Exposing for good skin tones with color slide film?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by sterioma, May 16, 2005.

  1. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Hi,

    I just bought a roll of Fuji Astia 100 from my local camera shop: it was a good deal since it's expiring on 05/2005 and I want to give it a try to take a few portraits of my 2 months daughter.

    Usually with BW film I spot meter on the skin and open 1/2 stop (to put it into Zone V+1/2).

    I understand that slide film has a narrower latitude, so I wonder whether maybe some one can give me some tip on how to meter to get good skin tones.

    Thanks,
    Stefano
     
  2. jperkinson

    jperkinson Member

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    I guess it depends on the tone of the skin. One of my daughters has a very light complexion, and the other tans pretty dark in the summer. They're difficult to get right when I try to spot their skin.

    I shoot Provia a lot, and I just try to nail my greys (use grey card or sometimes I'll spot something middle like a sidewalk or other pavement), and watch my important highlights. I've rarely made a bad exposure if I just slow down and do just that.


    EDIT: Provia has a bit more contrast and punch over the Astia stuff IMO...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2005
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    With B&W for caucasian light to medium skin, I usually put the skin tone one stop over, but for Astia I would put it closer to a half stop or maybe 2/3 over middle gray.

    I think jperkinson is mis-speaking. Provia has more contrast and punch than Astia. Astia is a lower contrast slide film, nice for portraits. I like Provia more for landscapes.
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    You are going to get a lot of different ideas. Most folks underexpose their slide film by 1/2-1 stop anyway. The times I shot Astia I got good skin tones shooting it at it's rated speed and not opening up. I also never spot meter the person. I find my incident meter to be of much more use with slide film unless I want something specific.

    Astia is good for skin tones because of it's more natural tones.
     
  5. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Astia has enough latitude for you to spot meter the skin and open up a bit, as you do with B&W negative film. Astia actually has quite a bit of latitude (maybe 5.5 stops), esp. compared with something like Velvia.

    allan
     
  6. jperkinson

    jperkinson Member

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    Yep, switched the Provia and Astia. Provia sometimes seems nearly as saturated as Velvia to me, but I still use it for portraits if the light is right...
     
  7. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    While I might check ratios with a spot meter for portraits, I generally base exposure on an incident reading. Nails the true skin tonality every time.
     
  8. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Thank you everybody!

    Unfortunately I don't own an incident meter, I only use the meters of my two SRL (Nikon FG-20 (CW) and F100 (CW /Spot)). It seems that +0.5 should be a good compromise; I might bracket from there....

    Ok, need to complete the Fomapan 100 roll on the F100 and load the Astia :smile:
    I'll let you know!
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    Can't you change the meter ing on the cameras to an averaging meter?
     
  10. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Mark,

    FG-20 has average metering only (what I noted as CW - Center Weighted).
    F100 has Matrix (that I seldom use), Average and Spot.

    Any particular reason why I should use average instead of spot?

    Thanks,
    Stefano