Exposing and developing for sunny and cloudy...I'm thinking about using two cameras.

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by rpavich, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    I have been mulling this over for a while. I shoot mostly family shots, some indoors some outdoors, bright sun, deep clouds and shade...all on the same roll.
    I tend to just shoot at something slightly less than box speed (HP5+ or Tri-X, Arista 200) and develop with a wee bit more dev time. That USUALLY results in a nice negative that prints great using a grade 2 filter.
    HOWEVER...the bright day shots don't turn out great to print...and I'm left with making a decision as to how to develop for the majority of the images. Rarely do I go outside and finish off a roll in one day which would make this really easy to figure out.


    So that brings me to my point; I think I'm going to just use two cameras and have one loaded for sunny conditions (shooting at one or two stops over ASA and souping at a % less than stock dev time) and one for cloudy / shade conditions, which would be about box speed and dev'd +20% time which I already know I like.

    The other alternative would be to change film rolls mid-roll and that seems like it would get confusing and lead to errors.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    If that’s your need and plan then two cameras. Changing film mid-roll is nuts.

    Or get a 4x5 and shoot sheet film. The ultimate in flexibility.
     
  3. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Yeah..trouble is, I like shooting 35mm except for this one tiny little thing. I already have multiple Trip 35s (my favorite camera) but only one Nikon FE2 (my second favorite.)
     
  4. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Holy crap I don't believe it! I just snagged another FE2 in good shape for $98.00 from ebay.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If you just shoot box speed and develop normally, you can avoid the quandary. Decades ago under exposure and over development could be useful, but with the wide exposure latitude of today's negative film one really does not need to do that.
     
  6. OP
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    rpavich

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    I guess I didn't come out and say it, I thought it was inferred but for me, that's definitely not true.

    That yields "savable" negatives, not great negatives. I want negatives that I don't have to monkey with to get a decent print. I know (for example with Double X) I can get that by shooting box speed and developing D96 for 20% longer than recommended time. I know that that method (if shot in cloudy, overcast, shady conditions) will yield a great looking print with grade 2 filter. Beautiful distribution of tones..whites white, blacks black...shadows and highlights where they need to be, midtones where I like them.

    I guess my experience is that box speed + box time doesn't yield what I like. (And Kodak themselves says that box is just a "starting point" so I guess that they agree also.
     
  7. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Maybe change to medium format and interchangeable backs.
     
  8. OP
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    rpavich

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    hahaha, I actually had a Med format camera and removable backs and it didn't float my boat. I like 35mm :smile:
     
  9. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Subscriber

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    Ever think about shooting Ilford XP2? At EI200, it's an extremely versatile (and forgiving) film that might meet your needs.
     
  10. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Actually I never have.
    Does it act differently than other films? Does it not follow the same sort of construct; expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights?
     
  11. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Good on the shady/cloudy day work flow; for bright, sunny days add 2/3 stop exposure and develop 15 to 20% less. That'll get you easily printable negs. Two cameras sounds to me like a spot on solution!
     
  12. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    XP2 is a great idea. It apparently reacts to scenes like color negative, so simply an amazing usable dynamic range. I have some but haven't shot with it yet.
    35mm interchangeable backs? Rollei SL 2000/3003. A lot more than a second Nikon body though.
     
  13. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    +1 for a interchangeable back camera or XP2. Whenever I go to Mexico I shoot XP2 in my 35mm camera. Great film.
     
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  15. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    Wouldn't it be more cost effective to wind off one film and load a fresh roll rather than using two cameras. or go the Hasselblad route (one camera, two backs)? This is also a reason for "flash-fill", investigate that........Regards!
     
  16. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Bring an assistant and a reflector... Honestly... do you think those shots in full sun would be any easier to print if they were developed differently?
     
  17. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    I have 2 identical nikons. One with hp5 and one with fp4. Hp5 for low even light. Fp4 for outdoors bright sunlight.....I have many other cameras as well, but generally follow the same principal.
     
  18. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Subscriber

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    As already mentioned, XP2 reacts to light like a color negative film. Therefore, you really can't blow out the highlights. Meter for your shadows and shoot. What could be more simple?
     
  19. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Yes, I do. I certainly see a difference in super contrasty days and cloudy days and exposure/dev times. I know that I can rescue prints by printing with a grade 5 or a grade 00 but I don't want to. I want to print as easily and with as good a looking prints as I can. It's a pleasure to print a print that has the right amount of contrast and density in the neg and not have to burn to get the highlights in or whatever. I want to leave that stuff for when I want to be creative, not because my neg isn't good enough. In any case, I snagged another FE2 body in good shape for 98.00 as I said and so that's what I'll do when I won't be finishing a roll quickly.
     
  20. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    So you're saying that no matter what conditions I shoot in; sunny beach, cloudy, rainy, the film will have just the right amount of density so prints to start taking 2 minutes each and the right amount of contrast so that I don't have to use a grade 5 filter or a 00 filter...they just magically print about grade 2 or 2.5?

    If that was the case, everyone would use this film or every maker would be making this magical film.
     
  21. OP
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    rpavich

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    It probably would, but maybe more confusing and prone to error.
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Read my recommended edit. :smile:
     
  23. OP
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    rpavich

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    About the larger format?
    I want to shoot 35mm though. :smile:

    In any case, I already snagged another camera that will work for my needs. As much as possible I'll stick to the plan of shooting two cameras...one for overcast, cloudy, shady, rainy low contrast days, and one for bright, sunny contrasty cloudless days.
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    With film being relatively cheap, I would just suggest that you expose full rolls, or if the light changes, remove the partial roll, seal it up and put a fresh roll of film in.

    My thinking is...if you get a great image that is important to you, are you going to let a couple dollars keep you from processing the film properly for that important image? What is the old saying -- Penny wize, pound foolish?
     
  25. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Using two cameras to handle wide differences in contrast makes sense to me. It is far better than having a single roll with high variations in contrast among the images.

    It may help to load the cassettes with short lengths of film - maybe only 12 exposures instead of 24 or 36.
     
  26. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    I didn't think of that...good idea.
     
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