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Guidance requested - 35mm exposure


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#1 Niall Chadwick

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:59 PM

After reading that Doug Slocombe spent a lot of time as a stills photographer, and that helped him to learn about exposure levels as well as a lot of other skills, I figured that it would be a good way for me to learn more about 35mm film exposure. Up to now, all my knowledge is digital, but I do not want to limit myself to 1 format.

As a result, I was lucky enough to gain from my Dad his old stills SLRs cameras (The Olympus OM-1 - example picture - http://www.mir.com.m...M1nLizard_E.jpg)

I read a lot of books and writings by cinematographers, in an effort to try and improve my knowledge.

Do you feel that this is the best way to learn?

I could look at investing in a older 35mm or 16mm film camera, but my concern is the cost of film processing.

Your advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards

Niall
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:39 PM

After reading that Doug Slocombe spent a lot of time as a stills photographer, and that helped him to learn about exposure levels as well as a lot of other skills, I figured that it would be a good way for me to learn more about 35mm film exposure. Up to now, all my knowledge is digital, but I do not want to limit myself to 1 format.

As a result, I was lucky enough to gain from my Dad his old stills SLRs cameras (The Olympus OM-1 - example picture - http://www.mir.com.m...M1nLizard_E.jpg)

I read a lot of books and writings by cinematographers, in an effort to try and improve my knowledge.

Do you feel that this is the best way to learn?

I could look at investing in a older 35mm or 16mm film camera, but my concern is the cost of film processing.

Your advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards

Niall


It's a very, very good way to learn the non-motion based aspects of cinematography. The cost shouldn't be much as long as you're careful when you shoot. Snapping tens of frames in a few minutes won't teach you anything.
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#3 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:04 AM

Get a copy of 'The Negative' by Ansel Adams. You also need a spotmeter. I have several clients who were 'Video' DoP and who discovered 'Film' this way and they all liked it very much. If you can find a lab that will process and print ECN2 or B&W in short lengths you can leave out the home processing Ansel Adams describes. In Motion Picture work assume to have a fixed steady processing with fixed gamma instead of adjusting the gamma shot per shot as Ansel Adams would do with sheet film.
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#4 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:39 AM

You are very lucky to have an Olympus OM1 to learn with. It's a perfect camera to get the hang of the relationship of exposure, aperture, film speed, depth of field etc. You can use or ignore the internal meter, but you should inore it if you want to learn about exposure. For learning the Ansel Adams zone system (which is just sensitometry using Roman Numerals;-) you'll need to use a spotmeter and use the manual setting controls on the camera.

Using an OM1 will also force you to use manual focussing. A good thing.

As you might guess, I have kept my OM1, though I disposed of later 35mm camera when I got a digital SLR. It's the best camera I've owned.

Enjoy it.
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