Is good metering more important in large fomat?
recently I saw somebody wrote that 1/3 of stop is important because it is on large format. It makes me wonder - is it, if yes then why more important to have accurate metering in large format comparing to 120 or 135? I understand that good metering is more important for slides than for B&W ... but somehow I would say it is format independent.
Good metering will give you greater control with any format. If you want the highest quality from B&W films then you need to expose correctly to within at least half a stop. Shadow details are most important as any under-exposure will mean loss of the details and over-exposure can lead to blocking up of the highlights It's less important on dull overcast days which are typical of Northern Europe.
The major reason for taking more care with LF is the much higher cost of the film, and each exposure.
No. IMO, shot for shot, it is not more important.
The importance of accuracy has to do with the importance of the shot itself and the rest of the process the photographer uses.
Many LF shooters run very tight ships, that's ok, it's a personal choice.
Other LF shooters use a lens cap, a hat, or a couple dark slides as their shutter, that's ok too, it just means that they may have a little more work in the darkroom than their "tight ship" brothers and sisters.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Some of the techniques are actually well withing the needed accuracy particularly where exposures run into a few seconds.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
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There is more over-exposure latitude with larger formats. The less one has to enlarge a negative, the better the quality of over-exposed negatives. In fact the literature indicates that when contact printing, the 'correct' exposure is represented as a plateau, or range of exposures. (See diagram below).
Originally Posted by darkosaric
In addition to the that information is that fact that a hand-held exposure meter won't be able to account for bellows factor or inaccurate leaf shutters, reciprocity failure or a film's specific response to a colored filter.
Furthermore, popular believe is that as development changes (N+1, etc.) there is a change in exposure index. The scientific literature does not support this, indicating the minimum useful density is a point with a tangent about one-third the gamma.
Furthermore, typical spot-meter technique that many large format users entertain is frequently not more than a guess..."lets see I'll set the ISO to 100, I'll base my exposure on that shadow of Zone III...no, under that log is Zone I...No, that shale is Zone II...wait, inside that hollow tree is Zone I...No, I'll use N development so I'll change the ISO to 50...now my digital meter indicates f9.21 thats somewhere here on the paper aperture scale I made for this old Ilex...etc."
In terms of large format, as far as I'm concerned, a 1/3 stop change in exposure reading is insignificant due to multiple other factors of potentially larger magnitude.
Last edited by ic-racer; 05-28-2014 at 07:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
i think it depends on the film, the format and the photographer.
some films need dead on exposures because, well, to be honest ...
some large format films are expensive ( $6-10+ / SHEET <not including processing> )
and folks using the expensive stuff would rather know they got a good image on the film
above all else because unless you have jack's magical beans or you are very wealthy you can run out of $$ shooting LF ...
that said, i only meter for paying jobs, but it is mainly to back up my internal/sunny11 meter.
if it isn't a paying job i don't care if i have a perfectly metered exposure because my materials ( old expired film, hand coated emulsions paper negatives )
processing ( coffee based developers ) + printing methods are kind of ... "different" than most peoples' ....
while i don't mind a 20 second exposure with a 300watt flood lamp on RC paper to make a print ... a lot of people would ...
exposures are relatively inexpensive with smaller formats, but the emulsions are the same so in the end it matters just as much depending on who you are ( or aren't ).
People aren't going to bracket on LF to get a good exposure, they'll get it right with one shot. The film is essentially the same as smaller formats, perhaps different thickness plastic or something, but mostly the same.
The "tight ship" people develop each image custom based on the scene contrast, something you don't do with roll film.
Accurate metering is of equal importance with all formats, although as noted above due to the smaller enlargement factor it is easier to deal with overexposed big negatives.
Originally Posted by darkosaric
Also, a sheet of 8x10 film is about the same price as a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film - so the "spray and pray" folks (many of whom don't know how to meter properly anyway) bracket because it relatively cheap in 35, and avoid LF because they waste too much film. Whereas, a meticulous worker will meter with equal care regardless of format - one nice thing about LF is that if you let it, it will make you a better craftsman. Sure, it's greater effort both physically and intellectually (and financially) - but so are the potential rewards greater.
Lastly, be skeptical about what you "read somewhere" - a lot is simply repeated without any effort expended on questioning the validity.