Mono VS Coulur Spot metering

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Tom Stanworth, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    I shoot almost exclusively mono (5x4..8x10 soon) and have been happy metering for Zone 3 shadow detail and then dealing with the fall of highlights by expansion, contraction etc or pyro devs. How would you suggest that I use my spot meter effectively for colour. I had to do some colour in a rush and have 7 rolls 120 exposed but undeveloped......hmmm

    I ask, as If I have done something wrong I will dev one roll and then push pull the others accordingly. I would like to know peoples thoughts on sound colour spot metering first so I know what I should expect to see if that makes sense.

    Basically I looked for a midtone, metered that for zone 5. I then checked the fall of highlights and shadows to check shadows fell where I wanted (guestimated they should) and the same for highlghts. I then made the usual sacrifices by stopping down if the highlights looked like they were going to blow or opening up if the shadows were going to block....hardly scientific. As I cannot visualise colour values in the same way (used TTL when I used to do colour years ago), I hope I have not gone far wrong. Needless to say, I bracketed...a lot.

    Tom
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Tom,
    Which film did you use?
    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Helen,

    Velvia 50 rated at 50 and provia 100 at 100.

    Tom
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I have the same problem guessing what color is going to convert to a good Zone V gray. Depending on the scene, I usually use the meter in incident mode with color, and then check highlights and shadows with the spot mode like you did. If the SBR is out of range for fashion/commercial-style work, I'll try to augment the lighting to bring the ratios under control. Obviously, that's more difficult with scenics.

    You can tweek E-6 contrast a bit (not like B&W, of course), but with rollfilm, that's probably not practical. I think I'd specify normal processing with what you have, as your spot metering sounds reasonable.
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    You all need to get the viewing filter sold by calumet. It is the one piece of equipment I use the most. It lets you judge the tonalities and if they are going to blend in on B&W.
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    John Fielder has an excellent discussion on this subject in his book "Photographing the Landscape: The Art of Seeing". I shoot primarily color, Velvia, and I find that green will generally approximately meter as 18% grey, or I can meter off a medium tone rock. Frankly, I find that in a fast moving situation, I can get good results by using my Nikon N80 (with same film and filter) as a meter.
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Robert your getting me tempted to offload my F100 in favour of another F80 :smile:

    Tom as Robert says using grass or a medium toned rock make very good "grey cards". That's my prefered method and here in Devon we have lots of both if you ignore the red soil errrm clay.
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm not real familiar with the F100, but my favorite feature of the N80 is it's built in grid (electronic). I can't tell you how many trannies I have thrown away because of an off-balance horizon line; this feature helps me keep it straight. And the metering is also spot-on.
     
  9. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I had an F80 before I moved up to the F100 and loved it (the F80). The grid lines are a wonderful facility and to get the same on my F100 had to buy a new focusing screen. Kind of miss the old F80 still, well that and my Pentax LX but the eyes are needing auto-focus these days which the LX doesn't have.

    Sorry folks back to the main subject of metering :smile:
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Thinking about this a bit. Bracketing is a good idea, but you need to also realize that color work is much different than B&W; you don't have as much latitude in the film - and you really don't need it. You can get good results metering off a medium tone green (such as grass), a grey rock, or even an midday blue. It sounds like your metering technique was fine, your images will probably come out quite well. FWIW, I only do landscapes, primarily in color, and I've found that the most valuable filters for this work is a 1, 2, and 3 stop, soft-grad neutral density filter.