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Thread: Dilemma

  1. #11
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Learn to use the sunny 16 system and leave the light meter and digi at home. I started shooting film in the 60's and didn't have a meter, ruined alot of shots at first, but ended up nailing most of them. Its simple and foolproof(but not idiot proof, dang)and results can be thrilling when you figure out how it works.Almost all my favorite cameras are devoid of meter, and allow me to concentrate on composition and not the meter.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  2. #12

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    Go here and print the 2 charts near the bottom: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

    Then leave your digital and/or meter at home. I started doing this a couple of years ago and now use the meter mostly indoors. I still make lots of mistakes but am no longer afraid of them.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    The problem is, when I actually go out to shoot, I'm so worried about missing the light or missing a particular shot that I can't pull myself away from my DSLR.
    You need to stop worrying about missing the shot. It's gonna happen. It still happens to people with decades of film experience. The important thing is to know why you missed the shot. Take good notes. Compare what you shot with the notes. Use what you learn the next time you shoot. Like anything else, there's a learning curve to shooting film. Don't let it intimidate you. Embrace it.

  4. #14

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    I thought more about OP's post and sort of read between the lines....

    Are you in a generation where you've NEVER shot film and afraid, if you aren't so careful, you'll end up with no images what-so-ever because you can't look behind your camera and verify? I'm thinking you are....

    If this is the case, you should know that before the age of digital, perhaps before you were even born, that's all we had. Everybody including people who only know to "push the button" took pictures using film. Some cameras only had one shutter speed and no aperture control. They still got usable images. Missing the shot because of exposure problems were rare. Granted, they weren't perfect images but still quite good. You can still buy these cameras in form of disposable cameras.

    If my guess applies to you, my suggestion is for you to get few rolls of film, leave the DSLR at home, and just shoot few rolls using nothing more than Mamiya 7's built-in meter. You'll be pleasantly surprised, your fears are unfounded. You have one of the most advanced medium format range finder camera available today. It'll be fine.

    You *could* get light meter but unless you use it correctly, it won't help you at all. I don't even think you need it at this point in your film adventure.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    For people who have only ever shot film, I can see why this would seem preposterous. But I didn't get into photography until after the 'digital revolution', so I started with a modern, live-view enabled DSLR.
    You are the 2nd new-from-digital guy this week to mention "live-view".

    What is this?

  6. #16

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    Live View is a relatively new feature in modern DSLRs. In this mode, the mirror is flipped up (except for some Sony implementation). You get what the CCD/CMOS sensor see on LCD at real time. In essence, turns DSLR into regular point-and-shoot type camera in term of mechanics. While this is happening, the view finder (the regular one) is blocked out.

    Think of it as a digital ground glass.
    Last edited by tkamiya; 05-31-2011 at 02:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #17
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider- your digital camera's built-in meter was designed around the sensitivity of the chip in the camera, which is very different than the sensitivity of your film. Digital ISO 100 is NOT the same as film ISO 100 - I've seen this on multiple cameras across different brands. It's even more startlingly true comparing across digital cameras. I was taking a portrait photography class and we had about six or seven digital camera models spanning three manufacturers (Canon, Nikon and I think there was an Olympus in there too), and you could set all of them on ISO 100 and use the settings from the flash meter, and find 2/3 of them overexposed and 1/3 underexposed using the meter's settings. So quit using your digital camera as a meter for anything other than your digital camera!

  8. #18

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    TKAMIYA - thank you. I can see how that could become a crutch, truly unnecessary, but the loss of which would bother somebody who is new to rangefinders or tlr's.

  9. #19
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    When I first worked in a projection booth it was often daunting to try to learn how to run the shows without mistakes. After all, there were paying customers in those seats!

    First, I'd try to get through the day without having to reframe or adjust the focus. No misthreads. No sound problems. Just get through the day "clean."
    It took a few months to get to just that level. After doing it for over 15 years it's as easy as falling off a bicycle. Nowadays, I can run an entire 20-plex by myself for 12 hours straight with only an hour break for lunch and an hour break for dinner. No foul-ups.

    When I get trainees and they are hesitant because they are afraid to make mistakes I remind them that they might have only threaded 10 shows in their lives but I have threaded 100,000 shows. There WILL be mistakes when you are that new but the only way the student is going to learn how to run movies is to actually run movies. That's why I'm there; to help.

    Similar thing for you. The only way to learn to shoot film is to shoot film so go out there and burn up some film.

    Get out there and put a couple-few dozen rolls of film through that camera. Don't worry if you foul up some pictures. Even when you make mistakes you learn something.

    Remember, the only picture that isn't any good is the picture that you DIDN'T take!
    Are you willing to pass up that once in a lifetime, "million dollar photo" because you are afraid to click the shutter?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl
    Randy S.

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  10. #20
    Six
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    I thought more about OP's post and sort of read between the lines....

    Are you in a generation where you've NEVER shot film and afraid, if you aren't so careful, you'll end up with no images what-so-ever because you can't look behind your camera and verify? I'm thinking you are....

    If this is the case, you should know that before the age of digital, perhaps before you were even born, that's all we had. Everybody including people who only know to "push the button" took pictures using film. Some cameras only had one shutter speed and no aperture control. They still got usable images. Missing the shot because of exposure problems were rare. Granted, they weren't perfect images but still quite good. You can still buy these cameras in form of disposable cameras.

    If my guess applies to you, my suggestion is for you to get few rolls of film, leave the DSLR at home, and just shoot few rolls using nothing more than Mamiya 7's built-in meter. You'll be pleasantly surprised, your fears are unfounded. You have one of the most advanced medium format range finder camera available today. It'll be fine.

    You *could* get light meter but unless you use it correctly, it won't help you at all. I don't even think you need it at this point in your film adventure.

    Heh, not quite *that* young. I'm 25. I used film cameras when I was younger, but I didn't get into photography as a real hobby until 2 years ago. I'm not afraid of not getting *anything*, I'm just worried about not getting the best that I possibly can out of a scene. Driving a few hours to someplace in particular for photography purposes only to make a technical error isn't my idea of a good time haha. I know it happens, but it's still not fun.

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