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My first 16mm reel shot with Bolex Rex 4


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 03:40 PM

Hello again gents. So finally I got back my first roll of 16mm film from the lab and telecined it. I put it together and to some music and it's now on YouTube:



Camera: Bolex H16 Rex 4
Lens: Switar 18-86 mm Zoom
Stock: Kodak 50D

First of all, I'm in love with the film look! I don't think I'll be going back to video anytime soon. I think the exposure could be improved upon in a number of shots. Also, and I'm clueless as to why this is, I think the colours are very muted. Is this normal? I don't believe it is, because I've seen other footage shot with Rex 4 that looks very vibrant. I want to learn from my mistakes before I shoot my second roll, so any feedback, comments, criticism, etc. would be really really appreciated.

Finally, I wanna thank all the fantastic members of this forum who carried me through from the moment I decided to delve into film until now. You guys have decided to share your knowledge and experience and that makes you gentlemen and scholars! :)
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 05:48 PM

Hi Ray,

good to see you made it to your first reel of 16mm.
My first bit of advice is to get a decent tripod and to use it. It will really improve your footage.

Also whether the colors are muted or not has nothing to do with the camera itself. It has to with the things you shoot, the film, the development, telecine and to a lesser extend maybe, the lenses used, i.e. shooting on a sunny autumn day will give your more vibrant colors than a cloudy December afternoon.
Using a matte box to keep stray light out of the lens will also result in a more saturated and contrasty image.

Concerning exposure: how did you meter?

Cheers, Dave
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#3 John Brawley

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 06:03 PM

. Also, and I'm clueless as to why this is, I think the colours are very muted. Is this normal? I don't believe it is, because I've seen other footage shot with Rex 4 that looks very vibrant. I want to learn from my mistakes before I shoot my second roll, so any feedback, comments, criticism, etc. would be really really appreciated.


Hi Ray.

Congrats on your first roll.

As Dave says, it's to do with when you shoot and what happens in telecine. Obviously WHAT you shoot and the time of day / season can also affect the look. Looks fairly winterish in your footage, so it's always going to tend to have a cooler colour temperature. A tripod will certainly help. Nothing says amateur more than hand held pans of a landscape.

The shots i thought worked best were the leaves and branches blowing in the wind.

Ohh. And your film is APPALLINGLY dirty. You really shouldn't have all that dust and hair. Make sure you clean the inside of your camera diligently. And make sure that the containers you're storing your film in are also clean.

jb
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#4 Ray Noori

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 08:54 PM

Thank you for the responses guys.

I did most of the shooting on a few miserable days here in Ontario, Canada. I would absolutely believe that the weather had a lot to do with the dull colours.

I just dropped $200 on a tripod, so hopefully the amateurish handheld pans won't appear in my second reel!

John,

I liked the shots of leaves blowing in the wind too, I tried to get a shallow focus so the front leaves would be in focus and the ones behind would be soft, and it worked!

I'm glad you brought up the dirtiness. I'm sure where I stored the film was quite clean, unless it got dirty at the lab. But the camera itself, I haven't cleaned it since I bought it. I'm not quite sure how, as I would have to do it myself. Living in Waterloo, Ontario I don't have access to professional service places that people do in LA or NY :( Any tips on how to go about cleaning? What kind of cloth to use? What kind of cleaning solution, if any?

David,

I'll tell you exactly how I did my exposure. I would really appreciate you telling me if I'm doing things completely wrong:

- I use a Sekonic Flash Master L-358. Because most of my shots were of scenary and not a specific object I used the flat lumigrid as opposed to the lumisphere.
- I would set my fps and ISO value, then hold the light-meter beside the lens and point towards the area I'm shooting and measure the f-stop. I had set the light-meter to measure in full stops.
- I then set the aperture value on the switar lens. I'm not sure if you're familiar with this lens, I've included two pictures of the aperture. I'm skeptical about how accurately it works, the dial used to set the f-stop moves only discreetly between full-stops, I don't know if I can set it to half or 1/3 stops.

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#5 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:34 PM

- I would set my fps and ISO value, then hold the light-meter beside the lens and point towards the area I'm shooting and measure the f-stop. I had set the light-meter to measure in full stops.



yep, that explains the dark scenes alright!

If you use the meter to view what you are shooting, the meter will assume the scene is about the same reflectance as your handy dandy 18% grey card. Sure enough the scene with all the snow looks about the same colour as a grey card.

Easy way for average scenes is to use the meter as an incident meter and place it with the same light that the scene is getting with the dome facing the camera lens. that will for examplelet the field of snow go almost (or completely) white and the tress/ whatever will go to their natural tones. A reflective meter of a grey card will give you the same strat point.

The learned skill is how much to devate from that "natural' Exposure, or to know what ot take a relective reading off of to get the look you want.
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#6 Ray Noori

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:38 PM

Thanks a lot Charles, that explains a lot! If I were to do what you suggested and use the meter as incident meter with the dome facing the lens, how far from the lens should I hold the meter?

Who knew snow would complicate exposure so much! :blink:
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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:40 PM

Who knew snow would complicate exposure so much! :blink:

anyone who spent the last thirty or fourty years trying to take pictures in Canada in the winter I guess :rolleyes:
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