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Pushing 5218


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#1 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:06 AM

I'm shooting a city skyline at night with 5218 and a Zeiss 135mm T2.1 prime. I did some spot metering at the location and am wondering how far I can safely push the stock and still get good results....blacks holding up, etc. I'm planning on one stop and am confident that grain will hold up. Any thoughts on pushing just a bit farther? The meter says I can sure use more stop. Final destination is an HD transfer...and shooting tomorrow so no time for test.
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:44 AM

I've done some exposure tests of 5218. Underexposing then pushing the film a stop does create quite a bit of grain. It depends on what you're cutting your footage with, I suppose, but for me the amount of grain was not attractive.

At most, I found 1/2 under then pushed back to normal tolerable. If you're mostly concerned with picking up street lights, the illuminated streets and buildings, opening that aperture to 2.1 just might give you enough so you won't have to push the image.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:02 PM

I've pushed 35mm 5218 by a stop and it looks fine, although that's starting out at a base rating of 320 ASA, so 640 ASA with the one-stop push.

I've never understood the point of a 1/2-stop push since that's only a 3 to 4 point change on the printer light scale. Doesn't seem worth the bother. Plus I can't imagine a situation where I'm desparate for another 1/2-stop more exposure -- usually at least one-stop more would be desirable.

As for two-stops push of 500T stock, just depends on how much you like the increase in grain and contrast. There have been films to do that in the past, like "Eyes Wide Shut" (5298) and "Ocean's Eleven" (5279). I remember that "Red Dragon" was pushed by two-stops but only underexposed by 2/3's of a stop, so the final negative was more than a stop denser-than-normal. Printed down, it created a somewhat contrasty look.

I'd probably just go for the one-stop push and bring up the image in post if necessary. Other tricks would be to undercrank any shots where the real speed of moving objects was not apparent. I've shot many nighttime landscapes at 12 fps, for example. It would also help to get a faster lens than T/2.1...

You could also take a grainy shot in post and run it through some noise reduction process.
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#4 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:17 PM

Thank you for the advice... On a reflective reading, I'm getting the majority of city lights at 18% gray or even a full stop under. I think I'm still comfortable pushing a stop to get a little more exposure and then rely on the telecine to do the rest. There are large chunks of black sky in the frame...will be interesting to see how tight the grain stays there. Not too worried for telecine with a little noise reduction. The director wants the shot to be a pan...but I think I'm going to give them a static at 12 fps in addition just for fun.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:38 PM

The director wants the shot to be a pan...but I think I'm going to give them a static at 12 fps in addition just for fun.


Or just pan twice as slow...
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:08 PM

I've never understood the point of a 1/2-stop push since that's only a 3 to 4 point change on the printer light scale.


I wasn't saying that as if it were a practice I condone, just in terms of exposure tests I've done, the 1/2 stop pushed footage was at least intercuttable with say 1-stop overexposed & pulled footage...in regards to the project I was filming at the time.

It all depends on whether you like the grain for your project, in that case, pushing a stop just might work for you

:)
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