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Thread: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

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    Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    I was just reading about the Zeiss Ikon ZI rangefinder at http://www.shutterbug.com/content/ne...igh-end-system and this statement had me wondering

    "As usual, the meter is designed to give optimum exposure with transparency film, where exposures are keyed to the highlights. In black and white, or even with color negative, it is often desirable to set a lower film speed than the true ISO for contrasty subjects where you want good shadow detail. This is not a shortcoming of the ZI: all through-lens meters designed to give good transparencies suffer from the same drawback. With the ZI we followed our usual practice of setting negative film speeds at anything from 1/3 stop lower (EI 80 for ISO 100) on "cloudy bright" days to a full stop lower (EI 200 for ISO 400) in hard, directional sunlight with inky shadows."

    With this in mind, I was wondering if any of you have any advice or insights as to whether the meters on the Hasselblad (I have a PME5) and Mamiya (the AE Prism Finder for the RZ67 and the meter on the 645AFD) behave in a similar manner.

    If so,

    1. for Mamiya 645AF/AFD users who shoot film, do you set the film speed on the back to be slower, e.g. loaded ISO400 film but setting it at ISO320?

    2. for Mamiya RZ67 users with metered prism finders, do you underexpose by 1/3 to 1 stop when shooting film, or set exposure compensation to -1/3 to -1 when shooting in AE, or set the film speed on the RZ67 Pro backs to 320 instead of 400 when using ISO400 film?

    3. for Hasselblad users with metered prism finders, do you underexpose manually or set exposure compensation

    or do we just leave it alone?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    It's not so much how the meters are calibrated as how the various film types respond to light.
    Slide film will lose detail in the highlights if you over-expose. Negative film will lose detail in the shadows if you under-expose.

    If you give negatives a little more exposure, you will get more shadow detail without losing any significant highlight detail, so it's a good idea to rate your film a little slower (320 or 240 instead of 400). This gives you a little more margin for error.

    TTL meters are inherently inaccurate. You can tell this by the fact that the meter reading changes if you alter your composition. The light hasn't changed, but the mix of highlights and shadows that your meter sees does.

    Your best bet is to use a handheld meter (spot or incident), and to run some tests to see what works best with your camera and lenses. Barring that, adding a slight "fudge factor" like the article recommends is a good idea.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Thanks, Bernard!

    If I'm shooting 400 film at 320 or 240, would i develop them as 320/240 or as 400?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Zone system. The old standby rule

    Expose for the highlights develop for the shadows. Which means in B&W processing you want to pull the film not push it. Or better said develop for less time.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Exactly - shoot 400 film at 320 and develop it as though it was 320, i.e. pull process?

    Guy, exposing for highlights and developing for the shadows - I've read that everywhere, am not sully sure what it means.

    Let's say I have a roll of 400 film in my camera. Do I set the meter to handle this as ISO320 film? When shooting, i'll meter for the brightest spots in the image, but how do i develop for shadows if my film is sent to a lab? What do I tell them?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Here you go, google is your friend: http://tinyurl.com/3jwjs44
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Thierry's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    If you set the speed of your film to ISO 320, you are doing nothing else than to tell your meter that it has a less sensitive film loaded, thus the meter will compensate by exposing more (as for a ISO 400 film) = over-expose (with either longer exposure time or larger aperture).

    This over-exposure has to be compensated by a under-developing process (less time) = pull-process

    In the practice this leads to bring more details in the shadows (they are lit/exposed a bit more/longer), although not loosing the details in the highlights (the over-exposure is compensated by the under-developing process).

    There is a bit more to this "Zone System", as one needs to determine as well the effective speed of the film one uses. And more importantly, one needs to know the exact contrast of the scene (how many f-stops above Zone 5 are located the highlights) to be able to get the right compensation in the processing.

    But this system allows to bring highlights with details as well as shadows with details exactly where we want them to be, under high-contrast light situations and within a certain range of contrast (10 f-stops).

