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How best to use ISO 3200 film?

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    Right, well on Wednesday I'm flying off to Istanbul for a week, and have decided to take my roll of Kodak TMAX P3200 Black and White film and Nikon F60D (w/ 35-80mm kit lens) with me. I've got a few questions:-

    1) How best should I clear this film through Heathrow's security? I know you shouldn't put high ISO films through X-Rays, so should I just ask them to hand check the film? Anyone got experience with this?

    2) More importantly, how best can I use this film's character? I chose a high ISO because I like the grainy film look, so how can I utilise this trait to best effect? I want to try and give the historic buildings there a sort of style of 20s photography... how best can I do this? Sorry my questions sound so vague, I hope you understand what I mean!

    3) When using the Zone system, do you expose for the shadows or highlights? And does anyone know if you can spot meter on the low end F60....

    Thanks, and sorry for the vague question 2!
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    1) X-ray proof film bag, pretty cheap B&H

    2) Inside buildings at golden hour, catch the strong rays. Alternatively some street photography

    3) Go manual, that way there is no room for the camera to mess up!

    Good luck! Remember to scan and post the results!
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    (Original post by DanBrwn)
    1) X-ray proof film bag, pretty cheap B&H

    2) Inside buildings at golden hour, catch the strong rays. Alternatively some street photography

    3) Go manual, that way there is no room for the camera to mess up!

    Good luck! Remember to scan and post the results!
    Thanks for the reply

    Unfortunately I don't have the time to order a lead bag, so I need another solution!

    Forgot to mention it's black and white, so maybe that affects the advice? Otherwise, I do very much like golden hour light

    I'm too scared of messing up the exposure, which is costly on film? Any advice to help manual metering?
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    (Original post by shmuxel)
    Thanks for the reply

    Unfortunately I don't have the time to order a lead bag, so I need another solution!

    Forgot to mention it's black and white, so maybe that affects the advice? Otherwise, I do very much like golden hour light

    I'm too scared of messing up the exposure, which is costly on film? Any advice to help manual metering?
    The zone system is insane and I wouldn't bother with it. High-ISO film isn't as lenient as slow film when it comes to exposure, but you can still push it a fair amount so you don't have to worry about the exposure in the way that you would if you used transparency colour film. Doesn't the camera have a built in meter? If you centre that then you'll have your exposure. I've just checked and the F60D most certainly does have a decent meter, just set that to average or centre weighted average and you'll be fine - I wouldn't bother with spot metering unless you knew exactly what you were doing.

    Just point it at what you want to shoot and balance the meter/select the aperture it tells you to. Bear in mind that if the subject is mostly white you'll want to overexpose by a stop or two, and if it's mostly black you'll want to underexpose by a stop or two. If you point the camera at grass you'll get a good base exposure reading for the level of light in that area considering that the lighting stays constant.
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    (Original post by Nuffles)
    The zone system is insane and I wouldn't bother with it. High-ISO film isn't as lenient as slow film when it comes to exposure, but you can still push it a fair amount so you don't have to worry about the exposure in the way that you would if you used transparency colour film. Doesn't the camera have a built in meter? If you centre that then you'll have your exposure. I've just checked and the F60D most certainly does have a decent meter, just set that to average or centre weighted average and you'll be fine - I wouldn't bother with spot metering unless you knew exactly what you were doing.

    Just point it at what you want to shoot and balance the meter/select the aperture it tells you to. Bear in mind that if the subject is mostly white you'll want to overexpose by a stop or two, and if it's mostly black you'll want to underexpose by a stop or two. If you point the camera at grass you'll get a good base exposure reading for the level of light in that area considering that the lighting stays constant.
    Thanks for the advice I haven't been using the full zone system, just using a spot meter on the highlights (digital) and overexposing based on differences from 18% grey. I'll certainly try your techinque though.

    Do you have any advice on best applications of the film? Where can I truly make the most of it?
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    (Original post by shmuxel)
    Thanks for the advice I haven't been using the full zone system, just using a spot meter on the highlights (digital) and overexposing based on differences from 18% grey. I'll certainly try your techinque though.

    Do you have any advice on best applications of the film? Where can I truly make the most of it?
    Personally I'd shoot it all at night with a fast lens and find some really intense lighting situations and maybe do some portraiture in low light. But also what somebody else said with the long dusty shadows around sundown - that'd be lush too.

    I really wouldn't worry about metering too much. With black and white I often set my exposure roughly right and just get into shooting, only adjusting if I move from shade to sunshine and vice versa. If you're printing it yourself you have enough leeway in the film that you have probably between 2 and 3 stops of freedom and still get a good print. Again if you're developing it yourself I'd be really tempted to push the film a stop and have effective 6400 film *dribbles*.
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    (Original post by Nuffles)
    Personally I'd shoot it all at night with a fast lens and find some really intense lighting situations and maybe do some portraiture in low light. But also what somebody else said with the long dusty shadows around sundown - that'd be lush too.

    I really wouldn't worry about metering too much. With black and white I often set my exposure roughly right and just get into shooting, only adjusting if I move from shade to sunshine and vice versa. If you're printing it yourself you have enough leeway in the film that you have probably between 2 and 3 stops of freedom and still get a good print. Again if you're developing it yourself I'd be really tempted to push the film a stop and have effective 6400 film *dribbles*.
    Thanks I'm trying to capture the unique historical buildings and markets there, so hopefully the grain and contrast should add to the effect.

    I will be printing the film myself (with the enlarger I got off freecycle ), and have the capabilities to develop it myself (though I fear I may ruin the film, so will probably send it off...)
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    (Original post by shmuxel)
    Thanks I'm trying to capture the unique historical buildings and markets there, so hopefully the grain and contrast should add to the effect.

    I will be printing the film myself (with the enlarger I got off freecycle ), and have the capabilities to develop it myself (though I fear I may ruin the film, so will probably send it off...)
    Bear in mind you'll have to use a narrow aperture (think f/16 and above) and a fast shutter speed (1/1000 and above) to use 3200 film in daylight. You'd be better off using 400 film for good grain yet still detailed shots. Film rated at 3200 is really better off used in low light or at night. I've just realised you're going to Istanbul too, good luck using 3200 in daylight with all the cream buildings!
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    As you are using the ASA3200 for artistic effect in terms of the grain, rather for its speed, then take a full set of 2 stop, 4 stop and 8 stop ND filters.

    Use the NDs stacked if necessary so that you can choose shutter and aperture as normal but get correct exposure.

    Also the film is going to respond to UV unlike a digital, so you might want a few UV filters as well in such a luminescent environment.

    If you do not have time to acquire / borrow the NDs then it is probably a case that you are taking the wrong tool for the job in hand, so stick to low light photography.

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