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  1. #1
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Olympus XA2 - is it busted or am I just dumb?

    I just bought this camera used today (and I can return it if it's not working properly.)

    I put a roll of Tri-X 400 in and snapped away downtown. Unfortunately most of the photos are under-exposed. Here are 2 samples ...

    This photo came out under-exposed:



    Yet this one seems quite OK:



    I set the ISO on 400 - is that wrong? Am I metering incorrectly? Is the camera busted? (In which case I'll promptly return in tomorrow ...)

    Ken Rockwell (here) says:

    The meters are traditional and non-evaluative. You must use use the Zone System and compensate for light and dark subjects. I set the ISO lower to increase exposure and higher to reduce it.
    Is this advice I need to follow or can I ignore it?
    Those who know, shoot film

  2. #2
    Andy K's Avatar
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    In the first photograph it looks to me like the camera metered for the sky. I'm not sure if the XA2 has exposure lock in any form, if it does try pointing it at your own shadow to meter, then recompose and take the shot.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  3. #3
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    it doesn't ...
    Those who know, shoot film

  4. #4
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    I just rescanned some negs @4800dpi (instead of 2400dpi like before) and now they look better ... maybe my scanner is screwy
    Those who know, shoot film

  5. #5

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    Both images look good to me.

    The first photo has a beautifully exposed sky.

    Try photographing something that is 18% gray to see if the meter sets your exposure properly. You can set your meter to whatever ISO you want despite the manufacturer's recommendation of 400 ISO for Tri-X.

    Without an exposure lock, this is the best technique to fool your meter into setting an exposure you want, instead of what it wants to give you.

    Most likely it is not the camera or the scanner, but user error.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  6. #6

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    The metering on the XA is an 'averaging' meter - I'll bet that the bright sky had 'too much say' in the cameras reckoning. The interior shot which is much more even was fine. They used to call this 'subject failure' - 'cos the subject didn't conform to the meter!!!!

  7. #7
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I've been using my iso on my XA2 to add or drop a stop when I think the meter will be tricked... not much else you can do. Sure beats not having a camera with you!

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    I've been using my iso on my XA2 to add or drop a stop when I think the meter will be tricked... not much else you can do. Sure beats not having a camera with you!
    I have an XA and an XA2. The older XA has a + 1.5 stop feature (on the battery check lever/switch) which I find quite useful. It's a pity they didn't keep it on the XA2.

    My XA2 has a metering problem. 80% of the time it is o.k. but for the rest of the time, exposures are far too long - sometimes almost up to 1 second when I am expecting around 1/125.


    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.

  9. #9
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Well like I said before, I rescanned the negs at 4800dpi and the images came out a lot nicer, including the bottom one on my blog post here: http://life-electronic.net/blog/?p=512

    Now that I have more of a feel for how the meter works though, I'm going to be careful where I point it. Thanks for the tips.
    Those who know, shoot film

  10. #10

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    I recently shot a roll of Provia 100 slide film with my XA, and I didn't bracket, and I set ISO for 100, standard for Provia and all the images taken outside in mixed light came out perfectly exposed. Most b/w films benefit from slight overexposure. Why not try a roll of Tri-X, setting the exposure for ISO 320. I bet you will like the results.

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