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Thread: Film for wedding photography

  1. #1

    Default Film for wedding photography

    Hi,

    I have always been using Fuji Reala or Kodak Supra for my wedding shots! I know many recommend Fuji NPC or NPS, but i have really tried it for 135 format. I have tried with the 120 format and it's very desaturated, with muted colours! I know lance and ckiang uses Press 800, how is the skin tone and grain? Will appreciate if you guys can advise on the strengths of these films! I know that what's more important is the person behind the camera and the shot itself, but i see the film as a canvas, a medium or ingredient, just trying to make it taste better

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Film for wedding photography

    Originally posted by kueko
    Hi,

    I have always been using Fuji Reala or Kodak Supra for my wedding shots! I know many recommend Fuji NPC or NPS, but i have really tried it for 135 format. I have tried with the 120 format and it's very desaturated, with muted colours! I know lance and ckiang uses Press 800, how is the skin tone and grain? Will appreciate if you guys can advise on the strengths of these films! I know that what's more important is the person behind the camera and the shot itself, but i see the film as a canvas, a medium or ingredient, just trying to make it taste better
    Grain and skin tones for Press 800 are quite good.

    Film used by the vast majority of professional wedding photographers is muted compared to the consumer films, this is deliberate and is called 'low contrast' and it's used to capture detail in both white and black garments and to capture accurate skin tones. It's a tradeoff and it takes some practice to get good results with low contras t film as many of the 'wedding' emulsions are designed for use with flash fill. When you actually test low contrast film by comparing with real world scenes it is generally far more accurate in it's reproduction of tones and colour than high contrast film.

    Consumer film on the other hand is high contrast with garish unnatural colours that produce TV level oversaturated colours that really seem to appeal to the masses.

    Have you tried Portra NC for wedding work?
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Keuko, I have not tried Press 800 for weddings yet. I swear by NPH 400 for its more natural colours (or what you called muted) which lend itself very nicely for skin tones, etc. As Ian mentioned, these are low contrast films and lack the kind of punch you get with consumer films.

    I tried 1 wedding and 1 solemnisation using Superia XTRA 400 and results were too contrasty and saturated for such subjects. I told myself not to use them for weddings again. Have not tried Portra, but the effect should be similar, probably with Kodak's signature slightly warmer tone.

    Regards
    CK

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Film for wedding photography

    Originally posted by kueko
    Hi,

    I have always been using Fuji Reala or Kodak Supra for my wedding shots! I know many recommend Fuji NPC or NPS, but i have really tried it for 135 format. I have tried with the 120 format and it's very desaturated, with muted colours! I know lance and ckiang uses Press 800, how is the skin tone and grain? Will appreciate if you guys can advise on the strengths of these films! I know that what's more important is the person behind the camera and the shot itself, but i see the film as a canvas, a medium or ingredient, just trying to make it taste better
    I think 800 speed films are great for the typical Singapore banquet weddings, not because of the color, but for the fact that these are fast films that allow a good balance between ambient light and flash in the typical restaurants. With ISO 800, your flash output will be minimised, and this often results in natural looking flash shots (provided of course you set your camera to manual mode and make the necessary asjustments instead of leaving it on 'P'!)

    Most of the wedding dinners I've shot are ISO 800 digital shots and they are almost always more natural than the ISO 400 ones.

    Of course if u're doing wedding portraiture / outdoor wedding shots, u should go for the professional portrait films for the advantages that Ian mentioned.

    Having said that, I recommend Press 800 if u want a good ISO 800 film - i shoot almost exclusively with that for indoor shots (when i use negative film) and indoor events / weddings etc. Grain is good (ie not distracting and hardly perceptible) and skin tones are good too. And the exposure latitude allows a degree of error in exposure and more often than not, very nice looking prints can be made from this film.

    Here are some samples from a recent press conference shot with Fuji Press 800. (these are scanned by digital minilab machine)





    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback! It was indeed a great help! Very impressed by the quality of Fuji press 800! Should be ideal for the wedding dinner! Will get a few rolls and try out!

    Btw, red dawn, did you use fill flash for those shots? How many stop did you compensate or was the flash just normal TTL? I think you bounce it off a bounce card or use a omni bounce right?

    Ian and Ckiang, do you advise i use NPH for tea ceremony? Or should i stick to Fuji Press 800? If the couples want a few shots to be enlarged to 8R, how does the grain turn out for press 800. Is there a place i can get cheap Press 800? Is it the same as the Superia X-tra 800?

    I don't think the shops sells Portra NC in Singapore, i have tried Protra VC though. Find that it's very good in mixed lighting, nice skin tone and grain!

    Thanks again for the advise! Red dawn any more photos taken with Press 800? Show leh?

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    Originally posted by kueko
    Thanks for the feedback! It was indeed a great help! Very impressed by the quality of Fuji press 800! Should be ideal for the wedding dinner! Will get a few rolls and try out!
    yup u should, and u can't go wrong with it especially for dimly lit interiors. it will allow you to blend ambient light with flash for more natural looking exposures, and that, in my opinion, is the main case for using high speed film, even if u're going to be popping your strobe.