    More can be read here:

    Zone System

    Thierry
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    You can tell the lab for example to pull one stop. Most Pro labs know exactly the time to pull given the film and iso applied. In normal situations most likely one stop to pull the shadows out. The zone system should be read by everyone. I was taught many years ago by one of the best Fred Picker and his associates. These where 4x5 film days with spot meters and such. Great memories
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Interestingly you talk to some of the old generation shooters and my bet all of them will say they are glad they learned film first in there studies of photography. It was a tremendous learning experience to actually learn without any tools like meters, polariods LCD screens and such. You learned fast or you where basically screwed. I remember the Days of shooting with flash and many of them on a set with no way to tell if you got the shot. You bracketed like crazy and said prayers overnight as your film was being processed. Digital is a cake walk. LOL

    Do read the zone system as it is still a great tool to reference with today.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Here you go, google is your friend: http://tinyurl.com/3jwjs44
    That was unnecessarily unpleasant of you. I have googled, and googled again, and I just haven't been able to find any articles that actually answered this question - which is why I posted here, in the hope that more experienced members of a respectable photographic community would be able to share their knowledge and experience on metering for negative and slide film
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Slide film you want to underexpose about a 1/3rd of a stop. This is to protect the highlights.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    You can tell the lab for example to pull one stop. Most Pro labs know exactly the time to pull given the film and iso applied. In normal situations most likely one stop to pull the shadows out. The zone system should be read by everyone. I was taught many years ago by one of the best Fred Picker and his associates. These where 4x5 film days with spot meters and such. Great memories
    Thanks - this basically comes back to advice that an old shooter once gave me, but didn't explain the why behind it - When shooting 400, meter for 200/240/320 and develop it as such, and the picture comes out with better contrast.

    I'm still reading up on the 'how this works' - understanding the Zone System, using a digital camera and Lightroom. Shooting at ISO400, exposure compensation at +1EV, then going to Lightroom and dropping it by 1EV..
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Actually I know Graham that was not intentional just a bad link. He really is a sweetheart of a guy. Maybe try searching for Fred Picker , Ansel Adams as I am pretty sure they have had books on the zone system. Pretty sure Fred does
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    Thanks - this basically comes back to advice that an old shooter once gave me, but didn't explain the why behind it - When shooting 400, meter for 200/240/320 and develop it as such, and the picture comes out with better contrast.

    I'm still reading up on the 'how this works' - understanding the Zone System, using a digital camera and Lightroom. Shooting at ISO400, exposure compensation at +1EV, then going to Lightroom and dropping it by 1EV..
    Basically the bottom line is your expanding the dynamic range of film. Holding highlights and getting better shadow detail.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Thanks, Guy - I'll give Graham the benefit of doubt here. The Zone System has been pretty tough to understand, at least from Wikipedia. I started with digital and am learning to shoot with film (negatives and slides), with no experience in developing my own film (pretty hard to get a darkroom set up, and chemicals I need aren't easy to find here in UAE).

    Going to need more reading, but i had posed my original questions in the hope that I could get an easy answer and try to engineer the concept and process from there
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Not a lot of easy answers here since most of us have gone digital and we may tend to forget all our processes from the past. I honestly have not developed a roll of film in maybe 18 years or so. Scary but I do forget all the developers and timings on this.

    Maybe in the analog forum you can get some tips on this with developing film and what folks are doing now.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    The only thing to do with any exposure meter is test it. Expose for the shadows and develop the highlights with negatives. Reciprocity protects the highlights (as more light is added the film becomes less responsive) but once you've lost shadow detail, you're dead. With slide you protect the highlights as with digital. Slide is easier as once it's done that's it, you have a bit of lattitude and typically you can go 1/3rd under to increase saturation and over to decrease it.

    With negatives, metering entirely depends upon the final output, if you're scanning you want to be very gently to not get too high density especially on B&W. Once you've calibrated your meter based upon. 1. the film, 2 developer, 3 final output, 4 how you like to meter, you should get your own exposure factor for the given film.

    Defintely get some of the books as Guy suggested, I think Kodak still print their darkroom books too.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Guy, i guess Matrix metering has gotten the better of some of us. I'm working to figure out how things work, which is what this quest for info is about.

    wentbackward - you're right - metering for slide is the same as metering for digital - I usually meter for the highlights, and pull detail out in PS/LR. Not sure how I can control the development process since I usually drop them off to a shop that does it for me, but I'm guessing that if I just develop normally, I should retain enough shadow detail on slide and highlight detail on negatives to be pulled out during the printing/scanning process.

