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Author Topic: Film for Interiors  (Read 5586 times)
Scott Hargis
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« on: February 17, 2013, 11:03:30 AM »
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Hi All,

If this has already been discussed, please point me to the thread; I've searched and didn't find anything.

I'm looking for a good film type for interiors work. I've been goofing around shooting with a Bronica for some time now, just swapping it onto the tripod after I've built the shot with my dSLR. I recently acquired a Mamiya RB67 and would like to get more serious with this. I've done my best with Google but haven't come up with anything! I'm lighting with a combination of strobe and tungsten, and I use gels pretty extensively, and I find that my white balance is typically either in the low 3000's (late in the day) or else in the mid-4000's (mid-day).

So: what is (was?) the go-to film for this kind of thing? Actually, any thoughts regarding shooting interiors, particularly residential interiors, with film equipment would be interesting to me. Thanks!
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 11:53:06 AM »
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I used to use Ektachrome 64 120 and there was also a T version for tungsten, I think, but can't be sure because I can only remember using T on 35mm; however, I think these have all vanished...

Perhaps it becomes more trouble than it's worth, today, when you mix lighting on film, unless you go b/w and cheat! ;-)

Rob C
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »
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I'd say 80% of my interiors work was shot on 4x5 EPN (Kodak Ektachrome 100 Daylight).  This was a rather desaturated stock.  The more colorful stocks were hell in mixed light.  EPN gave us a more neutral point to start retouching from.

I always thought it looked like shit, though.  Have I mentioned how much I DON'T miss film?

64T was a much nicer stock but hated any daylight contamination.

I can't even find Ektachrome on B+H's site now.  Wow.

Were you thinking chrome or neg?

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:28:52 PM by CBarrett » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 12:38:56 PM »
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Modern negative film is a far better choice.
These film stocks are derived from motion picture film and are designed for color grading in post,
either digitally or in the print process.
Portra and ektar.

However for interiors I would not go with a camera without tilt shift.

A 4x5 camera would be far better or maybe a Fuji gx680 that has tilt shift from 50mm to 500mm.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:49:01 PM by FredBGG » Logged
ACH DIGITAL
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 01:15:02 PM »
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I agree with Fred, negative film gives you far better DR and with a good scanner you would get excellent results, plus they are still available.
I would bet on Hasselblad Flextight scanner to do the job. The results from this scanner type is very placid to the eye.
ACH
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 01:20:48 PM »
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You never explained why? I shot film for 27 years  for A&I and wouldn't bother now for any foreseeable reason. In my last few years of shooting film I shot Fuji negative film exclusively, scanned it in house-forgiving in mixed light, reciprocity easily manageable and good DR.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:26:52 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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Kirk Gittings
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TMARK
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 01:23:48 PM »
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64T because the reciprocity failure allowed longer exposures.
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David Eichler
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 03:21:03 PM »
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I'd say 80% of my interiors work was shot on 4x5 EPN (Kodak Ektachrome 100 Daylight).  This was a rather desaturated stock.  The more colorful stocks were hell in mixed light.  EPN gave us a more neutral point to start retouching from.

I always thought it looked like shit, though.  Have I mentioned how much I DON'T miss film?

64T was a much nicer stock but hated any daylight contamination.

I can't even find Ektachrome on B+H's site now.  Wow.

Were you thinking chrome or neg?



 Was really glad when EPN arrived. Always found EPR too cool. Even preferred EPN to Kodachrome for medium and small format. Personally, if I were shooting color film these days it would be color negative, for a wider tonal range and generally more flexability, since printers are now geared for digital and you are going to hand over a digital file, regardless of whether your capture starts with digital or film
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 05:13:39 PM »
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Awesome. Thanks for the replies, everyone. Definitely thinking negs.

Kirk: why? 'Cause I learned photography, pretty much, shooting digital and I think I'm lacking something because of it. It's important to me to learn the craft. I think it makes me more well-rounded as an artist. I see it as personal development. I don't expect to be shooting film commercially.

