estimating exposure

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by stradibarrius, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    When you do not have a meter what are some tricks to estimating exposure ?
    I know the the sunny 16 rule, are there some others?
    If not what do you do if your rangefinder does not have a meter and you don't want to carry your hand held meter all the time?
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Used to be within a stop. Back in the 60's my uncle & I used to guess the exposures for fun then check, he'd had to work that way before getting a meter, but we'd always be very close. 35+ years later I don't think I would be.

    That was the way photographers used to work, they had crib sheets for time of year, weather, latitude etc as well.

    Ian
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Doing a lot of guessing for general photography lately based on sunny 16 and accounting for contrast in b&w film. Been pretty close. And vc papers help too.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    There used to be a guide packed in with each roll of film. Now it usually is printed inside the box.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The rest of the sky is around 3 to 4 stops less bright. So the shadows would be around f8 or f5.6. Then it also follows that a cloud over the sun (cloudy-bright) would be also about the same (f8 to f5.6). For me it gets more difficult at light levels lower than that but remember with B&W negative films you have six stops of overexposure latitude so error on the 'more exposure' side.

    What I do is use the mental cheat-sheet for ISO 100 when exposing ISO 400 film. It spreads the exposure latitude more evenly to both the under-exposure and over-exposure sides (around 3 stops each way).
     
  7. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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  8. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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  9. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Ahh, that's the website it came from...
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Basically the physics of photons has not changed recently.

    :D

    Steve
     
  11. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Agreed. :smile:

    The best available exposition on the web:

    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

    BTW, some of the older rangefinders (e.g. by Voigtlander -e.g.the Vitomatic IIa- and Minolta -e.g. the Himatic 7s) actually have built in exposure value (e.v.) scales as part of their exposure arrangements, which makes the application of Fred Parker's technique simpler.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2009
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i sometimes sunny 11 ... but i usually wing it 1/15thS wide open.
    my results are usually pretty close.
     
  13. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    i thought eyeballing outdoor exposure would be hard. then i realized that the Kodachrome slides I was scanning from the 50's were taken on an Argus C3 (manual exposure) and the photographer was no professional. i gave it a shot and guess what? after a few rolls I had it down. No meter for me.
     
  14. Metroman

    Metroman Member

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    You might find this useful:

    The Exposure-Mat

    My 10 year old son used it all last summer with an old CL with no meter. It helped him start seeing light and estimating what settings he needed.
     
  15. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I have been having a lot of fun over the last few weeks trying out some folding roll film cameras with a couple of folding 35mm cameras thrown in. Not a rangefinder or lightmeter on any of them - pure photographer by 'wet finger in the wind method', and it has been loads of fun!

    [smug]
    What I have discovered is that I must be a pretty fair judge of distance, as most of my guesstimated focussing is usually ok.
    [/smug]

    With exposure, using the sunny 16 rule and common sense, I do fairly well, but with some errors. These are nearly always under-exposure. I suspect the reason is that your pupil dilates so you don't realise it's as dark as it is. It doesn't seem to work the other way around, very rarely do I over-expose. So that is the error, at least for me, to watch out for.

    Thing is, with a digital camera (I have moaned about them considerably on another thread :wink: ) the mega-techno multi sensory zone compensated whatsaname metering system seems to get constantly fooled by black cats in coal cellers and white ones in the snow... and ALWAYS, ALWAYS by backlighting. And lets face it, most people shot outdoors have a bright sky behind them. Focussing too, the damn thing is always autofocussing on the wrong thing. :mad:

    I find my success rate at getting a reasonably sharp, well exposed image by guesswork on a film camera averages out at about 80 to 90% I hope this will improve, now I've spotted my main error.. With the digital it is sometimes less than 50%.

    Obviously with the digital you know straight away and delete half the pics and start again... but, my point is that no automatic metering system can beat a bit of common sense and a BRAIN. Even an old pickled one like mine.

    Ah... I've just read the excellent Fred Parker article and he's said the same thing, only better... :rolleyes:
    :smile:
     
  16. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I've found the "Black Cat Exposure Guide" to be very helpful.
     
  17. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    $20.00 !!!! I made my own years ago for the cost of a little time using a word processor, a pair of scissors and some sticky backed plastic:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I think I saw that episode of Blue Peter!!

    (US readers are now confused).


    Steve.
     
  19. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I like your version :smile: Simple and good.
     
  20. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Wow good job Andy...I think I will copy that and put it to use myself! Last week I got a 120 folder and my RB67 needs this hightech computer too!!
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Andy,

    The one for $20 includes low light level photography including ice rinks; floodlit buildings and monuments; startrails; and moonlit scenes. For that price daylight and night time photography are covered. If one only wants to shoot in daylight use sunny 16.

    It says Day Night Exposure Calculator.

    Steve