    I'll have to look around the internet for darkroom books, but that's a good suggestion - thanks!
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    fred picker: "Zone VI"
    also one of my mentors, describes a method to calibrate you, your film, development, camera, light meter and the print. sort of geared for roll film
    and one of the best, more focused on sheet film:
    ansel adams "the Negative"

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Thanks, jlm - I'm going through Amazon to see if they have any of these on Kindle. If not, I'll have to check to see if my local Borders has them in stock.

    Back to the original question -

    Based on the review and quote that mentioned that the meter on the Voigtlander / Zeiss Ikon ZI was calibrated for slide film, and therefore should be set to a lower ISO (i.e. set ISO320 for ISO400 film, and develop it as 320). If Voigtlander/Zeiss calibrated their meter for slide film, would the same have applied to Mamiya on the RZ67/645 or Hasselblad, i.e. are the light meters on the 645 AFD, RZ67 and 500CM (PME5) be calibrated to expose 'correctly' for slide film?

    I'm guessing that a meter that is calibrated for slide film at a set aperture and ISO would recommend a slower shutter speed as opposed to a meter that is calibrated for negative film at the same aperture and ISO, under the same shooting conditions.

    Does that make sense?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    As a general rule most meters are designed with center weight metering and even matrix metering tend to be more aimed towards the bottom slighty. Reason is landscapes since usually there is more sky in the images. So most OEMs have been following that standard for many years. Even matrix metering as much as you think it would even out more it still is mainly weighted towards center bottom. In a word it is not really accurate but it works out in general as the best compromise . To truly work within the zone system a spot meter is required. Where you can measure the whole zone system which I think is a 8 stop range of metering points. I may have that number wrong. Your testing my memory. LOL


    The key here is a compromise on adjustments. Which photography as a whole is compromising one thing or another to fit your art.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Found it and looks like it can go on a kindle

    http://www.amazon.com/Zone-VI-Worksh.../dp/0817405747
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    The book "Zone System" by Brian Lav is excellent. He explains how to calibrate the meter and rate your film. This book is very pricey, but I watched for a used one on Amazon.com and was finally able to get the book for less than $10. You also could check out "The Negative" by Ansel Adams from your local library.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Than read my quote below, it IS what photography is all about. Experiment it is truly the only purest way to learn.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    waitaminute - the ZS is used for metering with B&W film.

    And it's used because if a scene has areas that are dark, medium and bright, one needs to be careful not to meter on the 'wrong' thing, which would result in either shadows lost or highlights blown. It's a way to 'balance' out the range in B&W photography.

    In the same way that I would spot meter the sky that is backlighting my subject to create a silhouette (dark shadows with no detail, but texture shows up in the sky behind him/her), or to use the other extreme, I would meter for my subject, and let the sky blow out (behaving like a white backdrop). in these two cases, there isn't much of a middle ground.

    But let's say I have a street scene that is lit by harsh midday sun. There's a veranda overhanging past a storefront, with an old guy on a rocking chair smoking his pipe in the shade. Inside the shop are pretty deep shadows.

    In this case, if I wanted to expose the scene 'properly' to capture the old guy, I could meter him if I wanted to expose some bits inside the shop, or I could expose slightly closer to the edge where the sun is getting into the veranda, which would expose the old guy, but I would risk a bit of shadow for a bit of the sky.

    But here's the doozy:

    We're assuming hat one meter is the same as the next. That's pretty much been my assumption up until I read that article (see post #1 in this thread) where I learn that the meter on the Zeiss Ikon / Voigtlander Bessa cameras are 'calibrated' for slide film. Based on my experience and what I've been told about slide film, I should be careful not to overexposure, so I don't end up with blown highlights. If this is the case, then I'm guessing that the recommended exposure from the meter is actually 1/3 to 2/3 stop underexposed, as compared to if I were shooting with film, vis a vis, if I were to shoot with film, I 'should' overexpose against the recommended setting (let's say 1/125) by shooting at 1/80 or 1/100 at the same aperture.

    Now, if the Voigtlander meters were calibrated for slide film (hence readings tend to result in a slight underexposure when used on negative film), then I have three choices when using the same camera to shoot with negative film - either I

    a. set the camera's ISO dial to 1/3 to 2/3 stop slow (i.e. ISO320 when using ISO400 film, and tell the lab to develop as ISO320), or
    b. set exposure compensation to +1/3 to +2/3, or
    c. manually 'add' 1/3 to 2/3 stops by opening up the aperture or slowing the shutter for every shot.

