Nikon F100 with Velvia.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raymondc, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Hi, I am learning Velvia 50 RVP. Rated at 50.
    I first want to get my easy shot out the way first. Attached beneath.
    This is a summer shot in (I'm in the Southern Hemisphere) the afternoon, spot meter taken off the grey buildings, which was the same as 3D Matrix. Nikon Circular Polariser was attached. I didn't shoot an image without it.
    The scan is straight off a V700 with no PP.
    Is it me or is the exposure off?
    Feedback appreciated.
  2. its off. you probably should point down not building. think the meter got confused, or was at matrix
  3. 3D matrix provided the same result as Spot meter at the builidngs. I used spot first then compared it to 3D matrix as my understanding is that Nikon's 3D meter is pretty good.
    It could be my scanner. Would you think I should get a light box? What do you suggest and the loupe? Recommendations?
  4. I used this combination almost exclusively before I went digital. With Velvia the latitude is too narrow, You can have well exposed clouds or well exposed buildings, but no both. Maybe one of those split density filters that allows more exposure to the lower portion of the photo might do it. I think in Photoshop you could bring out a lot of detail in the buildings.
  5. Yeah in PS I can bring the details out.
    My goal is obviously to get a good shot on slide. In terms of metering the buildings, what you suggest? I spot metered on the grey buildings. Is that the reason why it is underexposing? Should I rated Velvia at 40 instead? Should I get a lightbox? It could be the scanner.
  6. Bracket, or the split density filter. Probably just too much contrast for Velvia in my opinion, there are the blackest blacks and the whitest whites all in that one photo.
  7. I think it is because in the southern hemisphere, circular polarizers rotate in the opposite direction.
  8. How does the transparency look, as opposed to the scan?
    As Sanford says, a soft edge, split ND filter is the way to handle this problem on transparency film. I would try both a 2-stop and 3 stop upper section, with the camera manually set (spot metered) to expose for the city details in the clear lower section. Use a tripod as it lets you precisely set the transition area on the split ND filter in precisely the right place.
    Remember that to use spot metering properly, you need to meter a "middle gray" area of brightness, or else compensate the reading accordingly. I would spot meter the foreground city area, then maybe bracket a bit.
  9. I am a newbie with slides. Never had a lightbox or a slide projector.
    If I look at the slides with the sky in the background, they look much better exposed. My understanding is that one could meter on grey building and it should work and it is in the afternoon.
    On some other shots, it was a sunset shot, they were again metered on buildings but I metered th part that didn't have bright lighs on them, on this scenario; the slides itself look underexposed. Is this because if the buildings are in night time that it fools the meter? I mean there not be grey tones there right .. it was practically night time with twilight.
  10. Look at it this way. I have a lot of experience with photography. I took well over a hundred shots at a golf tournament today. I will be extremely satisfied if I were to get as many as ten good ones, and I have the advantage of looking at every shot and making exposure corrections. No photographer can ever hope to reach a point where every photo is correct. It will always be trial and error - we are always chasing the perfect photograph and never quite reach it. Maybe that's why we keep at it.
  11. Try shooting it at ISO 40. Also, after 9:00 am and before 3:00 pm, I would use an incident meter reading or take a reading off of an 18% gray card. The polaroid filter can screw up your metering, too. Bracket two exposures in 1/3 stop intervals over your initial reading when using a polaroid filter, if possible. Shoot enough of this stuff and you will get a feeling for how you should amend your exposure readings. Also different batches of film can vary as far as effective ISO. Try to buy at least 20 rolls of film at a time.
  12. Your camera got faked out by the background and the exposure is half a stop under. You could scan it again and play with levels a bit to boost the exposure. Matrix metering isn't infallible. Bracketing is always a good idea too.
  13. To me the spot mettering is extremelly useful in this situations. You can use it to get an extimation of how many stops are between different areas of the frame. In this case I would consider 4 areas: land, sea, sky blue and sky clouds. Next time try to estimate how blown you want the clouds and how dark you want the bildings. It really helps to see how the resulting picture is going to be. But be aware, with such a difference in illumination you have to assume that some parts of the clouds are going to be white and completely blown, and no posibility to recover them afterwards.
    However, if you look at your picture, nothing is overblown. Some parts of the clouds are overexposed but not burn. In fact the matrix mettering did a good job. It ensured that you have all the info in there so you can post process it and recover all the details.
    If you get the exposition "right", let's say, with a more balanced light, then the clouds should be blown.
    People who had used velvia (I never did) comment that the right approach is to be sure that nothing is blown. The dynamic range is so small (5 stops if I remember correctly) that you have the risk to blown some areas with no posibility of recovering them. If you think about your picture, again, this is what the matrix mettering did, nothing blown. So, I think the exposure is the right one for this particular situation. Now you have to work it out at PS.
  14. Seriously, I read recently that one should not use matrix metering when using a polarizing filter. Is this really the case?
  15. I've never found slide film to be as scary as everyone tries to make it out to be. The photo you posted , Ray-, looks like many seaside scenes I've seen before. A pretty accurate rendition.
