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  1. #1

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    How would you meter this scene ?

    This weekend I decided to spend time learning how to use my 4 x 5 camera.
    Saturday I scouted out an interesting scene that I could return to for repeat exposures, loaded my film holders, and went through a few dry runs setting up my camera.

    This morning I made my first exposures.

    This afternoon I will develop the film make contact prints and reshoot tomorrow morning based on what I learn today.

    So, given the following, how would you meter this scene ?
    What developer would you use at what development time as a starting point ?

    Equipment:
    4x5 Cambo
    Schneider 165 mm super angulon
    HP5+ @ EI 400
    Soligor 1 degree spot meter

    Jobo processor on reel

    Time and developer to be determined.

    Early morning East facing scene

    Spot Meter Readings:
    Upper left corner of building 18
    Back Wall with graffiti 15
    Sky 17



    Chosen apeture f32

    Shutter speed determination:
    Chosen shutter speed placing back wall on zone IV 1/60
    Upper left corner falls on zone VII
    Hopefully shadow areas fall in the range of zone II
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 421_sta.jpg  

  2. #2
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I would stand at the position of the chair, hold my palm facing the camera and spotmeter it and tentatively "place" that on Zone VI.

    Because foliage is tricky, I would disregard (or interpret) any meter readings off the shrubs. You didn't say, but you obviously ignored them too.

    I might have allowed the Upper left corner to fall a bit higher since it would look good on print at VIII. This would favor the shadows.

    And I often use 400 speed film at lower EI, so that would have suggested more exposure to me.

    So I think I might have given 2/3 to 1 stop more than you gave.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Bill.
    As luck would have it I shot the second sheet at 1/25.

    Any advice on developer and time ?

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I would stand at the position of the chair, hold my palm facing the camera and spotmeter it and tentatively "place" that on Zone VI.
    So essentially you'd incident meter. Me too.

    Given the tools at hand if this was a critical shot I'd set the meter to 400, walk into the shade in the building to take a reading with my hand pointed at the camera.

    At the chair I'd point my hand directly at the sun and then take a reading while pointing the meter directly at my hand, disregarding the camera position.

    I'd average those two readings and do the math to "open up" 1-stop to get my camera setting.

    Other than Bill's EI adjustment, in this situation I think Bill and I would find very close to the same settings.

    I'd develop in DD-X per Ilford's instructions for HP5 at 400.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    BTW the big reason for me to use DD-X per the instructions is that it is my standard developer and my standard process. What I'm saying is that I would not adjust away from my normal process.

    What's your normal developer and normal process bascom49?

    Do you print on fixed grade paper or variable?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    BTW the big reason for me to use DD-X per the instructions is that it is my standard developer and my standard process. What I'm saying is that I would not adjust away from my normal process.

    What's your normal developer and normal process bascom49?

    Do you print on fixed grade paper or variable?
    I usually shoot Tmax 100 and 400 medium format and develop with Xtol using tanks and reels .

    I print on Ilford VC warm tone With a 2 1/2 filter
    for contact sheets I print On Ilford VC glossy

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I would just take an incidental light reading from the subject position,and not overcomplicate things, The Zone System is more suitable for monochrome photography.
    Ben

  8. #8
    fotch's Avatar
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    Meter a 18% Gray card.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I would just take an incidental light reading from the subject position,and not overcomplicate things, The Zone System is more suitable for monochrome photography.

    I may have not clarified, this will be a black and white process.

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bascom49 View Post
    I usually shoot Tmax 100 and 400 medium format and develop with Xtol using tanks and reels .
    You haven't said how you're printing yet; fixed grade, variable grade, scan?

    The reason that question is important is that adjustments to film development, away from normal, are only important in relation to your printing process.

    If you are targeting a specific paper grade, yes it makes a real difference, if not; then if you really want a good answer we need to know exactly why you would want to adjust the film's contrast.

    For example, I use VC paper and prefer a normal contrast rate negative regardless of the measured scene contrast, if I need to adjust contrast I do it by adjusting the paper contrast, if I need more shadow or highlight detail, I dodge or burn.

    In my world VC paper is the norm, changing my film contrast rate gets me no advantage, in fact it generally makes printing harder for me. In Ansel Adam's world, fixed grade papers were the norm, adjusting film contrast made printing to his fixed grade paper easier.

    If you are having a lab scan it, normal film development is a great place to start. If your working with a highly skilled lab and they tell you they can do a better job if you change, then change. I'd bet though that normal will work just fine for almost any lab.

    XTol will work fine with HP5 and is a great choice since you have it and are already familiar with it. No need to buy anything else.

    Do you shoot your TMax films at 100 and 400 respectively? Do you develop them per Kodak's instructions or ... ? I ask because you can transfer you prefs from these films to HP5, if you like to shoot TMax 400 at 320, do the same as a starting point for HP5. Same idea with developing.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

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