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  1. #41
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The reason to use spot metering vs. incident metering is to determine the contrast range of a scene. An incident meter reading won't tell you that. Also, for various reasons it may not be possible to get your incident meter into the same lighting as your subject (you're standing on the shaded bank of a raging river, and your subject is midstream in full sun, etc). That's when folks who understand how to use various types of metering use spot over incident. The reason most people don't use incident is that they've been trained by their camera with built-in TTL metering to rely on the in-camera meter and when not using an in-camera meter, they default to the same style of reflected light metering- if it's good enough for the camera, it must be good enough for me too.

  2. #42
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    A polariser is a filter which cannot be simulated during printing. You cannot "polarize" the light after film impression. So I would say, bring a polariser, in case you need it. Besides being precious if you have to take pictures from behind a window (boat), or behind a glass (aquarium), or behind a veil of water (rocks at bottom of spring, fishes etc.) it can be useful for meadows, flowers to eliminate some "mirror reflection" from the grass blades and have more saturated colours.

    As far as the exposure index is concerned, my advice for colour negative film is: always box speed, but do meter for the shadows.

    That is:
    - Scene entirely lit by sun: expose at box speed;
    - Scene entirely in the shade: expose at box speed;
    - High contrast scene, with part of the subject in sunlight, and part in shade: expose as if the subject were entirely in shade.

    In this third case, if you don't want to think too much about it, assuming it's not a backlit scene, just open 1.5 stops more than the camera suggested exposure. The exposure difference between the two regions is probably around 3 EV and your internal light meter will probably give you a roughly average exposure, so by opening 1.5 stops you will be exposing for the shadows.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  3. #43
    DesertNate's Avatar
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    While F1.4 didn't exactly explain what he was saying, I can confirm that shots I have deliberately overexposed on Portra 160 have better shadow detail (obviously) without serious detrimental effects to the highlights. I am inclined to agree that for the purpose of landscape and general photography, Portra benefits from a stop of overexposure. It's pretty low-contrast stuff, and while the differences at the highlight portion of the scene are barely noticeable, the differences in the shadows are very noticeable, and overexposure gives quite a bit of freedom in post.
    I prefer slide film for landscapes, but for travel, I use negative film because I don't know what I'm going to be wanting to shoot.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    The reason to use spot metering vs. incident metering is to determine the contrast range of a scene. An incident meter reading won't tell you that. Also, for various reasons it may not be possible to get your incident meter into the same lighting as your subject (you're standing on the shaded bank of a raging river, and your subject is midstream in full sun, etc). That's when folks who understand how to use various types of metering use spot over incident. The reason most people don't use incident is that they've been trained by their camera with built-in TTL metering to rely on the in-camera meter and when not using an in-camera meter, they default to the same style of reflected light metering- if it's good enough for the camera, it must be good enough for me too.
    I do agree with you on the reason and that spot metering is a useful tool on occasion.

    I would note though that BTZS users determine contrast with incident meters all the time and if I'm on the bank of that stream with my incident meter it is normally easy to say "I'm standing in say zone II light" and adjust just as I might with a spot meter. I have yet to find a situation where an incident meter can't do a good job.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #45
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I do agree with you on the reason and that spot metering is a useful tool on occasion.

    I would note though that BTZS users determine contrast with incident meters all the time and if I'm on the bank of that stream with my incident meter it is normally easy to say "I'm standing in say zone II light" and adjust just as I might with a spot meter. I have yet to find a situation where an incident meter can't do a good job.
    I agree with you again Mark, and I own two spot meters but use them very little.
    Ben

  6. #46

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    I can't imagine using anything but a spot meter for the very critical multiple readings I routinely make
    unless wide varieties of outdoor lighting carrying completely different films. Highlight and shadow
    placement are critical (analogous to Zone System work with black and white film - I want to know
    exactly where the film kicks off the toe of the curve, for instance). One subject might be very close,
    requiring bellows length compensation, filter factor, all kinds of stuff easy to calibrate using the Pentax spotmeter ring. With the wind howling and a lighting cloud about fifteen minutes away atop
    a 12000 foot pass, there are enough things to go wrong using a view camera without adding exposure errors. With color chromes at something like twenty dollars a pop right now for 8x10 there
    are no second guesses. Taking the same discipline into color neg work (at the same expense and]
    rising all the time) essentially forces one to do things correctly, and not to guess using latitude BS
    or generic overexposure formulas. When I'm street shooting a Nikon, I will bend the rules somewhat.

