Questions: 4x5 Fuji Velvia Film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

4x5 Velvia is a very popular film as everyone knows. I would like all input from users as to the reciprocity times they found in practical field shooting at very slow speeds. Also any usefull info on the exposure limits(sunny day) shooting vs overcast day. Nightime shooting also. Any metering hints for using a hand held spot meter (fast) to come up with on the nose exposures in any lighting situation. I would like to hear from those who have been there and done that. No speculations please. Contact: Tom

-- Thomas Ferko (, May 15, 1998


Despite the fact that I "know" there is supposed to be Reciprocity Failure with all fillms when you make real long (or real short exposures,) IMHO i don't have that much of a problem with RVP or RDPII. Most recently this is based on some skyline photos where my exposures ranged from 30sec. to 2 minutes (as indicated by my Minolta Spot F). To take into account possible reciprocity failure I made a series of exposures at 2.5,at 3 and 4 minutes. these were, to my taste, definitely overexposed. The best exposure was 2min 15sec. I didn't try using a filter as I was dealing with several different light sources (fire, theatrical spots, ambient city light, but a CC05R or CC10R wouldn't have hurt. I do not think that there is one correct answer to your metering question. It depends on the shooting situation (subject & ambient flare), your lenses, meter, lab, and finallly you judgement, but start by rating your RVP at ISO 40 for daylight situation. Finally, I shoot Quickloads in the Fuji back. The initial cost is overwhelmed by the practicality (sp?) of the system, especially when I am travelling.

-- Ellis Vener (, May 15, 1998.

I have been using the reciprocity failure compensation times recommended by John Shaw for the past few years and have had good results: 8 sec., +1/2; 16 sec., +2/3 1 min., +1 1/3. I rate Velvia at ISO 40 and do not use any color correction filters with long exposures.

-- Mark Windom (, May 16, 1998.

I shoot Velvia and Provia in 4x5, but I seldom have exposure times longer than 10-20 sec. Info provided by Fuji confirms what Mark said (1/2 stop at 8 sec, 2/3 at 16 sec.) Also, I find that a simple incident reading gets me the most keepers.

-- Ron Shaw (, May 18, 1998.

I've used the following table for Velvia which was published in a View Camera article several years ago. I rate Velvia at ISO 50. time time to use 2 2 4 5 8 11 12 17 16 24 24 38 32 53 45 80 60 110 90 176 120 246

These are within 1/3 stop of the other responses. You should be aware that variations among meters and personal preferences mean that you will still have to do some testing of your own.

Regarding how to use a spot meter - I don't think that there is a simple solution to that question. Your choice of exposure shuld be dictated by artistic considerations. I would suggest doing some experimenting with your spot meter on a sunny 16 day. Get an idea of how much variation there is among the various components in a scene. You should also get an idea of what a mid-tone looks like. When you're done, I think you'll see that it is nearly impossible to use a spot meter to get a "correct" exposure. But with some practice, you'll learn to get exposures that you like. Relax and try to let your instincts guide you.

No matter how much you use your meter, there will be times when you may not be sure what exposure you want. Rather than bracket exposures, make 2 or more images of your composition at the same exposure. If the light is changing, and each exposure must be different, base your exposure on a meter reading of the same object in your composition for image. Develop only one sheet of film, and look at it on your light table. Then you can push or pull the other sheets as needed to get the exposure that you like.

Good luck! Bruce

-- Bruce M. Herman (, May 25, 1998.

Wow, this editor really blew my little table!

The numbers in my original answer are supposed to form two columns. So take them off in pairs. For instance, 8 seconds indicated by your meter means 11 seconds of exposure time.

Note that Fuji recommends about +2/3 stop, or roughly 14 seconds, as indicated by a previous response. I have to admit that I work more with Fuji's recommendations at times under about 16 seconds, and more with this table for greater times. But try it and modify to suit your own taste.


-- Bruce M. Herman (, May 27, 1998.

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