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Thread: My first photos in LF, ever.

  1. #1

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    My first photos in LF, ever.

    These are my first large format pictures. I don't know how I've done, this is why Im going to ask you guys.
    Im using Chamonix 45n-1 and Nikon 150mm.
    The film is Ildford HP5, scanned with my newly acquired Epson V750 Pro.
    I was off on the metering on 2/3, but there was enough information on 2 of them to be able to fix them in Photoshop.
    Im hoping as I learn the Zone system, I can improve my metering. It is a bit discouraging at first to see the results, especially since I can do the same with digital, as I have been for the past 9 years, but there is something about film that digital can not match, especially LF.

    I hope to improve the contrast and the exposure in the future.
    Also, dust was an issue. Im not sure if it was my skills ( I tried very hard to avoid it) or the lab.



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  2. #2

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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    I forgot to mention. I used an average metering method. The shot that I didnt do well on, I believe had to do with the red filter I used. I overexposed it by 3 stops due t the red filter, but somehow it was overexposed.
    Did I do something wrong?

  3. #3

    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    They look great. One of the beauties and evils of LF is that there are many, many ways to screw up a perfectly good picture. Focus is good, composition is good and metering was good enough. Congrats!
    david

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    According to my tests with my red filter it's more like 1.5 stops extra needed. Test your filters and you might find the same results. Obviously it isn't causing a 3 stop reduction though if you overexposed.

    Cool first shots.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  5. #5
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    Nice shots. Congratulations.

    One suggestion, if I may (just personal preference):
    Your highlights might stand out more if you use a neutral gray surround (frame) rather than white.

    Welcome to the addiction.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmed View Post
    The shot that I didnt do well on, I believe had to do with the red filter I used. I overexposed it by 3 stops due to the red filter, but somehow it was overexposed.
    It depends on exactly which red filter you used. There are several different ones.

    I show a 2 1/3 stop factor for the #25 filter, and a 3 stop factor for the #29. There are others that are not on my list.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7

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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    Leigh, I hear you. Ill try it next time. Im just stressing about getting the metering right. Ive read a whole bunch on the Zone system, but the step I dont quite understand is that, once I meter the shadows and put them in zone III, what setting do I use on the camera?

    For example, if I get 1/15 for my shadows and place them in zone III, do I set the aperture on the camera at 1/60?

  8. #8
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    Perhaps you're getting a bit ahead of yourself.
    I would suggest you get the basics down first, using incident metering.

    You'll find that incident readings work just fine for the majority of ordinary subjects. Once you understand the
    strengths and limitations of incident readings, you'll know when to use zone techniques.

    The transition is best understood by metering the same scene using both. If you know that an incident reading
    will give you a proper exposure for a common scene, meter various areas of that scene with a spot meter to
    see how those agree with or diverge from the incident reading. Then you'll understand how zs works.

    I very seldom resort to zone system techniques, although my meter does 1 spot readings as well as incident.

    BTW, 1/15 and 1/60 are shutter speeds, not apertures. Apertures look like f/5.6 or f/22 or some such.
    In your example, if you want middle gray on Zone V, you would set your shutter speed to 1/60, two stops faster than 1/15.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  9. #9

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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    sorry about the error. I very well know aperture and shutter speed. Dont know why I mixed them up.
    I usually take the darkest spot that I want to retain detail, then the highlights, where I want to retain detail, then take the average. The highlights usually fall within +1.5-2 and the shadows -1.5-2. I really have not come across a situation where I was off by more than 5 stops. I guess I have to compare the average spot meter method with the incident meter reading and see it for myself.

    So if I follow your recommendation, I rarely would have the need to change the development time, correct?

    anyhow, thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Perhaps you're getting a bit ahead of yourself.


    BTW, 1/15 and 1/60 are shutter speeds, not apertures. Apertures look like f/5.6 or f/22 or some such.
    In your example, if you want middle gray on Zone V, you would set your shutter speed to 1/60, two stops faster than 1/15.

    - Leigh

  10. #10
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: My first photos in LF, ever.

    Development time is generally used to match the subject brightness range to the contrast range attainable on the particular film in use combined with a particular developer and process.

    Proper use of the zone system is highly dependent on individual system calibration. You have to know exactly what every element in the chain does under a wide variety of circumstances, all the way from visualization through the final print.

    To attain the maximum benefit from ZS requires a tightly controlled process at every stage,
    combined with extensive testing so you know how and when to deviate at any particular stage.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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