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Low speed film


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#1 filmguy

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 08:08 PM

I'm thinking of shooting super 16mm in a house in Florida. The house is constructed with large floor to ceiling glass windows and allows for much natural light. Does it seem possible to shoot inside with low speed day light balanced film (Fuji 64 or Kodak 50)? Should I stick to medium speed film for this set-up instead? Any thoughts?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 08:31 PM

I'm thinking of shooting super 16mm in a house in Florida. The house is constructed with large floor to ceiling glass windows and allows for much natural light. Does it seem possible to shoot inside with low speed day light balanced film (Fuji 64 or Kodak 50)? Should I stick to medium speed film for this set-up instead? Any thoughts?


The slow and medium speed daylight stocks are close enough that you can use this as a chance to test both. Scenes staged near the windows looking out at the landscape can probably be shot on the 50D or 64D stocks, and a scene staged farther away from the windows and looking inwards more, especially if it gets overcast outside, could be shot on the 250D stocks.

I wouldn't buy ONLY the slow stock in case you lose a lot of natural daylight.
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#3 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 08:44 PM

The slow and medium speed daylight stocks are close enough that you can use this as a chance to test both. Scenes staged near the windows looking out at the landscape can probably be shot on the 50D or 64D stocks, and a scene staged farther away from the windows and looking inwards more, especially if it gets overcast outside, could be shot on the 250D stocks.

I wouldn't buy ONLY the slow stock in case you lose a lot of natural daylight.



Good call. Either way, I'd have a mattebox with ND filters on stand by.

The kodak Vision 2 250D stock looks fantastic. I'd use that, since it might be more versatile, when relying on sunlight.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 08:52 PM

If the light coming through the window is strong, direct light, it may be possible to use 50ASA stock. However, a 250ASA daylight stock will work better with indirect daylight, and will probably give you a much longer shooting window(no pun intended). Be sure to get some light readings from the specific shooting area before you order your stock.
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#5 Robert Edge

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 09:01 PM

If you have access to the house, which it sounds like you may, here is what I would do.

I'd go over there with two friends, a digital camera and a big piece of white foamcore.

I'd put the camera on shutter priority at 1/50 of a second. I'd tell one friend that his or her job is to bounce light off the foamcore and I'd tell the other friend that his or her job is to play model.

Then I'd take a bunch of photos, each of them bracketed, at various ASA settings.

At the end of the shoot, I'd take both victims out for a beer.

Then I'd go home, load the photos onto a cumputer, and have a look at the photos and their histograms. If the photos weren't taken at the time of day and lighting conditions under which I wanted to film, which of course would be ideal, I'd then do some extrapolating.

Of course, this is the long way of arriving at the advice that David Mullen and others have already given.
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#6 filmguy

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 09:06 PM

If the light coming through the window is strong, direct light, it may be possible to use 50ASA stock. However, a 250ASA daylight stock will work better with indirect daylight, and will probably give you a much longer shooting window(no pun intended). Be sure to get some light readings from the specific shooting area before you order your stock.

Would some tota lights (750 w 120v) with gels be enough added light (in addition to the windows) for a good exposure on the slowest speed films? Also does anyone have an opinion on these Litepanel lights? I believe they are on board lights and are daylight balanced. Perhaps these with the windows?
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#7 Robert Edge

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 10:50 PM

Speaking for myself, If I want natural light and it means that I need to shoot at ASA 250, that is what I will do.

Natural light is highly transient/variable. You don't have forever and a day to muck around with supplemental sources beyond basic bounce or diffusion material. You must be willing to wait for the moment, seize the moment or make do with what you have.

Using artificial light and the rigamarole that it entails to bring a 250 ASA moment of natural light down to a 50 ASA moment is not a way that I, personally, want to spend time.

Last summer, I had an afternoon to take some large format and medium format photographs from an apartment overlooking Central Park. It is very difficult to get access to this kind of location. We had one shot at it. We spent a lot of time setting up the shots and then a lot of time waiting for the right light. We had film for both cameras at a couple of ASAs, some white card and a ladder. When the time came, we had, from a lighting point of view, about 30 minutes to do the photos. As a practical matter, supplemental artificial light was out of the question, and even if it were feasible, would have resulted in very different photographs.

I am genuinely interested in knowing whether others disagree with this post, in whole or in part.
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#8 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 11:13 PM

250D with an ND6 "makes" it 50, right?

Edited by Jmetzger, 27 January 2006 - 11:13 PM.

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 11:16 PM

250D with an ND6 "makes" it 50, right?

64
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#10 Robert Edge

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 12:08 AM

64


Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the suggestion that one would us ASA 50 film plus artificial lighting such as Tota Lights to get enough light because it will enable one to use an emulsion that one thinks will result in superior quality to ASA 250.

I think that that is a questionable strategy, both practically and aesthetically.

Sorry, but I was trying to talk about choice of emulsions for natural light, and the practical consequences of trying to mix artificial light and natural light, not neutral density filters.

My point, which I thought was reasonably clear, was simply that if I wanted to use natural light, I would rather use ASA 250 stock than ASA 50 stock plus artificial light. That's all.
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#11 Chien Huey

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 01:25 AM

Also does anyone have an opinion on these Litepanel lights? I believe they are on board lights and are daylight balanced. Perhaps these with the windows?


The Litepanel on-board lights are nice - infinitely dimmable w/o color temp change, runs cool, and pretty energy-efficient. But they're a pricey rental and thus has a high dollar-to-footcandle ratio (meaning lots of dollars for relatively little light). You may want to consider daylight-balanced Kino Flos or even a small HMI (575 or 1200 that can run off house power). You'd have more flexibility than you would with a Litepanel for the same money.

As far as using the 50 vs. the 250 stock, I'd lean towards the 250 simply because you could run out of light fast. And this would be regardless of whether or not I had supplemental lighting.
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#12 filmguy

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 11:43 AM

The Litepanel on-board lights are nice - infinitely dimmable w/o color temp change, runs cool, and pretty energy-efficient. But they're a pricey rental and thus has a high dollar-to-footcandle ratio (meaning lots of dollars for relatively little light). You may want to consider daylight-balanced Kino Flos or even a small HMI (575 or 1200 that can run off house power). You'd have more flexibility than you would with a Litepanel for the same money.

As far as using the 50 vs. the 250 stock, I'd lean towards the 250 simply because you could run out of light fast. And this would be regardless of whether or not I had supplemental lighting.

I'm a new member and I just wanted to say that this is a great forum. I really appreciate the advice and feed back. Thank you! I think I will go with the 250 stock. Initially I was thinking about a possible blow-up to 35mm, but others have said the grain on 250 is not bad. That is probably the way to go. Thanks. Does anyone have thoughts on Fuji medium stock vs. kodak medium stock? I was leaning towards Fuji.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 11:54 AM

I'm a new member and I just wanted to say that this is a great forum. I really appreciate the advice and feed back. Thank you! I think I will go with the 250 stock. Initially I was thinking about a possible blow-up to 35mm, but others have said the grain on 250 is not bad. That is probably the way to go. Thanks. Does anyone have thoughts on Fuji medium stock vs. kodak medium stock? I was leaning towards Fuji.


The Kodak 7205 is very good but Fuji just released their new 250D stock in the Eterna line. I suspect that the grain will be similar to Kodak's, but the image will look slightly softer and be less contrasty, just like Eterna 500T versus Kodak 7218.
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Metropolis Post

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Opal

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine