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Vision2 500T - Normally grainy??


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#1 Peter Anderson

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 03:52 PM

I just got the rushes from a test shoot i shot on Vision2 500T and it came out a lot grainier than I expected. Is this something to normally expect frot this rating of 16mm film or could there be other reasons for the very obvious grain? The fuji Eterna 500T i got back was even grainier - Unbearably so in fact. I would like to choose a faster stock but the low lighting situations im shooting in means it cant be avoided.

Is the new Vision3 500T any less grainier?
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 04:42 PM

Did you happen to go through an airport with your film? X-Rays can certainly lead to (what appears to be) shocking grain.

500T has the most noticable grain because of it's ASA, but it's lightyears again of the old Vision 800T which I found to be almost unusable.

Remember that higher ASAs are not a substitute for lighting. Just because you can get a meter reading at F1.4 @ 24fps doesn't mean there's really enough light... those super low light situations bring out the worst in any stock. But a little well placed lighting can go a long way.

Yes, Fuji 500T is slightly more grainy than Kodak's.

Vision3 500T should help a little on grain and give more detail in shadow areas but if you're unhappy with current results I'd re-consider your lighing and shooting situation before hoping that Vision3 will solve any problems.
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#3 Peter Anderson

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:04 PM

Did you happen to go through an airport with your film? X-Rays can certainly lead to (what appears to be) shocking grain.

500T has the most noticable grain because of it's ASA, but it's lightyears again of the old Vision 800T which I found to be almost unusable.

Remember that higher ASAs are not a substitute for lighting. Just because you can get a meter reading at F1.4 @ 24fps doesn't mean there's really enough light... those super low light situations bring out the worst in any stock. But a little well placed lighting can go a long way.

Yes, Fuji 500T is slightly more grainy than Kodak's.

Vision3 500T should help a little on grain and give more detail in shadow areas but if you're unhappy with current results I'd re-consider your lighing and shooting situation before hoping that Vision3 will solve any problems.


I haven't been through an xray and i need to expose firelight which is why I am commited to a high asa stock.
Here are some stills - Does it look like typical grain for kodak 500T?

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#4 Peter Anderson

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:05 PM

pic2

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#5 Peter Anderson

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:07 PM

pic3

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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:26 PM

I haven't been through an xray and i need to expose firelight which is why I am commited to a high asa stock.
Here are some stills - Does it look like typical grain for kodak 500T?

Doesn't look out of the normal grain range for V2 500T based on such low light. Test the new V3 stock, see if that helps.

Hard to tell from stills but the grain doesn't really bother me from what you've shown... what are your camera/lens settings?

Might be a crazy idea but could you go to 35mm for these firelight scenes? If you're finishing digitally it might be an interesting way to do it.
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#7 Peter Anderson

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:56 PM

Unfourtunately I only have an Arriflex SR2 at my disposal so i cant switch to 35mm - Also there is no more budget for film test so my stock descision will be final. For these stills i was shooting at f2.4 but for some of the firelit scenes im shooting as wide as f1.4.
I shoot in 21 days and this unexpected issue of grain is bugging me something rotten. All the test shoots Ive had have been with a iso of 500 in mind but i would really like to get a much tighter grain, especially in the shadows and highlights where it seems to be most prominent.

Id like it to be as simple as switching to more powerfull lamps but Im sure ill have to compromise using a lantern - Something i really dont want to do. Im considering getting my gaffer to wire up a dummy lantern and sub in a 40w bulb but im worried it will look fake in the wider shots.

Is there anywhere I can get information on making convinciny dummy lanterns along with compulsory flicker?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 06:15 PM

The footage looks underexposed or simply that the stock was outdated, judging from the blue haze in the blacks. Or something was odd with the telecine.

For 16mm work, you might try rating the stocks at 320 ASA.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:05 PM

How did you instruct the lab to color correct your footage?

If you shot a grey card at correct exposure and the rest of the test footage was shot underexposed (ala candlelight) then it should have come out fine. But it looks like the color timer/grader brought everything up to correct exposure, which will definitely heighten the amount of grain.
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#10 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:15 PM

Looks like telecine trouble to me. I just finished doing some 7218 tests much like yours and found that the lab we chose produced results that were completely unusable with their best-lights. Another lab, who charges just slightly more and uses a newer CCD based machine, produced much better pictures. Even then they pushed the video too much because they thought the shots should not have been so dark. This was after clearly explaining not to do that in my notes.

The colorist can be your best friend, or not.

Do you know the film's age, what machine the lab used to transfer with and what was it transfered to in the end? I wouldn't worry about using the stock, just make sure it's new and overexpose a little if you can. I've seen it hold up just as good or better in low light than a DVX100A. Pick a lab that will work well with you and who uses modern telecine equipment.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:03 AM

For 16mm work, you might try rating the stocks at 320 ASA.


I heartily agree with this. I've shot a lot of 7218 rated at 500, rated at 400, and rated at 320 and by far the best of the bunch was the stuff rated at 320. It looks considerably sharper and smoother than when it's rated normally. I would just buck up and light the firelight scene. Going all natural light is elegant in a way but you can probably make it look better and, oddly, more natural if you add your own lights. Firelight is one of those low-light, high contrast situations where it will look different on film than one remembers it looking in person. Adding some well-chosen lighting will close the gap and really sell the scene.
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#12 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:28 AM

Here are some stills - Does it look like typical grain for kodak 500T?


Frankly no.

It could be old stock. Faster stocks tend to go off very quickly, often within a few months. It also might have not been stored properly. A few hours in a car in moderate heat can do it.

