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05-08-2019, 06:42 AM   #1
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K1000 & ISO/ASA settings

I've bought my first fully manual SLR!
This is my first time taking photos with anything other than a point & shoot so I have a lot to learn

My first roll of film is a lomo800, I've set my ISO to 800 and have played around with settings (noting down everything on my phone to review once the photos are developed).

My questions are;
1a) What would happen if I was to change the ISO/ASA setting on my camera? ie. if I were to go to 400 vs 1600?
1b) Can I change the ISO setting after I've taken a few photos on the reel already? I'm not sure what it would do internally.
2) I want to try and take photos at a local concert. Lomo800 does great in low light, but if the lowest I can go is f2 and I want a quick shutter speed I run the risk of under-exposed photos. Is this the point, that's what will look great? Or do I still need to maybe bump up my shutter speed to let enough light in - but risk blurry photos.

What would you recommend from your experience?

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting and learning along the way - I'd just like to have as much knowledge as I can to hopefully get a few decent shots out of my first roll haha!

05-08-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eikoor Quote
My questions are;
1a) What would happen if I was to change the ISO/ASA setting on my camera? ie. if I were to go to 400 vs 1600?
1b) Can I change the ISO setting after I've taken a few photos on the reel already? I'm not sure what it would do internally.
If you use ISO 800 film and set ISO 400 on the camera your pictures will be overexposed by 1 stop. Set ISO 1600 on the camera and they will be underexposed. Changing halfway though a roll will do the same for the remaining shots.
05-08-2019, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Yes, unlike a digital camera, changing the ISO at will is not something you do with film.

The film you choose has a certain sensitivity to light, and you set the camera's light meter to match its ISO rating, and you stick with it until you change film. If you need more sensitivity, pick a higher ISO film. If you need more vibrant colour, or finer grain, pick a lower ISO.

The exceptions to that are often associated with black and white film, and developing it to taste in your own darkroom. "Pushing" a film means setting a higher rating than the film's true ISO: so taking a 400 film and shooting it with the camera at 800 (or more). You have to increase development time in the darkroom. While you can benefit from the higher rating, you pay for it with more film grain, higher contrast and poorer shadows.

"Pulling" a film is the opposite: shooting it at a lower rating than the film's true ISO. You decrease development time. What you gain is a lower contrast negative, which can be beneficial if you are shooting in bright, contrasty lighting.

But if pushing or pulling, you have to make that decision when loading the film, and shoot that way for the whole roll.
05-08-2019, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eikoor Quote
2) I want to try and take photos at a local concert. Lomo800 does great in low light, but if the lowest I can go is f2 and I want a quick shutter speed I run the risk of under-exposed photos.
This dilemma is faced by all photographers irrespective of platform. One solution is for you to deliberately underexpose, either by setting the ISO to 1600 or by leaving the setting at ISO 400 and use one stop faster shutter speed than the meter indicates. The result is the same. Then you will need to take the film to a specialist lab who can "push process" the film for you as long as you tell them what ISO it was exposed at.

05-08-2019, 07:39 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Welcome to the wonderful world of film.

Changing the ASA/ISO on a film camera only changes the light meter readings and nothing else. Unlike a digital camera and digital sensor there is nothing the film camera can do to the film to change the film's ASA/ISO.

If you put in a roll of lomo 800, set the dial to 400 before a frame, and use the light meter to determine the exposure, then you'll overexpose that frame of film by 1 stop. If you do that with a setting of 1600 before a frame and use the meter, then you''ll under-expose that one shot by one stop. (And if you don't use the light meter at all, then changing the ASA dial does nothing!)

Whether intentionally under- or over-exposing the film gets an acceptable shot depend on what is known as the film's "exposure latitude" (and your own subjective views on acceptable image quality). Negative films tend to be pretty forgiving and can tolerate several stops of under- or over-exposure although given lomo 800's reputation for saturated colors, it may be a little less forgiving. This can be done on a shot-by-shot basis. Any under- or over-exposed shot might need a bit more post processing, have less contrast, more grain, and some loss of detail at the extremes (e.g., the darkest shadows in the under-exposed shot or the highlights of an over-exposed one).

If you really need to use ISO/ASA 1600 or 3200 for a whole roll because of low light, you can look into "push processing" the roll which changes how that roll of film is developed to get the best possible image from intentionally under-exposed shots. This is something done to the entire roll of film so it is something done with the dial set to the desired ASA/ISO for the whole roll.

Although there's a school of photography that insists on always using the "correct exposure" to exactly capture the scene as it was in a factual/documentary sense, there's another school that takes a more creative approach -- using the "wrong" settings intentionally for creative effect. Over- and under-exposure can be tools for expression.

Have fun experimenting!
05-08-2019, 08:19 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The ASA/ISO setting on the K1000 moves the meter needle. The setting allows you to match the film sensitivity to the meter readings. It doesn't change anything except the meter reading. So you could set it correctly for your 800 film, point the camera at your subject, set aperture and shutter speed so the meter is centered, change the ASA setting to 3200 and take the shot. That frame would be exposed exactly the same as it would if you didn't change the ASA setting. The meter would show huge overexposure but since you didn't change aperture or shutter speed to reflect that information, the shot was unchanged.

Setting the ASA "incorrectly" is useful for some circumstances. You can shoot a whole 800 roll at 1600 and then develop it with that in mind, called pushing the film. The results depend on the film type. Or you can use the setting when you think the meter might be wrong but you want the needle to be centered. For example, you are shooting a roll of snow scenes and it is more convenient to center the needle than remember to overexpose every shot. If you have used a camera with an Ev setting, this works the same way, just with less useful labels.
05-08-2019, 08:50 AM   #7
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I think your basic question is answered. If you need more sensivity look for a lab, where you can buy a push processing.

About film and exposure there a some more things to be told, but I recommend you to do some search in the internet first.

To give you recommendations for the concert shooting, we would need some more information.
What type of concert?
How will be the lighting?
How far away from the stage you will be?
What lenses do you want to use?
Will you be in a spot where you can use a tripod?
Can you attend a rehearsal?
From my experience lighting conditions at concerts are often quite good unless they are in your local cosy pub.

And welcome to the world of film photography!
05-08-2019, 04:29 PM   #8
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Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein

This book is an excellent introduction to film photography. Highly recommended!

Chris

05-08-2019, 06:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein

This book is an excellent introduction to film photography. Highly recommended!

Chris
I 2nd on recommending this book. It's a good read & really informative, especially when developing film at home (good tips/guidelines on when pulling & pushing film)
05-09-2019, 06:30 AM - 1 Like   #10
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If you are taking photos of a concert somewhere dark (cosy pub or otherwise), there are two other issues you may encounter.

With a meter like the one in the K1000, it will average the light in the middle of the screen, so a brightly lit artist performing in front of darkness will result in overexposing the subject as all of the dark is averaged in. You will need to underexpose a bit.

If itís dark, you may be below the limit of the meter (and it will turn off). Then youíll need something else to provide a meter reading (or you can guess...)

-Eric
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