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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Scala Exposure Latitude

    I have a question about the exposure latitude of Agfa Scala, which I intend on shooting in the near future. To be honest - I've really only started studying photography with any seriousness recently, so if anything here is a little off-base or convoluted, feel free to correct.

    I've been using a rudimentary/basic zone system approach to metering ever since being instructed to do so in a recent class of mine - concerned with how that would work with slides, I did some research on the exposure latitude of transparency film and concluded that it would be safer to place my highlights/whites-with-texture in Zone 7 (instead of Zone 8, as I have done with negative) to get good whites without blowing out the entire slide.

    Now I've got some Scala coming in the mail and any research I've done on it has kind of confused me. I had assumed that since it is transparency film, latitude would be less and I should meter in the same way as I have been with my color slides. However, I've read some fleeting comments along the lines of "Scala behaves much more like regular B&W negative film" or "Scala has a latitude between that of slide and print film."

    So - any thoughts on on this and achieving a good exposure with Scala, in general?

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Charlottesville, Virginia
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    I like scala positives a lot. I don't know if there is a magic formula for exposing, I simply treat it kind of like a colour slide film, with the slightly extra care that entails. Just make sure you know what the contrast range is in your scene and if it's ~7 stops, you're good. That's easy to do in a studio environment. You can lessen contrast by pulling but I don't think you will get much more range out of it, and you probably wouldn't want to do that anyway.

    I don't think it is correct to compare it to "regular" b&w films. What scala does, it does very well, you can get very snappy results. Contrast between white and blacks can be very clean and crisp, i.e. very nicely separated.

    Scala enlarges very well; I have made paper negatives with it and then printed those and was pleased with the results. It also scans well. There are some reports that it has better grain at 100 and I don't doubt it but I have consistently rated it at 200 and that's worked out well.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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