Indoor Gymnastics on Film - am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by cory_bruening, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. okay.. I realize my efforts may be futile..I am wanting to experiment shooting indoor gymnastics with film as an experiment -
    I've had success with my DSLR but normally need to get shutter speeds at 200+ and ISO to 3200+ as gyms are super dark (for photography) f/2.8 is a minimum..

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Color?
    Thank you and I realize my experiment is nutso..
  2. Ilford Delta 3200 [B&W] is a saving grace for dungeony interiors, so that's your best bet unless you have some wide aperture [read: expensive as hell] glass that you can use, though you may be able to use color 1600 film- just expect high costs and grain.
  3. Haven't done anything like that recently, but back in the early 70's I shot gymnastics (in B&W) for the year book in HS. Don't recall the camera settings.....I did use Nikon F, tho. I was able to shoot at 1/500sec, pushing the Tri-X to ASA 1200 or 1600 (no flash). Should still have some negs from that era.
    Unlike today and motorized drives, one figured out the height of action and shot one frame that worked ....strategy was everything....and no AF. I believe I used Diafine or Acufine for development. Hey, it worked. Most likely you can push color a little or use higher speed emulsion.
    Good luck and have fun with it.
  4. Thank you all for the responses -
    Fujicolor Superia 1600 I have seen on the net is all expired (obviously) ...but I'm not sure what pushing a stop or two would do if anything useful.
    I will have to experiment with Portra 800

    initial tests were somewhat dismal (and blurry) with shutter speeds of 1/80 handheld
  5. I found this discussion useful
    ..and even geeked out and purchased some Cinefilm800
  6. I realize my experiment is nutso
    No it isn't - TV companies did it all the time with film and do it all the time now with video. By far the easiest option is to push up the light levels. Do you have this option? A few halogen lights of the kind intended for use on construction sites would be pretty cheap, if the gymnastics are taking place in a regular gymnasium you may be able to rig lights suspended from the ceiling (they would need safety guards to catch any bulb breakages). 5 to 10 kW of halogen lights would make all the difference!
  7. It can be done. I used to shoot basketball in a gym with poor lighting:
    800 speed film (about 2 stops under exposed), 1/500, f/1.4, manual focus
    As much as I have been a fan of film, I would not choose to go back to film photography of sporting events.
  8. I was shot once when I was n a team. We had a great photographer but he was just starting back then. So he had a lot of problems with rhythmic gymnastics clothing choices for us and that lighting problem you mentioned. He went for black and white pictures in the end
  9. Fuji Iso 800 color film get a fast 50mm lens f 1.4 or Canon might still make a 1.2 wide open. Get close.
    Or if they travel hope to find a brighter gym. Gymnastics is an individual sport. Maybe you can arrange with a team to shoot at practice and set up dramatic lighting.
  10. FAST glass. Get a 50/1.4 or similar.
    This should be easy, as most brands had a 50/1.4 lens in their line.
    Years ago, I did high school with a 43-86/f3.5 lens, and while the zoom was great (in daylight), the slow speed was not (in a gym). I lost MANY shots because of the slow lens. And I had to push film, whereas my friends with the 50/1.4 did not. The 50/1.4 works MUCH better in low light situations than any 2.8 or slower lens, at wide open. You just have to learn to focus well, as you have zero DoF to buffer any focus error. And the faster 1.4 lens is also easier to focus.
  11. There are development times for Delta 3200 up to EI25000.
    TMax 400 has times up to EI 3200, which might be enough with appropriate lens:
    Otherwise, time the shots for the minimum of motion, such as the highest spot on jumps. (Like the basketball picture shown.) Then you can get away with a slower shutter speed.

Share This Page