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bleach bypass on super 16 mm


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#1 Martin Amezaga

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 08:48 PM

I´m doing a short film on super 16mm. The story happens inside a café in daytime next to a big window and the director gave me the look of 21 grams as a visual reference: A crisp and sharp image with Bleach bypass look and blown up windows. I had some doubts on how would working on 16mm affect the final result:

1. what lens coul I use to get a crisp image?
2. what effect will the bleach bypass process have on the contrast, how to work with it during the shooting?
3. what effect will the BBP will have on the grain?
4.I understand that Rodrigo Prieto used Rosco Soft Frost gel on the camera to "bloom and blow out" windows in the frame, what difference does this filter have with the white pro mist filter?
5.could I also use a graduated Nd filter to reduce contrast between the window and the characters standing next to it?

If anyone has any suggestions I ll be very thankfull.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:40 PM

1. what lens coul I use to get a crisp image?
2. what effect will the bleach bypass process have on the contrast, how to work with it during the shooting?
3. what effect will the BBP will have on the grain?
4.I understand that Rodrigo Prieto used Rosco Soft Frost gel on the camera to "bloom and blow out" windows in the frame, what difference does this filter have with the white pro mist filter?
5.could I also use a graduated Nd filter to reduce contrast between the window and the characters standing next to it?

If anyone has any suggestions I ll be very thankfull.


1. a good prime lens, or a good zoom not shot wide-open.

2. bleach-bypass increases contrast; when done to the negative, mostly to the highlights, which overexpose quickly. There is a big increase in negative density so usually you underexpose by one-stop to compensate (when the bleach-bypass is done to the negative).

3. you get the addition of silver grain on top of the normal color dye cloud grains. Silver grain is bigger and sharper-looking. Since you usually underexpose a stop anyway, this makes it easier to use a slower-speed stock to get less grain -- for example, you could use a 200 ASA stock and rate it at 400 ASA with a skip-bleach to the negative. Some people have pull-processed instead of underexposed to reduce contrast & grain and counteract the increase in density; this gives the bleach-bypass a somewhat more subtle look.

4. Rosco Soft Frost is not a camera filter, but a lighting gel, so he must have used it on his lights or over the window to make it white-out. It's sort of a shower curtain material.

5. Yes, ND grads can be used to bring down the brightness of a window if to one side of the frame and the camera isn't moving.
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#3 Adam Thompson

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:01 AM

1. what lens coul I use to get a crisp image?

If anyone has any suggestions I ll be very thankfull.


Optars or maybe MkI-II S16 Zeiss primes are pretty sharp and easy to find.
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#4 Martin Amezaga

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for the help. Two more questions:

If I use MkI-II S16 Zeiss primes on a Arri Bl would it be a problem for recording sound? If its a problem what can I do to use this lenses on a BL?

Thanks again for your answers. best regards.
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