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View Poll Results: How many good frames do you need from a 36 frame roll to be happy?
1 125 23.58%
2 65 12.26%
3 81 15.28%
4 62 11.70%
5 43 8.11%
6+ 154 29.06%
Voters: 530. You may not vote on this poll

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How many shots per roll are you happy with?
Old 09-02-2008   #1
totifoto
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How many shots per roll are you happy with?

If you shoot a 36 frame roll how many frames do you have to get from that roll to be happy?

If I get one that is perfect I´m happy but I wanna get at least 5 good frame from a roll.

When I shoot 6X6 I wanna get at least 3.
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Old 09-02-2008   #2
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Blimey, if I got one in ten rolls that is "perfect" I'd be ecstatic! TBH I don't think I've ever taken a perfect photo, but I think I know what you mean ;-)

Anything above a couple of 'keeper' shots out of a 36 exp film I would regard as a good return.

Cheers.

Last edited by MickH : 09-02-2008 at 14:22. Reason: Spelink
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Old 09-02-2008   #3
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I'm happy if I get at least one photo that I like well enough to have printed. I usually have about 5 that I will upload to my flickr account that are okay.
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Old 09-02-2008   #4
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I always average a bit under one "winner" per roll. No matter if it is a 36 exposure roll of 35mm or 10 exposure roll of 120.

If my average got higher than that, I would begin to wonder if I am editing tight enough.
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Old 09-02-2008   #5
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It is Zero for most rolls it is possible to keep up continuing to shoot more rolls. Is it not what we are doing?
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Old 09-02-2008   #6
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at least one excellent, if not it is considered pure a test roll (to be forgotten soon)
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Old 09-02-2008   #7
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I need 3 but if I get even 1 that is a triple A winner I would be happy. The problem is the 1 winner I get is usually not the one I thought it would be, which means I get zero intentional winners.
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Old 09-02-2008   #8
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5 that I don't want to delete immediately, that's a good roll.

I had a roll once with like ten that I actually LIKED. That was an awesome day!
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Old 09-02-2008   #9
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I want more the 50% to be ok technically (focus, exposure).

Beyond that there are too many variables. I get alot more "misses" (composition/timing wise) with street since I can't control much. I'd say I want to get 3-5 street shots that I'd be happy with scanning to and showing others, per roll.

If I'm shooting landscape, or architecture (or anything more formal) I end up with a MUCH higher percentage of usable shots.

Likewise, if I'm shooting 120 or large format, the percentage goes way up, since I pre-edit alot of shots before they're taken.

Winners are another matter altogether. But I know for a fact that I have an absurd number of negatives in various formats filed away (from the last 15 years of shooting, pro and personal), and my active portfolio is fewer than 25 images. So - the math is against me.
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Old 09-02-2008   #10
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It makes me happy if I've got the exposure correct on at at least half of the shots in a roll and often I'll get a roll where ninety percent of the exposures are good. The fact that maybe there's nothing there that pleases me artistically doesn't bother me too much at this stage because IMO those type of shots are a little rare at the best of times. Knowing that I have exposure sorted is far more important than producing stunners because when the good shots leap out at me after scanning (not often enough) ... control of exposure is a real bonus and to me a poor exposure will kill a potentially good pic more often than a small focussing error.
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Old 09-02-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
I had a roll once with like ten that I actually LIKED. That was an awesome day!
i know that feeling!
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Old 09-02-2008   #12
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I have low standards so I would say up to 75%
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Old 09-02-2008   #13
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It depends on what I'm shooting. If its street, maybe one shot out of every ten or 15 rolls that I would show other people. Portraits and other stuff is much higher.
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Old 09-02-2008   #14
mh2000
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actaully, I only shoot 24ex rolls... and for that, about 3 really good shoots seems to be plenty... so I voted 5 for a 36ex... people really like shooting 36 ex rolls?
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Old 09-02-2008   #15
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I expect to get half or more that are properly exposed/focused but am happy if 3 are keepers..
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Old 09-02-2008   #16
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mmm.. interesting, it seems that exposure issues are a concern to quite a few of you, to me not so much, in fact as long as Im within two stops and focus is reasonably accurate, blur, grain, exposure just doesn't seem to bother me at all. Im very critical however of what is in those frames. Technically, everything is achievable, aesthetically- well thats a different matter... its much more critical, to me, to have an image that speaks, and if it speaks, then the language of technology is no barrier.
I dont know if this makes any sense to anyone other than me, but Im trying to convey a psychology that weighs toward the art and less the tech... Thats why i went back to film, because the cameras are implicitly simplicity!
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Old 09-02-2008   #17
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My problem is that I knew it was going to be crap before tripping the shutter.
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Old 09-02-2008   #18
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It only takes 1 that I'd like to print to make me happy really.
On the other hand, if I don't come away with 4 or 5 that are good enough to share, I feel I haven't made the best of the situation.
It's not about wasting film so much as wasting the opportunity.
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Old 09-02-2008   #19
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3 keepers on a roll of 36 exposures, or slightly fewer than 1 in 10. It's late though and one reasons in this mental state at one's own peril, but it seems to me that when you read the results above that everyone who says, say "3" also has 2 and 1 shots per roll that are keepers . . .

