Film for car show

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ian_collier, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Can anyone suggest a negative film for taking candids and car shots
    at an indoor car show. From what I can understand I may need to also
    consider using a filter and also up-ing my flash capabilities using
    an external flash. I am using a stock EOS30 at the moment, will add
    Speedlite before my next venture.

    Any suggestions appreciated.
  2. Indoor car shows will likely have a mix of lighting -- often lit with bright fluorescents
    from high above mixed with spots (sometimes colored spots) on the cars themselves,
    wihch can be tungsten. It's a mess. I'd shoot it in b&w (with a chromogenic like Kodak
    T400CN), or a color film like Fuji Press 800 or NPZ.
  3. i wouldn't consider using a B&W film. especially if it's a muscle or vintage car show where a custom paint job can really make the car.
  4. Ian,

    I'm assuming this is a new car show; and is indoor. The reason
    is that antique car shows & swap meets are generally outdoors;
    and the paint colors are generally muted.

    Don't waste the opportunity: Shoot chromes instead, especially if
    it's a new car show. The prototypes, especially, have paint jobs
    that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, and they just won't
    capture right on C41 (color print) film. [I ought to know: I'm at I.T.
    consultant to the photo studio & photo lab industry!]

    Also, when you shoot chromes, any color temp cast (yellow or
    blue) can be easily removed in the scanning step. However, if
    you have access to the facility, try to get in when there's another
    show and take some test shots to get a "feel" of the HID lighting
    color balance in use. If you can, try to rent or buy a color meter to
    scan the facility, and bring along some warming and cooling
    filters to "trim out" the film you use.

    If you like Fuji, then Velvia 50 -- Not the new Velvia 100! -- is a
    heavily saturated film that favors the reds & oranges quite nicely.
    Also, Kodachrome 64 is quite excellent, though it takes 2-3
    weeks to get it back from Qualex. These are the films I use for
    the Marlboro-Penske Indy Racing cars; and when I shot Darrell
    Waltrip's Tide Ride last spring at Martinsville. Shoot Velvia 50 at
    about E.I. 40 & Kodachrome 64 at E.I. 50 -- Both about 1/3rd stop
    under -- since you'll want the extra latitude to capture the "pop"
    your flash will deliver off the chrome, glass, and shiny paint
    without completely blowing out these highlights.

    For overall color balance, Kodak's E100G or Agfa RSX-II are both
    quite good. In addition, they are "flat" enough to easily render
    flesh tones when you shoot your candids.

    In any case, there's nothing like holding up a nicely exposed
    chrome to the light: That's why I take my 4x5 Speed Graphic &
    changing bag with me to the track, when I shoot in the paddock &
    garages; then process the film when I get back home.

    One caveat: If your work is going to end up on the CMYK printing
    press, then most of this is moot: C41, despite its sloppiness, is
    "good enough." But, if your work is going on the Web with its
    wider RGB gamut, then you'll want to shoot chromes and scan
    them in.

    Hope this helps!
    Dan Schwartz
  5. Also, when you shoot chromes, any color temp cast (yellow or blue) can be easily removed in the scanning step
    Rant = on. I don't recall ian saying anything about scanning his own film, or CMYK pre-press, the history of Uganda, or shooting slides in the first place. Why can't you slide shooters frikken listen to people for once and realize they probably aren't shooting for a damn magazine? Real easy correcting Velvia 100 under a mix of high pressure sodium and mercury vapor mixed lighting as well. Heck, might as well shoot Kodachrome 64 at EI 200 cuz' that can be corrected via Photoshop as well with no problem. Hey Ellis, you have an opinion on this because I'd like to hear it. Those commercial guys using 4x5 NPS for mixed lighting must be REALLY stupid.
    I shoot a lot of car shows during the summer with medium format, and my first choice of film (outdoors) is actually Konica Impresa for personal scanning or proofs. Certainly looks a lot better than that blocked up junk I see in magazines shot with disneychrome. Velvia does nothing but fake up fine air-brushing and cost me a stop of lattitude, while Sensia/Astia works the best under sunny skies. 99% of the pros I encounter are shooting digital anyways and NOT !@#$ Kodachrome or Velvia. I'm probably the only guy shooting film within 200 miles, and my work does a better job preserving paint jobs. I just love that poster of the 58' candy red Corvette that is obviously 1/2 a stop under-exposed under 2pm sunny skies looking like a lunar eclipse is occuring just so the photographer can preserve highlight detail. Give me a break.
    For indoor lighting, this is almost a no win situation. Mixing flash/ambient will likely yield strange color casts in the background, and if you shoot with full flash, you've got those those yearbook style shots with the blazing hot spot on the chrome of the 57' Chevy. If you can get the flash off axis and have sufficient it's Reala all the way for me, but it really depends on if you have the flash power. I really think indoor car shows look best while dragging the shutter a bit to add some background fill, but man, it depends on the lighting. Using just your flash eliminates that variable. Fuji NPZ is my next choice for a faster film. The Fuji print films just seem to handle the wild colors better.
  6. The prototypes, especially, have paint jobs that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, and they just won't capture right on C41 (color print) film
    And pardon my french, but that comment is flat out xxxxxxx ignorant. Once again that slide brigade is claiming Velvia is more accurate than print films like Reala or NPZ cuz' Bob the 52yr old pre-press veteran claims it's so.
  7. I am a slide freak, K25, Velvia 50 !!! These are NOT nice to shoot car shows with flash indoors! Using Ektar 25 was tough enough. I would use 100 ASA print film, crop tightly to the car to avoid the backgrounds and use a Speedlite. Fast primes with fill flash are an advantage 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8 and wideangle f2-f2.8, for many shots you do not need huge depth of field. Even though polarizers are not supposed to work on metal I had good results softening the highlights from the overhead lights one year.

    If you can go on the opening day and be first in line you will have a distinct advantage not having huge crowds in the way. I skipped school one year to do this and the only people there from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM were the salesmen and the models! Have fun!
  8. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Ian Collier has asked for recommendations for negative film and placed this thread in the color negative category. I will be traveling most of the day tomorrow but will be back to check on the progress of this thread. Let's not get too impolite.
  9. Not an answer as such but a thank you for all your suggestions so far.

    I think its becoming clear that my question has no single correct answer, just a lot of solutions that others have tried. Each suggestion gives me a fresh start up point for my next visit. I guess I need to try some and see which becomes MY preference. I'll be scanning the relevant media so I can find other opportunities to go try this again. Am determined to get my 80+% of my shots correct on my next visit.

    Keep those ideas rolling! Thanks again for now.
  10. Reala handles artificial light very well but is not very sensitive and you may find it not colorful enough. I would also suggest avoiding flash.

    If you can use a tripod I would suggest Agfa Vista 100. Kodak Gold 100 should work too but I haven't used it in similar conditions since a long time. Agfa Ultra can be interesting because it gives very saturated colors but I haven't used it in mixed lighting.

    If you plan to use you camera handheld I think Kodak Ultra 400 (Max 400 on the US market) will work but with a standard f/3.5 zoom it might be not fast enough. If you don't care too much for grain, use 800 ISO Fuji or Konica. I'm more pleased with Konica colors but I believe Fuji is less grainy.
  11. At last years Chicago Auto Show I tried some Fuji HQ 200 print film and a slow lens (f/3.5 at 28mm). Typical amateur stuff on my part. I did not use my flash unit, as I figured the reflections I'd get off the shiny cars would be a problem.

    I did not like the results with the slower film as much as with Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 speed print film from the year before. The extra stop was nice to have in the odd lighting at a car show.

    Your mileage may vary.

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