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  1. #1

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    1st shot slide film ever...considerations

    I just got back from the lab my very 1st slide film ever, a Provia 100F. The result is disappointing to say the least, of the 15 frames (Mamiya 645 Pro) most are almost completely black, one is overexposed beyond saving and the rest are very dark with not enough detail.

    Now, a couple of considerations first. Number one, It was my very 1st slide film so I had no experience and I might have messed up exposure-wise. Number 2 the Mamiya 645 I used is a new camera for me and I had only shot a B&W negative film with it before the Provia (which came out OK).

    All shots were sunset ones so I guess it was a high contrast scene, perhaps outside the films DR especially since no GND filters were used.

    So, possible reasons for the catastrophe:

    1. I messed up the exposure
    2. The scene was outside the DR of the film so using Provia was a bad idea.
    3. I had to use GND filters (because of No.2)
    4. The Lab messed up during the processing

    I am mostly concerned with No.4 because it Is something I cannot check easily. What is strange is that by using the Average metering I got really acceptable results with the B&W film. I clearly remember the last 2 shots with the Provia, I had it on Average and I shot 1 with normal exposure and 1 with +1 full stop of exposure compensation. The latter one is indeed just a little bit brighter but still too dark. I keep having the feeling that they might have overcooked the film during processing...

    Would appreciate some advice from any old-timers of slide film shooting out there since such film is very expensive and as we all know a lost shot is lost forever.

  2. #2

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    Did you set the camera to the correct ISO? Thats the number one reason for me to mess up with slide films...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by splash_fr View Post
    Did you set the camera to the correct ISO? Thats the number one reason for me to mess up with slide films...
    Well yes, I have 2 backs one with TMAX and one with Provia, both 100 ISO and both set correctly.

    I wish it was that simple...


  4. #4

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    The metering on medium format bodies is not, for the most part, particularly sophisticated. My guess is you ended up metering for the sun or something and underexposed everything by several stops. That'd yield really dark or black results on most slide films. B&W film has a lot more latitude. Go out and shoot another roll of nice well behaved low contrast scenes and check the results.

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    I would suspect the lab was not the problem, messing up with the exposure is the most likely. Did you bracket any exposures?
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    I would suspect the lab was not the problem, messing up with the exposure is the most likely. Did you bracket any exposures?
    Well as said it was my 1st slide ever shot so I tried various methods of metering using both the Average and Spot metering settings of the prism. I can confirm that I mostly tried the "meter for dark/light/mid tones values and average them" way. Also I am positive that I bracketed the last 2 exposures made with 1 full stop apart but they still came out too dark. I believe that my anxiety to keep the highlights in control has cost me the most, that is why I am not sure whether such film is good for sunsets.

  7. #7
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Your exposure would have to be waaay off for it to be almost black. 4 or more stops? Something is amiss. Provia does sunsets just fine.

  8. #8
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    When I first got my RB67 with a metered prism I setup in the backyard a test site. A basic test was using a neutral grey card and f16 test to see if things were even close on ISO/ASA setting as well as actual meter reading. Then I ran one roll of Velvia 50 film through it making changes and writing each down to verify how the film handled the results. Now if I have any wasted shots I know it was me and not the camera or meter. It does not hurt to verify the meter every once in awhile against the grey card as a double check.
    Just an idea.
    "Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care"

    - Theodore Roosevelt -

  9. #9

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    If you have light meter, test the two against each other with the gray card. Dont expect identical readings, but if they are off by 3 stops, somethings wrong with the camera.

    Also make sure your lens is set to A, not M and check that the lens aperture prongs are linked with the prisms meter pin. I don't have a 645 pro, just an old 645; I just assume they link up the same way.
    "If its not broken, I can't afford it."

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Test the exposures by using the Sunny 16 rule on a sunny day.

    If something is wrong with your camera, it will be blatantly obvious. Just do one roll like this and send it in for processing. If that works OK, you know you have to work on your metering skills.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

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