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Olympus 35 RC Low Light Tips Required Please!

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Thomas Keidan, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    I've recently purchased a fully refurbished olympus 35 RC which is a great little camera. The only problems i'm having are with regards to low light. I don't want to buy an external flash as i prefer taking street photos at night where discretion is preferred! Anyone got any tips on what film is best to use etc. etc. I also prefer shooting in shutter priority mode but any tips on using fully manual would be great.

    I should also mention that this is my first ever film camera and i'm a total novice... so go easy on me! Thanks!
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Depends a lot on what you are after. The ISO ranges on film are limited compared to modern digital. Unless you are doing shop windows you are probably looking at long exposure times, so you'll need a tripod and release. I don't know how sensitive the meter is on that, you will probably have to do some modifications to the indicated exposure time but exactly what depends on the subject and amount of daylight left. If you go for very long exposures then you may need to increase the indicated time because film becomes less sensitive as light intensity falls. Fully manual just means you set the shutter speed yourself rather than setting the camera up to do it for you. The calculations are the same. If using auto exposure then the exposure compensation on a film camera is achieved by altering the film speed although there is usually a second scale to help you not forget what it is loaded with. You don't say what film you plan to use (colour neg or monochrome) but either way it will get very grainy above 400 ISO. I suppose you may be able to get ISO 1600 still. You can vary the speed of mono by changing the processing. Expect to have to do some trials and record in a notebook exactly what you do in terms of exposure, and describe the scene as well as how you did the metering. Don't rely on memory.
    peterba likes this.
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I think it only goes up to ISO 800, so if using HP5+, would grain be that much of a problem?

    The aperture is maximum f2.8, which means you will be shooting on 1/15th all the time, holding the camera steady will not be easy. Having said that, I have no idea how much light is available in cities at night, you may be able to use a faster shutter with luck. The 35RC will lock if there is not enough light.

    For ISO 400, you have a choice of Ilford, Foma, Kentmere, Rollei. The last three are possibly the cheapest and work perfectly well.

    This place is possibly the cheapest place I've found to buy film: https://www.theimagingwarehouse.com/Products/Film Reliable, too.

    Have a look at this site for information about the camera: http://www.kenrockwell.com/olympus/35rc.htm#spex

    May be an idea to try it out in daylight first to get used to the camera.

    How are you going to process the film? DIY or send it off?

    neilt3 and peterba like this.
  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Steve (and OP), if you're looking for lowest film prices, I'd suggest looking at 7dayshop. I've just done a couple of quick comparisons, and they seem to be cheaper overall. For example:-

    5-pack of 120 roll Portra 160 = 24.19 including delivery..... vs. .....28.50 plus delivery​

    I've used them for about eight years, and they've been quick and reliable. Most of their prices (but not all, so be alert to that) include delivery.
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  5. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    Well , there's two things you don't mention .
    1 , what sort of film you want to use , ie colour or black and white .

    2 , will you be developing the film yourself ?

    For low light night shooting I would have thought it would be B+W your interested in .

    The camera you have has some limitations , however shooting manually you should be O.K.

    With regards to the film , if your shooting black and white conventional film , ie Ilford HP5 ( ISO 400 , which can be pused to ISO 3200 if you develop it correctly and like how it comes out , but 3200 is a bit much for this film ) then you have to shoot the whole roll at the same ISO so the roll can be exposed and developed correctly .
    There's also films like Ilford Delta 3200 as well , http://www.firstcall-photographic.co.uk/ilford-delta-pro-135-36-iso-3200/p981 that you could try , although it seems like it's true speed is really ISO 1600 .

    Thats fine if all your shots want to be exposed as say ISO 800 .
    If some of the roll is to be used during the day that will give you some limitations on how your shots are taken , in that even at the cameras top shutter speed of 1/500th second your camera might need to use a small aperture giving you more depth of field than you require .
    Black and white film is easy to develop and the kit needed is available used of ebay very cheap . If you shoot at anything other than box speed , if your paying someone to develop it , they will charge extra . If you develop it yourself have a look on this website for a guide on developing times with all developers and films shot at differant ISO's and combinations ; https://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php?Film=Ilford+HP5&Developer=&mdc=Search&TempUnits=C

    If you used to auto ISO on your digital camera , and you want to shoot B+W , and you want to drop your film off at any local place that develops colour film (C41) , have a look at Ilford XP2 Super .

    It's a black and white film that is developed in normal C41 chemistry .
    So if your paying someone to develop your film , it's a lot cheaper .
    Unlike B+W film regardless of what you treat the ISO speed at , between ISO 50 - ISO 800 then development is the same .
    That means depending on the available light , some shot's during the day could be taken at ISO 100 , late afternoon at ISO 400 , and at night ISO 800 .
    It's the nearest thing to "Auto ISO" when your shooting film .

    The way you can use this film with your camera is that you would shoot manually , set the shutter speed to one that you can hold the camera steady ( assuming it's hand held ) , that will still stop the motion of the subject your shooting .
    ie , people walking at night 1/60th second and if people are stood still shoot at 1/30th second ( If your leaning against a wall or lampost for extra stability )
    Your lenses aperture will need to be about f/2.8 as thats the largest available on that camera .
    If it's a brightly lit area or earlier in the day use a shorter shutter speed and/or a smaller aperture if you require a grater depth of field .

    When there is enough light either allow the camera to work in shutter priority and lose control of DOF , or stick to shooting manually .
    On a bright day the film will be treated as ISO 50 , and the shots you take later in the evening , all the way up to ISO 800 . That's a heck of a range of shooting conditions on the same roll of film !

    If you not to familiar with estimating exposure , either use you digital camera as a lightmeter or download a free app for your smart phone .
    Take some readings of typical sceens at fixed shutter speed and apertures and just play around changing the ISO to see if the range between 50-800 covers you for what you want to do .
    This will give you the confidence then to shoot this type of film manually , without a meter , concentraiting on getting the shots you want and enjoying yourself , rather than worring if you've got the right exposure .

    Do you already have the user manual for your camera ?

    With regard to buying film and chemistry I tend to buy from the following firms .

    Hope this helps .

    Regards , Neil .
    peterba likes this.
  6. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

  7. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    Quite a few suggestions on this thread .
    How about an update ?
    How did you get on ?
  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

  9. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

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