Indoor rock concert film/devolper ideas?
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
Ccoppola82
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Indoor rock concert film/devolper ideas?

I'm shooting an indoor rock concert next weekend and I have some time to test a few developer/film combos ahead of time. Grain isn't too much of a concern if it's reasonable. There are digital photogs getting "clean" shots, so we sold the idea of the press pass on having a different look. My Main concerns are:
*maintaining a minimum 125th shutter speed
* not blowing highlights from dark backgrounds with spotlighted musicians

I have on hand
Delta 3200
Tri x
Hp5

D76 (packets)
Hc110
Ddx
Rodinal
Chemistry to make pretty much anything.
Fx2
D23 two bath


I read a Barry Thornton article about using a standard developer for 2/3 the regular time, and giving a second bath in a sodium metaborate solution. Would it be reasonable to expect this to control highlights?

Anyway, does anyone have any advice or experience for shooting a setting like that? Thanks for your help!!
Chris
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
sepiareverb
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HP5+ at 800 and Rodinal 1:25 would be my choice.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ccoppola82 View Post
My Main concerns are:
*maintaining a minimum 125th shutter speed
* not blowing highlights from dark backgrounds with spotlighted musicians
My advice would be to spot meter the highlights when you first get to the venue - take readings on the support act if need be. Based on that reading select the ISO you will need to keep 125th shutter speed at whatever aperture you will use. Then choose your film. Of the choices, Delta3200 @ 1600 is nice.

There are many different ways of shooting concerts, but the subject should be correctly exposed (hence the spot meter). After that, direct lights will blow out, and the shadows will be black. So be it.

If you can't access a spot meter, try to get as close as you can to something in a spotlight and take a reflected reading (so the subject fills the metering area), or try to get under a light and take an incident reading.

This was shot at about f/1.7, [email protected], and about 1/125s. The subject is exposed more or less ok, the shadows are black, and the direct light is blown.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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My friend who shoots there told me he has to use 1600-3200 with their lighting. If I could get away with 800, hp5 is my favorite at that ei
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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I would use HP-5 @ 800 and develop in DD-X.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Chris,

It sounds like you have some pull at the event. If so (read try even if not) ask to get in when the crew is doing a lighting check and do incident meter readings. Write them down on a flash card, make a couple of copies.

Spot meters work well, it's amazing how much light there up there. I just checked LensRental.com, came up dry for meters, give them a call, they might have them. I'm sure other folks rent stuff too, just not sure.

B2 (;->
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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The only developer currently made that I'm aware of that ACTUALLY increases the speed of film is Acufine. All others only increase upper value density (contrast) and have no effect on shadows. Acufine actually increases shadow density at the same time it increases highlight and midtone. It makes for a normal and very printable neg. I've used HP5 with it with great success.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
Ccoppola82
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I have a Pentax digital spot meter. Usually I read off the shadows to base my exposure and take a highlight reading to adjust development time. I suppose I’ll take a spot off a lit face and expose it for zone 7. The only problem is how fast the damn lights change. I DO have a setting in my 1v that links the spotmeter to the selected AF point. If I do this, I’ll set the exposure compensation to +1 or 2 to put the faces in zone 6 or 7. Didn’t think about that but it sounds like a good metering solution to use.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Some places I have had to use 3200 speed film. I'd use Ilford Delta 3200 now (but used TMZ back then). Those places were unfortunate.

If you have a bit more light, Tri-X in Diafine is a good combo for 1250-1600. That's what I settled on for everything else.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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I would actually ditch film for such an assignment and use a good dslr and a fast lens.

Unless they WANT you shoot film and want grainy, high-contrast, not very sharp shots.

Not bashing, I just don't think film is the right tool for the job here.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
megido
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Delta 3200. Shoot @ 1600 process w/DDX @ 3200. Tamed highlights and excellent shadows.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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You never know, I came one day and they didn't turned flood lights at all, only three spot lights for entire stage...

1/125 might be very tricky, will demand large (after f2) apertures and precise spot metering (I would prefer iPhone spot with wysiwyg in the rest metering).

The only solution I have and use for low light with spot lights, which doesn't cost unreasonably high is HP5+ @3200 hcA. With f2.5 lens I have to keep it at 1/8... With f1.5 I go 1/60 maximum...

You could get grainy, vibrant BW on digital as well if you not afraid to push it at high ISO in camera and push for little bit more in PP. If light is really bad and it is not M10, 6D, it is less risky solution.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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If you can find yourself in an advantageous position (ie: in front of the stage) i find that a wide angle wide open is also very useful for keeping most things in focus.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Gonna second Delta 3200 and DDX. Could even push to 6400 if you really needed to.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znapper View Post
I would actually ditch film for such an assignment and use a good dslr and a fast lens.

Unless they WANT you shoot film and want grainy, high-contrast, not very sharp shots.

