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Daniel Askelad

Getting Exposure Right with Auto-exposure Super 8 Camera

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Hi everyone. I'm pretty new to shooting on film. I recently bagged myself a Yashica Super-60E and want to produce some footage on it.

I need some exposure advice. Now, if my knowledge of exposing non-digital wasn't limited enough, this camera is auto-exposure. It has three "brightness control" settings (Spotlight, Normal & Backlight), which the manual claims can push the camera around one-stop in either direction. There's an in-view meter, which will roll to red if under-exposed, or otherwise will usually sit somewhere between f4 and f2.8 levels. The manual also claims that it's impossible to over-expose... could that be true?

So - now assume you're talking to an idiot (you are) - what tips and advice can you fine people offer to get the best exposure results from my footage?

Thanks a lot in advance for any input and your patience with a novice.

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There's no exposure lock button?

 

This old thread suggests there is a way of locking the exposure:

http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=35498

 

Since the camera meters through the lens based on the ASA notch on the cartridge, you can use the zoom lens as a sort of spot meter, zoom in to the area you want exposed normally and then lock it there and zoom out. Note where the f-stop needle is when you zoom in to that area in case it moves. This way you don't have to deal with the backlit / spotlit settings unless you want to overall open up or close down a stop.

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There's no exposure lock button?

 

This old thread suggests there is a way of locking the exposure:

http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=35498

 

 

 

Thanks for this find, David, but what this fellow suggests is not how I understand what the instruction manual says. You can set exposure before you film by lightly depressing the trigger (and this, by the way, is very difficult without accidentally triggering the shutter), but it doesn't lock the exposure, it's still free to change while filming. I'm not entirely sure that the exposure's still working correctly in my camera - as it seems reluctant to move in some situations! I hope I'm wrong. A test cartridge will clear it up I suppose...

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Well, personally I wouldn't use a camera without an exposure lock button -- I mean, what do you do when you pan through a dark area?

 

This is a good point, and certainly something to consider. If this proves to be the case in the test roll, we're simply going to have to storyboard around such things - keep the light constant. There are moments in our short script where someone turns out a light, so these moments will definitely have to be reworked if the exposure's just going to re-gauge itself. I know what you're thinking, just buy another camera. But things ain't so easy to source down here in Mexico, and we're on a budget of around zero. Plus, the constraints of the medium are a challenge I'd like to overcome. This way when I get a budget I'll be more resourceful.

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