Two cameras (Nikon F5 and Olympus XA), three rolls of film. A hall flooded with light and two different metering systems. The F5 was set on matrix metering mode and on manual mode, the XA has a centre-weighted system, I suppose (see comments by Ken Rockwell).
The results show this fairly well: To compensate the bright walls of light, the matrix metering system turns down the highlights a bit and leaves the people in front of the backlight rendered as silhouettes, but there is a slim portion of detail in the luminance transition zones such as their faces. And there are harsh shadows.
* * *
The XA, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. The metering is more traditional and centre weighted, the focal length is fixed at 35 mm, which I like. So the parts shown in the middle of the picture are exposed with more luminance detail – and I had activated the function for backlight compensation which gives +1,5 EV.
So it was Neopan 400 at 800 with +1,5 equals something between 320 and 360. The highlights get brighter, but Neopan 400 makes this look good. The shadows need a harder gradation or a clipping with scanning (not implemented in the XA pictures but in the F5/Matrix photos on some gritty edges).
My conclusion: Going for center weighted metering in appropriate situations pays off in situations like this – or even some spot metering. That’s what the pictures out of the XA taught me. Of course I could have measured the scene with a hand held meter, but I just did not feel like this.
So next time I’m going to let the highlights blow out (it’s film, you can try some roughness with the highlights) and deal with overexposed shadows in post (burn them in the wet lab or with Photoshop try something like layer blending mode ‘soft light’ with a mask).
There are two other rolls left: A Rollei Retro 400s (at 1600 with an Agfa Isolette), a Kodak Portra 400 and a Fujifilm 400H (this time shot at ISO 250).
Pollux on 52rolls:
- Launch Status Check: Pollux [Intro]
- #1.0 Neopan 400 & Rodinal
- #1.1 Silvermax
- #1.2 The White Stripes
- #2.0 Fade To Grey
- #2.1 Pushing Silvermax
- #2.2 Know Your Gear
- #2.3 What Took You So Long?
- #2.4 Diary Shots
- #2.5 Compact 28 + Ultramax
- #2.6 On 400H
- #3.0 Hard Boiled
- #4.0 Film Noir
- #5.0/5.1/5.2 Remain In Light
- #5.3 My Personal Holga
- #5.4 The Exhibition Cam
- #5.5/5.6 Portra and 400H
- #5.7 A Peculiar Roll (1993)
- #5.8/5.9 Great Photographer, Wasted Film
- #6.0 Diary Shots, 135mm on the F4
- #6.1-#6.3 Purchasing New Material, Celebrating
- #7.0-#7.2 Concert
- #8.0 Helicopter
- #9.0 Tres Cosas
- #10.0 One Shot per Roll
- #11.0/11.1: Parklife (Nikon F2)
- #12.0/12.1: Silvermax, F2 (24mm) + F5 (17mm + 210 mm)
- #13: Diary with a Point & Shoot
- #14: Medium Format: The Rangefinder of ’51
- #15: Memories of Friendship
- #16: [Pollux]: Epilogue