DFC Roll #5

Ok so well it should be #4 in terms of blog posts, but I forgot to post my 4th attempt to shoot a roll of virtual film. I’ll have to dig those up at some point, but in the mean time, here is a “roll of Tri-X” that I shot in November in the yard. I hadn’t picked up the camera in a while and was kind of itching to do something so I thought, what the heck.

Now, bear in mind that I did recall that my previous roll of Tri-X, the one you didn’t see, was underexposed. Even though I was trying very hard to get things right, I blew it. So with this session I upped the exposures even more to 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 stops and it’s still not enough. Good to know that I really have to push it farther. To produce black and white jpegs I used one of the monochrome camera filters, which, unfortunately also renders my viewfinder black and white, but it’s the way it is.

With this roll I’m going to add a different dimension. I’m going to show you all the unedited jpegs and then I’m going to pick a few to work on with exposure and cropping only. Basically those are the two things I could easily do with any automated lab back in the old days of film. When I no longer ran a lab, I always spoke to the technician to make sure she would fix any shots that needed it. Most of the time it got done. And especially if I was ordering an enlargement when there was even more I could ask to be done with any given photo, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll leave it to exposure and cropping. Oh and the cropping will be the standard sizes offered at most labs – 5×7 and 8×10. I thought about doing more like dodging and burning, but those extras were only offered by a select few labs and not common. If you didn’t have access to a darkroom you were out of luck.

Upfront rules

As usual, I put the camera in manual and turned off live preview and auto-review in the viewfinder. Also shut off auto focus, image stabilization, and auto ISO. Since Tri-X was a 400 speed film, that’s what I went with and also used Center-weighted metering since that was also standard on all cameras. Focus peaking was on since modern cameras don’t have the focusing aids film bodies had and I also turned on the Grid lines since one of my focusing screens had them (it was a replacement for the factory one). Used two lenses – the Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 and the Leica 45mm DG Macro f/2.8.

Eek – I forgot to post a link to the project home – click here to check out how to set up your camera for “virtual film”.

So here we go!



#1 1/250 sec @ f/7.1

Ugh. Right out of the gate I’m underexposing. Focus is ok though.


#2 1/250 sec @ f/7.1

Still badly underexposed and I should have moved or buried that little stick. Fern too centered and either I moved or the breeze was too much for the shutter speed because the fern isn’t crisp.



#3 1/250 sec @ f/7.1

Fern better placed, still have annoying stick, but at least the focus is better. Alas not the exposure.



#4 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Focus was critical here and I got it, but oh so dark. Good composition.



#5 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Slightly zoomed in, focus and placement still good, but oh that damn exposure.



#6 1/640 sec @ f/4

Better exposure and a less distracting background because I opened up a bit.



#7 1/640 sec @ f/4

Cute, but too deep a subject for handholding at wider apertures. Not enough in focus for it to work. Underexposed.



#8 1/640 sec @ f/4

Same problems, but better positioning. Annoying little sticks that I should have tried to bury under more snow. Focus is in a weird spot – it’s in the back. Bleah.



#9 1/640 sec @ f/4

Still terribly underexposed and the framing isn’t quite right. Good focus point and the open aperture combined with subject distance made for a reasonable background.

#10 1/640 sec @ f/4

Obviously I like this scene and remember changing up my focus which is still good, but the framing is still not great.



#11 1/640 sec @ f/4

Better framing and exposure, but missed the focus badly. Also could have shifted to cover some distractions in the back, which I did in the next shot.



#12 1/640 sec @ f/4

Noticed the background and shifted a little which is good. Focus point is still in the wrong place though.

#13 1/640 sec @ f/4

My catnip! A basswood samara in snow! Needs more exposure, but placement and focus is good.



#14 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Worse exposure, all else is similar.



#15 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Good focus, needs more exposure & should have covered up or removed that little speck.



#16 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Better composition, problems remain.



#17 1/400 sec @ f/5.6

Terrific focus and background, nothing a little crop and exposure lift wouldn’t fix.



#18 1/640 sec @ f/4.5

Better composition, but worse focus.



#19 1/640 sec @ f/4.5

Was going for a light presentation here, but didn’t quite get it. Focus is off a bit and that upper corner has to go.



#20 1/640 sec @ f/4

Better altogether. Might be the best SOOC shot of the bunch.



#21 1/125 sec @ f/8

Deeper subject needs a deeper DOF so I played with focus points a little bit. Decided this wasn’t the right composition so…



#22 1/125 sec @ f/8

Better composition and an easier part of the fern to capture in a single frame with greater DOF.



#23 1/125 sec @ f/8

Playing with focus points and slight compositional change.



#24 1/125 sec @ f/8

Better composition, decent focus.



#25 1/125 sec @ f/7.1

A bump in exposure is good. Don’t love the little bits creeping in at the edges. Shifted focus to the end of the middle frond which needed to happen.



#26 1/100 sec @ f/9

Not bad. A little dark, but the focus is where it needs to be.




#27 1/100 sec @ f/9

A little tilt to add more interest. Should have gotten rid of the little specks or dropped a bit of snow on them. Focus good.



#28 1/100 sec @ f/9

Getting closer meant I needed to raise exposure even more, but I didn’t. Bah. These wild garlic blossoms are really fun. Focus isn’t quite as good as the others.



#29 1/250 sec @ f/6.3

Since this one was not buried in snow I needed to up the shutter speed. Good background. Focus point should be on the leading flowers though.



#30 1/250 sec @ f/6.3

Better focus point, but still bad in terms of exposure.



#31 1/250 sec @ f/6.3

Don’t know why I bothered with this one. It’s at a bad angle and too odd. Good background and focus though.


#32 1/160 sec @ f/9

Did a good job getting as parallel to the fern as I could. Stopped down as much as I thought I should given the conditions, but it’s still underexposed.



#33 1/160 sec @ f/9

Better composition, but not much change.


#34 1/160 sec @ f/9

Even better composition. Slightly different focus, but I wanted to keep in the center of the fronds which I think works since it showed the most area of the plant covered with crisp focus.



#35 1/160 sec @ f/8

Cool angles to this and a relatively clean snow surface. Still not enough exposure, but I like the composition.



#36 1/160 sec @ f/8

Slightly better composition, but I should have opened two stops in aperture. The scene is not so deep that I need f/8 here. Good focus still.


Lesson most definitely learned. I REALLY need to overexpose when it comes to making these jpegs. So here are a few that I think work best with a little exposure added and in some cases, cropping, too.








So I guess if I was nice to my technician or was doing my own processing, I could have salvaged this roll of film. I can’t explain why they all look faintly pink. A weird thing with making a jpeg out of camera? I don’t shoot enough jpeg to really know. But it was a fun little experiment and one I’ll have to try again soon before I forget exactly how much I need to overexpose these.


2 thoughts on “DFC Roll #5

Add yours

  1. A very interesting challenge to set yourself. I particularly like the concept and will have to try my own version of shooting a virtual roll of film. Best wishes for 2023.

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