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  #1  
Old 14th April 2011, 04:56 PM
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Default Advice on photographing Stained Glass Windows

I have a little project to photograph some stained glass windows in a very poorly lit church

Will be using a Nikon F5 with either APX100 or LegacyPro100 B&W film rated at boxed speed. Probably with aperture priority mode for depth of field. I aim to fill the viewfinder with each part of the glass window. My viewfinder is 100% coverage. Each arch window consists of 2 glass panels per window.

Advice needed on best method for exposure. Matrix, centre-weighted or spot? Any compensation needed. Outside weather is overcast so no strong sunlight shining through the glass - very evenly lit. I tried handheld incident light meter pointing back towards the camera but windows are high up and not sure of correct angle to point back towards the camera. My readings are way different from internal camera metering as church is almost dark inside.

This is a new subject for me to try out, so all tips are most welcomed.

Thanks.
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Old 14th April 2011, 05:55 PM
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My suggestion would be to check each window in several places with the spot meter to see if the light was even if so, I would then use the center weight to take the picture and adjust to my preference. It is a method Ive used before with my F5.
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Old 14th April 2011, 05:57 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Larry , answers are always best from those who don't have a F5 like me

However I do have a Pentax 35mm which while having some of the bells and whistles of the F5 is by comparison a more primitive beast.

Maybe I have been lucky but in B&W I have always had reasonable negs in aperture mode and relying on the camera's meter.

The F5's matric metering is probably the best there is so I think that you should be OK using that.

Mike
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Old 14th April 2011, 06:29 PM
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Larry, I take it you are photographing the windows from inside the church, in which case pointing the meter at the camera for incident readings will not work. The idea with incident readings is that you are measuring the light falling on the subject. In this case you are photographing a scene made by transmitted light from outside. I think it may prove useful to still take an incident reading, but in this case point the meter at the window and bracket the exposures above and below.
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Old 14th April 2011, 06:30 PM
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Larry,
When I have photographed Stained glass in the past I have always used the camera in aperture prioty, and brackted by at least a stop each way, and always got a reasonable negative, I always tried to choose a sunny day , but a dull day should work, and I would use center weighted exposure, My most recent attempt was with one of my classic cameras and I used a reflected light reading and again would bracket at least two stops either way, sometimes the original reading was spot on, other times I would need a stop or two under or over, but I always got 1 good negative.
Whatever you do, good luck,and let us know how it goes,
Richard

Last edited by Richard Gould; 14th April 2011 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 15th April 2011, 08:37 AM
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Hi Larry
I have had good results with my F5 when using center weight meter and slide film on stained glass.

Diz
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Old 15th April 2011, 12:01 PM
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well if you have a tele lens you can put it on the camera and spot meter. And if the angle isn't 1 deg that doesn't matter. What matters is that the spot area covers just an area that contains something. The reading you get will be an average for that area and will be around the midpoint of curve. Then put on the lens you want to use and bracket around that exposure reading.
But why B+W for stained glass windows? Just seems that stained glass windows are really about colour and not B+W.
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Old 15th April 2011, 08:21 PM
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I would add that if you are also trying to get the church interior exposed properly then that is something else. So which is it, just stained glass windows or churh interior with stained glass windows.

If its the latter then I'd go for a compensating type developer and expose for interior and let the compensation handle the highlights. Maybe one of the two bath developers.
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Old 15th April 2011, 08:22 PM
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Thanks to all for responding.

I went to the church venue today and the window light transmission was slightly brigher than yesterday's preview. Decided to go for centre weighted metering as my main mode and tried a couple with spot. Planning to develop the film tommorrow and will post back here with details of how the negatives and exposure came out! - This is an exciting new experience for me, never tried this subject matter before.

I choose B&W film instead of colour because I wanted to do the print myself and to concentrate more on the tones and shapes of the images depicted within each glass panal.

Thanks
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Last edited by Larry; 15th April 2011 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 15th April 2011, 08:25 PM
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Hi Argentum

Thanks; you posted your addition same time as me.

I just wanted the stained glass windows and not the church interior with windows.

Just this one element of the church I wanted to try as it was something I've never photographed before.
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