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  1. #1
    haring's Avatar
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    ISO setting question

    How do you set your ISO? Somebody told me that it is the best to set the ISO lower than the actual film you have? Foe example, if I have a 400ISO film, I should set the camera to ISO200 so the result will be rather overexposed than underexposed...What do you think?

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    It all depends on the film, developer,and the effect you are after, for instance, in FD10 developer I would set HP5+ to iso 250, rather than the rated 400, but in Rodinal/aph09 I would set the iso for hp5 at box speed, that is 400, now with Fomapan 400, which is my film of choice, I rate it at 320 rather than 400 in either of the 2 developers, and get good negatives, but the point is in most developers if you downrate the film the you must compensate with less time in developer,
    Richard

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    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    A common method is to halve the speed (i,e, give twice as much exposure) then reduce development by about 20%. This gives more shadow detail.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #4
    haring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    A common method is to halve the speed (i,e, give twice as much exposure) then reduce development by about 20%. This gives more shadow detail.


    Steve.
    which means that I have to increase aperture. it will work! thanks!

  5. #5
    haring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R gould View Post
    It all depends on the film, developer,and the effect you are after, for instance, in FD10 developer I would set HP5+ to iso 250, rather than the rated 400, but in Rodinal/aph09 I would set the iso for hp5 at box speed, that is 400, now with Fomapan 400, which is my film of choice, I rate it at 320 rather than 400 in either of the 2 developers, and get good negatives, but the point is in most developers if you downrate the film the you must compensate with less time in developer,
    Richard
    I have a lot to learn... I shouldn't have started shooting film...

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    Quote Originally Posted by haring View Post
    I have a lot to learn... I shouldn't have started shooting film...
    We have all had to learn it, which is why forums like this are so good,in fact we are all still learning, the day you think you know all there is to know is the time to quit, just enjoy shooting film, and I would start with a known developer such as ID11 from ilford or D76 from Kodak, or perhaps Aculux 3 from Patterson, a great 1 shot developer, or maybe rodinal,with perhaps 1 film, such as HP5+ for 400 or FP4+ for a slower speed both from Ilford, use the film and developer as per the makers instructions, and when you know the film/developer backwards then start experimenting with other combinations and methods,
    Richard

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    haring,

    You can get very good results immediately in film photography. Negatives I created when I was a teenager still make good prints (except they are a little scratchy). Almost every roll I ever shot is usable. I have very few rolls over my lifetime that had problems, and each time I learned a little more.

    Quote Originally Posted by R gould View Post
    ... the day you think you know all there is to know is the ...
    Richard,

    I agree with the start of your sentiment but I went to high-school once. It's OK to think you know it all. Soon enough it comes out that you still can spend 2 years learning more.

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    it also has to do with the meter in your camera.
    some metering systems ( in camera or hand held )
    read the light different than others. so ... sometimes the best
    thing to do is to shoot a roll of 400 iso film in a variety of subjects
    and bracket your exposures -
    so you expose one at 400, one at 200 and one at 800
    ( just vary your fstops --- one as the meter reads, one over exposed 1stop,
    one underexposed 1stop rather than adjust your asa/iso )
    then process your film as you always do in whatever developer you usually use "business as usual" ...
    you will see what works best for your metering and developing ...
    broad rules are great . but sometimes testing for your own working methods is best.

    have fun !
    john

  9. #9
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    haring:

    Just for clarity...

    ISO is a standardised measure of the light sensitivity of film - it is an acronym of International Standards Organization (I think).

    The setting you choose for your camera meter is more properly referred to as an Exposure Index or "EI".

    The ISO (or "box speed") of film doesn't change*. The EI you choose varies with light conditions, your preferences, equipment, processing regimen and other factors.

    In a very many cases, you will get quite satisfactory results if you choose an EI that is identical to the ISO.

    Historically, ISO was preceded by ASA (American Standards Association) and DIN (???) ratings. Immediately prior to the change, the ASA standard was fairly close to the current ISO.

    *There is one exception to the rule about unchanging ISO. For some films of yore, there was a different ISO for different light (usually daylight and tungsten).
    Matt

    “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

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Look up the late Barry Thornton's web site. His articles on Personal Film Speed, and Personal Development Times are clear jems I with I had found when I started out on this film journey about 30 years ago. Regretably I only found them about 5 years ago.
    my real name, imagine that.

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