Why would I shoot a live band with film? Why not?!?! I decided to go back to my roots and bring just a film camera and 35mm f/2 to see a friend's band. I loaded up the camera with a roll of Kodak Portra 400 mainly because it was what I had at the time, it's not super-grainy and knowing I'd be pushing the film, I would be adding some grain, but the Porta I figured would handle it well. I've got a number of film cameras, however I brought out the Nikon F100 and 35mm f/2. The F100 is pretty remarkable in that it handles very much like a modern DSLR. In fact, it's almost identical in dimension to a Nikon D700 and the layout is pretty much the same. It's got matrix metering and AF and I can mount just about any Nikon lens I own on there from my older AF-D lenses to my current AF-S G lenses.
The light in the venue was pretty poor. Like most smaller venues, they never seem to take the time to focus the lights on any of the individual bands. In fact, it often seems they set the lights the day they open and then forget them. However, despite that, I found that incorporating some of the stage lights into the frames really added some nice punch to the images.
I knew that my ISO 400 film wouldn't cut it being fast enough. I knew that shooting at f/2 would soften my images - especially those where the lighting was very harsh. I knew I had to shoot a fast enough shutter speed to try to stop motion, but too fast and my images would be too dark. I decided to push the film to ISO 1000 and shoot 1/160 sec at f/2. I'm pretty happy with the results. I didn't do much in the way of post - these negs were processed and scanned and I did some minor sharpening and that's about it.
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