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Old 09-02-2008   #20
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It's interesting to venture into large format where each exposure takes a little time and involves a certain routine (not good for street photography I realise) ... it makes 35mm film seem like digital does when you shoot 35mm film!
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Old 09-02-2008   #21
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4 or 5 keepers in a 36 roll on average that I'd upload to my flickr. It'd be great to have 1 winner per roll, but it's more like 1 in every 3 rolls for me at this point.
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Old 09-02-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh2000 View Post
people really like shooting 36 ex rolls?
Actually, I feel cheated if I get less than 38. For some reason when I shoot commercial 36-exp rolls with my M3, I always get a few extra. typically 38, but sometimes 39, and once 41!

As for keepers per roll, 2-3 seems to be my average. That's good enough for me.
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Old 09-02-2008   #23
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I prefer 24-exp rolls to 36, but when I rolled my own I made 'em 30-exp. As to "keepers" per roll, I don't count, but I'm happy with whatever good ones appear, and the occasional one that is really satisfying. For some reason, though, what I think is really satisfying is often not admired by others...
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Old 09-03-2008   #24
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Film was scarce in India, and expensive, when I started out. We were told, in effect, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes."
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Old 09-03-2008   #25
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five or six are looking good after developing and scanning. But mostly just one or two keeper in the end.
Sometimes I am not carefull so something went wrong or if I test a new lens and don t like the results.
So I am happy with one or two to keep and look at quite after some time.

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Old 09-03-2008   #26
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My standards have risen through the years. I'm happy with 1-2 per roll.
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Old 09-03-2008   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziz View Post
My standards have risen through the years. I'm happy with 1-2 per roll.
Funny I have the exact opposite problem. The more I learn the more self critical I become.
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Old 09-03-2008   #28
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At least 6 good (+) images per roll for the task at hand.
After 35 years behind the camera I should perhaps expect more.

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Old 09-03-2008   #29
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There is a big difference between perfect and keeper. I don't know what is meant by perfect but I get a good many keepers.
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Old 09-03-2008   #30
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Most of my shots are OK technically, but if I get 3-4 photos I really like to look at on a roll - OK then. Funny thing is, this 3-4 holds for 120 - which is a pretty high pecentage. Then 4 x 5 - well I like about every other one, almost 50%. My 5 x 7 - well it's like magic, I just love most of the shots!
Yes, it's magic - the magic of self-editing and pre-visualization. I need more of that in my 35mm and digital work....

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Old 09-03-2008   #31
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Quote:"There is a big difference between perfect and keeper. I don't know what is meant by perfect but I get a good many keepers."

