More counter advice. Learn to use the grey card. Learn to use a handheld light meter. NEVER trust the camera's meter unless you learn why it does what it does. Stick to one or two films, why spread yourself out to thin (learn the river one stretch at a time). And, again, welcome to APUG.
Originally Posted by photosJL
EI the film at what the conditions present you with. If you're shooting at night, you shouldn't be shooting Neopan 1600 at 800, you should be shooting it at 1600 or 3200. There's a point where shadow details matter less and getting an actual image matters more.
Originally Posted by photosJL
As you'll learn, EI is a dynamic value one assigns themselves for a given roll or sheet. They then later make use of said EI during the development phase.
I think I've used a grey card a grand total of around two times.
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
They don't look too dark to me. BTW welcome to APUG!
Your photographs look fine to me. I really like the dark 'noir' look of them.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
The values that you have chosen are safe starting points for these films. Now, go out and have fun with your camera!
Originally Posted by photosJL
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I just read about 200 pages on EI -vs- Box Speed -vs- Exposure adjustments
Wow! about ..
33% of you guys shoot at Box Speed,
33% of you shoot at a EI value, and
33% of you guys play with the exposure (either at Box Speed or EI)
So many views! & so many opinions! ...
"I shoot pretty much everything at box speed"
"Kodak's work best at box speed because I shoot them frequently"
"I usually shoot all my color film with one stop extra exposure"
"Shot it one stop overexposed to cram more detail into it"
"I like the little extra snap of a little over exposure".
So there is no magic recipe, we have to do our own tests, and find the settings we like.
Can't go far wrong with box speed, after all it is what the manufacturer recommends.
It's an important thing but really a personal preference built on experience. It's kinda like wondering if one should open that bag of hundreds from either here or here. Once you open it, the possibilities are endless. Well, you get the analogy.
Now, shoo. Go have some fun. The sun is shining. It's a beautiful hot day. Well, here in Delaware anywho.
Go on, now. I mean it.
My $0.02 on this:
Discussion of exposure needs to be "focussed" on meters, how they work, and how to use them.
The question of whether to meter using the box speed or to use a personal EI turns on two factors:
1) whether the film being used is a typical film (like Tri-X) where the ISO and the box speed are one and the same, or a film like Neopan 1600, where the "1600" refers to a speed that is applicable to some relatively special conditions, and is different from the ISO; and
2) whether one has engaged in the procedure of testing one's metering and shooting and developing at a number of different EIs, and come to the conclusion that a particular EI works best for them.
Personally, I would avoid drawing general conclusions from a film like Neopan 1600 - it is a specialized product, and the lessons learned by using it are likely to differ from those learned from using other, more typical films.
Reading through the thread may cause the OP to wonder whether there are a whole bunch of different versions out there of various films, meters and processors. In the case of films, they are remarkably consistent. Meters and development procedures vary, but special purpose developers like Diafine or Microdol-X excepted, they don't vary as much as one might think.
What does vary a lot, is photographers, and their approach to metering. To a very great extent, choice of a personal EI is predicated on choice of a metering technique. And for a metering technique to work, and to result in predictable exposures, one needs to have a good understanding of how meters actually work.
An in camera meter can work very well if the photographer understands how the meter reads a scene, and understands how light intensities and scene reflectances and colours interact. And that understanding is what comes from experience and study.
One additional point - negative film is very forgiving, while transparency film is not.
Using an EI that is less than the "box" speed will move one's exposure more into the "forgiving" area with negative film, but that is always a compromise that may result in increased grain and loss of highlight sharpness.
With transparency film, the final results will starkly reveal any problems, but it is pretty while impossible to find any way to make them forgiving. For that reason, I recommend them highly as a learning tool, but only after gaining some basic experience with negatives first.
Two final points:
a) go out and shoot and have fun while you are doing so; and
b) make notes, and keep track of what you do, and the results. This will help you with learnin.
Last edited by MattKing; 05-31-2010 at 01:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: too many "final" points
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
“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. “
Eric is right.
Jean, you have to find the EI that YOU like the best. Most of the EIs you find should only be a place to start your experimentation. And again, only start out with one or two different films and learn them well. Then you will have a good understanding of what you want out of a film.