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Photography QnA: All About Photography

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Category: All About Photography

Interested in learning art photography? Want to become a master photographer? The following questions and answers are divided into two main groups - digital imaging and traditional, film-based photography. Learn the techniques of both here. If you want to learn more about how to make great photos take Jed Manwaring's Getting Started: How to Make Great Photographs online photography course.

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Photography Question 
Ron 

member since: 9/5/2001
  15031 .  First Camera - APS of 35mm SLR?
Hello... I'm buying my first real camera and I want to know if anyone could tell me the difference between a standard 35mm SLR and APS. If I wanted to develop film at home (after I learn a lot more) does APS make a difference?

9/5/2001 7:51:18 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Ron,
APS stands for "Advanced Photo System." 35mm refers to the film size used. APS was created for consumers and the cameras made for the film are consumer grade. If you want to develop film in a home darkroom, it would be much easier with 35mm size film (see remarks about film availability). Following are the major differences between the two:

Film Size:
This is the major difference between the two. APS uses 24mm film which is the entire width of the film strip from edge to edge. The actual frame size is 16.7mm x 30.2mm. By comparison, 35mm film refers to the width of the film strip from edge to edge. Its actual frame size is 24mm x 36mm. This makes a difference in how large a print can be made from the film. A 35mm camera with an excellent lens and very fine grain, slower speed film can easily produce high quality 11x16 or 11x14 prints. An APS can produce up to 8x12 or 8x10 prints. You can ask for larger ones, but either grain will begin to show, or they will start to look a little soft since you are past the resolving power of even the finest lenses with that much enlargement.

Film Availability:
For film availability, very, very nearly all still camera film is available in 135 size (the number size for 35mm film), both consumer and professional. This includes black/white and color in both negative (print) and transparency (slide). By comparison, the only films available for APS are consumer color negative. The B/W for APS is actually a "chromogenic" film, exactly like color negative, except it renders in shades of gray, which is entirely different from true B/W film. The easiest film to develop and print in a home darkroom is B/W negative. It is possible to set up a home darkroom for color, and some do, but the setup will be more expensive. Controlling both time in various process steps, and temperatures of chemical baths is much more critical with color films.

Camera Bodies and Lenses:
Very nearly all APS cameras are "Point and Shoot" viewfinder type with auto-focus and "program mode" (only) auto-exposure. These cameras have relatively weak built-in flashes (very short range) and cannot mount or fire a more powerful external flash. Lens speed is comparatively "slow" (how much light the lens admits) and they do not have as much range in shutter speeds. This forces the use of faster films with larger grain structure. The couple of SLR's made for APS have extremely limited lens selections. All that applies to APS "P&S" cameras also applies to 35mm consumer "P&S" cameras. OTOH, 35mm SLR's span a huge range from introductory consumer grade to very high end professional grade. In some systems, such as Canon EOS, Nikon (AF and AIS), and Olympus OM, the same lenses can be used on any of the system bodies, from the lowest price consumer one to the premier professional grade "flagship." Within the 35mm SLR systems, the user can grow a comprehensive system over time, including upgrading both bodies and lenses without losing compatibility at any point.

My recommendations:
If you're looking for a simple camera that doesn't require any special knowledge to use, and you don't plan on making much more than color print "snapshots" (Kodak's term, not mine) then an APS P&S can be ideal for it. If you are looking for a more advanced camera system for "serious," specialized and/or professional photography, with an extremely wide range of film choices (to match your type of photography and style), then a 35mm SLR is the better choice.

-- John

9/5/2001 10:39:05 PM

Ron 

member since: 9/5/2001
  John,

Wow... thanks for quick response and for clearing that up for me. Thanks...

9/6/2001 11:36:36 AM

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Photography Question 
Dominic Seet

member since: 9/5/2001
  15032 .  Using Expired Film - Need to Compensate?
I have a roll of expired ACUPAN 800 film. The film expired in 1999. However, I would still like to use it for some "effect" shot. I understand there will be degrading of the quality. Would like to know how should I compensate for the lost of quality. via overexposing? or underexposing? pull or push during processing? Also, will a filter help? if so, what filter? thankz

9/5/2001 1:57:08 PM

Romen Vargas

member since: 2/22/2000
  Hi Dominic,
As far as I know when film expires you shouldn't really use it BECAUSE you get colour cast in it. What colour depends on the film. I tried using old Kodak 400 once and it gave me a greenish yellowish tint to all my photos. All in all I've been told that when films expire it starts to react slower/fast to different colours.