I also think a technical camera is in my near future but I want to screw around with it for a while before I invest 5 figures in a digital back.

So -- I had been thinking Provia (which was my favorite film when I was goofing around shooting 35mm back in the 90's), or Portra 160, or Ektar 100. Sounds like maybe I'm on the right track...are they really not making Ektachrome anymore??
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K.C.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 07:36:23 PM »
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http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/colorReversalIndex.jhtml?pq-path=1229
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 09:07:43 PM »
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Scott I think that makes great sense. A good move.
Here is a Fuji daylight color neg shot-no filtration-just globally color corrected in scan and tweaked in PS. Probably 30 secs or so. Shot for the architect and oddly enough ran in Architectural Digest. But if you really want to learn discipline shoot chromes.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 09:11:30 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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Kumar
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 11:12:39 PM »
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I shot Fuji color negative film exclusively (Reala 120 and 160-something 4x5) for the last 7/8 years of shooting film. Great for mixed lighting, long exposures, scanned well.

Kumar
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DanielStone
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 12:43:59 AM »
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Color Neg:
Portra 160 or Portra 400, both are super fine grained. Both are a treat to scan, and have SOOOOOOOO much dynamic range, its nutty.
Both are derived from motion-picture technology(really the forefront of film tech r&d now, stills has to take a back seat), and LOTS of money and time has gone into making these two films some of the best ever made, period.
Fuji has basically exited the c/n film market here in the USA, not sure about the EU. Reala 100 is still available in some shops here, in 120 format. Its a nice film, but Portra has more "options" for digital post IMO.

Chrome:
If you want to shoot chrome(slides), I'd use Provia 100F. Kodak IS NOW NO LONGER MAKING E-6(REVERSAL) FILM. PERIOD.
Provia has basically NO reciprocity failure, so using Tungtsen->Daylight(80A/B/C) filters is much easier, and less math has to be done to get a correct exposure Smiley
*Personally, I've always found that an 81A(slight warming) filter with Provia really helps keep the shadows/lower density areas from going blue.
Chromes are wonderful when DONE RIGHT(that means gelling lights, or doing multiple exposures gelling the lens appropriately for each light source(say, tungsten balanced recessed, but fluorescent under-the-cabinets lighting), etc... Its tricky to do, and takes lots of patience and practice(and being very light footed not to kick the tripod), but when done well, the results are really worth it. Film has done the work for you, and with a good scan and some small amount of post, you can save yourself some money, and time.

As others have mentioned, color neg film has more "oh shit" room, to a limit. I've found that with Portra 160/400, I can overexpose approx *6* stops, and still have a *somewhat* usable piece of film. 1 stop of overexposure is EASY to deal with(actually out to +3 is pretty easy to deal with), and +1 helps keep shadows from going bad(although I can pull a -3 neg back in digital post and still have *something* somewhat usable, although far from ideal, shadows are sh** though, and muddy)

Chrome is kind of "old school" now. NO TUNGSTEN BALANCED SLIDE FILM IS STILL IN PRODUCTION. What you have now is old stock if any is still on store shelves. No sense in following that lead, unless you're just interested in trying it, just to try it.
Fuji T64 *was* really nice, and takes that twilight blue light(see Kirk's post above) sky and makes it nice and saturated. I always found it a bit more "snappy" contrast-wise than Kodak's EPY(64t), which had a more neutral(IMO) palette.

Not a lot of options out there now like 10yrs ago film-wise, but what's still left can DEFINITELY do a TREMENDOUS job of getting you hi-def final results. If you're interested in committing to shooting some film for jobs, and want/need perspective control, the Fuji GX680 system, or a 4x5 camera w/ sheet film or a rollfilm back will give you the best options in terms of perspective control. And a 6x7/9->4x5 sheet when drum-scanned properly can yield HUGE files, that's if you "need" it. A DSLR w/ TS lenses these days seems to be the norm, and it seems to be more than enough quality-wise for most out there.

