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Leica IIIb pics from Ilford: happy and puzzled


angeche
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I have received my first pics with the Leica from Ilford (BTW excellent service...). A bit puzzled because there seems to be almost no difference in the pics. Let´s see:

 

First group, f11 and speeds 100 and 40. Almost no difference....

c3966e73.jpg

f54182b7.jpg

 

Second group speed 100 and apertures 11 and 8. Second one, too soft?

b3fd4acc.jpg

6b7c7303.jpg

 

Well, I will try to make some progress..............but the differences are so subtle I do not know what to do...

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Hi,

 

What difference are you expecting to see?

 

Are these scans from prints or negs, or a CD. B&W film has bags of latitude, so I'm not surprised that you see no difference. Also Ilford would have corrected for any under/over exposure in the printing/scanning (if relevant).

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How do the negs look for density? Automatic printing machines are just that, automatic and will try to give the best from each neg. BW has the option of simple contrast control at the printing stage too, don't know if Ilfords machine(s) do this.

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...and...

 

Negative film should be exposed for the minimum to hold the wanted (thats up to you) shadow detail. With low contrast subjects overexposure simply rides up the slope of the film, the quality drops a bit as well, not much for a stop though.

 

Sorry if I am teaching you to suck eggs.

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I recently got myself a Nikon 100 to play around with. It has got a very useful bracketing facility and of course also a motor drive. These two combined makes it possible to nail down correct film exposure index and developing time with very little fuss as you can make a series of nine grey card zones 1 through 9 exposures in no time at all.

 

EIs and development times optimized, I set out to make some real life bracketed shots. It is really amazing how much leeway you have around the correct exposure time once you have got you basic parameters correctly set. The 1 - 1,5 stop exposure difference shown in this thread is really peanuts.

 

Angechet: try to shoot at some other time that the middle of the day, otherwise your pictures will look like the last two no matter how you expose them.

 

Rgds

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I have received my first pics with the Leica from Ilford (BTW excellent service...). A bit puzzled because there seems to be almost no difference in the pics. Let´s see:

...

 

Which Ilford film were you using and why would you expect to see a difference? They both appear quite grainy and the subjects merge, dare I say, it is a little difficult to see the wood for the trees

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Well, I should have clarified many things!

 

Film, Ilford FP4+ ISO 125. Conditions: mid day in Spain, and that means A LOT of light (maybe too much? I take note on the convenience of not shooting at noon, solar time!). No filters. A very dense foliage and trees. And really not paying attention to subject/composition, but just trying to shoot at different speeds /apertures.

 

My profile, just starting with B&W photography, in fact these are my first shoots ever (no, I am not young, I am just arriving late!), so do not take for granted any knowledge (and my limited command in photography english makes the learning process even more difficult!). So please teach me how to suck eggs!:D

 

I was trying to learn about the sensitivity of the combo of camera and film by shooting at same aperture, different speeds, and at same speed, different apertures. And I was surprised to see little difference. I do not develop my own films, so I will always use laboratories such as Ilford.

 

Not sure about this phrase "They both appear quite grainy and the subjects merge, dare I say, it is a little difficult to see the wood for the trees". Is this the result of lack of composition (I was really paying almost no attention to composition, and vegetation was very dense), or of overexposure?

 

My take: try greater differences in aperture/speeds, try to look at negatives for density (these pics are from a CD, do not shoot at noon solar time in Spain, try to get some filters....(orange?).

 

Many thanks for the comments.....

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angeche, sorry I'm still not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Regardless of camera/lens correct exposure is correct exposure.

 

Can you clarify what your question or point is? Are you trying to see the effects of depth of field, or just over/under exposure?

 

Your CD images will be corrected when the negs are scanned for any 'incorrect' exposure and as I've said, B&W film has a lot of latitued anyway so a stop either way isn't really going to make much difference in your end result. The development of the film is another factor to consider.

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Can you clarify what your question or point is? Are you trying to see the effects of depth of field, or just over/under exposure?

 

:confused:Not sure mates. But be indulgent! Well, I would say trying to shoot without a meter (so yes, evaluating over/underexposure) and also seeing the effects of field of view (I have a Nikon D80 that I use for macro pics of my watches, and I may overstate the importance of DOF since this is critical in macro pics COLLECTING WATCHES - Watches....). But maybe I should forget about experiments, and try to shoot correct exposures/compositions.

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Have you a meter? (or you could use the D80) worth using when starting out and for difficult situations. For DOF evaluation you can use the rangefinder to measure the two distances and (mentaly) transfer them to the focus scale seeing which aperture will give the required DOF.

 

It may be worth your while looking for an old copy of 'the Leica way' (Focal press) or 'The Leica Manual' they turn up quite often on eBay. They explain an awful lot and have exposure tables too, so nicely written you can dip into them and enjoy.

 

As to which meter a post 1970 Weston will match the IIIb perfectly and work for ever (no batteries) earlier ones can have photocell problems.

