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Lighting For B&W Short in Forest During Autumn/Winter

16mm lighting black and white film

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#1 Willem Jansen

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 05:49 PM

I'll be shooting a short hopefully this autumn or winter. It takes place in a forest and I want to shoot it in natural light. But because of the weather these upcoming months, I've started to wonder if I'm actually able to do so. For so far, I'll be using my only lens, a zoom lens which its widest aperture is f 3.8. And a 0.6 ND filter, because I love the DOF touch it gives. I'll be shooting on Vision 3 7222. What can I do to avoid using a lighting setup?

 

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 08:18 PM

You're shooting on Double-X 7222?  It's not a Vision-3 stock.  

 

I assume when the light is too low, you'll drop the ND.6 to compensate.  You really should carry at an ND set with .3, .6, .9 so you can maintain a similar stop as the light changes.  The stock is 250 ASA in daylight, so in the odd chance that you'd be shooting in direct full sunlight (unlikely in the woods but you never know), you should keep in mind the Sunny 16 rule, which is that the exposure in frontal sunlight on a clear day is f/16 when the ASA value is the same as shutter time value under 1/-, and since at 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, the time is 1/48th, which you can round up to 1/50th to see that at 50 ASA, you'd be at f/16. 250 ASA is 2 1/3-stops faster than 50 ASA, so that means that with an ND.6 on 7222, in direct sunlight on a clear day, the exposure would be 16 1/3-stop.  You'd be better off with an ND.9 at that point just to get closer to f/11.

 

And at the other end, as the light drops, you might want to go to an ND.3 as a transition between using ND.6 and no ND.

 

Once you get wide-open and the light gets even lower, you have to get clever...  You could push 7222 by a stop, it's already a grainy film but it doesn't get much worse with a 1-stop push, or if you are finishing digitally anyway, you could shoot in even lower light levels by switching to Vision-3 500T color film with a 1-stop push, which I suspect would match the grain of 7222 somewhat, plus gain you another 2-stops over 7222.

 

Or get some faster prime lenses.


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#3 Willem Jansen

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 05:43 AM

Thanks a lot, David. Much appreciated! I meant Double-X 7222 of course... my bad.

 

So let's say I would shoot on 500T, could I edit the footage to B&W in post without any bumps along the way? Which ND filter would be the best fit?

 

I've also started looking at prime lenses. Are there any fast wide angle lenses you could advice me on? I'd like to keep the price around $500 (and preferably below that).


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 05:02 PM

You carry different strengths of ND because levels in daytime will vary. Which one you use just depends on the light level and the stop you want to shoot at.  I was suggesting 500T with a one-stop push for low levels of daylight to match the 7222, so odds are in those low levels you wouldn't be using the ND filter.  But if you end up in full sunlight with 500T, then you'd need even heavier ND's, like an ND1.2 and ND1.5.

 

Ideally you'd supervise the telecine transfer of the color footage so you can turn it b&w with the amount of contrast you want.  Otherwise you'd probably get back color dailies and have to color-correct it to b&w later.  It all depends on your workflow in post and your final format.

 

You didn't say what camera you are using and what sort of mount it has.


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#5 Willem Jansen

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 05:30 PM

You didn't say what camera you are using and what sort of mount it has.

 

Eclair ACL with a C mount.

 

 

I'll have to think about what I'm gonna do. In the test footage that I shot a couple of days ago, I really noticed that with an ND filter, you get a much nicer image than without one. But, I have just one filter and I'm not really planning on buying all the others. This will be my first (short) film and actual project shooting 16mm. So I was hoping to spend the remaining money on the film stock.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 06:36 PM

All the ND.60 filter does is cut the amount of light by 2-stops, it doesn't create a "look" (assuming you are adjusting your exposure for the filter) other than allowing you to shoot at a wider lens aperture for less depth of field.  Now at the widest apertures, some lenses also get less sharp.

 

You might get lucky and the ND.6 is all you need when it's bright and you can work around the 2-stop jump when you have to pull it in low-light.

 

The thing you have to keep in mind that the exposure in the woods can vary over an extreme range.  Deep wood, heavy overcast going into dusk, it can be too dark to shoot on most film stocks.  Big patch of sun in a grove on a clear day and it is tremendously bright.  


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#7 Willem Jansen

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 07:17 PM

All the ND.60 filter does is cut the amount of light by 2-stops, it doesn't create a "look" (assuming you are adjusting your exposure for the filter) other than allowing you to shoot at a wider lens aperture for less depth of field.  Now at the widest apertures, some lenses also get less sharp.

 

The effect of the less depth of field is probably what I was referring to.

 

 

The thing you have to keep in mind that the exposure in the woods can vary over an extreme range.  Deep wood, heavy overcast going into dusk, it can be too dark to shoot on most film stocks.  Big patch of sun in a grove on a clear day and it is tremendously bright.  

 

Yeah, I'll just have to figure it all out when I'm actually going to shoot as, I of course, can't foreshadow the weather at that time. All I can hope for is that the sun will show up.

 

David, would you mind naming some fast wide angle lenses for my ACL that I could take a look at? I now only have a zoom lens, which is great, but not for every shot. If possible, around or below $500.


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 10:02 PM

Im not up on C or CA mount lenses nor their prices, sorry.
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#9 Simon Wyss

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:01 AM

When in need of light you locate a Mitchell 16. It has 235 degrees shutter open angle. A bit heavy perhaps but a very good camera. Stock needs to be perforated both sides, though.

 

Next long exposure time you have with an Eclair Caméflex (Camerette in the US) model C (16 mm), 230 degrees shutter opening angle. Then Bell & Howell Filmo 70s with serial number below 154,600; 216 degrees. Later Filmo 70s have 204 degrees. Then Paiillard-Bolex H-16 with serial number below 100,400; 190 degrees.

 

Very fast lenses. Primes, not zooms. Schneider Xenon f/0.95, Angénieux M 1 f/0.95, SOM Berthiot Cinor f/0.95, Carl Meyer Moviar f/0.95 (Burke & James), Dallmeyer Ultrac f/0.98, Dallmeyer Super Speed f/0.99, Bausch & Lomb 29 mm f/1.0, and others

 

Faster film. ORWO N 74 has 400 ISO.


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