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Overexposure on 7218!!


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#1 Merlyn Haycraft

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:19 AM

Hey all,

Just finished the 1st day of a student shoot on Super 16MM. I am on 7218 stock and my t stop is 1.3...

Now, I am not very experienced in cinematography, so I have ben relying on my 1st A.C who is also a good friend and much more knowledgable in this subject.

We have for the most part been overexposing by 2 stops, sometimes one stop and once 3, on the faces of the actors. While in the dark areas underxposing sometimes by one stop and sometimes by two.

I was worried that this was so much. But my 1st A.C said it would be fine. Now, I trust him completely so I take the bad for any mistakes we may come across. However, looking at the zone sytem again just now and reading lots of posts about overexposure I am starting to get a little concerned.

Important side note: We will convert the film to black and white in the telecine. So, colours are to be forgotten. (I don't know if this will make much of a difference in terms of overexposure)

This is a key light 2 stops and once 3 stops overexposed on the faces of the actors. I don't want to lose and blow out the faces of the actors, but my 1st A.C said that will start happening at 4, 5 stops. I pray he is right. It is a comedy and so it is natural it is well exposed...

... but my question is has it been pushed to far for texture, will it be ugly, and can anyone please give me some concrete picture examples or stories of their own experience doing such a thing. We shoot again tonight and I hope not to make any grave errors!

Thank you all.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:12 AM

Are you talking about an incident light reading, or a reflected reading? Either way you're probably safe, but you're definitely overexposing the negative.

In general I wouldn't want to overexpose a negative more than one stop for a "normal" looking print or transfer. After that, your key light usually doesn't have to read (incident) more than 1/2 stop over for a high-key comedy look. So that means 1.5 stops over, not 2-3.

It's true that you won't start to lose detail until closer to 4 or more stops over, but there's no need to overexpose that much for a normal-looking print.
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#3 Merlyn Haycraft

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:26 AM

Thank you Michael.

I'm talking about incident light reading.

In one shot of the two protagonists in a two shot, the light on them was 3 stops over and the background behind them was 1 stop under. Will this look really bad and their faces just be whitz, or will the expressions be readable. Not, also one of them has a white suit. Oh no!!

I think tonight, I will not go further than 1.5 over or under on their faces.

Any other advice or examples will be appreciated.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:03 AM

Why are you overexposing people by three-stops?

If it's because they are supposed to look that overexposed, you should be fine.

If you hope to correct back down closer to "normal" then three stops is too much, one-stop overexposed would be fine.
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:16 AM

Just send in one roll and have it developed and see what it looks like. If you have been consistant in over exposing everything you can also pull the developing one stop. This won't work if you have been over lighting the faces but exposing the backgrounds. Daniel Pearl, a really cutting edge DP, tells a story of using the wrong stock and exposure for a scene. He liked what happened so much he made it one of his signature looks.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:56 AM

...While in the dark areas underxposing sometimes by one stop and sometimes by two.


If those areas are supposed to be dark, than two stops is good. One stop under isn't really dark at all, unless it's in relation to your 2 to 3 stops overexposure, making it an 8:1 or 16:1 contrast ratio, which is pretty steep if you're going for high key comedy lighting. But in post you should still be able to bring up the detail in those shadows while printing down the overexposed areas, so no worries.

Ideally though, you should put more focus on uniforming your key f-stop for every scene and lighting FOR that f-stop. Also, to make things easier, just change the ASA on your meter to a slower speed (like 250 for 1 stop overexposure) and try and light for that.
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#7 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:15 PM

Doesn't the 7218 have a good 4 stops of latitude before it falls apart anyway?

You should be fine my friend. As long as their faces were meant to be over exposed it should hold up ok.

Good luck.

Jamie McIntyre.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 02:34 PM

Doesn't the 7218 have a good 4 stops of latitude before it falls apart anyway?

You should be fine my friend. As long as their faces were meant to be over exposed it should hold up ok.

Good luck.

Jamie McIntyre.


Although 7218 with three stops of overexposure will capture the image information, the processed negative may be so dense that it will be more difficult to print or transfer at the "normal" lab setup. Also, some telecines will have increased noise level with very dense negatives.
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#9 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:15 AM

Although 7218 with three stops of overexposure will capture the image information, the processed negative may be so dense that it will be more difficult to print or transfer at the "normal" lab setup. Also, some telecines will have increased noise level with very dense negatives.


Oh right. Thanks John!

I will incorporate this into my way of going about processing in the future.

Cheers,

Jamie McIntyre
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