Real life shutter speeds of 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Alexz, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    In my move to LF, I was just pointed by someone who gained cetain limited experience with 4x5, that due to regular working apertures being quite small (around f/22), usual shutter speeds for landscape and other outdoors work are usually slow (slower then 1/20 sec) which raises the issue of even slow motion not beign able to be frozen, even though the lenses usually go as fast as in MF, i.e. up to 1/500 sec.
    I.e. shootign landscape with foreground tree, and there is a slight breeze moving the leafs, it would be impossible to obtain totally sharp image (including leafs).

    From my MF experience, most useful apertures are f/9 - f/16 and obtaining shutter speeds in the range of 1/60-1/250 isn't something rare.

    Is this the real case with LF ? What are average shutter speeds in 4x5 for landscape/architecture work ?
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I usually find myself shooting at f16 to f22 at anything from 1/60 to several minutes, probably most often at 1/15 to 1/4. If action stopping is an issue (for example, leaves blowing in a wind), certain workers will use the technique of giving several shorter exposures instead of one long one (e.g. if 1 sec is needed, give this in steps of 1/8 sec. - probably about 12 would be needed as the equivalent of 1 continuous exposure of 1 sec.). Personally I don't find the blur disturbing but this technique does work if you feel the need (of course you need a really rigid camera and tripod!).

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    I would say that apertures wider than f22 are not used often for general landscape and architectural work. This means shutter speeds above 1/100s are used very seldom. I shoot Tmax100 at 64 and frequently have exposures between 1/4 and 1 second. For interiors, you can be anywhere - keep your reciprocity data on hand!
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The actual shutter speeds will obviously depend on the film used. I find that I sometimes expose at 1/30 second...more usually at 1/4 to 1/15 for outdoor subjects using TriX (EI 200). Those times would be one stop slower with Efke.

    Large format does have another aspect that is not available for medium format. Through the judicious use of camera movements you can adjust the plane of focus in ways that are not available with medium format. In medium format one would achieve depth of field by stopping down the lens. In large format, I use movements before I get involved with stopping down the lens.

    With 4X5 I try to never stop down beyond F32...more usually F8 to F16.
     
  5. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    I would say most of my work is in the f45 area @ 1/15 or longer. it's very common to shoot 1 second or more.

    Pete
     
  6. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you guys.
    Apaprently confirms the info I was shared by.
    David, I'm not sure I ot your point of multiple exposure:
    the leafs are consatntly in move, so each subsequent frame out of the multiple exp. sequence (on signle frame) catches different leaf position which creates blur.
    Am I wrong ?
     
  7. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Yes Donald, fully agree.
    However I used to shoot Velvia 50, so this issue amy become even more drastic...
    BTW, the movements is exactly the reason I'm getting sucked by LF :smile:, not by the original size (though 4x5 sounds great even comparative to 6x7 I used to).
    Frankly, wuold there be MF 6x7 system allowing movements that at least would come close to the abilities of field folders, I would be morethen happy with 6x7 format.
     
  8. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    You would make efforts to make your exposures when the leaves were as still as possible - they're more likely to stop for 1/8 sec. than a whole second. If you manage to make one or two exposures with the leaves still and the other exposures are blurred, the image will still look sharper than if you'd given just one long exposure. Of course the image in this case will not be strictly sharp, but it will be more defined and will not look quite as blurred out to nothing.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of mine are exposed between 20 seconds and 1/200. Sometimes I want small aperture and long exposures, at other times I want wide open and find typical fastest shutter times limiting. So I really, really like slow films... You can always use a longer exposure time, but when the fastest is 1/75 you have a problem with ISO 400 film at f:4.5!
     
  10. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks Ole.
    It seem I'm getting the point. Not that scary as I was suspecting...
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I don't know. I think it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish. The one major difference between LF and say, MF is that for LF, the focal length is generally going to be longer than that used on MF and, of course, longer focal length means less DOF. Perhaps, this is why so many LF landscape photos are done at relatively smaller aperatures.

    I prefer to shoot "people pictures" and so, have no aversion to more moderate apperatures - f/8 and f/11 are the norm. I occasionally even shoot wide open. In fact, the three LF photos posted in my gallery right now were done at just those aperatures...

    I think it just depends.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2005
  12. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    It does indeed depend, as you see there is quite a spread of working technique, particularly regarding film speed. Some people love slow films. I personally like Ilford HP5+ in 120 and all sheet film sizes, apart from anything else it gives you relatively short exposures in dim light, whereas slow film can end up needing an enormous exposure due to reciprocity law failure and then also pull development to compensate for the contrast rise. Conversely, fast film allows a higher speed in wind or other adverse conditions and allows some chance of a handheld exposure if necessary (I frequently use Speed Graphics out of doors).
    One point about the working aperture: View camera lenses are made to give best performance (sharpness and size of image circle) at about f16 to f22. Any aperture smaller than this will give more depth of field but almost certainly worse sharpness. As Donald Miller notes, effective depth of field can be increased through the use of camera movements - this means, for example, that it is possible with LF to use a telephoto lens and with quite a small amount of forward tilt to get deep focus (depth of field) from the front to the back of the picture. As Ole then says, the downside can be that a large-aperture telephoto lens will almost certainly be mounted in a large shutter, which may have limited shutter speeds - for example, I have a 500 mm f9 telephoto in a Copal 1 shutter (up to 1/400), and a 360 mm f5.5 telephoto in a Compound 3 shutter. which only goes up to 1/100.
     
  13. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    I shoot Velvia 50 at the ends of the day most often. My shutter speeds are usually 1/4s to 40s, mostly in the 1 to 5 seconds range.

    A little movement in an otherwise sharp shot adds some flavour to the image - don't fight it.

    Cheers,
     
  14. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I find a lot of times, I want the movement; it gives my images a sense of "life". More so, since I shoot near the ocean a lot.
     
  15. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    One of the tricks of the 'old timers' was to shoot multiple exposures of blowing grass.

    Since grass tends to come back to the same place, you can build up an adequate exposure by closing the shutter when the wind starts to blow....