Jump to content


Photo

CP-16R Camera Malfunction? See this video!


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 02:41 PM

Hi,

We were shooting a few weekends ago and just got back our BetaSP from the transfer. We shot four 400' loads on one of our school's CP-16Rs. Out of about 45min. of footage, about 4 minutes exhibited a heavy grain, color misbalance, and general chaos.

Everyone at my school knows that almost every one of the 20 CP-16s has some sort of problem. I just want to know if this problem we have, shown in the video, is a fault of the camera, or the fault of the lab. The lab claims that the problem is shown on the negative, and is not a result of the transfer. They claim that my camera must have "been bumped" into or the iris must have been changed. We were on F5.6 the entire day and never changed it.

Here is the video transfer (60MB Quicktime) (RIGHT-CLICK, SAVE AS), which includes plenty of notes (stock, filter, etc..) in the beginning to get you familiar with our situation.

There is a good amount of compression to make this a reasonable download. Here are some video caps from the footage.


Posted Image


Thanks!

-David
AgentDSS@aol.com
  • 0

#2 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 01 April 2006 - 03:36 PM

I am at the beginning of the DP learning curve so others may have better information than I. It really looks to me like the film was exposed somewhere between opening the can and loading it into the camera. Were you using short ends or was this fresh stock?

If this is indeed the head of one roll, it appears that the roll was exposed to light. The reason I would lean that way is that if you look at the upper and lower left edge of the video, you can see the light yellow/green color spreading down and over into the image. To me this looks like light leaks penetrating down through the sprocket holes. Did maybe someone briefly open the changing bag when this mag was being loaded? Or did someone briefly open the film can, not realizing they were exposing the roll? Or did someone briefly open the magazine after the film had been loaded?

The fact that the problem is so obvious for that section of one roll, and it sounds like it did not show up anywhere on any of the other rolls, that would make me think it was not the camera per se. Looks to me like the roll was exposed to light somewhere along the line. Again, I am no expert on this.

-Tim
  • 0

#3 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 03:55 PM

This actually was a 385' shortend of a fresh roll. The remainder was used in the first shot seen in the video, where the guy is walking to a door. Perhaps when the shortend was being made in the changing bag, there could have been a problem.
  • 0

#4 Charles MacDonald

Charles MacDonald
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1157 posts
  • Other
  • Stittsville Ontario Canada

Posted 01 April 2006 - 08:23 PM

Hi,

We were shooting a few weekends ago and just got back our BetaSP from the transfer. We shot four 400' loads on one of our school's CP-16Rs. Out of about 45min. of footage, about 4 minutes exhibited a heavy grain, color misbalance, and general chaos.

The lab claims that the problem is shown on the negative, and is not a result of the transfer. They claim that my camera must have "been bumped" into or the iris must have been changed. We were on F5.6 the entire day and never changed it.


I don't have the bandwidth to grap a video, but from the still It almost looks like severve under exposure, compensated by the lab cranking up the gain.

As someone who spent far too many of my younger days behind the counter in a departmnet store photo department helping customers fugure out why their snapshots did not come out my first question is CAN you access the nagative? Naturaly one never wants to handle negs more than needed, but my guess is that you will find 100 ft of VERY THIN negative, with the rest well exposed. (the edge printing these days is normaly exposded quite dark to ensure the bar codes are readable, so it is a reference as to what the highlights should be .

Looking at the negative cuts out the scanning stage, the image is no better than what is actually on the film.
If it were to be fogged, the clear part of the film (between the sprokets) would be darker than the rest of teh film, but I do believe that fog would likly leave a shadow of the next sproket showing some where at the left edge of the image..
  • 0

#5 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 08:26 PM

I am getting the neg back next week. The lab DID look at the negative after I called to complain. They said that the problem was on the negative, so they blame my camera.
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19764 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 April 2006 - 09:10 PM

It's severely underexposed film, that's all. Now how it got so underexposed, who knows. Could be an old roll that had lost its sensitivity over time. Or you could have just accidentally underexposed it, either by using the wrong f-stop (got bumped), frame rate (camera ran at high speed), shutter angle (closed down), internal filter left-in (if the camera allows one), or wrong ND filter used, wrong speed filmstock used, whatever.

Fogging alone would not account for that because then you'd have a normally dense negative with fogged areas washing it out. The image looks very "thin" instead.

Now a negative can also become thin from severe underdevelopment by the lab, but I think that it wouldn't look like that, lacking shadow detail.

I can't seem to play the clip -- as soon as the first shot comes up, it freezes.
  • 0

#7 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:10 PM

Thanks for your comments David. This has been driving me nuts because:

The film stock is fresh, direct from Kodak, 3 weeks priors to shooting.

The F-stop was 5.6 the entire day and I was the DP. I was looking at the iris before every shot and it was always a 5.6. I never once had to change or bump the iris.

The camera's speed dial was gaffed down at 24fps.

There is no adjustable shutter angle on this model.

We had the same filter setup throughout the day: ND 3, ND 6, 85B.

After these "messed up" shots, there is about 10min. on the same roll that is perfect footage from the same day, same location.
  • 0

#8 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:37 PM

It's severely underexposed film, that's all. Now how it got so underexposed, who knows. Could be an old roll that had lost its sensitivity over time. Or you could have just accidentally underexposed it, either by using the wrong f-stop (got bumped), frame rate (camera ran at high speed), shutter angle (closed down), internal filter left-in (if the camera allows one), or wrong ND filter used, wrong speed filmstock used, whatever.

Fogging alone would not account for that because then you'd have a normally dense negative with fogged areas washing it out. The image looks very "thin" instead.

Now a negative can also become thin from severe underdevelopment by the lab, but I think that it wouldn't look like that, lacking shadow detail.

I can't seem to play the clip -- as soon as the first shot comes up, it freezes.


See, we all get to learn something here. I was thinking the film was fogged when I was watching the Quicktime clip because much of the bad footage looked like these two frame grabs:

Posted Image


Posted Image

So those are a sign of underexposer.

Thanks,
-Tim
  • 0

#9 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:43 PM

I understand that it looks underexposed, but how did it get to be underexposed if I was shooting at the same F-stop in the same lighting conditions as the almost-clean first shot, and the ends shot of the video clip. Why is it arbitrarily in the middle of these good shots?

WORKING VIDEO LINK:

Lo-Res Windows Media (12MB)

I appreciate all the help I am getting. Thanks!

(In the video, it's kind of hard to tell what is very bad, and what is decent during some portions, because of video compression)

Edited by David Shawl, 01 April 2006 - 10:47 PM.

  • 0

#10 Kirk Anderson

Kirk Anderson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 220 posts
  • Other

Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:45 PM

When shooting film always expect the worst, at least you got the majority of your stuff back.
If I get anything back it's a positive.
  • 0

#11 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:48 PM

Kircules, very true. Despite all these problems, we have around 40min. of beautifully-exposed and composed shots.
  • 0

#12 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 01 April 2006 - 11:26 PM

I remember now that RIGHT before we shot the handheld exterior (the 1st good clean shot AFTER the 4min. of messed up footage) I had bumped the magazine on my shoulder as I was getting into my position on the ground. The magazine disengaged just a little bit, letting some light into the camera BODY.

Before all that happened though, we checked the gate prior to the handheld shot and ran off a foot or two, so any light that would have entered from the mag disengagment, wouldn't have affected any of the previous shots that would already be in the sealed take-up side of the mag.

I just think it's interesting that AFTER this mag disengagment and then re-engagment, all is well. Prehaps it was never seated in properly at the beginning of the day. But again, we moved the camera for several setups before the handheld one, and the mag was certainly not loose.
  • 0

#13 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 02 April 2006 - 12:10 PM


Hi-Res Quicktime (60MB)

  • 0

#14 Stephen Whitehead

Stephen Whitehead
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 124 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Toronto, Canada

Posted 02 April 2006 - 02:00 PM

does your cp-16 have a butterfly shutter? if so that might be the problem, they have been known to malfunction.
  • 0

#15 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 02 April 2006 - 02:24 PM

I'm actually not quite sure if we had that particular type of shutter. I'm looking into it though.

I thought there would be "smearing" if that was the case. I don't think our footage looked smeared.
  • 0

#16 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19764 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 April 2006 - 08:17 PM

Looking at the moving footage, it's both underexposed AND fogged. Actually, it looks like you didn't have your eye against the eyepiece because sometimes it looks like a head is blocking and then unblocking the fogging, but I suppose you could have a leak elsewhere subject to movement near the leak.

But the grainy look seems to either be underexposure or bad lab chemistry, although I don't see how that can happen midroll. The fact that the roll starts out normal and then goes crappy suggests an exposure mistake. I suppose it's possible something internally could have caused the underexposure but I don't know. The yellow color fringing in the corners almost looks like a telecine problem unless this is a really screwed-up lens.

I'd have the roll printed and then project it to see what the printer light numbers are.
  • 0

#17 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 02 April 2006 - 08:43 PM

Even though I never remember taking my eye off the eyecup, I thought CP-16Rs have a reflex mirror so it didn't matter if your eye was on or not. During the shots that were messed up, I very specifically remember checking the F-Stop before each shot, and we never took it off F5.6 the entire day (which includes 10min. of perfect footage on the same roll beyond what is included in the video download).

The lens is an older Angenieux 12-120 Zoom, but it didn't give us any problems with the other 40min. of footage that we had processed and telecined.

The camera is SO old and usually beat up by the other film students, so maybe some how this was caused internally.

Edited by David Shawl, 02 April 2006 - 08:43 PM.

  • 0

#18 Josh Hill

Josh Hill
  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • Other
  • New York, NY

Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:48 PM

What David is saying is that the camera may have a light leak that is shielded by your head being near the viewfinder (casting a shadow over the leak).

And if you didn't change the aperture all day, did you CONSTANTLY meter all day? In my experience, shooting outside with clouds (and there are obviously clouds in the sky), your stop can vary wildly from one moment to the next depending on the position of the clouds. Whenever I'm shooting outside I meter between every shot, regardless. I probably over meter, but it saves me from making a mistake.
  • 0

#19 David Shawl

David Shawl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator

Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:56 PM

Yes, we did meter frequently. Probably every two shots. Lighting never changed much for that day.
  • 0

#20 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2425 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 03 April 2006 - 05:02 AM

Some of it looks as if it was processed in a bucket, although if all your good stuff was processed in the same run that can't be. A couple of times it looks like something eclipses the frame from the right. I' d have said the underexposure was worse than just forgetting to open up when the sun went in.
I don't think anyone would miss that particular camera.
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Opal

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

CineTape

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

CineLab

CineTape

Glidecam

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine