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500T... too good to be true?


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 12:33 PM

I'm in the process of making my own Super 8 Project, which is more of a documentary than anything. Therefore, i purchased a few rolls of Ektachrome and a roll of 200T and a roll of 500T.

Most of the shooting was going to be done in daylight (hence the Ektachrome) but i wanted a few rolls of film just in case i wanted to shoot some footage with artificial light.

However, i don't see much difference in my exposure settings with Ektachrome or the 200T and 500T. Using my in-camera light meter, i get just about the same readings no matter what film is loaded.

Is there supposed to be a large difference in the amount of light needed for a decent exposure in each of the films? If not, then what is the real point of 200T and 500T?

Thank You-

Nick Norton
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 01:09 PM

I'm in the process of making my own Super 8 Project, which is more of a documentary than anything. Therefore, i purchased a few rolls of Ektachrome and a roll of 200T and a roll of 500T.

Most of the shooting was going to be done in daylight (hence the Ektachrome) but i wanted a few rolls of film just in case i wanted to shoot some footage with artificial light.

However, i don't see much difference in my exposure settings with Ektachrome or the 200T and 500T. Using my in-camera light meter, i get just about the same readings no matter what film is loaded.

Is there supposed to be a large difference in the amount of light needed for a decent exposure in each of the films? If not, then what is the real point of 200T and 500T?

Thank You-

Nick Norton


Hi,

1.25 stops

Stephen
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 01:31 PM

500T in S8 is really good under tungston, and its true! Chances are your camera only reads up to 160ASA, so both will be recognized the same.
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#4 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 04:08 PM

Sorry, Stephen, it's 1.33 stop, to me...
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#5 Nick Norton

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 05:46 PM

so there isn't really that big of a difference?

and if my camera only detects ASA speeds up to 160, then wouldn't my camera be giving me incorrect exposure settings?

Thanks Again-

Nick
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 07:27 PM

so there isn't really that big of a difference?

and if my camera only detects ASA speeds up to 160, then wouldn't my camera be giving me incorrect exposure settings?

Thanks Again-

Nick


What you want to do is forget the camera light meter in low light situations and rather determine what is the optimal f-stop choice that you will then lock in manually. You may find that the 500 T locked in at f2.0 is superior to the Ektachrome at f1.4., you may find that the 500 T at f2.0 is better than the 200T at f1.4, Or, you may discover the reverse is true. But Anthony is correct, the meter in your camera is not recognizing an ASA difference between the 500T and the 200T and the Ektachrome, OR your meter is simply reading wide open, in either case what is most important is finding an optimal f-stop setting that you pretty much will stick with, UNLESS you have a lot of contrast in the scene and you don't want to blow out your hot spots.
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#7 ryan_bennett

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 08:20 PM

Ya seriously, how fast is your lens (what is the widest f-stop setting) and what camera are you using because I don't think it could read 200t or 500t, or worse even the ektachrome. The great thing though is 200t and 500t is negative and you get really great lattitude. Get an incident light meter.
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#8 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 11:56 PM

What most people are forgetting is that the camera only knows the speed of the film based on the notches in the cartridge. When those cameras were made, no one expected 500T, so you camera might be reading the highest possible stock it was designed for; 200t.

Expose manually, and use a light meter. I've used the 500T before, and even though I haven't seen the results, It's amazing to think that there is 7 stops of lattitude in there.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:34 AM

and if my camera only detects ASA speeds up to 160, then wouldn't my camera be giving me incorrect exposure settings?


In camera light meters rarely work the way they're supposed to, they're very unreliable. I recommend you splurge for a good ol' Sekonic.
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#10 winkleremail

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:56 AM

Hi Nick,

with the reading on your camera the others are probably right. You could think about buying a "better" S8 camera like a Beaulieu or similar. With a manual ASA reading... They are not that expensive on ebay. Oh by the way an one more tip: be carefull with the 200t and 500t they are negative stock and very sensitive to scratches and dirt...

Jay
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 11:53 AM

In camera light meters rarely work the way they're supposed to, they're very unreliable. I recommend you splurge for a good ol' Sekonic.


That's why it's a good idea to zoom the lens in a bit and then take a couple of readings with the super-8 camera meter, then the reading will be more accurate. The 500T when shot outdoors is actually 320, so a 160 or 200 ASA reading may actually fall into line because it will do two things, either overexpose the negative by up to a stop, which is acceptable, and it will help compensate for situations when the background sky is brighter than the scene in the foreground which normally fools the light meter.
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#12 Erik J. Weber

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:08 PM

That's why it's a good idea to zoom the lens in a bit and then take a couple of readings with the super-8 camera meter, then the reading will be more accurate. The 500T when shot outdoors is actually 320, so a 160 or 200 ASA reading may actually fall into line because it will do two things, either overexpose the negative by up to a stop, which is acceptable, and it will help compensate for situations when the background sky is brighter than the scene in the foreground which normally fools the light meter.



Yes but if he is shooting outdoors at complete nighttime, ie - no dusk/sun whatsoever, then wouldn't it be approximately 500T as lighting would be provided by various artificial lights, whether indoors or out?

-Erik
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#13 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 08:52 PM

In camera light meters rarely work the way they're supposed to, they're very unreliable.


Hi Jonathan,

In my opinion a correctly functioning automatic light metering system is nearly as bad as one that doesn't work at all.

If I use my Beaulieu 4008 on automatic metering mode (on one of the rare days it's not in the repair shop, that is), the lens iris opens and closes constantly as the meter attempts to re-interpret every subject as an average 18-percent reflectance. Panning across a scene with alternating light and dark values (as most scenes typically have) creates very distracting mid-shot exposure shifts.

Ideally, use a hand-held meter. If the camera has manual capability, you can still use the built-in meter. Simply use it to take a reading from a medium-tone subject in the scene (green grass, for example), and then switch to manual and set the exposure as indicated by this mid-tone reading.
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 08:53 PM

Yes but if he is shooting outdoors at complete nighttime, ie - no dusk/sun whatsoever, then wouldn't it be approximately 500T as lighting would be provided by various artificial lights, whether indoors or out?

-Erik


Sure, but then it's quite possible that it's more about just locking the exposure at an optimal setting and keeping it there unless it is a high contrast situation.
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#15 alfredoparra

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 09:43 PM

go to kodak.com and look up the list of super 8 cameras that will not work with the new stocks, theres a long list! as some one else mentioned the notch is different and your stops will be off!
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#16 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 10:34 PM

go to kodak.com and look up the list of super 8 cameras that will not work with the new stocks, theres a long list! as some one else mentioned the notch is different and your stops will be off!



I have to respectfully disagree. I have mentioned in several prior posts how most super-8 cameras will do a fine job with either the 200T or 500T, even if the super-8 camera is left in automatic exposure mode. It's actually a good thing that many more basic cameras only go up to 160 or 200 ASA because if they went any higher, they would completely stop down the f-stop to the point of the lens being closed in many outdoor situations.

I'd rather have a slightly open f-stop than a completely closed one if I have an automatic exposure camera, so it's a good thing that many automatic exposure cameras only go up to 160 or 200 ASA. The negative film stocks are made to handle a decent range of exposure settings.

I however, do recommend using super-8 cameras with manual exposure override.
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