Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
I've been surprised how nice many night shots have come out using 400 speed film and shot with my Contax G2 with my 45/2 Planar wide open at 1/15th.
This is also my experience. Well-lit urban zones or monuments usually require EV4 @ 100 ISO. That corresponds to 1/15@f/2 @ 400 ISO. As Mark says, inevitably you will have both blocked shadows and some burned highlights, but the scene will be rendered as a night scene with a well described subject matter. If one wants to nail the exposure better the only* possibility is a spot light meter.

The first picture, Saint Peter's clock, had such sharp lighting that even while using a spot light meter (which was not so spot as I was several hundreds of meters away so the 1 angle covered a "large" area) I had to bracket some 0.5 EV to be sure not to burn the highlights. This is one of the few occasions, and the only one I remember, where I did bracket exposure. I remember I always was quite in the vicinity of EV4@100 ISO.



* Besides bracketing, that is.

The general experience I have now is that EV4@100 ISO is very likely to work well with slides. Walking around with a negative film I would use EV4@100 ISO without using any light meter.