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Thread: Techniques & tips

  1. #1

    Default Techniques & tips

    Hi all, please feel free to comment on my questions. I just managed to shoot off a roll with my FM2 need to know some stuff. I used a tripod with a 28-80mm + 50mm lens.

    Technical questions
    a) Looking through the viewfinder, after focusing, i notice that the area outside the centre circle is not as clear'y focused as the inner circle. Why is that? After the prints, will this area be as clear as in the focusing ring?

    b) I would like to focus on an object in front of me (about 30cm away) clearly, and the area behind it would have to be blurred. This would be aperture priority right? What I did was to set my F/stop to the smallest, and focus on the object, leaving the background alone. Is this right?

    c) During metering, when i encounter a 'over exposure' shot, I would compensate by increasing the shutter speed. Is this right?

    d) During metering, when i encounter a 'under exposure' shot, I decrease the shutter speed. Is this right?

    e) If I use a Fuji ISO 200 film, can i set my ISO meter to 100? Will it be effective? Or even if i set it at 400, will it be as effective?

    f) Should I even play around with the ISO settings during each shot? ie manupiliate ISO ratings from 100-400 even though the film is 200?

    Mantainence questions
    g) What is the optimum humidity level in my dry cabinet? Its a Akarui Digi that i bought from Cathay.

    There will be more questions after I get my prints...
    your comments will be greatly appreciated.
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  2. #2

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Hi Benji77!

    I am also a newbie. I haven't tried manual exposure settings on a SLR much.
    But, please let me try responding to see if I can get some of them right.

    I agree with you that -
    (a) the outer area will be as clear as in the focusing ring.
    (b) aperture priority. Set your F/stop to the smallest 'number' (say F/1.4 or F/2.0). The aperture will be wide open then. Experts says using long zoom lens also helps.
    (c) In case of 'over exposure', you can compensate by increasing the shutter speed. i.e. faster speed. (eg. from 1/60 to 1/125 sec). The exposure time will be shorter. Less light will be allowed to come in.
    (d) In case of 'under exposure', you can compensate by decreasing the shutter 'speed'. i.e. slower speed. (eg. from 1/60 to 1/30 sec). The exposure time will be longer. More light will be allowed to come in.
    (e) If you use a ISO 200 film, you may set your camera ISO meter to 100. But, you will be effectively overexposing your shots. Similarly, If you set the camera ISO meter to 400, shots will be underexposed by 1 stop. If you purposely do it, it might be okay. I don't know.
    (f) That will be equivalent to exposure bracketing!

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    e) If I use a Fuji ISO 200 film, can i set my ISO meter to 100? Will it be effective? Or even if i set it at 400, will it be as effective?
    I always rate my negative film ONE STOP lower, eg ISO 200 rate at ISO 100, ISO 400 at ISO 200. in this way the negative is still able the retain the highlight details, and record better shadow details.


    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    f) Should I even play around with the ISO settings during each shot? ie manupiliate ISO ratings from 100-400 even though the film is 200?
    NO! in this way, your exposure on this roll of negative will be all over the place, some under, some over, you may rate the ISO differently with a propose, but will apply one ISO setting only on the whole roll.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    and to ans (g), the humidity would be somewhere around 45%-50% should be fine.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights

    NO! in this way, your exposure on this roll of negative will be all over the place, some under, some over, you may rate the ISO differently with a propose, but will apply one ISO setting only on the whole roll.
    so you mean that i should not adjust the ISO settings after loading the film? but if i load a 200 ISO, and rate it at lets say 400, and i compensate it by adjusting the shutter and apeture, would i still have the overexposure problem?

    initially, i felt that my camera (FM2) would not be able to 'know' the ISO. in this sense, i should just set it at the film's value ie 200. coz i also feel that a film that is set at 200, would not be able to perform at 400. am i right? but would it be able to record shots well at 100?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
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  6. #6
    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    so you mean that i should not adjust the ISO settings after loading the film? but if i load a 200 ISO, and rate it at lets say 400, and i compensate it by adjusting the shutter and apeture, would i still have the overexposure problem?

    initially, i felt that my camera (FM2) would not be able to 'know' the ISO. in this sense, i should just set it at the film's value ie 200. coz i also feel that a film that is set at 200, would not be able to perform at 400. am i right? but would it be able to record shots well at 100?
    ehhh.... me guess this is ur first film SLR?

    when u load a ISO200 film, and start shooting ur 1st pic at ISO200, u shld stay at ISO200 thru out the entire roll. this is not ur DSLR where u can change ur ISO on the fly from shot to shot. when catchlights said 'rate', he meant it as pushing or pulling the film by 1-stop - ie, he's deliberately telling the camera to treat the film at a lower ISO (200 vs 100), even tho the film canister prints ISO200. thus, when he's shooting, he will adjust the aperture and shutter speed accordingly to get the 'correct' exposure.

    ie - suppose if at ISO200, the cam internal lightmeter says the 'correct' shutter speed is 1/125 sec at f/8

    if u tell the cam u are using ISO400, then the corresponding readings will be 1/60 at f/11 (correct me if i'm wrong). 1-stop difference.

