7 Free Tips to Better B&W Photography. Tip#3

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Tip #3
Tackling and taming the mysterious film speed test.

We need to find out what the true exposure is for your camera,your films,your meter and your shutter.

Sounds like fun…Huh!
Don’t worry it’s easy-peasy!

To be very,very accurate- send your film to a Pro Lab that has a densitometer- they will tell if your neg’ s have been exposed to the correct settings…IE…the unexposed film edge of the processed roll should have a range between about. .10 for 120/ .30 for 35mm. That is the “film base + fog” reading.

1) Set your camera to your ASA ( or hand held meter)
2) Use a tripod if ya’ got one
3)Find something single toned to use…a gray card for example.
4)Find good even steady light…daylight – not artificial light.
5) Fill the cameras frame with the gray card- focus set on infinity- make sure there is no stray light- no filters on the lens.
6)Set apeture to meter recommendation. Use a normal shutter speed 1/125…1/250. Shoot.
7)Close down apeture 4 stops. Shoot.( if you run out of f-stops- start sequence at the higher shutter speed.)…So..shoot=close 1 stop/ shoot=close 1  stop / shoot/ close to final stop.
8)Change ASA film speed to 2x manufacturers recommended speed …
9) Do step 7 again.
10)Develop film or send it out.Make sure you have kept careful notes…and don’t misplace them 😀
11)Find the negative with density. 08 to. 10. If you don’t have a fancy- smanchy densitometer…..look for the negative where the film edge is black and your neg. number is clearest….(old school stuff!)

As an example and this is just for my Nikon – I rate Tri – x 400 at ASA 200.
You will need to test all your cameras and again with different films.

Tip #4- A little about film and paper developers….

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“We find comfort among those who agree with us- growth among those that don’t.”
– Frank A. Clark.

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