underexpose fuji 400

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by luke main, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Hi all
    just a quick question, has anyone out there experimented with
    underexposing fuji 400 and how were the results. I found that my
    colours were quite rich, without sacrificing skin tone. Also would
    it be better to underexpose the film or increase the iso one setting
    and what is the ratio of over and underexposure in relation to
    increasing and decreasing iso?
  2. I can't speak for all fuji 400, but I can assure you that Fuji NPH rated at 320 (overexposed) yields far better results than it does rated at 400.

    In my experience, most if not all print films respond better to overexposure than underexposure.

    You weren't talking about Provia 400 were you?
  3. Also would it be better to underexpose the film or increase the iso one setting
    These are the exact same thing.
    A doubling/halving of film speed is a stop. So shooting a 400 film at 800 is the same as underexposing a stop, eg., using a shutter speed of 1/250 when 1/125 is appropriate.
  4. Luke, I'm only a student of photography not an expert. I don't think underexposing print film works the same as with slide film.

    Coincidently, today I experimented with underexposing fuji superia extra 400 print film. My intent is to determine how well I can use only fuji NPH 400 or superia extra 400 for daylight. I wanted to know the effects of intentionally underexposing by manually setting the ISO to 800 (one stop).

    It sticks in my brain that John Shaw writes that when he used Kodachrome 25 film he set his ISO meter to 50. When he used Kodachrome 64, he set his ISO meter at 125. He did this to "Reduce exposure by one stop." In these cases, Shaw did not push process. So, I wondered what would happen if I underexposed fuji 400 speed print film by one stop the way John Shaw underexposed Kodachrome 25 slide film.

    My results? Only two scenes/subjects are correctly exposed- these are the two brightest scenes. The other 22 frames are not correctly exposed. I sent the film to an 1-day developer whose operators care about getting usable prints. There was no push processing. I'll leave it to experts to determine *why* my prints are not correctly exposed. They just are.

    Chuck Jones
  5. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Generally, when shooting slides for prints it is better to underexpose to reduce the density and contrast. An interneg or mask may not then be needed. Maybe that is what Shaw was up to.
  6. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    Slightly underexposing slide film can often make the color more saturated and "richer." This was (and is?) an old trick for increasing the saturation of Kodachrome.
    Unlike slide film, the lightness or darkness of prints from color negatives is determined solely in the printing process. Underexposure will only give you weak, muddy color, low contrast, and gray, grainy shadows. It's best to expose negative film normally (i.e., meter for the shadows) and then ask for a darker print if the first print is too light or washed out.
    Overexposure-- within reason-- actually reduces grain and improves saturation, which is why some people purposely rate color negative film at a lower speed than what's on the box. But there's never any benefit from underexposing a color negative. Don't do it!
  7. Yeah, thankyou for your help. I had always thouht the same thing about overexposing neg film. The reason i wanted to know about underexposure is because of a roll i shot only last week. It was fuji superia 400 and i stepped the iso down to 320 the next film i loaded i forgot to step the iso down and when i got them both back the first film had prints that were occasionally way to bright and none of them had great colour. The second film had strong deep colour and none of the prints were too bright and none were too dark??? Any thoughts?
  8. Rating Fuji Superia 400 at 400 - as you did with your second film - is *not* underexposing...
    (rating it at 320 - as you did with your first film - *is* overexposing.)

    With some print films, the effects of overexposing can be desirable, but many/most films work best at their rated speed.

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