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CambsIan 23rd August 2021 07:06 PM

Photographing a small church
 
Hi All,

Came across a small village church today, which unfortunately will close it's doors for the last time at the end of September.

I've given a small donation and have been given permission to go back, with my tripod, before it shuts to photograph the interior (will also sneak some exterior shots)

Intend shooting 120 in both colour and B+W.

Thinking of using Ilford Pan F Plus for the B+W, any better options ?

Any suggestions for the colour, thinking I may use this mostly for the stained glass windows and interior ?

Any tips on shooting in a small church would be most welcome, as only going to get one chance at this.

Regards
Ian

Quendil 23rd August 2021 07:58 PM

Will be interesting to see the results. I would use a couple of different films for b&w probably different speeds as well. Not sure with colour as haven’t tried that many but have been happy with portra and lomography colour


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skellum 23rd August 2021 08:54 PM

PanF is my favourite film. I get best results at EI 25, and develop in PMK which gives lovely smooth tonality.
Unfortunately it is by nature a contrasty film and in the (probably) dim interior of a church you will run into reciprocity failure very quickly. There's a good chart here:
http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...ad.php?t=12087

If you're OK with 2-3 minute exposures PanF will look superb, but contrast might increase even further.
How big might you be printing? If not very big, and you're using 120 film, have you considered HP5? More speed so reduced reciprocity failure and slightly lower contrast to handle the very wide range of brightness you might encounter if including window areas. The bigger negative area compared to 35mm makes grain much less troublesome.

If you want to print big and really do prefer PanF it might just be worth a test roll to check you don't need to reduce development slightly. I know you are only getting one shot t this, so exposing a roll under similar conditions would give you a better idea if exposure time/contrast were to your liking.

Colour, can't help much there Ian! The extra leeway of colour negative is your friend I'd guess. I took some wedding pictures on Portra 400 inside a church on 120 and they looked fine, but if you can use a tripod and longer exposures then I'd try the 160 version
Good luck.

Richard Gould 23rd August 2021 09:13 PM

Sounds a great project and something I ttry to do as I try to keep heritage alive, I prefer s faster film normally Fomapan 400 but any 400 film, and always try hand holding, even down to half second as I find great atmosphere with hand held, plus some tripod shots, for MF it would be easier for hand holding to use a Waistlevel finder Good luck and show lus the results
Richard

MartyNL 23rd August 2021 09:58 PM

I would play it safe on this occasion regarding equipment, materials and processes and choose the things you know and feel comfortable with. Then you can be as creative as you like at the picture-taking stage.

If you're going to use a handheld meter then It's probably handy to use films with the same iso speed. It saves switching and the possibility of mistakes. I often find incident light readings a quicker and safer bet.

Definitely take a sturdy tripod and shutter release cables.

Be aware of the light quality, intensity and direction and don't worry too much about empty shadows. I find the exposure latitude can be more than film can handle. I prefer the mood of natural light and I'm not adept enough to balance flash and daylight.

Take more film than you think you need and enjoy!

Svend 23rd August 2021 10:37 PM

Ian, that sounds like a wonderful project, albeit bittersweet about the closure.

To add some comments to the already good advice here, I have a few suggestions that might be helpful.

Agreed on PanF being contrasty, but you can tame it with a dilute metol-only developer like Perceptol. I've had wonderful results with this combo in sunlit snowy winter scenes, and never had a problem with blocked up highlights or shadows. Wonderful tones too. But as Skellum points out, reciprocity is a real problem here if it's dark in the church. And if you're not familiar with using the PanF-Perceptol combo, then to stick with a combo you do have experience with is great advice.

As there could be some high contrast light in there, a softer film and developer combo might work really well. I've had great results shooting indoors in old buildings and barns using HP5 in Perceptol 1+1. I think the rich, soft tones that this combo gives could really suit the old architecture of your space.

Time of day for shooting might be a big consideration as well. If you want to balance the exposure of indoors vs. outdoors -- say if the windows are clear and the surrounding landscape is worth including in the images -- then maybe choose to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon/evening when it's not so bright out. Likewise if there are some special stained glass or window features you want to retain, then avoid midday sun streaming in a window or those will be all blown out. Then again, this is the UK right...forget I mentioned the sun... ;)

As for colour film, Portra 160 and 400 have lovely warm colour balance, which might be great for indirect daylight to counter the bluish cast. The P400 especially so...P160 is a bit more neutral. Overexpose these by about 1 stop to get the best tones and colours. Ektar 100 is very finicky and not forgiving of exposure errors, especially overexposure, so I would avoid it if you've never used it. The Portras, OTOH, are very forgiving and have lots of exposure latitude. Wonderful films, if the colour balance works for the scene. I don't think any chrome film will have the exposure latitude you need, so go with negative in colour.

