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Archive 2013 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?
  
 
johnmBost
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p.1 #1 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


I agreed a year ago to shoot a friends sons weddng for free as they are Quite lmited on cash, having never done anything like this before I immediately got my friend that went to school for photography (in France) and had his own business doing weddings, portraits etc. but ran away from photography once digital was clearly here to stay (roughly 12 years ago ). so he has no knowledge of the advancements of lighting control since then. I also have noknowledge past or present but am a fast learner and have 6 weeks to play till wedding.
He still has many of his large format cameas (hasselblad I think) and lenses as well as his his old canon film bodies and glass, so I am positive he had what the pros would use for lighting back then as well as remote triggers from that era. I can fnd out the specific models if it may be useable, but didnt want to get ahead of myself before checking here, I would not mind throwing $500 to $1000 into this as it is for 2 great kids.
What I have for gear is a 5d mII 24-70 f2.8 L , 70-200 F2.8 L is usm , Wireless remote trigger for shutter, 580 EXII flash, 50d, ef-s 17-55 f2.8, 52gb of cf cards. I have started him down the path to dgital by selling him my old sony f-828 and now he is wanting to buy my 50d and 17-55 should I sell them, so the lighting will definately get future use by at least me if not both of us lol. So should I figure out what he has or is it pretty much more work than it is worth and would be uncontrollable by cameras anyway, so just rent modern lighting from somewhere for the weekend?



May 07, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Allynb
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p.1 #2 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


The thing that pops up for me, is the older film stuff probably wouldn't have ETTL in it. But flash is flash. There isn't any difference in the light except for output variations due to age. A 580 II and a 50D is a nice combo to start. Since you have the 5DII, I would sell him the 50 D outfit.

Hope this helps you
Allan



May 07, 2013 at 04:53 PM
johnmBost
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p.1 #3 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Thanks Allen, just bought the 5dII used but am enjoying figuring it out so far, Didn't know if there was some magic box that could vary the voltage and time to the older lights based off what the flash decided and communicated to it, I suppose there wouldn't be a huge market for it nowadays, hence no demand, thanks for taking the time to answer I appreciate it.


May 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
tedwca
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p.1 #4 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Since he had medium format gear(not large format if Hasselblad) he would have used manual flash that would work exactly the same now as it did then with the exception the cameras are using focal plane shutters instead of leaf shutters so maximum sync is slower, i.e. 1/250 instead of 1/500. One thing to be careful of is the sync voltage of the older flashes. If they are connected to most digital cameras via the PC sync they may have to much voltage. Use radio or infrared triggers instead of wired connections.

We could give better advice if we know the make and models of the lighting he has.



May 08, 2013 at 02:56 AM
johnmBost
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p.1 #5 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


I will find out from him tonight and post, he had both medium and large formats, he literally has about ten hardcases of various gear, the fault lies with me, while I am somewhat tech savy, I have absolutely no knowledge of film era equipment nor how to effectively use it lol, I only got hooked on this hobby 8 years ago so I only have digital in my limited knowledge, I appreciate the help,


May 08, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Sid Ceaser
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p.1 #6 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Just remember: light is light. It doesn't matter if it's the sun, a bonfire, torch lights, an old Norman pack, an Alien Bee, a Profoto or a speedlight - it all emits light. You just need to know what you want to do with it and how you want to place it to get the effect you want.

Tech may have changed over the years, but sculpting with light hasn't - its still the same fundamental principle.

And with a 5DmkII - you don't really have to even worry about external flashes - that sucker is great at high ISOs.

Cheers,
Sid



May 10, 2013 at 01:36 AM
 

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dmacmillan
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p.1 #7 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Hasselblads are medium format. 4x5 is large format. Be careful. You'll have to do some research. Some of the older flashes like the Vivitars had very high trigger voltages (200 v+). This voltages will fry your 5D or any digital camera, which are designed to work with trigger voltages of 6v. You can use your 580 to trigger them if they have optical triggers.

I suggest you keep it simple and be familiar with everything you take. You can get in over your head quickly. You won't have nearly as much time to fart with gear as you think.

Good luck. If you've never done anything like this before, you're going to need it.



Apr 26, 2014 at 09:01 PM
markbrown
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p.1 #8 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


I have used the hassleblad 503cw cameras for 12 years and used manual focus, manual flash and manual advance to the next frame ; no auto nothing. I can assist if questions come up. Currently using D3s, 5DM3,5DM2 and D800; so can contribute from both sides; film n digital. I do miss the portrait film for awesome creamy skin tones (canon comes close and so does post processing software)


May 01, 2014 at 02:42 AM
Paul_K
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p.1 #9 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


I was a bit surprised with your original posting as it seems to suggest that with the appearance of new equipment the old suddenly has become not only obsolete, but even no longer usable.

