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Why bother with Daylight stock


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#1 Chris Walters

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 10:13 PM

I'm preparing for a senior thesis project on 35 and I'm trying to decide on which stock to shoot on. Most of the film is shot outdoors with a few interiors. One of my major decisions is to shoot tungsten or daylight and I'm having trouble understanding why to even bother with daylight if I can just throw a 85 filter on it and only loose 2/3 of a stop which would actually help me not have to use as much ND. Is there a cleaner look to the daylight stock? On that note is there a noticible difference to shoot with out the 85 and have it timed out? The look I am going for is an color change through out the film from saturated to unsaturated and possibly back to the same saturation. In terms of kodak stock (Kodak because it might be free) is it wiser to go with one stock and let everything in front of camera change the color or use multiple stocks to show the change. For instance I know the 5229 is low contrast and slightly muted however I'm not sure I want the grain of a 500 stock... Since a majority is outdoors I was thinking about shooting 200T (5217) Does that sound resonable? I appreciate anyones input on the subject to help solve my confusion... I understand that art and costume help aid the look and will work coordinate with them. Again thank you for any and all advice...

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#2 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 11:52 PM

You can definitely digitally correct the equivalent of an 85 filter in transfer or DI. The reason many people are against this is because by not shooting with the 85, you are loosing some of your color correction abilities. The more "normal" an image you start off with, the more information there is to believably manipulate. Also, by shooting tungsten stock with an 85, you are looking at an unnatural orange image through the viewfinder. (Not a big deal, happens all the time, just make sure to be aware when judging colors, etc.) Also, there is the school of thought that every piece of glass you put in front (or behind) the lens introduces degradation, hence the ND/85 combos are a better way to go than a stack of separate 85s and ND's.

The stock question is more subjective. The Vision2 stocks intercut so well together, that if you achieve a consistent, well exposed dense negative with the most appropriate stocks throughout, then you can easily manipulate the saturation to show change over time as you wish through digital color correction. Shooting 500T in direct sunlight could work, but I think you'll be fighting your self the whole time, and looking through a very dark viewfinder. I'd check out 5201....since it has so much more latitude and lower contrast than the '45 used to, it's a great option even in shadow.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 01:01 AM

The less glass the better, as well. By avoiding CC filters, ND's and polas, you resulting images will be quite softer. Also, 50D stock is pretty tight grain, and if it's something you're interested in, it can make a nice contrast between interior and exterior scenes.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 03:04 PM

The blue layer is slower and thus finer-grained on daylight stock, which is one reason why 50D stock is so good for shooting clouds & sky.

Otherwise, the main reason for using daylight stocks is not having to look thru an 85 filter, which can be misleading and distracting for a DP/operator, plus you have 250 ASA for interior scenes lit by HMI's, versus 125 ASA from using 200T stock with an 85 filter.
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#5 Chris Walters

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:28 PM

The blue layer is slower and thus finer-grained on daylight stock, which is one reason why 50D stock is so good for shooting clouds & sky.

Otherwise, the main reason for using daylight stocks is not having to look thru an 85 filter, which can be misleading and distracting for a DP/operator, plus you have 250 ASA for interior scenes lit by HMI's, versus 125 ASA from using 200T stock with an 85 filter.


Great point David thank you very much. I most likley will go with both daylight stocks because I want a blue sky instead of it being blown out. How do meter the sky to ensure it will not be blown. Would I just spot meter the sky? Same question about shooting into the sun for sunsets and sunrises. Thank you for all the advice its always much appreciated.

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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

I tend to guess, in terms of how much to underexpose an incident meter reading outdoors to hold more detail in the sky or in sunsets. Usually I guess right, but that's because color neg has a lot of latitude, especially for overexposure.

Generally for blue skies and white clouds, I'd underexpose one stop from what I would shoot for a subject on the ground. For a sunset, maybe two or three stops, depending on how bright the sun is, how clear the sky is, and how much of a silhouette effect I want.

Obviously a spot meter reading would probably be more precise.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:51 PM

By avoiding CC filters, ND's and polas, you resulting images will be quite softer...


