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ORWO Negative Film N74


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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:07 AM

I'm about to embark on another no-budget 3 minute short on 16mm/super16 (which ever camera i can borrow) but this time decided to do it on Black and White.

I was reading up on the Orwo N74 stock which at 400 ASA seems to have the best of both worlds, especially as i have a rubbish budget for lights.

Can anyone who's used this stock tell me about the following.

1. What is the grain size like in comparison with modern stocks, colour and black and white? Is the high speed a trade off in quality?

2. Its reported to have a wide lattitude, so should one still expose it to the published exposure index like with other black and white stocks or would it benefit from slight over/underexposure?

Many thanks,
Andy
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:43 AM

Stay away from this stock!

I've had a really bad experience with it last year. It is not manufactured to high standards, the thickness and width varies. We had hairs in the gate on literally every single shot and it was noisy as hell (it wasn't wound properly and it sounded like we had a hamster in our magazine). After two days we switched to Kodak 5222 and all the problems were gone.

On top of that the stock isn't really 400 Asa, but 200 at best. We rated it the same as the DoubleX and they looked almost identical.
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#3 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:22 AM

Cheers Max

What a shame, I was hoping I'd come accross the only fast black and white stock out there.

Well it looks like i'm forced onto a slow stock or a colour stock to switch in post.

I'd shoot Plus-X Reversal ito get the extra sharpness, but as nobody preocessing it in the UK it isn't worth it.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:37 AM

The Double X is very nice. But I've only shot it on 35mm anamorphic, not 16mm, so I cannot tell you how the grain is. We rated it at 160 ASA, and always managed to get a T4 even for interiors, but then again we had a budget for lights. But if you shoot on Zeiss Superspeeds you can shoot wide-open at T1.3 and you might have enough light.
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:57 AM

Yea I suspect Double X will be too grainy for 16mm, though as you say with zeis superspeeds there is the advantage shooting down to 1.3, and I will be able to hire some lights.

I suspect I better bite the bullet and look into the colour films, maybe Fuji 250T or Kodak 200T.

The question is now whether its better to desaturate in telecine or grading?
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#6 daniel mahlknecht

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:06 AM

the orwo stock has had in the past "physical" problems like abrasion in the filmgate ecc. but this problems have ben resolved as it seems. The redisigned stock has been recently presented, and keeps the emulsions charakteristics but has new suport material. is said to be now as good as kodaks or fujis filmstocks.
I do not know if it is already available but I think it schould.

daniel
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:26 PM

I'm about to embark on another no-budget 3 minute short on 16mm/super16 (which ever camera i can borrow) but this time decided to do it on Black and White.


YAAAAAAY!!! Another one! :D

I loved 'Texting', infact it's my favourite Super 8 film ever, the Kodak Vision was so nice. :)

I would just get a higher speed stock and shoot with that, even if it is a bit grainy, there's nothing wrong with a bit of grain.

Anyway, look forward to it, good luck,

Matthew Buick, about to make a film of his own when he figures out what he's gonna make. :D
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#8 Christian Appelt

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:36 PM

I have shot a lot of N74 in 35mm format and had absolutely no trouble with it.
No abrasion dust, perfect steadiness in telecine and fine grain for an ASA 400 stock. We rated it at ASA 320 and exposed fairly accurate.
For a sequence in the backstage area of an opera house, we were mixing UN54 (ASA 80) and N74 stock, and during the film projection of the rough edit work print, I often could not say whether it was a low speed or high speed shot.

But it seems (didn't we discuss this before in another thread?) that N74 could be a problem with Panavision or Arri 435 cameras, maybe Max could comment on this - I believe he mentioned it back then.

I have been using UN54 and N74 with MOS cameras like Arri 2C and Konvas 2M only, and it never caused the slightest problem. I always recommend Filmotec/Orwo stocks for their photographic look, but maybe the best idea would be to buy a roll or two (after all, it's quite cheap), shoot some tests and have it processed & printed/telecined at the lab you are going to use.
I noticed that footage processed by different labs (from the same roll of raw stock) could look quite different depending on the lab's procedures, so doing tests is a good idea anyway. Shoot test tables and talk to the person doing grading, maybe a change in rating/developing time can give you the best quality for your project.

For years I used to shoot 24x36mm and medium format b&w stills on (older) Orwo b&w emulsions and always found their ASA ratings to be quite correct (except old NP7 high speed stock which was terrible in every respect, grainy, muddy and with all types of finishing problems, but luckily, it's been gone for years).
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:39 PM

But it seems (didn't we discuss this before in another thread?) that N74 could be a problem with Panavision or Arri 435 cameras, maybe Max could comment on this - I believe he mentioned it back then.

Yes, we did discuss this some time ago already.

We shot with a 535A and a 435Es from Arri Rental and their equipment is always in impecable condition so the fault was definitely with the stock. This shoot was in May 2005. Like I said, there were several issues (noise, dirt) that disappeared straight away when we switched to Kodak.

