Nikon F4S for slides??

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Paul Goutiere, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I have a Nikon F3Hp, and on the way a Nikon F4S. There are 5 rolls of Velvia 100 in the freezer.

    My latest whim is to shoot a series of images on slide film. My problem is I haven't shot much slide film since the days of Kodachrome and I'm a little out of touch. I like my images a bit on the saturated side.

    I'm sure if I bracketed and metered correctly I'd do pretty good with exposures but I'm wondering if their mightn't be someone out there with a suggestion or two. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I shot about a dozen rolls of Kodachrome last summer on my F4s...perfect. It's got a terrific metering system and if you use a bit of common sense (and maybe bracketing or specific meter reading) on the tough lighting scenarios you'll be fine.

    On the vast majority of situations I encountered, I shot either Aperture priority or else on manual after using the camera's meter suggestion. If you're asking if the F4s is a camera you can trust, the answer is 'yes'. BTW the matrix metering works on older manual focus lenses on the F4
     
  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Trust in the matrix meter. I even shot Kodachrome 64 with an Olympus Trip 35 point and shoot and it came out great. Meters are very good at what they do.
     
  4. rlandrigan

    rlandrigan Member

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    The F4 has one of the best, if not THE best, meters Nikon's ever put in a camera - slides would not be an issue. I can always tell neg sheets from my F4, as they're the only ones properly exposed on all frames:smile:
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Shoot your transparencies at the ISO film speed, at the exposure recommended by a hand-held incident light meter, using an accurate shutter and diaphragm, with knowledge of your lens' t stops, and your slides will be exposed perfectly (if normal exposure is what you want). Minus the t stops ('cause who the hell does that anyhow?), and you will be close enough. I don't care what kind of fancy in-camera meter the camera has. You will always get the more normal exposure going with what a hand held incident meter tells you what to do.
     
  6. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I've done this, in the past, with my Leica M stuff using my old Sekonic. I could get the exposures pretty much the way I like them, a tad saturated by underexposing 1/3 or 1/2 stop. This is the way I used to do it with transparency film. That was a while ago.

    Now I'm taking more pictures of distant subjects with medium and long telephotos so I'll need to depend on the matrix metering.
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Hi Paul, Velvia100 is well saturated for colour and is accurately rated at 100 ISO on all my light meters, and I find no reason to uprate it to improve the density, I hope you like it as much as I do, I love the colours, and the sharpness that this film produces.
     
  8. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    We use t-stops in motion picture.

    You wont always get a 'normal' exposure from an incident meter, just 'correct' exposure for 18% grey under the given light, which can be a problem if youre shading part of the dome from the measured light, or measuring the shade, or away from the light source etc.

    Incident meters blow hard for landscapes when you have to contend with the sky and other far away objects that put out a greater amount of light than the location you are shooting from.
     
  9. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    As rlandrigan said, my F4 also has recognizable neg sleeves because they are always correctly exposed. The meter is fantastic to use in all modes and is far less finicky than the semi-spot 80/20 meter of the F3. I use an F3 as well myself, and it's another of my favorite bodies, but the F4 undoubtedly has the better meter by a good margin.
     
  10. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    These posts have given me exactly what I want to hear.

    It would have been more sensible to have asked this before the purchase of the F4S but I saw the thing for a pretty good "buy it now" so I had to jump in.

    If I remember I'll give a update after I've shot a roll or two.
     
  11. mattk

    mattk Subscriber

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    I picked up an F4s before heading to Costa Rica last December as my N80 was on the fritz (still is) and not dependable. I shot about 4 rolls of Velvia and 6 rolls of Fuji NPH. Every image was metered correctly--every one. Just luck--I don't know. I will deal with the weight of the F4 is I can get consistent images.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "We use t-stops in motion picture."

    Yes. I know this. I was referring to still photography, as does the original question.