I meant sharper...not softer :)
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#8 Chris Walters

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 08:49 PM

I tend to guess, in terms of how much to underexpose an incident meter reading outdoors to hold more detail in the sky or in sunsets. Usually I guess right, but that's because color neg has a lot of latitude, especially for overexposure.

Generally for blue skies and white clouds, I'd underexpose one stop from what I would shoot for a subject on the ground. For a sunset, maybe two or three stops, depending on how bright the sun is, how clear the sky is, and how much of a silhouette effect I want.

Obviously a spot meter reading would probably be more precise.


I took some digital stills of the sunset near me and was going for a silhouette, but I read you post and was wondering what you meant by how much of a silhouette effect you wanted. I imagine you mean whether or not you see in detail in the subjects. I'm having trouble putting the underexposure in to numerical figures so if you could correct me It would be much appreciated. Let's say for a normal day scene if my subject on the ground is a 4 the sky should be a 5.6. In regards to sunset i used my spot meter on the sun and set my aperture at that stop and got some good silhouetting. (All foreground was 5-6 stops under) Is that recommended or would you rather have some detail in the shadows.
I have to figure out how to attach the pictures in the message...
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:56 PM

In regards to sunset i used my spot meter on the sun and set my aperture at that stop and got some good silhouetting. (All foreground was 5-6 stops under) Is that recommended or would you rather have some detail in the shadows.


Depends on the type of sunset it was, how clear the air was, how big the sun was in frame, etc.
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:46 AM

The blue layer is slower and thus finer-grained on daylight stock, which is one reason why 50D stock is so good for shooting clouds & sky.

Otherwise, the main reason for using daylight stocks is not having to look thru an 85 filter, which can be misleading and distracting for a DP/operator, plus you have 250 ASA for interior scenes lit by HMI's, versus 125 ASA from using 200T stock with an 85 filter.



This all makes perfect sense to me, which is what I learned early on. Last week, though, I worked with a DP from Dallas. He was shooting 4 perf 5217 masked 1.85 to 1 at 30, 60, 120 fps in and out of doors, uncorrected, unND'd in the bright New Mexico sun. The interior scenes were lit by HMI's. Also, his exposures were key-fill splits. WOW. I found that astonishing to say the least. When I asked him about his philosophy, he said that for commercials only, he would give the clients middle of the road negative for them to telecine it the way they wanted.

So his theory was to be as loose on camera (non-committal if you will) as possible to guarantee flexibility in post. I see his point, but I just don't have enough experience with telecine to be able to go that way. I usually give the colorist as close an image as what I envision, especially if the producers are going to do a cheap one or best light telecine xfer for dailies or off-line.

I am curious to see the results of his technique . . .
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#11 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 07:58 AM

I'm gonna ask the dumbest question of this year.
How do you spot meter the sun without burning your retina? Same goes for composition (when you don't have a monitor to look at). I always thought that looking directly at the sun with an optical device such as a camera would be like asking to be blinded.
The filter in the eyepiece of some cameras is just a normal ND .6 (if i remember correctly) so do you put a custom filter (like the one used by welders) in front of your eye or i'm missing something (hence de dumbest question of the year)?
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 01:07 PM

When the sun is at the horizon, it's usually dim enough to look at with a camera viewfinder or a spot meter. When it's high in the sky, there's not much point in taking a spot meter reading of the ball itself usually... but yes, you could try wearing sunglasses or something, and squinting... all you need to do it aim and click, so you don't need to stare at it.
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#13 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 02:38 PM

The filter in the eyepiece of some cameras is just a normal ND .6 (if i remember correctly) so do you put a custom filter (like the one used by welders) in front of your eye or i'm missing something (hence de dumbest question of the year)?


If you have a gaffer glass eyepiece, you could probably hold that against your meter's viewfinder to protect your eyes: http://www.filmtools...rgafglasnd.html

I'm not sure what the density is of the glass in a welder's mask, but that would probably work just as well.
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#14 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 03:01 PM

Thank you both, as usual.
Guess i'll try some sun photography (at dusk/dawn) in the near future. Didn't think the sun would have been at a safe brightness near the horizon. Thank you again for sharing the knowledge.

Edited by Valerio Sacchetto, 30 December 2007 - 03:05 PM.

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