It was later confirmed to me by the Head Technician at Arri that they've had issues with ORWO stock before and they don't recommend people using it.
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#10 Richardson Leao

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:39 PM

I'm about to embark on another no-budget 3 minute short on 16mm/super16 (which ever camera i can borrow) but this time decided to do it on Black and White.

I was reading up on the Orwo N74 stock which at 400 ASA seems to have the best of both worlds, especially as i have a rubbish budget for lights.

Can anyone who's used this stock tell me about the following.

1. What is the grain size like in comparison with modern stocks, colour and black and white? Is the high speed a trade off in quality?

2. Its reported to have a wide lattitude, so should one still expose it to the published exposure index like with other black and white stocks or would it benefit from slight over/underexposure?

Many thanks,
Andy


I had a bit different experience as christian. I think it looks beautiful (i exposed it as a 400 pushed 1 stop though during developing and I use kodak D19) . The grain was comparable to 7222. After a 1st contact w it I bought another 400ft and 2x400ft of UN54 (but I dunno how the UN54 will end up).
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#11 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:12 AM

I had a bit different experience as christian. I think it looks beautiful (i exposed it as a 400 pushed 1 stop though during developing and I use kodak D19) . The grain was comparable to 7222. After a 1st contact w it I bought another 400ft and 2x400ft of UN54 (but I dunno how the UN54 will end up).


Pressumably you shot it in 16mm? You say the grain was compariable with Double-X was that for the roll you push processed?

What would you say is the usable ASA rating? 200, 320 ?
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#12 Richardson Leao

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 07:18 PM

Pressumably you shot it in 16mm? You say the grain was compariable with Double-X was that for the roll you push processed?

What would you say is the usable ASA rating? 200, 320 ?


yes, it was 16, pushing it it got grainer than d-x. but there was a short film, i can't remember now the name (sorry) that won something in cannes that was filmed in orwo 400 and as i remember, it looked like the kodak (i'll have to check). By the fact that 1 stop produced fantastic results, i'd say that you'd be safe ~320. I have telecined it but i'm on holidays at the moment. I may be able to post a clip after 3/1.
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#13 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 05:07 AM

yes, it was 16, pushing it it got grainer than d-x. but there was a short film, i can't remember now the name (sorry) that won something in cannes that was filmed in orwo 400 and as i remember, it looked like the kodak (i'll have to check). By the fact that 1 stop produced fantastic results, i'd say that you'd be safe ~320. I have telecined it but i'm on holidays at the moment. I may be able to post a clip after 3/1.


Thanks for all the advise everyone, I think it sounds like a stock worth experimenting with, though admitedly perhaps not reliable enough for an important short or commercial work.
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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 06:07 AM

For my last film we did test both the Orwo and Kodak Double-X and fond them to be very similar to each other. We tried regular development and 1 stop push, and two different print stocks (regular and high con). In the end we went with regular dev./high con print. But that print stock is very expensive and only comes in 1000ft rolls, which was okay for a short, but for a feature I'd probbaly go with 1 stop push and regular print stock, which gives you nice blacks and good contrast.
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#15 Ole Dost

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:39 AM

I used the Filmotec ORWO Filmstock very often. I get it processsed by someone who is specialized on BW-processing and he says that it´s the BEST BW Filmstock in 16mm he knows. It is not old fashioned at all! It is a brandnew technology and emulsion - Kodak BW Negativ Filmstock is a bit old fashioned in Comparison.
I really recommend using it. Not just for experimenting, but for true feature shots.
Best regards,
Ole
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 04:01 PM

I have no experience with Orwo stock, but it is true that the Kodak B&W films haven't been updated since the mid '50s. You're essentially using the same stock they shot The "Twilight Zone" or "The Red Badge of Courage" with. Even the "new" B&W filmstocks that utilize T-grain emulsions, and are only available in still-photography lengths and perforations, are, to my knowledge, the same as they were when they were introduced in 1986. That's essentially the same technology as EXR, although B&W would have finer grain than its EXR equivalent, but due to B&W grain being real silver grain, B&W would have more evident texture, whereas the dye clouds of color tend to kind of mesh together more. So even if Orwo were to utilize some sort of t-grain emulsion, which I doubt because I think only Kodak, Fuji and Ilford developed the technology to synthesize tabular grain films, it'd still be two generations out of synch with what you're seeing in Vision Two or the new line of Fuji films.

I don't care frankly, and I feel that B&W looks better than color desaturated to B&W, regardless of coarser grain, but if you're going for the finest grain you can get, color desaturated would give you finer grain and faster speed, albeit it will cost more money. It's kind of funny the way that B&W is priced as opposed to color. The paper is cheaper for color and amateur films, but the pro line of films is significantly more expensive than B&W film. Is print stock the same way, with color print stock being cheaper than B&W? I know B&W rawstock is dirt cheap regardless of whom you get it from, whereas color is pricey from both Kodak and Fuji.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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