    Now, if this was the case with Voigtlander, does anyone know if the meters on the RZ67 AE prism finder, the Hasselblad PME5, the Mamiya 645AFD II, Nikon, etc are similarly calibrated for slide or negative film?

    Or is a meter a meter, and regardless of the brand/model, at a given/specific EV (e.g. EV10), f/8 would ALWAYS yield 1/125 on ISO100?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Than read my quote below, it IS what photography is all about. Experiment it is truly the only purest way to learn.
    That's true as well. Guess I have to sacrifice a roll of slide film and a roll of negative film to understand whether I need to over/under expose on the RZ, the Hassy, etc, then note my own compensation from there
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    As a general rule most meters are designed with center weight metering and even matrix metering tend to be more aimed towards the bottom slighty. Reason is landscapes since usually there is more sky in the images. So most OEMs have been following that standard for many years. Even matrix metering as much as you think it would even out more it still is mainly weighted towards center bottom. In a word it is not really accurate but it works out in general as the best compromise . To truly work within the zone system a spot meter is required. Where you can measure the whole zone system which I think is a 8 stop range of metering points. I may have that number wrong. Your testing my memory. LOL


    The key here is a compromise on adjustments. Which photography as a whole is compromising one thing or another to fit your art.
    The Zone System has 10 metering points - Zone 1 is black, Zone 10 is white, and Zone 5 is a medium-grey of sorts. Normal shadows are supposed to be Zone 4, while dark shadows with texture are supposed to be in Zone 2 to Zone 3.

    But thanks for the insight on the matrix metering - thank goodness I don't use it on my Nikon any more. More a habit than anything - I pretty much know how things will turn out if I use average/center-weighted metering or spot metering
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    I have a Contax 645, Leica M6 and Leitz iiig. I use a Sekonic L-508 meter (with spot meter) even with the two cameras with built-in meters. As a general rule if I'm using black and white print film, I meter for the darkest area that I want detail in and place that in Zone III. Then I stop down 2 stops which puts middle grey in Zone V. There are always exceptions to this rule, so you have to know the dynamic range of the subject and range of the film.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    10 thanks what was I thinking. Told you where pushing my memory buttons. LOL
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Actually 11 zones 0-X.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    I have a Contax 645, Leica M6 and Leitz iiig. I use a Sekonic L-508 meter (with spot meter) even with the two cameras with built-in meters. As a general rule if I'm using black and white print film, I meter for the darkest area that I want detail in and place that in Zone III. Then I stop down 2 stops which puts middle grey in Zone V. There are always exceptions to this rule, so you have to know the dynamic range of the subject and range of the film.
    Ah, here's where I gets interesting:

    1. You're using a spot meter, which introduces a control against all the cameras. What I'm wondering is, would the meters on your Contax and M6 give you the same results for the same scene?

    2. Since you're using a light meter, and you're parking the darkest area in Zone III, would this apply for slide, negative, or both (i.e. doesn't matter at all)?

    3. Let's say you meter the darkest area, and your meter throws 1/60, f8 at ISO100 (Kodak E100 slide film). This becomes Zone III. You mentioned stopping down 2 stops, so that makes it 1/15, f8 at ISO100?

    Assuming two situations:

    Moderate dynamic range - say 4 stops between the brightest and the darkest areas. This should be easy to meter (I think) - if I were shooting on E100, I would look for a subject that sits in between the two ends of the Zones, and meter that, which should give me a decent result.

    Extreme dynamic range - say 7 stops between the brightest and the darkest, e.g. a backlit tree (Zone 3) in the middle of a snowdrift (Zone 10). I'm guessing I should meter the tree (Zone 3), add 2-stops of EV (which puts it into Zone 5), or should I meter the snow (Zone 10) and drop 5 stops of EV?

    Let's say I meter the snow - 1/500, f8, ISO100. This would mean the snow comes out as a Zone 5. At Zone 5, the tree is probably somewhere in Zone 0 (black). If I stop down 3 stops, I put the snow at Zone 8 (not blow-out white, still has texture), and my tree ends up in Zone 1 (black) - that won't work, so I'll try one more stop, which puts the snow into Zone 9 (almost blown-out, still has texture), and my tree into Zone 2 (dark shadow with texture).

