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Vision 2 500T - Best Match for 35mm Still Film?


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#1 Devon Green

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:41 AM

I am planning to shoot some night time exteriors of alleyways, neon signs, and some large exteriors of downtown buildings some of which I will be situated far away from and will be difficult to meter. I am using only using available light at night time. I know I'll be shooting at a very slow shutter speed (maybe 5fps) I am to shooting with Kodak Vision 2 500T with Zeiss Superspeed Primes.

I want to find a 35mm still film stock that will best match when I take some test shots with a manual SLR still camera because I don?t want to waste film getting the exposure incorrect.
As far as I know, Kodak does not have a 500ASA still film. The closest I have found were these two stocks:
KODAK MAX Versatility Film (400 speed)
KODAK High Definition 400 Film (400 speed) .
Here is a link to the specs for these stocks if this helps answer the question:
http://www.kodak.com...tid=3135#wg10_1

So my question is

A) Which of these will better approximate Kodak Vision 2?
B) How close will it approximate?
C) Is there another 35mm still film stock I should consider (maybe even non- Kodak?)

Thanks!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:12 AM

DGC, you need to go to My Controls and edit your Display Name to a real first and last name as per the forum rules. Thanks.

Anything other than the actual 35mm cine stock you will be using, going through the post and display formats you intend, will only be an approximation anyway. If you only need to know if you will get enough exposure, a still stock in that speed range will work.

If you want to be more precise, apparently A.I. Color Labs will now process motion picture stock:
http://www.aandi.com/mp_stock.htm

Don't know if they also sell the film in cassettes; otherwise, try Kodak or Fuji for a sample.
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#3 Jon Kukla

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:12 PM

If you wind up not being able to test after all, then your best choice will be to simply bracket your exposures. At 5 fps, I suppose that won't cost you too much in the way of footage.
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#4 adam berk

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:39 PM

Something I've found extremely helpful, although I realize a bit off-topic, is having a DSLR on set. I use a Nikon D70. I will simply set the ISO and shutterspeed to be as close as possible to what my motion picture camera is running. This allows me to test exposure. Something else a bit off-topic, but totally worth mentioning, is how this practice has really shown me the latitude advantages of film. I've had plenty of exposures on the DSLR that just couldn't handle the contrast in my scenes, yet when I get to telecine, ALL of the detail is there on the actual film.

Maybe the DSLR idea helps you, maybe not....thought I'd mention it.

thanks,
adam
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#5 Devon Green

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 03:06 PM

I was hoping to also approximate the look as long as I was at it. By the way, I'm shooting Super16mm.
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 03:25 PM

I was hoping to also approximate the look as long as I was at it. By the way, I'm shooting Super16mm.


I recently had a chance to use my polaroid camera for a super-8 film shoot that involved 500T. I was very pleased with how the polaroid was able to let me previsualize how the 500T would come out. I have a page devoted to using Polaroid film to pre-visualize how motion picture film will look on my Super-8mm.net website.

Your biggest drawback is not the cost of the Polaroid film, which works out to around a buck a picture, it's getting one of these cameras. There were several thousand of these polaroid cameras converted to take modern day film, and they used to sell for around 300-350 bucks, perhaps on eBay nowadays they go for a lot less??? The Polaroid cameras offer shutter and f-stop settings, plus focus. The black and white film comes in 100 ASA and 3000 ASA. The one drawback is the f-stop only goes down to f4.7, so you'll have to do some math conversions.

The plus is the instant pictures (about one minute to develop) are really nice resolution, retro, can be used as publicity stills, and most importantly they show you what you will get as long as you do the correct math conversion.

A final bonus is the actors and make-up people like seeing the images as it actually helps them understand the framing and the look.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 03:57 PM

Here are a couple of eBay auctions. The sellers are pretty thorough in their description of the polaroid cameras.

Polaroid 110A

Another Polaroid 110A

I can only recommend the ones that were converted by "Four Designs Company" (F.D.C.) since that's the only one I've ever used. The ones that F.D.C. converted usually had an aluminum sticker on it that said "Four Designs Company".

I guess I lucked out when I bought mine off of eBay a couple of years ago because I think I paid less than half of what the second auction price is selling it for.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:35 PM

Most accurate thing would be to shoot the actual MP film stock planned in your still camera, crop it later to the Super-16 format size in post.

Although if you're only shooting at 5 fps, it seems you could shoot a 100' test in Super-16, process, print, and project that print at the lab.

