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so whats my problem????? help?


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#1 ross e lea

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:25 PM

OK...so whenever I shoot some film stuff with my 16mm camera....I get
these schplotches (dots, grainys?) in certain areas.

attached is an image to show you what I mean. so whats my problem?

this footage was done with brand new Fuji 250T and was just naturally lit by the
grocery store lights. I spot-metered the woman's face at f2.8 so I
set my camera on f2.

as you can see, mostly the blurred background has what I'm speaking of, but
there's some even on her arm.

I had the transfer done BestLight with Colorlabs in Wash.D.C. put to Digibeta.

help!!???!??!?!?
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#2 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:38 PM

OK...so whenever I shoot some film stuff with my 16mm camera....I get
these schplotches (dots, grainys?) in certain areas.

attached is an image to show you what I mean. so whats my problem?

this footage was done with brand new Fuji 250T and was just naturally lit by the
grocery store lights. I spot-metered the woman's face at f2.8 so I
set my camera on f2.

as you can see, mostly the blurred background has what I'm speaking of, but
there's some even on her arm.

I had the transfer done BestLight with Colorlabs in Wash.D.C. put to Digibeta.

help!!???!??!?!?



I can't see any attachment, verify your post... or attached one more time...
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#3 ross e lea

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:03 AM

sorry....


link:

www.churchandtheology.org/panel/splotches
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:49 AM

Hey,

It's difficult to tell. The file size pixelates the splotches in the provided image. Generally speaking, the grain structure should remain consistent across the entire surface of the film. Can you look at the splotches through a photographer's loop? Can you put the film in an old fashioned lab microscope? What you want to determine is whether the splotches are dirt or concentrations of dried chemistry from the lab's processing or if the splotches are concentrations of grains in the emulsion. Dirt means the lab has a dirty process (something that happens more and more as 16mm machines are run less frequently). Grain concentrations might indicate the film is old or stored badly or even, stored around chemicals.

Dominic Case is a good person to ask about this.
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:19 AM

If you can post a hi-res clip of the footage online to view, that'd be preferable :)

Otherwise, yeah, with all the pixelation, it ALL looks splotchy.
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#6 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 11:09 AM

Posted Image
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#7 Sam Wells

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:09 PM

Hey,

It's difficult to tell. The file size pixelates the splotches in the provided image. Generally speaking, the grain structure should remain consistent across the entire surface of the film. Can you look at the splotches through a photographer's loop? Can you put the film in an old fashioned lab microscope? What you want to determine is whether the splotches are dirt or concentrations of dried chemistry from the lab's processing or if the splotches are concentrations of grains in the emulsion. Dirt means the lab has a dirty process (something that happens more and more as 16mm machines are run less frequently). Grain concentrations might indicate the film is old or stored badly or even, stored around chemicals.

Dominic Case is a good person to ask about this.


I've never had any problems with Colorlab's processing including frequent push processing - quite the contrary.

Can't tell much from this frame grab. It looks insanely over - degrained.

-Sam
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#8 ross e lea

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:00 PM

I've never had any problems with Colorlab's processing including frequent push processing - quite the contrary.

Can't tell much from this frame grab. It looks insanely over - degrained.

-Sam



yes, I did degrain it.

here's the original image, sorry.

keep it comin, yalll. :)

apple_market_still.jpg
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#9 ross e lea

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:40 PM

so it seems the splotches are from excessive degraining, but
does this original frame look overly grainy to you?
underexposed?

Shot with new Fuji 250T.
I spot-metered her face at f2.8
so set aperature of camera at f2

I guess, it seems overly grainy to me which leads me to think
I'm not underestimating my light when I shoot.

?
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#10 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:41 PM

It looks like a crappy transfer on an old machine, to me. Or underexposed film that's been "printed up."

To troubleshoot any problem the procedure is pretty simple. Look at the most obvious culprits first, then after ruling them out start at one end of the chain and work your way toward the other. Doesn't matter which end you start from. Is it the transfer? The processing? The exposure? -- then, the camera? The light meter? The film? You have to verify that every step has been done correctly to isolate the problem.

Shoot a properly exposed gray card and have the lab give you a lab report. They can tell you if your density is too high or too low. If your densities come back normal you can rule out exposure mistakes. If they're off, then you KNOW it's an exposure mistake! Check your light meter, your camera's shutter, and the age of the film.

Ask your transfer house to do a "one light" transfer, not a "best" light. Tell them you're trying to isolate exposure mistakes, and for them not to "correct" them during the transfer. If the density is normal, the exposures look good, and you still see a grainy or noisy image, then it's in the transfer. Take some of your exposed neg. to another transfer facility, and see if it comes back looking the same.
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#11 ross e lea

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:49 PM

well...I know its not my camera. My camera just got back fully maintained and upgraded by Cameraspro.
I know its not the film, it was brand new. From reputation, Colorlabs seems to do a great job, so I'd like to
think its nothing they do. which basically leaves exposure.....howver,
I guess I feel like my exposure was at least close to what it shouldve been, unless you object based
upon the raw image above. maybe I'm paranoid of overexposing too much sometimes...and dont trust that
having more headroom is always better than underexposing it.

by initial look, does the image look underexposed to you?
and based upon my explained metering technique used, does it sound like I'm on target to proper exposure?

thanks again :)
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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:07 PM

Your metering technique sounds fine. Check your meter -- if your film always comes back grainy (as you've suggested in your other posts), then something's going wrong. You won't know until you test that the meter's reading accurately, and that you negative density is normal. Check your meter against someone else's.

It's hard to tell from a single still image if the film was underexposed, or if it was just a bad transfer.

Overexposing 16mm neg. almost always looks better than underexposing it, at least until the densities get so high they induce telecine noise in the transfer. But don't start changing your exposures until you isolate the problem.
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#13 Bill Totolo

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:16 AM

Have you projected the scene from a print? I think it's the only way to determine if you're looking at a bad telecine or not.
Also, take the same footage to another facility and see what happens.

To me, it looks like video noise and not film grain but it's difficult to tell on an LCD monitor.
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#14 ross e lea

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:01 PM

havent done that, good advice.


the grainyness seems to always be in areas that are all one color, or blurry backgrounds due to depth of field focuses.
is that common with all film?
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 05:37 PM

Does the negative look like this or is it just the transferred image?
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#16 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 06:05 PM

the grainyness seems to always be in areas that are all one color, or blurry backgrounds due to depth of field focuses.
is that common with all film?


Yes, grain is always most visible in areas of flat midtone.

Looking at it again I do think it's the transfer.
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#17 ross e lea

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 06:14 PM

Yes, grain is always most visible in areas of flat midtone.

Looking at it again I do think it's the transfer.



well then.....who would you COMPLETELY trust in giving you a solid development
and transfer?
(to digibeta)
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#18 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 06:24 PM

well then.....who would you COMPLETELY trust in giving you a solid development
and transfer?
(to digibeta)


It may not be the transfer house per se, but the equipment they use for your transfer. A lowest-cost overnight "best light" transfer is not going to be done on the same gear or with the same personnel as their high-end commercial scans. An old Ursa Gold machine will never compare to something like a Spirit.

It might be worth your while to schedule a short supervised session on good hardware, just to be able to see your film real time and talk to the colorist as it gets transferred. You'll be amazed at the huge range of control the colorist has when putting the film to tape, and you'll learn a lot about your film and the transfer process.
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#19 seth christian

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:31 PM

did they transfer it digibeta then ununcompressed 10-bit ?

or did you do miniDV transfer, cuz that would make a big difference
in color keeping
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