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Filming with Plus X


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#1 Ralph Tabith

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:33 PM

Hi, I have just received my 6 rolls of plus x from the states and I am ready to shoot with my new Nizo 6080. Now I have been reading around and seen that this particular stock is hard to expose correctly.

Should I use my external light meter or the auto light meter readings?

Also should I use set the filter position to the "bulb" setting (without the 85 filter)

If anybody has any tips or advice shooting with this stock it would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
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#2 Jean Beaudoin

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:22 AM

Your Nizo 6080 will expose this stock perfectly since it reads ASA 25 to 400.
Set your filter to tungsten (bulb) thus bypassing the 85B filter
wich you do not need since this is a B&W emulsion.
This specific Super 8 cartridge will automatically bypass your filter.
(note that there is no notch on the lower part below the gate)
The lightmeter of this camera (if it has been serviced recently) should give you a very good reading.
If you can though, read the light for a specific shot at the AUTO position than set the diaph. to
FIX in order to expose the film without any slight opening or closing of the diaph.
Repeat for next shots. It is difficult to use this technique for a panning or a travelling shot.
Use the auto setting then.
Of course a lightmeter is always better: you just need the exact exposure times for
the film speed at wich you will be shooting.
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#3 Ralph Tabith

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:14 PM

Your Nizo 6080 will expose this stock perfectly since it reads ASA 25 to 400.
Set your filter to tungsten (bulb) thus bypassing the 85B filter
wich you do not need since this is a B&W emulsion.
This specific Super 8 cartridge will automatically bypass your filter.
(note that there is no notch on the lower part below the gate)
The lightmeter of this camera (if it has been serviced recently) should give you a very good reading.
If you can though, read the light for a specific shot at the AUTO position than set the diaph. to
FIX in order to expose the film without any slight opening or closing of the diaph.
Repeat for next shots. It is difficult to use this technique for a panning or a travelling shot.
Use the auto setting then.
Of course a lightmeter is always better: you just need the exact exposure times for
the film speed at wich you will be shooting.


Hi thanks, Nice clear response, you would write a good manual/help book!! Excuse my ignorance but why don't you need the 85b filter if it is still sunlight? Would it come out underexposed if you filmed with it anyway?

Do you use the 6080 as well? Thanks for your time,
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#4 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:24 PM

Regarding exposure two things:

1) Only use the onboard light meter if you know it works, if your camera has not been serviced or tested it might be better to use your hand held meter. The old meters in these cameras can go at any time, so you want to keep an eye on the readings it gives you. Several times, I've seen s8mm camera's meters die during shoots!

2) When using the on board light meter remember that it will only give you a normal exposure. There is a lot more to exposure than normal exposure. It sounds like you are pretty new to it, so don't worry about it now but in the long term you should strive to learn how to expose film in a way that is pleasing to you and that matches your easthetic goals.
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#5 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:41 PM

Regarding exposure two things:

1) Only use the onboard light meter if you know it works, if your camera has not been serviced or tested it might be better to use your hand held meter. The old meters in these cameras can go at any time, so you want to keep an eye on the readings it gives you. Several times, I've seen s8mm camera's meters die during shoots!

2) When using the on board light meter remember that it will only give you a normal exposure. There is a lot more to exposure than normal exposure. It sounds like you are pretty new to it, so don't worry about it now but in the long term you should strive to learn how to expose film in a way that is pleasing to you and that matches your easthetic goals.

Most internal meters are pretty accurate... at least on the 20 or so cameras I have owned. By using an external meter, you really need to find out EXACTLY how much light the beam splitter is eating up. Different cameras vary on how much light the splitter eats, which can be 0.5 to 1.5 stops. This is something no one ever seems to mention when recommending an external meter. It sounds like a good idea, but best to learn and use your internal meter first.
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#6 Ralph Tabith

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:09 PM

Most internal meters are pretty accurate... at least on the 20 or so cameras I have owned. By using an external meter, you really need to find out EXACTLY how much light the beam splitter is eating up. Different cameras vary on how much light the splitter eats, which can be 0.5 to 1.5 stops. This is something no one ever seems to mention when recommending an external meter. It sounds like a good idea, but best to learn and use your internal meter first.


Is the light lost through the beam splitter a unchanging amount, ie in the nizo's manual does it state how much you have to compensate for, when taking an external meter reading?
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#7 Jim Carlile

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:13 PM

Plus-X is a "notchless" cartridge, which means it will always disable the 85 filter in the 6080, as in many cameras. This method also ensures that the film is exposed at the correct ASA 100. Many other cameras have a problem with reading Plus-X correctly, but not the 6080.

In other words, there is no way that you can use the internal 85 filter with this film, even if you wanted to. If you did, on other cameras that don't disable it, it would cut down the exposure about 2/3 of an f/stop. This gives an effective film speed equivalent of about ASA 100 for that film, in terms of light sensitivity.

