Yet another newb question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Johnboy2978, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Being new to film cameras, I have been used to my digital camera where what you see is what you get (more or less). I am specifically talking about shutter speed and aperture values. When using the digital, I have full control over both, however, I can see how light/dark it is before I release the shutter. I don't really pay attention to the values though. Instead I typically decide on the shutter speed first depending on what I'm shooting, then open/close the aperture until I get the desired light for what I'm shooting. With a film camera, I don't really know if the aperture was right until the film is developed. I know that as a rule of thumb you want to keep the shutter/aperture values close to the 1/125 and f8 proportions for proper exposure, unless you are doing something artistic and you want it over/under exposed.

    So my question is, do any of you keep a log of all the values with most of your shots so that you can recreate that in the future or did you in the beginning? Or do you just stick to the 1/125 and f8 proportionately to achieve the desired effect and it's all become second nature and you just do it instinctively?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your digital & your film cameras have built-in light meters. They will measure the light and offer suggestions for aperture & shutter speed.

    Depending on the mode & programing of the camera...they may try to keep the values close to 1/125 & F8 but not necessarily.

    The camera's meter will give you a reading for a "typical" exposure...which they figure to be %18 gray. With matrix metering, you will get pretty good exposure most of the time...epseciall if you are using negative print film.

    However, if you want to out smart the camera's meter...meter the scene and add exposure if it's bright and subtract exposure if it's dark.


    It's good that you seem to be experimenting with manual mode on your digital camera...too many people don't. However, you shouldn't have to guess the aperture to get the exposure right. It should give you a reading that is pretty close and you adjust from there.

    Changing the aperture will change the Depth of field, the depth distance from the camera that will appear in focus. Changing the shutter speed will control how movement (of camera or subject) will be recorded. When you adjust one, you can adjust the other to keep the same exposure.

    Sorry for the rambling. My point is that the 1/125 & f8 rule is a bit antiquated for the cameras that you are using. Use the meter for exposure and set the aperture for DOF or shutter for motion.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think most folks just start out picking an aperture or shutter speed depending on what they need (aperture for DOF, shutter for dealing with motion), and then adjust the other setting according to what the meter recommends for a "correct" exposure.

    There is no "rule of thumb" to stick near 1/125th @ f/8; that's just setting the aperture and the shutter somewhere in the middle, and would only work for a specific amount of light which would be different for different film speeds.

    A general "rule of thumb" for exposure would be the sunny 16 rule. Sunny 16 says that proper exposure on a bright, sunny day is an aperture of f/16 and set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO (film speed, so if you are using ISO 400 film, then the shutter would be 1/400th). To really use this you need to understand what a "stop" is, and how aperture, shutter speed, and film speed all interact to offer different "correct" exposures for a given lighting condition.

    Check out the sticky thread about photographic terms at the top of this forum, and read up on using your light meter; it would be easier than Sunny 16 anyway.
     

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