  7. #47
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Drew, you are "special".

    Siriously though, you really are describing a special case/use with no safety factor other than what you decided on from your testing.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #48

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    Yes, and very critical testing at times. But just depends. Exact metering can be very important in certain situations, not in others. Depends on the specific film, lighting ratios, color temp, and expectations. If I'm out walking in a heavy rain with the Nikon tucked under my parka, I'm probably
    going to choose a film with some forgiveness. And sometimes around here the fog will give an almost
    perfect softbox lighting for part of the day, but then once the fog breaks, you can get very contrasty conditions which demand precise shadow and highlight placement, if one chooses to
    shoot at all. In between you might get overcast lighting needing color temp correction using filtration. I expect to encounter all three tomorrow. Like I already said, it's far more important just to
    get accustomed to your specific meter and chosen film in the first place. But with the film choices
    changing rather quickly nowadays - or if you work with multiple films like I do - having a spotmeter
    available is good insurance.

  9. #49

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    Per "safety factor"... That is something one automatically gives up once high-contrast or high saturation films are involved. Once someone is accustomed to something like Velvia, any color neg
    film is going to be a piece of cake for determining exposure. But in the latter category, Ektar is going
    to be distinctly fussier than Portra 160 or any of the amateur films. In black and white, just try
    getting sparkling snow highlight in direct sun on the same TMX negative as deep shadow detail at
    high altititude. It's easy with a spotmeter or ample experience, but would be pretty trick otherwise.
    Even TMY is fussy in this respect. But the reward is very crisp separation of values over the whole
    film curve. If you want life easier, then choose a film with a more gentle toe and lower relative
    contrast, like FP4 or ACROS. Snapshooter might want something even more forgiving, like HP5 or
    Delta 3200. There is no such thing as one shoe size fitting every foot.

  10. #50
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    The Original Poster is going on holidays and he has shot so far only a few films. Nonetheless, he chose to only carry film with him, which is very nice to hear! Let's encourage him with practical and sound advice so that he might be a very happy film user also in the future and so that his "inexperience" with film will not damage his photography.
    In a line, let's try not to scare him with too much technical details about zone placement, spot metering, color temperature, lighting ratios etc

    To the OP I'd say: don't worry too much. Don't worry at all. Colour negative film is ultimately very forgiving. It's certainly easier to use than digital. With digital it's much easier to blow highlights in high-contrast situations. Film simplifies life! Correct and well thought-about exposure certainly gives better results but during holidays very often there's no much time to think too much, e.g. when going around with a group of persons, on a guided tour, a boat etc. In those situations negative film is the safest choice.

    A few more suggestions: be careful of heat. Don't let the camera or film let's say in a glove compartment under the sun or in the boot of a car. Keep the film "fresh" when possible. Establish a clear "convention" for used canisters (impressed canisters) and virgin ones. I personally always rewind the film tail inside the canister to distinguish the impressed ones. Perfectionists will prefer to leave the tail outside of the canister (so as to minimize the risk of light leaks) but in that case be scrupulous in marking/separating the used ones. If you use a marker to mark canisters, make the marking immediately, before opening the new roll. Do observe the advice to change your rolls in shade. If you are in the sun in an open desert, do use your body to project a shadow on the camera while changing the roll. When you change canister do use your pump to dislodge dust particles from the inside of the camera. Always have spare batteries with you: don't leave them in the tent, or in the hotel. Find a place to have spare batteries always with you when you have a camera, things like your purse, your document holder, or a pocket of your photographic bag.

    Fabrizio
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

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