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7217 to B&W in post


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#1 steve hyde

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 01:15 PM

I've got a project that is a time series of the first few months of a child's life. I am making a 30 second take once a week of a baby in a crib under morning light coming through a window. The visual design of the shoot is black and white, but since I have a lot of color negative at the moment, I have decided to use 7217 instead.

What is the best technique for getting good black and white results in post via color negative? I have heard that asking the colorist to crank up the red curves helps, but this is unconfirmed. I'll ask the colorist, but I figured I'd raise the question here as well..

My primary concern right now is whether I should filter for daylight with an 85. For the first two shots I have shot the color negatives unfiltered. Will a blue-heavy negative be more difficult to make black and white in post?

I assume it will be fine. Experiences? Suggestions??

Thanks in advance,

Steve
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:10 AM

I've got a project that is a time series of the first few months of a child's life. I am making a 30 second take once a week of a baby in a crib under morning light coming through a window. The visual design of the shoot is black and white, but since I have a lot of color negative at the moment, I have decided to use 7217 instead.

What is the best technique for getting good black and white results in post via color negative? I have heard that asking the colorist to crank up the red curves helps, but this is unconfirmed. I'll ask the colorist, but I figured I'd raise the question here as well..

My primary concern right now is whether I should filter for daylight with an 85. For the first two shots I have shot the color negatives unfiltered. Will a blue-heavy negative be more difficult to make black and white in post?

I assume it will be fine. Experiences? Suggestions??

Thanks in advance,

Steve


I suggest that you use the Wratten 85 correction for daylight illumination:

http://www.kodak.com...&lc=en#colorbal

Using a tungsten balance film for uncorrected daylight exposure will give significantly more exposure to the blue-sensitive layer (which in a tungsten balance film tends to have the highest granularity), and less to the red-sensitive layer. A properly balanced negative will give the most flexibility in post, including output to a monochrome image.

When generating a monochrome image from a color negative, the mixture of red, green, and blue chosen by the colorist will affect the tonality of the colors. For example, using only the blue record would give a B&W image much as an old blue-sensitive film, and render reds darker. Using only the red record could be used to enhance the contrast of clouds against a cyan sky, but will render blue and cyan colors darker.
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#3 steve hyde

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:23 AM

..Thanks for the insights John! This makes sense. I did not know that the blue layer has the highest granularity. Now that I look back at my question I realize I had sort of answered it myself when I made reference to manipulating the red curves before going to monochrome.

Hopefully this thread will become a forum for discussing monochromatic techniques with color negatives. I'd be fascinated to learn more about the technique used for "Good Night and Good Luck". I recall reading that they used 5218, but I'd like to know how it was shot and how it was manipulated in post...

Again, thanks John,

Steve
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#4 adam greeves

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:57 PM

what would happen if you used uncorrected daylight film? I did this on a test and I'm wondering if its worth processing and seeing what happens or if i should re shoot the test.


also if anyone knows of any literature out there about shooting color negative and finishing in black and white it would be helpful I'm having a lot of trouble finding info on what color casts do in this situation
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#5 steve hyde

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:55 PM

....you mean you were shooting daylight balanced film under tungsten with out a blue filter? It will be yellowish orange. I wouldn't worry about it.


If you want to learn more about going from color to black and white just search for "Color to black and white + photoshop". You will find that many digital photographers have published their techniques. Here is one:

http://photo.net/equ...ting/bwconvert/


Steve
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#6 Christophe Collette

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:29 PM

Hi Steve, I don't where you are at in your project but I just posted a link to a video I did using 7217 tranferred to BW in post using a Spirit. You might be interested in checking that out, it might relieve some stress if you have not transferred anything to BW yet. We had no lighting and it was a gray day, I was a little nervous about transfert but it went alright, we managed to get a decent BW image without a lot of playing around, if you have a good constrasty image, it is a piece of cake to transfert and grain is very minimal ( I used an 85 filter by the way). Also, please note that the video is a joke, don't take it seriously, we pasted the head of the singer on this bodybuilder (greenscreen).... Well, you'll see but since you probably won't understand what he is singing (french), I'd rather warn you! :D



Take care!

Chris
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#7 steve hyde

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:06 PM

Thanks Cristophe, This is a very nice example of this technique. It looks great. I know the feature film "Good Night and Good Luck" was also recorded on color negative 5218 and then a black and white look was designed in a DI then printed to color print stocks.... (I think it was ASC magazine where I read about it) FYI for others interested in recording on color and finishing b&w.... I might not have all the details sorted out on this, but worth looking into for some..

Steve
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#8 adam greeves

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:12 PM

....you mean you were shooting daylight balanced film under tungsten with out a blue filter? It will be yellowish orange. I wouldn't worry about it.
If you want to learn more about going from color to black and white just search for "Color to black and white + photoshop". You will find that many digital photographers have published their techniques. Here is one:

http://photo.net/equ...ting/bwconvert/
Steve


thanks that answers a couple questions i had I'm gonna have to look up what each rgb curve actually does to the contrast


I'm more interested in what different color casting filters and other filters on the camera lens do to an ultimately monochrome film and also is it better to use tungsten film because of the grain size?, just running out of time and money to do more tests so id like to know other peoples results testing color stocks

I've been looking through old American cinematographer magazines for people that shot color stocks i found goodnight good luck article. and I've tried to find pleasantville and man who wasn't there. are there any other films yall are familiar with that was shot on color>black and white that i might be able to look up?
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#9 Michael Collier

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:54 PM

thanks that answers a couple questions i had I'm gonna have to look up what each rgb curve actually does to the contrast
I'm more interested in what different color casting filters and other filters on the camera lens do to an ultimately monochrome film and also is it better to use tungsten film because of the grain size?, just running out of time and money to do more tests so id like to know other peoples results testing color stocks

I've been looking through old American cinematographer magazines for people that shot color stocks i found goodnight good luck article. and I've tried to find pleasantville and man who wasn't there. are there any other films yall are familiar with that was shot on color>black and white that i might be able to look up?


The color filters won't do anything predictable to the contrast (well it will, but its a complex prediction, since its ALL dependent on the color of the objects in frame, and the light and color & quantity of light that hits each surface.) I would recomend just shooting a clean picture. Don't bias the image warm or cool, or towards green. Just 85 it if its daylight, shoot clean if its tungsten, have the colorist get a good baseline to work with, then in your finnishing stage you are free to make very minute adjustments to the color before the desat. Imagine having crazy control over the skys just by altering red-levels, or the brightness of a tree by adjusting green levels. Its something I think you would have to do when you have time/ability to try a few things out. Since you can think in terms of colors, but its hard to pinpoint just how the green/cyan mix works in a trees leaf. In digital post, if you have the color and preserve equal quality in all three channels, it means you have near limitless controll over contrast of almost all objects (moreso than with color, because the colors you come up with before desat will be very disturbing to watch)

I used this technique on a video B&W movie. I loved having the desat on after the color mixer, with a contrast effect on as well, then it was a matter of tweeking a little here, a little there. Even looking at the colors present, it was difficult to estimate exactly what the whole frame would look like by altering even one aspect.
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