But in any case I haven't heard of Acupan and almost sounds like B&W film.

Sorry I can't be of much more help than that.

5/29/2002 9:37:29 PM

Mike 

member since: 11/22/2002
  why don't you try a clip test. it's a weird one for bw films-it's usually for e-6(slide film). you need to definitely go to a pro lab. shoot about 3 frames of gray scale or gray card at your rated iso. rewind the film. have the lab clip 3 frames from the beginning(note-tell them the beginning-sometimes they do an end clip which would yield nothing beacause it's at the other end.
This all depends on your camera too
i had a fuji that shot from the end to the beginning). ask them if they could leave you a leader as well. it's no fun digging the film out of the cannister if you don't have an extractor

anyway-tell them to process and print these normal. judge the prints accordingly.

then rate your film properly.

it's a lot more involved. but it's probably your best guess without shooting the whole roll blind

by the way- i've heard that film increases in speed as it ages.
some of the light-sensitive grains cease to be.

oh well
good luck
mike

11/23/2002 12:12:06 AM

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Photography Question 
Nathaniel M. Blumberg

member since: 9/4/2001
  15033 .  How do I use my Gossen Luna Pro light meter?
I have a lightmeter which looks to be from the 1960's.
Everything works fine. Don't know how to work it. I need to know how to work it.
It's a Gossen Luna Pro.
I put batteries in it. Works fine.
I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
I hope that you can tell me how to work this.

9/4/2001 11:07:55 PM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  Nathaniel,

There must be a pushbutton to press for activating the measurement. The needle on the scale will then move away from zero, and alter its deflection when the opening with the glass plate (photocell) is oriented vs. a light source. For reading the value, rotate the outer indented ring of the scale till the needle takes the zero position again. You can then read the possible f stop/exposure combinations on the scale, e.g. f2.8// 1/250, f4.0// 1/125, etc. Be sure that the film speed is properly set on the scale. Holding the light meter from the camera vs. the object yields object metering. Measuring from the object vs. the camera gives light metering; for this, shift the opaque white hemisphere until it takes the position in front of the opening with the photocell. There is perhaps an additional scale ring for exposure correction. For no correction, the nose must be in its zero position; otherwise, + 1EV, +2EV, or -1EV, -2EV is indicated.

9/5/2001 5:13:12 AM

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Photography Question 
Jennifer H. Agar

member since: 9/3/2001
  15034 .  Shutter Speed and Aperture
I am very new to photography. I purchased a Casio 3.3 megapixel digital camera and just recently noticed that I can adjust shutter speed and aperture settings. Could you explain to me what they are and how I know what settings to use? The manual is very broad.

9/3/2001 11:10:01 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Jennifer,
You didn't mention which model Casio. If it's the 3000, or similar to it, there are several "program modes" plus an aperture priority mode and a shutter priority mode.

First, about lens aperture, shutter speed and exposure:
The combination of lens aperture and shutter speed set an exposure. The exposure required for film cameras is determined by subject brightness level and film speed. The CCD sensor in a digital has the equivalent of a single film speed. Thus, the exposure required for the CCD to record the image is determined by subject brightness. Think of exposure for recording an image like filling a water glass. The object is to exactly fill the glass. Subject brightness is like the water pressure, lens aperture is the diameter of the water pipe, and shutter speed is how long you leave the faucet open. Low lighting is like low water pressure. Bright lighting is like high water pressure. A larger diameter pipe allows more water to flow and a smaller one restricts the flow. The lens aperture works much like the pupil in your eye which gets larger in low light and smaller in bright light. The shutter speed is how long light is allowed to strike the CCD to record the image.

For a given exposure required, you can trade aperture and shutter speed settings. In other words, if you double the area cross-section of the pipe (increase diameter by about 1.4X), you can leave the faucet open half as long and still get the same amount of water (and vice versa).

Shutter priority means you set the shutter speed and the camera will set the lens aperture needed. Aperture priority means you set the lens aperture and the camera will set the shutter speed. There are only so many combinations of shutter speed and aperture that will work for a given subject brightness. Your camera has limits on how wide or narrow an aperture it can set, and on how fast or slow a shutter speed it can use. This means if you try to set a very fast shutter speed in low light conditions using shutter priority, it is possible the camera cannot open the lens up enough for a proper exposure. The same applies if you pick an aperture in aperture priority mode that requires a shutter speed outside the range the camara can set.