Not bashing, I just don't think film is the right tool for the job here.
This.

Honestly I get it, you want to do it on film, and it'll be satisfying to get that grainy b/w result, but honestly the best way to do the job is digital and post production.

I know that seems negative, but as someone who does this kind of work, it's the right tool for the job.

Times have changed so much since this kind of work was done on film, the standard arrangement is "First 3 songs, no flash" (and they really mean the no flash bit).

You can spend a chunk of those songs changing film etc, or you can maximise your time. I usually change lenses a couple of times within that timeframe. but if I had to load film as well, I'd be finding myself fiddling with the camera more than shooting.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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What's your vantage point going to be? Are you going to be down at crowd-level shooting up on the musicians? In 'the pit', as it were?

Dunno, I'm not sure you'll necessarily be needing 3200 film -- I'm thinking 800 max would do it. Here again, depends on how close you are to the stage, if you might even be on the stage, and if you're willing to wait for when the lights are brighter on the stage.

Here's one of my favourite rock and roll photographers for inspiration -- he has some concert stuff in the mix there. I'm sure he wasn't shooting at ISO 3200 back in the day: http://barriewentzell.com/
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Wow thanks for all the replies. I understand why people are saying shoot digital. If it was something I'd be paid for, I most certainly would. In this case, we first got a pass for the pit for my fiancé to shoot digital. When we submitted for the second pass, it was given specifically to shoot film for a different feel than all the digital shooters. I did a test run at a local metal show Saturday and I'm 2/3 done with testing film/developer combos. I'll post some when I'm done so people can see what they did together. I DID order 2 new bottles of DDX and 15 rolls of delta 3200 along with a bunch if HP5. I also have a brick of tri x too. Overall I'm fairly happy with a couple combinations so far and surprised with one I developed today.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Quote:
Indoor rock concert
Dektol ! That should be rock'n'roll
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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I've shot some concerts on film over the last years, the last two years I use HP5 at EI 1600 and Microphen, but merly for economical reasons and for high contrast.
My first choice for bad light would be also Delta3200 in DDX (EI1600 or 3200). Expect grain.

Had lately surprisingly good results with HP5 at EI 1600 in SPUR Speed Major ... finer grain and lower contrast then with Microphen ... Thats a combi worth further try.

But in the end it's all luck and depend on the stoned and drunk guy behind the light board...

Good light, good luck...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Just hit 'submit' and my browser crashed... grrr. So anyway, here's the shortened version of my post without the rambling... Surprised at the advice to shoot digital - film will be really cool for this! Made for it. It's going to be great. As a base exposure, I remember using around f2 at 125th with Tri-X pushed to 1600. XTOL 1:1 but I forget the dev times... I used to ask if I could shoot a full test roll at sound check and then I'd develop that one first to check on dev times and agitation... I found agitation (or lack of) most important in controlling / taming those high contrast shots... particularly pushed so much. From memory, I'd just invert... anyway. hope you have a blast and I look forward to seeing the results. Great gig to get.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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Tri-X pushed to 1600 in D-76 stock

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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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This discussion came up a few years ago -- more food for thought: https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=135806
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
What's your vantage point going to be? Are you going to be down at crowd-level shooting up on the musicians? In 'the pit', as it were?

Dunno, I'm not sure you'll necessarily be needing 3200 film -- I'm thinking 800 max would do it. Here again, depends on how close you are to the stage, if you might even be on the stage, and if you're willing to wait for when the lights are brighter on the stage.

Here's one of my favourite rock and roll photographers for inspiration -- he has some concert stuff in the mix there. I'm sure he wasn't shooting at ISO 3200 back in the day: http://barriewentzell.com/
The spread of LED lights has made it a very different task these days in terms of light fall off, colour temperature, and even the refresh rate of the lights, none of which was an issue back in Barrie's Day
It's also added to the baffling number of Sound/Light techs who think bathing the stage in red is a good idea too, which can absolutely ruin your night as a shooter.

Good luck to Ccoppola82, hope it goes well, and most importantly I hope you have fun with it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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Yes you’re probably right - was probably much more straightforward back then. Plus, looking at many of his concert photos, he had stage and behind the band access, so that must have helped as well.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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Ok I understand the OP's post a little better now.

If I was going to shoot with film during such an event, I would bring the most light-sensitive film on the marked, Ilford Delta 3200 and shoot it at 3200.
(then find a developer that gives that speed)

It's better than try pushing a 400 film all the way up there, at least in my book.

You could bring a few rolls off-course, if the scene enables you to shoot at ISO 1000.

I would bring 1-2 fast primes (1.4-1.8) and stop them down to around f2.0-f2.8 for better dof and sharpness.

I think you need to get your shutter up to around 1/125s or so to get reasonable frozen action, if that's what you are after.

I see in my own limited archive that the last stuff I did (with digital), was shot at 1/100-1/160s @ ISO 3200 between f2.8-f3.2, but those were pretty well-lit stages.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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I had the chance to shoot in a similar situation and tested a some film/developer combos and techniques. So far I tried

DDX 1+4
This gave super contrasty images and blocked my highlights a bit much for my liking. I prefer starting with a bit of a flatter negative. Tough ask in stage lighting.
Tri X 1600
HP5 1600

Barry Thornton 2 bath 6/6 min
This was my next expirement to try and contain some of the contrast. The delta 3200 seemed to underperform here quite a bit. I will scan and post a few for comparison sake and to keep a record for people that might have this same question someday.
Tri X 1600
Delta 3200 @3200

FX2 Semi Stand.
90 min. 1 inversion every 30 min. I did this because the DDX tended to block up highlights and have really harsh contrast. Rodinal loses shadow speed, and I know that FX2 maintains film speed fairly well.
Tri X 1600
HP5 1600


Group 1- DDX 1+4, Tri X 1600

[IMG]49-17-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]48-12-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]49-36-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]49-8.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]



Group 2- DDX 1+4 HP5 @1600

[IMG]48-24.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]48-14.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]48-4.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]



Group 3 - Thornton 2 Bath HP5 @1600

[IMG]51-4.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]51-14.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]



Group 4- FX2 Semi Stand 90 Min. Tri X @1600

[IMG]52-17.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]52-5.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]


Group 5- FX2 Semi Stand 90 Min. HP5 @1600
[IMG]50-28.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]50-18.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]50-14-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]50-31-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr[/IMG]

My own conclusions are that I prefer the FX2 combo with HP5 the best out of the bunch. I seem to have more tonality than I anticipated along with very reasonable grain considering. The guy that owns the blog I'm shooting for said "embrace the grain if it means a faster shutter"

couple things I noted, I thought I could get away with 1/60....I can't. Haha
metering will be set to the Focus Point Spot.
I also think that Delta 3200 will work well in DDX as that is a low contrast film to begin with. I have a roll of that I will be developing tomorrow. I ordered DDX, will make a few liters of FX2, ordered 10 Rolls of Delta 3200, and 20 Rolls of HP5. I should be covered.

I genuinely appreciate everyones commentary on this. I'll post more as they come.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Yes you’re probably right - was probably much more straightforward back then. Plus, looking at many of his concert photos, he had stage and behind the band access, so that must have helped as well.
Just as an aside on LED lights, the same way that monitor refresh rates affect how a monitor looks in a digital photograph, there are some circumstances where you can end up with light banding across the shot because your shutter speed, and the LED light are in phase.


ZNapper gives good advice on shutter speed, keep it above 125th pretty much at all times. That's actually helpful though because it cuts down your other options in the moment.

Oh and apologies if this is stating the obvious, but for concert shooting, it's always worth keeping in mind that your lightmeter is dumb, and is looking for middle grey.

Test shots have come out really well, I look forward to seeing more.

If you have the chance to have this level of input try to steer the band away from drowning the stage in red light, because that will destroy any contrast in the skintones, and make life much harder.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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It's a pretty major band. Chevelle. I have zero input unfortunately. It should be fun though.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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You can get away with a little fill flash without killing the atmosphere, a second camera set-up for flash can be a bonus.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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My advice isn't about developing..

If you're near the big speakers, wear hearing protection! I can trace some of my hearing loss to shooting at the dances at college and being less the 8 feet from the speakers, I'd go back to my room and it'd be a day or two before I could hear well again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodOldNorm View Post
You can get away with a little fill flash without killing the atmosphere, a second camera set-up for flash can be a bonus.
The "First 3 songs, no flash" rule is pretty hard and fast at decent sized venues, so I wouldn't even consider the flash route.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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Yup it’s 3 songs no flash and very strict about that. I picked up some ear plugs for the show also. Got my shipment of film in today also!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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As I said earlier, I'd go with Ilford Delta 3200 if the lighting is bad, and Tri-X in Diafine if it's just okay. Tri-X in Diafine will give you EI 1250 and it's compensating, saving you from blown out highlights, which is helpful in contrasty situations that you can get in concert settings.

I don't really shoot any shows now, and only shot a few some years ago, but even then, I was the ONLY person shooting film that'd I'd see.

Tri-X in Diafine at 1250:

Art Brut 01


Disco Ball


Les Savy Fav


Quintron and the Drum Buddy



T-Max 3200 in XTOL 1:1:

The Hold Steady 07

The lighting at that last show was good enough that I didn't need 3200. I changed films at some point to Tri-X @ 400 in XTOL 1:1 and got a lot more shadow detail (duh!). Not that the high contrast photos aren't interesting...


The Hold Steady 23
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