    "You wont always get a 'normal' exposure from an incident meter, just 'correct' exposure for 18% grey under the given light, which can be a problem if youre shading part of the dome from the measured light, or measuring the shade, or away from the light source etc."

    That is what I meant by a "normal" exposure...because that is what a "normal" exposure is.

    If you are using poor technique, as described, then of course the meter will give you a foul exposure. The solution? Don't use poor technique, unless you want poor results.

    "Incident meters blow hard for landscapes when you have to contend with the sky and other far away objects that put out a greater amount of light than the location you are shooting from."

    Again, knowledge of how to use your meter is key. There are certainly situations in which getting a proper meter reading with an incident meter might be impossible, due to geographic locations (though IME they are quite rare)...and there is also being competent and experienced enough to recognize these situations and to either not use an incident meter in them, or to take your incident meter's reading and extrapolate how much you should adjust it.

    On the other hand, an in-camera reflected meter must be adjusted for every single shot, unless every tone in the composition averages out to a mid tone, metering patterns considered. How often does this happen? IME, perhaps 2% of the time.

    There are uses for both. Both require adjustment from time to time...but with an in-camera reflected meter, that "time to time" is almost every time.
     
  13. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    My Nikon F4S did not arrive today, so I must wait for next week. (What ever happened to "instant gratification" I wonder.) But a friend has loaned me his
    F4S for a few days.

    I must say, on such a cursory inspection that this is indeed a substantial camera. (Almost as substantial as my F2, so I'm impressed ) It takes all my old AIS lenses and for this I am grateful to Nikon.
    I like the fact that the controls are easy to find and I don't have to search menus on LCD screens. The little "in focus" indicator at the top of the finder seems a redundancy at this point. I can't see using it too often. It takes a few more batteries than my unmotorized F2 and I certainly don't like this fact.

    The weight seems inconsequential, at this point. We'll see how it is after I pack the thing a few KMs.
     
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  15. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    My, new to me, Nikon F4S arrived this morning. There are a few bumps and scrapes and the LCD screen has a small bit of the dreaded "bleed" but for the most part it seems OK. I've loaded some Fujicolor Pro 160 C into it and managed to run off 24 frames. Tomorrow the rest.

    It seems very smooth compared to the F2 and the F3. Almost as if there were no mirror flapping around in it. Quite nice.
     
  16. Ihmemies

    Ihmemies Member

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    It's pity though that the finder is so much smaller than in F2/F3, also the focusing screens are only those pesky new laser matte screens, which have all kinds of problems. The only positive side of those screen is that they are brighter than the traditional screens with f5.6 zooms :smile:
     
  17. nsouto

    nsouto Subscriber

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    Get a MB-20 handle for it, transforming the body from a F4S into a F4 vanilla. Only 4 batteries, same ergonomics, a *lot* lighter. Together with an MF-23 databack for printing shot data between frames, you'll have a superb camera. I've got two setup that way and they are used almost all the time. Pick up the handle and the back from the online place, they show up occasionally for a good price nowadays.
     
  18. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I borrowed a MB-20 from a friend and installed it first thing. That MB-21 turns the camera into a bit of a AK47. As it is I burned up 24 or so frames.
    The next thing is to get my own MB-20, but I'll not be spending the 95 to 100 dollars they were asking for it on Ebay. I'll endure the weight.

    The data back interests me...perhaps later.
     
  19. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I like it with the vertical grip and shutter release. The weight makes it easier to handhold at lower shutter speeds. You can get different screens for it if you don't like the screen it comes with. I haven't bothered to change. The AA batteries last a very long time, so that's not an issue in my book. I rewind the film manually as well, to keep things quiet and conserve battery.

    I'm curious how the meter compares with the f5. I'm sorta interested in the f5 so I can properly use G lenses.
     