The most common reason for wanting a fast shutter speed is to stop action. 1/125th second will freeze nearly all movement by people. 1/1000th second will stop nearly all motion. A 90 MPH fastball travels about 1.5 inches in 1/1000th second.

Lens aperture also affects how much in front and behind the lens focus distance will appear to be in focus in the image. This is called Depth of Field. The most common reason for wanting a narrow aperture (high f-number) is to have a very deep depth of field in which everything (or very nearly so) appears in focus. A very deep depth of field is almost always desired for landscape photographs. A wide aperture (low f-number) will create a shallower depth of field. The wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. One of the common uses for wide apertures is in portraiture, to isolate the subject from a distracting (possibly cluttered) background.

As you gain experience with your camera, think about which one you want most and experiment some with it to get a feel for how fast a shutter speed will stop certain types of action, and how wide an aperture will blur a distant background (without blurring part of the subject).

-- John

9/4/2001 9:02:49 PM

Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  Jennifer:

I am not trying to take away anything from this site. It is indeed an excellent place to get wonderful information.

However, I think the best answer to your question is found at another site called webslr.
It offers a live working model through a JAVA-enabled web browser and it also provides a training course in aperture settings, shutter settings, and exposure settings. I think anyone starting off in photography should take advantage of such a model.

The only draw back is that the course costs approx. $30 for a 1-year membership. It is well worth the expense, as I've taken the course myself and can attest to how wonderful it is.

Cheers,
Glenn

9/9/2001 8:16:48 PM

  Hi, just crusin' through. John, FANTASTIC descripion and very understandable. Reminds me of a book that I once read while trying to learn this myself.

3/28/2002 8:19:43 AM

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Photography Question 
Angela M. Griffin

member since: 9/2/2001
  15035 .  Do You Need a Special Macro Lens for Macro Work?
I am new to macro photography. I am wanting to buy a lens that I can photograph flowers and insects very close up. Does a lens have to be specified as "macro" for this type of work, or is a 200mm lens the same as a 200mm macro lens? Also which focal length would be best for the type of work I described above? I also want to photograph slightly larger objects, such as leaves and fruit, etc.

9/2/2001 7:54:11 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Angela,
A 200mm prime lens is a telephoto lens, and will typically focus down to about 5-6 feet. This is different from a 200mm Macro lens which allows even closer focusing, about 2.5 feet and maybe even closer.

Field macros are usually done using a long lens between 80mm and 135mm, occasionally a little longer at 180mm or 200mm, or a little shorter at 50mm. I have done them using lenses as short as 24mm and 18mm, but that is very special work, and requires great care in setting it up very, very close using a very short extension tube. The reason for the longer lenses? They allow farther standoff from the subject for the same level of magnification.

For insects, fruit and leaves, I suggest starting with an 80mm to 90mm lens and a set of extension tubes of at least two lengths, about 12mm and 25mm, if you system has them available. You can stack extension tubes, but usually no more than two, sometimes three. How many depends on the tubes, who makes them and the size/weight of the lens that will be used also.

The Canon EOS system has two tubes (12mm and 25mm). The Nikon AF system has an extension tube also. Kenko makes tubes for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Minolta AF systems. Tubes were made for older, manual focus systems by the original OEM, and Vivitar still makes sets for them (the Vivitar is a sturdy one with three tubes: 12mm, 21mm and 36mm).

You will also need a sturdy tripod. At the high magnification levels of macro work, it becomes very difficult to hand hold without camera shake blurring the image and depth of field becomes very shallow making accurate focusing critical.

The next paragraphs describe how macros are measured and the several methods for doing them.

Magnification is the real measure of macro work. It is the ratio of the subject size _on_film_ (not on the print) to actual subject size. A 1:1 or life-size will be life-size on the film. A true macro lens (versus close-up or close focus) will let you get at least 1:4 (1/4 life-size) or larger.

