Overexposuring analog film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sandman, May 28, 2012.

  1. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    The lab that developed my film gave me a tip on analog shooting. He
    said that I should overexpose my shots by setting the camera ISO
    setting to a step lower than than actual film. So my T-Max 400 film
    should be set to ISO 200, and my Portra 160 should be set to ISO 80.

    Looking at my pics, some are underexposed (which in most cases
    actually makes them look quite interesting).

    Do you guys have any comments on this?
    Sandman, May 28, 2012
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  2. Sandman

    Martin Brown Guest

    Worth trying out bracketing exposures on a couple of ladnsacpes with
    clouds in to get a feel for how things behave on film. Easier and
    cheaper to do digitally of course but slightly different behaviour.
    I'd be inclined to over expose most analogue films by a half a stop as
    their nominal rated ASA always seemed to be a tadge optimistic.
    Martin Brown, May 28, 2012
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  3. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Ok, half-stop vs one stop. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try both :)
    Sandman, May 28, 2012
  4. Sandman

    Rob Guest

    you will not see 1/2 stop - better to go 1 stop.
    Rob, May 28, 2012
  5. Sandman

    Rob Guest

    Its to compensate for them under processing your film.

    Most labs use a replenishment system to "top up" there chemicals to the
    correct concentration which keeps them "fresh". Usually labs just go
    merrily along and seldom check the developer with a test strip during
    the normal days production. Its only the startup period when its checked
    and the film density measured. So if your film is developed in the
    afternoon the strength could be under which will under develop the film.

    Just as a check compare the edge strip of the film which has been
    correctly exposed for a reference as to the correct development.
    Rob, May 28, 2012
  6. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Ah, good info. Thanks
    Sandman, May 28, 2012
  7. Sandman

    nospam Guest

    when i shot film, i'd usually set the iso to half of what it said on
    the box for print film. don't do that for slide film.
    nospam, May 28, 2012
  8. Sandman

    Rob Guest

    I didn't say that. have a re read

    There is
    You missed the point.
    Rob, May 29, 2012
  9. Sandman

    Rob Guest

    Thats like a stop.

    Slide film you should bracket it its critical.
    Rob, May 29, 2012
  10. Sandman

    PeterN Guest

    Yes! Underexposure can give you more color saturation.
    But, I agree with you on bracketing.

    For digital I try to push the histogram as far to the right as I can,
    without blowing the highlights.
    PeterN, May 29, 2012
  11. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Do you take reference photos or use live view for histogram tweaking
    while shooting? And do you tweak it with shutter/aperture or
    over/under-exposure (+/-)?

    I would love for an in-viewfinder histogram, actually. That is
    actively measuring the current scene. It could be supersmall in the
    corner - and maybe just when I press the Fn-button or somesuch. But it
    would be pretty great.
    Sandman, May 29, 2012
  12. Sandman

    PeterN Guest

    I take reference photos. Most of the time I adjust using the +/-
    For high speed sync I shoot in manual and adjust the shutter speed. For
    active wildlife bracketing is not feasible.
    PeterN, May 30, 2012
  13. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Right, but this film is labeled as ISO 400. The lab hints at saying
    that ISO 400 film should be shot as ISO 200 film - resulting in
    over-exposing the film. If the manufacturer labels the film as ISO 400
    and I shoot at ISO 200, am I not overexposing it by definition?
    relating to or using signals or information represented by a
    continuously variable physical quantity such as spatial position
    or voltage. Often contrasted with digital

    I'd say a photographic film most certainly is using variable
    positioning of something physical to create an image.
    Sandman, May 30, 2012
  14. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    I take reference photos. Most of the time I adjust using the +/-

    Right, so you take picture 1, look at histogram, adjust +/-, take
    another picture, look at histogram and decide whether that setting is
    desirable, or do it again? It's cumbersome, but it works I suppose.
    Sandman, May 30, 2012
  15. Sandman

    Martin Brown Guest

    You can usually tell when the metering system might be confused by the
    lighting configuration and adjust accordingly first time around.
    Provided that your first shot is a modest underexposure the second one
    guided by the histogram can be pretty much spot on if you can do simple
    mental arithmetic. The closest call is always weddings where the bride
    is in not-quite-white and the groom in black velvet - the dynamic range
    under those circumstances means that one or other has to give. Burning
    out the highlights on the brides dress is usually more objectionable.
    Martin Brown, May 30, 2012
  16. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    How is that cumbersome in relation to any other way?[/QUOTE]

