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Aperture Settings -- advice wanted


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#1 Terry Mester

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:46 AM

I would like to enquire if a few experienced Professional Cinematographers can offer some advice to Super 8mm users regarding safe Aperture Settings to use in the five Outdoor Light conditions mentioned below -- for 64 & 100 ISO Reversal (Positive) Film at a 18 f/s Shutter Speed of 1/30th of a Second. I have an out-of-date Guide for Kodachrome 10 ISO that suggested f/stops of 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8 and 11, and using 1/2 f/stop Higher and Lower for Light and Dark Subjects respectively. Although many S8 Cameras come with an Auto Aperture, that likely cannot be relied upon for 100 ISO Film, and many Cameras do not come with an Auto Aperture. I hope you can offer Super8 users good professional advice. Thanks.

APERTURE SETTING GUIDE
f/ OPEN SHADE (clear sky)
f/ CLOUDY BRIGHT
f/ HAZY SUN
f/ BRIGHT SUN
f/ BRIGHT SUN (on light sand or snow)
For LIGHT Subjects use 1/2 f/stop HIGHER
For DARK Subjects use 1/2 f/stop LOWER
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:55 AM

Why don't you just use a light meter if you know the ASA and shutter speed?

I mean, mentally I could calculate (guess) based on the fact that I always get about an f/16 and a 1/3 at 50 ASA / 1/50th of a second shutter speed in direct sunlight once it's risen high enough on a clear day in California. But I don't need to guess since I have a light meter...

Also 64T is a tungsten-balanced film, so it would be a 40 ASA with the 85B filter in daylight. But the 100D stock is daylight-balanced. So you are really asking for figures for 40 ASA and 100 ASA in daylight exterior conditions.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:11 AM

I have an out-of-date Guide for Kodachrome 10 ISO...


Kodak's website always has up to date details on all their stocks. Just to let you know.
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#4 Terry Mester

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:44 AM

Thanks David and Jonathan for the info. The HTTP Link below is for the Super8 Ektachrome 64T, but it doesn't contain info on Aperture Settings other than that you need to treat it as 40 ISO in Daylight. This is good since it means that the Auto Apertures on S8 Cameras will serve for E64, but the need for an Outdoor Filter is bad news. A lot of part-time Super8 users will not want to be bothered with a filter. It sort of looks like Kodak is trying to get rid of Super8 users given that they could just as easily have given us Kodachrome 64. I mistakenly thought that they also gave us E100D. I personally don't know what I'm going to go with to replace K40. I made this inquiry for Aperture Settings not really so much for myself as for other amateur Super8 users who need advice. Part-time Super8 users do not want to be bothered with Light Meters and Filters. I did think of the differences in Sun position relative to Latitude which is the difference between Bright Sun and Hazy Sun. On a Sunny Day, the Sun will become Hazy earlier as you get further North. The camera operator has to determine if it's a Hazy or Bright Sun. Regardless of Latitude, these five Light Conditions should have a constant Aperture (give or take 1/2 an f/stop), and the margin of error for Positive Reversal Film is 1/2 an f/stop. So this Guide for 40 ISO should serve for E64 Outdoors. Now I believe that the Shutter Speed for 18 f/s is 1/30th of a Second, but please correct this if I'm wrong. If you can do numerous tests with your Light Meter throughout the day, you should get consistent readings for these five Light Conditions. I could do tests with my Camera, but it's Winter and I need to wait till June.

http://kodak.com/US/...8mm/t7280.jhtml (Super8mm Ektachrome 64T)
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:02 AM

Now I believe that the Shutter Speed for 18 f/s is 1/30th of a Second, but please correct this if I'm wrong.


Didn't the "XL" Super-8 cameras have a bigger shutter angle than the older Super-8 cameras? A 180 degree shutter at 18 fps would give you 1/36th of a second.

It seems that if you really want accurate exposures, you'd need to test your camera to discover its true shutter speed, and then use a light meter with the right info plugged into it.

I wonder how Kodak decided what the stop adjustments were for "hazy sun", "overcast", "heavy overcast" since those are hardly standardized levels.
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:57 PM

Didn't the "XL" Super-8 cameras have a bigger shutter angle than the older Super-8 cameras? A 180 degree shutter at 18 fps would give you 1/36th of a second.


The shutters were around 220-230 degree. The Kodaks had no reflex viewing, so asto not siphon light away from exposure.
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#7 Terry Mester

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 09:38 PM

Didn't the "XL" Super-8 cameras have a bigger shutter angle than the older Super-8 cameras? A 180 degree shutter at 18 fps would give you 1/36th of a second.
It seems that if you really want accurate exposures, you'd need to test your camera to discover its true shutter speed, and then use a light meter with the right info plugged into it.

Although the Camera was in mint condition when I bought it, the Instructions were unfortunately lost. I'm going to check on the Net to see if I can find info on my model, but I don't need a Light Meter since the Auto Aperture works perfectly well.

I wonder how Kodak decided what the stop adjustments were for "hazy sun", "overcast", "heavy overcast" since those are hardly standardized levels.

I don't know, but it is a Kodak Camera (wind-up type) and Kodak Kodachrome Aperture Guide. As far as I know, your Aperture is safe within 1/2 an f/stop, and the Guide does say to use 1/2 f/stop Higher or Lower for Lighter or Darker Subjects. The "OPEN SHADE (clear sky)" level sounds to me like being in shade on a sunny day, and "CLOUDY BRIGHT" sounds like a day with white (but not dark) clouds. For "HAZY SUN", depending on one's Latitude, where I live that would be before 9AM and after 5:30PM during the month around June 21st. As you get away from June 21st, the haze stays longer in the morning and comes earlier in the afternoon. There are only 7 applicable f/stops to choose from, and the Guide only needs to be in the middle of a one-stop range. 1/2 an f/stop too low or high is safe. It shouldn't be that difficult to determine a one-stop range for the five light conditions. For indoors at night, I know from experience that with f/1.8 you need a good 400W of Light to get an adequate picture, but 500W would be better. What is important is to have some guide for amateurs who don't have an Auto Aperture to rely on. Without guidance newbies will get discouraged by failure, and give up on using Super8.

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