There are three standard methods for doing macros:
a. Auxiliary "diopter" lenses that screw onto the front of a lens (sometimes called close-up "filters" but they are not really filters). Most of these are OK but not the best optically, especially the inexpensive ones with only a single lens element. The more expensive two-element ones are much better but as expensive as extension tubes, which are usually still better optically.
b. Extension tubes that go between a lens and the camera body. These move the entire lens focusing range closer. The length of the tube compared to the focal length of the lens determines how much closer you can get and the level of magnification you can achieve. They are better optically than auxiliary diopter lenses as there is no glass in them, especially if used with an excellent prime lens with little or no aberration or distortion. Extremely close work with very high magnification can be had with a bellows extension (even longer than tubes) but they are rarely used outdoors. This is part of the tradeoff with longer focal length to get greater standoff distance. A longer tube is needed to get the same magnification level. A 50mm lens at infinity focus needs a 25mm tube for 1:2 magnification. A 100mm lens will have 1:2 magnification at twice the subject distance, but requires 50mm of extension to achieve it.
c. A true macro lens which is specifically designed and optimized for much closer focusing than a normal one to get at least 1:4 magnification, sometimes 1:2. These are typically more expensive and slower, but they are also usually the best optically, especially the primes (non-zoom). For even higher magnification you can add extension tubes to them just as you would a normal lens.

How much magnification you need depends on subject size and how much you want to fill the film frame with it. For small insects, this could be between 1:2 to 1:1, or half life-size to life-size (a 35mm film frame is about 1" x 1.5"). For larger insects such as a preying mantis or grasshopper, 1:4 to 1:3 magnification would fill the film frame. For flowers and leaves, it depends on the size of the flower blossom and how much of it you want in the frame. A single African violet blossom could require 1:1 whereas a cluster of them requires less, perhaps 1:4. OTOH, an oak leaf or an orange may only need 1:6 magnification.

Think about the size of the objects you want to photograph and compare this to the size of a film frame (35mm: about 1" x 1.5"). This will tell you the magnification levels you need. You can then sort out how much magnification a "macro" lens must provide (by looking at various lens specs), or figure out how much extension tube you need with a normal lens of a particular focal length.

-- John

9/3/2001 1:36:30 AM

Ken B

member since: 4/29/2001
  John,
I'm in the same situation as Angela. I have an interest in flowers, still-lifes, etc. I'm probably going to over-simplify things, but here goes. I have the Canon EOS Rebel 2000. My Canon 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 lens has a marking which shows the macro, or close-up, mode symbol and 0.38m/1.3ft. Does this mean that I can use this lens for macro photography and get as close as 1.3 feet? It is not technically a macro lens. I also have a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 lens with the same symbol and 1.5m/4.9ft distances.

I was going to buy Canon's 50mm f1.4 prime lens for this work, but in doing some research I find that most photographers use macro lenses for the specific things I'm interested in, usually 105mm, or similar. Canon makes a 100mm f2.8 macro (1:1) that sounds like what I need. I have also seen a Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro (1:2) that does 1:1 with an included adapter for much less money.

Can the same results be obtained with either the 100mm macro or the 50mm prime, or even with what I have already? If I should buy, I would rather buy the 50mm as I think I'd get much more general use out of it, but I want my still-lifes and flowers to be of excellent quality, so I'm definitely open to buying both. Thanks.

9/21/2001 2:30:56 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Ken, for the kind of quality you're talking about here, I'd go with a 90 to 105 macro lens.

You could save some money here by locating a good manual focus 100-mm macro lens, and then buy a manual focus body and dedicate it to macro. You don't need autofocus with macro, anyway.

Look for a 90-mm Vivitar Series 1 macro. If you're lucky enough to find one, buy a body brand that fits. The thing has legendary sharpness. See cameraquest.com for Steve's comments on Vivitar macros. Later, find a 50 macro on ebay.

3/12/2002 8:02:24 AM

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Photography Question 
Michael Yoder

member since: 8/29/2001
  15036 .  My Perfect Travel / Backpacking Camera
I am looking for a small, sturdy camera with excellent optics and a SLR viewfinder for composition and some zoom capabilities for on the spot flexibility. Quick to use, unobtrusive, lightweight...yet still have some control and get high quality.

Also I am tempted by digital, but worried about sturdiness, battery life, and other problems that could be encountered in a backpacking environment.

Opinions?

8/29/2001 4:58:48 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  IMO a manual focus, mechanical shutter SLR offers some advantages for backpacking. Even though a battery is required for the TTL metering, you can continue shooting without any batteries by estimating exposure.

All of the following are sturdy, well-made workhorses with systems that have excellent lenses. If you want macro capability you can use a set of extension tubes on, although they tend to work better on prime lenses, not zooms (focusing is harder). I've listed the OEM zoom lenses for them that span a modest wide-angle to a modest telephoto. I recommend looking at the 35-105mm and the 35-135mm (if one was made for it) zooms. My one zoom is a 35-105mm and have found it more versatile than a 35-70mm even though it's a little bigger and heavier.

Many of these camera bodies use the old PX-625 1.35 volt mercury cell for the metering. Using the 1.5 volt alkaline replacement is not recommended. There is a zinc-air version of the PX-625 specifically made by Wein for cameras and light meters. There are also adapters for using smaller zinc-air hearing aid cells, and an adapter that drops the voltage of a 1.5 volt #357, SR44 or MS76 silver cell to 1.35 volts. If you need more information about these workarounds, just ask. I have two camera bodies that were made for the mercury cell and they are running just fine on silver cells in the voltage-dropping adapter. Using the wrong voltage can throw metering accuracy off, sometimes by quite a bit.

Hope the following list helps you out some.

-- John

--- Nikon (AIS) ---
FM2n
FM3A
Nikkor AIS 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5
Nikkor AIS 35-70mm f/3.5~4.5 Macro
Nikkor AIS 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5
Nikkor AIS 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5

--- Olympus (OM) ---
OM-1 (cannot use motor drive)
OM-1 MD (can use motor drive)
OM-1n
OM-3
OM-3ti
Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.5~4.5
Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.6
Zuiko 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 ("close-up")
Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8

--- Canon (FD) ---
EF
FTb
TX
F-1
F-1n
New F-1 (1/90 & 1/125 - 1/2000)
FD 35-70mm f/2.8~3.5 SSC
FD 35-70mm f/3.5~4.5
FD 28-85mm f/4
FD 35-105mm f/3.5
FD 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5

--- Pentax (K) ---
K1000
MX
KX
LX (mech. 1/75 to 1/2000)
28-80mm f/3.5~4.5 Takumar A
28-135mm f/4 SMC A
35-70mm f/4 SMC A
35-70mm f/3.5~4.5 SMC A Macro
35-105mm f/3.5 SMC A Macro
35-135mm f/3.5~4.5 SMC A Macro

8/29/2001 9:42:08 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  As a photographer and backpacker, I can only enthusiastically agree with John L. Too many times I have seen photographers in the damp, cold mountain air with their all-electronic cameras shut down. I tried the plastic very lightweight Canon T-60 SLR, only to find I had to remove the batteries and wipe them off for each shot. It now sits on the mantel for when the grandkids do something cute. I use an Olympus XA, a backpacker cult classic, pre-autofocus, because the sharpness is OK, I can forego tele capability, and it's no bigger than a tiny digital.

8/30/2001 7:58:03 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Bought one 35mm SLR body in particular because it has a mechanical shutter and uses the same lenses for which I have bodies with electronic shutters.

Reason? Doug brought up a good point about batteries, albeit with condensation. Having done some Winter landscape and architectural shooting (including at night), electronic cameras die quickly in severe cold even if the batteries are dry. Battery voltage drops when temperatures drop below about freezing (water). At about +10F to +20F the voltage drops enough that electronic shutters won't fire, motor winders bog down failing to wind on completely to the next frame, and AF lens focus motors can become intermittent. It will recover when brought back to room temperature, but that doesn't help out in the wilderness.

BTW, batteries can last up to several years in most cameras that use them only for the metering. They're also very small compared to the Lithium monsters required to drive some current AF/AE bodies with integral motorized winders. I never go anywhere without spare cells.

-- John

8/30/2001 1:18:27 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  John L., great advice as always. Your list of suitable Olympus cameras excludes the OM-2000, a current model that is very inexpensive, but has metal body, mechanical shutter that can shoot at all speeds (1 to 1/2000 sec.) w/o batteries, DOF preview, and spot metering. Just an oversight, or is there a problem with this model?

8/31/2001 9:14:36 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  I thought about the OM-2000, the Nikon FM-10, and a Canon FD mount equivalent (T-60 ??). There *may* be a Pentax version also (P30T ??). Decided to leave them off the lists because the question mentioned backpacking and the need for sturdiness. The ones listed in my first reply are hardier bodies, albeit perhaps a little heavier.