With the constant evolution and upgrades of (digital) camera's, the previous models maybe become overtaken technically, but if used in the right hands both camera's and lighting equipment still can produce excellent results

Looking back (only) twelve years, flash units were mainly not TTL (and at that time Canon had a bad reputation in that regard) triggers were dumb (no TTL) high ISO on film was maybe ISO 400 (apart from specialized types like eg the 3M 640T and Kodak TMZ 3200) while digital was not much better (even on the 5D classic only ISO 1600 was realistic, while higher ISO at that time required noise reduction software for the best results)

If anything, with the rapid advance of technology and the options offered without people even realising the incredible advance ( I remember when shooting Tri-X atd ISO 1600 was a challenge, and the standard ISO 6400 in many of nowadays DSLR's was not even thought about or dreamt of), many modern 'photographers' seem to forget or ignore that they at least have to learn some tricks of the trade to be able to get the picture rather then expect their equipment to solve all problems (despite what the manufacturers may seem to suggest).

When I eg look at your list of equipment, it strikes me you appear not to have, especially after selling your 50D, a back up body, nor backk up flash unit, and not light sensitive primes like eg a 1.4/50mm, 2.0/28mm or 1.4/85mm. (while I don't see any use for a remote trigger for the camera).

The first thing absolutely vital for shooting a wedding is back up, equipment always breaks down ( or due to nerves appear to break down) at those kind of occasions, and back up will buy a lot of peace of mind (and in case of the worst case scenario a big sigh of relief afterwards)

Although your zooms might seem able to do the job, if light is low and you're, either by instruction of e.g. the priest in the church, or you don't want to kill the mood of the moment by using flash, f2.8 might proof to be too limiting (yes the 5DII can use high ISO, but how's the AF under low light withh a relatively slower lens?)

Sure, back in the days before wide aperture light sensitive lenses became more widely availible ( and affordable) flash would be used, but rather for lack of alternatives then to improve the pictures (I have shot weddings with a.o. a 500CM and 4/150 Sonnar, and Nikon 4.5/80-200 manual lens, and bless todays eg D800 and 2.8/70.200)

So what I want to say is that film era lighting is still a very viable option, but that you should also start thinking about the options modern equipment offers, and how to use it

E.g. for the formal shots you might easily shoot with a Hassy and elaborate lighting setup, but for the wedding ceremony, reception and other PJ like stuff you will most likely not have any time and opportunity to prepare such a set, let alone shoot extensively in it.

So rather the focussing on whether film era lighting equipment will work with ' modern' DSLR's I would concentrate on how you want to shoot the pictures, find out that technique and then wonder about the equipment (possible hire some additional stuff). And of course you can still combine it with film era lighting equipment (in so far you want tu use it, althoug I question the wisdom of using it as the only mainlight rather then eg shooting with a more balanced availible light and lighting equipment mix).



May 03, 2014 at 10:24 PM
markd61
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p.1 #10 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


The biggest challenge here is not the gear but the inexperience with weddings. If your friend has been out of the game he may be as inept as you at approaching this job.
Make sure you attend the rehearsal and get as clear a picture of the timeline as possible.
Consult with the B&G and their parents as to what they want or would like in their photos.

Look at as many good wedding websites as possible. Don't get distracted by the gear. Most of the photography will be determined in advance and by your placement and timing. Do not get distracted by the "fashion" shots you see on many sites. This is "bride-bait". The most treasured images will be the formals that have been done since the invention of photography. Make sure you can manage the formals and the posing necessary with dispatch as you will be pressed for time.
Do as many "grip and grins" as possible. Always be watching for images and the shot list of must-have images.

Afterwards take Ibuprofen and swear never to do this again. Or take the vows and join the fellowship of poverty stricken photographers.



May 04, 2014 at 05:32 PM
tedwca
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p.1 #11 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Well, the original post is a year old, so I'm sure the wedding is over now and the gear either worked or it didn't. ;-)



May 04, 2014 at 08:25 PM
markd61
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p.1 #12 · Film era Lighting verse todays technology, is it useable?


Yes Ted you are right.

I have to resist the urge to respond to posts more than three down on the list.



May 05, 2014 at 01:18 AM





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