Wanting to shoot more film

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hiroh

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I started doing photography 6 years ago with digital camera, and 3 years ago I bought Rolleiflex, and then another 35mm camera, and it's really fun. I really enjoy it, but I found myself more often picking up my digital camera when shooting my kids in the house, mainly for one reason: ISO 6400 on digital converted to B&W looks decent, or to me it looks great, sometimes even better than clean photos with no noise. With film, I shoot 90% of the time Tri-X 400 or Portra 400, and in house the shutter speed goes as low as 1/8s wide open during the day (not much light in certain parts of the house). I know I can push it to the 800, 1600, 3200, but to be honest, I never tried that yet. I shoot only 400, when I have enough light. If not, I shoot digital.

If I'm going outside, for a walk, or on a trip, I'd bring my film camera and shoot with it only. But at this moment of my life, the most precious moments are with kids, most of the time in the house, not on the street, or a trip.

What would you suggest? Faster film? Pushing, or something else? And please, do not tell me to stick with digital, because as I stated in the title, I want to shoot film more. I love it, but I found this lighting situation the biggest obstacle why I still have a digital camera in my possession.
 

Don Heisz

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Use a flash. If you're not happy with the low-shutter-speed shots and don't want to push film, apart from brightening up the house quite a bit, that's your choice. Or use digital. I know you said that was not what you want to hear, but if you're happy with the digital photos, why not?
 
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hiroh

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Well, not that I don’t want to push the film, I just never tried. I know, I should.

I own a flash for 5 years and I used it maybe 3 times. Don’t like the flash look.

Digital is always the option, but I wanna try the solution to shoot more film.
 

ntenny

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TX can be pushed to 3200, but like any extreme push, it’ll be high-contrast with minimal shadow detail, which can be fine for some shots but may not always be what you want.

Delta 3200 is actually a push at 3200; it’s natively 1000 ASA, I think, but designed to push without excessive contrast. It’s really grainy, as you’d expect, but reasonable in medium format. I’ve never used P3200.

The “flash look” can be partly ameliorated by having the flash off-camera, bouncing the flash off another surface, using a diffuser, and so on.

And digital has the obvious pros and cons of digital. Those four are pretty much your options, and they all have relative strengths and there’s no reason you need to commit to just one. Try everything and see what works for you in what situations.

-NT
 

Bronson Dugnutt

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Use a flash.

This, or more directly, learn how to use a flash. An un-bounced, on-camera flash often produces unsatisfactory results. A simple bounce/diffuser will have a huge impact of the aesthetics of a flash photo.

Better yet, guide number based flash photography is a technique you can practice on digital and apply to film. My preference for indoor use is a diffused flash at low power with an exposure that suitably balances with ambient light.
 

Don Heisz

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My preference for indoor use is a diffused flash at low power with an exposure that suitably balances with ambient light.

That practice gives great results. Flash gets a bad name from the on-camera flashes with that deer-in-the-headlights result. There are many ways to use a flash. There are also, for b&w film, developers like d23 which can soften the impact of a flash. Divided developers will normally soften flash. Diafine is excellent at it.
Anyway, like everything else, good results are a reward for doing the necessary work.

A fun thing to try is fill flash outdoors. That can give you results you can't get any other way.
 

Sirius Glass

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When my children were young I kept a camera set up with a strobe for either of us to use to take photographs around the house. The OP does not want to use flash, but should reconsider because by using flash, many of these fleeting and one time events of children growing up will not be missed.
 

Bill Burk

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Sometimes when I feel like a failure at photography I look at this picture and say, no. I’m OK, this is enough reward. I don’t care if I never do better.

No trickery. Anybody can do this.

Light and a tripod…

 
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You haven’t said what you use for 35mm, but there usually are several options in fast primes for most interchangeable lens camera systems. (Obviously not an option for the Rolleiflex, though.)

Otherwise, I’d echo what has already been said - fast(er) film, or flash.
 
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Mike Bates

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Ilford 3200 and push it to the moon if you have to. Some of my favorite casual grab shots in low light have grain the size of boulders and contrast that will cut you. So what? They captured a moment and they're kind of cool to boot.
 
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hiroh

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Ilford 3200 and push it to the moon if you have to. Some of my favorite casual grab shots in low light have grain the size of boulders and contrast that will cut you. So what? They captured a moment and they're kind of cool to boot.

I love grainy and contrasty look, so I understand how pushed 3200 ISO film would look like in the low lit room, but what if you bring that same roll
outside on the sunny day? I usually don’t shoot entire roll at once, but rather have it for days, if not weeks, and it goes theough the different light scenarios, sometimes so extremely different, to the point I cannot use my 200 or 400 fIlm in certain situations. I guess same would be with 3200 pushed film, just opposite — inside it will work fine, but outside on brught sun it will be unusable. Or am I wrong?
 

Mike Bates

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I love grainy and contrasty look, so I understand how pushed 3200 ISO film would look like in the low lit room, but what if you bring that same roll outside on the sunny day?

Neutral density filters if you must, but I have many cameras. I just load another one with Delta 100 or 400 and head outside.
 

Pieter12

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Neutral density filters if you must, but I have many cameras. I just load another one with Delta 100 or 400 and head outside.
ND filters are great for an RF camera, but they make an SLR tough to focus and compose. I suggest you develop your film in Rodinal, it gives larger and very well-defined grain. Print using a condenser head, with a point-source light if possible. And print on the contrasty side, the grain will be more apparent. Another method would be to frame loose and crop in for the final print, using less of the negative area, thus more grain.
 
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Sirius Glass

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I love grainy and contrasty look, so I understand how pushed 3200 ISO film would look like in the low lit room, but what if you bring that same roll
outside on the sunny day? I usually don’t shoot entire roll at once, but rather have it for days, if not weeks, and it goes theough the different light scenarios, sometimes so extremely different, to the point I cannot use my 200 or 400 fIlm in certain situations. I guess same would be with 3200 pushed film, just opposite — inside it will work fine, but outside on brught sun it will be unusable. Or am I wrong?

Depending on the situation, a Red 25 will be a 3 f/stop reduction in light or a neutral density filter would be necessary. This is less of a problem if you were using medium format with interchangeable film backs [My favorite method].
 
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