I'm new to the whole world of large format, ive been doing digital and 35mm for about 4 years now and I've decided to challenge myself some more. As of right now I do not own a light meter, I probably haven't looked into how to determine exposure with 4x5 enough yet, but i was just wondering, can i use my DSLR (nikon d60) and set it up with the same f/stop and focal length and iso/asa right next to my 4x5 camera and get an exposure like that? or would it make more sense to actually try and mount my D60 onto the back of my 4x5? I think that way I could get an instant result of if I develop everything right what the print could eventually look like. Right? if not please let me know, any suggestion on quick ways to determine exposure, or if i should just go and buy a light meter would be a great help.
You could use it for a rough guesstimate but considering the time and expense that goes into LF shooting you might as well bite the bullet and get a good spot meter now.
When I was green I once did a studio shoot with chromes alongside digi and used the digital camera meters setting for the film camera.
When the film came back I was screwed because the dslr ISO settings (Canon) did not equal the true ISO standard.
The Provia was all over exposed by about ⅔ to a full stop.
Apart from being a silly set up, it is also cumbersome and potentially prone to misleading information: a DSLR uses any manner of matrix/evaluative/partial of combination meter and does not know what it is looking at and furthermore, doesn't care. In LF, you need a good working understanding of the Zone System and this in turn implies an understanding of spot metering. LF is far, fare removed form the nonsenses that is hyper-everything digital: it is photography at its most basic and cerebral where YOU (not the camera) do the thinking and assessment. Invest in a versatile spot/incident/reflected meter, read up on skills, practice and refine those skills to bring out the very best that LF is capable of.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
If you know what you're doing it works very successfully. It's not my method of choice but if a meter fails or you've forgotten one it's a good fall-back.
The sensors in digital cameras don't " see" the light in the same way as film, ie I.S.O. on a digital sensor isn't necessarily the same speed as I.S.O. 100 on film even using a separate hand held meter , and before you shoot me down I base this assertion on an article I read in the British version of Professional Photography Magazine a couple of years ago in which they extensively tested this matter, and came to this conclusion, which I still have.
Last edited by benjiboy; 06-01-2012 at 07:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Originally Posted by Ian Grant
If you can afford a good meter (spotmeter for landscapes), then get one because that's the tool you really need. But if you can't, then I think it's better to shoot with what you have than not shoot at all. Stranded on an island with a can of beans and a rock, I surely wouldn't starve looking for a canopener. Enjoy large format, it's excellent.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
I've not seen the article but in practice my DSLRs have been fine when I use the readings from my Minolta Spotmeter F, no ISO correction needed (mainly used for metering with studio flash). In addition when using my DSLR alongside va film camera the reading are comparable. That doesn't mean all makes etc will be similar, in the end it's about knowing your equipment.
Originally Posted by benjiboy
In the past I've had occasions where I've needed to use the readings from my Leicameter or Pentax MX while out shooting LF and it's no different using the DSLR metering.
I'm very fond of my hand held meter. One should have one. I also have a Leica M8.2 and use that when out with my M2 and IIIF rangefinders. I have also used it with my 4x5 and had good success. It does not give me perfect success and direct Zone System capability but I've always gotten very acceptable results. With the hand held I can get even better results but my printing skills are adequet to handle most anything I shoot and pay attention to details.
I second the advice about get out and shoot. It always puts me in a good place.
Sure use that DSLR, why not?
I use an older Powershot as a light meter for 120. Not always (otherwise incident light meter), but sometimes. Works great. Just make sure to calibrate the ISO values of the P&S once. Earlier Canons are a bit conservative in their rating (64/80 ASA on the Canon equals 100 ASA for the film, something like that).
In any case, the histogram and the picture on the screen are great for getting a feel for a scene, especially difficult ones.
If I had an iPhone I would surely use the exposure meter app all the time. From what I've read it works wonderfully well.
I have several meter apps on the iPhone and they really do work well. Not as nice as my spot meter, but is now my choice when I go out with a folder and black and white film. I like this one: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocke...381698089?mt=8. I'm sure that are good versions for Android and maybe other smart phones.
Originally Posted by sandermarijn