Jump to content


Photo

If you could only choose two stocks...


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Trevor Greenfield

Trevor Greenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Director
  • North Idaho

Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:03 AM

So, here's a hypothetical situation. Suspend your good-natured professional apprehension for a moment and play along here...

You're going to shoot a feature in just a few days. About the only thing you know is you're going to be paid well, and that you are shooting with the 35mm camera and lens package of your choice. Just about everything else is unknown. You don't know where. You don't know what kind of lighting environments or situations you might find yourself in, or even what lighting equipment you might have on set. There might not even not be a lighting budget! There might be night shots, there might not. Again, the first time you will know anything else, will be the moment you arrive on set and by then it will be too late to change your mind.

In this extremely unlikely scenario, which two film stocks would you choose to film with and why?

Edited by Trevor Greenfield, 05 March 2006 - 04:05 AM.

  • 0

#2 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:32 AM

So, here's a hypothetical situation. Suspend your good-natured professional apprehension for a moment and play along here...

You're going to shoot a feature in just a few days. About the only thing you know is you're going to be paid well, and that you are shooting with the 35mm camera and lens package of your choice. Just about everything else is unknown. You don't know where. You don't know what kind of lighting environments or situations you might find yourself in, or even what lighting equipment you might have on set. There might not even not be a lighting budget! There might be night shots, there might not. Again, the first time you will know anything else, will be the moment you arrive on set and by then it will be too late to change your mind.

In this extremely unlikely scenario, which two film stocks would you choose to film with and why?


Hi,

5217 + 5218.

If I only had 1 stock then 5217. I find 5218 slightly too grainy, but it makes night shoots easier.

Stephen
  • 0

#3 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 05 March 2006 - 07:02 AM

Probably Fuji Eterna 400 and Kodak 5217.
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:32 PM

Normally I would say a 250D and 500T stock, but since you don't even know if you have day work, I'd say 200T (or 250T in the case of Fuji) and 500T, with the bulk being 500T.

So either Kodak 5217 and 5218, or Fuji Eterna 250T and 500T.

But if there is anyway to order your film in batches, you can modify the amounts as you learn more, unless every day will always be a complete surprise.

Now if you're concerned about not being able to adjust lighting for a high contrast situation, and this is for a D.I. or telecine only, then you could consider one of the stocks being a "low-con" version, like Fuji F-400T or Kodak Expression 500T.

Or see if Kodak will make a special 35mm run of their super low-con '99 stock (only sold for Super-16), which can be rated at 320 or 500 ASA. But it's for D.I. / telecine only.
  • 0

#5 Trevor Greenfield

Trevor Greenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Director
  • North Idaho

Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:58 AM

Interesting opinions, thanks.

My friend asked me this question out of the blue the other day and I came up with 2 different answers after quite a bit of thought and I thought I'd pose it to you pros.

David, Its true there's some flexibility to ease yourself into a job if you don't know much (I imagine you went through a similar thought process recently when preparing for the quick turnaround from Farmer to that new night shoot movie and you didnt know much).

Of course this is a totally unrealistic scenario (you'll at least know what kind of scenes you'll shoot ans your basic lighting setup) but it really makes you evaluate the value of particular stocks and if you have to play it safe what can you fall back on -- from your opinions -- 200T Kodak or 250T Fuji.
  • 0

#6 Mike Williamson

Mike Williamson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 534 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:39 AM

Adam, I've been interested to hear from someone who's shot the Eterna 400T, how do you feel like it compares to the old F-400T? Is the grain any better? Curious to hear what projects you've used it on, what kind of scenes, etc.

I saw a 35mm print of Fuji's test film for the new stocks, but they weren't very informative. The Eterna 400T test was the worst because all the scenes seemed to have the contrast cranked up with no fill anywhere in sight, like they were basically compensating for the low-con nature of the stock, made it difficult to figure out what the stock actually looks like.
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:43 AM

From what I recall of the test, the new F-400T isn't all that different from the old one -- the new one is slightly finer-grained, slight less low-con now, slightly sharper. But the difference didn't jump out at you.

