BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Pieter J. Roelofse


Dear Sir
I recently started shooting with color slide film, because I would like to get into professional photography. My very first roll of Kodak Elite Chrome 100 came out nicely, although I think many of the pictures are a little over exposed. I use a Pentax P30T manual focus camera, dedicated flash (GN 85ft/ISO100) and various lenses.
The second roll that I shot was totally different though. Many pictures came out perfect and some are terribly under exposed. I shot a statue of an angel in our local cemetary. The statue was in the shade under trees. I used Kodak Elite Chrome 100, my trusty Ricoh 50mm lens and my wonderful Kenko MC7 2X teleconverter and manually exposed the statue from 3 feet and 6 feet away with my Pentax AF260SA dedicated flash, although I calculated the f-stop to use by using the Guide Number and the distance from camera to subject. I used full power on the flash and first set the f-stop to 16 (smallest on my 50mm lens). Then I moved back 3 feet to 6 feet from the subject and opened up one f-stop to f/11. However, both shots were terribly underexposed. Is this simply just a case of not enough light (due to too small an f-stop or what ? I need a little guidance with this one. And how do meter for color slides? I have received advice from a pro before...meter for the highlights....what if there are no highlights and my camera is center weighted spot metering....?
I would appreciate some help. Thanks.
Pieter Roelofse, Seattle, WA

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6/18/2002 5:39:33 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy   Boy, it's refreshing to see a question with some info included. First of all with slide film it's a bit more complex than simply exposing for the highlights. First of all, since slide film has a narrow latitude, it's important to do some tests to determine what your personal exposure index for a particular film is. This involves shooting a consistent scene with different ISO settings and determining which one looks the best to you. Next you have to know what to meter and whether or not you need to compensate. For example if I meter green grass (under most circumstances) the reading should be right on (green grass - most of the time - is equivelant to 18% gray). If I meter a white object I know I must open up 2 stops since white is 2 stops brighter than 18% gray.

Did you compensate for your teleconverter? A 2x teleconverter eats up 2 stops of light so you have to compensate for that if your camera's meter doesn't for you.

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6/24/2002 9:31:50 PM

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