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  1. #1
    photosJL's Avatar
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    New to analog photography - Under exposed problems (See my photos)

    Hello guys !!!

    I'm new to analog photography.

    I bought a 1984 Minolta X-570 on eBay with some fast lens (35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, etc).

    Unfortunately, I received my first scans this morning : All under Exposed

    My settings were : Aperture priority, auto shutter speed.

    1 roll of Neopan 1600 : WAY TOO DARK.

    1 roll of Velvia 100 : JUST A BIT TOO DARK.

    * * * See : http://photosjl.viewbook.com/firstrolls

    So I guess, my meter is not working properly. (It's not the lab, I deal with the very best one in my city)

    What do you guys suggest to correct this problem ?

    I thought of these :

    1) Overexposed manually by a stop or 2 or 3 .. ??

    2) Change the ASA value to trick the meter ? (ex : set to 200 for a 400film?) .. or is it the other way around ?

    3) Have the meter repaired. (It it possible in 2010 to have a 25y-o camera repaired?)

    I'm lost! Please help! I want to shoot film!!

    ps : Is Slide films more accurate ? (I mean, I got a better result with my Velvia)...

    THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE !

    - Jean

  2. #2

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    Hello Jean,

    I don't think you've got a problem with your camera. The issue is probably your metering technique. The neopan shots are at night time and I think the meter has been fooled by the highlights. Likewise the Velvia shots are probably only slightly underexposed and probably on account of the bright parts fooling the meter.
    Steve.

  3. #3
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Your meter is probably fine. It's just stupid. Have you ever used manual mode before with any success? If not it might help to bulk up on the basics and then to learn how your light meter works.

    Your light meter measures the light in your subject area and averages it out so that you get an average exposure. It does not know that you want that shadow to be black or the highlight to not quite be washed out. It does what it's supposed to do. Give average exposures for those who don't quite understand the settings or those who don't know how to take FULL advantage of them.

    If you meter a lump of coal and photograph it by the meter reading, it will print as 18% grey. If you meter a snow scene and expose it according to the reading the snow will print out as 18% grey. You need to be able to adjust the exposure settings in order to PUT the shades of grey where you WANT them to go.

    And an aside, slide films are easy to get off if you are not careful as their exposure latitude is narrower than other films. They are great, but VERY unforgiving.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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  4. #4
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    First of all, Neopan 1600 is not a 1600 film. Fuji does not state what it actually is, but it is more like 640-800 according to many independent tests (probably using a Zone I test to determine film speed).

    So, yes. Your slide film was bound to give better exposures, because it was rated at the actual ISO film speed.

    Your Neopan 1600 shots don't look underexposed to me. They just look like they were shot in the dark, and are very high-contrast compositions. If something is dark in reality, and it ends up dark on a normal print from the film, then your exposure is pretty good.

    However, despite all this, it all comes down to metering. In-camera meters will almost never give you the ideal exposure for a shot. They will just give you an OK exposure that will be printable and/or good enough for most people. All they do is to read the composition and tell you how to expose to make everything in the composition that is being metered average out to a tone that is 1/2 stop below middle grey when normally printed.

    Aside from using an EI that is not the same as the ISO film speed with the Neopan, the issue has nothing to with whether you are shooting film or digital. It has to do with light meters and light metering.
    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."

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  5. #5

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    They look fine to me! Remember colour print film gives more room for error or 'latitude'.

  6. #6

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    Your meter looks like it works. When you put use the Velvia 100 set your film speed (asa dial) on your camera for 80. When you are looking through your viewfinder, be aware of very bright areas or very dark areas. Both of this will give you a different meter reading then what you are looking for.

    When I don’t use a light meter, I shoot in manual mode and use the meter as a guide.

    As for the Neopan, set your asa dial to 1000 and make an exposure. Then set it to 800 and make an exposure of the same thing. Do this down to 250. Which ever print you like the best, use that as your Exposure Index (E.I.) for this film.

    Mike

  7. #7
    photosJL's Avatar
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    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

  8. #8
    fotch's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG. Your photos look great to me.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photosJL View Post
    Hello guys !!!

    I'm new to analog photography.


    - Jean
    Welcome to analog photography.

    Understanding exposure and development is needed for success (as you are finding out).

    As a start toward good negatives, I'd recommend the "Zone I" calibration procedure for anyone using a reflected averaging metering technique.

  10. #10
    Chris Nielsen's Avatar
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    I think they look fine.

    I wouldn't be framing that and hanging it on your fridge - there isn't really a 'correct' EI for (most) films. You might decide to shoot Portra 160 at 125 or 100. That your choice and whatever works for you is the correct setting.

    And as to the b&w films - well HP5 can be shot at virtually any EI you want, just depends on how you intend to process it - I could say 200 and I'd be no less correct than if I said 6400.

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