 

And finally welcome to the wonderful world of screw mount Leicas!

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I didn´t have a meter when shooting my first Leica pics, but now I have a Zeiss Ikophot (I thought having an old light meter would be more adequate given the age of the Leica IIIb).

 

0cd121e1.jpg

 

And thanks for the help and the warm welcome!

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Yes, that will do nicely, I see it comes with the incident light diffuser too.

 

I was thinking have you got a lens hood? if you have a contemporary lens for the IIIb they are almost mandatory.

 

One of the most forgotten additions that really does improve pictures especialy with uncoated optics. It is good that Leica have and do include a built in hood for some of their lenses.

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Well, I should have clarified many things!

 

Film, Ilford FP4+ ISO 125. Conditions: mid day in Spain, and that means A LOT of light (maybe too much? I take note on the convenience of not shooting at noon, solar time!). No filters. A very dense foliage and trees. And really not paying attention to subject/composition, but just trying to shoot at different speeds /apertures.

 

My profile, just starting with B&W photography, in fact these are my first shoots ever (no, I am not young, I am just arriving late!), so do not take for granted any knowledge (and my limited command in photography english makes the learning process even more difficult!). So please teach me how to suck eggs!:D

 

I was trying to learn about the sensitivity of the combo of camera and film by shooting at same aperture, different speeds, and at same speed, different apertures. And I was surprised to see little difference. I do not develop my own films, so I will always use laboratories such as Ilford.

 

If you are serious about black and white photography then I would say you should do your own processing which will give you more control of your results. Processing equipment goes for a song nowadays so you could set yourself up for very little outlay. As well as being a member of this group look at Film and Darkroom User - Powered by vBulletin. The members of this forum have a great deal of combined knowledge and will help you with basic set up but if you can make a cup of coffee you can process your own films it is really simple

 

Other than that consider using something like Fuji Neopan 400 asa C41 film in the short term. This film is almost grain free and can be processed in an hour at places like Jessop's and maybe pick up Ansel Adams excellent trilogy. I am not in any way condemning grain in a photograph in fact I actively encourage it but like any other part of the art there is a time and place

 

Not sure about this phrase "They both appear quite grainy and the subjects merge, dare I say, it is a little difficult to see the wood for the trees". Is this the result of lack of composition (I was really paying almost no attention to composition, and vegetation was very dense), or of overexposure?

 

My take: try greater differences in aperture/speeds, try to look at negatives for density (these pics are from a CD, do not shoot at noon solar time in Spain, try to get some filters....(orange?).

 

Many thanks for the comments.....

don't get discouraged the photographic process is a long and worthwhile art form which will give much personal satisfaction
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I am not sure what happened here but my reply came out as a quote. This was my reply to your comment-If you are serious about black and white photography then I would say you should do your own processing which will give you more control of your results. Processing equipment goes for a song nowadays so you could set yourself up for very little outlay. As well as being a member of this group look at Film and Darkroom User - Powered by vBulletin. The members of this forum have a great deal of combined knowledge and will help you with basic set up but if you can make a cup of coffee you can process your own films it is really simple

 

Other than that consider using something like Fuji Neopan 400 asa C41 film in the short term. This film is almost grain free and can be processed in an hour at places like Jessop's and maybe pick up Ansel Adams excellent trilogy. I am not in any way condemning grain in a photograph in fact I actively encourage it but like any other part of the art there is a time and place

 

I also left you a message on your watch blog

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Well, regardless of other comments, I can see a truck load of difference between the first and second images in the sets.

Maybe its time to put the Ikophot in the showcase and go and get a cheap meter like a Sekonic 308, and learn to expose properly and start getting a good feel for exposure.

Sunny sixteen doesnt cut it except for emergencies.

Edited by rob_x2004
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I would go for the sunny f16 rule, i.e. set shutter speed to film speed (1/100th in you case) and stop down to f16. Take some composed shots, no point wasting film on 'junk' shots.

 

This little rule is genius! Never heard of it but I'll never forget now! :D

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I believe there are no good or bad photographs because photography as an art form is whatever the photographer chooses to represent and this, in my opinion, is why photograph analysis and criticism is rather futile. This is also why I personally don't choose to display my photographs on forums such as this.

 

When the great master photographers exhibited thier work in galleries they were not saying what do you think of this photograph? they were saying this is what I do and they were not too bothered whether it was liked or disliked.

 

Displaying a photograph that has been scanned and downloaded can never be a true representation of the actual original processed and printed either by the photographer or under thier supervision one has only to go to galleries to see the difference.

 

It is also, as with this case in point, difficult to know what the photographer was trying to achieve. I commented on the fact that, to my eye, that the pictures displayed were a little confusing and were difficult to work out but if that was the result the photographer was aiming for then he achieved it. It is also difficult to judge what has changed in the scanning from the original.

 

The only reason I can see for displaying pictures on a forum such as this is for of ego massage but one does not always get the favoured response one seeks

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