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10-28-2020, 06:07 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxgroebel Quote
Well, Since you are asking I am enclosing a crop of a terrible picture, with no sharpness at all, of cranes at sunset. Admitteldy it was taken with a K20D and an old A 70-210.
I shoot the Pentax-A 70-210 with my K-3 and can honestly say that your results do not reflect the capabilities of the lens, but are consistent with the settings and the subject. What I see is:
  • Full resolution (1:1) crop showing typical noise for that camera at ISO 1600
  • Softness due to noise and possible mild missed focus
  • The original JPEG probably had blown highlights in the clouds
  • Excessive work done in post-processing including heavy curve manipulation and changes to contrast/saturation resulting in blocking of tones in the bright clouds.
Exposure mode was simply listed as "auto", but if ISO was also "auto", it was probably not the best choice here and likely contributed to the problems.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 10-28-2020 at 06:13 PM.
11-01-2020, 09:05 PM   #17
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Anyone have a rule of thumb for shooting sunsets on film? My beginner belief is that the camera meter would underexpose these. So 2x or 4x exposure compensation?
11-01-2020, 10:27 PM   #18
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The first thing to establish is what type of meter the film camera has. It seems like all the manual focus bodies have center weighted metering. Bodies with AF have more possibilities. Center weighted is easy to describe. The meter reacts more to stuff in the middle of the frame. So if the sun is there, the rest of the frame is going to be pretty dark. Spot metering should try to expose the spot properly and ignore everything else in the frame. If you have a DSLR, you can switch to these metering modes and practice some sunset shots to see how the metering works, especially when you change where the brightest spots are within the frame.

Multi-segment metering is supposed to be smarter, recognize sunsets and have a plan for a more balanced exposure. That's what the advertising copy says for all versions. Note that they keep improving multi-segment metering today, suggesting that early versions were not quite as smart as advertised.
11-02-2020, 01:24 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
So if the sun is there, the rest of the frame is going to be pretty dark. Spot metering should try to expose the spot properly and ignore everything else in the frame.
The interesting part is that a bit of underexposure is not a bad thing with sunsets unless one has foreground items of interest. In relation to this thread, I did a quick survey of some of my sunset shots from over the years, including quite a few done with oh-to-picky slide film and they all looked great despite not having any EC applied.

Our eyes do similar to what the camera does when we view a sunset. Our iris opening narrows and what we see on the whole is underexposed until we look away. For the most part, sunset work with metered camera is a no-brainer as a result. The hard part comes when we have items of interest in the foreground. The traditional solutions are:
  • Flash balanced against ambient (think portraits)
  • Graduated ND filters (think landscapes)
Grads are a pretty attractive option in general in that they can solve a wide number of sky vs. earth exposure issues, even hand-held. I don't have any, but it is tempting.


Steve

11-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #20
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Strong second on the graduated ND filter option. After a few practice shots, you'll get the hang of where to meter (spot meter is still a good idea).

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The traditional solutions are:
  • Flash balanced against ambient (think portraits)
  • Graduated ND filters (think landscapes)
Grads are a pretty attractive option in general in that they can solve a wide number of sky vs. earth exposure issues, even hand-held. I don't have any, but it is tempting.


Steve
11-09-2020, 05:28 PM   #21
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I’m still a huge fan of bracketed exposures, stacked to exploit all the tones in the shadows.


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