    if all these sound greek, try going to the library and look for the book 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson. i can't recommend enuf this book for all newbies.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    so you mean that i should not adjust the ISO settings after loading the film? but if i load a 200 ISO, and rate it at lets say 400, and i compensate it by adjusting the shutter and apeture, would i still have the overexposure problem?

    initially, i felt that my camera (FM2) would not be able to 'know' the ISO. in this sense, i should just set it at the film's value ie 200. coz i also feel that a film that is set at 200, would not be able to perform at 400. am i right? but would it be able to record shots well at 100?
    When you set the ISO on the camera, you are telling the camera what ISO is this film loaded, so the meter will meter according to that ISO. you should standardize the ISO rating on the whole roll of film. you may alter the exposure via using exposure compensation or bracketing.

    For negative, it has a greater exposure latitude that digital and transparency, and it can hold highlight details better, so most photographers will try to expose to the (important) shadow details, develop for the (important) highlight details, in short, you better overexpose your negative than underexpose it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Technical questions
    a) Looking through the viewfinder, after focusing, i notice that the area outside the centre circle is not as clear'y focused as the inner circle. Why is that? After the prints, will this area be as clear as in the focusing ring? Yes the outside areas will be as clear as the inside area if your focus is spot on. They are built this way.

    b) I would like to focus on an object in front of me (about 30cm away) clearly, and the area behind it would have to be blurred. This would be aperture priority right? What I did was to set my F/stop to the smallest, and focus on the object, leaving the background alone. Is this right? Settin to small aperture number (i.e big aperture) renders the background blur.

    c) During metering, when i encounter a 'over exposure' shot, I would compensate by increasing the shutter speed. Is this right? Right

    d) During metering, when i encounter a 'under exposure' shot, I decrease the shutter speed. Is this right? Right

    e) If I use a Fuji ISO 200 film, can i set my ISO meter to 100? Will it be effective? Or even if i set it at 400, will it be as effective? When you set to 100 when using 200 film, you are effectively overexposing all your shots by 1 stop. Overexposure results in your begatives appearing more dense, resulting in more detail in many cases. This, however, is not always good.

    f) Should I even play around with the ISO settings during each shot? ie manupiliate ISO ratings from 100-400 even though the film is 200? Why do you want to keep changing the ISO?

    Mantainence questions
    g) What is the optimum humidity level in my dry cabinet? Its a Akarui Digi that i bought from Cathay. I was told it is best to set around 30+. Below this is too dry and may be bad for the optics. Any higher, may as well not use a dry cabi.

    There will be more questions after I get my prints...
    your comments will be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Hey guys,
    Thanks for the tips. I shall now stop playing around with the ISO ratings.

    Some more questions:

    a) Lowering your ISO will give you greater details of the shot?

    b) Which is better - Slower shutter speed or bigger aperature? I find that a slower shutter speed will affect my shot in terms of vibration when it is handheld.

    c) During flim processing at the shops, is there a difference between express service and regular service? Will your print quality differ?

    d) Are there specific shops that you recommend for flim processing?

    e) Must a roll of Fuji be printed on Fuji paper? (stupid question i know, but i've been dying to find this out)

    f) Is there a specific paper that you guys go for when printing certain type of shots? For eg: Landscape, portrait?

    g) What is the best way to store your negatives? Dry box? Air tight container?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Some more questions:

    a) Lowering your ISO will give you greater details of the shot?
    You have to do test to judge it yourself, it also depend what film you use.

    b) Which is better - Slower shutter speed or bigger aperature? I find that a slower shutter speed will affect my shot in terms of vibration when it is handheld.
    It depend what you want to show/tell people, no hard and fast rule.

    c) During flim processing at the shops, is there a difference between express service and regular service? Will your print quality differ?
    It should be the same, you just pay extra to cut Q.

    d) Are there specific shops that you recommend for flim processing?
    My last roll of film was shot 3 years ago, and my favorite pro lab had closed down one year ago.

    e) Must a roll of Fuji be printed on Fuji paper? (stupid question i know, but i've been dying to find this out)
    Is suppose so, but some people claim differently

    f) Is there a specific paper that you guys go for when printing certain type of shots? For eg: Landscape, portrait?
    How many type of papers can the lab offer you?

    g) What is the best way to store your negatives? Dry box? Air tight container?
    In the fridge

  11. #11

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Okay, maybe i'll just touch more on exposure here...

    You said you wanted to make the background blurred out with your subject in sharp focus. Yes, a big aperture opening can do that, but to a certain extent... There are three main considerations when doing this, which are:

    1. Aperture Size
    2. Focal Length of Lens
    3. Subject to Lens Distance

    To make the background really out of focus, first get your lens to the longest focal length (70mm, 105mm, 200mm whatever your lens can allow). Then go as close to your subject as your lens will allow, and then set to the lens' largest aperture setting. These parameters can be modified to give you different background 'bokeh' (out of focus)... However, just take note that the more significant factors in throwing your background out of focus is your subject to lens distance and the lens' focal length as compared to the aperture size.

