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contrast viewer.


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#1 beanpat

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 01:53 AM

can someone tell me if I understand the correct use of a contrast viewer?
I have in mind the one from Harrison: color viewing glass.
do I understand correctly it will give an idea of the range that will be captured on film?
will viewing through the glass reveal if a dark area will make it within the exposure range of film?

I asked the people at Film Tools that sell it, but they were not able to tell me.
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#2 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 07:21 AM

do I understand correctly it will give an idea of the range that will be captured on film?
will viewing through the glass reveal if a dark area will make it within the exposure range of film?

I asked the people at Film Tools that sell it, but they were not able to tell me.


No - The range that will be captured on film is really determined by the latitude of your film stock which will change depending on the stock you choose. The contrast viewers do NOT show you that range. Instead, the Contrast viewer will help you to see essentially the contrast of your scene. It will help you spot the bright and dark areas within your setting so that you can then make decisions on the look you are trying to create. It does not have any relationship to exposure, it is only a tool used to judge variations from highlight to shadow
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#3 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

it's especially useful if you have "a lot of light". i find it very hard to judge contrast when everything is lit. it just looks bright, until i use the glass and i see that there's actually a whole range. another situation is where you have a lot of contrast and you want some parts of the scene to blow out or go black. of course your meter will tell you this as well, and is the only way to adjust for the latitude of the film, but being able to see the contrast is still great for confidence.

/matt
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#4 Bryan Darling

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:53 PM

Usually there are two viewing glasses in color, one for slower speed stocks and one for faster speed stocks.
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#5 beanpat

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:31 AM

Thanks everyone.
I guess I'll keep good notes on what I observe while shooting using the contrast viewer and then see what the film/transfer looks like. I realize as a beginner in the film world It will take some time to get to know several stocks. Im very comfortable with video but have only done tests so far with film no real projects. I was just hoping to get a better starting point.
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