(Actually they’re both friends) It was Summer and dry and hot, definitely a memory I need in these cold months. My friends wanted some pics taken for their wedding, I was happy to oblige. There were all the standard pictures that are taken at weddings, though these are my personal favorites.
There were two other photographers so I didn’t have the pressure of getting all the needed shots, I could play around and have some fun. It gave me an opportunity to test out the re-released T-Max P3200, plus play around with a new point-and-shoot, one of the Olympus Stylus Epic line. I can’t complain about the camera (at least not too much), because it cost me $3 at the local Goodwill (the battery cost four times that), but I will anyway.
The Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 has all the failings of its ilk: autofocus that can sometimes be inaccurate, a pretty salient and distinctive light leak (or that might be a plus depending on one’s mentality), a flash that must be turned off every time one opens the camera, plus automation in film winding and shutter release that might make one lose a critical shot. But if you know anything about these cameras you already know all the downsides. For the price I paid I’d say the camera was worth it. It’s small enough that I can carry it in a pocket or around my neck everywhere I go, and for that purpose it does what it needs to. For off-the-cuff shots during a wedding it was a good compliment to an all-manual camera; the zoom lens–though slow–came in handy too.
As for T-Max P3200, the jury is still out for me, but this is only my first roll of the stuff and I’ll admit that I did the film no favors by shooting it in the Colorado sun. I mostly wanted to look at the grain structure and can see that it will not handle high-contrast scenes as well as Tri-X, but then it’s designed for low-light shooting. I actually pulled the two shots that show the film to its best advantage, and I don’t think they stand out too much from the Tri-X I also shot. I fully intend to use this film for shooting inside where it’s dark, so until that I have nothing to say about the film yet.
Nice to see some quality b&w 35mm wedding photos. Looks like it was a fun, quirky event too!
I’m surprised you didn’t feel that P3200 handled bright, contrasty light. How was it rated/processed? I like shooting at 3200 or 6400 in broad daylight and processing as I do everything else, in HC110b. Results are of course very contrasty and asphalt grain. While P3200 is more tonal and, I think, retains more highlight/shadow detail than Ilford Delta 3200, its dynamic range seems just as well-suited for high contrast. In fact, when shooting in low light, I seek contrasty albeit dim, light.
You know the film much better than I! I’ve only shot two rolls of it and the second roll isn’t developed yet, so I’m not an expert. I just think the grain was too much for my taste, with most people being backlit. Maybe I had too high expectations, but I think I would have preferred the look if it were shot on a cloudy day. I thought the extra stops would come in handy keeping my apertures small on my telephoto lens, but in the end I don’t think it was especially needed that day. Just because you say so though, I’ll give it another try! 🙂
As far as how it was processed, it was done at a lab so I don’t know exactly how it was done but my guess is D-76. I’m not in the position to develop my own film at the moment.
Well, if you aren’t a fan of big, excessive grain, then P3200 or Delta 3200 aren’t going to be go-to filmstocks for you! It can take a bit of work, that I frankly haven’t explored much, to calm the grain down on 3200 ISO films but it’s not their “native look.”
Delta 3200 in medium format or 35mm P3200 or Delta, developed in a grain-reducer like TMAX or Rodinal and scanned with grain redux filters or a lower unsharp mask may work out better for you.
But in most daytime/outdoor situations, even with a long lens, there’s hardly a technical need for anything faster than say, 800 ISO, for which there are numerous, finer grained options. In daylight, I only shoot 3200 if I want heavy grain and harsh contrast. When I’m looking for less grain, I expose Tri-X up to 1600 rather than try to make P3200 look less grainy.
If your P3200 negs are thin, scanning produces more appearance of grain too.
D-76 should keep the grain fairly much in control but there may be some spot correcting in the scanning that is emphasizing the grain for you.
Anyway, thanks for not giving up on it just yet but also, hey, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. We all have our own style. 😉
Oh I’m hardly giving up! I am still very much in love with Tri-X but I’m curious to see just what the 3200 can do. I think it will be more of a special occasion kind of film though. Really Johnny, it’s been your use of it that got me excited about using it.
P3200 is usually a special occasion film for most shooters so I think you’re on path there. And that’s very flattering, thank you!
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