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  1. #21
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    The only thing I would think different is that the negative is not "overexposed" until it the high values start to fall off the shoulder and print quality has degraded. So, the dark gray box in the second diagram (nice diagrams by the way) I'd say "more than needed, but still OK exposure" rather than "overexposed."

    In fact in large format photography (where high shutter speed is not needed), dense negatives show less dust when printing and in my hands, are preferred.

  2. #22
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    ic-racer

    Some people have an issue with the term 'overexposure', and I can understand why, because overexposed negatives print just fine and often better than normally exposed negatives. If we free ourselves from connecting 'overexposure' with 'bad exposure', the term gets is to digest. 'More exposure than needed, but still OK exposure' it a bit too lengthy for something we do so frequently. I prefer to stick to 'underexposure', 'normal or minimum exposure', 'overexposure' and maybe 'nuked'.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
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  3. #23

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    Ralph, thanks for those images which speaks very clearly.

    Mark

  4. #24

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    So it IS a good practice to shoot at one half the rated ISO? I'm also struggling at getting consistently good exposures. With my spot meter, I find it hard to determine what is middle grey in a landscape. I want to try just placing a dark shadow in zone III. Otherwise, I'll use my digital meter

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fralexis View Post
    So it IS a good practice to shoot at one half the rated ISO? I'm also struggling at getting consistently good exposures. With my spot meter, I find it hard to determine what is middle grey in a landscape. I want to try just placing a dark shadow in zone III. Otherwise, I'll use my digital meter
    IMO the most reliable type of meter is an incident meter. Reflective measurement can be done Very well too but it typically requires more experience. As you have found, it requires judgement to pick the right point in the scene.

    Adjusting to 1/2 box speed adds more safety factor but there are downsides to using extra as a blanket fix, like slower shutter speed, more grain, ... It is not a magic bullet.

    Personally I incident meter and shoot at box speed and develop normally; systemic failures are very, very, rare doing this.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #26

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    So, using an incident meter how is it used most effectively in the landscape? In my studio work, I aim the dome at the camera and meter. In a landscape I'm standing at the camera with no way to get to the subject a distance off. What methods seem to work best?

  7. #27
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    All you have to do is be in the same light, then you use it similarly to the studio.

    If you aren't in the same light sometimes walking a few steps can get you there.

    You can also do non-traditional measurements. If you are in shadow you will get a reading that will give you the equivalent of shooting at 1/2 or 1/4 box speed, for example. You can shoot there or adjust to correct, your choice.

    BTZS is actually a zone system variant that uses incident readings normally, even preferentially for exactly what you are asking to do. I'm not suggesting you have to do that, just an example.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #28
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    IMO the most reliable type of meter is an incident meter. Reflective measurement can be done Very well too but it typically requires more experience. As you have found, it requires judgement to pick the right point in the scene.

    Adjusting to 1/2 box speed adds more safety factor but there are downsides to using extra as a blanket fix, like slower shutter speed, more grain, ... It is not a magic bullet.

    Personally I incident meter and shoot at box speed and develop normally; systemic failures are very, very, rare doing this.
    I agree with Mark.

    I would just add to remember that in high contrast situations (imagine a building which is half lit by full sun and half in shade) when using an incident light meter and a positive film you would take the measure by placing the light meter in full light (with the dome pointing toward the camera) while with an incident light meter and a negative film you would put the light meter in the shade (again with the dome pointing toward the camera).

    Using an incident meter still requires to remember that with slides you expose "for the highlights" and with negatives you expose "for the shadows" when you have a scene in front of you with both zones in bright sun and zones in the shade.

    Having said that, an incident light meter and "box speed" yields very good results in most situations, while spot metering is more prone to errors and I think is warranted only with high-contrast situations and slide film when you want to exactly understand the way the highlights will be rendered on slide film.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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  9. #29
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    fralexis, I'm essentially doing what you suggest. I don't have a separate meter so I use my DSLR's spot meter for landscapes. When shutter speed permits, I follow Barnbaum's (The Art of Photography) recommendation of placing the shadows where I want detail into Zone IV at box speed - equivalent to placing them into Zone III at half box speed. This gives me some protection against under-exposure and has essentially no disadvantages since the film I use (Delta 100) has at least 2 stops more latitude for over-exposure than for under exposure (based on the characteristic curve measured by Michael R 1974) before hitting the shoulder. By over-exposing by one stop, I'm really just placing middle grey in the middle of the straight-line section of the curve, with about 4 stops dynamic range in both directions (8 stops total) before hitting the toe or shoulder. The shoulder is much more gradual than the toe so there is still some latitude for (even more) over-exposure. At the sizes I print, the grain from Delta 100 is negligible anyway, so I don't worry about the slight increase in grain from over exposure. Shadows blocking from under-exposure would be much more problematic. But note that I'm new to analog, so judge what I say accordingly.
    Last edited by andrew.roos; 05-02-2012 at 04:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Using an incident meter still requires to remember that with slides you expose "for the highlights" and with negatives you expose "for the shadows" when you have a scene in front of you with both zones in bright sun and zones in the shade.
    I was lucky enough to find and read Dunn & Wakefield's Exposure Manual a while back. It gives various scenarios and the reasons for using various types of metering in them. Great text for anyone trying to figure out how to meter better, out of print but normally available used, I'd recommend the 3rd or 4th edition.

    They actually recommend duplexed incident metering for slides, one traditional reading (mid-tone) is averaged with a light source (highlight) reading. I actually use this method for almost every shot I take and have yet to be disappointed at either end of the scale. Traditional incident metering (dome out) works just as well for front and side lit subjects, duplexing (flat faced/dome in) gains an advantage when the main subject is backlit.

    BTZS pegs from the shadow incident reading and factors in a variety of other considerations including highlights similarly in theory to the Zone System. Both of these methods generally seek the minimum exposure which is a reasonable goal.

    When I worked Zoning and Duplexed Incident side by side I found that there was normally little if any difference in the camera setting found, when there was a significant difference I'd recheck the the "zone" reading based off what the incident meter had told me and find where the incident meter was trying to put the shadow. Almost every single time I did this I found that the shadow placement was normally very acceptable to me.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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