    I took this photo a couple of months ago with an F5 set to Center Weighted metering, Tamron 14mm lens, old ISO 50 Fuji Velvia, no grad ND.
  16. Ray, welcome to the demanding world of exposing slide film. The film does not have enough latitude to capture the bright sky and the relatively dark buildings in a single exposure. As some folks have mentioned, you could have used a graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky. Then you could have boosted the exposure of the entire shot which would have rendered the buildings a bit lighter.
    (In this case I think a two-stop hard-step filter would have been about right. You can use the ND filter in conjunction with your polarizer.)
    If you don't want to fool around with ND filters and filter holders, try shooting lower-contrast scenes, e.g. a field of flowers on an overcast day.
    Good luck, and don't give up. Slide film is magical when you expose it properly.
  17. Well, I am trying to get hold of a lightbox. To me the slides are more brighter, maybe it is my scanner.
    I spot metered on the buildings, I compared the 3D matrix meter and it was the same - this was with the Circular Polariser TTL. My question is, that should of worked right? Maybe it is my scanner.
    I've got Provia now loaded in the FM2N :) I will see how that goes, try to scan them too.
    I also got 2 more rolls of Velvia 50 RVP and 1x 100 (without F I think), maybe I have a 100F too.
  18. Amazingly enough, in above postings I do not see repeated that Velvia50 indeed tends towards underexposure in appearance. The OP mentions rating it at ISO40. Many users in the past did exactly that!
    If you get consistently this kind of results, and you do not like that, ISO40 would be an obvious solution.
  19. I did think of rating it as 40, but some said Fuji is a large enof corporation to accurately set them as 50, hence I left them. They a lot better, I don't have a lightbox now, but if I open up MS Word, a black white document .. the slides look not bad. At least 1/2 stop brighter that way ....
  20. I will also say that if you open the above image in PS or LR it looks maybe 1/3 brighter. Firefox on my system here is darker.
    The slides itself behind a white blank MS Word document looks more properly exposed, more brighter than what is seen in LR.
    The image here on the net with Firefox is darker than LR.
  21. I have many examples like your own - but where the slides look fine, the scans came out with exagerated underexposure in the dark areas.
    It was probably my poor technique, but when using Velvia and scanning with my Nikon Coolscan 2000, I could never get consistency in digitising the slide adequately. It seemed to exacerbate the characteristics of Velvia, not sure whether it is the thickness of the emulsions on the film that makes the darker areas under expose.
    For scanning - with my setup - I found Provia more consistent, but Velvia was always my favourite for the popping colours (and a slight tendency to overdo the greens).
  22. Hi Ray,
    For me, your exposure looks fine. The reason you got this dark image could be more than one. First velvia 5o is an high contrast film and if this was shot at mid day then you can get this high contrast image. Second, the circular polorisar also increase the contrast, try one without it and you will see less contrast in the scene. Third, could be scanning problem. If you see the slide directly in a projector or a light box you'll be surprised at how good it looks. Use velvia in the golden light and you'll get amazing colors and during the day use Provia or Sensia.
  23. I spot metered on the buildings, I compared the 3D matrix meter and it was the same - this was with the Circular Polariser TTL. My question is, that should of worked right?​
    Ray, your metering technique might have been fine, but it doesn't matter if you're trying to record more latitude than the film can handle. By latitude I mean the difference in brightness between the light and dark portions of the image.
    This is just a fact of life with slide film. It's not your camera's fault or your meter's fault. If you had taken the same shot with print film it would have recorded it more closely to what your eyes saw when you were there. Slide film is different, though. After a while you'll start to "see" the way that slide film sees, i.e. you'll know when to avoid high-contrast scenes like this one or you'll recognize when you need filters to help control the contrast.
  24. For midday shooting in a high contrast situation, I would have chosen Provia or Astia, or a print film. Velvia works really well in morning or evening light and certainly heightens the looks of some landscapes but it certainly is not a universal film.
  25. Velvia can be very hard to scan because its so dense. I have found Vuescan double exposure improve things a little bit.
    Your exposure looks fine to me, stopped short of blowing up the clouds severely. I think the scan did not capture the entire tonal range of the slide.
  26. I agree with the above posts that the scene has too large a range to capture with Velvia and the suggestions regarding split ND filters. One other suggestion regarding exposing slide film in general is to bracket your exposures. Shoot one at normal exposure and one over-exposed 1 EV and one under 1 EV. You'll be burning up a lot in film and processing for a while but eventually you'll get a feel as to how to expose Velvia and what sort of scenes lend itself to the image characteristics of that film.
  27. My wife loves Velvia 50 in her F100, and the slides usually look quite nice on a light box, but they are very dense, and scanning, as others have pointed out, can be a challenge. I get much better results with Nikon Scan software by routinely raising the gain by a stop or more for exposures with a lot of shadow, and especially a lot of blues and greens. If you do a lot of scanning with a many slides from the same sources, you should develop a pretty good sense for how much compensation a slide will need to minimize the need for post processing. It also helps, if possible, to adjust the curves and to move the midpoint a little lighter.
