Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

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grimnicholas New Member • Posts: 13
Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.
1

Setup details are: Kodak 400 ISO, Nikon N90s Set to Matrix meter, full auto.

Is this a result of it over metering, something in the lab?

Best way to remedy for future rolls is shooting @ full auto?

Thanks!

tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.
1

Can you share a photo of the negatives? It’s really hard to assess exposure with colour negative film from lab scans.

OP grimnicholas New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

A fair point. Lab still has the scans, but when I collect I can share. They usually do a great job of balanced scans!

tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.
1

grimnicholas wrote:

A fair point. Lab still has the scans, but when I collect I can share. They usually do a great job of balanced scans!

Yep, I’m not criticising the scans at all.

Just saying that you can’t judge exposure based on scans (not for colour neg anyway). There’s too much latitude in the film, and too much scope to ‘correct’ exposure with software.

Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 5,255
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

grimnicholas wrote:

Setup details are: Kodak 400 ISO, Nikon N90s Set to Matrix meter, full auto.

Is this a result of it over metering, something in the lab?

Best way to remedy for future rolls is shooting @ full auto?

Thanks!

Not 100% sure why you think they’re overexposed - some of the highlights are a bit overexposed but that could be brought back in scanning.  With negative film it’s normally better to overexpose slightly than underexpose so I wouldn’t have thought any changes were necessary to the metering (unless the negatives come back completely different)

Tomm111 Senior Member • Posts: 2,071
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

Stupid question but needs to be asked, did you set the ISO ofthe camera to 400. These look about 2 stops over exposed, not a bad thing with negative film, so if the camera was set to ISO100.... Just double check all of your settings. Make sure your exposure compensation is zeroed out.

Anyway these are workable. The negatives would be interesting to see.

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Horiz Opposed
Horiz Opposed Contributing Member • Posts: 604
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

These look fine to me. Maybe a little hot, but they could be taken down a bit in highlight recovery. That city scape has amazing DR for an out of the box scan. Not sure what more could be done.

If you don’t care for the metering as is, you could dial in a little negative EC?

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Ross

Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 3,345
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

I agree, it would be good to see the negatives (though I think color negs are trickier to "read" than B&W). The first two shots look a little hot to me; the rest look good, and the question is, is this down to scanning (which has to make its own exposure based on average density of the neg) or the camera?

I have a Nikon N8008, which also has an early matrix metering system, and I've been amazed at how well it does in tricky situattions:

Nikon N8008, Ilford FP4

Nikon N8008, Ilford FP4

That said, if it's going to get it wrong, it does seem to blow out the highlights a bit (but these could be recovered with some burning-in, either digitally or in the darkroom). This photo could be a stop or two darker and would have looked more like what I saw, but I think it was trying to get those dark bricks to middle gray:

Nikon N8008, Ilford FP4

Keep in mind that film has less dynamic range than digital, so in a situation with a lot of contrast, something has to give. Your 3rd photo, wide-angle landscape with shadows and a lot of sky, is an example of that; bit dark in the shadows and hot in the sky, but I think the camera did a good job of granting more importance to the lower section of the photo.

That said, in your first photo, I have to wonder if the camera got it right but the scanner tried to bring up the darker green of the trees to be closer to middle gray -- and that would explain the blown-out tree trunk. For the second photo, there's a lot of range between light and shadow, and that'd be a tricky one for the N90 as well as the film itself.

Aaron

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 23,905
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.
3

grimnicholas wrote:

Is this a result of it over metering, something in the lab?

The presence of bright white and inky black in every shot suggests that there was no overexposure of the negatives - just poor scanning with far too much contrast.

OP grimnicholas New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.
1

Thanks for all the feedback! Very useful insights and has got me thinking, maybe this N90 is a little powerhouse for exposing tricky scenes. The highlights can mostly be recovered, I've contacted the lab and we'll about the scan process there, but otherwise it's been very reassuring to read some feedback with a wider knowledge base than myself!

blåland Contributing Member • Posts: 745
Re: Exposure feedback, are these overexposed? A Nikon 35mm camera on full auto.

It's indeed hard to say. The visible grain at that small image size could actually indicate under exposure (with brightness boosted in post process). But it is more likely high sharpness applied in the scanning.

Also The overexposed look is likely the scanning exposure and or a bit aggressive tone curves applied during the scanning.

They look good over all but I would personally lower the highlights and mid tones a little bit.

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