ME Super blank negatives


Snapper_UK

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 01:43
Hello. I am new and have two question, one of which I will ask in this thread.


I am a new member from England and will get round to introdcucing myself properly in the next day or so but in the meantime I wonder whether anyone can help me with a problem I am having.


I am fairly new to photography and slrs too for that matter although I a developing my own film and am hooked!


My question is this and, I think it is born of inexperience perhaps, as opopsed to a faulty camera which I recently had serviced.


I took some night shots on the auto mode which have come out blank. Other film on the camera was fine but was shot in the day.


I suspect that the shots were taken needing more than the 4seconds maximum the me super allows in auto and unlike my Pentax LX the ME Super could ot cope with this,


Does that sound like it is the problem and why I got blanks for those shots? I am sure that it wasn't a developing issue as the other shots came out.


Sorry if this is a bit basic and perhaps naive but I am hoping it is my above error which is the problem and not the meter etc as I have paid recently for a service. Any guidance would be very welcome.

John

johnriley

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 08:33
It's a bit vague unfortunately to be sure. "Night shots" could mean quite a few different things, can you be more specific please? Indoors, outdoors, type of lighting, subject matter, etc.

The ME Super is limited to nominally 4 second exposures is Auto (Av) although some samples of the camera may manage longer.
Best regards, John

Snapper_UK

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 09:18
Hello John. Thanks for the reply.

I was walking around my town taking night shots of buildings statues etc unde eithe limited moonlight or poor street lighting or both.

What I am hoping is the camera isnt broken and the fact that the shots should have had more than light (ie more than the 4 seconds they were getting in AV)

I suppose what I want to know to be sure that this is operator error (which I am hoping for) is in those circumstances as described above would the the negatives be blank, as they were? I just have it in my mind something should be on them, however poor and if anything they would be dark not blank?

John

johnriley

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 09:44
The lighting may well have been too low for the camera to record anything, but also if there were any bright street lights in the shot that too would cause the camera to give under-exposure.

Also add to this reciprocity failure, a characteristic of film. This means that correct exposure may be much longer than indicated by a meter. It kicks in at shutter speeds of maybe 1 second or longer. 1 second might actually need 2 seconds, 30 seconds might need 120 seconds, varying depending on the specific film.

There are recoprocity tables that gives a guide, or old Kodak books often have tables of recommended exposures for night photography.
Best regards, John

fatspider

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 09:49
With a 4 second exposure I'd have thought you'd have captured something even if only the halos from the street lights, unless you were using very slow film.
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
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johnriley

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 12:56
Another thought: this series of cameras delivers 1/2000s if the batteries fail and it's set to Auto. That would certainly explain the blank exposure. In daylight you might get away with it.

So, replace the batteries and clean the contacts in the battery chamber to double check this.
Best regards, John

womble

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 16:43
It is 1/125 if the batteries are dead. When you were taking the night shots did the shutter speed indicator show 'under'? My guess is that you are right and the film simply didn't get enough light to register anything much.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

johnriley

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 18:19
Quote:
It is 1/125 if the batteries are dead

It is if yopu use the only available mechanical speed, actually closer to 1/100s in reality.

I'm pretty sure that if it is set to Auto this no longer applies and the camera fires at fastest speed.

I'll research it properly later perhaps.
Best regards, John

Snapper_UK

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 21:09
Yes the red light indicated which means it was under the 4 seconds. I had been using my LX the day before which can deal with the situation unlike the Me which I think has not had enough light and so has produced the blanks. The alternative is the newly serviced camera is briken!

John

womble

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 21:47
Snapper_UK wrote:
Yes the red light indicated which means it was under the 4 seconds. I had been using my LX the day before which can deal with the situation unlike the Me which I think has not had enough light and so has produced the blanks. The alternative is the newly serviced camera is broken!

John

The LX is a pro grade camera and can take exposures of quite some length on auto. I cannot remember what the advertised maximum exposure is, but in reality the LX's auto exposure will give you much longer than that, and it is superb in low light. Dial in some exposure compensation to account for the reciprocity failure and Bob's your uncle.

The ME Super, however, was a mass market enthusiast's camera. Still a lovely piece of equipment, but not in the same league as the LX. The "under" light indicated that four seconds wasn't enough to get a properly exposed image and hence your clear negatives.

Your best bet is to stick to using the LX in low light situations. It was built for the job!

Have fun with them, they are both lovely cameras.

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

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fatspider

Link Posted 27/12/2012 - 22:12
Doesn't the LX measure the light actually reaching the film?
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link

K10D

Link Posted 28/12/2012 - 04:52
fatspider wrote:
Doesn't the LX measure the light actually reaching the film?

Indeed it does Alan and just for info..link

Best regards

Snapper_UK

Link Posted 28/12/2012 - 22:06
Quote:
The "under" light indicated that four seconds wasn't enough to get a properly exposed image and hence your clear negatives.

Thanks Womble and everyone

John

Frogherder

Link Posted 29/12/2012 - 13:28
If you don't mind experimenting, next time you're out at night, try a series of 'manual' shots at say f8 with shutter speeds (2; 4; 8; 16' 32 secs). As you're doing it in the dark just count slowly - it'll be near enough.

Then on developing you should see a whole range of intensities on the negatives

I would have thought that with street lights about, unless you're using f32 or above then 4 secs (and I'm assuming ISO/ASA200) would have produced something.

I frequently used (and still do) to take night shots of 30 seconds throught to several minutes when it is really dark

regards
Bernard

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vic cross

Link Posted 29/12/2012 - 15:48
Have you thought that it might be something simple.
The film didn't roll on and was left in the can. Operator error which you were looking for. This happened to me many years ago. When you closed the back the end of the film slipped out of the spool but the counter still counted. Result, unexposed film. (BLANK)
Just a thought.
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

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