  28. Can you fix the exposure by adding some D-lighting (Nikon CaptureNX) or Highlight/Shadow (PS) ?
  29. Could be that the spot metering area picked up some of the highlights in the sky and wasn't accurately reading the foreground. I seriously doubt your averaging meter would give the same reading as a true spot read on the buildings. Either way a scene like that would require a grad filter to get a decent exposure on slide film. Velvia tends to block up shadows in my experience more than some other fims.
    Another option would be a hybrid-digital approach, and take two separate tripod exposures, one metered for the sky and the other for the foreground, and layer the two scanned images in Photoshop.
    Slide film is tougher to work with in some regards, but on the other hand highlights don't clip to pure white as fast like they do in digital.
  30. Hi Ray, as a former slide shooter with a F 100 and N 90s cameras, I can tell you from my experiences and those of others including camera repair men, the meters in most cameras are rarely 100% accurate and may be off by .3 or more of a stop in either direction. This much of an error in slide film is a LOT and should not be tolerated. This means that you need to have your meter checked and reset, and possibly use the exposure compensation button to set any needed exposure compensation. That being said, the image you posted is slightly overexposed IMO and as others have also stated. Slide film has very little tolerance for exposure errors, espeically for errors of overexposure. Even with meters that are 100% accurate some rate Velvia at 40 and not 50 to guard against overexposure issues. I would have your camera's meter checked out and adjusted if needed. And I would take lots of test shots of different kinds of subjects under different lighting conditions using Velvia rated at 50 and 40. Look at the results and then pick the ones you like the best and use these to determine how you will rate Velvia--at 50 or 40.
    Joe Smith
  31. John Shaw used slide film for many years. In his book "Landscape Photography" John instructs on how to calibrate our camera's meter. Shooting seven exposures while changing the iso rating is the basis of the technique. The subject should be middle gray in tone, or a color that is the equivalent of middle (18%) gray. I have used a weathered wood fence. You can calibrate meters for every camera used, for every film used, and even for different lenses. This technique is described in more than one of his books. After calibration, the advice on using graduated neutral density filters, especially when the sky is in the frame, is good advice. Jim Zuckerman's book "Perfect Exposure" is also a good resource for metering techniques.
  32. Hi Ray, I have been using velvia 50 for a very long time and this slide is underexposed badly ( 1 or 1 and 1/2 stops) Are you sure that the exposure corrector was on 0?
    Stay well
  33. I think it is my scanner. I have Provia loaded now, will see how my scanner deal with that.
    On the slides withe MS Word white blank document, I can see the green hills and the color separation from the skyscrapers to the hill to the sky. Yep, pretty sure spot and 3D matrix gave the same settings. I was on manual mode but I made sure I balanced the guide in the VF.
  34. if the original is like this, surely is under.. on digital sometimes my wide lenses get confused when light is too strong even if i point meter somewhere. if that happens i meter down, almost on my foot, to get exposed properly. but as the lattitude is too narrow, i almost always loose the sky.
  35. The slide looks underexposed. The bright white clouds are MUCH brighter than the green trees and white buildings in this shot. If it had been a day without clouds, only a blue sky, it would not be underexposed. For a shot like this, use a graduated neutral density filter.
  36. Velvia has a very narrow contrast range, higher than average contrast also, and if you want to scan it at home, always shoot it at 40, so you over-expose it by 1/3 and avoid those dark blacks it produces.
  37. Ray,
    It could very well be that your scanner isn't doing your slides justice. I have the V500 and it tends to under expose and shift the colors to a bit blue. I asked Epson about a calibration sheet or any way to verify the color balance and brightness of the scanner, but they didn't have a method. I finally got one rep to have me send a slide to them for testing. I never did that. Some folks here, suggested that under exposing is not uncommon on flat bed scanners. Just this week, I found that an office at the place I work has the same scanner. I'm going to do a test and see if they both scan the same.
    That being said, I was able to improve the tone in Photoshop Elements, which comes with the scanner. I also broke down and purchased a light table ( the Port-a-Trace 8 X 10 ). That way I don't have to hold the slide up to a window to check the colors. This is helpful if I want to scan at night !
  38. I get exactly that, underexposed and a red blue purple shift.
    With the Epson software, I found that if I use "backlight" to high and then in Photoshop I give it a bit of a "S" curve, it helps.
  39. Backlight to high...
    I'll have to look for that.
  40. That's in the Epson software - under professional mode.
    I have tried demo Vuescan and Silverfast that was the SE version free with the V700. For neg film Epson was best. The other 2 gave wacky colors and more grain. For slide they (3) are the same so I uninstalled them 2.
    However there will be slides that just look wonderful under a lightbox. Like twilight cityscape photo's lit my natural light of the long exposure or street lights and building lights. I cannot get that in scanning with backlight. Nor a dSLR. But when the slide is backlighted - it's great ..

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