Negatives Are Consistently Underexposed

OliverMcDermott

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Hi All,

I'll keep it brief,

My Minolta XGM (1982) has underexposed a new, ISO 200 36 exp. Kodacolor roll (it's first roll in 10 years), 100% consistently - by around 1 stop. Film technology presumably has improved and as such 200 ISO is the new 100? I'm considering setting the ISO to 100 on the device, as this will likely resolve the issue.

Guidance?
 

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Sounds like a plan. Keep in mind that the shutter speed may be the culprit as well. They do tend to be off a lot with a camera that old.
 
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OliverMcDermott

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Noted - the ISO dial actually allows me to set it between stops, so between 100 there's two options before 200, two options before 400, etc. I'll run a third test roll through it, with the ISO midway between 100 and 200, and drop it to 100 throughout the filim.

You're referring to the metering system perhaps?
 

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Noted - the ISO dial actually allows me to set it between stops, so between 100 there's two options before 200, two options before 400, etc. I'll run a third test roll through it, with the ISO midway between 100 and 200, and drop it to 100 throughout the filim.

You're referring to the metering system perhaps?

I think he's referring to the actual shutter being a bit sluggish. The issue, then, is not that film has changed but your camera isn't performing the way it did in 1982. There are two possible solutions: check the shutter and fix as necessary, or, as you mentioned, just get used to shooting at slower than box speed.

As for "200 being the new 100," I'm not really sure what you mean. ISO 100 and 200 still mean what they used to mean in that they refer to the relative light sensitivity of that film, and those levels of sensitivity have not changed. It doesn't mean that you automatically now expose for 100 when using 200 ISO. That's a function of your camera and your preference. I know people who regularly expose for half box speed because of their preferred developing methods, the look they desire, or the age of the film (fresh vs expired vs very expired.)
 
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OliverMcDermott

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Noted - the ISO dial actually allows me to set it between stops, so between 100 there's two options before 200, two options before 400, etc. I'll run a third test roll through it, with the ISO midway between 100 and 200, and drop it to 100 throughout the filim.

You're referring to the metering system perhaps?

I think he's referring to the actual shutter being a bit sluggish. The issue, then, is not that film has changed but your camera isn't performing the way it did in 1982. There are two possible solutions: check the shutter and fix as necessary, or, as you mentioned, just get used to shooting at slower than box speed.

As for "200 being the new 100," I'm not really sure what you mean. ISO 100 and 200 still mean what they used to mean in that they refer to the relative light sensitivity of that film, and those levels of sensitivity have not changed. It doesn't mean that you automatically now expose for 100 when using 200 ISO. That's a function of your camera and your preference. I know people who regularly expose for half box speed because of their preferred developing methods, the look they desire, or the age of the film (fresh vs expired vs very expired.)

I agree - I probably misunderstood the photographic store guy - ISO/ASA represent rules and 'it is what it is'
Many people underexpose for digital imaging - and considering this issue is consistent - it will hopefully go away with use, or I'll permanently shoot below box speed, to your point.
 

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If you are sure the meter is always 1 stop under ... then set the EV dial to +1 and keep it there.
 
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OliverMcDermott

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If you are sure the meter is always 1 stop under ... then set the EV dial to +1 and keep it there.

I've not shot enough filim to answer that ;)
If I do that, then I'm going to lose one + stop, which I regularly use for evenings. (guide me here)
 
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OliverMcDermott

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Noted - the ISO dial actually allows me to set it between stops, so between 100 there's two options before 200, two options before 400, etc. I'll run a third test roll through it, with the ISO midway between 100 and 200, and drop it to 100 throughout the filim.

You're referring to the metering system perhaps?

I think he's referring to the actual shutter being a bit sluggish. The issue, then, is not that film has changed but your camera isn't performing the way it did in 1982. There are two possible solutions: check the shutter and fix as necessary, or, as you mentioned, just get used to shooting at slower than box speed.

As for "200 being the new 100," I'm not really sure what you mean. ISO 100 and 200 still mean what they used to mean in that they refer to the relative light sensitivity of that film, and those levels of sensitivity have not changed. It doesn't mean that you automatically now expose for 100 when using 200 ISO. That's a function of your camera and your preference. I know people who regularly expose for half box speed because of their preferred developing methods, the look they desire, or the age of the film (fresh vs expired vs very expired.)

I am aware that ISO can be rated differently (100 - 200 eg) depending on brand ?
 

dxqcanada

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The exposure comp is just to offset the metering/exposure issue you mentioned ... so you can keep setting the ISO dial to the matching setting.
Yes, different brands and type of film have slight differences on how you want the film to look. In general I try not to under expose neg ... if you under expose you got nothing to work with when printing.
 

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Noted - the ISO dial actually allows me to set it between stops, so between 100 there's two options before 200, two options before 400, etc. I'll run a third test roll through it, with the ISO midway between 100 and 200, and drop it to 100 throughout the filim.

You're referring to the metering system perhaps?