The OM-2000 its cousins under the other names are all made by Cosina for the major big-name badges. The bodies are decent for their pricing, but not as hardy as an FM-2n, OM-1[n], or Pentax K-1000. IMO: If hardiness for backpacking was not one of the criteria, and they would reside in a more sheltered environment, they could be an alternative.

-- John

8/31/2001 7:42:50 PM

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Photography Question 
Rene 

member since: 1/30/2001
  15037 .  Print vs. Slide (or Transparency) Film
What is the difference between print and slide film? Is slide film the same as transparency film? I bought some tungsten film, and the clerk asked me which I would like... I went with the print, because I was too embarrassed about my elementary knowledge to ask him about the difference.

8/28/2001 5:14:59 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Rene,
Slide film is (more properly called) transparency. It's also referred to as chrome, diapositive and reversal. A slide is a transparency mounted in a small frame, usually for projection. Reversal is the general developing process for the film and is different from processing negatives. In 35mm size it is usually returned from processing in plastic or cardboard slide mounts (unless archival sleeving is specifically requested). The transparency in the slide mount is the film that was in the camera.

Transparency film is noticeably less forgiving of exposure errors. Prints can be made from transparencies. It's a little more expensive, but a properly printed slide has a look to it I have not seen duplicated using negative film. Many fine art (gallery) photographs are made using transparency films. It's also preferred by stock agencies and magazine editors. The image on a transparency can be looked at and evaluated much easier than the image on a negative.

-- John

8/28/2001 11:48:42 PM

Mark A. Braxton

member since: 5/2/2000
  Hello Rene,

First of all, I'd like to say that John was correct. For instance, if you take a picture of something and, it comes out too light or too dark you will see this on your slide. With a negative the print may be lightened or darkened to help hide this fact. Most people that like picture (prints) prefer negatives while people that photograph for art (or are trying to learn photography) prefer slides. It lets you see what you actually did, instead of a correction of what you did. This helps you know for future references what you need to look out for. Also, it shows you the changes in your photographing techniques that you need to make in order to take good pictures. Then you won't have to wonder if they all will come out in most situations. This way when you take family pictures or candids you can use print film and feel confident about the outcome. Special events (weddings, etc.) are usually on negative films (print films) also. Thus, after practicing with slide film you can feel confident in telling the bride and groom you can do their wedding when you are asked. You won't feel so worried about how the finished products will look. Of course, practice makes perfect. Good luck and hope you enjoy your hobby as much as I do.

9/5/2001 7:44:46 PM

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Photography Question 
Brian Wood

member since: 8/25/2001
  15038 .  Multiple Exposures with a Nikon F70/N70
I have a Nikon F70/N70 with a Tamron 28-200mm lens. I've been in a couple of situations where I would like to have been able to do double exposures but reading through the manual hasn't helped on how to do this. The camera always autowinds to the next frame after a shot and I can't find a way to wind it back one or stop it doing this.
I sent a request to Nikon for the info and got no response.
I'm really just an amateur at this, haven't even been game enough to get out of the auto modes and into full manual yet but I'm slowly building confidence!
Looking forward to your replies!!

8/27/2001 11:25:49 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Multiple exposure is not built-in feature of the N70/F70, but I have read that there is a work-around solution.

(1) While holding the back firmly closed, slide the back latch down as though to open the back, take the first shot. Then release the latch button and take the second shot. The camera is fooled into not feeding the film when the latch is open. Make sure the back doesn't open.

8/28/2001 11:46:36 AM

Brian Wood

member since: 8/25/2001
  Jon,

Thanks for the fast reply and advice! Guess I can see why Nikon wouldn't want to tell me that in case I got upset when the back sprung open!

I have no excuse not to be experiementing with that one now I suppose...

Thanks again!

8/28/2001 12:35:12 PM

Andrew R. Reimisch

member since: 9/9/2005
  Just found this post from Google, and this has workaround has solved a problem for my class; of which I have the assignment due next Wednesday.

Otherwords, I am confirming this technique. It Works!!

Thank you Jon C. And again, make sure that you hold the back closed, it does just like you said. !!

9/9/2005 2:01:18 PM

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Photography Question 
Amber Mizer

member since: 6/18/2001
  15039 .  Best Film for Portaits - Portra vs. Reala?
Ok, so I've heard conflicting recommendations about these two films and am wondering what you all recommend, personally...

