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Thread: problem with LF exposure

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 1997

    problem with LF exposure

    I'm new to LF photography and have as yet been able to produce a properly expose d negative. I am shooting a new Tachihara 4x5 field camera with a Schneider Sym mar S 135mm 5.6 lens. My problem is that my negatives are underexposed by at le ast 2-4 stops. I am using the light meter in my Nikon FG to determine exposure. Exposures are fine using 35mm film with this camera. I'm shooting Ilford FP4 125 film. The bellows extension is about 5 1/4" (shooting landscapes), and I'm using no filters. Today I shot 4 images, on a relatively sunny day, at the foll owing exposures: 0 (= f/16 at f1/125), +1 stop, +2 stops, and +3 stops. The bes t shot was +3 (=f/16 at 1/15) and it was still underexposed by a stop! What am I doing wrong? Could the shutter be off? Or the apperature? Is it more likely something mechanical or am I missing the boat somewhere? My development is ok as my 35mm film comes out fine. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! I f I have no success, look here for a good price on some 4x5 equipment!

  2. #2
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1997
    San Jose, CA

    problem with LF exposure

    Apart from a possible shutter problem, there is another problem I can think of: are you sure you are loading your film on the correct side ? otherwise you would be shooting through the base of the film, which would cause a significant light loss. If you were shooting color the color cast would be obvious but in B&W it might be difficult to notice.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 1997

    problem with LF exposure

    That's it! I had loaded my first 8 sheets backwards. In case anyone is curious (which I doubt), shooting through a negative backwards is about equal to a 3 st op neutral density filter. Thanks for the help in solving this neophytic proble m. I think I'll keep my equipment!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 1998

    problem with LF exposure

    Gawd, I spent nearly three months loading all my film backwards when I got my ca mera. It drove me absolutely nuts trying to figure out why my film was so under exposed - never occured to me the film notches are supposed to be on the top rig ht HORIZONTAL edge; I was loading it with the notch on the "top" right vertical edge - which is backwards. Finally I took my film in the holders to my father, e xperienced in sheet film from press camera days, and he had a long hearty laugh at my expense. I feel better somebody else had this problem too!!

  5. #5

    problem with LF exposure

    When I rented a Toyo 4x5 during one of their promos while I was waiting for my f irst camera to arrive in the mail I used my 35mm to obtain exposure and wasted h alf the polaroids they gave me. I know that spotmeters are expensive but if you plan on shooting a lot of sheet film and use the zone system, well... its defin itely worth the expense. And it makes you look like a pro, too! 'cause isn't t hat what using a view is all about? Heck sometimes I just set the thing up just to impress people...not. See "Darkroom Innovations" for non-spotmetering procedures. They really slam us spotmeter users.

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