Hope this helps -- any more questions on the above, just ask. Best of luck!

Edit: I highly recommend taking a spot meter, if you have or can borrow one. You will likely have a lot of deep shadows and brightly-lit areas, so nailing exposure will be a lot easier with a spot meter. Or just bring lots of film and bracket everything :-)

Uwe Pilz 24th August 2021 04:06 AM

I love Pan F too. I get decent results with Rodinal, the film does not tend to increased contrast with that developer. I use E.I of 50, if memory serves. If you are interested, I look for time and temperature (probably 16°C).
I get very good results with Atomal 49 too, but the dev is slightly problematic. After the last reformulation due to changed legal, it loses around 5% of activity each week, after dissolving of course. You may considering that, but it is annoying.

big paul 24th August 2021 08:38 AM

what camera and what lens are you going to use Ian

CambsIan 24th August 2021 11:14 AM

Thank you all for your replies, once again, the friendly forum comes to the rescue.

My go to film, and the one I'm most used to is Foma 100, after reading you replies and possible pit falls with the PanF+, I am now wondering if I should stick to the Foma.

Hoping to use my Rolleiflex 6003 SRC 1000 with a 80mm lens (it's the only one I have) as it has interchangeable backs, although this is not essential as I don't think I will be under any time pressure so can use all of one before switching to the other

In terms of metering I was wondering if the in camera meter would do the job. I don't have a Spotmeter, have never used one and can't borrow one so if I use a meter will most likely use my weston meter.

Was considering Porta 160 for colour seems to be a reasonable choice.

Once again thank you for all your replies

Ian

skellum 24th August 2021 11:44 AM

Hi Ian.
I use Fomapan 100 in 5x4 (because I can't get PanF) and love it.
The only downside is that reciprocity failure is even more marked than with the Ilford film.
See here:
https://www.magnaimages.com/post/fom...failure-charts

As long as you don't mind longer exposures at least it's a film you already know.

Terry S 24th August 2021 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CambsIan (Post 141275)
Hoping to use my Rolleiflex 6003 SRC 1000 with a 80mm lens (it's the only one I have)...

Ian

Do you mean the only lens you have for this camera is an 80mm Ian?

Obviously you might not know until the day, but it would be handy to have a wider lens as well, just in case.

Good luck on the day and like others have said, it would be great to see the results - both in b/w and colour - when you finally get them printed. :)

Terry S

Richard Gould 24th August 2021 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CambsIan (Post 141275)
Thank you all for your replies, once again, the friendly forum comes to the rescue.

My go to film, and the one I'm most used to is Foma 100, after reading you replies and possible pit falls with the PanF+, I am now wondering if I should stick to the Foma.

Hoping to use my Rolleiflex 6003 SRC 1000 with a 80mm lens (it's the only one I have) as it has interchangeable backs, although this is not essential as I don't think I will be under any time pressure so can use all of one before switching to the other

In terms of metering I was wondering if the in camera meter would do the job. I don't have a Spotmeter, have never used one and can't borrow one so if I use a meter will most likely use my weston meter.

Was considering Porta 160 for colour seems to be a reasonable choice.

Once again thank you for all your replies

Ian

I would be inclined to try the fomapan 400, rate at 250, the 100, although a very nice film, will give problems in low light due to it's reciproty failure, I have tried it in low light, which is something I do a lot, it was a problem, I often hand hold down to 1/2 a second using a bronica etrsi and W.L.F, also, I think only 80mm standard lens wil be very limiting for this type of project, you will need a wide angle, and I believe the Rolleiflef is a big old camera, and quite heavy, mabe try taking a 35mm, perhaps with a 24 to 100 lens, which would cover all your needs, 99% of my low light work of this type is done withput flash and on 35mm, gives good results, and is much easier, and the most I would take would be the 24 to 100 and a 80 to 200 for those extra shots, and I use 35mm down to 1/2 second with no problems,whatever you decide to do looking forward to hearing how you get on and seeing the results
Richard

John King 26th August 2021 10:23 AM

Church interior photography
 
If the church is to close at the end of September will there be an increase in the number of visitors wanting to get a last look? If so, will some of these possibly be people who wish to say a quiet prayer as well.

