Film & Metering Query

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by phigmov, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    A couple of quick questions that I'm hoping some of the film-buffs out there might be able to help me with -

    1. I picked up some expired Kodak Ektapress 1600 - my pictures all came out super grainy. Which made me wonder if the shutter speeds were out on my OM1 (but previous film had come through AOK) or if these 'high-speed' films were not actually intended to be shot at 1600 but something slower (as implied by some googling for 1600-3200 type films). So, learned friends - whats the deal ? Should I just run another load of film through and experiment with settings to see what works best ?

    2. I've read a bit about 'stop down metering' - as I've picked up an old non-AI Nikkor f1.2 55mm I'm keen to try it on my F3HP (it works fine on my E-P1 of course). On the F3HP, I flick up the AI tab and mount the lens, when I half close the shutter I get a meter reading different from when I hit the DoF preview button (stop down the lens) I get another reading (obviously at the aperture that would be used to take the picture). What do I actually do to take a picture - switch to fully manual, line up the shot, stop down the lens, get a shutter-speed reading, then press the shutter release (while still holding the DoF preview or will actuating the shutter move the aperture setting to its appropriate location ?)

    Thanks in advance,
  2. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    1- 1600 iso films are super grainy. Dime-sized grain is to be expected. You youngsters have it good with today's digital wonders. We had to go to school all year round in the snow, uphill both ways ! And the wolves were howling (etc.)

    1bis - if you pull your 1600 iso to 800, you won't change the size of the grain (physical constant), but you're likely to improve (soften) the contrast. High speed film were usually bad moderate speed films pushed by the manufacturer at the expense of contrast - blatant case being Kodak TMY3200.

    2 - Get a pocket lightmeter.
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  3. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2011
    Real Name:
    I can tell your not a Yorkshireman, when I were a kid I had to work 8 days a week darn' pit, lived in a cardboard box in't middle o' road and us dad would beat us to death with a shovel every night.......
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  4. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just bought me an old nikon F801 and 35-70mm lens so i might have a few questions for you guys as well. Firstly i have to try and find some film and figure out how to put it in.

    Should be fun.
  5. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    Hi Raj,

    1- Old, expired film can sometimes lose sensitivity. You may need to experiment with your batch to find out what the actual ISO is. And high speed is typically grainy anyway, so underexposing old expired high speed film would tend to be on the especially grainy side. Try shooting at ISO 800 (one stop over) for the next roll to see if the situation improves.

    2- There is no need to hold the DOF preview button when you take the picture because even though your lens is non-auto-index, it is still auto-aperture. Auto-aperture let's you view through the lens at wide open, but when you snap the shutter, the auto-aperture lens will 'stop down' to the aperture that you set on the aperture ring. The DOF preview button lets you view through the lens at the set aperture, to check DOF (of course)

    To do 'stop down' metering with non-ai lenses on the F3HP, set the shutter speed dial to a manually chosen speed, and then turn the aperture ring while holding down the DOF preview button until your meter reading shows "+-". "+-" means that the F3HP's meter is reading a correct exposure based on the light that it sees.

    Note the shutter speed/aperture combo. For example, you are shooting an outdoor scene, in full sun. You do the procedure above to meter the scene. You note that the shutter/aperture combo is: 1/500, f16. For the rest of your session, you shoot at 1/500, f16 until your subject's light changes, at which point you take another meter reading using the method above *or* you simply adjust the aperture based on what you see. You do not have to re-meter unless your subject changes, and you're not certain if your mentally calculated compensation is accurate.

    The F3HP is a great Nikon body. Note that the metering pattern on the F3HP is a little different than the other Nikon bodies. It is 80/20 center weighted.

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  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    1600 ISO film just sucks. I would not use films with speeds faster than 400.
  7. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    The Tmax 3200p is one of my all time favorite for portraits, exposed and developed at 800 iso. Huge grain, but in a nice sort of way indoors. Of course I readily admit it's certainly not a good choice for outdoor general photography situations.

    If I remember well, the 1600 iso ektapress was created as a byproduct of the TMY 3200p, so it has certainly many traits - good and bad - in common. But at the time it was sold in bundles of 10 rolls, so I never tested it.

  8. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Awesome - thanks for the quick response guys !

    Really appreciate it.

    Will run a test roll of Ektapress and experiment a bit with the stop-down-metering on the F3HP.

    I actually picked up a Weston V light meter to help with my RB67 but it looks like the metering cell has degraded so the readings are off. Might try for another one as they're a lovely device to hold in the hand.

  9. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    You'll have a blast - if its bright where you are get some Fuji Velvia 50 or Provia 160 and if its not try some Ilford HP4 or 5 for B & W.

    While I enjoy the instantaneous response of digital shooting the more considered approach for shooting film means I find I enjoy the shots more on film.

    Also you can pick up some excellent 'pro' gear dirt cheap now people are moving to digital :)