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  1. #11
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    The results you have on Velvia 100 are not "too dark"; the result is characteristic of that particular film's taught contrast and hyperenhanced palette, with the red channel naturally very highly saturated, with greens not far behind and shadow blocks obvious. Rating RVP 100 at EI80 will get you slightly better results and reduce shadow blocks but the basic difficulty is the film's drenched palette. Maybe try Velvia 100F (which is neither Velvia 50 nor Velvia 100 in terms of palette) — with muted primaries, better contrast and very clear, crisp whites. It, too, can be taken to EI80 as needs dictate.

    All Velvia emulsions return the best results in diffuse (overcast to flat) light, not sunny (point) light.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

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  2. #12
    Erik Petersson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    Guys!! You are amazing !!! I love APUG !!! What a great community !!!

    I was not aware of the « Exposure Index E.I. »

    That's definitely it !!!!

    Is there a chart somewhere on APUG or on the web with the CORRECT « E.I. » for EVERY film out there ?!!!

    These are the films I have in my refrigerator, if someone could tell me the E.I. for everyone of them, that would make my day !!!!! As a matter of fact, I will frame this post and hang it on my wall !!! (Really)!!

    Kodak Portra 400 VC .......... Correct E.I. is : _______
    Kodak Portra 400 NC .......... Correct E.I. is : _______
    Fuji Reala 100 ................... Correct E.I. is : _______
    Fuji Velvia 100 .................. Correct E.I. is : 80 (thanks so much stillsilver!!!)
    Kodak Tri-X 400 TX ............ Correct E.I. is : _______
    Ilford HP5 Plus 400 ............ Correct E.I. is : _______
    Ilford Delta 100 ................. Correct E.I. is : _______
    Ilford Delta 400 ................. Correct E.I. is : _______
    Ilford Delta 3200 ............... Correct E.I. is : _______

    Thank you SO MUCH !!!
    - Jean
    Well, I am afraid that there is no such things as "correct E.I." When you choose to expose the film you will have to take into account a number of things. Your equipment is just the first. However, judging from your the shots you showed your lightmeter and shutter times seem to be in the ballpark.

    Among the films you list Velvia is the trickiest one. If you are just slightly off, the shot is ruined. This is typical for slide films. I would advice you to start experiment with colour negative (portra and reala) or the black and white films, which are much more forgiving.

    The best way forward is to look at the light. Is the light flat, like at an overcast day? Is the light very contrasty, as on a bright sunny day? Then you will have to take that into account. Always look at the light and try to understand how it is rendered on the film. Then adjust your technique if necessary.

    You might enjoy a small excercise. Pick a film, for example tri-x. Choose a few scenes which are typical for what you want to photograph, and make a few exposures on each scene, each with a different rating. (200, 400, 800 for example). Make notes very carefully so that you can track everything afterwards. You could for example write the E.I. on a paper and include it in the photograph. Develop. Print. (If printed by someone else, ask them not to correct for "mistakes".) Look at the prints. What E.I. appeals to you the most?

    Or you might just as well just go ahead for a while with some of the colour negative or b/w films. These films are very versatile and can be used very differently. And the lab will adjust in printing (or scanning if that is what you do) and save a lot of poorly exposed pictures. Play around for a little while and get addicted to film.

    But always remember to look at the light.

    One more tip - try to choose only one or very few films to work with.

  3. #13
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Welcome to APUG. Your photos look great to me.
    I agree. They all look good. I think you've been looking at those artificial digital HDR images. Refine your pallete by looking at other analog night shots.

  4. #14

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    They all look FINE to me. Ones you labeled TOO DARK, I saw bright light from some kind of lamps in the picture. More than likely, your camera is metering the area that was lit by those lights. Also, you may have seen the scene to be much brighter but human eyes compensates quite a bit in scenes like this. The fact that those lights were ON tells me it was a dark scene, too and lights being spot lights, didn't travel very widely.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #15
    lxdude's Avatar
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    I think your pictures are very nice.

    Night shots don't really have any one perfect exposure. A range of exposures will work, each giving a different effect. I like the way yours look, because the highlights are not burned out. They look like night shots, and the strong contrast between light and dark makes them interesting. You can produce B+W prints with highlights and shadows however you want them, and there is a huge body of knowledge here to help you with that.

    The color images are very nice. The building with the bright sky above-any more exposure and the sky would have lost all detail.