I think he's referring to the actual shutter being a bit sluggish. The issue, then, is not that film has changed but your camera isn't performing the way it did in 1982. There are two possible solutions: check the shutter and fix as necessary, or, as you mentioned, just get used to shooting at slower than box speed.

As for "200 being the new 100," I'm not really sure what you mean. ISO 100 and 200 still mean what they used to mean in that they refer to the relative light sensitivity of that film, and those levels of sensitivity have not changed. It doesn't mean that you automatically now expose for 100 when using 200 ISO. That's a function of your camera and your preference. I know people who regularly expose for half box speed because of their preferred developing methods, the look they desire, or the age of the film (fresh vs expired vs very expired.)

I am aware that ISO can be rated differently (100 - 200 eg) depending on brand ?

I don't know about films being rated differently depending on brand, but I do know that some films of the same ISO have different latitude than others, or that respond differently to under/over exposure. For example, Kodak Tri-X (400) and Ilford HP5+ (400) are both rated the same, and they are both pretty forgiving of errors, but they respond differently at the ends of their ranges, so people may react by adjusting their exposure either up or down depending on which film they are using. Or take Tri-X vs Ilford Delta 400, which is pickier about exposure and can have lower contrast, so people may expose for it differently to get a different look than it would give at box speed.
 

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Do you have access to an external meter or a DSLR? If so, try comparing that to the film camera's meter. If they are the same or very close, the issue is something else (like the shutter). If they vary quite a bit, then the meter (or light sensor, batteries, circuitry, ... ) is the problem.
 

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Hi All,

I'll keep it brief,

My Minolta XGM (1982) has underexposed a new, ISO 200 36 exp. Kodacolor roll (it's first roll in 10 years), 100% consistently - by around 1 stop. Film technology presumably has improved and as such 200 ISO is the new 100? I'm considering setting the ISO to 100 on the device, as this will likely resolve the issue.

Guidance?

YES, it has long been quite common to over-expose color negative film, which likes a "generous" exposure,much more so than say, color slide film. If results are generally consistently looking under-exposed, I would down-rate the ISO of the 200 speed film to 100, or maybe even to ISO 80.

Check the camera first, and make sure the Exposure Compensation dial is not already set to say, Minus 1.0. Instead of making the change using the exposure comp dial, I say down-rate the ISO right from the get-go, and THEN use the Exposure Comp dial for situations where you need or want to dial in EX, such as say + 1.7 EV for strroingly back-lighted subjects in shade.

We used to shoot Kodak VPS color neg, nominally rated as ASA 160 at the time it was made (before ISO, so save any arguments) as if it were ASA 100; I shot hundrerd and hunbred of rolls of Kodacolor Gold 200 at ASA 100 or ASA 125; I shout THOUSANDS of slide photos goinjg the opposite way, rating Kodachrome 64 at ASA 80 or ASA 100. Generously exposing modern color neg films usually results in better shadow detail, and finer grain, and better images! (this has been commonly known for 40 years regarding how to expose color neg stocks.)

Sometimes exposure issues result from how one uses the camera's built-in meter, and so this is why I suggest just down-rating the ISO that full stop, from 200 to 100 ISO, in ortder to get the meter's readings more in-line with where the actual expiosures need to be,
 
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OliverMcDermott

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The good news! - the light meter is 100% - I compared it with two bridge cameras - and it's almost identical, and spot on. I'll let you guys know what happens with the next development @ 100 ISO.
 
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OliverMcDermott

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Hi All,

I'll keep it brief,

My Minolta XGM (1982) has underexposed a new, ISO 200 36 exp. Kodacolor roll (it's first roll in 10 years), 100% consistently - by around 1 stop. Film technology presumably has improved and as such 200 ISO is the new 100? I'm considering setting the ISO to 100 on the device, as this will likely resolve the issue.

Guidance?

YES, it has long been quite common to over-expose color negative film, which likes a "generous" exposure,much more so than say, color slide film. If results are generally consistently looking under-exposed, I would down-rate the ISO of the 200 speed film to 100, or maybe even to ISO 80.

Check the camera first, and make sure the Exposure Compensation dial is not already set to say, Minus 1.0. Instead of making the change using the exposure comp dial, I say down-rate the ISO right from the get-go, and THEN use the Exposure Comp dial for situations where you need or want to dial in EX, such as say + 1.7 EV for strroingly back-lighted subjects in shade.

We used to shoot Kodak VPS color neg, nominally rated as ASA 160 at the time it was made (before ISO, so save any arguments) as if it were ASA 100; I shot hundrerd and hunbred of rolls of Kodacolor Gold 200 at ASA 100 or ASA 125; I shout THOUSANDS of slide photos goinjg the opposite way, rating Kodachrome 64 at ASA 80 or ASA 100. Generously exposing modern color neg films usually results in better shadow detail, and finer grain, and better images! (this has been commonly known for 40 years regarding how to expose color neg stocks.)

Sometimes exposure issues result from how one uses the camera's built-in meter, and so this is why I suggest just down-rating the ISO that full stop, from 200 to 100 ISO, in ortder to get the meter's readings more in-line with where the actual expiosures need to be,

You're a legend for posting this for me ;) THANKS!
 

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