wedding film question

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by derick_piner|1, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. For you that shoot film at weddings, how many of you use b/w film. Or
    can you get the same results from desaturate in photoshop shooting
    NPH. Is there a good reasion to use b/w film other than for the 3200
    speed in low light.
  2. Advantages of conventional B/W film:

    -Might last 100 years.... if you do your own processing.

    -Easier to print on conventional RC B/W papers.....if you do your own darkroom printing.

    Disadvantage of B/W film:

    1. Severe grain/speed disadvantage vs higher speed color print films when scanned.

    2. Nearly impossible to get commercially processed to some level of quality and consistency.

    3. Doing your own B/W film processing to fix item #2 doesn't fix the reality of item #1.

    4. You've thrown out all the color information out and now have nothing to work with in channel mixer.

    5. Brides want prints, not grainy film.

    To sum this up, there are drastically more labs that will give you quality results from color print films and printing them on either Kodak Portra B/W paper or greyscale on a Frontier than messing with conventional B/W films. Unless you have your own darkroom for both printing and processing stick with shooting color films and desaturating.
  3. If you're shooting B&W film in low light, shoot 3200 (push to 6400 if necessary). Let a pro lab process, proof, and print. Why mess around with scans and the channel mixer? You'll just be wasting time. Besides, you will need ColorByte Image Print (another $500) to make real B&W prints. I'm all digital now, but when I first started I handled my own processing and printing. I quickly handed that part over to a great lab (Chrome in D.C.).
  4. Any drugstore can process 1600 speed Fuji print film, and the results will be more consistent to handing over Kodak TMZ or Delta 3200 to a commercial lab - any commercial lab. Please see the B/W forum here for all the nightmares involving high speed films and commercial labs.

    The 800-1600 speed print films, even amatuer ones, will also *destroy* B/W films in the same speed class when scanned, and the majority of commercial labs are moving towards digital scanning for proofing and printing. Nearest lab I can find that still does classic B/W proofing wants $10.00 per 4x5.

    You also don't need $500 software on your computer to print B/W images but just a basic knowledge of Photoshop, hence why my desaturated images from color film exceed the vast majority of those still shooting conventional B/W. If I told a B/W novice you needed a $2000 enlarger in darkroom to get quality prints I'd expect to be rebuffed severely as well.
  5. I usually shoot a mix of NPH (or Portra UC) and T400CN. I rate both at 320 and for me, the T400CN gives a look that desaturated color can't match. It looks less grainy than NPH, and the tonality looks creamier and more subtle to me. If the bride only wants one or two B&W shots, then printing B&W from a color neg is fine, but I think real B&W film delivers better looking B&W prints.
  6. I agree with Kevin.

    No de-saturated color neg. is the equal to B&W films Chromagenic or not.

    I use Kodak T-Max 400 CN especially in contrasty situations. In really flat lighting, Illford
    XP2 adds a touch more contrast. I still love Tri-X also for that true B&W look even when

    Converting Color digital to B&W is a whole other matter. It looks remarkably like T-Max
    400 CN.
  7. Ditto what Marc said, except in the UK we can use Fuji CN instead of XP2. This is a better film for scanning.
  8. I agree with the gentlemen above who give a thumbs up shooting black & white film. Jeff A - why are you shooting the C-processing type film as opposed to real ("gelatin silver") black & white film? Is it for the scanning (or ease, thereof?)?
  9. For the b/w, as previously said by someone else, shoot b/w film unless the couple just wants a couple of b/w shots for accent. If they are serious, they will want the full tonal range that b/w film provides and de-saturated color simply does not.

    As for CN or good old fashioned silver, that is tougher. Although TRI-X is a distinctive look that people usually want (whether they know the speicifs of film or not) when they specifiy that they want b/w (historically, the vast majority of famous b/w photography in the past 30+ years was shot on tri-x) - HOWEVER - these days it is hard to find a quality b/w lab that doesn't charge a small fortune. So, if you don't have your own lab, or there is too much to do yourself, then the CN films keep things simple, without stinting on quality.
  10. A good gelatin silver print on real double-weight paper has a look and depth to it that even RC prints don't quite match, and compared to the flat lifeless look of a B&W ink jet print there's no comparison! They will last about forever, too. I have framed prints on my walls that I made as far back as the early 1960's. And in the past year I've been making and selling new prints from some of my photos of rock stars that I shot back in the 1960's. I wish I could get as much for the photos I'm shooting these days...LOL Those old negatives are still in good condition and as easy to print as they were 30 or 40 years ago. As for shooting 3200? Get some good high quality fast lenses, learn to hand hold slow speeds, and Tri-X in Diafine at 1200 should cover you. Chuck the slow zooms.

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