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  1. #1

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    trouble caliberating my meter for my camera.

    I use a digital slr to meter for a 4x5 camera. im having some trouble caliberating my meter. I dont know what is the cause. Is my assessments of my negatives wrong? Or if i calculated filter factors incorrectly. Or are my prints off? With so many variables it is hard to pin down the problem. Knowing myself, it is probably everything.

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Are you shooting up close with your 4x5? I'm thinking of bellows factor. Also is the scene identical between cameras? You also have to see how your dslr meter is weighted in your view finder. Your meter on your dslr can be biased for certain scenes and subjects.

  3. #3
    naeroscatu's Avatar
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    You are not very specific in explaining your problem. Why do you need to calibrate your DSRL meter?
    There are many variables indeed. Before starting using a set of equipment (camera + light meter + film + lens + enlarger + paper) you need to run some tests. That is if you want to eliminate guess work and get controlled results. You should check numerous articles and books about film testing.
    Mihai Costea

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    Than meets the eye." - Neil Young

    Galleries:My PN & My APUG

  4. #4
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    You should get a light meter - a small Gossen shouldn't cost more than $25 on ebay.

    A digital camera sets the aperture and shutter to satisfy its image sensor - not film.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  5. #5
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    Why do you say they are not right? What makes you think they are wrong?

  6. #6
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I understand that from a recent article I read in Professional Photographer magazine testing hand held light meters,that 100 I.S.O on a digital camera sensor doesn't necessarily give the same speed as 100 ISO on film.
    Ben

  7. #7

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    It is more likely i am wrong somewhere in the process. Ill try to be a little more specific about my current process.

    No bellows factors. Everything is far enough away.

    Meter: canon 500d + 300mm (75-300 zoom)
    monocrome setting, spot meter.
    Iso 400 overexposes. Iso 200 better, looking to fine tune it further. For the purposes of this exercise, my meter will be set to iso 200.

    Camera 4x5 (shen hao, but i dont think that is too important)
    film: hp5 400
    lens: 180mm shenider on copal shutter.

    i also use filters. I use the filter on the meter, no further compensation takes place. I meter. Plan my zones based on iso 200 for 400 speed film. Preview on the camera back. Checking my tones.

    checking the negatives, the shadows seems good. Then again im not the most experienced to judge.

    Final result prints. They seem quite off. I lose a lot of shadow on the prints. The prints that used the iso 200 setting on the meter are better than the 400. but there seems to be room for improvement. I want to shoot closer to the mark.

    I apreciate the help fellas.
    (typed on a phone. I apologize for typos)
    Last edited by Dikaiosune01; 03-22-2011 at 01:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    You also can't compare digital sensors with film. I think the response of digital light sensors are linear while film has a response curve. Could be an apples to oranges comparison. Please tell me of I'm wrong.

  9. #9
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    What reached out and grabbed me on your last post was that the shadows seem to be fine on the negatives, but get lost on the prints. This tells me it is more of a matter of how the meter is used and your negative developing and printing skills...and has little or nothing to do calibrating the DSLR's meter.

    If getting a good print was just a matter of proper exposure, a little bit of bracketing and note-taking could have that nailed down for any particular lighting situation in an afternoon. Unfortunately, how the film is developed, and how one prints is of equal importance. One can have properly exposed film (good shadow detail), but depending on the light (high, medium or low contrast scene), how you develop that film will determine how easy it will be to transfer the light of the scene onto the print in the way that you want.

    And of course, your printing skills will determine how easy it will be to take a well exposed and developed negative to translate into a print.

    But at this point I do not know how you are getting these prints -- are you printing them? And if you are, what contrast controls are you using in your printing process?
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    Ok you really need to do some proper test like in way beyond monochrome
    http://www.waybeyondmonochrome.com/WBM2/Library.html

    But if you don't wanna do that my advice would be use Iso 200 develop 15% less than stated by ilford with chosen developer. Then get a even textured surface evenly lit and point your spot meter at it and expose at zone 2 and then a zone 8 these zones should be lightest and darkest with texture.

    But from my own experience you really need to do proper test also paper tests.

    I would also for a quick paper test, develop a blank neg (this will give you film base + fog) and place it in your enlarger and print a test strip at 3 secs apart then develop as normal allow to dry and look for the time that is maximum black, then when your other tests are done print at this time and this will give you an idea what a zone two will look like and an 8, if the two is too dark try a different iso if the 8 is too light reduce dev time by 15% if its too dark increase dev time.

    Then once that it done, go out take a pic without filter, bellows extension but with a good range of tones and try and print it. If all works out ok then you can go at and any mistakes you can at least narrow down a bit more.

    Paul

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