I am shooting with a Minolta Maxxum 300si and will be using a strobe flash. I'm shooting school portraits and will be sending the film to a pro lab.

Kodak Portra 160 NC is what I've always been told in the past, and I know the lab I use recommends it and prints with Portra paper.

What's the difference between portrait films, really?

Thanks!!!

Amber

8/27/2001 9:45:30 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  If your lab prints on Portra paper then I would say stick with the Portra film. There isn't any significant difference between the two films. It's a matter of taste and experience. If you took a killer shot on the Portra you'd feel good about it and say it's the best of the two. It's more a matter of picking a film and sticking with it. Learn how it responds under different circumstances. Be the film, grasshopper.

8/28/2001 1:26:44 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Amber,
Portrait films are geared for both portraiture and wedding use with the principle subject being people. They are optimized for accurate skin tones, have very wide latitude to retain detail in both white wedding dresses and black tuxedoes, and restrained saturation to pick up subtle color gradation. They are also more forgiving of slight exposure errors.

Films that fall into this class are Kodak's Portra NC and VC (slightly more saturation than NC), Fuji NPS 160 and NPH 400, and Agfa Portrait 160. The most popular among those I've talked to seems to be Portra NC, either 160 or 400, although some like a little more saturation which VC has. A local friend uses Agfa Portrait 160 and likes it. Which you choose is a matter of personal preference about the differences among them which are not all that great. Ultimately you may want to try a little of the Fuji NPS or NPH and Agfa Portrait just to see what they do.

Fuji Reala is an excellent, extremely fine grained, general purpose film. It is more saturated with higher contrast (less latitude) than a portrait film while maintaining decent skin tones. This means somewhat less subtle color gradation and it's easier to lose detail in pure white and/or pure black clothing. You probably would not run into too much trouble with the school portraits unless there are children wearing pure white or pure black. I don't recommend it for a wedding though because of the narrower latitude.

I've used both Portra and Reala. The color rendition of Portra is softer compared to Reala because of the difference in their saturation and contrast.

-- John

8/28/2001 2:20:04 AM

Ken Pang

member since: 7/8/2000
  By the way, Fuji just released a new film called 160 NPC. As you might have guessed, it's a portrait film with a bit more contrast to it. I'm looking forward to using it.

8/30/2001 6:32:05 AM

Mark A. Braxton

member since: 5/2/2000
  Hey Amber,
Glad to hear you have an interest in photography. I'm just a hobbyist much like yourself but, I'll try to pass on some professional advice. First of all, your reala is actually an early attempt at portrait film. It is mostly a professional general purpose print film with a fine grain. It might not be bad outdoors when your trying get the background in along with a subject to catch school events. But, just remember it has an iso of 100 meaning your shutter speed will be slightly slower than the portrait films at 160 and 400 iso.
My cousin is an advanced amateur and he was used to using reala. I talked him into using NPS 160 for my wedding. He was impressed with the colors of the prints. I must say the grain was tight along with the colors.
My real advice is try the Kodak and Fuji portrait films. Unless it's homecoming or some event where someone is dressing wild, I'd stay away from the VC and other heavily saturated films. If someone has on some clothing with wild colors you might be upset with how it brings those colors along with your subject. Remember these are going to be memories of teen years when impressions and peer pressure are their heaviest. Then too years down the road no one wants to be joked about the outfit they had on because the film helped exaggerate it. Good luck and happy shooting.

9/5/2001 8:06:33 PM

Gilbert Chatillon

member since: 5/5/2002
  Hi Amber,
Personally I prefer Kodak Portra NC, or VC for that matter, over Reala for portraiture.
I disagree with other reviewers describing the VC version as highly saturated. It is not. The difference between the two is in fact quite small for most subjects. Besides, people like accurate skintone rendition but they don't like bland, lifeless pictures. Only the students with darker complexions may come out a little too ruddy. So just to be on the safe side, I would go with Portra NC. If it can be of interest to you, here are my favorite portrait films from best to worst:
Portra NC
Portra VC
Fuji NPC
Fuji NPS
Agfa Portrait

5/9/2002 9:58:15 PM

Gilbert Chatillon

member since: 5/5/2002
  Hi again Amber,
I forgot to mention one thing in my answer to your question. It's that everybody is right when they say that it's a matter of personal preference. Do like I did, gather a few friends or family members and try a roll of each film, you'll know right away what you like.
Have fun.

