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Thread: Wide open?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    How so?
    He is referring to the wide exposure latitude.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Pain-MD View Post
    He is referring to the wide exposure latitude.
    Yes but still, having the ability to overexpose and having no meter at all is not exactly the same thing.
    You need years an years of experience to start shooting without a meter and it is still "dangerous".

    I want to be sure of my exposures. Not guess and rely on the fact that film is forgiving.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    How so?
    Basically because the latitude of negative film is so great compared to slide film. Bear in mind that in the heyday of film, most photos were shot on disposables and cheap compacts, neither of which have meters, most photos come out fine.

    This article is quite interesting:

    http://www.twinlenslife.com/2010/12/...light-new.html

    Shows ISO 400 film shot at ISO 25, still looks fine, you don't even lose the highlights too much. Slide film would look pretty awful though.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    Yes but still, having the ability to overexpose and having no meter at all is not exactly the same thing.
    You need years an years of experience to start shooting without a meter and it is still "dangerous".

    I want to be sure of my exposures. Not guess and rely on the fact that film is forgiving.
    Fair enough, if you're very exacting about your exposure, then meter away. I'm less exacting and fall into the "it looks fine to me" category.

  5. #15
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    I guess I'm not understanding what you want.

    Part of the challenge/advantage of wide open shooting is the selective nature of focus; the subject is sharp, the rest is not, naturally.

    I have the 35mm f/2 Nikkor O and 50mm f/1.4 and find my subjects quite sharp when shot open, as long as I have focused well.

    So is the issue focus, depth of field, or .... ?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    You need years an years of experience to start shooting without a meter and it is still "dangerous".

    I want to be sure of my exposures. Not guess and rely on the fact that film is forgiving.
    I truly disagree.

    Lots of fun and great work has been done in very "primitive" or "guessed at" exposure control situations. For example; Ansel's Moonrise, and with hand shuttered Petzvals, Brownies, Disposables...

    One of the true joys of shooting negatives is the ability to ignore the camera and just shoot.

    This is not to say that we can't or shouldn't try to manage the process/exposure, just that perfect exposure is in no way a guarantee of good photos.

    IMO good content trumps perfect exposure every time.

    Most times, alternate camera exposure settings simply mean alternate enlarger exposure settings for me.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 02-24-2012 at 06:37 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Lots of fun and great work has been done in very "primitive" or "guessed at" exposure control situations.
    When people did not have the means it was a different story. When I can very easily have a device that nails my exposures I want to use it.
    Conent is obviosuly extremely important but it is called PHOtography (phos=light) for a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    One of the true joys of shooting negatives is the ability to ignore the camera and just shoot.
    That is why people invented cameras that meter automatically.

  8. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Shooting wide open really pinpoints your skills as a photographer.

    Focus becomes critical, and it isn't so much that you are IN focus - the real concern becomes WHERE you're in focus. And that changes a lot based on how far you are from the object you are focusing on. It takes some trial and error to come to terms with where focus is appropriate, and how to get enough focus in that area to make a satisfying negative.

    I personally like a 25mm aperture for portraits, for example. That means f/4 for a 100mm lens, f/2 for a 50mm lens and f/1.4 for 35mm lenses. (100/4 = 50/2 = 35/1.4 = 25). That determines your depth of field. So shooting a 35mm f/2 lens wide open is going to give you an entirely different depth of field than a 50mm f/1.4 lens; your depth of field will be a different by a factor of 4. So if you want consistency in your work you should probably consider a 50mm f/2 and a 35mm f/1.4.

    Either way, all technical terms aside, shooting wide open is where most lenses show their anomalies the most. Vignetting, sharpness fall-off, etc become pronounced. That could yield interesting results if used appropriately, or it could look like crap. But I can guarantee you it will look interesting.

    With that said, you probably are better off exploring the full potential of the lens. You could, for example, set up a portrait session with a friend or something, and just do static portraits shooting at different apertures. Print all of the different versions and figure out what you like the best. Or shoot landscape at different apertures and print those negs. Just explore the lens and see how you like it best. No need to subscribe to a single way of shooting.

    My two cents.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #19
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    The way I understand the OP, the problem is "soft" images, the opposite of sharp, not exposure latitude. I'm not sure where metering comes in to the query.

    "Wide open" and "soft" are just the physics of optics and functionally unavoidable.

    You can pay enormous amounts more $$$ for a lens to marginally improve the results, say for a 1.2 lens. RF lenses may be sharper wide open than an SLR lens, closer to the wider angles and losing the advantage at the tele ends.

    IMH experience a 1.2-1.4 lens gets acceptably sharp at 2.8. The speed advantage just buys more headroom especially at f/2.8-4. My Olympus 35RC is as sharp at its wide open f/2.8 as my Yashica Electro GSN at f/2.8, though the latter can shoot as fast as f1.7. It's just that f/1.7 is a touch less sharp.

    The advantage of the RF is no mirror slap, so one can usually shoot a full stop less shutter speed handheld.

    The known method to rectify is to use faster film or push the film, and shoot less wide open. You then have to battle grain at the process/print phase.

  10. #20
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
    The way I understand the OP, the problem is "soft" images, the opposite of sharp, not exposure latitude. I'm not sure where metering comes in to the query.

    "Wide open" and "soft" are just the physics of optics and functionally unavoidable.

    You can pay enormous amounts more $$$ for a lens to marginally improve the results, say for a 1.2 lens. RF lenses may be sharper wide open than an SLR lens, closer to the wider angles and losing the advantage at the tele ends.

    IMH experience a 1.2-1.4 lens gets acceptably sharp at 2.8. The speed advantage just buys more headroom especially at f/2.8-4. My Olympus 35RC is as sharp at its wide open f/2.8 as my Yashica Electro GSN at f/2.8, though the latter can shoot as fast as f1.7. It's just that f/1.7 is a touch less sharp.
    Not all lenses are created equal and there are lenses that are very sharp at full aperture (even 1.4 and wider).
    Yes, they tend to be expensive, but not always. Choosing carefully is always a good thing....

    For example, while I wouldn't actually consider the Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 AIS "soft", but if shooting at full aperture is a priority, there are much better lenses out there (as someone else mentioned, I'd look at Zeiss ZF, if staying with Nikon bodies).
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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