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  1. #1
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Highlight detail...

    To date, my color film experience is basically none. I have been very hesitant to use it for a few different reasons, but I have shot a few (3 to be exact) rolls of Porta 400 with my Hasselblad. Those rolls are still in my camera bag as I have yet to send them to the The Darkroom for processing.

    I've been watching all three episodes of the show that Mainecoonmaniac posted in this thread:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum47/1...love-film.html

    In episode 2, where they are going on a 'light walk', Ryan mentions that you "cannot loose highlight detail with color negative film." He goes on to mention that you should err on the side of OVER exposure with color negative film, instead of under exposing. He also mentions that if he meters at say f4 1/2000th, he is going to shoot it at 1/1000th for that one stop over exposure.

    While I find his methods quite intriguing, the one thing that I can't wrap my mind around is the highlight detail bit.

    Can you truly NOT loose highlight detail with color negative film???

  2. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Yes of course you can lose highlight detail with colour negative film. It does have more range than transparancy film.
    Many workers overexpose colour negative film but I have always found that around box speed is best.

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    Color neg has a ridiculous amount of latitude and highlights never really go "paper white". Ryan shoots the same way I do when i'm shooting CN, half box speed, expose for the shadows, let the film compress the highlights. Looks incredible.

    With color neg, when you overexpose you open up your shadows, get better range in the contast, have finer grain (at least when scanning), and fuller color.

  4. #4

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    It is possible to blow highlights on say Portra 400, but you need to over expose by many stops. I've over exposed it by probably 5 stops, still looks fine. I saw an article which showed Portra 400 shot at 3200 ISO, and ISO 25, both were usable shots.

    I shoot box speed, but often knowingly over expose if I want a wide aperture, and my camera does not have a fast enough shutter speed to match. It has incredible tolerance compared to slide film.

  5. #5
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F/1.4 View Post
    the same way I do when i'm shooting CN, half box speed, expose for the shadows, let the film compress the highlights. Looks incredible.


    So what you're saying is that if I am shooting Porta 400 in my Hassy, I should set my light meter to ISO200? If I wanted to use that technique of course....

  6. #6
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    No


    With all due respect, a one word answer without an explanation isn't really helpful.


    If box speed is 400, and I meter it at ISO200, wouldn't I get a longer shutter speed thus raising the exposure by at least a stop?

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    I don't see any underlying methodic proof that "[...] if he meters at say f4 1/2000th, he is going to shoot it at 1/1000th for that one stop over exposure."
    You can lose highlight detail if you are shooting in very bright sun and the exposure is erroneous, particularly with handheld metering (I see this very often). The very wide latitude of negative film does not really lend itself to abrubt blows and blocks (highlights and shadows) compared to reversal film. Shoot the film at its intended ISO and baseline your own exposures based on your real-world experience, not on somebody else's.

  8. #8
    AFenvy's Avatar
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    I tend to overexpose color negative film by one full stop. I have overexposed by up to 3 stops with virtually no loss of highlight detail. Color negative film usually looks very nasty when underexposed: excessively grainy, gritty, and hypersaturated with unpredictable color shifts. With a one stop overexposure all my shots look fantastic. It may not be for everyone, but it works for me.

  9. #9
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I hate to be a stick in the mud ,,,, but take a roll of colour neg and do a range of exposures. My money is on the negative closest to normal and not one that is two or three stops overexposed. the normal neg will be sharper/better resolution and also have better colour accuracy.
    Lots of wedding photogs are blasting their film for effect and thats ok but does not translate across the range of subject matter. There is no magical lattitude with this film just an ability to handle more base exposure than trans.

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    If box speed is 400, and I meter it at ISO200, wouldn't I get a longer shutter speed thus raising the exposure by at least a stop?
    You would... by exactly one stop.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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