    Btw, red dawn, did you use fill flash for those shots? How many stop did you compensate or was the flash just normal TTL? I think you bounce it off a bounce card or use a omni bounce right?
    well i never did any flash exposure compensation, so technically these are not fill flash shots. What i did was meter the background / room and then manually set the exposure to underexpose ambient light by about 1 stop - in this case it was f5.6 at 1/60 at ISO 640. (i rate the Press 800 at ISO 640 but let the lab process normally at ISO 800)

    Flash output was normal Canon ETTL flash bounced off a home made bounce card attached to my flashhead, which was angled vertically up. (nothing to bounce off though, in that ballroom) The bounce card helped diffuse the flash light.

    Ian and Ckiang, do you advise i use NPH for tea ceremony? Or should i stick to Fuji Press 800? If the couples want a few shots to be enlarged to 8R, how does the grain turn out for press 800. Is there a place i can get cheap Press 800? Is it the same as the Superia X-tra 800?
    not addressed to me, but i just want to point out it is okay to use NPH for tea ceremony. and superia xtra 800 is NOT the same as Press 800.


    I don't think the shops sells Portra NC in Singapore, i have tried Protra VC though. Find that it's very good in mixed lighting, nice skin tone and grain!
    Yes, i think FotoHub sells it and i have been Portra NC sold at Cathay before.


    Thanks again for the advise! Red dawn any more photos taken with Press 800? Show leh?
    have, but need to dig them out and not all are scanned ;P

    Press 800 is very versatile and can be pushed one stop to ISO 1600 and still retain good results. It can also be pushed up to 2 stops for ISO 3200 shooting. It will be very grainy at ISO 3200, of course, but in a pinch...........

    Here's Press 800, pushed 2 stops to ISO 3200, shot with a 50mm f1.4 at f1.4. Shutter speed is around 1/30 - 1/60, so that is one very dark place ETTL fill flash was used.

    autolevels was performed on the scanned image. Otherwise it was completely unedited.

    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hi,

    Originally posted by kueko
    Thanks for the feedback! It was indeed a great help! Very impressed by the quality of Fuji press 800! Should be ideal for the wedding dinner! Will get a few rolls and try out!
    Yes, please do try it out before you use it on an actual shoot.


    Btw, red dawn, did you use fill flash for those shots? How many stop did you compensate or was the flash just normal TTL? I think you bounce it off a bounce card or use a omni bounce right?
    My general "rule of thumb" : Use -0.5 to -1.5 for fill flash if the ambient light is sufficient for handheld exposure. Otherwise, use bounced flash and let the TTL do everything else.


    Ian and Ckiang, do you advise i use NPH for tea ceremony? Or should i stick to Fuji Press 800? If the couples want a few shots to be enlarged to 8R, how does the grain turn out for press 800. Is there a place i can get cheap Press 800? Is it the same as the Superia X-tra 800?

    I don't think the shops sells Portra NC in Singapore, i have tried Protra VC though. Find that it's very good in mixed lighting, nice skin tone and grain!
    Press 800 is not the same as Superia XTRA 800. I have not tried enlarging it to 8R before, so I am not so sure what the grain's going to be like. A friend of mine tried the Portra VC, and from his prints (4R), I find that it's slightly grainier than NPH. Otherwise, colours are quite okay. Read somewhere the NC is not available in Singapore, or at least not easily available. But you can try the usual places like Cathay, etc. Press 800 is $6.50 per roll.


    Regards
    CK

  8. #8

    Default

    From the Fuji Film Guide that I have, Press 800 and Xtra 800 are listed with same code name and same profile characteristic. Same goes with the Press 400 and Xtra 400.
    DR KOH KHO KING

  9. #9

    Default Slides for bridal shots

    How about slides for bridal shot? Which slide should i use? Astia 100? Or should i shoot in slide at all for those bridal shots or just stick with my favourite Reala 100?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Slides for bridal shots

    Originally posted by kueko
    How about slides for bridal shot? Which slide should i use? Astia 100? Or should i shoot in slide at all for those bridal shots or just stick with my favourite Reala 100?
    Shoot negs, especially if you prefer to do the bridal shots with available light. Try NPC160. Reala 100 might be a bit too saturated.

    Regards
    CK

  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks Ckiang,

    How come i didn't think of NPC? That's a very good idea. But i haven't try the film before, is the colour as muted as NPS? Do they come in 120 format? Maybe will buy a roll and try it out!

    kueko

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    Default

    Originally posted by kueko
    Thanks Ckiang,

    How come i didn't think of NPC? That's a very good idea. But i haven't try the film before, is the colour as muted as NPS? Do they come in 120 format? Maybe will buy a roll and try it out!

    kueko
    NPC is supposedly more saturated than NPS, but not as saturated as the Superia films. Skin tones are still pretty good. Available in 135 and 120.

    Regards
    CK

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