I don't see why a b&w polaroid would be any more accurate than any other method (color still film, digital still camera, etc.) The main advantage of the polaroid method was that it could be developed and looked at on the set. If you're not in a hurry, then you might as well take a 35mm color negative still picture and send it to the lab.
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:06 PM

The polaroid method is probably the cheapest way to do it, but not necessarily the best. The best way to do it would be the way you say David. So it could simply come down to what is most important, the cheapest method or the most reliable method. The reason I would say the Polaroid is not the most reliable is because one would wait until the night of the shoot, which can be a risk if the Polaroid camera malfunctions, whereas with your method David it would be done beforehand.
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#10 Aaron Farrugia

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:24 PM

Something I've found extremely helpful, although I realize a bit off-topic, is having a DSLR on set. I use a Nikon D70. I will simply set the ISO and shutterspeed to be as close as possible to what my motion picture camera is running. This allows me to test exposure. Something else a bit off-topic, but totally worth mentioning, is how this practice has really shown me the latitude advantages of film. I've had plenty of exposures on the DSLR that just couldn't handle the contrast in my scenes, yet when I get to telecine, ALL of the detail is there on the actual film.

Maybe the DSLR idea helps you, maybe not....thought I'd mention it.

thanks,
adam


just wondering what shutterspeed you set your stills camera to? 1/24 ?
do you need to use a tripod to shoot at this shutter? i always thought 1/60 is as slow as one should go before it gets too blury to hand hold, just wondering how you do it or do you shoot at a higher shutter and componsate with the stops
as i just purchased my own d70, which i get this week. :)
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#11 Devon Green

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 12:09 AM

Yes, 1/24 will be the same shutter speed as film at 24fps and I would definitely use a tripod.
Of course, I am doing so at 5fps. I wish my SLR had 1/5 to match 5fps which is what I read is the minimum safe speed for my Arri 16SR. I'd like to be able to shoot even slower with the 16SR. My SLR will shoot at 1/4.
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#12 Jon Kukla

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:51 AM

No, 1/48 second shutter speed will be identical to a film camera at 24 fps. Don't forget that half of each frame-time the shutter is closed while the film is being pulled down.

Shutter time is equal to shutter angle / (360 * fps). Therefore, assuming a 180 degree shutter opening and 5 fps, your shutter time will be 1/10 second.

Edited by Jon Kukla, 09 April 2007 - 01:51 AM.

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#13 Aaron Farrugia

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:02 AM

No, 1/48 second shutter speed will be identical to a film camera at 24 fps. Don't forget that half of each frame-time the shutter is closed while the film is being pulled down.

Shutter time is equal to shutter angle / (360 * fps). Therefore, assuming a 180 degree shutter opening and 5 fps, your shutter time will be 1/10 second.


aaa yes i feel like slapping my self in the head *slaps head* i didnt think it through hard enough should have seen it :lol:
still
at 1/48 youd need a fairly steady hand
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#14 adam berk

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:06 AM

I'm shooting mostly my Bolex EBM with a 170 degree shutter.....so I set my D70 for 1/50 shutter. The only time I have to start compensating around is when I'm using 50D, 100T, or 7285 since the D70 ISO setting only goes down to ISO200. Otherwise...it's always close enough.

When it comes to 1/50 being to slow to get sharp pics handheld....it doesn't really matter. I can usually get sharp pics at that speed, but even if don't for some reason, it doesn't really matter since I'm really only using it to test exposure and color balance. And like I said, the latitude of the Vision2 negative film stocks are pretty far beyond the D70 anyways so as long as I get things looking close to where I want them to be, I feel safe knowing that I will have plenty of information to work with in telecine.
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#15 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:28 PM

If you already own the camera, always best to shoot tests in the format you intend to use, as then you can really judge sharpness and grain. A few feet of each test scene won't use much film.
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:59 PM

I don't see why a b&w polaroid would be any more accurate than any other method (color still film, digital still camera, etc.) The main advantage of the polaroid method was that it could be developed and looked at on the set. If you're not in a hurry, then you might as well take a 35mm color negative still picture and send it to the lab.


Although you can't shoot a Polaroid in a Panavision, I do find them helpful for lighting checks. I may shoot all of one on a job, but I'd say a Polaroid is a better vice than, say a cigarette break to calm my nerves. I'd say a Polaroid is the most assuring double check available, as even digital memory cards can loose pictures.

As far as shooting on a set goes. I'd almost want to shoot respooled ECN-2 in my Nikon BEFORE the beginning of principal photography, and have them made into slides so I could have a chance to maybe play around with basic lighting setups as well as having the opportunity to really get accustomed to working with a specific stock in a specific environment. It's not that I have an opportunity to shoot a roll of Portra 220 every day as a still photographer, but at least still photography with 35mm or even ick digital is constantly refreshing my skill, my craft. I'd be a little worried of always sitting on my hands not shooting anything for months on end, so it would be nice just from that perspective, although it's still not really cinematography.
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