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ETERNA vs. VISION2


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#1 J Costantini

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 05:49 PM

Hi. I'd like to hear from you about these two stocks. I've seen some tests of both but never really heard someone comparing these two 500T stocks in terms of sharpness, contrast, color rendition, latitude.

Have you tested or used these two stocks? What differences can you tell?

With all this talk about Eterna 500 showing redish skintones and shades and the labs being calibrated to Kodak film stocks I'm a bit concerned about using Eterna 500 on a future project as I was planing to.

Thanks
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 07:04 PM

Don't be. I've shot both and they're all fine stocks.

Can't really do a comparison based on what I've seen on a monitor in telecine, since everything looks good there. This is also one of my main gripes about film stock talk: if one can only see the difference in a direct A and B comparison, then what's the point of being so a**l about the choice of stocks? It's all quite academic, really.

But having to fight tooth and nails to even get 35mm these days, I tend to go for whatever is the cheapest way to swing the production into that format ('cause it'll make my work and the product look better). That often means Fuji. Not always, some of the discounts big pro-co's have can make Kodak cheaper to use, especially here in England. But if there was some Chinese semi-grainy, low budget 35mm stock, I'd probably shoot that.

It really is an important point to make; I just finished a music video that we shot in Barcelona and that's the first time I got to shoot 35mm since I moved to Britain on a music video. I mean, anything below, say, $120.000 in budget automatically gets 16mm here. Only because I settled for Fuji and because the stock was so much cheaper down there and only because we had to get by on shooting just 14 rolls of 400ft film (which really isn't very much when you have to cover a 4 minute song), did I get it.

Pushing the stock or trying to shoot reversal E6 stocks that cost a fortune to develop? Forget it. I can't even sell that on the bigger commercials I do.

Therefore, price of stock is of paramount importance. This must be understood. I'd rather get the old 5298 back as a low budget stock than have to try to sell expensive new fancy stock to producers any day. 35mm is lovely, but it's steadily and surely pricing itself out of the market.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 07:46 PM

As for direct comparisons, I've only seen the 35mm 1.85 test that Allen Daviau shot of a model's face.

Basically, from looking at the test projected, 5218 and Fuji Eterna were similar -- if anything, Eterna 500T was a whisker finer-grained, or at least "smoother" in grain structure. It was also slightly more pastel, softer, and lower in contrast, more like Kodak's Expression 500T in that regards.

I shot almost 100,000' of Eterna on "The Astronaut Farmer", some of it push-processed one-stop, and I never had any lab problems with it.

I would say that I found it to look better, and print better, if overexposed. I used it at 320 ASA but this was for print, remember. Again, I find that this makes it similar to Expression 500T in that regard. So if I had any real complaint about Eterna 500T, it's just that it's a little low-con looking. If I were shooting in Super-16, I'd probably rather shoot 7218 instead because it is a little snappier in comparison, a little sharper-looking.

If you saw "The White Countess" in the theaters, that was all Eterna 500T, overexposed and pull-processed, with Classic Soft diffusion.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 09:26 PM

As for direct comparisons, I've only seen the 35mm 1.85 test that Allen Daviau shot of a model's face.

Basically, from looking at the test projected, 5218 and Fuji Eterna were similar -- if anything, Eterna 500T was a whisker finer-grained, or at least "smoother" in grain structure. It was also slightly more pastel, softer, and lower in contrast, more like Kodak's Expression 500T in that regards.

I shot almost 100,000' of Eterna on "The Astronaut Farmer", some of it push-processed one-stop, and I never had any lab problems with it.

I would say that I found it to look better, and print better, if overexposed. I used it at 320 ASA but this was for print, remember. Again, I find that this makes it similar to Expression 500T in that regard. So if I had any real complaint about Eterna 500T, it's just that it's a little low-con looking. If I were shooting in Super-16, I'd probably rather shoot 7218 instead because it is a little snappier in comparison, a little sharper-looking.

If you saw "The White Countess" in the theaters, that was all Eterna 500T, overexposed and pull-processed, with Classic Soft diffusion.


David,

Do you feel the older F-500 has more "snap", sharper perhaps, than the Eterna 500? We are just about to buy film for a short. I don't mind the grain that the F-500 may bring. I do want my film, however, to be sharp. We are shooting Super 16 for an uncompressed HD finish. Thanks

Chris
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 09:49 PM

David,

Do you feel the older F-500 has more "snap", sharper perhaps, than the Eterna 500? We are just about to buy film for a short. I don't mind the grain that the F-500 may bring. I do want my film, however, to be sharp. We are shooting Super 16 for an uncompressed HD finish. Thanks

Chris


The old F-500T is more contrasty and therefore may look sharper, but you probably can color-correct the Eterna for more contrast plus get the better grain. But in terms of sharpness, I tend to feel that the Kodak stocks are better in general in Super-16.
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#6 J Costantini

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:28 AM

yes, i am shooting 16mm but it will go straight to 16mm copy, and all optically.
Is overexposing a good thing to do? maybe just 1/3 of stop not to make it too contrasty at the end (this is part of my approach for the photography...) but to have a dense neg?

another question that concerns sharpness, but is a little off-topic: does it make a big difference to shoot all my night interiors (90% of the film) using T4.0 instead of T2.8 or T2.0?

one last thing: how could I make my pictures look a little grainy without making them constrasty? i thought of pushing, which would increase contrast...
if I used bleach by bass (50%) on negative, exposing eterna at ISO400, developing normal, could I print my copy with a lower contrast?


thanks

Edited by nillo, 03 March 2006 - 03:37 AM.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:59 AM

I think you want too much if you want more sharpness yet more grain yet less contrast. Because every technique lowers one while raising another.

Sure a lens may behave better at T/4 but the image isn't going to improve if that means you're underexposing the scene because you're limited to T/4 but the scene is lit lower than that, plus you won't be recording as much information at night (in exteriors). The old super-speeds could be shot at T/2.8 and still be sharp. For lit interiors, any good modern lens should be sharp at T/2.8 except some zooms which would look better at T/4.

Any amount of silver retention processing is going to increase contrast dramatically unless you compensated dramatically (pull process plus use a low-con neg stock.)

You might be better off pushing a low-con stock, like shoot Fuji F-400T or Kodak Expression 500T and underexpose / push for more grain. Then the contrast would end up to be about normal.

Actually you should just try Eterna 500T or Kodak 7218 normally (rate at 400 ASA because it always helps) and make a print and look at it before messing with other processes. You may be fine with the grain / contrast.
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