I ask, because it may be considered intrusive having a photographer there at the same time as people want to have a quiet moment to themselves.

I am not against photography inside a church of whatever size, heaven knows I have done enough myself. However, because it was considered intrusive was why photography was banned for a number of years inside Durham Cathedral. Not on the same scale of course, but I am always careful.

Martin Aislabie 26th August 2021 10:55 AM

For B&W film choice I would suggest two films.
  • Ilford Delta 100
  • Fuji Acros

The simple reason for these two is reciprocity failure.

Reciprocity failure means you subject brightness range (SBR) will be increased even further.

So, in practical terms, your darker shadows get even darker compared to your highlights.

Ilford quote a reciprocity failure of 1.26 ~ so take your measured exposure and raise it to the power of 1.26 - ie x^y on your scientific part of your smart phone calculator - where x is your measured shutter speed and raised to the power 1.26 - and the resulting answer is your required new shutter speed.

Delta 100 also has a great for subjects with a very wide SBR (tonal range) - just be precise with your development times.

Fuji quote no no need for reciprocity adjustment until measured exposure times exceed 120 s.

As for colour film you can Google reciprocity failure compensation factors.

Good luck

Martin

ps - don't forget your shutter release cable :)

KevinAllan 26th August 2021 11:13 AM

I've shot church interiors using FP4+, HP5+, and TMax 100. TMax is great if you have really intricate details you want to capture. But overall my preference now is HP5+ because it handles high contrast scenes well. I've used it handheld at EI1600 and on a tripod at box speed. I've also shot church interiors with a pinhole camera and HP5+ which required 15minutes exposures. As long as there aren't many people around then your patience is the only limit.

Nat Polton 26th August 2021 05:42 PM

I have taken some excellent photographs of church interiors in the past with the simplest of equipment.

Just an Olympus XA11, Ilford FP4+, and using the self timer.

Camera perched on a stack of hymn books, self timer set and the automatic exposure left to take care of the exposure.
Very rare to find a poorly exposed shot with the Olympus XA11 that I had.

Sadly that was in the days before we had the Internet and readily available information on how to do the basic camera repairs yourself.
When it finally failed I could not find a way into the camera and it ended up in the bin.

#Cheers.

CambsIan 26th August 2021 09:13 PM

Hi All,

Wow, plenty of food for thought, thank you all.

I have now decided to go down the 35mm route as my lens options are far greater and I have several Minolta X300 bodies so can load different films in a couple bodies.

I had considered Acros, but I have never used it, so not sure about it, I guess I could get it developed and printed in a pro lab. Any colour I shoot will have to be printed by a pro lab anyway, so could just send the whole lot away.

I don't think that there will be many parishioners using the church as after speaking to a member of the church, it seems to be closing as it has an extremely small congregation, so small in fact that they no longer have a vicar, not even a circuit one, but obviously I would be respectful if there was anyone in prayer in the church.

Once again, thank you all very much for your replies and help.

Ian

skellum 30th August 2021 02:24 PM

Good luck Ian.

You've had more suggestions than there are choices on the menu at my local take-away. Hope we get to see the results.
Cheers!

CambsIan 6th September 2021 01:05 PM

OK, decision time, no longer have time to think about it as hoping to shoot next week.

As I said I've decided to go with 35mm and use a couple of bodies.

Going to go rogue with my film choice, going to use XP2 (please don't shout at me) going to use one body for shooting at box speed which I will use a pro lab (most likely Ag) to develop and use the other body also with XP2 but rated at 100 and process in HC-110 at home.

Thank you to you all for your replies and suggestions.

If I get anything out, I will let you all know how I get on.

Once again many thanks

Ian

Terry S 6th September 2021 01:30 PM

Looking forward to seeing the results Ian. :)

Terry S

skellum 6th September 2021 03:13 PM

Hi Ian.
Not shouting at you at all (as if!).
I used XP2 a few times years back and was quite impressed by it, but that was with commercial C41 processing. My understanding was that XP2 gives a beautiful, smooth tonal rendering which is at least partly down to the dye process masking grain structure.
If you're going to develop XP2 in ordinary B&W chemistry don't you lose that? Or, to put it another way, what does XP2 in HC110 give you that (for example) FP4 doesn't?

Still looking forward to seeing them!

