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black and white reversal


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#1 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 11:32 AM

hi all

what are the main visual characteristics of bw reversal film? especially on 16 mill? whats the difference with normal black and white? if it works the same way of color reversal i guess the blacks will jump out more and the latitude will be smaller...am i right?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 12:12 PM

hi all

what are the main visual characteristics of bw reversal film? especially on 16 mill? whats the difference with normal black and white? if it works the same way of color reversal i guess the blacks will jump out more and the latitude will be smaller...am i right?


Right. It has much higher contrast, with deeper blacks -- this also tends to make it look sharper and less grainy, but you really have to nail the exposures. Dust is less of a distraction since it is black instead of white.
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#3 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 02:09 PM

I just did a short on 7265, David is 100% right. I'm not sure if its accurate but Ive heard neg has 8 stops of latitude and reversal has 4. My experience says this to be pretty close, in other words, if you are more than 2 stops off you will be resurrecting the image and will have lost substantial information (and will be greatly increasing grain). I did a few shots like this on purpose to make it look authentic to the 1920's, then we maxxed out on the tk bringing a couple of shots back. But for a contemporary film, you will want to hit it right on. The reason being that although you could shift the look towards over or under, you will lose basically twice the data you normally would on the flip side of the image...

I had a shot that was a normal EXT... with an overhang in the back which I could have still picked up a bit with neg, but with reversal it ended up being black. Sorry my film is on the other comp right now all I have is this still so you can see what I mean. This was taken with a CMOS camera which would be closer to neg than a CCD would. We also shot side by side with an HC1 and it picked up the overhang area easily.

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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 03:29 PM

Right. It has much higher contrast, with deeper blacks -- this also tends to make it look sharper and less grainy, but you really have to nail the exposures. Dust is less of a distraction since it is black instead of white.


When I was at CalArts we were encouraged to shoot Double-X neg. It never looked as good as Tri-X rev..
DXN had a mushing looking grain, while TXR's grain was sharp edged and snappy.
TXR didn't merely look sharper because of the contrast, it was sharper. The specs on the Kodak data sheets bore that out.
Also the B/W rev print film, 7361, was sharper than 7302. 7361 also tunned out to be an amazing camera stock. But, alas. Are there any B/W reversal print stocks these days?

'Chang is Missing' was blown up from B/w reversal, it looks much better than 'Clerks'. The lighting or lack of in 'Clerks' didn't help it.
The TXR is the film for black leather jackets. The black is deep and the highlights glisten.
In PXR scenes in a restaurant, the menu booards on the waal in the background are sharp and readable.

---LV
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 05:44 PM

When I was at CalArts we were encouraged to shoot Double-X neg.


When were you at CalArts? When I was there (1988-1991) we were using b&w reversal for the Cinematography Workshop projects. I know recently they switched to b&w negative.
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 01:42 PM

When were you at CalArts? When I was there (1988-1991) we were using b&w reversal for the Cinematography Workshop projects. I know recently they switched to b&w negative.


I was there earlier, 1974-1977. Sandy MacKendrick was dean.
The Cinematography Workshop projects were B/W neg.
Kris had one class where individual projects were on various stocks, mine was flashed EF.
& there were individual silent semester projects that were supposed to be B/W reversal.
DXN was the principal class stock. People then wound up using it for their own projects.

Say hi to Kris for me if you see him.
---LV
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