Jump to content


Photo

pushing color reversal


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 ochopatas

ochopatas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 March 2006 - 05:47 PM

Hi, I need a little advice.

Today was a very sunny day. We shot scene on Kodachome 40, a color reversal film, with a wratten daylight filter, lowering the ASA to 25. On top of that, we used a Neutral Density filter which opened the apeture up by 3 stops. However, the AD was foolish and took readings off the light meter as if we were using an ASA of 100. So essentially we underexposed the film by two stops.

what would you suggest we do? Do you think pushing the color reversal film by at least one stop will help us, or do you think that it will be fine as is without push processing?
  • 0

#2 Fran Kuhn

Fran Kuhn
  • Sustaining Members
  • 352 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:21 PM

In very general terms, reversal stock will tolerate underexposure better than overexposure. Two stops underexposure is going to be quite noticeable, but I'd be a little worried about a push if your subject was shot in contrasty conditions (as you mentioned a sunny day) The contrast is increased because pushing has a greater effect on the highlights than areas with less exposure.

Maybe you can do a test first. Can you get your lab to do a snip test of the film at Normal and pushed one stop?
  • 0

#3 ochopatas

ochopatas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 March 2006 - 08:22 PM

In very general terms, reversal stock will tolerate underexposure better than overexposure. Two stops underexposure is going to be quite noticeable, but I'd be a little worried about a push if your subject was shot in contrasty conditions (as you mentioned a sunny day) The contrast is increased because pushing has a greater effect on the highlights than areas with less exposure.

Maybe you can do a test first. Can you get your lab to do a snip test of the film at Normal and pushed one stop?


The compromise in contrast is fine - our excuse is that since this scene we shot is a "dream", that it's allowed to be a little unusual/surreal/weird from the rest, which is properly exposed. I think I'm going to request a push processing, but I guess my question is, do you think one stop will be enough, or should I go for two?

Edited by ochopatas, 12 March 2006 - 08:23 PM.

  • 0

#4 Fran Kuhn

Fran Kuhn
  • Sustaining Members
  • 352 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:51 PM

The compromise in contrast is fine - our excuse is that since this scene we shot is a "dream", that it's allowed to be a little unusual/surreal/weird from the rest, which is properly exposed. I think I'm going to request a push processing, but I guess my question is, do you think one stop will be enough, or should I go for two?

I'll be honest, I haven't shot Kodachrome in years, so I'd say it would be best to advise the lab of the circumstances and see what they recommend. I don't think a one-stop push will be any problem, but it's just a guess and depends a lot on the lab. In theory, all one-stop pushes should be the same, but they often aren’t. Beyond one stop, many of the E-6 transparency films I currently shoot begin to show grain and exhibit a color shift. You may like this effect if, as you say, it's a sequence meant to stand out from the rest.

Another thought: If you were working with someone who was having a bad day or is somewhat inexperienced, perhaps he was metering in a way that will actually give you something closer to the correct exposure than the 2-stops-under you anticipate. Or maybe your DP forgot that he replaced the battery in his meter at the end of the day and it re-set to the 100 ASA default after he had, in fact, metered the day’s shots at 25 ASA. In either case, pushing could be regrettable.

My point is this: Once the shoot is over, for better or worse, all you have is your exposed film. Unless there is some urgent deadline to meet, why not take a deep breath and work slowly and carefully with what you've got? Especially with transparency films, a snip test many times will be your salvation.
  • 0

#5 ochopatas

ochopatas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 March 2006 - 10:45 PM

I live in Michigan - the lab is in Florida :S

This is the first time I've worked with kodachrome as well - I've only used Black and white reversal before. I think I will take your advice and call the lab first and have them do the "snip test," and maybe have the lab tell me what they think. this is why getting film developed locally is the best. Sigh.

(And there is an urgent deadline, but we'll survive.)
  • 0

#6 Fran Kuhn

Fran Kuhn
  • Sustaining Members
  • 352 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:42 PM

I will take your advice and call the lab first and have them do the "snip test," and maybe have the lab tell me what they think. this is why getting film developed locally is the best. Sigh.

(And there is an urgent deadline, but we'll survive.)



I think your film is going to be fine, but I also think you'll be happy you took your time at the lab. Re-shoots seem to be a much more painful way of pushing urgent deadlines back!
  • 0

#7 George Lekovic

George Lekovic
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York

Posted 13 March 2006 - 12:17 AM

Hi,

about a year ago my AC mistakenly loaded reversal stock into the camera, and we shot a whole roll on a very sunny day. Essentially I overexposed by a stop, did a snip test, it looked fine, and pulled one stop. I was worried about it being reversal, 16mm, etc... but after having seen the test and being able to see white hairs in a black beard, and also being able ti see details in highlights I was quite happy...

Two stops of underexposure might be a different story alltogether...

george
  • 0


Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Glidecam

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Visual Products

The Slider

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab