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  1. #11

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    The OP's question presumes considerable accuracy on the part of a) the light meter, b) the camera's shutter speeds, c) the lens aperture settings, then also d) the closeness of the film's actual speed to its box rating, e) that processing is 100% and probably a whole lot of other things besides. In reality IMHO, these factors could all work in one direction, all work in the other direction or some of each to cancel each other out. I guess the thing to do is suck it and see for your particular application, but like bobwysiwyg above, I can't imagine myself losing too much sleep over a 'possible' third of a stop!
    Interesting question - let us know what you find/decide!

    Steve

  2. #12

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    Exposure for Oddball Shutter Time

    I don’t know what sort of meter you’re using. Mine reads in f-stops at a selected shutter time available on the camera or lens shutter. All modern meters read in stops or can be instructed to do so. F-stops are the common language of exposure.

    A 1/3-stop error on negative film is trivial, but I’d prefer it to be correct or somewhat over. It’s not so trivial with transparency film.

    If you’re shooting transparency film I’d want to know the f-stop error and vary the aperture to suit. You can just as well do the same with negative film if you want the exposure “on the money.”

    It’s not generally practical to think in terms of non-standard shutter speeds. So far as I know those are only reported by cameras with digital speed readouts in aperture-priority or program mode. A hand-held meter that reports 1/40 second is useless in my opinion, as we have no way to achieve it via manual settings, at least not with the ancient equipment I use.

    The error in going from a metered 1/40 second to 1/30 second time is + 0.42 f. I could live with that.

    The time change from 1/40 second to 1/60 second is - 0.58 f.

    Which do you think is worse? Do you like thin negatives?

    I think you’re splitting hairs. If you’re using negative film and you’re unwilling to make the adjustment by rotating the aperture ring to the approximate correct position, then use the next slower speed, because underexposure is a less than complete recording of the scene. I’m assuming that you plan on normal development.

    Just remember the old photographer’s adage, “with negative film, expose for the shadows and the rest will fall in place.” I’ve found that it usually does.

  3. #13
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    In the end, you will get an image, and it will likely be acceptable. Something I have learned is that the picture is far more important than perfect exposure. If it's a crappy picture with perfect exposure, who cares. But a fantastic picture that is perhaps 1/3 of a stop underexposed... well it just doesn't matter that much in reality and the subject will carry it through.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    In the end, you will get an image, and it will likely be acceptable. Something I have learned is that the picture is far more important than perfect exposure. If it's a crappy picture with perfect exposure, who cares. But a fantastic picture that is perhaps 1/3 of a stop underexposed... well it just doesn't matter that much in reality and the subject will carry it through.
    A very well made point IMHO and of course, taking it to extremes, Capa's D-Day shots and Zapruder's Kennedy footage were far from technically perfect but the subject matter over-rode a bit of exposure error and fuzziness!

    Steve

  5. #15
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Those are some great examples Steve.

    We're pretty used to seeing "reality" with our eyes, so lately my philosophy has been a bit on the 'pictorialist' side (and no I'm not talking about fuzzy lenses and women in lace...), in that the camera can transform the look of reality into something different; this can be taken to extremes of course, or quite subtle.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  6. #16
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    Just keep in mind, this question was asked in an attempt to learn better how to use my light meter. If you fully understand the "rules" it is easier to know when you can take artistic licence.
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
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    Barry
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  7. #17
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Certainly.. and sorry if we've gotten off topic. I was just adding my 2¢, but it seems it has become more like $2.

  8. #18
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    But I did learn that there is no real reason to "fret" over swinging one way or the other if the light reading is in between two settings on an older camera.
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  9. #19
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I thought you were a violinist... they don't have frets.


  10. #20
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Aahhh, very good. I wondered if anyone would catch that "pun".
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
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    Barry
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