Not so much the Zone system, just what I'm used to doing with digital.
I shoot mainly in full manual mode, and I just meter off skin tones for portraits or the highlights if clipping could occur. I'll look into ordering a few books as I am new to shooting film in any meaningful way. I rarely have problems with exposure on my DSLR and as I said, I shoot manual 99% of the time, with no need to adjust exposure in post, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around the film world, which I know is different
For now, the information provided is good, and I'm very happy about the book recommendations as I learn best that way
Good luck on your project. I hope soon you can stop worrying about the equipment, exposure, etc and spend lots of time planning the message and the associated images!
I've not read through all the post, only the first 6 pages but, I agree with many, disagree with many.
A thief is generally not going to analyze whether your camera is a dslr or slr. More likely the best would be the brand recognition. Something saying Leica or Nikon will probably catch his eye more than Miranda, Yashica, Exacta etc. A rangefinder of zone focus possibly will attract less attention than a slr or dslr, an old black folder mf less so than a silver anything.
Your desired focal length spec is a limiting factor. It precludes many fixed focal length cameras that are very good in the 35-40mm range; if you can widen the spec, it opens you up to a whole range of possible solutions.
An internal meter can get in the way as well as a range finder. You seem to be describing street photography in a hostile environment but it is still street photogrpahy. Forget pin accurate metering as in any form it generally means taking a measurement and then doing the math to adjust for skin tones. Learn the lighting and skin tones and simply dial it in using your eye or, get a Weston meter as they quickly do the calc for you on the dial if you take 10 minutes to learn the dial. I've used the II, III and have used their last Ranger for almost all my photography hobby time and they are faster than in-camera metering unless you are using transparency film and have a very broad tonal range extending more than 4-6 zones. I think you have the dslr. Take it and use it to learn the Sunny 16 rule, really learn it. Go out, use the rule and then check with the camera. With practice you can easily get to within a quarter f/stop. Even today, I use the rule first and only check it with the meter vs using the meter and then trying to do some mental calcs.
Do not worry about the camera quality, concentrate on the subject and what you want to say. Many great photos were taken by cameras with lenses considered soft, not contrasty, etc. by today's standards. I've seen great results from an artist whose only camera was an Argus C-3 with the Argus lens set (I think they were Wollensak). I doubt anyone would throw out a Matthew (sp?) Brady photo and call it poor because he did not use a Leica, Zeiss, Nikon, etc. In the end it is the photographer and not the equipment that makes the difference between trash, a nice photograph and a historic keeper. Think of the photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square, one of the most reproduced photos in history - what camera was used? What was more important, the lens or the photographer who had the eye to capture the moment.
Sometimes a less than steller spec camera can be a benefit. When I taught beginner photography the students invariable would at first ask whether to blow the holiday money on Camera A or B. After the 1st course I decided show and tell was better than orally explaining this so I took a day and loaded the same emulsion in my Bronica ETRS and a bakelite camera with similar focal length and a single "instant" shutter speed. I had previously determined the seed was about 1/60th of a second and it had 4 aperatures. I took a set of tripods and did setups, set the exposures to the same (well, as close as they permitted) and adjusted for the slight focal length differences by moving the cameras so the resulting image was as close as possible exposure wise and angle of view. Oh, the film was b&w and color. I handed around the results and asked 3 questions: 1) which did they like better, 2) which probably conveyed more truth as the photographer saw it and 3) which technically looked to the product of the better camera. 1 and 2 almost 100% in each class was the answer was the bakelite camera while with 3 there was usually a split decision. They did not learn which set of prints were from what camera until the votes were in. Not the best response to some guy who paid more than $2k for a basic mf camera and pulled the other from a trash bin. It even taught me a lesson and from then on my money into film and development and not equipment. I still have the bakelite camera and really like using it for portraits and photos where persons are the subject. The lousy lens is soft yet yields lines and wrinkles so pleasingly with its less than high contrast.
If you want an automated or coupled meter some of the earlier slrs and rangefinders had coupled metering but, not through the lens which is most useful if using filters, extension tubes or the like. The meters were either built in but metered from a cell in the body or clipped on the top and usually has an index tab to the speed dial to couple it to the lens. These meters could be selenium or cds. Both with no more learing than any built in meter was as easy to use as the ttl metering that came later except most had little or no information in the viewfinder to interfer with the focusing and composing. I recently picked up one of the very reliable tanks, a Asahi S1a slrs that predates the spotmatic and has a build to withstand a direct hit from a Sherman tank. I've tried the matching meter a camera store has to see how well it all worked and using the combo after a few minutes was fast and easy; basically set the aperature and us the meter to set the speed. The viewfinder is clear. In the street this system works nicely as I did not have to aim and set, just pointed the camera in the general direction as I walked and read the readout on top of the camera with turn also setting the camera. Even easier than a handheld without the restriction of an in-camera meter as you walk around. I did not buy the meter as the asking price was too high but I suspect I'll get a call as the meter has been sitting for more than a year and I've been the only guy to bite at all.
