I've never bracketed even with slide film. If you know how your camera and its metering behaves (or a hand held meter0 then getting the correct exposure is easy.
Becasue I've work extensively with Large Format since the mid 1980's I've found that I stopped shooting multiple shots of a subject when using miniarure formats like 120 or 35mm, LF teaches you discipline in the way you work.
For roll films incident metering will get you nice negs. Expose shadows or simulated shadows then you are there...
I rarely bracket my shots. Only when testing films, and thats usually at two stops over and under box speed to get a sense of current speed, and pull/push ability.
I also routinely use a polaris dual 5 spot meter, or use bodies with meters I have checked, trust, and have performed well over time such as my om4t's and f3hps, or by chance if I am using a later AF Body those are usually quite accurate too.
When I started out I did a lot of bracketing, but once I've learned the characteristics of the films I use I stopped. Knowing how your film and your meter (camera and off camera) behaves is more important than doing a lot of shots. I agree with Ian LF teaches discipline.
Previsualisation (I hate that term) is the way to go.
Oh my...there must be something wrong with me.
I bracket (generally for exposure) often.
Whats wrong with me?
When bracketing I usually do 3 - one the target, one either side. To me, its experimentation.
To those who bracket: how often do you go "damn I'm glad I bracketed" and use an alternative exposure?
And of those situations, how often can you not determine a way of modifying your metering process to arrive at the "better" exposure next time?
Almost never bracket, with slides or with other kind of film.
The only situations when I can take more than one exposure is with slides, the very tricky high brightness range where the bright part of the image, the one which is at risk of washing up, is also the part where you must catch the details, texture etc while at the same time maintaining a decent legibility of the shadows. In those cases I tend to bracket 0.5 EV closer than the normal one in order to be sure that the highlight detailed scene doesn't fall in a part of the slide film curve where the detail is compromised.
Imagine for instance a house with a white wall directly hit by the sun, the wall has a typical "row" finishing, you want to preserve the white of the wall but also its texture. That's tricky as the typical incident light reading will risk to place the white surface a bit too much up the film curve. On the other hand, besides the wall you have some subjects that should not be blocked too much (let's say a tree). A spot light meter would solve the problem easily: measure the white wall, open 2.5 EV or 2.66 EV and it should be dead right, preserving the wall texture while giving the most shadows that the film can record. An incident meter leaves the photographer, in this particular situation, on a shaky ground: following it blindly might compromise the wall texture, closing an arbitrary value requires an arbitrary estimation of the wall reflectivity, with the risk of closing too much, more than strictly necessary. The spot metering takes into account precisely the wall reflectivity and places it on the right spot of the film curve.
Using a spot meter is slow and boring though. I now find it easier to walk around with only the incident light meter and bracket only in those tricky circumstances. Spot metering is something that I tend to reserve for night pictures nowadays.
As far as multiple compositions of the same shots are concerned, I sometime indulge in the exercise, main variants being: horizontal / vertical, and with people / without people, when the subject lends itself to it (keeping in mind my main subject is architecture / urban landscape).
Originally Posted by j-dogg
Since film exposure and digital are two different types of exposures.
With film you expose more for the shadow to get shadow detail.
In digital you ETR (exposure to the right) much like slides where you expose for the highlights.
For me, in general, no bracketing exposures.
Black and white exposure is rarely an issue.
Scratches is another story. There I often wish for backup.
Color slide? Sometimes wished I did.
Sometimes bracketed, but then it didn't help.
Moral: You can't pay insurance "some of the time" and expect to be covered in an accident.
That's my position, too. BUT - there have been times using 35mm transparency and once or twice with MF, when the lighting is very complex, or changing rapidly, that I have bracketed. With the big cameras I do not bracket, ever.
Originally Posted by polyglot