Need advice for photography in a church

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by christislord, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. christislord

    christislord Member

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    So I am going to be photographing in a church soon with okay lighting and need some advice on what film speed to use. I am using a canon sureshot 60 zoom as the camera, and will likely use no flash as the flash on the sureshot is terrible. In terms of film, I am considering Kodak Portra 800. How grainy is Portra 800? Should I just use Ultramax 400, or would that be more grainy?
     
  2. P.johnson14

    P.johnson14 Subscriber

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    Portra 800 will give you the extra speed that helpful in churches. It's what I have used for weddings with good results, flash and no flash. I don't find the grain of any Portra to be an issue, ever. I do not care for the consumer line ultra max films. I've just never liked their look. No color film likes underexposeure, but the Portras have handled it better for me.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'd go and meter the area, basing my film choice on that.
     
  4. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    IMO if you fear grain you'd be better off with an iPhone or virtually any recent nonfilm camera. I find the 800 excellent but I'd absolutely avoid any small minilab in favor of Costco because of standard minilab film damage. As well, many minilabs simply scan your film and make your print, throwing the film away.

    If you must use film and a minilab you should also order a scanned disc, in order to make reprints possible, rather than assuming they will return the film.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Or you can send your film to any of the excellent labs advertised here on Photrio. Minilab scans are useless, the are done by an operater who knows enough to load the film and press the "start" button, no more.
     
  6. OP
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    christislord

    christislord Member

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    That is what I plan to do. Do you think I am crazy trying to get good photos with a Canon Sureshot 60?
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    No - not crazy.
    Can you get access to the church at an earlier date, and take some test photographs under similar lighting?
    Based on your screen name, I'm guessing that you might be familiar with the place :whistling:.
     
  8. Trask

    Trask Member

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    It was photography in a church with an autofocus camera that soured me on autofocus cameras entirely — I wound up with a bunch of out of focus shots because the camera could not determine proper focus. I much prefer to have a camera that I can focus manually. Also, If the church is any size, there will likely be little ceiling or wall bounce from your flash, so keep that in mind when figuring our flash exposures if you change your mind about using flash. Good luck!
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'm not familiar with that camera, I'll assume it is auto-everything and has dx film coding. If you know it's limitations and work within them, you can probably get decent results. I have a couple Pentax IQ Zooms, they do a good job once I got to know how to use the focus and exposure locks.
    What exactly do you wish to do?
     
  10. OP
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    christislord

    christislord Member

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    Yes I have shot there before with digital. I shot 1600 ISO with 1/40 shutter speed and F4.2 aperture.
    I wish to take photos with film that will create a classic look. I will be running a digital camera as well. I am fine with some grain because of the classic look I an going for.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    get the fastest film speed you can use
    not sure if you are able to handhold that slow, you might practice by
    bracing your arms against your chest and leaning against something to become
    a human tripod or ... hold your breath and slowly exhale and depress the shutter.
    if you have ever done riflery or biathalon shooting it the the same technique.
    have fun!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  12. OP
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    christislord

    christislord Member

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    I am planning on using a tripod.
     
  13. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    Your sureshot has (at it's widest) an aperture of 4.5 zoomed out. Zooming in the lens gets even slower (f 6ish) It's slowest shutter speed is 1/40th. Others have suggested 1/15 of a second for shutter. Your camera does not provide that option. You've shot there before and needed a 1600 iso film, F4.2 and 1/40th to get a proper exposure. I think you've answered your own question. You need a 1600 iso film. Fuji superia 1600 if you can find some as it's been discontinued.

