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I recently watched a video of Led Zeppelin in 1973 and it dawned on me that these were shot on film, and as a film photography hobbyist it dawned on me that the picture quality for handheld film at a low-light concert is pretty good, or at least significantly better than what I could accomplish with my 35mm SLR. How was it done? Was it shot at some insane aperture like f/1.0, did they use special film, or was the stage brighter than what I'm expecting?

Video in question:

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Multiple possibilities, many of them you have mentioned. I believe the most likely is that the person who filmed this used a "fast lens", meaning a lens that lets in lots of light. If you want to know more about the process of filming in low-light conditions on film, you can check out documentaries on Barry Lyndon by Kubrick.

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