  20. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I had an F4 with both grips for a while, and I will caution you to make sure that you use very fresh batteries when you are running the MB-20 handle. In fact, I would only run it with lithiums, myself. The camera was dead realiable as long as it was getting enough voltage, and "enough" for the F4 is apparently more than for my other nikon cameras. I have a theory that Nikon stopped selling the F4 without the MB-21 battery pack because the 4-cell handle was causing them reliability problems.
     
  21. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Take a look on Ebay and get yourself a used MB-23 Multi-Control back, I highly recommend it. Just unclip the standard back door and clip this one on.
    As Nuno Souto says, it will do the date in between frames etc etc, but most importantly for shooting transparency it will BRACKET AUTOMATICALLY.
    From the instruction manual let me spell out its main functions:
    1/ Data Imprint Function (choose from many combinations of date/time/hour/frame/exposure in etc etc etc)
    2/ Auto Exposure Bracketing (Up to 19 continuous frames, each with a different exposure. Center value is selectable.)
    3/ Freeze Focus Function (shutter will fire automatically when a subject enters/moves into preset focus position)
    4/ Interval Timer Function (Lets you take specified number of shots at specified intervals for a something something something)
    5/ Exposure Delay Function (Lets you set remaining time before exposure and number of shots)
    6/ Long Time Exposure Function (Lets you set exposure duration up to 999 in hours minutes or seconds)
    7/ Daily Alarm, Film Alarm and Film Stop Functions
    8/ Shutter speed/aperture and frame count indication
    9/ Imprint Level Adjustment

    I also stand by the MB-20 grip to make it a short wheel base F4.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  22. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I really want to do a well exposed series of slides. I am secure in the theory that the F4 will do what I want, reasonably easily. The MF-23 is a very interesting device, but it is expensive even on Ebay. I'm seeing them averaging over $100.00. I really do need a MB-20 to cut down the weight. MB-20s seem to be running about the cost of a MF-23.

    Packing a M4-P with a 50mm a 35mm and a Sekonic meter (which I'm used to) is somewhat lighter than a F4 with the MB-21. Gotta cut back the weight.

    I tried the F4S already with a 300mm lens and was surprised at the lack of vibration. I'm not sure how this translates to what I've done as I don't have the negs back yet.
     
  23. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    There's a no-reserve MF-23 on Ebay now, item 290403481323. You gotta be in it to win it, you never know :wink:

    For the MB-20, do the same, keep your eyes peeled and you never know, you might just get a bargain, look look look. I did, and I got a bargain, here in Australia even, and it didn't take too long! First I found & got one at a reasonable price (not cheap, but OK), then shortly after a little old man in the suburbs was selling his F4 WITH the MB-20, got that for a relative song too because the body has a liiiiiiiiiiiittle crack in it. You have so much more choice in Nth America, can't believe you won't get one at an OK price soon enough. One will pop up - pounce on it! Now that I have one I'd never bother with an F4S again, it makes that much of a difference. It makes it.... hmm, well, comfortable.
     
  24. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Question:
    When shooting in Automatic with the Mirror Locked Up. Will it give the wrong exposure or will it use the last meter reading? I looked but I can't seem to find any info about this particular item.
     
  25. nsouto

    nsouto Subscriber

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    Yup, very much the same here. In fact, I got both MB-20s and MF-23s *before* I got the second F4 body! The price was so good I just pounced!
    As for the batteries: I use lithiums and/or rechargeable ones, no problems whatsoever. Of course: I rewind manually, as I like to leave the tip of the film out.

    I've heard somewhere it's possible to modify a F4 to leave the tip out but quite frankly, couldn't be bothered. One interesting thing I found out this way: the F4 counts the frames back when rewinding! Has anyone had any bad experiences with film registration on prior frames in multiple exposures?

    I used to do multiples by rewinding on a Nikon F, they are absolutely precise: one revolution of the little red dot is exactly one frame. Wonder if the F4 will do the same...
     
  26. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I got my MB-20. The F4S is now a F4. (from time to time)
    The camera is still not all that lightweight, but the big honking grip certainly gives a person something to hang onto.