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LCD screen brightness and metering question

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From calligrapher/Lawrence (1,670) Send mail to this user on February 8, 2006 7:32:58 AM CST

My digital camera can only take 2 second exposures -i need to be able to determine correct exposure of a much darker scene than what 2 seconds @ f/2.8 with an ISO of 800 will give me (-1 EV). -there are an additional 5 EV values left. I don't want to take 5 exposures to get the correct one.

I keep my LCD screen at the lowest brightness level as thats what fits the actual downloaded image best. ..Now, if i take that underexposed 2 seconds @ f/2.8 taken at ISO 800 shot and increase the brightness of my LCD screen as much as i can (10 increments) i get what appears to be a correct exposure -if not a smidge underexposed yet.

since there were only 5 additional EV values left and a +10 in brightness gets me an acceptable exposure -does this mean that each increment in brightness is equal to a 1/2 stop? this would show that the "proper" exposure would be for 1 minute, correct?

taking 5 exposures on film for one shot would be bad enough but when taking stopped down the increased time could be immense.

So, would the "LCD Brightness Method" translate?

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From mudgeon/Del (6,109) Send mail to this user on February 8, 2006 9:47:41 AM CST

The only way to be sure is to actually take the shots, process them all consistently, and look at the luminance. Best case would be to shoot a standard target, so you could look at the same color or shade each time. Otherwise, you are guessing about part of your camera that is not calibrated, or intended to use to judge precise exposure.

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From calligrapher/Lawrence (1,670) Send mail to this user on February 9, 2006 3:14:43 AM CST

i guess that is pretty darn obvious. Thanks, del.

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From ofofhy/Evan (10,605) Send mail to this user on February 8, 2006 10:29:34 AM CST

I don't understand how taking five exposure digitally is worse than taking five exposures on film??? I mean you don't even have to crank the wind lever.

Plus, if you are already at max exposure (with both shutter and aperture), how does the camera increase the EV? Will it actually hold the shutter open past its stated maximum value.

I wouldn't bet on LCD brightness being correlated to EV.

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From calligrapher/Lawrence (1,670) Send mail to this user on February 9, 2006 3:20:38 AM CST

i wasn't clear enough. I use the digital camera to meter for film shots. I was hoping to find out whether there is a specific increase in light for each brightness increment that i could use to determine how many "stops" of extra exposure it could give me so that i could atleast narrow the range. -i say narrow only because of reciprocity failure.

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From edwardpiercy/Edward (1,346) Send mail to this user on February 8, 2006 7:16:05 PM CST

I had to read your question twice but I think I know what you are asking. If you are taking a long-exp night shot I wouldn't expect to get much from the LCD, the reduction in size will darken it greatly, which you already know. I'd turn it off and do it in my head and use the viewfinder. If your camera has a max of 2 seconds then you know you are bounded on that side, so work from there. You could work in shutter priority, for example, set your speed to 2 sec and then see what kind of aperture that gives you. Remember that if your focal length is somewhat near or at wide angle you will get infinity at a lower aperture, so I wouldn't worry too much about stopping down greatly if you are at wide. That should help some. One of the nice things about digital is you can experiment like crazy. Take your camera and pod out one night and find an interesting test scene and just shoot like crazy. Then view them at home and find out which set-up works the best (you can use an Exif-read program to find out what your settings for the best shot were. You have some very nice photos, by the way.

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From calligrapher/Lawrence (1,670) Send mail to this user on February 9, 2006 3:36:34 AM CST

Thanks for taking so much time, Edward. I should have been clearer in my original post. I am not using the digital to take the photos as the shutter speed does not allow the longer exposures needed of a scene at -5 EV. I'm using bulb setting on film. I only need to get a fairly accurate reading so that i can "bracket" with more precision (reciprocity failure) It isnt the bracketing that upsets me most -it's the fact that i could be standing around for an hour to finish one exposure that in end is still underexposed. -doing this 5 times to get the correct exposure and i may run out of darkness.

Basically, i just dont care to spend $ on a spotmeter when my most expensive lens was HAHAHAHA $31.00

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