Question on your method of shooting LF.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kjsphoto, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Do you take just one shot per side of your 4x5 holder or take the same shot a secong time for insurance. I have been doing the same shot per holder just for insurance. Just was wondering what others do?

    Kev
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Neg film...
    When shooting for a purpose (as in being paid) I shoot the same shot on both sides and develope them separately. I learned this from a pro and it has saved his butt and mine many times. When shooting an extra shot or for pleasure I may use the 'extra' for bracketing or a slightly different angle.

    Tranies..
    This is a whole different story. After taking a polaroids and being fairly confident of my exposure I will take at least 3 sets of two. One set on the the polaroid time, a set a 1/3 - 1/2 stop below and a set a 1/3 - 1/2 above. Sometimes I will bracket in only one direction (over or generally under) if my faith in the polaroid is suspect or experience tells me the shot may require it.

    For me tranies can get expensive.
    Besides avoiding risk from development failure the multiple exposures at the same settings allows you the hope of having a neg without a hair or dust in a critical area.
     
  3. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    THanks for the response. I started doign this after I screed myself as I loaded the wrong film in the holder. Luckily that day I took 2 shots and I was able to pull the neg out after I saw the frist one. Looks like I will continue down this road.

    Thanks again,

    Kev
     
  4. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I shoot one sheet per scene...NOW. When I made the switch to Efke and Pyrocat I would shoot two shots even four shots per scene in order to get a handle on the correct exposure-development time combination for printing on AZO paper. This lasted about 6 months. It is of course the safer path to double up or bracket. But if you take a lot of shots, esepcially with 8x10 or bigger, then it is wise to try and conserve film as I believe that the probability in finding a keeper when exposing 50 scenes per box is higher than when exposing 25 scenes per box.
     
  5. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I, like Francesco, take one shot per scene. I have doubled up when testing film, but tire of that quickly as it is a waste of film IMO. I have screwed up shots before and wished I had a backup, but not enough to warrant the waste of film & money.
     
  6. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I almost always take two exposures per scene with 4x5 and 8x10. I develop one sheet of the scene with sheets requiring similar development. Then if I feel I could improve the neg by altering developing time I have that option. otherwise I just have one in case the other gets scratched or damaged.

    In 11x14 I try to make only one exposure if only because of the price of film. But if the scene is questionable I may make two different exposures.
     
  7. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    Kevin,

    I usually only shoot a second negative of the set up if something might have moved in the first shot. Meaning the wind is blowing a branch or something like that.

    I do shoot two exposures if I'm testing a new film. I'll load one type of film on one side of the holder and the new film on the second and shoot both sides of the same camera setup.

    If I'm shooting people, I do use the same set up for a number of shots. But with photographing people with LF, each exposure is a different moment in time, and the people are never exactly the same, not like like a building or landscape would be.
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I always shoot two. Trying to save money on film is false economy in my opinion. For money shoots I do what Mr.Callow does and develop them seperately, just in case.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It depends.

    With B&W I'll take a second shot if I'm unsure how much contrast I'll want in the final version, but this is pretty rare. With color transparencies I'll sometimes bracket 1/3 stop (usually down), because small adjustments can make a big difference in tonality. With portraits and moving subjects I'll always do several, because there are more things that are hard to predict--eyes closed, excessive subject movement, something out of place, etc.

    Recently I was shooting some improv comedy on stage--low light at about 1/15 sec, f:4.5, handheld with the Linhof, rangefinder focusing, and Grafmatics. I just treated it like bird photography--lots of extras, since many shots will be screwed up by inaccurate focus, camera movement, and subject movement. Looking at the negs, I found that my focus was usually accurate and the camera was pretty steady at that speed, but subject movement was the biggest issue, sometimes detracting and sometimes adding interest. One keeper is worth ten throwaways in that situation.
     
  10. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I am still basically in a "test" type mode, learning to meter and expose with confidence in a variety of situations.

    So for now, I am exposing 4 or more sheets per scene, varying exposure, DOF, ect... to try and learn to visualize with my materials.

    As I get better, I hope to eliminate "bracketing", and simply expose the scene with confidence.

    However, I will still always do 2 shots for the possibility of dust, scratch, subject movement, etc as others have stated. Plus it's just convienient because of the double holders. To me the overwhelming majority of time is spent setting up and composing/focussing a scene, it only takes another second (or in my case, usually 5-30 seconds!) to expose the other side of the holder.

    Matt

    Matt
     
  11. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Hi Matt, what I like to do, if I can, is to scan my surroundings so that wherever I set up there is a second scene waiting around me, either by moving the whole tripod a bit or simply panning left or right. I agree about set up versus exposing the second sheet - a pain I know. But there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that all you need is one (plus money savings too of course), ceteris paribus naturally. So look around before setting up, try and find TWO shots to make. Helps ease the back pain.
     
  12. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Being new to LF, I expose around 3-4 negatives per scene. Although, I vary the exposures, so strictly speaking they are not identical. I hope that soon I will get confident enough to bring it down to 2.
     
  13. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I shoot two of each setup. I'm relatively confident of my exposures, so I develop one shot in a Jobo at my best guess for development time. I use the second shot to alter development time as required if my initial estimate is wrong. If my development time is correct for the first shot, I develop the second identically and then check for dustspots, etc. to determine which I'll print. I agree that, at least for black and white, film is a relatively minor expense.