    You also asked about shutter speed.. Well, if you want to get sharp pictures, always use the fatest shutter speed that you can get. Furthermore, as my own personal opinion, try not to shoot slower than 1/30s, especially when using focal lenghts of 70mm plus.. as camera shake will be pretty obvious with shutter speeds slower than that.

    Hope this helps.
    if my camera is there at the right moment, click, all I have to do is accept it.
    -edouard boubat

  12. #12

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    processed film and unprocessed film to be kept in the fridge?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    processed film and unprocessed film to be kept in the fridge?
    store unexpose/unuse film in the fridge

  14. #14

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Unprocessed film in the fridge.. but if you're using more commercial film like Superia, it doesn't really make much of a difference. Pros store film in the fridge so as to preserve its performance at its optimum before usage, and also to maintain consistent results with the film they use. These films are processed at professional labs, where there is a certain level of consistency and quality when processing.

    For amature use however, storing commerical film in the fridge makes no difference as it will be handled by non-professioinal labs, and developed quite inconsistently.. nullifying your efforts to maintain the film beforehand.

    Your unused film should just be kept in your dry box to keep the moisture low...
    if my camera is there at the right moment, click, all I have to do is accept it.
    -edouard boubat

  15. #15

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    How about negatives that are already used? and where are the preferred shops who process your film? how much do you guys pay /roll of film for processing?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Patryk
    Unprocessed film in the fridge.. but if you're using more commercial film like Superia, it doesn't really make much of a difference. Pros store film in the fridge so as to preserve its performance at its optimum before usage, and also to maintain consistent results with the film they use. These films are processed at professional labs, where there is a certain level of consistency and quality when processing.

    For amature use however, storing commerical film in the fridge makes no difference as it will be handled by non-professioinal labs, and developed quite inconsistently.. nullifying your efforts to maintain the film beforehand.

    Your unused film should just be kept in your dry box to keep the moisture low...
    Yes, not necessary to store consumer film (is consumer film, not commercial film) in the fridge, but I been doing this for twenty years, at one time I have b&w, color negative, color trans, 35mm, 120, 4by5, instance film, some are pro flim and some are consumer film, so best all store in one place.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Can I find out what is Ilford film? Its a brand I guess, but why specifically for black and white? I would like to major in black and white, but that would be a few months more after i get used to my camera and shooting techniques.

    What are the b/w films that I as a beginner can use? and if you could state where i can find them. i usually see Kodak's ektachrome i think.
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  18. #18

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    Yes, Ilford is a brand, which has a long history in b/w photography, providing film to chemicals to papers.. They have a wide range of b/w film and it's really up to your taste if you want to use their film. You can find it at Ruby at Pennisula Plaza.

    If you're going for slower, fine grain films.. you can go for Kodak's TMax Line, such as TMax100 or 400

    For Ilford, you can go with the Delta Series, 100, 400..not sure if there is a 200, which is the equivalent of the Kodak TMax line.. All these are fine grain b/w films, gives you lotsa details and average contrast.

    If you're going for more traditional type of b/w films, go for Kodak's Tri-X or Ilford's HP-5 both rated at ISO 400. These are very versatile and can be pushed up to ISO 1600, with compensation during development that is. They also have a distinct grain to them, especially when you make 8x10 or larger prints and have more contrast compared to the fine grain counterparts. I personally like Ilford HP-5 better, as it gives more contrast to my shots, but that's with my own developing process. These are easier to use in my opinion, but you can experiment around to see what you really like.

    When shooting with b/w, you also would have to think about the cost of developing your films. Normal b/w film has to undergo a b/w developing process, which is different from the normal C-41 chemistry in which your colour negatives are developed in those photo labs. If you use any of those films I mentioned above, you would have to go to professional labs where they offer b/w film developing (Konota or Ruby at the city hall area). B/w developing is slightly more expensive than normal colour neg developing, about $5 a roll.

    If you're concerned about this, you can start off with chromogenic b/w film. For Kodak, this is BW400CN, which you can find at Cathay Photo.. The difference is that it can be developed using normal C-41 colour negative chemistry. This means that you can send your roll to be developed in any normal photo lab.


    I'm not sure what you mean by majoring in b/w.. are you taking a course? Well, after you get the basics down, and you're really serious in going into b/w film photography, you would have to start thinking about developing your own film and stuff like that...but that would come in time.
    if my camera is there at the right moment, click, all I have to do is accept it.
    -edouard boubat

  19. #19

    Default Re: Techniques & tips

    sorry what i meant was that i would like to spend most of my time doing B&W shots.

    Guess i will practice with the BW400CN till i feel comfortable enough to experiment with the other films. thank you for the introduction of the shops who do processing.

    i doubt i will be doing my own developing.... i have no $$....

    are there any special things that i should do while shooting B&W? for eg: a higher ISO setting? a slower shutter speed?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

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