    I'd consider another camera with a faster lens myself. Your sureshot 60 will be too limiting and the results disappointing if you can only find 800 iso film, especially if you use the zoom function.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  15. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    I would tend to look for first generation AF, Nikon, Minolta, or Canon with fixed lens that range from 2.8 to 1.8, The only Canon AF point and shoot I have is the Canon ML, first generation with fixed 40mm 1.9. The ML is not DX coated so, even with automated exposure by shoot +1 or -1 by changing the ISO. Olympus made a model that has duel lens, 35mm and 85mm both are 3.5. As these are dirt cheap I would get a couple but would shoot 400 rather than 800. My other AF point and shoots zooms lack exposure override and are really show, like 5.6 to 13, inability to bracket at all will make shooting into or against window hazard. Other advantage of using a first generation fixed lens AF point and shoots is that may have filter threads so you can use a color correction filter depending on the lighting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A test with a different camera using different technology may not tell you much about how your film and camera will behave.
    Try a test with 800 speed film and the tripod.
    I don't know whether your camera will adjust for 1600 speed film - not all automatic cameras will.
     
  17. OP
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    christislord

    christislord Member

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    Not sure if this is correct. According to this website it can do 2sec exposures. https://austerityphoto.co.uk/canon-sure-shot-60-zoom-review-poundland-challenge-camera-no-7/

    Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom Specs
    • Lens: 38-60mm 1:4.5-6.7
    • Focus : Active AF
    • Focus : 0.6m to ∞
    • Aperture: f/4.5-16 (38mm)*
    • DX Coding: 25-3200 ISO
    • Shutter: 2sec-1/500
    • EV 100 : 3.4-17 (38mm)*¹
    • Exposure: Auto
    • Battery : 1 x CR123A
     
  18. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I would just add the "classic" look you are after in post from digital files. If you have time before whatever event you are photographing you could so a test with the camera and see how it goes. I'm all up for using film but in this case it might not be a great solution. Besides that, thousands of wedding photographers used film in churches for a lot of years. There were a lot of ministers that would not allow flash so pushing the 800 ASA film one stop was done on occasion.

    Good luck with your photos. Welcome to Photrio!
     
  20. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I find my best shots of Church interiors with interesting windows is wait for clouds or even rain. You may have to use a slower speed or wider f stop. I've used Portra 400 for color with decent results.
     
  21. Svenedin

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    It really depends on the church in question and what the lighting is like. Churches can be very challenging (I have recently been on a trip taking photographs in Lincoln cathedral and several other churches). I was using ISO 400 B&W film but some of my exposures were 10 seconds or so, admittedly stopped down somewhat. There's no way I could have photographed people, even with the lens wide open and an ISO 800 film. The shutter speeds were just too slow. If there a lots of windows and the sun streaming through then you have the problem of potentially a high contrast situation.

    Here is a thread I started about taking photographs inside and outside a cathedral. It's an analogue thread and B&W. There are some photographs towards the end.

    https://www.photrio.com/forum/threa...posure-olympus-om-35mm-film-equipment.158117/
     
  22. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    Back in the day when I shot weddings, I found most if not all churches were challenging, correct white balance was the main issue. They generally favor tungsten with all the stained glass casting warm tones plus halogen overheads. If you are post processing scanned film or doing your own printing, then white balance is not an issue.

    If you are depending on a lab, I suggest you shoot prior to the event and standardize to the lab's quirks.
     
  23. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    The OP hasn't said what he is going to photographing in the church. If it is the building itself then that is one thing and long exposures should not be a problem. If it is people then that is another entirely.
     
  24. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    very good point. Although, crystal focus on the church and bride, along with a blurry groom might be a cool effect! ...and this is the groom right before he passed out!
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i would put the fastest film you can find in your camera use your tripod
    and do a dry run and see how they come out. nothng worse than
    getting expert internet advice and it doesnt' fit your needs.
    hopefuly you can get to whatever church it is and see what happens
    make sure you depress the shutter button to lock the AF and do a light meter reading in a dim spot
    around where you hope the plane of focus will be, and then re-compose.

    i wouldn't take anyone on the internet's suggestions as engraved in stone ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  26. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    One of the problems with forums and Photrio is no exception, is it seems very few people read through the thread before replying. The same answer is given over and over again. Very tiring trying to get through all the noise to find the nuggets of real original advise.
     
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