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5 Days Ago   #1
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party photo gear question

I've been asked to shoot a friend's birthday party. I haven't done party snaps like this since sometime in the 1980's. My recollection is that wide is the way to go here. I'm going to use the ME Super that's a favorite of mine and maybe the K1000. I'm thinking 400 speed film since it's indoors and at night, and a camera-mounted flash. Lens-wise I have three that are possible choices in my mind at the moment. All are M series. 20/4, 28/2.8 and 35/2.8.
Does anybody have experience with this type of shooting? All I've done for the last decade or so is portraits and landscapes.

5 Days Ago   #2
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Using flash?

Maybe use one camera with BW film that you can push to ISO 1600 and the other camera with colour film and flash.

I did shoot the occasional family gatherings long ago on film. But did use flash. I also shot an evening / night event with Ilford HP45 pushed to 1600.

No idea what is nowadays on the market.

//Edit, I think it's HP5

Last edited by sterretje; 5 Days Ago at 10:09 PM.
5 Days Ago   #3
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I have a ring flash that can be nice. But, it vignettes with the 20mm. Maybe vignettes isn't the right term. It's actually in the shot because the lens is so wide. I haven't tried it with the 28 or 35. I'm going to use a regular flash with a little diffuser. B&W could be nice. But, she wants color. I may put a longer lens on the second camera. I have an 80 and a 100 that each produce great portraits and would allow me to get some candids from a little distance. probably without the flash, though (because of the distance).
5 Days Ago   #4
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The one event that I mentioned was a street concert and mostly with a 70-210/4. I remember that I had to use every support that I could find, tent poles, street lights, trees etc. Shutter speeds of 1/30 second at 200mm.

5 Days Ago   #5
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Don't have much experience with birthday parties, just one, to be honest. I was shooting dslr though. No flash, as I don't have one. Without flash I was shooting at iso 1600. I wasn't too happy about the outcome as the k-5 has too much noise at 1600. As for the lens, I was using fa 43 and it worked great. I wasn't taking group photos though
5 Days Ago   #6
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Unless you want full room photos of the venue, 20 is going to be pretty wide.
35mm would work better for shots of small groups. I would go longer if you want more intimate photos of the subject, cake, candles, etc... much like a wedding.
ISO 400 film is likely going to require flash if your indoors, unless its a daytime event with plenty of lighting.

I've only shot anything serious with digital, and I have to say that getting a fairly clean image at ISO 2000 is nice. Being able to go to ISO10,000 when necessary and still get useable images is amazing. Honestly, I'd be terrified to be limited to Iso 400. It is certainly what had been used for many years, so it's doable.
I applaud your abilities and willingness to use film. :-)
5 Days Ago   #7
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Unless you want full room photos of the venue, 20 is going to be pretty wide.
35mm would work better for shots of small groups. I would go longer if you want more intimate photos of the subject, cake, candles, etc... much like a wedding.
ISO 400 film is likely going to require flash if your indoors, unless its a daytime event with plenty of lighting.

I've only shot anything serious with digital, and I have to say that getting a fairly clean image at ISO 2000 is nice. Being able to go to ISO10,000 when necessary and still get useable images is amazing. Honestly, I'd be terrified to be limited to Iso 400. It is certainly what had been used for many years, so it's doable.
I applaud your abilities and willingness to use film. :-)
5 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Without flash I was shooting at iso 1600. I wasn't too happy about the outcome as the k-5 has too much noise at 1600.
I think you're one of the few ones. I have always been impressed; the only concert that I shot on digital: toyota jacaranda pops 2011 (2MB photos !) - PentaxForums.com. K5, mostly ISO 3200 (exif is intact).

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Unless you want full room photos of the venue, 20 is going to be pretty wide.
35mm would work better for shots of small groups. I would go longer if you want more intimate photos of the subject, cake, candles, etc... much like a wedding.
ISO 400 film is likely going to require flash if your indoors, unless its a daytime event with plenty of lighting.

I've only shot anything serious with digital, and I have to say that getting a fairly clean image at ISO 2000 is nice. Being able to go to ISO10,000 when necessary and still get useable images is amazing. Honestly, I'd be terrified to be limited to Iso 400. It is certainly what had been used for many years, so it's doable.
I applaud your abilities and willingness to use film. :-)
ISO 400 is passable with indoor lighting, if you have a fast lens (like 1.4). So, if you want to avoid too much flash, 800 speed film seems like the only real option in color.
5 Days Ago   #10
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Since you’re shooting color, I’d probably go 800 iso. Also, the 35 is going to be your best lens for focal length. Most of the time, group shots will have everyone close, around a cake or etc.

Enjoy the day.
4 Days Ago   #11
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35mm lens. If flash can't be avoided, ALWAYS and ONLY use bounce flash, preferably with swivel.
4 Days Ago   #12
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Thanks!
400 is as fast a film as I shoot. I've always been unhappy with the look of higher speed films when I've tried them. I know in the past I shot plenty of indoor with kodachrome (at 60 asa) and a flash. I honestly thought about going with 200, but figured the extra stop or two would be worth the tradeoff. I've actually taken a few portraits in this restaurant in the daytime because it gets great mid-day light. But night time, I'm not sure what to expect... and groups... I figure the wider lens will put me closer to the subject, make the flash that more effective, etc. I'm sort of worried about blinding everybody, being too much in their face or getting a look that's too wide lens-ey. I would normally shoot people with a longer lens. I just have this feeling that being 10-15 feet away in this situation isn't going to get me the good shot.
Way back when, there was a standard party shot setup, because it was a real profitable business. SLR, flash mounted off the camera, angled/bounced and diffused... I just can't remember the lens. I'm pretty sure it was wide, and that way anything 3 feet to infinity would be in focus. The photog would try to be 3'-6' from the subject and wouldn't have to do much more than frame and shoot. Digital really killed that business. If I could figure out how to work a digital camera, that's what I'd use for something like this. I'm just not that bright!
4 Days Ago   #13
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Most older manual flashes only cover down to either 28mm or 35mm. so 20mm would be out. (Some flash models have adapters that will let you use wider angle lenses.)

400 ISO film should be fine, but you need to read your flash guide to confirm the range and width of the flash.

Phil.

Last edited by gofour3; 4 Days Ago at 02:21 PM. Reason: Typo
4 Days Ago   #14
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I did some fooling around with different lenses today to see what the fov would be and the 20 is definitely too wide. Whoever it was that said it would look like the 'whole room' in every shot was spot on. 35 is what I have on there now and I'm thinking that's going to be the winner. I may even end up using the kit 50/1.7 on this.
After looking at the recommended flash settings 200 asa is what would fit the bill. I've got some kodak 200. I would rather shoot fuji, but all I've got for that is 400.
4 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I think you're one of the few ones. I have always been impressed; the only concert that I shot on digital: toyota jacaranda pops 2011 (2MB photos !) - PentaxForums.com. K5, mostly ISO 3200 (exif is intact).
I could certainly be one of the few ones. Having said that, I don't think our experience is very different. What I meant by low light shots were like your photos 9 and 12.
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