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Author Topic: Digital exposure for film?  (Read 7918 times)
fredjeang
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« on: January 30, 2010, 05:55:27 AM »
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Hi,
I'm planing to use traditional films for certain purpose, and I have to learn everything again.
(I'm from the generation who knew film and worked with it but rapidly came digital so my experience with
traditional techniques is very vague)
As I'm on budget, I'm thinking of using my dslr for exposure (the camera I want to buy does not have).
Is it coherent according to you? (so i would carry 2 gears...)
Generaly in my dslr, metering is settle to +0.5 or +1.

I imagine that film is another story and the tolerance will be totally different.

Thank you.

Fred.
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 09:46:49 AM »
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Why not going with a light meter?
I have one light meter and really not sure if it is a good one to use with my new [old] 2 film MFs.
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Jonathan Ratzlaff
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 01:23:30 PM »
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When you talk about film, what type of film are you using.  Slide film behaves similar to digital in that you expose for the highlights but it doesn't have the same exposure latitude.   That means you will lose detail in the shadows as compared to digital.  For negative film, that is a different case altogether.  You expose for shadow detail as the exposure latitude is such that negative film can tolerate more overexposure.
So while you can definitely use a digital camera as an exposure meter, there will be some trial and error at the start.   A hand held meter is still quicker, however the same issue with trial and error exists.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 11:29:18 AM »
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so,

are you looking to use your digital as a "polaroid" in order to check lighting setup, or to check exposure?

1. I've used a digital at times to check *rough* composition,(crossed shadows, etc).
2. I'd recommend NEVER use it for checking exposure. Use a handheld meter. This is a recommendation, many of the pros that I've come across, or assisted for, still use a handheld meter to check exposure before shooting it on digital. Then they shoot tethered to the computer, or shoot to a card, then look at the files on the comp. They've all recommended NOT trusting the LCD for exposure latitude(many of them also don't use the histograms much to get exposure correct, rather relying on lighting ratios), just like shooting film.

besides, in the film days(i still shoot film mostly btw), YOU would need to find the actual SPEED of your film that gave you the results you liked. Say, shooting a 160 speed color negative film, but you like what rating it at 100 gave you, a 2/3 stop over-exposure, this generally would make colors a little brighter and give some "pop" to the image, also lowering contrast slightly.

shooting chromes(slides) is a different ball-game. your exposure latitude is smaller(considerably), but the lighting ratios are the EXACT same. Personally, I shoot color negs like I would slides, they perform best in the 2-3 stop range of highlight-->shadow density. Just like digital.

besides, if you get the image right in the film(or digital), BEFORE POST, then it makes your(or your tech's) job SOOOOOO much easier.

shooting chromes(slides) is a great way to learn how to light. you don't have much latitude to work with, so learning lighting ratios is key! But color negatives have 2-4x more range than slide films, and can tolerate underexposure much better than slides. (Still don't recommend underexposing though, unless you like blocked-up shadows)

just my $.02

-Dan
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 11:31:07 AM by DanielStone » Logged
ckimmerle
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 03:59:05 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
They've all recommended NOT trusting the LCD for exposure latitude(many of them also don't use the histograms much to get exposure correct, rather relying on lighting ratios), just like shooting film.

Totally disagree about the histogram as it's the one defining indicator of both exposure and tonal range. It will have absolutely no effect on lighting ratios, though, as the histogram works on the global exposure rather than individual light sources.

As far as the original question, using a digital camera to determine exposure for a film camera can be done but, as the response of a digital sensor is different than film emulsion, it's going to take a fair amount of testing before shooting anything important, especially with chromes.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 04:00:03 PM by ckimmerle » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 05:07:14 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Totally disagree about the histogram as it's the one defining indicator of both exposure and tonal range.
Alas, that would demand that the histogram does describe the raw file...
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=33267
But even with that regrettable caveat, the histogram is the key to digital exposure.

Quote
As far as the original question, using a digital camera to determine exposure for a film camera can be done but, as the response of a digital sensor is different than film emulsion, it's going to take a fair amount of testing before shooting anything important, especially with chromes.
Can't agree more, the behaviour of borderline zones (highlights or shadows, flirting with the toe or shoulder of the "sensor" tone curve) is vastly different and needs different principles.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 07:35:09 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
Alas, that would demand that the histogram does describe the raw file...

You're right, I should have included "for a JPEG file" but,  as we both agree, it's still the key to a baseline exposure.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 07:37:10 AM by ckimmerle » Logged

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bjanes
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 07:36:09 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
Can't agree more, the behaviour of borderline zones (highlights or shadows, flirting with the toe or shoulder of the "sensor" tone curve) is vastly different and needs different principles.
As I interpret the OP's post, he merely wanted to take a light reading with the digital camera and then use the indicated f/stop and shutter speed on the film camera with both cameras set to the same ISO. dSRL meters  are calibrated very similarly to hand held meters or else confusion would result when a photographer used a hand held meter. DPreview routinely compares the readings of digital cameras to a calibrated hand held meter and the results are usually very close. The ISO rating of the sensor and the tone curve are different and irrelevant to the rating of the built in light meter.

See the article by Doug Kerr.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 01:20:40 PM »
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My question in the open post was not that well formulated, I apologyse for my english wich needs more practise but you all got the idea.
Yes, it is about using the digital camera as a light-meter.
As I plan to make some works with a LF and will also use a digital camera on field, I wondered if I could not keep the light-meter at home.
It is small and lightweight, sure, but still, it is one object less and one less thing to think about.
As I haven't worked so far with film from decades, I did not know about digital reliability as a light-meter for film or slides.

Thank you so far for your answers.

Cheers,

Fred.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 04:56:07 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Yes, it is about using the digital camera as a light-meter.
Then, just look at the numbers/needle in the viewfinder, don't try to take a shoot and judge on the LCD screen or even on the histogram.
As the light meters in dSLRs are a millenium late, the reading of the light meter will be correct for a zone V exposure on the film, but the picture itself won't reflect the film results.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 04:56:28 AM by NikoJorj » Logged

Nicolas from Grenoble
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fredjeang
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 08:12:25 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
Then, just look at the numbers/needle in the viewfinder, don't try to take a shoot and judge on the LCD screen or even on the histogram.
As the light meters in dSLRs are a millenium late, the reading of the light meter will be correct for a zone V exposure on the film, but the picture itself won't reflect the film results.
Thanks Niko,
I found the Koren's article very accurate and it gave me some additional clews.

Ps: I've seen your from Grenoble, I've been there once, invited by a crazy Grenoble's Band called "Les Timoleons".
In Paris I spent hot and funny nights with their members, Marc Alarcon and Claude Dusé.
Maybe you Knew this Band. It's been a long time now but seen your city reminded me of that wild times.

Cheers,

Fred.
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