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64T vs vision200, 500 etc


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#1 Brant Collins

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:49 AM

I am a commercial producer and have done all of my work on DVCPRO, and mini dv from XL-1 to Panasonic DVX100. I have been told I am a good shooter/director and a very good editor. What I hate is when I show up to do a production clients think that since I am using a "pro sumer" camera they whant to know how much it cost so they can shoot it themselves> They never ask about lighting, audio, editing etc.

So I am ready to move up to film and break away from the DV pack(give myself a little more value). I have looked at all the Super8 vs 16mm. I have a good super 8 and will sync audio in post. Once I feel comfortable I will move to 16mm.

So here is my question..I am shooting a short how big a difference in Color reversal and color negitive. I plan on get a few rolls and doing some test but just need a little more info.(pros-cons) I will be transfering to be edited in FCP.

Please no Super 8 vs 16mm or 10bit vs SD transfers(I have read all those posts) just the film stock

Thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:41 PM

Color negative is more better suited for telecine transfers to video, due to its lower contrast / wider exposure latitude. However, considering the small size of the Super-8 frame, using the slowest-speed stocks that are practical is a good idea (it's a good idea in general, actually.)

Shoot color reversal if you want a higher-contrast color reversal look or want to project the original.

The problem is that Kodak has only released 200T and 500T in Super-8; slower-speed stocks like 50D and 100T have to be bought from companies like Pro8mm.

There is a tendency for the reversal stocks to look a little sharper and finer-grained than the color negative stocks, mainly due to their higher contrast, but it's also because most of the color reversal stocks are so slow in speed. And you can add more contrast to a negative image in post.
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#3 Brant Collins

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:32 PM

Thanks David. One shot I want to do will be in a parking garage at night going for something like the first fight scene in Highlander. Are speeds like still photos? Faster film for low light?

Thank you so much for helping.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:23 PM

Yes.

You'll probably need 500T and a fast lens if you aren't planning on adding much light.
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#5 Brant Collins

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 10:42 PM

Yes.

You'll probably need 500T and a fast lens if you aren't planning on adding much light.


I seen in the production post you did the commercial on the water. Someone mentioned using a dSLR to meter with, I have a Nikon D100 and a D70, can I do the same for Super8?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:05 AM

I seen in the production post you did the commercial on the water. Someone mentioned using a dSLR to meter with, I have a Nikon D100 and a D70, can I do the same for Super8?


Well, I meter with a light meter. The dSLR approach is more of a double-check, a preview. Sure, it can work with Super-8 as long as you shoot some tests to see if you need to compensate / offset your still camera's ASA rating or shutter speed to match more closely to how your Super-8 camera will expose.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:50 AM

I'm a bit perplexed by your original question. Others are happy and impressed by your work but only want to know what you spent so they can do the same thing.

Tell them you spent $15,000 dollars on your set-up and that you offer a production consulting service for $500.00 (paid up front). If they decide to hire you for a gig, the $500.00 can be applied towards the job providing the consulting wasn't a full day thing.

I think it's commendable that you want to try and switch to film, best of all is to offer both services.

I've seen some really nice examples of 200T that was transferred by Spectra Film & Video, perhaps they can send you a demo DVD.
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#8 Filip Plesha

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:01 AM

Color negative is more better suited for telecine transfers to video, due to its lower contrast / wider exposure latitude. However, considering the small size of the Super-8 frame, using the slowest-speed stocks that are practical is a good idea (it's a good idea in general, actually.)

Shoot color reversal if you want a higher-contrast color reversal look or want to project the original.

The problem is that Kodak has only released 200T and 500T in Super-8; slower-speed stocks like 50D and 100T have to be bought from companies like Pro8mm.

There is a tendency for the reversal stocks to look a little sharper and finer-grained than the color negative stocks, mainly due to their higher contrast, but it's also because most of the color reversal stocks are so slow in speed. And you can add more contrast to a negative image in post.



There is a difference between increasing contrast on low contrast film and starting with a high contrast film in the first place.

In both ways, the grain has its natural amplitude in the begining. When increasing contrast in low contrast material you also increase the amplitude of the grain along with the amplitude of all other variations in density in the image.
So increasing contrast in low con films gives more grain then starting with high contrast films.
The effect on grain is no different than when push processing.

I think negative is best used for what it is: a lower contrast film image
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:18 AM

Grain is most visible in flat areas of midtone, so the more you eliminate midtones by creating a high contrast image, the harder it is to see the grain, plus the impression is of a sharper image.
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#10 Filip Plesha

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:59 PM

Grain is most visible in flat areas of midtone, so the more you eliminate midtones by creating a high contrast image, the harder it is to see the grain, plus the impression is of a sharper image.


That may be a good argument for proving that high contrast reversal films feel less grainy, but
with negative film you are still amplifying the grain together with the image.
That's the reason why push processed films have more grain.
Are you saying that grain is less visible when you push process? I wouldn't say so
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#11 Brant Collins

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:13 PM

I'm a bit perplexed by your original question. Others are happy and impressed by your work but only want to know what you spent so they can do the same thing.

Tell them you spent $15,000 dollars on your set-up and that you offer a production consulting service for $500.00 (paid up front). If they decide to hire you for a gig, the $500.00 can be applied towards the job providing the consulting wasn't a full day thing.

I think it's commendable that you want to try and switch to film, best of all is to offer both services.