As for the battery issue, many older meters; in and out of camera used the PX625. CHRIS makes an excellent adaptor to use a modern battery. I have them for 2 of my exposure meters, my Leica CL, a pair of Yashica FX-3 bodies and they've worked flawlessly for more than 4 years. So the battery issue is not an issue except for alarmists. Many of the meters also can be adjusted for the different voltages and some are not voltage sensitive such as the meter in the Spotmatic.
As for specific camera recommendations well, you'll get probably every make and model before the thread dies out. My experience is that newer electronic cameras vs older vintage mechanical cameras are a tossup. The average life of an lcd screen is about 5 years from industry sources so many excellent electronic cameras screens are coming onto design end of life. Caps have an average life for in-spec of around 15 years so the circuits likewise are getting near end of life. 40 year old cameras are also at a point where grease is at end of life so at this point neither type is better than the other in absolute terms. A mechanical camera has fewer parts and is easier to fix without complex instruments needed for the electronics and electronics parts such as ics may no longer be available while mechanical parts can many time be scavenged. Best to talk to local sources to see who can service what and costs. Some mechanical cameras shutters are easier to disassemble than other and costs are significantly less. A copal type shutter is generally less than a cloth shutter on an slr.
If looking for an slr, the Yashica FX-3 with a Yashica wa lens is a great compromise combination that is low cost. The Yashica C/Y lenses reportedly borrowed from the Zeiss designs they were making for Zeiss under contract for their Contax camera line from which the FX series of cameras were derived. Also, the Spotmatic with the M42 sm and earlier bodies are excellent and the lenses from that period by Asahi were 2nd only to the likes of Leica and Zeiss. Today they can be had for next to nothing for most.
Try metering shadows...that way, you'll get the detail you want within them. Then, work with your highlights when you print. I'm still learning that.
Originally Posted by laroygreen
Up to post #109 before someone bothered to mention that!
Originally Posted by Chan Tran
Exposure compensation adds or subtracts exposure to the film and does that by CHANGING THE EXPOSURE not by magic.
If you add exposure for beach or snow, no compensation is needed in developing. In a negative it adds density to the negative which equals a light area(white) in a print. In a transparency it reduces density which makes it brighter(white).
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I've already written most of the "script" for the documentary, just need to actually put together an interview list (people willing to be interviewed and sign a release), work on the schedules and plan the final presentation and find someone to collaborate with (to help editing the script, etc.).
I'm also registering a small company which will handle any legal liabilities, such as if I interview someone who discloses something they shouldn't or if someone trips on a wire and sues, as a small company (LLC), my personal assets are completely separate and protected.
This also allows me to take out insurance, though that aspect is proofing a little more difficult as most insurers only provide property/estate insurance, i.e. if someone gets injured or if your gear gets stolen from the company premises, your covered, if it happens elsewhere, your tough out of luck. I should be able to get around it though.
I've also compiled a list of gear on BH and Keh to order, not much stuff I need, just recorder, camera, lens, film and a few other miscellaneous items. Everything else, I already own or can borrow.
So ... full speed ahead, for better or worse
Originally Posted by laroygreen
Good luck on your project!
I wouldn't change the ISO on the camera to compensate for exposure because you'll forget to set it back and then be worse off...
But I don't check the meter every shot if I'm in the same light. That way a few shots at the same time look the same as each other.
I'll add one more recommendation for a Yashica FX-3 as an inexpensive choice. As someone noted, there was one for sale here if it isn't gone. But they aren't hard to find on that auction site.
And they're cheap enough that loosening one isn't a tragedy. But they work great. And the Yashica ML glass is super. While the Zeiss glass is even better. Some of the third party C/Y mount stuff is flaky, but reviews abound.
On the metering question.
Some cameras include information in the viewfinder about how much your set exposure is over or under the recommended exposure.
For example, the OM 1 has markings in the viewfinder that, when the meter needle points there, indicate respectively 1/2 and 1 stop additional or less exposure.
And the OM 2s has markings in the viewfinder that, when the LCD meter indicator aligns there, indicate respectively 1/3, 2/3, 1, 4/3, 5/3 and 2 stops additional or less exposure.
The Canon EOS cameras offer something similar to the OM 2s.
“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
I personally do not worry much about metering, when considering the nature of the project you will involve. Since lighting conditions will not change drastically in a given hour. So, I will put my concern on bright view finder.
Set once the aperture and shutter speed to bring the meter needle somewhere in the middle, and start taking pictures without worrying much about proper exposure.
- Check ISO settings.
- Check Aperture.
- Check Shutter speed.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.