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#1 Lisa Davidson

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 02:53 AM

Hi, Everyone,
I've read that in a Bolex H8 the viewfinder takes one-quarter of the light away from the film. I assume that this means you open up the lens one-half stop from what your meter says, because half the light is one stop and a quarter is half-stop, right? So, if I want to meter externally not with a Bolex but with a Leicina, do you happen to know what percent of light is taken by the viewfinder? Is it one quarter no matter what camera you're using?
Thanks,
Lisa
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 05:43 AM

yes, it's always in that ballpark. one strategy is to decide which side to err on if unsure. it depends on the stock, the scene and the look you're after. with reversal it's usually better to underexpose slightly if in doubt, since it blows out so easily, so i usually open 1/3, which is easier to dial in on most light meters too.

/matt
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#3 Lisa Davidson

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 01:29 AM

OK, so if it's stealing 1/2 stop, you pretend it's stealing 1/3 stop, so you end up a little underexposed. Got it. Thanks.
Lisa
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 04:00 AM

If you want to be a bit more accurate:

A Bolex prism takes near on %17 of the light to the finder - not a quarter.

As Cine cameras are more often than not exposure-priority (as opposed to aperture priority) this makes things a little easier in terms of dealing with this light loss ... Simply take your exposure time and multiply it by 0.83 (1-0.17) - and use the value in your light meter to find your aperture setting... If its not to your liking then use ND, more/less light etc...

example:

shooting 24fps with a 133deg shutter angle >> (1/24) * (133/360) = an actual 1/64 exposure

(1/64) * 0.83 = a relative 1/77 exposure to use in your light meter

niceness

...or... since you are simply metering with another camera at least have the knowledge backed up there to help you make decisions - If you are shooting neg I'd go for slight over exposure than under...
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:21 PM

yes, it's always in that ballpark. one strategy is to decide which side to err on if unsure. it depends on the stock, the scene and the look you're after. with reversal it's usually better to underexpose slightly if in doubt, since it blows out so easily, so i usually open 1/3, which is easier to dial in on most light meters too.

/matt



Agree, if you are talking about not blowing out lighter colored hair or lighter colored clothing.

Disagree, it also depends on what the contrast range of the scene is, how strong the backlight is, and whether the shot is close-up, medium shot, or wide shot.
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#6 Lisa Davidson

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:01 PM

If you want to be a bit more accurate:

A Bolex prism takes near on %17 of the light to the finder - not a quarter.your liking then use ND, more/less light etc...

...or... since you are simply metering with another camera at least have the knowledge backed up there to help you make decisions - If you are shooting neg I'd go for slight over exposure than under...


*****
I'm not metering with another camera but with an external meter (Pentax spotmeter).

To your knowledge, do all the Super-8's and reflex 8's take that 17% of light, or is that just a Bolex fact? It's kind of hard to find this information; I don't know where to look.

Incidentally, my thumb still aches from holding the H8. The H8 works pretty well with the monopod, but still feels pretty awkward. This is what I'm wondering -- is Super-8 just too easy to use because the cameras are so much lighter and lovelier with better viewfinders, meaning you are losing some quality somewhere else? I mean, are you getting something for nothing? If you haul around that five or six pounds of Bolex plus lens, do you get more for your effort? It's funny, because I don't mind using a view camera, but this is somehow different. I guess I mean, is the "old technology" flawed and Super-8 fixed it, or is the older actually better in a way?

Also, do you think double super-8 is worth doing, and is it hard to find film (I haven't been able to, so far).
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:37 PM

*****
......is Super-8 just too easy to use because the cameras are so much lighter and lovelier with better viewfinders, meaning you are losing some quality somewhere else? I mean, are you getting something for nothing?.......


Wow, what a great way to think.

Yes, you are in the alamo and the super-8 forces have amassed outside the fort. You can revel in knowing that your regular 8 format is supposed to be more "stable" in terms of registration, which in turn can mean more image sharpness. However the film area in super-8 is larger than regular 8.

.......is the "old technology" flawed and Super-8 fixed it, or is the older actually better in a way?
Also, do you think double super-8 is worth doing, and is it hard to find film (I haven't been able to, so far).


John Schwind is an expert in the area of 8mm filmmaking. There is also the website http://www.Single8.com which might be able to answer your questions. Also consider wikipedia.

Super-8 definitely romanticized film shooting by giving one such a bright, clear viewfinder, the pre-loaded film cartridge and many filming speed options to choose from.
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