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Weird Question with 500T


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#1 ryan_bennett

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:51 AM

Just a quick question. I shot some underwater scenes on 7218 at night. For lights all we had was two 500watt work lights aimed down into the water and put the f stop to 1.4 and focused to infinity and shot blind. Anyways, I know most cinematographers shoot a stop overexposed but I was wondering how many stops over can you still get a useable image?

Also I will post the shot how it came out as soon as I have the money to develope and transfer the film so thanks for your help.
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#2 Dan Horstman

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 11:06 AM

Just a quick question. I shot some underwater scenes on 7218 at night. For lights all we had was two 500watt work lights aimed down into the water and put the f stop to 1.4 and focused to infinity and shot blind. Anyways, I know most cinematographers shoot a stop overexposed but I was wondering how many stops over can you still get a useable image?

Also I will post the shot how it came out as soon as I have the money to develope and transfer the film so thanks for your help.


In my experience 2 stops over can still be printed to look normal. More than that and the image starts to get thin and washed out...but I personally believe that any image on the film can be "usable" in the right context but I like to "ride the snake" so to speak. (see my posts on the Day For Night thread to see more of my craziness)
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#3 kentemporary

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 11:03 PM

the way i see it, an underexposed shot is more useful than an overexposed shot - post edit does miracles. what you should be more worried about are the colors. the deeper you go, the darker the blue gets - and increasing cyan and magenta helps.

however, if you are a purist, two stops, as mentioned by dan, is still workable. you might want to play around with your settings when you are still on the water surface before you go deeper. needless to say, overcompensate.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 11:19 PM

the way i see it, an underexposed shot is more useful than an overexposed shot


Depends on what you mean by "useful" but when you're talking about color negative film stock, accidental overexposure that has to be printed down generally looks better than accidental underexposure that has to be printed up. Within limits.

But if you accidentally overexposed color negative by a stop and printed down, you would get less grain, better contrast, richer colors -- but if you accidentally underexposed and printed up, you would get more grain, milky blacks, less contrast.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 11:57 PM

I am surprised you shot a f1.4 while blind. Even when focused to infinity (unless the objects your shooting is truely at infinity) seems like you would be out of focus most of the time. Also given the average distance to subject in water (well at least in my head I don't imagine being more than 15meters away from the subject, which even at that distance I find I am a hair below infinity when working at f1.4 on a 2/3" camera, rough 16mm equivalent)

sounds like by now you should have the footy back, how does it look?
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#6 Jon Kukla

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:25 PM

I suppose the other thing to factor in with focus is that the index of refraction means that the actual object distance will not equal the distance the lens needs to be set to in order to achieve optical focus. But I don't know if that works in favor of focusing to infinity or against it, to be quite honest.
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#7 darrin p nim

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:16 AM

on the safe side, film is better off over exposed (within limits). Film negatives will more likely contain information with a dense emulsed negative than a thin negative, the ability to safely process down is greater for the image than to process up with an underexposed image, that is with negative film. but video or reversal film reads and contains information better underexposed than over.

though i have never personally shot underwater, and depending on your weather and available light, there is a chance that f1.4 could have been a practical stop to shoot at. though, if i may assume, 1.4 probably was wide open, and i personally prefer not to shoot wide open.

as far as overexposing by a stop and calling it average is something that should be really tested but i have tested many kodak (one being 7218 vision 2) and fuji 16mm films and in some have found that even 2 stops over can look amazing.

Edited by Darrin P Nim, 30 August 2006 - 01:18 AM.

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