea what you want. They are just tools you can use in conjunction with your brain to get an ideal exposure, not devices that tell you what the ideal exposure is. You are better off with an educated guess. That means wide open at whatever shutter speed you feel you can get away with, and push the film if you need to. IMO, you should favor a good shutter speed over a good exposure in these situations. You can do a lot with a poorly exposed picture that stops action sharply, but a perfect exposure won't help you in any way if the shot is soft or blurry (unless that is what you want in the pic). With zooms, you are screwed in most truly dark clubs. You can do OK if there are decent stage lights, however.
 
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Alex Bishop-Thorpe

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Shoot with a fast prime lens like a 50mm f/1.8 lens, at least, for something like this. A zoom lens is awful for low light, they're generally just not fast enough. I always liked HP5+ at 1600 in ID11/D76 for this kind of thing, but I like grain. 2F/2F's advice on metering is very important - your camera is very likely to get it wrong in these situations, so you need to learn to compensate for it.

It's generally not a good idea to shoot important work on an entirely new developer/film combination too, a test roll or two would be worth your time before you do anything vital, so you have a better idea of the results you're going to get and can take photos accordingly.
 

Anscojohn

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In ye olden dayz, a lot of stage photographers used a diluted metol-only developer for that kind of lighting. Once you get your exposure problem solved, I do not see why you could not dilute your D76 1:3 and give it a long time in the soup in an attempt to handle the contrasty light.
 

eddym

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In a dark club (and most other times), your in-camera meter will screw you almost every time. It will either underexpose your shot because of a few very bright areas within the composition, or tell you you need a way slower shutter speed than you actually do because it is reading many dark tones, and telling you how to expose to make them grey. In-camera meters are stupid; especially in tricky light. They have no idea what you want. They are just tools you can use in conjunction with your brain to get an ideal exposure, not devices that tell you what the ideal exposure is. You are better off with an educated guess. That means wide open at whatever shutter speed you feel you can get away with, and push the film if you need to. IMO, you should favor a good shutter speed over a good exposure in these situations. You can do a lot with a poorly exposed picture that stops action sharply, but a perfect exposure won't help you in any way if the shot is soft or blurry (unless that is what you want in the pic). With zooms, you are screwed in most truly dark clubs. You can do OK if there are decent stage lights, however.

Absolutely brilliant advice, with which I concur 100%. I've been shooting dance performances on stages and other dark venues for 25 years, and everything he said is true.
 
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Treymac

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Ok, so I'm about set now. The only local camera store that sells a decent assortment of film is out of iso 3200 film so I can't get anymore in time, but I just realized that my Canon still has half a roll of 3200 in it. But I'm not sure how old that film is, it's been in the camera for about two months now, and who knows how old it is since I got about two years ago off of craigslist. It was kept in the fridge mostly though.

I'm going to bring my Canon which has half a roll of 3200 in it, and a 50mm and 70-210mm for it. And my Minolta X700 with HP5 and I'm going to push it to 1600, and I'll bring my 50mm and my 28-80mm lens's for that camera. Hopefully I'll be close enough to use my 50mm primes from our table :rolleyes: with a mini tripod.
 

fschifano

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For a good push to 1600 from a 400 speed film, use Tri-X and develop it in Diafine. It works, and it works a lot better than pushing HP5+ two stops in any other developer for the situation you describe. Will it be perfect? Not a chance. Will you get something printable? More than likely.
 

Denis R

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keep in mind the situation: low ligh + high speed film = grain is allowed

crazy idea low iso copy film f22 and nd filters to record concert in ine frame :D
 

BetterSense

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For a good push to 1600 from a 400 speed film, use Tri-X and develop it in Diafine. It works, and it works a lot better than pushing HP5+ two stops in any other developer for the situation you describe. Will it be perfect? Not a chance. Will you get something printable? More than likely.
Tri-X in Diafine is a staple combination for me. It always seems to magically give a printable neg. I think 1600 is the most you'll get out of it though, before the image starts to take on that 'pushed' look. On the other hand, I recently pushed HP5+ (large format) to a metered 1600 and got very nice results, with only the expected decrease in shadow detail.
 
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Treymac

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Hey guys. Thought I'd post an update. My camera with the Delta 3200 film had some severe problems and I only managed to get three shots with it. Which required a lot of playing with the winder and random shots going off. I didn't have enough to develop the roll so I'm not going to see how those turned out for awhile.

I ended up not needing to go past iso 400 anyways which was nice. I managed to get shots between 1/15 sec and 1/60 second. I developed those shots and did a couple of prints. Because of the stage lighting, to get a decent print of the guitarist playing, I had to print at a length that blacked the entire background out. So it looks like the guitarist is surrounded by complete black, except for the mic in front of him. Also, his guitar was a little blown out.

I'll scan the prints eventually and post them if anybody's interested in seeing how they turned out.
 
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