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Film formats and Fundamentals


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#1 Craftsman Pictures

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 07:25 AM

Hi ,

Can you please suggest what kind of film stock one should use for their desired look ? Please explain this keeping all the film formats [super 8mm, 16mm, super 16mm, 35mm, super 35mm, anamorphic formats] in mind. Also mention their approximate costs. Reply in detail so that even the beginners can understand your fundas.
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#2 Filip Plesha

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 09:59 AM

Can you please suggest what kind of film stock one should use for their desired look


For a desired look, one should use a desired film stock :P
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:15 PM

Between Kodak and Fuji, there are over a dozen choices so surely you don't expect some sort of essay on the subject. Prices can be found out on your own.

Basically in a line-up of color negative stocks, the lower ASA stocks are less sensitive to light and finer-grained; the higher ASA stocks are faster and grainier (grain = more sensitivity.) Otherwise in a series (like Vision-2) they are designed to match each other in terms of look (color saturation and contrast.) The only difference is that a couple are daylight-balanced instead of tungsten-balanced.

There are a few exceptions in the line-up. For example, both Kodak and Fuji make a low-contrast neg stock (Kodak Expression 500T and Fuji F-400T) that have softer colors and less contrast. Fuji makes a F-500D stock (daylight-balanced) that has a fourth color layer to suppress excess grain when shooting under uncorrected fluorescents, but it is also a somewhat soft & grainy stock.

Kodak's new line-up is Vision-2 and Fuji's is called Eterna. There are a few stocks still made in the previous generation (Vision in Kodak's case and Super F-Series in Fuji's) that are slightly more contrasty than their new versions.

Kodak also makes some E6 color slide (reversal) films available for motion picture work: 72/5285, which is a high-contrast, saturated Ektachrome 100D stock, and E-64T, a tungsten-balanced slow-speed stock for Super-8.

Kodak also makes two b&w negative stocks for 16mm/35mm: Plus-X and Double-X. And they make two b&w reversal stocks for 16mm: Plus-X and Tri-X.

Reversal means a stock that becomes a positive image once developed, designed for direct projection of the original (like a slide.)
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:32 PM

Between Kodak and Fuji, there are over a dozen choices so surely you don't expect some sort of essay on the subject. Prices can be found out on your own.


There are a few exceptions in the line-up. For example, both Kodak and Fuji make a low-contrast neg stock (Kodak Expression 500T and Fuji F-400T) that have softer colors and less contrast.


David,

By "low-contrast" do you mean a stock with greater latitude. IE: one that shows more detail in the blacks and is less apt to blow out the highlights?

A completely different question. You're bothered by people not signing posts. I use my real name as my username - okay with you?

Edmond, OK
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:35 PM

Doesn't matter whether the signature is real or the User Name is real, as long as somewhere there is a real person's name on the post.

The "low-con" stocks have a wider latitude, yes, although not dramatically so (except maybe Kodak 7299).

But at the expense of looking a little weaker in the blacks and softer in the colors, which in turn also make the image seem a little softer. However, some people like them for D.I. / telecine because they can always add more contrast or saturation, and some people like them for print for a softer look (most of "Capote" was shot on low-con Expression 500T except for the flashback to the night of the murder, shot on 5218 for a snappier look. Of course, it's odd to think of 5218 as "snappy" since it in turn is lower in contrast than the previous Vision and EXR line.)

The previous generation of low-con Fuji F-400T was a little soft & grainy (as was the previous version of Expression, 5284.) The first act of "A Beautiful Mind" was shot on Fuji F-400T, flashed with yellow light. The rest was Kodak. I shot about a third of "Northfork" on it, the rest on F-125T flashed more heavily to match F-400T mildly flashed.

For awhile, Kodak had an even lower-contrast stock called "SO-63" then 5263, somewhat milky & pastel stuff, used on films like "Sunshine State", "Elephant", "Lost in Translation" and "Demonlover". Kodak 7299 is now the widest-latitude color neg on the market, only available in 16mm/Super-16, and not meant for printing.

Low-con neg really sort of started with Agfa XT-320, then XTR-250, which caused Kodak to come out with a similar product, 5287, then replaced by Vision 320T 5277. But Agfa stopped making MP color neg just around that time that '87 came out.
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 06:12 PM

The "low-con" stocks have a wider latitude, yes, although not dramatically so (except maybe Kodak 7299).

But at the expense of looking a little weaker in the blacks and softer in the colors, which in turn also make the image seem a little softer. However, some people like them for D.I. / telecine because they can always add more contrast or saturation, and some people like them for print for a softer look (most of "Capote" was shot on low-con Expression 500T except for the flashback to the night of the murder, shot on 5218 for a snappier look. Of course, it's odd to think of 5218 as "snappy" since it in turn is lower in contrast than the previous Vision and EXR line.)

The previous generation of low-con Fuji F-400T was a little soft & grainy (as was the previous version of Expression, 5284.) The first act of "A Beautiful Mind" was shot on Fuji F-400T, flashed with yellow light. The rest was Kodak. I shot about a third of "Northfork" on it, the rest on F-125T flashed more heavily to match F-400T mildly flashed.

For awhile, Kodak had an even lower-contrast stock called "SO-63" then 5263, somewhat milky & pastel stuff, used on films like "Sunshine State", "Elephant", "Lost in Translation" and "Demonlover". Kodak 7299 is now the widest-latitude color neg on the market, only available in 16mm/Super-16, and not meant for printing.

Low-con neg really sort of started with Agfa XT-320, then XTR-250, which caused Kodak to come out with a similar product, 5287, then replaced by Vision 320T 5277. But Agfa stopped making MP color neg just around that time that '87 came out.


Very interesting, I watched "Lost in Translation" the other night on DVD and was struck by how the shots of Tokyo looked. I would describe the colors as looking "blended".

Edmond, OK
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