Quote Originally Posted by 10speeduk View Post
Thanks all for your info. I guess 160 iso for this film is fine. And yes, she in shade so she should be dark. The main error here is how i composed the shot with not enough difference in tone between my subject and the background. Exposing for longer would not change this relationship. So yet portrait falls down on not having enough light on the subject. I now have two reflectors, which will be an option for next time and i have a leaf shutter lens on the way so maybe a softbox also!

Thanks again all for the insights. am not sure i would have cracked it on my own.
The issue isn't whether she is too dark or not, it's that your camera's meter has failed in the most normal way, the subject takes up about 10% of the frame, the background due to the lighting is very bright, so the meter sees that brightness and selects an exposure where the subject is too dark. Changing the ISO to get more exposure would make it overall brighter, but not fix the ratio between subject and background.

If your camera has spot metering capability, then spot meter on the face, if not, then there are four possible solutions.... Solution one, modified zone system exposure, you want the face in zone V, as the face is the most important part of a portrait, focus on eyes. Second is move the camera in close, so only the face is in the frame, take a meter reading on the face, see what the exposure is, then move back and frame, setting the camera manually. Third is a separate light meter, so you can meter on just the face. Fourth is a reflector or fill flash to get more light on the face. The last one is actually the ideal, it doesn't blow out the background, because it reduces the brightness differential.