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  1. #1

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    Film speed test in winter

    I'd like to find my personal film speed. I'm just starting to use 120. I'm following the instructions in "Way Beyond Monochrome." I'm suppose to take a picture of a scene containing zone II and zone III shadows. Normally I'd take such a picture in my backyard surrounded with leafy bushes and undergrowth.

    But during this time of year the ground is devoid of plants and the bushes have no leaves. So there's really no shadows or texture.

    Where do you all find scenes with shadow detail in winter?

    Any suggestions appreciated.
    --
    Kenton Brede
    http://kentonbrede.com/

  2. #2

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    You can always meter a grey card then under expose by 2 and 3 stops respectively. That's still the way most film speed test procedures work. Another way is one I saw in I think a Carson Graves book. Take a picture of a person wearing a white shirt and a black sweater but with texture, holding a grey card. In one shot you have zones II, V and VIII. Quite neat I thought

    pentaxuser

  3. #3

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    Take a trip to sunny south Florida -- should be about 82 + F today. Seriously take a house plant outside if you want leaves or some objects that would appear to be in the same zones also you could photograph tree bark. Use your gray card a vary your exposures. another way to find your personal film speed that would not require even going outside is: set an 18% gray card in a constant light, meter off of it, with the lens cap on click off a couple of frames, don't focus but fill the frame with the gray card and take +2, +1 1/2. 1, actual reading from the gray card, -1, -1 1/2, -2, then develop the film. When you are ready to print: take one of the unexposed frames and make a test print to find how much exposure from the enlarger it takes that will show a slight change from pure black, cut pieces of printing paper print each negative at the time you just determined, (label each piece) the one that is closest to neutral gray is your film speed. For example if the +1 (ISO400) rate at 200. Depending on a particular situation your shooting exposure or development time can be tweaked but this is a good starting point for standardizing.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  4. #4

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    I should have added that the benefit of the grey card is that you know it is zone V so reducing and increasing exposure as Jeffrey has indicated means that the yardstick zone is a known zone. Even in summer judging what zone the shadow your foliage is throwing isn't easy. Why introduce subjectivity when you have a grey card in constant light? You could use a north facing room lit by daylight around midday on an overcast but averagely bright day. Plenty of those days in the winter, I'd imagine

    pentaxuser

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Open the front door and shoot from the front yard looking into the house.

  6. #6
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    can you get a piece of black cloth and throw it under your bushes?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #7

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    When shooting I use a spot meter or when indicated an incident light meter. I understood the question to be what the personal exposure index for a particular film with his equipment and processing procedures should be. That would be dependent on the equipment not the subject. Is the shutter speed as indicated on the camera and what is the film fog? The exercise I suggested will accommodate for that. Metering a scene is a different subject.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  8. #8
    jp498's Avatar
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    Fine tuning film speed is probably going to be least of your issues affecting exposure in the winter in Nebraska. I find my cameras get slower shutter speeds as it gets colder. Pretty close to normal at freezing. Get down to <20f and I'm overexposing due to the slower camera operation.

  9. #9
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I tried all those tests and now I shoot all films at box speed. The latitude of black & white and C-41 films is so wide one no longer needs to find a personal speed unless the light meter or the camera/lens is out of calibration.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  10. #10
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    I tried all those tests and now I shoot all films at box speed. The latitude of black & white and C-41 films is so wide one no longer needs to find a personal speed unless the light meter or the camera/lens is out of calibration.
    PLUS 1 ON THAT.

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