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Ektachrome 64T, a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type of Film Stock.


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:45 AM

I just viewed an Ektachrome 64T super-8 film transfer that was done at Film and Video Transfers in Northridge California. I did not shoot the footage so my observations are simply based on what I saw laid down onto DVD. Film and Video Transfers offers both rank cintel transfers and film chain transfers as well (in all film formats). The transfer that I viewed was a super-8 film chain transfer and was very good. But what surprised me the most was how literally one shot would look as good or better than really good kodachrome, but then the very next shot at the same location looked grainy.

I just wanted to share a couple of observations for those of you that want to avoid excessive grain when shooting Ektachrome 64T. 64T grain levels looked almost imperceptable on some shots that had no flat "wall" in the background. To reduce the grainy look, it appears that avoiding shots where the background is all of a similar distance to the camera may help. There also appears to be a relationship between grain levels and how much blue is in the shot, if the blue has gradiations in it or not, the contrast range of the shot, and if the shot is overexposed or underexposed, but I haven't had a chance to study those aspects in detail.

Any other observations by others shooting Super-8 Ektachrome 64T are welcomed.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:47 AM

I just wanted to share a couple of observations for those of you that want to avoid excessive grain when shooting Ektachrome 64T. 64T grain levels looked almost imperceptable on some shots that had no flat "wall" in the background. To reduce the grainy look, it appears that avoiding shots where the background is all of a similar distance to the camera may help.


That's true of any grainy stock. Grain is most visible in flat areas of midtone.
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#3 Terry Mester

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:02 PM

You really need to judge a Film Stock by viewing it via Projection. Every Video conversion will degrade the image quality -- especially Blue and Green Light. This is simply because Digital CCD Pixels Sensors are 'linear', 'square' and 'one size fits all'. Blue Light is the smallest, and will be distorted more than Green which will be distorted more than Red. If they were using a Filter for outdoors, then this decreases the amount of Light exposing the Film which thus increases graininess. A flat "wall" can only reflect a fixed amount of Light, and this will increase graininess. If they were using the "Zoom", then this automatically diminishes the amount of Light exposing the Film -- increasing Graininess. Regarding E64T specifically -- which is only intended for Tungsten Lighting, I do know that Professional Photographers don't care much for it. They are really angry with Kodak for taking away K25.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:21 PM



If you recall, I noted that some of the Ektachrome 64T actually looked as good as the best looking Kodachrome, the Ektachrome 64T wasn't just a one way road to grainville. The filter won't necessarily mean that less light gets to the film because one is supposed to compensate by opening up the iris 2/3's of an f-stop.
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#5 John Hyde

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 12:40 AM

Since Ektachrome 64T leans in the direction of Mr. Hyde most of the time, why not simply shoot a better stock such as Velvia or 100D Ektachrome to begin with? Seems like the other stocks would make life easier.
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#6 Matthew Buick

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 06:52 PM

Since Ektachrome 64T leans in the direction of Mr. Hyde most of the time.


That Mr. Hyde wouldn't be you by chance, would it? :lol:
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#7 Terry Mester

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 12:23 AM

That Mr. Hyde wouldn't be you by chance, would it? :lol:

Thank you Matthew. You regularly give me good laughs!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 01:56 AM

Since Ektachrome 64T leans in the direction of Mr. Hyde most of the time, why not simply shoot a better stock such as Velvia or 100D Ektachrome to begin with? Seems like the other stocks would make life easier.


Sure, that is one solution. But isn't it cool to learn Ektachrome's true identity depending on the lighting and framing situation at hand?
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#9 John Hyde

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 12:51 PM

That Mr. Hyde wouldn't be you by chance, would it? :lol:



So... you put my last name, "Hyde", together with "Mr." to make "Mr. Hyde"... just like the movie character... right? INCREDIBLE! Never heard that one before. <_<

Does anybody know where I can find Steve Hyde? I wanna beat Matthew to the punch with that crazy funny joke! ;)

Edited by John Hyde, 31 March 2007 - 12:52 PM.

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#10 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 01:21 PM

64T is strongest in bright sun. tight grain, sharp with excellent colors. But with 100D and Velvia out there now, I stick to using 64T for farting around stuff.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 03:25 PM

Thank you Matthew. You regularly give me good laughs!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Why, thank you. :)

So... you put my last name, "Hyde", together with "Mr." to make "Mr. Hyde"... just like the movie character... right? INCREDIBLE! Never heard that one before. <_<

Does anybody know where I can find Steve Hyde? I wanna beat Matthew to the punch with that crazy funny joke! ;)


Tis bad form to steal another man's joke. :ph34r:
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#12 Timothy Gassen

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 12:50 AM

Since this is such a low-speed reversal stock, for best grain reproduction does anyone suggest I shoot this in daylight without a filter, metered at 64 ASA, and color-correct in telecine?

I've been told to avoid dark blue skies, since if exaggerates grain. Is that true, also?

Thanks for any comments -- I haven't shot reversal Super-8 in a loooong time...

