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Thread: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

  1. #1

    Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    Hello,

    I recently shifted to using Broncolor strobes for my indoor work.

    I wanted to ask two things:

    1. Using a flash meter and measuring light, how do you go about dictating the aperture of your images given that meter readings usually dictate aperture values?

    2. Has anybody used DSLRs or modern digital cameras as their polaroids for LF work? Can this work? If so, how do you go about in-camera readings (digital) and translating them into LF cameras (of course including filter factors, bellows, etc).



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  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    1. Using a flash meter and measuring light, how do you go about dictating the aperture of your images given that meter readings usually dictate aperture values?
    Move the lights forward or back or adjust intensity of the lights as needed by adjusting their duration, wattage or adding neutral density to the light path.

    2. Has anybody used DSLRs or modern digital cameras as their polaroids for LF work? Can this work? If so, how do you go about in-camera readings (digital) and translating them into LF cameras (of course including filter factors, bellows, etc).
    If one can shoot digital and output a print to check, I'd wonder why then bother with the time-consuming complexity and uncertainty of film? Isn't digital better in the first place?

  3. #3
    John Olsen
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    Re: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    I think this has been discussed here before. Take a search through the older threads for more info.
    In short, the digital camera can replace the Polaroid step in setting up lights, especially if you set the ISO on the camera to match your LF film. You can definitely get the lights set with respect to each other and the ambient.
    More caution is needed in testing for the total exposure. Your digital camera display may exaggerate the brightness of the scene, leading you to underexpose your LF film. I set the display on my digi-cam at "-1" and that helps moderate the test image. On your camera it may be different and require learning by trying and taking enough notes so you can figure out the correction.
    As for the flash meter, you can use it to make the first guess for the digital camera, but then just use the camera to fine tune the lighting.

  4. #4

    Re: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    Thanks will do a search for old threads.

    What digital camera do you use if you don't mind me asking?

    Also, do you find a big difference in exposure values when plugging in digital camera values into the LF camera? of course adding necessary factors etc.

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  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    Yes they can correlate

    But in practice I no longer try to shoot both Digi and film especially in studio with sitters

    Ideal ASA for my Digi and films can vary, as can aperture, shutter speed and format

    I have a plastic mannequin aka Plastica; for setting lighting before a human arrives on set and the pressure rises

    Lighting ratios will be the same, maybe...but light output often has to go up for film

    I like to shoot people as they move, requiring quick reset strobes, I usually beat the reset and end up with a few dark frames, but can shoot 100 Digi quicker than 4 sheets of LF film

    Film portraits I try to limit to 4 sheets

    Now for 8 months my studio is forlorn, maybe in 12 more months...

    Wear your mask
    2022

  6. #6
    John Olsen
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    Re: Strobes, Lighting, Metering, and Digital 'Polaroids'

    Quote Originally Posted by jurgenestanislao View Post
    Thanks will do a search for old threads.

    What digital camera do you use if you don't mind me asking?

    Also, do you find a big difference in exposure values when plugging in digital camera values into the LF camera? of course adding necessary factors etc.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
    I'm using my venerable Nikon D90 for setting the lights. I have found an additional half stop of light is usually needed to get my best TriX exposure (after making whatever ISO and filter corrections are necessary). Film is cheap, so don't be ashamed to bracket in order to be sure of a good result. The big errors come from viewing the digital camera display in low light versus daylight, because in the dark the digital display looks more brilliant than it really is.

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