    Assuming I don't have access to a reflector, it just means that's about the best I can do to retain some detail between the tree and the snow, as opposed to being able to throw in some fill-light and reducing the variance in dynamic range.

    Did I get it so far, or have I gone down the wrong path of thinking altogether?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Again, for all who wish to have a basic understanding, before going more in depth with e.g. A. Adam's series of books (among them "The Negative"), here a clear and understandable link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System

    And yes, the entire zone system range is 11 points, from Zone "0" to Zone "10", respectively from pure black to pure white, zone 5 being a medium grey (18% reflecting, which most of the light-meters are taking as the reference)

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Actually 11 zones 0-X.
    I don't know if i should curl up into a ball and start sobbing, or laugh hysterically in the corner of my office now.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters


    Actually, best to not take this too seriously. Print film has a lot of latitude. Sometimes I take my iiig (no meter) out and use sunny 16 and it is amazing how well it works.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by TH_Alpa View Post
    Again, for all who wish to have a basic understanding, before going more in depth with e.g. A. Adam's series of books (among them "The Negative"), here a clear and understandable link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System

    And yes, the entire zone system range is 11 points, from Zone "0" to Zone "10", respectively from pure black to pure white, zone 5 being a medium grey (18% reflecting, which most of the light-meters are taking as the reference)

    Thierry
    oops. Right - 11 zones.

    That was the article that did my head in.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post

    Actually, best to not take this too seriously. Print film has a lot of latitude. Sometimes I take my iiig (no meter) out and use sunny 16 and it is amazing how well it works.
    Yeah, kind of what I was wondering - just shoot first, ask questions later. The Dirty Harry Rule.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    1. My Contax and my M6 have reflective meters. They average the light reflecting from the whole scene to Zone V or 18% grey. This may be or may not be what I calculate using a spot meter.

    2. Slide film is like digital. You need to be concerned with your highlights so you have to know your dynamic range and figure to protect the highlights. If you take a spot of the brightest spot that you want detail in and the darkest spot that you want detail in, you can make that decision.

    3. Yes, your meter is looking at that darkest spot that you measured and figuring it is 18% grey or Zone V. You need to stop down two stops to place that in Zone III.


    Your extreme dynamic range example seems backward. You need to make the artistic decision when you have extreme range. You will have to sacrifice something. When you measure the brightest area that you want detail in, you need increase the exposure because your meter has looked at that brightest spot and said "18% grey". You don't want that spot 18% grey, you want it brighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    Ah, here's where I gets interesting:

    1. You're using a spot meter, which introduces a control against all the cameras. What I'm wondering is, would the meters on your Contax and M6 give you the same results for the same scene?

    2. Since you're using a light meter, and you're parking the darkest area in Zone III, would this apply for slide, negative, or both (i.e. doesn't matter at all)?

    3. Let's say you meter the darkest area, and your meter throws 1/60, f8 at ISO100 (Kodak E100 slide film). This becomes Zone III. You mentioned stopping down 2 stops, so that makes it 1/15, f8 at ISO100?


    Assuming two situations:

    Moderate dynamic range - say 4 stops between the brightest and the darkest areas. This should be easy to meter (I think) - if I were shooting on E100, I would look for a subject that sits in between the two ends of the Zones, and meter that, which should give me a decent result.

    Extreme dynamic range - say 7 stops between the brightest and the darkest, e.g. a backlit tree (Zone 3) in the middle of a snowdrift (Zone 10). I'm guessing I should meter the tree (Zone 3), add 2-stops of EV (which puts it into Zone 5), or should I meter the snow (Zone 10) and drop 5 stops of EV?

    Let's say I meter the snow - 1/500, f8, ISO100. This would mean the snow comes out as a Zone 5. At Zone 5, the tree is probably somewhere in Zone 0 (black). If I stop down 3 stops, I put the snow at Zone 8 (not blow-out white, still has texture), and my tree ends up in Zone 1 (black) - that won't work, so I'll try one more stop, which puts the snow into Zone 9 (almost blown-out, still has texture), and my tree into Zone 2 (dark shadow with texture).

    Assuming I don't have access to a reflector, it just means that's about the best I can do to retain some detail between the tree and the snow, as opposed to being able to throw in some fill-light and reducing the variance in dynamic range.

