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Leicina Special + ST-1 time exposures


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#21 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:17 PM

I am currently in negotiations with Todd-AO here in London for a more sizeable HD Telecine project using 10-bit uncompressed direct to hard disk.

I have been shown a testreel of Super 8 7217 that was (as I would need it to be for my purposes) pillardboxed to accomodate the full 1:1.33 Super 8 frame and I must say it did blow me away. The texture, photographic layering of the emulsion comes out beautifully, and there is no trace of "that" coarse-grainy look if one does not want it to be there. Plus: color-grading achieves amazing results when a talented person does it.

I came to the conclusion that Super 8 has actually much more potential than Kodak allows it to have. And Rochester just started to take it serious as a cinematographic medium 2 years ago...

It is very impressive what one can get out of Super 8 if you take the production chain serious and don't get booged down in those "half-good is good enough for S8" ideas.

There was a huge debate here last year whether such an approach - I call it now "Santo's method" - is meaningful. But Daniel's "Halogenuros" project that 4K'd Super 8 showcased it most positively. And what I have seen so far on "merely" uncompressed HD plus downconverted media-output on Blu-ray Disc, Super 8 can really develop a cinematographic material-aesthetic outside that "1970s-family-film" stereotype it is mostly known and used for today in the industry.


For those doing high end work but can't afford HD, uncompressed or digital betacam, betacam sp is a very solid video transfer format to work with as well. I've now seen 6 hours of super-8 transfer footage and all of the characteristics described above exist even when super-8 film is transferred to betacam sp.
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#22 Alan Lasky

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:26 PM

I thought it would be a night-scene with long opening-times because you said time exposure.


No there is both. The time lapse stuff is fine. I have both manuals and that works well; I have been shooting tons of exterior time lapse with no problems at all. The Leicina/ST-1 combo is great for time-lapse, it works despite the crazy symbology on the ST-1 (not exactly ergonomics, but hey it was 1977 they were probably listening to PHYSICAL GRAFFITI and partying hard so we can let it go). :huh:

The TIME EXPOSURE stuff is tricky because neither manual really explains what is going on with the shutter in TIME EXPOSURE mode. I will be shooting night exterior in TIME EXPOSURE mode. That is where the Leicina falls short. I am trying to control the exposure time so I can manually set the T-stop but I am not even sure how the shutter is timing the open/close duration. I looked at the Nizo Pro, it may be a better choice for the TIME EXPOSURE so I am trying to hunt one down.

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#23 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 02:11 PM

The TIME EXPOSURE stuff is tricky because neither manual really explains what is going on with the shutter in TIME EXPOSURE mode.


Watch the red light on the side of the camera, when it's on shutter is open, when it's off shutter is closed. Open and close duration are always the same. The numbers on the controller are not good for judging the exposure time, it's better to mesure the duration of the red light or listen to the clicks...

Set your the modeknob to "T", and try it manual. First trigger will open the shutter, second trigger will close it, third will open it etc... By doing this you should understand how the mechanisme works in "T-mode". It took me also a while to get it.

I looked at the Nizo Pro, it may be a better choice for the TIME EXPOSURE so I am trying to hunt one down.


If it doesn't matter that open and close duration are always the same then you don't need a nizo. Otherwise some other nizos do time-exposure. If you don't need the zoom going to 80mm you will be also happy with a 481, 560, 561...
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#24 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 04:33 PM

If it doesn't matter that open and close duration are always the same then you don't need a nizo.


:blink:

Otherwise some other nizos do time-exposure. If you don't need the zoom going to 80mm you will be also happy with a 481, 560, 561...


...however, if you actually think that
- optics do matter in cinematography
- accept that lenses have different degrees of quality
- people not only choose a lens according to the zoom length
- that optical resolving power of a lens particularly matters in extreme lighting conditions
- and that yes, all above aspects are not only relevant when choosing between renting a Cooke S4 or an older Zeiss Prime on an Aaton 35-III, but also or even particularly for Super 8 when its about getting the maximum and not merely the optimum out of the film,

...then you wouldn't want to recommend both the Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1.8 / 8-48mm and Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1.8 / 7-56mm on the Nizo 48- and 56-moniker models, even though these cameras do offer time exposure in the Nizo line-up.
(Exception: the very good Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1.4 (!) / 7-56mm on the Nizo 2056 sound, but that cam doesn't offer time exposures).

The same counts for the Nizo 801 and 801 macro, whose Schneider 11x7mm is not identical to the one designed, manufactured and multicoated for the Nizo professional. In order to be legitimately sold in the broadcast market, the Pro features bespoke componentry, higher-quality materials and a superior lens ? differences of that kind matter.

To put it differently: although all apples have similar shape, they come in distinct varieties, and if you want to make a certain dish, then only one specific apple variety will do.
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#25 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 07:03 PM

I don't recommend time-exposure with the f-stop completely open. I am not a fan of wide open time-lapse because I think it muddies up the lights that are both in the picture and that pass through the shot. I like to stay between f 2.8 to f4.0 and adjust my durations to match accordingly when I shoot night time time-exposure.

I have seen super-8 cameras that look marginal in sharpness for time-exposure when the f-stop is completely open then look sharper once the f-stop is dropped down just a bit.
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