John King 6th September 2021 03:28 PM

Xp2
 
I am with Skellum on this one. I cannot see the point in using XP2 film and developing it in ordinary chemicals. It is a C41 film which uses colour film technology to get B&W negatives.

This almost the same as the Photrio site where one sees regular posts about developing 'X' film in such and such a developer when it isn't recommended, then wonder why when the results are not what they expect.

Perhaps it is because I process C41 anyway for colour negs and I can use one developer to do many tasks.

MartyNL 6th September 2021 04:42 PM

I suppose you've already done your homework on this, so good luck, Ian.
https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...s.145287/print

Michael 6th September 2021 04:44 PM

I'm very happy with the XP2 Super negatives that I've processed in HC-110 or Ilfotec HC. They are printing extremely easily for me at the moment; and after several years of this they still look fine themselves. Ian, you have experience of this and shouldn't be put off standing by your choice.

Marty, your post beat mine to it. Your link is exactly what set me off on this practice.

CambsIan 6th September 2021 05:22 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I have developed XP2in HC-110 before and had pretty good results, HC-110 is my only developer and I use it for my Foma100, again not recommended, but works really well.

I can't find it now, but I was involved in thread on just this subject.

Marty, yep, like Michael that started me off.

I've gone for XP2 in the hope that the 400 speed combined with the little / no grain will work across the shoot.

The 100 is more in the way of a fun gamble.

Ian

Mike O'Pray 6th September 2021 08:40 PM

HC110 does seem to be the developer favoured by a number of people who use XP2 Plus. There was a very long thread on this combo on Photrio(it may even be the link referred to by Marty) and the person whose thread it was used a picture of an old railway clock I think.

It looked very good, assuming of course that what you see on any forum regarding pictures is truly representative of the actual darkroom print.

What I don't think I have ever seen is a comparison of two prints of scenes where all conditions are the same in which the grain of the prints from C41 was compared to that from the HC110 or indeed any other b&w developer.

Mike

John King 7th September 2021 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray (Post 141377)
HC110 does seem to be the developer favoured by a number of people who use XP2 Plus. There was a very long thread on this combo on Photrio(it may even be the link referred to by Marty) and the person whose thread it was used a picture of an old railway clock I think.
Mike

You may call me biased, but a lot of what appears on Photrio is I think not of practical experience but thought up after half a bottle of Bourbon whiskey!

They sometimes have some very 'odd' ideas!

Actually I may be going over to XP2 as my standard B&W because of the consistency of developing in C41 chemicals and cutting down what I need for doing conventional B&W and C41 colour. The film prices are not so great now either and bought in bulk rolls is not a problem when it is to be self loaded is not a huge problem.

CambsIan 7th September 2021 02:15 PM

Just been refreshing my memory about developing XP2 Super in HC-110 and although I understand this is not be a fully recognised way of doing things by Ilford they do have a page on their website about it

https://www.ilfordphoto.com/ilford-x...ite-chemistry/

So maybe not such a "left of field" thing to do.

Ian

PS have found the XP2 thread from 2018, was it really that long ago ? Doesn't time fly ?

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...ad.php?t=11978

Svend 8th September 2021 12:59 PM

Ian - thanks for bringing up XP2 in HC110....very interesting combination, which I hadn't heard of before. I just read the Ilford blog post, and really like what that fellow did with it. Esp. at iso 100 -- lovely tones. At iso 400 too -- nice gutsy tones, but not too contrasty.

I may try this as an alternative to TMX/TMY and D100 when I want a super-smooth low grain neg, as I have not been entirely happy with my results from those. I wonder what the enlargement capabilities of XP2 in 35mm at, say, iso 100 would be? Looks like it could be very promising.

Keep us posted on how your project turns out!

CambsIan 13th September 2021 09:15 PM

Total Disaster - Equipment failure
 
What a disaster today has turned out to be.

Had two X300 bodies loaded and prepped with new batteries and cleaned, only for a total equipment failure to stop me in my tracks.

First body managed 2 frames and second body managed 22 frames before they both died.

Reckon it's the curse of the X300's striking again. I think they are susceptible to a capacitor going in the base of the camera which stops them from winding on / cocking the shutter, making the whole body a pretty good door stop.

Who would believe that they could both die within about 5 minutes of each other.

Not sure what I'm going to do with the film, think I'm going to have to rewind it and then reload into a different body, wind and shoot with lens cap on past last used frame and finish them up from that point.