    David, enjoyed your post about your shooting available light stage shots with your technica, I suppose you shoot landscapes with a Leica and an f1 Noctilux? :smile:
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The best camera is the one in your hand (my sister is the sharp one in the attached photo).
     

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  16. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    Well, it depends. With chromes, I almost always bracket. With B&W it just depends on my perception of the contrast. Often I will shoot both sides and change the developing (e.g. N and N-1). With chromes it is not unusual for me to play with filters though. Sometimes I'll shoot a scene with and without a filter. If I do this I usully don't bracket. However, if it is a scene that I can't replace (trip of a lifetime) then I will shoot as many as I need to ensure a successful image. This adds up to a lot of film though. I'm getting ready to go to the tetons and glacier NP for 17 days. I'm taking 700 sheets of transparency film and another 200 sheets of B&W. The Jobo will get a workout when I get home!
     
  17. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I usually shoot two, sometimes varying exposure slightly. It's just the way I like to work.
    gene
     
  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Dr Phil
    7 or 8 years ago I took 3 weeks off in July and August and did both Glacier and the Tetons -- It was great! If you find the pole bridge bar on the edge of Glacier have a pint for me!

    jdc
     
  19. Mateo

    Mateo Subscriber

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    I only shoot one shot per scene. When I first started out I decided that if the mistakes didn't hurt, I wouldn't learn from them. When I did my first commercial shoot the marketing director was a bit alarmed by this but I got a year's worth of steady work because I nailed every shot. Boy am I cocky, no I just want to show a different way of looking at it.
     
  20. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    My thing is that I feel comfortable to just shoot one and move but I had a few times where there was dust in one and if I didnt have the second neg I woudl have lost the shot. I guess if I was shooing 8x10 just do one and move on but 4x5 isnt very expensive so I just shoot a dupe. Maybe I am wrong for doing it like that. Heck I dont know but for now I guess I will do the dupe thing until I can feel better about no dust when loading the holders.

    Thank you all again,

    Kev
     
  21. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    Kevin,

    I'm not a negative kind of guy (I like the sound of that) and use a method passed along years ago by Pat Ohara. You may not even be able to get the film you use in a Readyload or Quikload sleeve, but for what it is worth, this is how I go about it.

    Using QuickLoad film, make three exposures at the same settings. Each of the three film sleeves is marked the same way, to indicate exposure, filtering, compostion. On a day where I create twelve unique images, that means 36 exposures.

    When I get home I log the exposures in the order that I took them, numbering each in sequence. (Some folks number and letter such as #121-A, #121-B, #121-C but I've found just sequential numbering works just as well). Then I take one from each set of three frames (say frame A) to the lab to be processed normally.

    Since some compositions are only slight variations on a theme, the lab needs to "twin check" the film with a pair of identical numbers (one on the film, one on the sleeve) in order to keep the film organized. That means in addition to my film, I get my sleeves back so I can match my notes to a particular image.

    I then evaluate the exposed film. If it is off, I make an adjustment to the processing instructions for that image and send in the second (frame B) of the set. And so on.

    If I get it right the first time, I have three well-exposed duplicate images. If I miss on the first frame, I have two more chances to get it right.

    This is one of the real advantages to using single pieces of film, vs. a roll, and the reason I typically use the Quikloads (which are heavier) instead of loading my own film.

    Seems to me someone had a thread on here recently that compared the weight of Quikloads to Graphmatic backs if you are wondering about weight.

    Cost-wise, Quikloads are pricey, but what is your time worth? Certainly, the dust factor should improve with Quikloads.

    Hope this helps.


    --Keith S. Walklet, 2004-06-08 17:51:26
     
  22. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    I tend to do the same, and for the same reasons. But i've learnt that contrast control is pretty important for a lot of the situations that I like to photograph. So starting to bracket for that. But on the whole, one situation/one shot (due to impatience to learn not confidence in my abilities).
     
  23. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Absolutely! I would need Bill Gates's fortune to be able to bracket 3 or 4 shots with the 12x20!.....one negative, one shot....:smile:
     
  24. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Shooting 4x5 as I do, I really don't worry about the cost of film. It works out to just under $1 Cdn a sheet, plus a little bit more to develop. What I do worry about is the light, and if the light is interesting enough, and changing rapidly enough, I'll most definitely make multiple negatives. In some cases, a *lot* of negatives.

    Of course, as the format size goes up, so does cost - substantially.

    But still, I'm in this art to, well, make art. I'm definitely not in it to watch pennies. :D
     
  25. matthew

    matthew Member

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    At about $.40 a shot for JandC 4x5, I take at least 2 shots and develop one at a time so that I may tweak the development. I am considering going to 3 shots so that I will have at least 2 negatives exposed and developed just the way I want them. A lot easier to dupe them in the camera at the time of the shot.


     
  26. Robert Jaques

    Robert Jaques Member

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    Shooting 4x5 colour slide I shoot one sheet per scene. If the lighting is a bit tricky I will shoot one more sheet either under or over my calculated exposure depending on the situation. It can be very satisfying seeing a perfectly exposed transperency on the light table and knowing you got it right in one shot. I find it too expensive to bracket exposures on a regular basis.