Timothy Gassen
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#13 Gerard Furber

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:22 PM

I think the look of 64T depends on the processing. Andec's processing was recently reformulated with advice from Kodak, and more recently my efforts have been much less blue with the built in 85 filter and finer grain. I now actually like it.
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#14 Terry Mester

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 06:37 PM

Since this is such a low-speed reversal stock, for best grain reproduction does anyone suggest I shoot this in daylight without a filter, metered at 64 ASA, and color-correct in telecine?


Since this is a Reversal "Positive" Film, you cannot undertake the same type of colour correction as with a Negative. Paying a Lab to do colour correction, even with a Negative, will cost $$$, and so it's better to use the correct Aperture / Exposure during filming. If you do use a Filter outside, you must treat 64T as 40 ASA. You would have to test a Cartridge out to see how it looks outdoors without a Filter. You generally would experience a problem of excess "blue" (requiring a Filter) outside when it is overcast and damp. The excess moisture (the O in H2O) in the air will absorb Red and Green Light thus increasing Blue. However, I personally have never used a Filter outside with Kodachrome 40A. Now, E64T is not K40A. Professional Photographers would definitely recommend Fuji's Velvia (50D) over Ektachrome 64T. You can order Velvia Carts through Spectra Film & Video.
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:27 PM

Ultimately, Ektachrome 64 and Velvia look more different than they do similar, so I wouldn't say that one stock should be used exclusively over the other. I think Ektachrome does reproduce very accurate colors.

I don't understand your statement that you shot Kodachrome 40 with no filter. Are you refering to still film that is daylight balanced, because the Kodachrome for Super-8 was indoors balanced and most definitely required the 85 filter.
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#16 Terry Mester

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:54 PM

I don't understand your statement that you shot Kodachrome 40 with no filter. Are you refering to still film that is daylight balanced, because the Kodachrome for Super-8 was indoors balanced and most definitely required the 85 filter.

I'm talking about S8 K40. (The photographic film was 25 and 64.) My internal Camera Filter is scratched, and so I can't use it. I haven't experienced a problem with blue tinge outside. I initially used about 20 seconds of Film to gradually screw out the Filter to see the difference with and without the Filter. I found the colour outdoors with K40 to be perfectly acceptable. The Auto Aperture on the Camera was undoubtedly designed for Kodachrome.
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#17 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 03:05 AM

I'm talking about S8 K40. (The photographic film was 25 and 64.) My internal Camera Filter is scratched, and so I can't use it. I haven't experienced a problem with blue tinge outside. I initially used about 20 seconds of Film to gradually screw out the Filter to see the difference with and without the Filter. I found the colour outdoors with K40 to be perfectly acceptable. The Auto Aperture on the Camera was undoubtedly designed for Kodachrome.


I don't mean to be mean but could you be somewhat color blind?
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#18 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 04:07 AM

Tonight I had a chance to set up the old screen and projector, and watch some reels. I have 3 cans of spliced film that consist of my favorite shots and experimantal cuts on reversal stocks. 400ft Kodachrome, 200ft of Velvia/100D, 200ft of 64T. It was instantly apparent how much better the 64T looks to me than K40... so crisp, colorful and vibrant. As to where K40 just looked washed out and bland in comparison. I used my "Radiant" 3' screen and projected from about 15ft, sat about that far away. With that setup, grain wasn't even an issue and the 64T looked amazing. The 100D and Velvia stuff looked even better. I think the whole E6 switch has been highly under rated so far, we have 3 color reversal stocks available now... all of which are a step up from the tired look of K40.
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#19 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 04:24 AM

It's probably not accurate to lump 40 years of Kodachrome into one category. I've seen kodachrome from the late 60's that looked amazing, and I have footage from the early 90's that would probably surpass Velvia, but that was then and this is now, and what remains of Kodachrome is really not as stable as what came before.
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#20 Terry Mester

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 06:48 PM

It was instantly apparent how much better the 64T looks to me than K40... so crisp, colorful and vibrant. As to where K40 just looked washed out and bland in comparison. I used my "Radiant" 3' screen and projected from about 15ft, sat about that far away. With that setup, grain wasn't even an issue and the 64T looked amazing. The 100D and Velvia stuff looked even better. I think the whole E6 switch has been highly under rated so far, we have 3 color reversal stocks available now... all of which are a step up from the tired look of K40.


Hi Anthony, could you provide a few more details.
How would you rate K40A and E64T indoors vs. outdoors? I assume that you used the internal Camera Filter for outdoors. With the Filter used outdoors, K40 could get under-exposed. If you didn't place the Filter out for indoor filming, then you definitely will not get good results, and you cannot blame Kodachrome for consequences of using a Filter indoors.
Did you use the 'Auto Aperture' on the Camera, or did you manually set the Aperture? Kodachrome has very sharp dyes, and therefore the Camera Aperture / Exposure needs to be very accurate.
Were you shooting 18 f/s or 24 f/s? Kodachrome 40 is really intended only for 18 f/s, and you will not get best results with 24 f/s. K40 will be under-exposed at 24 f/s. Since E64T is a faster film, it will work better with 24 f/s. For its part, Velvia is highly praised by professional photographers -- especially nature photographers. You labelled Velvia as 100D. Did you intend 50D?
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