Nikon F5 metering with slides / slide questions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by nikonF80, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    Hello,

    I currently only shoot negatives. I am planning on purchasing a nikon f5 in the near future and also would like to start shooting slides.

    From what I understand, proper exposure is very important with slides. The F5 is the only film camera with a color matrix meter. Assuming that the scene being photographed doesn't have a huge latitude between the shadows and highlights will the f5's meter be accurate enough to give a good exposure? I also plan on using slides in the snow. I know the color meter works very well with negatives in snow, can the same be said with slides?

    Instead of making another thread I figured i'd ask these other questions here:

    Any idea what a mint n80 is worth? I was thinking like $100.

    I plan on buying a box of E100VS as a general purpose saturated film. I heard it works well in the snow, does ok portraits (provia 400x will be a dedicated portrait film), and has a pretty large latitude. any comments on that? I want something that will give me the saturated benefits of slides, low grain, good latitude, and wont make people look bad.

    Thank you,
    Robert
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    What do you mean the F5 is the "only camera" with a (colour) matrix meter? Where did you get that idea from?
    Any of the big marques with matrix / evaluative / multi-pattern meters will delivery stirling results in skilled hands. So too, will a camera with centre-weighted metering or spot. The best results come from experience and a knowledge of the film you are using. Transparencies have a narrow latitude, or to put it another way, 0.6 stop over or under will be very noticeable, while in negative film you won't see any change because the latitude is quite large, around 3-4, sometimes 5 stops for many films. Under-exposed transparency film is not salvageable; over-exposed is not much better, but it is incombent for you to build up a knowledge of the baseline exposures that deliver the results you want. The mood of the scene must be carried through to the transparency and this sometimes isn't best when left solely to the camera's judgement. Don't allow the camera to dictate every exposure you poke it at.

    Snow scenes require judgement — snow scenes have wide open vistas, or narrow scenes with trees, bright sun and areas of shadow. Open scenes with no shadow usually pose no problems for multi-pattern meters, but you do need to ascertain how the meter responds by running tests. Contrasty light can cause a 'swing' of the exposure e.g. the meter practically becomes confused by extremes of contrast and may hedge toward underexposure. Rather than name the cameras that can do this, I instead speak from experience using several over many years. You might consider using spot metering to assess the exposure difference in difficult scenes. Keep notes of the process; notes are invaluable as learning tools over time.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The Nikon F5 isn't the only film camera with color matrix. The other is the F6 which has a newer and the same 1005 pixel matrix sensor. Many other film cameras have matrix or evaluative metering but not 1005 pixel sensor.
    Actually I have found that the F5 matrix meter worked better for slides than negative films. With negative film it tends to try to save the high light which causes underexposure as negative film can take quite a bit of over exposure. But with any metering system the user is very important.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Modern meters deliver very good results and you have the right idea about evaluating a scene for a wide brightness range.

    One of the biggest improvements I learned when shooting both digi & slides is dont try to shoot a scene that can't be handled by whatever recording media you happen to be using.

    Use creative solutions like cropping within your frame to exclude harsh bright areas or very deep shadow areas compared to the rest of your main subject.

    This approach isn't always possible and then you can resort to graduated neutral density filters if possible.
     
  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    My experience with owning an F5 (and indeed, a few other modern Nikon cameras) is that their metering is superb.

    The advice given about how to use your meter is very sound. But from a straightforward approach, you can count on an F5 meter.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    As the OP has his heart set on a F5 and seems to be a Nikon film enthusiast, could it be that he meant that the F5 was the only Nikon film camera with colour matrix metering?

    It may be that he never looked at the F6 because it is beyond his means. Asking what his mint F80n is worth tends to suggest that money may be tight.

    He has made 5 posts. I am sure we all want him to make more and hope that film remains his chosen medium.

    The nature of our collective response could be crucial as to how welcome he feels and how he feels about what help he can expect to receive in the future.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    If you want an F5 that will be a great camera. The slide question is sort of sideways related to that. The F5 meter will probably do at least as well as any camera with slides if your goal is to just point the camera at stuff and let the camera do the thinking. Of course that is what matrix metering does - tries analyze the scene like a photographer would (in ye olden days). It of course does not have the advantage of knowing exactly what the subject is, but I bet it will do a fine job. BTW, that is not really about the accuracy of the meter. Any modern meter should be accurate enough (the F80 has a great meter). This is more about the camera guessing what you are taking pictures of.