    I've shot slides for over 35 years. When I started, I loved the results, except I always wanted all the shadow detail I saw in the scene. As I matured, I realized that many times a lot of shadow detail is unnecessary. The eye looks to bright areas, and often detail in shadows is adequate as portrayed by the film, i.e., less than what I saw at the time of exposure. If detail is carried from lighter areas into darker areas, your perception will "complete the picture" with less visual information. Usually, slides look best when highlights are well preserved, and for that to happen, darker areas sometimes lose some detail. It's part of the slide "look". One very useful tool to preserve detail in both bright sky and darker foreground is a graduated neutral density filter.
    Also, if you scan the slides with a good scanner you can usually bring up the darker areas a little to even things out. Go to www.hybridphoto.com which is a sister site to APUG, for more on that.

    Artistically, it is not necessary to record everything to have a good image, and I think images tend to be better when they lack non-essential detail. I often deliberately underexpose slides slightly to deepen colors and eliminate unnecessary detail.
    Sometimes though, an image needs detail in darker areas to look right, and that is where an ND grad can come in handy to bring down the sky intensity. Fill flash or a reflector can be used to fill shadows on nearby subjects. Sometimes the best solution is to compose the shot differently. Or choose different lighting such as an earlier or later time of day or overcast conditions.

  6. #16

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    I too think your pictures are pretty good for auto exposure - in fact, my camera completely overexposed in dark scenes for the reasons that others have already mentioned here.
    The tricky thing now is to get proper prints of these contrasty scenes - this could be frustrating, because most labs also work with auto correction, resulting in a virtually no-contrast and very muddy looking print. As you said, your lab seems to be ok - just order some prints of your B/W images and see how they come out. Decide upon the results what to do in future.

  7. #17

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    So how to get more contrasty B&W when someone else is printing the film? Obviously ask for 'no mods' and underexpose a little to darken the shadows?

  8. #18
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex1994 View Post
    So how to get more contrasty B&W when someone else is printing the film? Obviously ask for 'no mods' and underexpose a little to darken the shadows?
    Ask the printer for a contrasty print. If the work print is not contrasty enough, ask for an even more contrasty print.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  9. #19
    photosJL's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for your amazing input !!!

    Big reality check for me : film photography is more complicated than I expected. (.. Been shooting Digital for a long time. Film is totally new to me).

    No, I wont sell my gear!
    I want to shoot film. I want to have fun shooting film! Film is making me think in a different way. I love the slower process. Taking the time..
    I know, it will be frustrating for the first few rolls..

    This guessing & testing for correct « EI » is truly truly silly .. (for me, a newbie).

    OK, A few facts :

    - I don't want to work with grey cards, Ever.

    - I don't want to use a dedicated lightmeter. I will only use the camera meter.

    - I don't mind all manual settings on my camera, but I'll have to trust the camera meter.

    - Since I don't develop my images myself, I will use these EI values on my Minolta X-570. I'll get better results this way. I hope so!

    Color
    Fuji Reala 100 ................... EI 80
    Kodak Portra 400 VC .......... EI 320
    Kodak Portra 400 NC .......... EI 320

    B&W
    Kodak Tri-X 400 TX ............ EI 320
    Ilford HP5 Plus 400 ............ EI 320
    Ilford Delta 400 ................. EI 320
    Ilford Delta 100 ................. EI 80
    Fuji Neopan 1600 ............... EI 1000 / 800 / 640 (must test these values)

    ps : No more Velvia (slide film) for me. Too tricky like Erik Petersson wrote.

    ps : I'll stick to just a few films. I will learn to know them. Great advice!

    ps : Long live film !

    Take care guys! you're amazing! what a great community!!!

    - Jean

  10. #20
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    Big reality check for me : film photography is more complicated than I expected. (.. Been shooting Digital for a long time. Film is totally new to me).
    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    This guessing & testing for correct « EI » is truly truly silly .. (for me, a newbie).
    Guessing is silly, testing isn't. What you are testing is "you". How "you" read your meter, how "you" like your prints, and how "your" lab processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    OK, A few facts :

    - I don't want to use a dedicated lightmeter. I will only use the camera meter.

    - I don't mind all manual settings on my camera, but I'll have to trust the camera meter.
    That's fine, but you'll need to truly understand what your meter is telling you. That takes testing/practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    - Since I don't develop my images myself, I will use these EI values on my Minolta X-570. I'll get better results this way. I hope so!
    Don't take anybody's word for how you should meter/rate your film and talk with your lab when something doesn't work.
    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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