    None that I know of! I really don't use the histogram myself at all,
    so I was just curious. But my preceeding comment was about the value
    of having a live histogram inside the viewfinder, which I suppose
    would be a less cumbersome way to do this, yet unavailable as far as I

    I just checked, my D3s doesn't even offer a live histogram in live
    view, which otherwise might have been a bit less cumbersome.
    You're talking about using histograms generally? I suppose. I guess
    I've never been sure about what the histogram tells me that I can't
    tell by myself when looking at the picture. Maybe I need a good
    Histogram for Dummies walkthrough here...
    Sandman, May 30, 2012
  17. Sandman

    PeterN Guest

    It sounds more cumbersome than it is. It works for me, especially for
    landscapes and some flower portraits, it slows me down.

    For an example of high speed sync flash see:
    <http://www.pbase.com/shootin/image/143651945> and
    <http://www.pbase.com/shootin/image/143651937> Notice that the
    background is black.
    PeterN, May 30, 2012
  18. Sandman

    PeterN Guest

    Short and sweet, in photographers language:

    If anything is outside the borders, it represents clipping. Try to
    expose so that the image is as close to the right as possible, without
    actually touching the right, or top border. A D3s has the capacity to
    display a separate histogram for each color channel, as well as for the
    entire image.
    PeterN, May 30, 2012
  19. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    I'll take your word for it! :)
    Yes, I've figured that part out
    That I understand
    And you're saying that an image that is over/under-exposed by the
    histogram could possibly not be obvious by just looking at the
    picture? I'm guessing that it's for finding hot and cold spots in the
    image rather than a more general "this image is slightly overexposed"
    kind of declaration? Say that the hump in the histogram is 40% to the
    right, and you retake it to move it to only 30% to the right -
    wouldn't such a difference be discernable by just looking at the
    picture and conclude that it's slightly under/over-exposed?

    To determine whether you have cold/hot-spots, I could totally
    understand the use of a histogram, but I just can't remember seeing an
    image in post product and it having a problematic amount of cold/hot.
    Sure, it has happened, but not to the degree where I have thought that
    I should have had a way to determine and adjust it when I shoot it.

    Plus, doesn't a lot of DSLR's offer cold/hotspot flashing for images?
    I'm sure I've seen that.
    SO, basically, you'd use it to see, at a glance, what your limits are
    for the current subject? How much of this could easily be dine in post

    I.e. if the image looks ok in the LCD after I shot it, and I have
    hot/cold flashing to determine whether something is several
    under/overexposed - sure I could tweak the image within the limits in
    post production? I.e. what do I gain by reshooting it with a new
    timing in-camera at that point?

    Be sure to realize that I'm not actually *questioning* your usage of
    the histogram, I'm not using it myself, so I can't make any other
    comments than my guesses above :)
    I just might do that :)
    Sandman, May 30, 2012
  20. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In the same place where you found that, it probably also said:

    ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French, from Greek analogon,
    neuter of analogos ‘proportionate.’[/QUOTE]

    The origin of a word doesn't make it less apt. Indeed, you used some
    hundreds of years old words in your very sentence above, yet they are
    as valid today as when they were first introduced.
    You're not making any sense whatsoever here.
    And film is a analog medium. Period.
    You can call it whatever you wish. A rose by any other name...
    A word can be used to encompass more than one thing, imagine that :)
    Which would be relevant if we were in reference to the sensor, I
    Funny, since I'm not trying to "draw" anyone into anything. I'm not
    the one that started to talk about definitions of words, remember? :)
    Yeah, those pesky dictionaries, putting ideas into peoples heads about
    the meaning of words :-D
    Haha :)
    Which, of course, has nothing to do with the image being stored
    digitally, which is why it's called a digital camera.
    You're entitled to your own interpretation of the English language,
    and I wouldn't want to "draw" you into anything, so we'll just leave
    it at that :-D

    It's not like I have a need to discuss this. I already know what
    analog means and that I used it appropriately, I have no need to
    convince you of that.

    Have a nice day!
    Sandman, May 31, 2012
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