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05-11-2014, 05:51 PM   #1
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aperture, shutter speed settings

Hello im new to film and I wanted to know what are good settings to use when it comes to aperture and shutter speed. Also what is a good iso to use i bought 400 fujifilm so its what I will be using in the mean time, thank you all.

05-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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Shutter speed can be used to freeze or smooth motion, whereas aperture controls depth of field. Read more about the basics of exposure here:

Film sensitivity works just like digital sensitivity: the higher the ISO, the less light you need, but you'll get more noise/grain.

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05-11-2014, 06:31 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Good Evening and Welcome to the Forum!

So what camera are you using? They all operate pretty much the same. I'll use my old Spotmatic IIa from 1970 as an example. Hopefully, you have the owners manual - if not you can search the web and they are available. Essentially, what you are doing is to balance three items - the film speed, aperture and the shutter speed. This is done via the light meter indicator within the viewfinder. The light meter indicator will have some sort of indication - let's say its a meter with a needle - so you would want the needle in the middle of the display range.
  • Load the film and set the ASA or ISO - the film speed on the camera so that it know what type of film it will be using.
  • Then, while looking through the viewfinder, framing the scene, there will be a light meter indicator, telling you how the light is balanced. Turn the light meter on (see the owners manual)...
    1. Then, use either the aperture to let in more or less light and see what that does to the light meter setting. If you don't have enough aperture (-i.e., you need either more or less light to get a balance)
    2. Then, adjust the shutter speed, either to make it faster (less light) or slower (more light).
  • Essentially, you want to bounce between both aperture and shutter in order to find the correct balance.
Basically, that is it.
Is there more - well certainly - for instance -
  • if you want to freeze movement, you will want to set a faster shutter and then try to only adjust the aperture.
  • if you want a shallow or thin depth of field, you want to use the largest aperture and then adjust the shutter speed.
Are there some basic rules of thumb - absolutely -
Sunny 16 - The basic rule is, "On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight." For example:
  • On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on some cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).
  • On a sunny day with ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
  • On a sunny day with ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.
Others will have better explanations....

05-11-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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While it is meant for digital cameras, try this site:
The original DSLR camera simulator | CameraSim

Set the ISO to the speed of your film and it will allow you to play with the interaction between shutter and aperture (and other camera controls) and see the results immediately. The above recommendations are all very good, so view this as a supplement as opposed to another option.

05-11-2014, 06:53 PM   #5

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If your Fuji 400 film is color print film then you can get away with being off on the exposure by as much as 2 or 3 stops. In some cases, for example, people will intentionally set the camera to ISO 1600 even though it has ISO 400 print film. This could be useful if you're shooting action and need the faster shutter speeds.

If you're shooting slide film, forget it - always set the camera to the actual ISO in that case.
05-11-2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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Thanks so much all of you!

---------- Post added 05-11-14 at 07:00 PM ----------

And im using a pentax k1000
05-11-2014, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Another rule of thumb is to keep shutter speed high enough to eliminate camera shake. The rule says that (shutter speed) = 1/(lens focal length). So if you have the lens that came with the K1000, either 50 or 55mm, try to keep shutter speed above 1/60 sec. for handheld shots. If you need a slower shutter speed, brace the camera against something, or use a tripod or monopod. The rule is an average; you might be able to get away with slower speeds with practice.
05-11-2014, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Just in case you don't have a copy, here is a copy of the user's manual.Pages 8 and 9 give you the process.

05-12-2014, 10:44 AM   #9
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For the OP, are you new to film and film SLRs or new to photography.

Considering that all the fundamentals are the same if you shoot 400iso film the process is exactly the same a if you are shooting digital and setting ISO at 400

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