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  1. #11

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    Even though Acros has no reciprocity failure up to 120 seconds (documented)?


    I was using Acros specifically because of its lack of a reciprocity failure. Like i said, the underexposure was purely my mistake in reading the meter correctly.. I was just wondering if using a DSLR to get me in the ball park would be smart... and THEN add on the reciprocity for the film ( as needed). Bracket from there and so forth.

  2. #12
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    It is important to understand what under and over exposure actually mean and there are several ways to define this.

    1 In relation to a standardized process.

    2 By what's available on the negative.

    In the standard processing world the expectation is that if the camera exposure is right then the negative should "print" or "scan" perfectly using a standardized process, no manipulation required. Slides and JPEG shooting are the classic examples of this style. Over and underexposure are anything that falls outside the norm. "In studio" where lighting is completely controlled, it is normal to be able to use a standard process but in non-studio photography, this exactness is the rare exception rather than the rule.

    Negatives don't work like slides and JPEGs. Negatives typically catch a lot more info than is printed, the output mediums available to us simply cannot represent as wide a range of info as a negative can. Acros for example may be able to record detail across a range of 12-14 f-stops or more, paper and monitors can typically only show a 6-8 f-stop range. So half the info from an Acros negative may "straight print", it takes some form of manipulation to get the other half to "print". This is normal for negative films, it is why it is said that negatives have great "latitude".

    A negative is only truly underexposed if the shadow detail you wanted simply isn't there or is too far down on the toe to be usable, if you can dodge and get the detail you want in the shadows the negative isn't underexposed.

    Similarly if you can burn in the highlight details to get what you want, the negative isn't over exposed.

    The disposable cameras that we can get at the grocery store use a negative film's latitude to make shooting simple, no need to adjust camera settings. When the film is scanned or printed the person (or software) doing the work simply chooses which 6-8 stop range to print from the negative.

    With negatives you can very often underexpose by 1 stop. On the over side you may be able to go as much as 3-4 over. You need to experiment to find your personal limits.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  3. #13

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    SO what everyone is saying is that I can't (or shouldn't) use a DSLR and its histogram to get a middle exposure as a 'starting point' to then bracket and ensure that I have all the detail in both highlights and shadows?

  4. #14

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    I'd use an old Kodak data guide for a starting point.
    There are a number of tables online that've been appropriated but they're all about the same.
    They give a number of lighting examples, sunset, full moon, half tanked and give starting exposures for different ISO
    I keep a copy of one in the bag "just in case". It's much lighter than that other thing you've mentioned.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    SO what everyone is saying is that I can't (or shouldn't) use a DSLR and its histogram to get a middle exposure as a 'starting point' to then bracket and ensure that I have all the detail in both highlights and shadows?
    go ahead. I'm not dropping $300 on a light meter, so I use an old digital camera. works fine. I usually just use the Sunny 16 rule and no meter at all. Sunset on the water is about the most difficult thing to meter IMO.

  6. #16
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    I think you are wasting time in this particular scenario trying to use a digital camera , or a meter at all, actually. This type of photography is done with bracketing, good notes, experience, and luck. I'm sorry that there is no easy button.

    You are already halfway there, though. Just use what you have already learned with that film and filter and go from there. You should know what to do next time.

    Digital cameras make good exposure predicting tools in many scenarios within their limits but this is not one where I feel it will be any help getting you results you want on film.
    f/22 and be there.

  7. #17

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    I don't think digital = film when it comes to long exposure. Like the others said, you have to test.

    It's one of those things that requires a bit of testing and for you to get a "feel" for correct exposure.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    SO what everyone is saying is that I can't (or shouldn't) use a DSLR and its histogram to get a middle exposure as a 'starting point' to then bracket and ensure that I have all the detail in both highlights and shadows?
    The sensor in DSLRs is much more sensitive in low light than film and shows nothing about reciprocity for film at an equivalent exposure. Essentially, using a DSLR for proofing in low light is where caution and judgement needs to be exercised, based on experience and known results in particular circumstances. A DSLR is not alien to analog photography: it can be very useful indeed, but it is not a panacea for analog perfection. Sometimes (not on recent busy shoots) I use my Nikon digi for proofing scenes, but never in low light where I am more comfortable and certain with what I am doing (using transparency film) meteringn separately than relying on a sensor with bland and unserviceable exposure feedback. Acros is renowned for having a very wide latitude, even up to 3 minutes and is often favoured among pinhole photographers working at long exposures.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  9. #19
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    SO what everyone is saying is that I can't (or shouldn't) use a DSLR and its histogram to get a middle exposure as a 'starting point' to then bracket and ensure that I have all the detail in both highlights and shadows?
    Use a DSLR if you please. Like any meter though you need to test it to calibrate it to your film systems quirks. Your lenses, your shutters, your personality as a meter operator, your developing technique, your scanner... Dialing the box ISO rating into the DSLR may or may not get you better exposure settings.

    With regard to bracketing, IMO don't bother, just be sure to get enough exposure/avoid under exposure. Negatives are very forgiving of extra exposure.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #20
    jcc
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    SO what everyone is saying is that I can't (or shouldn't) use a DSLR and its histogram to get a middle exposure as a 'starting point' to then bracket and ensure that I have all the detail in both highlights and shadows?
    I third(?) the vote for a DSLR as a lightmeter proxy if you want--there's nothing wrong with that. It's a reflective meter with a better screen! But do calibrate how your film measures relative to your DSLR results (i.e., take notes).

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