Hey ho, that's life, could do with trimming down my camera collection, so that's two gone.

Ian

MartyNL 14th September 2021 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CambsIan (Post 141439)
What a disaster today has turned out to be.

First body managed 2 frames and second body managed 22 frames before they both died.

Who would believe that they could both die within about 5 minutes of each other.
Ian

What bad-luck, Ian. What are the chances of that happening?
Fortunately, you have the opportunity to go back and have another go!

Which camera's will you be taking from your arsenal second time round?

Nat Polton 14th September 2021 12:37 PM

"Susceptible to a capacitor going...."

My brother used to repair vintage radios. He would test, and if necessary replace most of the capacitors in old wireless sets.
He told me, if they are not charged regularly they would lose their "shape."
The electrical performance goes to pot.
The same thing happens with flash guns.

It is a boring task but every few months I fit batteries to all of my cameras and flashguns, then try a few flashes or check out the metering systems etc.

It is a pain I know, but it's something to do on a rainy day when you cannot go out to play.

Cheers.

alexmuir 14th September 2021 04:01 PM

Failing capacitors are affecting a lot of older equipment. I have a good quality turntable that has problems with the speed control as a result of aging capacitors. The flash problem also comes down to capacitors. Apparently, they ‘dry out’.
Alex


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Sean Mac 14th September 2021 04:36 PM

Hi Ian, I'm sorry to read things didn't go well.

At one time I was very fond of the Kodak chromogenic film (CN400BW) but I've never tried XP2.

Sadly all electrolytic capacitors have a finite working life. I have replaced a great many of them on electronic control boards over the years.

I hope you get another chance to photograph the church.

:)

Terry S 14th September 2021 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nat Polton (Post 141444)
"Susceptible to a capacitor going...."

My brother used to repair vintage radios. He told me, if they are not charged regularly they would lose their "shape."

It is a boring task but every few months I fit batteries to all of my cameras and flashguns, then try a few flashes or check out the metering systems etc.

It is a pain I know, but it's something to do on a rainy day when you cannot go out to play.

Blimey! Learn something new each day.

It's been ages since some of my equipment have had the flash units used. As you say Nat, with more rainy days coming our way, I'll have to round everything up and do as you say.

Fingers heavily crossed this end!

Terry S

PS Sorry how it went a bit belly up Ian, but hopefully you have time to make another visit if you are inclined...?

Martin Aislabie 15th September 2021 11:18 AM

It has been a known phenomena that flash guns need to be used every few months to keep them operational.

This applies to flashes on cameras, flash guns and studio flash heads.

6 months used to be the rule of thumb.

Martin

Svend 15th September 2021 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MartyNL (Post 141443)
Which camera's will you be taking from your arsenal second time round?

Yes, we're all curious now :). A good old reliable full-manual all-mechanical brick has it's merits :cool:

But sorry to hear of that failed outing Ian. How frustrating. I hope the church was empty when all the expletives were being shouted.

Richard Gould 15th September 2021 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CambsIan (Post 141439)
What a disaster today has turned out to be.

Had two X300 bodies loaded and prepped with new batteries and cleaned, only for a total equipment failure to stop me in my tracks.

First body managed 2 frames and second body managed 22 frames before they both died.

Reckon it's the curse of the X300's striking again. I think they are susceptible to a capacitor going in the base of the camera which stops them from winding on / cocking the shutter, making the whole body a pretty good door stop.

Who would believe that they could both die within about 5 minutes of each other.

Not sure what I'm going to do with the film, think I'm going to have to rewind it and then reload into a different body, wind and shoot with lens cap on past last used frame and finish them up from that point.

Hey ho, that's life, could do with trimming down my camera collection, so that's two gone.

Ian

Sorry to hear about your camera problems Ian, it happens to the best of us. I would use a good old fashioned all manual camera next time, I have a couple of old Minolta srt101's that I love, and ideal forbthis type of job, built like a brick, no electronic's bar the meter, and I prefer my good old weston's with them, they will outlast any of my electronic cameras, better luck next time
Richard

CambsIan 21st September 2021 02:40 PM

Hi All, sorry for the late reply.

I'm not going to be able to get back before the church closes, so will have to try and salvage what I can from whatever I managed to get.

Have to agree that a non electronic / battery operated camera is the way to go, don't think as much as I loved my X range Minoltas I'll be buying any more.

Just need to find a MD fit camera that doesn't need a battery that I fancy.

Ian


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