Sorry for the rambling on, but I'm an ardent film user, and love to see others "coming back"(if you can call it that, testing the waters maybe???) to film. Its quality is even better than when most moved to digital capture 5-10+ yrs ago. There are many reasons why film still has advantages, and for architectural/interior shooters, IMO , the most important one being: YOU DO NOT GET COLOR SHIFT when you do tilts/swings/movement(just some light falloff if you exceed the IC of your lens) like you do with digital, and with digital post, you basically have ENDLESS options. 4x5 cameras and lenses require(generally) less "technical bulls***" to worry about, and IMO, film MAKES THINGS LOOK BETTER. Not as clinically sharp, like many digital people want(think they need), but it has a "roughness" but still smooth quality that helps create something different. Also, moiré is basically ELIMINATED(even film can show it sometimes, sometimes some fabrics can optically create it, although its very rare in my case).

Shoot film while you have it easily available. If you think it'll make your work better, or help your work stand out amongst your competition, do it.

Have fun, first and foremost!

-Dan

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artobest
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 04:41:21 AM »
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Shoot film while you have it easily available. If you think it'll make your work better, or help your work stand out amongst your competition, do it.

Have fun, first and foremost!


Well said.

Scott, to be honest, I think you've chosen the wrong forum to ask this question. People here get defensive and edgy when the subject of film comes up. APUG might be a better place to start.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 08:46:59 AM »
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Well said.

Scott, to be honest, I think you've chosen the wrong forum to ask this question. People here get defensive and edgy when the subject of film comes up. APUG might be a better place to start.




Hmmm... can't say I've noticed that.

Anyway, I'd agree with the expressed opinion that the best way to get it together with film is to work with transparency.

As long as you have a good incident light/flash meter, set up a single shot including both some exterior as well as interior detail, and make detailed notes of the readings in different areas, tranny allows you to see far more rapidly than digital where you have blown it and where you are on the button. Why? Because if you look at the product on a proper, professional lightbox, you won't be abe to fake it or make mental compensation for what you have actually achieved.

Colour negative is simply too wide in latitude, and deciding on exposure correctness on a colour negative sitting in front of you requires genius, much more so than with b/w negatives!

Rob C
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amsp
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 09:30:11 AM »
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Like others have said already, Portra handles mixed lighting very well so that's definitely the easiest route, and if you want to use transparencies you'll have to do a lot of work to balance lights with gels etc. Also, apug.org is a great resource for anything film related.
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2013, 09:40:11 AM »
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Well said.

Scott, to be honest, I think you've chosen the wrong forum to ask this question. People here get defensive and edgy when the subject of film comes up. APUG might be a better place to start.

Well, so far I think I've gotten pretty earnest, honest, and most importantly GOOD advice. But I'll look at Apug.org, as well. I hadn't even heard of that before, so thanks!

Thanks for all the great replies, this is just exactly what I was hoping for. I'll post some results although it'll be a while, unfortunately. Lots of shooting coming up, not much time for experimenting.
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2013, 09:47:21 AM »
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I think the most interesting aspect of this for me is the question of chromes vs. negs. I had originally thought the answer was clear -- negatives give a higher dynamic range and allow for more latitude with scanning and re-touching.

But of course my goal here is not so much to produce an image that satisfies my client (I'll have delivered the digital images LONG before I ever get the film versions back from the lab), but instead it's to grow myself as a photographer. And in that respect, transparencies might well be the better way to go.

I already do most of my color correction in the field (my PA says that my gel organizer is "the most awesome piece of DIY gear" he's ever seen, haha!) so I'm not really daunted by that. And as Rob C says, just toss it on a light table and you know immediately if you've done it, or not. More to think about...

Thanks again, all. I really appreciate it.
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TMARK
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 02:04:06 PM »
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Scott, I vote for neg. for one simple reason:  negative film looks different than digital.  chromes come too close for digital.  every photo in my book shot on chome looks just like well shot CCD digital.  Negative film just looks different.  whatever you do you will have a good time doing it.  Please post results!

T
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 07:18:24 PM »
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TMark, absolutely will post a few. But I'm away for the next few weeks, so it'll be a bit.
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