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100D way too sensitive outdoors


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 07:30 PM

I just loaded my very first Ektachrome 100D cartridge into my Canon 1014E yesterday. I had previously placed fresh batteries in the camera as I had heard of some transportation problems with some of the stiffer, modern film stocks. I was pleased to hear the sound of the film running as smoothly as K40.

However, when I went out to the jetty to set up for a time lapse shoot over the beach on this bright sunny day, I took a light reading (using the Canon 1014E's meter) from an 18% grey card and it indicated f32! By the way, it's summer over here right now. The time was a little after 5.00pm.

I also encountered a technical problem at this time - for some strange reason, I cannot access f32 on my camera! I turn the exposure / aperture dial as far as I can, and it only goes as far as inbetween f22 and f32. This has not ever happened in the past. I was forced to wait until well after 6.20pm till the light meter indicated a split between f22 and f32 so that I could finally start filming (it's daylight saving over here.) Though to be honest, I don't like the idea of diffraction softening my footage by using such small apertures.

Even so, this seems unusually sensitive for a 100asa film considering that, like most super 8 cameras with reflex viewfinders, the 1014E has a beam splitter prism. The shutter speed, when running at 18fps and single frame, is roughly 1/48th of a second. I know from experience using my still camera between mid morning and midday on a bright sunny day, that I can approximately f22 with a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second using 125asa film. I was shooting 200asa film with my K3 over a month ago in the late afternoon on a sunny day (1/60th at 24fps) and my aperture range was somewhere between f8 and f16 though I can?t recall exactly.

Surely, the light meter in my 1014E can?t be off ? it was working fine earlier this year when I was using a Plus-X cartridge ? all exposures turned out fine. I?m going to do a test now comparing my Canon T70?s readings with the Canon 1014E and see if there are any dramatic differences. From my calculations based on previous exposure readings, it seems like it?s about half a stop or one stop more sensitive than it should be. The 100D film currently inside the 1014E is a test cartridge and I want to do some more time lapse beach shoots and send the film off for processing before I go away in early January. Looks like I am in urgent need of an ND filter. The ND filters that I own for my still camera lenses are too small and would cause vignetting anyway if I used a step down ring. Unfortunately most camera shops are going to be closed during this period which makes it hard to purchase a new ND filter at this time.
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#2 Bryant Jansen

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 08:23 PM

Patrick,

It is normal to have to use an ND .6 or so to get down to a good exposure on a sunny day. As far as geting down to that stop without having an ND, you could try throwing on a polarizer, it should eat up about two stops.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 08:25 PM

You're right -- you need ND filters.

In bright direct (frontal) sunlight on a clear day, your meter will give you about an f/16 and a half at 50 ASA. It's a good way to double-check your meter because it's so predictable.

I'm currently using 100T stock rated at 80 ASA with no filters, so 50 ASA with an 85B filter, and I usually start out with an 85ND6 on a sunny day because I'll get an f/8 and a half on my meter in frontal sunlight. Or I use an 85/Pola combo.

So, yes, you could use a Pola as a rough ND6 if necessary (most Polas are about a stop and a half loss).
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#4 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 09:17 PM

I agree that an ND or polariser would fix my delimma but as I said, mine won't fit on my 1014E and camera shops would be closed during this period.

By the way, I did some light reading tests comparing my Canon T70 with the 1014 using a grey card and it seems that the 1014 readings seem to be about half a stop too sensitive. I wonder if the camera is reading the 100D cart as a 160asa cartridge - though the 1014 should read 100asa daylight fine.

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 23 December 2006 - 09:22 PM.

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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 10:08 PM

I agree that an ND or polariser would fix my delimma but as I said, mine won't fit on my 1014E and camera shops would be closed during this period.

By the way, I did some light reading tests comparing my Canon T70 with the 1014 using a grey card and it seems that the 1014 readings seem to be about half a stop too sensitive. I wonder if the camera is reading the 100D cart as a 160asa cartridge - though the 1014 should read 100asa daylight fine.


