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06-02-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
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A Half-stop of Over-exposure...

Hi, all,

I bought a new light meter recently (Sekonic L-308S), and noticed last night that I had not changed my ISO setting when switching between different cameras. One camera has ISO 125 b&w print film, the other has ISO 160 color print film. I was disappointed when I realized that I forgot to do this, as I shot almost a whole roll of Fuji 160C film while metering at ISO 125.

I deduced that the difference between 125 and 160 is 1/2-stop. Thus, how much will this affect my shots? Also, I am now using Specialty Color Services--since they did such a spectacular job on the first roll I sent them. They use a traditional style of processing. Should I inquire with them about making an adjustment in processing this roll? I tend to think that they would probably adjust for this anyway. Overall, I am hoping the half-stop could be "fixed"...I have taken some nice shots with the roll.


06-02-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
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With print film a half stop of over exposure shouldn't cause any problem at all. Negatives are generally very tolerant of over exposure. If it had been slide film you might have had a problem, but you shouldn't with print film.

06-02-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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Whew! I was inclined to think that prints could tolerate a half-stop, but I am glad you have responded, as I was not sure--thanks. I have learned my lesson now, and will always check the ISO setting before taking a reading.
06-02-2008, 01:40 PM   #4
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No worries...

Many photographers normally overexpose negative films 1/2 to 1 full stop.
FWIW slide film users commonly underexpose, usually 1/4 or 1/3 stop.


06-02-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thank, children will be happy--most of the photos were of them playing in the backyard


PS: When I was using my Nikon F100 heavily, I would overexpose outdoor shots by 1/3-stop. The meter seemed just a tad "dark" least outside.
06-19-2008, 12:26 PM   #6
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Yeah, I haven't shot a single roll of film from my new (to me) Rollei with the help of a light meter or anythign but the fuzzy sunny 16 rule and haven't oggten a catastrophically under or over exposed photo yet. Print film is an amazing thing.
06-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #7
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You could advise the lab but like everyone has said, 1/2 stop is not that big of a deal with color negatives. Next time you shoot a roll, bracket an exposure with 1/2 over, normal and 1/2 under just to see the actual difference.

And as far as forgetting to change the ASA, don't feel like your alone. We've all done it and I used to be so bad about forgetting that about 30 years ago I took an old labelmaker and made a little strip to go on the back of my Spotmatic II field case. It said, "Set ASA" and it's still there!

06-20-2008, 07:15 AM   #8
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Thanks, TiJean...I have used Sunny 16, too.

Funny story, straightshooter


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