Bracketing

Alpha

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I trust my light meter, but still feel the need to bracket a lot of my shots (usually by over-exposing according to the meter) just to see how it will look, and I suppose hoping for more contrast and a richer-looking photo. I don't do it with slide film, but often find myself doing it with films that i think can tolerate it, like PanF. Is this a silly waste of film?
 

JonK

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slide can handle bracketing just not in large increments...if your cam will allow you to set bracketing in 1/3, 2/3 stop increments that's about as much as you want to go for slide.
It's only a waste if you see no benefit from it. your call.
 

ThomThomsk

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MaxBloom said:
I trust my light meter, but still feel the need to bracket a lot of my shots (usually by over-exposing according to the meter) just to see how it will look, and I suppose hoping for more contrast and a richer-looking photo. I don't do it with slide film, but often find myself doing it with films that i think can tolerate it, like PanF. Is this a silly waste of film?
I don't think it's a waste. I'm just starting to develop my own films, and at the moment I'm sticking to Ilford's timings but playing with the exposures slightly with bracketing.

By doing this I've proved to myself that the exposure part of the old saying 'expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights' is true, which is a good learning point, and by keeping detailed records of the exposure on every shot I can then sit over the lightbox with the negatives and see how much difference the bracketing makes in practice and tie it back to the camera settings. I've found this very useful.

The next stage is to do some proper film speed tests, to work out my 'personal film speed' for a particular combination of film and developer. At the end of the process I might decide that I prefer HP5+ exposed at 200 ISO and underdeveloped by 1 stop (or whatever), although with 35mm it probably isn't going to be as much use as if I were shooting large format. The point is to get to a level of confidence and experience where I know how to expose to get the print that I've visualised before releasing the shutter, without loads of bracketing. I'm some way off that!

What I can say at the moment is that I prefer negatives which have around a half to one stop of over exposure and normal development, but watch this space because I just don't have the experience to judge the negatives properly, and things may look very different when I start printing.

Thomsk
 

Torus34

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The old adage 'When in doubt, bracket!' remains true.

Film is the least expensive part of the process. If you're shooting a lot of B&W [PanF Plus], go for bulk loading. The first 100' roll pays off the loader and cassettes.
 

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