I've seen some really nice examples of 200T that was transferred by Spectra Film & Video, perhaps they can send you a demo DVD.


I work for a Broadcast company(local TV spots) and we do not charge that way. There is something about our culture that bigger gear means better product. We do not have jibs, dollys so we make that up with creativity. I want to start my own production company but to get higher rates I need something else. Clients and Agencies get stuck on words like HD, jib, steady-cam, etc. I joke all the time about getting something like a Canon x1hd and put follow focus, matte boxes just to make it look more impressive(just frustrating sometimes). Of the big three production houses here all started with film and got national work. They now do HD more but it is very expensive HD equipment but if they need to shoot film they rent the camera they need and go.
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#12 steve hyde

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:27 PM

Hi Brant,

David is offering some great insights here that are in check with my own, albeit limited, experiences with these stocks. My first test rolls of 7280 (64T) are just off to telecine this week so I can't make informed comparisons of the stocks.

I do agree with David that graininess can be reduced by creating contrast through lighting. Here is an example a couple of shots I made with a Nikon R 10 camera on 7218 (500T) The first shot the lens was open to 1.8 and I asked the lab to push the film one stop. The second shot is a macro made on 7217 (200T) and processed normal. The last shot is from the 7218 roll that was pushed +1. All three shots were filmed at 54fps in a low light space.

http://steve-hyde.co...neg_results.mov

This particular example was transfered on a Shadow Telecine that is equiped with a *real* super 8 gate. (many rank machines use modified gates for super 8)

The example is highly compressed, but it is what I have on line at the moment for reference. When I get my 7280 tests back I will post some results.

hope this is useful,

Steve
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#13 Brant Collins

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:06 PM

Thank you for the clips, interested to see the 64t. Who is doing your developing and telecine?
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#14 steve hyde

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:27 PM

Thank you for the clips, interested to see the 64t. Who is doing your developing and telecine?



I use Forde Labs here in Seattle. This telecine was done by FSFT Flying Spot Film Transfer - also in Seattle.
If you want to work with telecined footage rather than projecting the camera original, I think you will find color negatives to be the easiest and will yeild the most consistantly useable images.

64T is a film that is designed for making photographic copies of visual works of art. The film has an amazing capacity to accurately render colors without oversaturating them. It will be a great film for Super 8 projection, but will require a lot of light to make good images. The 64T emulsion is not really designed for contemporary motion picture workflows. It's a still camera film.

I will use it mostly for projection not telecine.

Steve
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#15 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 06:54 PM

When you said Shadow that's who I guessed. They do nice work. Some Kodachrome they've done is pretty good too - so it'll be interesting to see how the 64T looks.

All going to prove a good machine & colorist is as important if not more so than the other considerations on this & related threads.

(but if they use a Thomson how come they're still called Flying Spot ? :D )

-Sam
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#16 steve hyde

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 07:05 PM

When you said Shadow that's who I guessed. They do nice work. Some Kodachrome they've done is pretty good too - so it'll be interesting to see how the 64T looks.

All going to prove a good machine & colorist is as important if not more so than the other considerations on this & related threads.

(but if they use a Thomson how come they're still called Flying Spot ? :D )

-Sam



my 64t is not going to Flying Spot. I'm sending it to Cinelab in Boston for a rank (workprint). I will take my selects into FSFT for supervised color correction, image stabilization, grain reduction, power window work etc. etc. FSFT is a great for finishing, but too expensive for workprints.

Steve
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:42 PM

That may be a good argument for proving that high contrast reversal films feel less grainy, but
with negative film you are still amplifying the grain together with the image.
That's the reason why push processed films have more grain.
Are you saying that grain is less visible when you push process? I wouldn't say so


Please reread what I said.

Grain is more visible in flat areas of midtones. The more you reduce flat areas of midtones in the image, the harder it is to see the grain pattern, which is why the same film can look less grainy in a high-contrast night exterior than a low-contrast day exterior.

Anyway, my original point was that reversal tends to look less grainy and sharper because of its high contrast. Making color negative more contrasty in post can make it seem sharper. I don't think there would be any significant reduction in grain though because you generally are not going to add so much contrast that large areas of the frame go black. But I was really referring to the fact that you can improve the feeling of sharpness in negative by correcting to be more high contrast.

Grain is increased by extended development but mostly because people combine it with underexposure, thus only exposing the larger, more sensitive grains.
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#18 steve hyde

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:01 PM

David,

as a general practice do you cut the recomended EI in half when shooting color negatives to ensure exposure of the less sensitive finer grains or do you shoot the recommended EI?

Steve
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:53 PM

As a general rule, I rate color negative 2/3's of a stop slower for material to be printed, but only 1/3 of a stop for material to be telecine transferred or scanned. The trouble with rating a whole stop slower is that you might be better off just using the next slower-speed stock, unless the high density is more for getting deeper blacks in the print, not for reducing grain.
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#20 Steve Wallace

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:52 AM

As a general rule, I rate color negative 2/3's of a stop slower for material to be printed, but only 1/3 of a stop for material to be telecine transferred or scanned. The trouble with rating a whole stop slower is that you might be better off just using the next slower-speed stock, unless the high density is more for getting deeper blacks in the print, not for reducing grain.


Steve,
In addition to what David said above (and I'm sure he knows this :) ). If your negative is too dense in the telecine stage, they usually have to add additional gain to get a usable picture. So it is better to telecine flat, and manipulate the contrasts through post production, then to transfer a contrasty image.
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