This is a follow up to my original thread asking for advice on how to shoot with Velvia 50 RVP:
I went out last weekend and shot my first 4 4x5 Velvia slides (which incidentally was also my very first foray into 4x5 color). I wanted to post the pictures here and get your valuable feedback, so that I can fine tune and improve my exposures in the next round, especially since my first results are far from perfect. I have the exposure conditions labeled in the pictures. Detailed info:
1. Shot on Pacemaker Speed Graphic and 135mm Optar: Ground Glass focusing either with my Toyo loupe or with the Polroid MP4 reflex viewer. Used a Bogen 3021BPro tripod and a 488RC0 ball head. Used a cable release screwed into the shutter. the 81A filter (when used) was a Tiffen 55mm filter that I simply held in front of the lens. Not the ideal solution, but I don't have filter adapters.
2. Shots metered with my Gossen Luna Pro F meter with Vari Angle attachment set to 7.5 degrees. I compensated the meter in accordance with the instructions. i am very confused about the metering though and I have a lot to learn here. In all the shots, I metered off the read leaves. All in REFLECTED mode.
3. Developed at E-Six labs in Atlanta
4. Scanned using Epson Perfection 2450 at 2400 dpi using Vuescan. Note: I did not attempt to tweak the pictures after scanning.....I am still learning the nuances of scanning.
5. I have also conducted a scan with the emulsion side UP (by default all scans were the Emulsion side down)....would love to hear your comments on any perceived differences. (this picture is available as part of the link to the set I have up above)
All the pictures are links to my Flickr page.
The questions I had are as follows:
1. Are these pictures a complete insult to the capabilities of Fuji Velvia? These were shot at about 10AM and it was a tad bright. I did realize that these were not the best conditions to shoot Velvia though.
2. What can I do to improve the exposures? As I mentioned....I have a long way to go to master metering. Having learned what I know of photography using a DSLR, I think I have becoming heavily dependent on auto exposures.
3. Are these pictures as sharp as they get with Velvia (at least for the ones that are properly focused) or they can be improved? I shot all the pictures stopped down to f16. the final picture could possibly be used to judge sharpness. They are 1000 px crops.
4. This is regarding the focus issue that is apparent in the final picture. It seems to me that the act of inserting the holder into the back is shifting the camera focus. I am quite careful in holding the setup steady, but I inevitably end up with some shift and that in turn really screws up the picture. Any suggestions here?
I would really appreciate your advice. I apologize for the lengthy post, but I wanted to ensure that you have all the details.
Thanks a lot.