    It sounds like you want the F5 anyway and I'm sure you will love it, but with any camera an incident light meter can be a great tool and a great educator for difficult situations like that. It measures the light falling on the scene instead of the light reflecting off of it. One thing you start to realize quickly is that the light often isn't changing much, even though camera meter may be moving all over the place.

    Enjoy the upcoming new camera.
     
  8. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    delete
     
  9. MartinB

    MartinB Member

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    Robert,

    I have had an F5 for 10 years, and have used it extensively with slide film, in the mountains for winter photography. Here that means most of the year since snow in the Cdn Rockies starts in early Oct and lasts until June. I found that the F5 matrix meter is very reliable in these conditions and hardly ever 2nd guess it. For my style, I usually dial 0 compensation , sometimes + 1/3 EV compensation if snow dominates the scene and let the meter decide. It is rarely wrong.
    I agree with Chan about negative film - I usually give + 1 EV with negative film.
     
  10. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    '...proper exposure is very important with slides.' It sure is. The rule of thumb when shooting slides: expose for the highlights. A C-note sounds about right for a mint N80. Huuge difference in the handling/features/build between the N80 and F5...huge, likes apples and orangutans! Be sure you're comfy with schlepping around the size and weight of an F5 before committing. An N80 will not meter with manual focus lenses. An F100 closes the gap considerably and quite nicely. I've shot all three bodies and stayed w/ the F100.
     
  11. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    Wow thanks everyone for the quick responces.

    Yes I was refering to only 35mm and yes a f6 is out of budget. I am a 19 years old student, my dad gave me the n80 with a few nice lens and I have learned using film. Origanally I planned on getting a modern dSLR but I have fallen in love with the look and challenges of film photography, this is why I want a f5. Not to mention all my perfectly good lens would be cropped and not work at all on anything less than a D7000. I also don't shoot often enough to make the inital cost of the dSLR and lens worth it. Over the last year I feel like I have become very competent with color negatives and am looking to get into slides.


    Is the lattitude on the e100vs large enough for a slide beginner to get decent shots? Also I have a acer scanwit 35mm scanner. It makes a good image but i can never get the colors right with negatives. Provided that this scanner can scan slides decently, is color correction easier?

    Again thanks for the help. I plan on being here for as long as possible.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Sure.

    Getting them regularly though requires practice regardless of the meter type.

    Technical questions on scanning are off topic here at APUG.

    With regard to shooting and getting good color on the film, color correction filters for you camera lens will help, in fact for slide film I'd say it is imperative to learn and regularly use filters if you want good color.
     
  13. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Only understanding of exposure, spot metering and knowing a film's characteristics is the most accurate type of metering. Anything else and you are letting the program decide on what is proper exposure. This of course is not always bad as evaluative metering allowed folks who don't understand exposure control or film characteristics to be able to get good exposure.

    BTW, I have been going through a stack of 1957 and 1958 magazines and found something of interest. In 1957 there was no matrix metering - or for that matter even built-in meters, and yet photographers were able to properly expose slide film just fine. I knew that most all cameras then didn't have built-in metering but I didn't know that for 35mm, they only had slides and b&w film types to choose from as Kodacolor color negatives didn't become available until 1958.

    I am sure Nikon's - and others, super advance metering systems work very well for what it is designed for but it is not more accurate as no system can possibly read a photographer's mind on how he intends to expose a scene because some photographers may not know it themselves . . . :whistling:
     
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  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I don't think that is a valid statement .
    Filters will fundamentally change the result on film; e.g. a polariser, used excessively, will do what? If used in moderation, what else will it do? And what effect if used in shade? The traps are many and numerous.

    Understanding slide film and colour starts with the basics of exposing the film without filters in many different situations, especially contrasty light to understand latitude. Basics first. Remember the OP is moving from benign negative film to transparency. It's not a trick-free circus. As skills and knowledge progress, then introduce filters as required. I emphasised taking notes of each exposure to facilitate understanding.

    I noticed an earlier post re this: my experience using graduated ND filters on evaluative/multi-pattern meters especially is to avoid this trap with those particular meter types, or switch to CWA only.
     
  16. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I should've clarified about the ND grad filters.
    I wouldn't recommend using them with evaluative meters either.

    I was trying to impart the idea of getting to know your materials and what they can handle and introducing filtering judiciously (spot or incident metering) when brightness range exceeds your media.