I guess there is a big difference between keeper and keeper, depending on who you are asking.

Perfect? Can a photograph be perfect? That would be a good thread of its own...Show me a perfect photograph (yours, or that of another).

Cheers,
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Old 09-03-2008   #32
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It depends on what I'm shooting. If I'm just shooting for pure pleasure, if I get one great one per roll, I'm very happy, if I get two, I'm tickled pink.

If I do some special project though, like a walk-through of a neighborhood for a photo blog, I expect to get more ready-for-prime-time shots.
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Old 09-05-2008   #33
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how could one tell? this is soo much different from session to session ... depends on how I feel, how the situations are, what I am able to see today. There are films with 10-15 shots I like - and films with no shot or 1 shot. There are films which contain a "great shot", and those which contain only mediocre ones.

Cheers, dacaccia
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Old 09-05-2008   #34
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With my manual 35mm cameras, I am happy if most of the frames are evenly exposed and I didn't forget to take the lens cap off. As long as each roll is slightly better than the previous I'm pretty happy... But at this point film and processing is cheap so I don't have any problems with shooting a lot.
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Old 09-05-2008   #35
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6 picture out of 36 with 35 mm

4 out of 12 with medium format
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Old 09-05-2008   #36
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it depends on the event or lack thereof, for me.

An Italian auto show I attended recently resulted in almost all hits, meaning I captured on film pretty much exactly what I envisioned.

A music/art/photography outdoor event I attended last summer resulted in a couple halfway decent shots out of ~48 shots/two rolls.

A Bastille Day street festival last summer yielded a complete roll of personal accomplishments

A trip to the corner coffee shop or local bar generally yields a shot or two per day/(1/2 roll), but that's the place I go to experiment with hip shots, timer shots, over- & under-exposure, etc.

A once-in-a-lifetime trip to NYC, Europe, etc. yields very few wasted film out of perhaps three rolls/72 frames.

I think alot depends on how I feel about the scene. If it's nothing special really, I am finding the limits of what works and what I can and cannot do. If it is something I am excited about and have limited film, I make every shot count, using all I learned from the coffee shop experiments and bar shots.

There's times I am experimenting and times I am playing for real. I experiment so I can get the shot when it counts. I guess I don't really consider "keeper ratios" in the sense most of you seem to.

Last edited by 40oz : 09-06-2008 at 00:58.
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Old 09-05-2008   #37
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On a trip last year, I used approx 25 rolls (36 exposures each) and thought that about 25 shots were decent. So the math indicates about 3% hit rate. I'm happy with that.
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Old 09-07-2008   #38
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I used to think if I didn't get at least 10 on a 36 roll that I really liked that I wasn't doing well. This was quite detrimental to my hobby and it became more like work... and work that I was failing at. I ended up having a hiatus for a couple of months and ever since I came back to it I have a totally different mind set.

I voted 1 because its nice to that 1 good one from a roll that you can pin up. But my feeling is that if I ENJOYED shooting the roll then it was a success, even if there are no good photos.

I enjoy photography alot more now
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Old 09-07-2008   #39
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My WOW pictures from 5 years ago are throw-aways today.
Ansel Adams was satisfied with one realy good picture a year.
Winogrand shot several 100.000 frames while the iconic pictures we know from all those years of hard labour is probably less than 0.001% he shot.
How many Kertesz pictures do we know about 200-300 -400 ....... from 50 years photography!
Yes when asked to shoot a wedding or some portraits of friends with a fixed goal i would want at least 6 good frames from a role. But no way near that for personal work that realy counts. I think for that kind of work 1 out of 35 is far to ambitious.
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Old 09-07-2008   #40
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I think a better question is "how many rolls per keeper?"

I haven't been photographing terribly long and have only shot a couple hundred rolls of film, but I have yet to have one I'm truly satisfied with yet.
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