    Did I get it so far, or have I gone down the wrong path of thinking altogether?

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    with respect to metering, the in-camera meters are problematic as they evaluate various parts of the total scene with more or less influence. I liked my Blad TCC 205 because it was a spot meter, not usually found, but the blad prisms are center weighted. Averaging, center weighted, matrix, all are practically useless with a zone system approach, where the basic concept is to evaluate the amount of reflected light from specific parts of the image.
    If you are serious about zone work, you need a spot meter to examine specific areas.
    overall exposure is usually done by measuring off a middle gray part of the scene, for that you need to use experience to select the right area, OR, Picker's insight was to meter off of your hand (assuming you are caucasion, and your hand is in the same light as the subject, which should be in Zone VI, hence his workshop title, and then overrexpose one stop, so you are exposing as if you had measured zone V.

    another approach is to use an incident meter at the same position as the subject which will set exposure for zone V as well.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    I consulted with ghoonk about moving this thread to the Analog forum. I hope some of you here can give him some insight into the metering of his specific cameras (Hassleblad and Mamiya).

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    With regards to the original question, I think Ansel Adams called these differences, the K factor or something like that, where the meter was biased. If you have a grey card and direct sunlight. Just cover the metered area with the grey card (doesn't matter if it's close to the camera, but just ensure direct light is hitting the card) and set f16. The meter should measure the same as the ISO setting, if it is biased in favour of shadows, it will register a higher shutter speed to under expose slightly.

    I've found the meter on the DF to be terrible, I imagine the AFD is similar. Basically when in so called matrix mode, it is generally about 1 stop underexposed, and fairly random. Setting it to centre weighted yields more consistent results and measuring off a grey card is fairly neutral, maybe 1/3rd under.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    wentbackward - you're right to a point about the AFD meter (not sure about the DF). For some reason, I find that it has a tendency to underexpose on the Leaf Aptus 65S, which is annoying since it tends to bring noise into the picture when I bump up exposure in post, and yes, I do find the it can get random, though I rarely find it going over.

    I like what you suggested about the grey card, and will try that out this weekend to see what the tendency is. Smart use of the rule of sunny 16

    Not even sure if the AFD has matrix mode metering (my D3s does, but I usually stick with spot or average meter)
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    It just occurred to me that 'exposing for the highlights' doesn't mean metering the highlights. It means trying to get a histogram that is biased to the right, but avoiding blowing the highlights.

    If that's the case, then it's a matter of metering a highlight, 'calling' it a Zone 8 (or 9) and if I get a reading of 1/500 at f8, ISO100 from the meter - which the meter 'thinks' it's a Zone 5, then I can 'safely' expose for 2 more f-stops, essentially bringing me into the 1/125, f8 at ISO100 range (since the Zones are 'like' f-stops)

    Is that the general idea?

    If so, that means if i have a contrasty scene - highlights are reading 1/500, f8, shadows are reading 1/30, f8, then my meter thinks that 1/500 f8 is Zone 5 (for highlights), 1/30 f8 is Zone 5 (for shadows) - the highlights are looking more like Zone 8, while the shadows are somewhere in Zone 3.

    Which means - going 1/125 f8 ISO100 would means that the highlights would come out okay, and my shadows would come out a bit dark, but detail should still be retained in the shadows?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Yes, you are getting the idea. There is a lot more to the zone system because it also takes into account the printing...but that is another story and I have not gone there. I hope that you check out Brian Lav, Fred Picker or Ansel Adam's books.
    Just remember that print film is a lot more forgiving in the highlights, so meter for the darkest area that you want detail and put that in zone III (read it with spot and stop down 2 stops). Transparency has to be metered for the highlights, like digital....once it is blown to pure white, it is gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    It just occurred to me that 'exposing for the highlights' doesn't mean metering the highlights. It means trying to get a histogram that is biased to the right, but avoiding blowing the highlights.

    If that's the case, then it's a matter of metering a highlight, 'calling' it a Zone 8 (or 9) and if I get a reading of 1/500 at f8, ISO100 from the meter - which the meter 'thinks' it's a Zone 5, then I can 'safely' expose for 2 more f-stops, essentially bringing me into the 1/125, f8 at ISO100 range (since the Zones are 'like' f-stops)

    Is that the general idea?