One slight problem is that by lowering the contrast of F-500T and increasing the contrast of F-400T, the differences are almost too narrow now.
  • 0

#8 Mike Williamson

Mike Williamson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 534 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:49 AM

And on top of that, the Eterna 500T has a better grain structure than the Eterna 400T. Interestingly, the new 500T has the same RMS granularity as both of the 250 speed stocks which surprised me. I haven't done tests to see how that actually plays out on the screen, but it makes me wonder if there's a reason to use the medium speed stocks.
  • 0

#9 Trevor Greenfield

Trevor Greenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Director
  • North Idaho

Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:07 AM

Realistically though you can do quite a lot with 200 or 250T, right? I mean it takes a fairly low light situation to necessitate 500 speed film, and then you have to consider the high fstop you'll use or even ND should you get anything remotely high key? I mean could you really think about using 500T for a whole feature assuming its not all night scenes?
  • 0

#10 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:39 PM

Eterna 500T is similar in graininess (but lower in contrast) than the Super-F Series 250T and 250D stocks, but I assume that the new Eterna 250T and 250D stocks are now about as grainy as the old F-125T stock.

Sure you can shoot whole movies on 500 ASA stock, even outdoors. Some DP's do it all the time ("The English Patient" is a famous example.) You just need some heavy 85ND filters to shoot in sunlight. That's one advantage of using a Panaflex -- you can put that correction in the internal gel slot and not have to operate and look through all that heavy ND.

"Heat" was also shot entirely on 500 ASA stock. A recent example would be "Match Point". "Donnie Darko" was entirely shot on 800 ASA stock!

I'm not such a fan of that technique, partially because I like the look of slower-speed stocks and also I don't like using ND1.2 filters, etc.
  • 0

#11 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:18 PM

I'd also say 500T, and 200T Vision 2 Kodak stocks, with plenty of ND filters.
  • 0

#12 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:23 PM

Or see if Kodak will make a special 35mm run of their super low-con '99 stock (only sold for Super-16), which can be rated at 320 or 500 ASA. But it's for D.I. / telecine only.


When I was leafing through the technical specs for '99 on the Kodak website, it stated that they were willing to supply 5299 as a special order item. I'd assume you'd need to order between 10- to 100,000 feet in order for them to ship you some though. That's quite doable for a film with a modest budget though. I agree that it's very low contrast and high latitude are intriguing.

Regards.

~Karl Borowski
  • 0

#13 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:25 PM

If you had to choose only two films to take, IMHO, they should be 5218 and 5205. Lots of latitude and flexibility, especially for overexposure, and a bit of overexposure can be used to subdue the graininess if you have the light.
  • 0

#14 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:16 PM

If you had to choose only two films to take, IMHO, they should be 5218 and 5205. Lots of latitude and flexibility, especially for overexposure, and a bit of overexposure can be used to subdue the graininess if you have the light.


That would be my choice, a 250D and 500T stock -- only problem is that the original poster couldn't even say that there would be day work, so at least with a 200T stock, he could filter it for day scenes but use it for tungsten scenes with enough light. Trouble with ordering 250D stock is that you need to know how much daylight-balanced shooting you will be doing.
  • 0

#15 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:12 PM

Adam, I've been interested to hear from someone who's shot the Eterna 400T, how do you feel like it compares to the old F-400T? Is the grain any better? Curious to hear what projects you've used it on, what kind of scenes, etc.

I saw a 35mm print of Fuji's test film for the new stocks, but they weren't very informative. The Eterna 400T test was the worst because all the scenes seemed to have the contrast cranked up with no fill anywhere in sight, like they were basically compensating for the low-con nature of the stock, made it difficult to figure out what the stock actually looks like.


Haven't tried it yet - I base this on the old 400T, which I really liked. :D But I will use it this week in quite demanding conditions, so I'll get back to you...
  • 0


Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Glidecam

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Opal

The Slider

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Abel Cine

Tai Audio