Reciprocity failure

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jasonjoo, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hey folks,

    I'll be going to Yosemite for 3 days this winter (right before Christmas, during the full moon) and would like to do some of my shooting by moonlight. I have recently made the transition from digital to film, so reciprocity failure in film is a new concept to me. From what I gathered over at Wikipedia...

    Basically, film becomes less sensitive over longer exposure times and each film emulsion will have varying reciprocity correction factors.

    To help prepare for this in advance, what are some films that are well suited for long exposure, night time photography? While it's not guaranteed that the moon will be showing (cloud cover), if the skies ARE clear, then I should get a decent amount of light.

    Thanks,

    Jason

    (Oh, and if you have any shooting tips for Yosemite during the winter, that would be most appreciated too! Thanks!)
     
  2. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    When I don't need to take advantage of reciprocity I use Fuji Acros, since it is not subject to reciprocity failure. A year or so ago I was doing some full moon exposures, and was getting good results at f/11 for 8 minutes or so. If I would have had to account for reciprocity with that exposure time, it would have been hours.
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Best advice, don't stand under potential snow or ice falls from above. They can kill you.

    Drink plenty of liquids in the cold environment. Keep exposure to the cold to a minimum so you don't damage toes and fingers.

    Are you shooting color or B&W?
     
  5. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks Firephoto! Minutes to hours, that is a big difference indeed. I will get a roll or two, but are there similar films in color?

    Thanks for those links Lee. I should have done a search first and I apologize!

    And I appreciate your concern for safety Pinholemaster! I've never been exposed to the snow before (well, except for a ski trip once, but there was no real snow fall) so those are helpful tips. I'll try to bundle up as much as possible, but I do plan on walking around the valley for at least a couple of hours.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    just watch what's underfoot when you're moving, and overhead when you're not, and you'll be fine. :D
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    No big problem. It's hard to grasp the number of posts on APUG. It's nearing half a million posts (many on photography :smile: ) so a search is often rewarding and you may even get your answers more quickly.

    Lee
     
  8. Garry Madlung

    Garry Madlung Member

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    If you're shooting b&w you'll have more latitude. If you're shooting colour slide, you'll pull your hair out for a couple of years. Then it gets relatively predictable. Getting to know your materials without the review screen is the main part.

    btw, thanks for the link Lee.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    For color slide, the Fuji slide films have good reciprocity characteristics (Velvia, Provia 100F and 400F, Astia, and probably the others as well).

    For B&W, T-Max 100 has excellent reciprocity. For long exposures, it's actually faster than Tri-X.
     
  10. Nigel

    Nigel Member

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    I'll throw in my $0.02 (US or CDN, since they are trading just around par).

    You don't mention color or B&W, but I will assume color. I have been doing night photography for a few years now. The best film I have found is Provia 100F. It has excellent reciprocity characterisitics; I have never found a need to apply corrections. It is also relatively free of color shifts; all the other e-6 films I have tried have had color shifts. The shifts are predictable, and so can be corrected, but why bother if there is an alternative.

    Use a spot meter. Any ambient light readings, unless you are using a very sensitive meter, are going to tell you that you are in complete darkness. Meter for bright spots then then adjust your exposure to be several stops longer. Bracket your exposures; several will be useable, but you will find one you prefer. Typically for any scene I take at least three photos holding aperture constant in incresing exposure time.

    Take a flashlight. Being dark, it can be difficult to see things like aperture markings. Take a cell phone and let people know where you are going and when they should expect you back.
     
  11. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Quite a while ago a made a small reciprocity characteristics test with Kodak, Agfa and Fuji slide films. The Provia 100F proved even better than slow Tungsten films, who were supposed to react well in long exposure times...
     
  12. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Look for the book Night Photography by Andrew Sanderson. Published by Argentum ISBN 1 902538 12 9. Has all the information you could want.

    My Flickr night photography album.
     
  13. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    In general modern film designs have better reciprocity characteristics than do older designs. In practice they can be lots better. For color negative films, both Kodak's 160PortraXX film and Fujifilm's 160S/C have very good reciprocity characteristics. That is, they don't need much exposure compensation, nor do they color shift much. Certainly when compared to older films of the same type.

    For B&W, Fujifilm's Acros does very well, as does Kodak's 100Tmax. The 400Tmax also does very well. I'll agree with a previous poster; in low light conditions 100Tmax is actually a considerably faster film than 320Tri-X.
     
  14. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I didn't think it was possible to over-expose night shots, but I got results I didn't like with Fujifilm Presto 400 a few months back. In my Rolleiflex, f8 to f11 for about 20 ~ 30 seconds (1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, etc.)
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    You can overexpose night shots- depends on the look you're going for. The other issue with reciprocity is the need to compensate in the development for the highlight blowout. The relative brightness scale of things like streetlights compared to the ambient night means that the streetlamps will expose normally, while the rest of the scene will require additional exposure to yield acceptable density. So the highlights will be blown out. That's where overexposure comes in. So you need to cut development by 10-15% per stop of reciprocity compensation so your highlights stay in control. Less of an issue with color than black-and-white to some degree, as color neg film has even greater latitude, and although color balance will go out-of-whack, that's going to happen with night stuff anyway because of the mixed lighting (sodium vapor, incandescent, and fluorescent).
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    For bw under streetlights (sodium) I use HP5+, a high aperture of f16 - 22, expose for a count of 90, then I stand develop which stops the highlights blowing out because the developer exhausts on those parts of the negative.

    Example
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2007
  17. ZachInIsrael

    ZachInIsrael Member

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    Provia 400 and Kodak E-200 are the astrophotographer's films of choice these days. BOth work quite well. In sheet film try provia 100. I haven't shot any at night yet but from what I can tell it should work.