5/9/2002 10:19:42 PM

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Photography Question 
Amber Mizer

member since: 6/18/2001
  15040 .  First Studio Set-Up for Preschool Shoot
Ok, I'll start from the beginning, again...

I'm shooting a preschool next month. I've been doing some extensive research and have gotten some excellent advice from this site and from a major distributer of studio equipment. This is what has been recommended and I'd love to hear from all of you to see if you agree...
Keep in mind that I'm just starting out...

A Minolta AutoMeter IVF and a SP 1600 Excalibur lighting kit (which includes a stand and umbrella.) And, I plan to just go out and buy some fabric to tape up for the backdrop. What do you think?

I obviously want this to be as professional as possible, but it doesn't have to be state of the art right now. I had planned to buy a pro backdrop system, but wasn't aware of how much the flash meter would set me back.

I'd love to hear what you all think... I need to place this order soon so I have time to practice before I shoot.

Thanks!

8/27/2001 9:35:35 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Sounds great. How many lights come in the kit? Or is it just one? Backdrops are easy to make and much cheaper than buying the pre-fabbed ones. I can give you some pointers if you are interested. You can make your own and then all you need is a stand.

8/28/2001 1:30:11 AM

Amber Mizer

member since: 6/18/2001
  Thanks! I was hoping you'd say that! lol

Just one light, unfortunately, but I think it will be okay since this isn't a "real" professional shoot.

Absolutely would love pointers on making backdrops!!!

Thanks, again!

8/28/2001 9:23:24 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Hi Amber - Jim here...

I just did a shoot of a 30-year high school reunion. In addition to doing some digital shots for their Web site, they allowed me to set up a portable studio in a corner. I charge people for portraits, had a great time, and made good money... anyway...

First, you can rent a light meter. I did this for many years and the 10 bucks or so is much more manageable than the high price of buying one. Once you know you like doing this kind of photography, I highly recommend that Minolta AutoMeter IV F - I love mine.

Even though this is not as professional or formal, get as prepared as you can and treat it like a pro shoot. I can't tell you how much I recommend at least two lights. One light will look way worse, unless you have an assistant with a reflector (and this is much trickier than simply using two lights). Again, if you can, consider renting the second light.

Lastly, go for muslin as a nice backdrop material. You can dye it if you would like a little color. Then hem the edges and sew a loop into the top end. You can then stick this through a pole to hang it. Many backdrop support systems use such a pole - it will look a lot better than taping or pining it to the wall. You can also get white seamless paper and tape that to the wall but I am weary of recommending it considering your subject. The kids will likely be very active and they could easily wreck a paper backdrop in a matter of minutes. (Gotta love the little tickers...)

By the way, I also rented my backdrop support system - $10 for the weekend from Glazer's in Seattle. Calumet, Samy's in LA, and Gassers in SF also rent.

Hope that helps!

8/30/2001 7:20:16 PM

Amber Mizer

member since: 8/30/2001
  Thanks for the great advice!

Couple of questions... First of all, where can I find someone to rent met his equipment? I've looked online, but it seems most companys rent locally, and I don't believe there are any equipment rentals where I live...

As for the lighting... how would I position the lights and why would I need two? Also, could you recommend a lighting kit?

Backdrops... this may be a stupid question, but where would I hang it? I'm shooting at a preschool and I'm not sure where they're going to have me...

Thank you so much for your input... it was greatly needed and appreciated. I really need to place my equipment order next week so I have time to practice...

Amber

8/31/2001 8:37:05 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Hi Amber,

I wish I could get more into it with you but another project is on the front burner.

Those are tough problems that come up each photo shoot. While the rental shops do mostly rent local, I seem to remember Glazer's in Seattle shipping out an order from time to time. It all depends on where you live.

I really like the PhotoGenic lighting kits - great strobes at a good price.

The backdrop is a tough one that only you can scope out. But address it you must if they want that kind of picture. If they are just after a group portrait, the classroom as the background may be fine. But if they want individual portraits, I would set up my backdrop in some corner or just outside the room (it does take up a lot of space...). Even if they say "any old background is fine," I shoot with the backdrop - they always like the results better than a cluttered, distracting background. And you are the expert, after all...

Read my article on Digital Studio Techniques for more. It's geared around the digital but a lot of it will help you with film-based shooting, too.

Cheers,

9/6/2001 1:16:02 AM

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