So by disabling the filter, Kodak makes sure that on many cameras, the film speed of 100 ASA is read correctly. Other cameras will read the film speed as ASA 160. That's because Kodak speed-notches the film at this ASA size. There is an ASA 100 speed-notch size, but most cameras will not read it. Also, you don't need the filter anyway.

For external meter readings, add about a stop for the light loss.

Question:

When you get your Plus-X cartridge, after you insert it, check your readings. Is there a difference between the "bulb" setting and the "daylight"? If so, keep the switch at "daylight." Apparently, some Nizos allow users to toggle back and forth between the notchless "daylight" setting and the "tungsten" ASA (they're both the same speed-notch size, but differentiated by the position of the filter pin, which is always pushed in by a notchless daylight cartridge.)

Just in case there is a difference, the daylight switch setting will retain the "daylight" ASA of the 160 speed-notch. That's what you want with Plus-X. I suspect only the older silver Nizos do this, though....
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#8 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:08 PM

Is the light lost through the beam splitter a unchanging amount.


I think this is actually a very good question. I'm sure some people will say that the prism always takes the same amount of light, indeed that was my initial assumption. However when testing my Canon 814xl-s for light loss using a grey card and a hand held spot meter, I found that there appeared to be vairations in the amount of light loss. My camera is in good condition and I have done a rigorus focus and exposure test. This was the only loose end I didn't chase down. The way I deal with it is to work within an exposure range, favoring 1/2 stop - 1 stop over exposure in many situations. (except when shooting reversal of course in which case I try to work a little closer to exactly what I want).
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#9 Patrick Neary

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:18 PM

Hi there-

I don't think a pellicle or prism can vary in the amount of light it robs, but zoom lenses on those cameras will drop a stop or more from the wide angle to telephoto ends.

On the issue of Plus-X, I used to shoot it with the 85 (just outdoors) 'cause I thought it looked better. Panchromatic films like that are extra sensitive to blues, and you can keep your pretty blue skies from going white with the 85 in place (compensating for the 2/3 stop loss) or even better add a 25 red :)
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#10 Jim Carlile

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 09:26 PM

On the issue of Plus-X, I used to shoot it with the 85 (just outdoors) 'cause I thought it looked better. Panchromatic films like that are extra sensitive to blues, and you can keep your pretty blue skies from going white with the 85 in place (compensating for the 2/3 stop loss) or even better add a 25 red :)


The old Plus-X had a filter notch cut into the cartridge, so it was possible to toggle the 85 back and forth, if you wanted to or not. The effective film speed was registered as either ASA 40 or 25-- the film itself was rated as ASA 50.

But the new Plus-X is notchless, so that it will register as the correct ASA 100 on SMPTE cameras, etc. That means the filter is permanently disabled. You can cut your own filter notch if you want to, or use an external 85, not a bad idea. But if you cut a notch, there is a possibility that the film will not be metered at the correct ASA on many cameras.

The fun thing about B/W is that it lends itself to all sorts of filtration. With automatic metering the exposure will be compensated for, but dark filters can substantially increase the amount of light needed. Effective film speeds can drop quite a bit.

In general, some cameras will run Tri-X correctly and not Plus-X, others vice-versa. Advanced ones-- those that can read high ASA speeds-- will run both at the proper ASA indice.
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#11 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:50 PM

Is the light lost through the beam splitter a unchanging amount, ie in the nizo's manual does it state how much you have to compensate for, when taking an external meter reading?

I have never found any info in my manuals on light loss, It's something I always had to experimant with. Your cameras meter is basically a built in spot meter that is calibrated to variables relevant to the specific camera. Such as light loss, exact shutter angle, frame rate ect... It's best to just shoot a PlusX and see how it comes out. Learn to use your internal meter like a spot meter. At first you want to make a habit of manually setting or locking whatever the meter reads, that prevents exposure pulsing from movement. Then you'll eventually get the hang of feeling out exposures with your camera meter and setting your own f-stops. If your cameras meter is accurate (most of them are) you can spot meter your shots better on the fly... as a lot of S8 shooting is such. Using a hand held cine meter is still a must for better filming, but you have to know your camera first.

Edited by Anthony Schilling, 23 August 2007 - 10:54 PM.

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#12 Jean Beaudoin

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 01:35 PM

Hi thanks, Nice clear response, you would write a good manual/help book!! Excuse my ignorance but why don't you need the 85b filter if it is still sunlight? Would it come out underexposed if you filmed with it anyway?

Do you use the 6080 as well? Thanks for your time,


I do own a 6080 but it is in overhaul now. You can get a manual on the web, just type Nizo 6080 instruction manual on Google, you'll get it.
Also there is a second adjustment ring on the right hand side of the camera that you can use to over/under expose the film:check the manual.
JB
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