    If so, that means if i have a contrasty scene - highlights are reading 1/500, f8, shadows are reading 1/30, f8, then my meter thinks that 1/500 f8 is Zone 5 (for highlights), 1/30 f8 is Zone 5 (for shadows) - the highlights are looking more like Zone 8, while the shadows are somewhere in Zone 3.

    Which means - going 1/125 f8 ISO100 would means that the highlights would come out okay, and my shadows would come out a bit dark, but detail should still be retained in the shadows?

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    my current meter crop; note the Zone VI sticker on the Soligor spot meter; sent that meter in to Fred back in '76 for calibrating. The sticker alone is very useful: meter what you want to be zone VII, for example, place the exposure value on the VII on the sticker, the f/stops and shutter will be set for proper exposure for zone V.

    nice old Weston and a new fangled Sekonic with the incident dome (my old Luna pro gave up the ghost)


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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Yes, you are getting the idea. There is a lot more to the zone system because it also takes into account the printing...but that is another story and I have not gone there. I hope that you check out Brian Lav, Fred Picker or Ansel Adam's books.
    Just remember that print film is a lot more forgiving in the highlights, so meter for the darkest area that you want detail and put that in zone III (read it with spot and stop down 2 stops). Transparency has to be metered for the highlights, like digital....once it is blown to pure white, it is gone.
    Ah-ha! There's the key - the rule of thumb that I've been looking for

    Meter for the darkest area and drop it by 2 stops, i.e. meter throws back 1/125, f8, ISO100, which means that I can shoot at 1/500, f8, ISO100 and get shadow detail while preserving the highlights

    Okay, I'm guessing the same would not necessarily go for slide film since the highlights tend to be easily blown (as you mentioned above), so what if I meter for the highlights (e.g. 1/500, f8, ISO100) and add two stops, i.e. 1/2000, f8, ISO100) - I'm guessing that would preserve the highlight while allowing me to capture shadow detail.

    Also, going back to the original question - if the Voigt/Zeiss meters are 'calibrated' for slide film, and keeping in mind what I think needs to be done with slide film, I would venture a guess that if I metered a specific scene with the Voigt/Zeiss and a Nikon, the Voigt/Zeiss would return a metered value that would result in slight underexposure. If so, then what I could do is to set ISO80 or ISO50 on the camera if I shoot with ISO100 film on the Voigt/Zeiss, which should make up for the slide film metering bias. And develop the ISO100 film as ISO80/50. Right?

    Part 2 of the original questions was whether the meters on other cameras were calibrated in a similar fashion out of the factory, but I guess that's something I will figure out along the way if my shots have a tendency towards over/under exposure with negative vs slide film.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    jlm, the soligor looks good. I was gravitating towards a Sekonic 358 or 756 because i wanted to use it with my pocket wizard for flash photography - what are your recommendations for incident and spot meters?
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    I have a Sekonic L508. It is discontinued, but you might find a used one on ebay. It is a spot meter, an incident meter and a flash (wired and wireless) meter all rolled up into one. The top of the line Sekonic (758DR) does all of that too, but at about double the price. The 358 is a nice meter, but will not do spot and if you want to follow the zone system, you will probably want a spot meter.

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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    $255 for a 508 doesn't sound like a bad deal
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    As someone who runs a lab, I would say the best results are almost always obtained by rating the film at its box ISO or 1/3 to 1/2 stop lower, and using an incident meter. Reflective meters still work perfectly well in the right hands, but are generally less consistent. Spot meters usually lead to disaster for most people...very few people who use them use them correctly.

    If you want to get properly exposed negatives, I would suggest sticking with one lab, shoot a test roll and see how it comes back. Or better yet, ask them what they recommend. Hopefully they are consistent, and once you shoot your test roll you can see if your photos need more or less exposure.
    Most labs have to standardize and therefore generally develop film for the box-rated speeds, so I would not worry so much about overexposing and underdeveloping. Just shoot your film at the listed ISO and the lab should take it from there. If those results are not satisfying, then you either need to adjust your meter a little bit to compensate for their process, or you need to start doing it for yourself.
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    Re: Advice needed on Hasselblad and Mamiya exposure meters

    Stuart - if i rate the film 1/3 to 1/2 stop lower, do I tell my lab to develop it at the box ISO or at the rated ISO?
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