Same exposure for film/digital?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by dylj, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    I have a question regarding film. If I take a picture with a digital camera at a certain exposure and determine that it is correct (by using the TTL metering, looking at the LCD and histogram), will that same exposure be correct for the film camera?

    I assume so, if the ISO is the same.

    I'm asking because I'm shopping around for a film camera to use along with my digital.
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    That was the intention of the ISO committee that prepared the ISO for digital camera speed, and it seems to work fairly well in practice if applied sensibly - it has the potential for being very accurate. You will quickly learn any compensation that may be required. This is typical of any metering method.

    In general negative film has a slightly wider dynamic range than digital cameras used at their lowest ISO setting, and the margin increases as the ISO rises (because the dynamic range of digital cameras decreases as you dial the ISO up). Because of the way that ISO speeds are determined, this means that you can safely give negative film a little more exposure than digital at the same ISO. Reversal (slide) is probably best if given the same exposure - but as I mentioned earlier it will be easy to find out whether any compensation is beneficial.

    I use the opposite method. After using film for a few decades, I can often make a reasonable estimate of what the correct exposure will be for a particular brightness and sensitivity. I haven't had to change my guesses very much when using my D3 - which I nearly always use in full manual exposure. When I use a meter, I find that I can use pretty much the same method that I use for slide film.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    Helen,

    Thanks for the very thorough answer!
     
  4. AmFotog

    AmFotog TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't rely on a digital camera reading for film...quite a few people in my classes do and they are always sorry they did so, especially when it comes to color slide film. Personally I use a light meter, but they're pretty expensive
     
  5. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exposure in a given circumstance to produce a specific negative density requires an exact combination of aperture and shutter speed settings relative to film speed. See EV Index.
     
  6. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    ..it's also important to remember-if tou have never used a film camera before-that you cannot alter the ISO/ASA setting mid-roll to suit lighting conditions as you can with digital. I think the only exception is Ilford XP2 b&w film although I haven't tried to do so.
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can, just don't expect the results you might want. You won't gettum.
     

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