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shooting with plus-x


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#1 Marco Van

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:39 PM

i shot with kodak plus-x before. while the outdoor shots are
great, the indoors are quite dark.

how much lighting do i need to get a decent picture from plus x
when shooting indoors?

also, what kinds of lights should i use? watts? thanks!
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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 06:10 PM

i shot with kodak plus-x before. while the outdoor shots are
great, the indoors are quite dark.

how much lighting do i need to get a decent picture from plus x
when shooting indoors?

also, what kinds of lights should i use? watts? thanks!


Plus x is a very slow stock for shooting indoors. You are better off with tri-x.

That being said none of us know what you mean when you say "decent picture." Are you looking for a real film Noir style in a small room, or maybe sitcome lighting, bright and very flat?

This is the difference between a couple of open face 2ks and many banks of kinos!
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#3 Marco Van

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 06:21 PM

Plus x is a very slow stock for shooting indoors. You are better off with tri-x.

That being said none of us know what you mean when you say "decent picture." Are you looking for a real film Noir style in a small room, or maybe sitcome lighting, bright and very flat?

This is the difference between a couple of open face 2ks and many banks of kinos!


yeah, a film noir feel. a nykvist feel is also good.
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#4 Marco Van

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 07:07 PM

yeah, a film noir feel. a nykvist feel is also good.


continuing from my post, the indoor scenes of my short film takes place in a
small, old apartment. the images in my head are quite noir-ish (single source of light, shadows...).

i'm thinking of a bergman-esque "persona" feel.
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:51 AM

Plus x is a very slow stock for shooting indoors. You are better off with tri-x.


As for lighting with Super 8, with few exceptions more is always better. Plus X 100 looks great in light haze to full sun, because the Super 8 cameras will stop way down and give you a very sharp picture without a lot of grain. If you need to shoot inside, use Tri X or Vision 2 500 color negative stock. And turn on the lights.

PlusX is not a very slow stock, it's ISO 100 which is considered a medium speed film.

Here's a point of reference: in William Mortenson's classic 1940 book, On the Negative he lists 5 classes of film speed: Very slow, slow, moderate, fast and hellishly fast. His idea of very slow was Dupont Ortho film, with an equivalent ASA rating of 4 to 6. He considered films of ASA 12 to 24 to be medium speed emulsions, and PlusX ASA 50 film to be a high speed film. Of course the PlusX we use in Super 8 is twice as fast as the the negative stocks he used, more equivalent to the "Hellishly fast" TriX of 1940 with an ASA speed of 64 to 100.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 14 July 2007 - 11:54 AM.

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#6 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:19 PM

i'm thinking of a bergman-esque "persona" feel.


I love the look of Persona, Its been a few months since I've watched it but I recall that the day interriors were lit so that the windows always played as the source. The night scenes played off the practicals,( those wonderful glass oil lamps) except for what in my opinion was the most beautiful scene in the film: The women walking around the rooms of the cottage in twilight. The lighting is very very soft in that scene, and we see a lot of the cottage in it, so if you want to do that sort of thing you will need a number of units.
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#7 Marco Van

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:04 PM

it's beautiful isn't? there are some clips on youtube floating around. i watch them when i need to remind myself. i found a great black and white documentary about the chernobyl called "Pripyat". it almost feels like Tarkovsky's Stalker.



i hope i can achieve the same look on plus-x, outdoors and indoors.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 07:16 AM

it's beautiful isn't? there are some clips on youtube floating around. i watch them when i need to remind myself. i found a great black and white documentary about the chernobyl called "Pripyat". it almost feels like Tarkovsky's Stalker.



i hope i can achieve the same look on plus-x, outdoors and indoors.


It has a slight green cast to it, I wonder if that was intentional.

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In terms of interior lighting, generally the simpler approach involves a 1 K open face that can just be bounced off off a ceiling or wall. Just take care to not put the light to close to a wall or ceiling because it is a HOT LIGHT and can quickly do damage if it falls or is put too close to anything flammable, and have gloves just in case you have to tilt the light or move the barn doors and a sandbag to weigh down the light stand.

You will also need focusable lights, lights that can actually can be zoomed from wide to spot. A couple of 250's would be good, or a 500-600 with a dimmer.

Generally, these three lights are the minimum I would use for a smaller room. If the room is larger you can easily use 4 or 5 lights.

Use Tri-x instead of Plus X so you have an ASA of 200 instead of the 100 that Plus X has, or use either the vision 200 or vision 500 color negative stocks and make it black in white when it's transferred to video.

Additionally, being able to soften your lights with diffusion material can be helpful as well, especially if you feel you'll need to use the 1K directly rather than bouncing it. I definitely recommend working on someone else's project that involves some kind of lighting design first because just that one experience will give you a huge head start when it comes to deciding the kind of lights you want to get.
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