Moonlight exposures wrong on Provia 100f slide film

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While out doing my digital full moonlight shoot I decided to bang off a roll of film. For this kind of thing I knew Provia 100f was the film for the job and I found an article talking about moon light exposures using 100 iso film and after some reading they recommended an exposure for around f8 @ 8min with a bit of an adjustment to make it about 9min 40 sec for Provia 100f. So taking this advice I shot off the whole roll with those settings and decided to do whats called a “Clip test” on the roll to see if it needs any kind of adjustment. I didnt expect it to be right but I did expect it to be in the ball park.

Well I spoke to the lab today and they said they did two clip tests one pushing the film one stop and another pushing the film two stops and it is still under exposed. Provia 100f has a push capability of two stops, but a three stop push isn’t recommended and from experience pushing three stops will blow the films DMAX and it comes out muddy. (tried that when I accidentally left the three stop ND on with a roll of velvia 50 and we pushed it three stops to get it back to 50iso… not good… not good at all). I am yet to see the Provia 100f clip tests to know how much I am off, or what I can or cannot see in them. Guess I will know tomorrow when the rest of my film comes back from the lab.

So on the next full moon what I will do is bracket. If I know a 9 min 40 sec exposure is totally crap and it is more than two stops under exposed I will start things off around 40 min and go from there. So I will do 40 min, 120 min and 240 min at f8. (Thats close too 7 hours of shooting for just three images). I had better make sure I have some good games on my iphone and a thermos of coffee. Or I might just use Provia 400x to save time. I’ll have to check into it’s┬áReciprocity rates.

For those who don’t know a clip test is, it’s something you do when you shoot the whole roll of film at a single exposure setting and aperture. Thinking you have the right exposure but your not 100% sure. At the lab they will cut off a small part of the film and process it at “Normal” which is the films iso speed. From there they will examine the film and determine if the films exposure needs adjustment to make it correctly exposed. If so they will do the adjustment and you will get the remainder of your film perfectly exposed. Any adjustment is of course only capable depending on how close you are to correct exposure and the films push / pull capability.

For example Provia 100f can be shot at film speeds of 50 iso (1 stop pull) or 200 / 400 iso (1 & 2 stop push). So if your film is off by two stop under exposed or one stop over exposed it can be corrected.

Isn’t making mistakes and learning fun !!

14 thoughts on “Moonlight exposures wrong on Provia 100f slide film

  1. I always found night photography easier with film, with a 40D noise is the killer, but at least I know if I’ve got the shot. with film there’s that wait… And I resisted digital for a long time based on the fact that I have a 25MP 36mm film scanner.

    • Thats the beauty of film Matt, if the exposure is 1 sec or 8 hours the film grain and quality is the same. If you have a film set up still you should use it. Digital is great but it isnt everything, if you know what I mean. I am going to keep my eye out for a 35mm Canon film body just for fun.

      • I keep meaning to dust off my old ‘Pentax Super A’ and have a play at night, I used to get some good night shot with that camera. It’s very light too, weighs next to nothing and I preferred the images I shot on that camera than EOS 5 I replaced it with. Canon need to pull their finger out, the new range of Nikons’ seem to outdo them on High ISO and Long Exposure Noise.

  2. cant wait!… hmm so with this clip test, when they cut a bit of film off the slide, dose that wreck the whole slide?like it turns out being a 612? if you get what im saying..

  3. Bummer Matthew. Maybe you could set up all your film cameras at the same time with a different exposure on each one thereby bracketting your shots in one foul swoop….On the other hand you’d probably need to hire sherpas to carry all your gear down so maybe not.

    • Mate that is a great idea. Yes might need to look for a few sherpas for all my crap or maybe just a photographer who now shoots 6 x 4.5 and needs to get their hands on a real mans cameras. Do you know of anyone ­čÖé

  4. Mitch… Each clip test is $7.15 and then the roll of film is $16.50 to have processed (220) but I didn’t get the roll processed. No point having a roll of under exposed images.

  5. Verry funny.Yes i have heard of such a person, and rumour has it he has a strong back and slow wits.(or so ive heard). Just what you need.

  6. Provia works well under the Full Moon. Here is an image done under a gibbous (12 day old Moon) with 15 minutes at f/6.7 Provia 100F, no push. Using F/8 should not be a problem under a full Moon. I managed lots of shadow detail in the rocks and the bright waves were just a little beyond where I wanted them.

    Another gibbous Moon exposure, but 45 minutes f/9.5. Deep shadows demanded that long of an exposure, highlights remained reasonable.

    Start with your referenced exposure, 10 minutes f/8 and bracket. Try 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20 minutes. Forget the clip test, run a roll through, expose and take good notes. Next time you’ll be very much in the ballpark.

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