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Film Stock Advice


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 04:06 PM

I'm about to embark on my first film-shooting with my Bolex H16 Rex 4 16mm camera and a Sekonic L-358 light-meter. I have just received the four different types of stock I had ordered from Kodak today and I'm trying to match the stock with a fitting filming situation, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

1) Kodak Vision 2 50D 7201
Slow daylight stock. But how much daylight would I need to shoot outdoors? Out in the countryside to be precise. I'm planning on shooting at dusk and dawn, is this stock too slow for that?

2) Kodak Vision2 250D 7205
Faster than the 50D stock, so maybe this one is better suited for the dusk and dawn situations? Or cloudy days? For both this stock and the 50D, is a daylight filter a must?

3) Kodak Vision2 500T 7218
This is the fastest stock I have. It's tungsten stock, but I'm actually hoping to use it outdoors at night with minimal artificial light (more or less just street lamps as a light-source). Is that feasible? Would the picture be way too grainy? Would I need a filter?

4) Eastman Double-X 7222
The only b&w stock that I bought. I was hoping it would be versatile, since I want to use it to do both shooting outdoors in the city and indoors in high-contrast lighting situations. Any tips?

I appreciate any help.
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 02:32 PM

Congratulations! This will be fun.

Since you're shooting negative stock you'll probably be doing a transfer to video and that is where much of the color & contrast will be adjusted and with these stocks you have alot of flexibility.

1) Kodak Vision 2 50D 7201 - Best for Sunny Days middle morning to middle afternoon but if it's not cloudy it could be beautiful on a sunset or sunrise.

2) Kodak Vision2 250D 7205 - Yes, best for dawn, evening or afternoon or when you need to get more out of shadows or any cloudy day

3) Kodak Vision2 500T 7218 - There are many different types of street lights but you're probably safe shooting without a filter and fixing color issues in the transfer.

4) Eastman Double-X 7222 - Cool looking stock, a little grainy but that's part of it's charm. I've done some night shooting with this and just street lights with interesting results... if you're shooting people you'll want to use your own lighting.

Remember that film "absorbs" light differently than video so if you're used to using lights with video and having things blown out, film won't react quite the same way; it will look better.

Here's a frame grab from a Super 16, K3 Camera, Double-X shoot (everyone say "ahhhhhhhh... that's cute!") Notice the line on the right edge where the enlarged gate scratched the film.

Posted Image

Here's 50D, when I probably should have used 250D...

Posted Image
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#3 Ray Noori

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 12:11 AM

Congratulations! This will be fun.

Since you're shooting negative stock you'll probably be doing a transfer to video and that is where much of the color & contrast will be adjusted and with these stocks you have alot of flexibility.

1) Kodak Vision 2 50D 7201 - Best for Sunny Days middle morning to middle afternoon but if it's not cloudy it could be beautiful on a sunset or sunrise.

2) Kodak Vision2 250D 7205 - Yes, best for dawn, evening or afternoon or when you need to get more out of shadows or any cloudy day

3) Kodak Vision2 500T 7218 - There are many different types of street lights but you're probably safe shooting without a filter and fixing color issues in the transfer.

4) Eastman Double-X 7222 - Cool looking stock, a little grainy but that's part of it's charm. I've done some night shooting with this and just street lights with interesting results... if you're shooting people you'll want to use your own lighting.

Remember that film "absorbs" light differently than video so if you're used to using lights with video and having things blown out, film won't react quite the same way; it will look better.

Here's a frame grab from a Super 16, K3 Camera, Double-X shoot (everyone say "ahhhhhhhh... that's cute!") Notice the line on the right edge where the enlarged gate scratched the film.

Posted Image

Here's 50D, when I probably should have used 250D...

Posted Image


Thanks for the response Will! And for the record, both my girlfriend and I did indeed say "ahhhhh.....that's cute!", before even reading your remark about that! I'm almost done shooting my first role of 50D, I will be dropping it off at the lab on Tuesday, I'll have to wait and see what the results will be like. I shot in the morning, between 10 and 12, on a fairly sunny day, with snow on the ground, reflecting a lot of light. I'm crossing my fingers that I did the light readings right, otherwise I've got a whole role of overexposed film on my hands! :blink: You learn through mistakes, right?

Thanks again for all the help. Next up is the Double-X. I'll let you know how it goes!
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 12:50 AM

Negative film is so forgiving in the telecine process that I'm sure you'll get something usable. Over time you'll be more comfortable with your meter and settings and you'll start to see weather in terms of film stocks... I used to see a sunny day as a "Kodachrome" or 50D day... overcast days as a "250D" day... and you'll even guess at your f-stop settings as well. You'll have alot of fun.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 09:35 AM

I always freak a friend of mine out who I shoot a lot with by guessing f stops. He calls me "obsessive," but then again, he is much more a writer than a shooter.
Neg film is very very forgiving later on, as mentioned. There's a great line from a TV show I heard once which read "shoot film, you can trust film." And you can.
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Rig Wheels Passport

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