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#1 Chris Walters

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 07:12 PM

I keep hearing from several DPs that its best to overexpose the negative because there is more detail in the shadows. They also suggest rating 500T at 320T to achieve less apparent grain and richer colors, but do I develop and print it normally? Pull it 1/2 stop and print normally? ( I know 500 to 320 is 2/3 but the lab only does 1/2 increments) Or do I develop it normally and print down? Are there different effects for both ways?

My situation is I'm shooting a super16 film and was looking at 7218 and rating it at 320 to get less grain and richer colors. I'm shooting a horror film so i'm not sure if thats the best way to achieve the dark blacks since i'm increasing shadow detail. Would it be smarter to get less grain and richer colors to just shoot on 200T? Or just shoot develop and print 500T normally but just underexpose what I want black.

I don't have the budget to shoot 35. I'm all ears to any suggestions.


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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 07:45 PM

Overexposing by 2/3 stop (or so, there is precious little difference between 1/2 and 2/3 stop) and processing normally will give you a slightly darker negative (4-5 printer points darker). When that is printed down to correct the density, you will get darker blacks as a result of the higher printer light.

(It actually means that your negative covers a slightly wider density range, so on telecine you will be able to get the full rich blacks as well, without having to push the blacks down more than normal).

Also the fuller negative will result in slightly less graininess , especially in the shadows.

Pull-processing would, if anything, negate a part of that effect. What's more, it would cost you more.

If you are planning to have deep shadows, then you will want them to be grain-free, and you will wan them to be dark - so overexposing, processing normally and printing down will work for you. But you'll still need to light your shadow areas dark. It's usually best to do as much as you can for the "look" before the image gets into the camera, and then as much as you can before it gets to the lab.
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#3 Frank Barrera

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

You should consider Kodak 7279. It has excellent color rendition and less latitude than 7218. It's very good for contrasty dramatic work. If you are looking for deep blacks 79 will get you there faster. But the days of "contrasty" stocks are over so if you do go with 79 you still need to get your shadows to an incident reading of at least 6 stops under exposure and this is in addition to your 2/3rd opening for the denser negative. Natuarlly, you should conduct a test and find that spot where things drop off. Production design will also assist in controlling the shadows.

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