Telecine can also enhance the noise. An older flying spot based telecine like the ursa's can add noise, especially if not maintained or with old tubes. The Sony and especially the Spirit can do amazing things to hide grain and scratches because of their soft light source.

Perhaps you can try another facility with on something like a spirit. Facilities will often let you *test* them out if you let them know you're shopping around and have a small amount of what is obviously test footage that will never make the final cut.

JB
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#13 Peter Anderson

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:53 PM

It was old short ends and a Spirit Telecine.
Could someone post images of an optimum quliaty 500T image. it would be a great help to see the potential of this stock on 16mm.

Thanks
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:31 PM

here's something of mine 500T rated normally off of a Spirit 2K with a bleach bypass look applied. . .

Posted Image

If it doesn't work, goto http://astro.temple..../paulbirch1.jpg

this is a screen capture off of H.264 so not ideal, but all I have with me right now.

Edited by Adrian Sierkowski, 23 January 2008 - 03:31 PM.

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#15 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:16 PM

It was old short ends and a Spirit Telecine.
Could someone post images of an optimum quliaty 500T image. it would be a great help to see the potential of this stock on 16mm.

Thanks


Old short ends ? That would be the culprit. Do you know how old ?

The only thing I have is a music clip I did at least 5 years ago on whatever the 500 speed stock was off the time. (7279 ??) It was transferred on an Ursa.

http://www.johnbrawl...&...w=360&h=288

jb
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#16 Peter Anderson

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:39 PM

I think they are easily over a year old at the least - Kept refrigerated at my local lab.
Its reassuring to see that I can get much better out of 500T. Ive ordered a powerfull pressure lamp (125W) to substitute the current paraffin lantern im using in a dominant scene. This should give me enough light to switch to 200T for all but one nightime exterior scene where firelight is present in an oil drum at the bottom of an alley. I would love to go as low as 100T wherever possible but I think that would be pushing it - im terrified of risking under exposure...
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#17 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:53 PM

I think they are easily over a year old at the least - Kept refrigerated at my local lab.
Its reassuring to see that I can get much better out of 500T. Ive ordered a powerfull pressure lamp (125W) to substitute the current paraffin lantern im using in a dominant scene. This should give me enough light to switch to 200T for all but one nightime exterior scene where firelight is present in an oil drum at the bottom of an alley. I would love to go as low as 100T wherever possible but I think that would be pushing it - im terrified of risking under exposure...



You know here's a funny thing.

I think it's worse to underexpose, because that's when you'll notice the grain. Looking at your images, I notice that there is a lot of dark or negative space. When something is so dark or black, it doesn't really matter where your exposure is, because it's black. A good telecine operator will be able to make that grain disappear into the black, but you need to have something BRIGHT to take your attention in the shot. So the lamp itself or the face it's lighting. In otherwords, i don't think you'll actually notice much difference between the 200 and 500 in terms of grain IF you can have a nice hot spot or skin tone in there. If you shoot 200, you're trading off the ability to get that hotspot or skintone with a lower wattage lamp, and I don't think you're going to pick up much difference in terms of grain. And when I say skintone, it might still be a stop under your shooting stop, but it's there for contrast.

jb
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#18 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:01 PM

The fuji Eterna 500T i got back was even grainier - Unbearably so in fact. I would like to choose a faster stock but the low lighting situations im shooting in means it cant be avoided.

Is the new Vision3 500T any less grainier?


Oh, and this is a short film i shot in 2006 on fuji 8673 ? Whatever the eterna 500 stock was in 2006 ! It was telecine'd to digibeta only.

http://www.johnbrawl...&...w=480&h=270

jb
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#19 Peter Anderson

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:15 PM

Wow thats really nice! what kit did you film on? I tested some fuji eterna 500T and the grain in shadow areas was appaling - Very reasonable in highlights though.

So would it be better to choose 500T rated at 320 or 200T rated at 160 to get better quality images? I shouldnt have a problem re-planning my lighting setups but i would be shooting at fairly low f-stops on the 200T
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#20 John Brawley

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:40 PM

Wow thats really nice! what kit did you film on? I tested some fuji eterna 500T and the grain in shadow areas was appaling - Very reasonable in highlights though.

So would it be better to choose 500T rated at 320 or 200T rated at 160 to get better quality images? I shouldnt have a problem re-planning my lighting setups but i would be shooting at fairly low f-stops on the 200T



Hi Prokopi.

If it were me, I would perfer to have the extra stops, rather than go for slightly less grain. But the whole reason for your post is that you don't like grain ! So maybe if that's something that really bugs you, you may be prepared to shoot with less headroom,so to speak.

Kit ? I shot stalled with an XTR-PROD. I think I was using Optar Primes, and i had a century 6mm. The film was shot very cheaply over 3 days. It cost about 10K Australian, (something like 10K us). I matched the set lighting with the icky fluro's of the location which were something like 4500K and with a lot of green.

I thought the fuji was quite nice. I remember it being a little grainer than the kodak equivalent, but it still was really lovely.

There was a real location which is what you see at the beginning, and inside the cubicle itself was built as a set. The set was actually built by the director himself !
He had some crazy ideas for some shots, and I flippantly said, you can't do those unless you build a set, thinking, like most low budget filmmakers, it would be too much of an ask. He really surprised me by actually doing it...I take my hat off to him. I'll try and upload the entire film later so you can see the shots I'm talking about.

I was able to convince a grip friend of mine to help out as a favour as well, which was a big help.

jb
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