    I usually am shooting people and if I had my way none of it would be posed so sometimes evaluative/matrix is the only way to go for ME.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    poisson-du-jour, color correction filters are what I was suggesting, not polarizers.

    The OP asked if it was easier to color correct slides. It is important that he understands that slides need that correction at the camera more than negatives do.

    I'm not saying that negatives don't need filters, I'm just saying if you don't get the slide right in the camera you have an even bigger problem.
     
  18. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    In terms of filters I currently only use a polarizer and a .6 ND filter (and of coarse a UV filter to protect my lens). I can see how others could be needed though; my normal method for correcting for bad lighting/ incorrect temperature is a slight overexposure to ensure all the color layers are exposed, anything else is fixed on the computer. Obviously overexposing is not possible with slides.

    I have alot to learn in terms of filtering. I will probably pick up a grey card and shoot unfiltered like you said to get an idea how the slides behave
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    nikonF80

    I hope you're not using all three filters at once!? I saw just that recently with a strictly geekish type carrying a monster Canon and three filters stacked on the end of an L-series lens (!). :confused:

    Anyways, slight over- and under-expose of transparency e.g. either through push or pull (post-exposure; this is essentially a compromise and not a universal fix for bad exposure decisions) or in-camera (exposure compensation or exposure indexing — iso 100 treated as e.g. iso 80 (+0.3) ) can work wonders in specific situations. This, like everything else, will come down to experience, and it's a wonderful teacher.
     
  20. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    Haha of coarse not.

    But yea in camera exposure compensation is how I usually make corrections.

    Lastly- from what I read the developer plays no role in the final outcome of the picture. Is this true? This is a big pro of slides for me as I can't get good consistant results locally with negatives
     
  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Not true. Slides will not solve that problem.

    All film is affected by the quality of the chemicals, agitation, temperature, time in the soup...
     
  22. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    Robert, Good to meet you.

    We have 2 F5s, and love them. They as solid as a tank and the metering is great. We use one for B/W and the other for slide film. I hate negative color film.

    My wife uses the slide camera much more than I. She loves backlit shots. The F5 does one hell of a job with that.

    We also live in Canada, so we get a lot of snow and every other weather condition you can imagine. We have used both of them in -30C to about +30C.

    Our local camera shot loaned me an F6 to see what I thought. Returned it in about a day or 2.

    Google Lightwisps and you will be able to see some of our work. They are all shot with an F5.

    Glad you enjoy film.

    Contact me anytime.

    Don
     
  23. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    That is true! Developing the slide film is similar to developing the negative film. It's a strict procedure and requires no operator judgment. Most labs if they do it right the negative or slide should come out fine. However, in the printing or scanning stage of the negative, operator judgment comes in and because the lab tech is not you and so often the result is not to your liking.
    If you print (in the darkroom using RA-4 process) or scan your own negative then there is no advantage in this respect by using slide film.
     
  24. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Standardization isn't the issue, the C-41 process that the OP can't get done well is just as standard.

    E6 has all the same problems of quality and operator mismanagement

    These processes are also still capable of adjustment, like push/pull.
     
  25. nikonF80

    nikonF80 Member

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    Don,

    The pictures look great. I'm just over the border in Buffalo, NY.
    I picked up a roll of elite chrome 100 just to try it out before I buy slides in bulk online. I'll post up some pics when I finish it. As many people recommended i'm using the spot meter get an idea of the scenes latitude. How many stops can a slide normally tolerate? My color negative of choice was Portra 160 which has an insanely wide latitude.


    I've never been to the local lab that does E6, but they look very professional. They process everything from 35mm to 8x10. Hopefully I'll have better results with them; $9 for 36 exposure processing doesn't seem too unreasonable either.
     
  26. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    My experience with Velvia is 1.5 to 2 stops max in diffuse illumination. In bright contrasty light it is closer to 1.3 stop. Note that I am speaking as a user of Velvia (100); I last used 100VS in 2004 experimentally and didn't take to the palette. A spot meter should be used over the scene, including mid-tones (the first reading), followed by low and high points, then averaged. The use of a spot meter is to determine individual luminances over specified parts of the scene; an incident will just provide an overall value of the scene with no critical analysis of highlight and shadow. One of the best cameras I've used for transparency film exposures was the Olympus OM4 (1984 to 1988 before switching to Canon T90). As I always teach, this should be more about the film and process of learning and experience through active use, not about cameras and what meters and features and following they have.