Are you sure the camera shops would be closed all week long?

I would not have waited for additional hour the way you did before you began shooting for a couple of reasons. Since it's time lapse footage, and you're probably shooting at around 5 seconds or more between exposures, you're really not going to eat up that much film in the course of an hour, around 30 seconds max perhaps, even less if your intervals were slower.

Even if your footage was slightly overexposed, some of the loveliest time-lapse shots start either under or over?exposed and then become properly exposed as the day progresses, it's the ultimate fade in or fade out you could ask for! Additionally, the beginning of a film cartridge tends to have some dust on it, so even if the first 100-150 frames were not exactly what you wanted, at least it gets you away from from dust bunnies that tend to proliferate at the front and back of a Super-8 film roll.

This might be a "dicey" idea, but if you have time-lapse on your camera but are also able to depress the slow motion button on your camera without activating the real time slow motion feature, you may be able to increase the shutter speed from 1/36 to 1/72 or more, which would cause you to lose one f-stop of sensîtivity.

However, I'm not sure that both the slow mo shutter speed can be increased to the default slow-motion setting and still have the time-lapse feature working.
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#6 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 10:27 PM

"Even if your footage was slightly overexposed, some of the loveliest time-lapse shots start either under or over?exposed and then become properly exposed as the day progresses."

Agreed. A few years ago, I did a time lapse shoot of a sunset over the ocean that I deliberately started off overexposed and then ended underexposed and it looked stunning. However, I wasnt totally fond of a beach shot starting off overexposed (all that blown out white sand), even though the overexposure would be brief!

"Since it's time lapse footage, and you're probably shooting at around 5 seconds or more between exposures, you're really not going to eat up that much film in the course of an hour, around 30 seconds max perhaps, even less if your intervals were slower."

I was originally planning to do one minute intervals over a period of two hours and a bit. Even so, I know that the duration of the shot would be quite short. Unfortunately, as I kept waiting and waiting for the light intensity to drop, I was forced to select shorter interval times to compensate - otherwise the duration of the shot would be way too short. When the light finally became manageable, I only had about an hour of light to work with - so I settled on 15 second intervals.

The next time I try this, if I can't get hold of a 58mm ND filter before January, I'm going to use my still camera for light readings and close down the shutter of the Canon 1014 to the '4' setting and set the aperture adjustment switch to '4' setting to compensate.

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 23 December 2006 - 10:29 PM.

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#7 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 11:57 PM

By the way, I did some light reading tests comparing my Canon T70 with the 1014 using a grey card and it seems that the 1014 readings seem to be about half a stop too sensitive.

Because your TTl meter is compensating for the beam splitter.
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#8 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 12:10 AM

Actually, the beam splitter causes light loss. So that should result in a slightly larger aperture opening rather than smaller. In this case, the Canon 1014 wants to close down the aperture by half a stop.

By the way, I am hoping that using a reduced shutter angle (like a 1/4 closed), there won't be any choppy looking movement produced. Obviously, this would be more of a problem during normal frame rates I should think (18, 24fps ect.) I am planning to do one minute intervals. I hope that the movement of shadows for example will still look reasonably smooth.
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 02:21 AM

Actually, the beam splitter causes light loss. So that should result in a slightly larger aperture opening rather than smaller. In this case, the Canon 1014 wants to close down the aperture by half a stop.

By the way, I am hoping that using a reduced shutter angle (like a 1/4 closed), there won't be any choppy looking movement produced. Obviously, this would be more of a problem during normal frame rates I should think (18, 24fps ect.) I am planning to do one minute intervals. I hope that the movement of shadows for example will still look reasonably smooth.


Probably where you would notice most is either street traffic rushing by the camera, (the leading edge of the cars will probably show different blurs depending on your shutter speed) and in telephoto shots. The cool thing about time-lapse is it's usually all good, it's just having the patience to let the camera do it's thing and not stop it too soon while also not staying out so late that wolves show up for a visit.
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