[OM] Re: exposure latitude of slide vs. negative film

Subject: [OM] Re: exposure latitude of slide vs. negative film
From: Barry Brown <bbrown@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 12:22:00 -0800

I just joined the list a few days ago after running across the TOPE web
pages and the Olympus Web Ring.  I suppose I ought to start with an

OM shooter since 1986, using my parent's OM-1.  Now an owner of OM-2S,
OM-4, and soon to be my own OM-1.  Have a variety of Zuiko lenses from
28mm to 300mm.  Dumped all my non-Zuikos on eBay a couple years ago.  :)
Mostly into in landscape/nature photography, although am getting
interested in portraiture.  

I thought I'd chime in on the discussion about exposure latitude of
slide vs. negative films.

Slide film has an exposure range of about 5-6 stops.  You can determine
this experimentally.  Meter a medium-toned subject (such as a gray
card) and take bracketed shots ranging over 3 stops on either side of
the metered value.  What you should find is your medium gray subject
will render as pure white if you open up about 2.5 stops and it will
render as black if you close down about 2.5 stops.  Adding
the two, you get about 5-6 stops from black to white.

This technique for exposure (which is probably a variation on the Zone
system) I learned from John Shaw's excellent books.  I can't recommend
his stuff more highly.  Before reading his books, getting the exposure
right was always a crap shoot for me.  Now they're almost always spot-on.

Shaw uses slide films exclusively, so he has no comments on the exposure
range of negative film.  Anyone have any data on it?  I hear "7 stops"
being bantied about; I guess that sounds about right, but I've not done
any experiments to determine it.


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