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Fuji Vivid 160t tests


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#1 Toby Gorman

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:26 AM

Hi all,

Apologies if much of this has been answered before, I have searched the forum as much as possible, but am in need of some further info and suggestions.

I am shooting a short film in a couple of months time, a dark comedy on Super16, and I have my eye on the Fuji Vivid 160t stock, as from what I have seen of it, it looks beautiful and I think the saturation and contrast will suit it well. I am thinking of going with a highly saturated, high contrast look, and I would like to get a better idea of how the stock will behave under certain circumstances. Presently we are planning on finishing on HDCam (hopefully HDCam SR).

As I havent used this stock before I have suggested we shoot some tests, and as I havent had the opportunity to shoot tests before I wanted to pick peoples brains...

I would like to do some tests processing it normally, testing contrast, lattitude, and colour, and also I would really like to see how it holds up pushed a stop, to increase the saturation and contrast further, and also because the whole film is interior night, and our lighting budget wont extend much further than 2k's and below, so being able to rate it at 320 would be a welcome bonus, though not essential. My concern however is that I don't particularly want an overly grainy look, so I would like to be able to assess this before committing to it, especially considering this is super16.

We haven't decided on a lab yet, so I'm directing some questions to you folks first if you don't mind...

Considering there isn't much of a budget for these tests...

Would it be simple enough for the lab to process say 200 feet normally, and 200 feet pushed one stop? Would this force developing incurr significant extra cost for the test ?(assuming they don't do us a nice favour)

In order to assess the tests properly, am I right in thinking that the best way to do this would be to follow the workflow we are planning for the whole film? i.e, should we get the tests transferred to HDCam and view them at the lab on a decent monitor/projector? I would imagine that would be the only way to accurately assess the grain, as a cheap digi beta transfer would surely not have enough resolution to see this. Other than the grain, if we can't afford an HDCam transfer would a cheap one-light digi transfer be good enough to assess everything else?

For the tests I am planning on setting up a shot with a grey scale, colour chart, and a person, taking bracketed exposures, and also different key to fill ratios. I would also like to test some of the lighting gels I have in mind for skintones. Any other suggestions for exploring the behaviour of this stock? I assume it would be wise to do all these tests twice, once processed normally, and once for the push.

I will be more than happy to post the results of these tests once completed.

Many many thanks in advance for any help you can be,

Toby
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#2 Gus Sacks

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:41 PM

Hey Toby,

I shot a short in January on 160t and, yes, it is a beautiful, nicely contrasty and saturated film stock. We got a few 100' daylight spools from Fuji to do some tests, and we went out and did some tests with the main article of wardrobe we were looking to accentuate - a red cape.

We got it xfered to a worse stock than we'd used for our master, but it gave us a good indication that this was the right stock for us.

I'd just get some daylight spools and do a variety of tests.
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#3 Toby Gorman

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info Gus, I will certainly try and get hold of some 100ft spools. Great suggestion regarding the cape, I will try and do some similar tests if wardrobe have some ideas in mind.

I would love to see the results of your film, is there any chance you could post some stills perhaps?

Many thanks,
Toby
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#4 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for the info Gus, I will certainly try and get hold of some 100ft spools. Great suggestion regarding the cape, I will try and do some similar tests if wardrobe have some ideas in mind.

I would love to see the results of your film, is there any chance you could post some stills perhaps?

Many thanks,
Toby


Hey Toby,
I shot this stock in November and loved it. It was an all EXT Day shoot, and we were shooting with an 85, that's it. We were ok with flares and whatnot.

The stock holds up great.

I'm sure you understand that if you are going to finish digitally through telecine, then you need to do a test all the way through. That is if you want your test to be as accurate as possible. I don't think it's necessary though. Basically you need to expose your stock the best you can for telecine, and then make your changes there. It sounds lame, but that is how directors and producers are doing it. Saves time, don't know about money though.
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#5 robbie Land

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 07:54 PM

ive been very unhappy with this vivid160T stock. initially i was very excited since Kodak did away with the saturated EXR stocks such as 7248. on several shoots i just get muddy blacks and medium color range. ive tried normal exposure, over by one stop, by two stops and push processing and still very unsatisfied. ive called lab several times regarding the stock and processing, but still same mud compared to a dense black and color saturation of EXR stocks. maybe Vision3 will please..?
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 09:23 PM

ive been very unhappy with this vivid160T stock. initially i was very excited since Kodak did away with the saturated EXR stocks such as 7248. on several shoots i just get muddy blacks and medium color range. ive tried normal exposure, over by one stop, by two stops and push processing and still very unsatisfied. ive called lab several times regarding the stock and processing, but still same mud compared to a dense black and color saturation of EXR stocks. maybe Vision3 will please..?


Robbie,
We all know that there are tons of variables out there that can alter, and effect the look of our image. I wouldn't have thought of the 160t being in the same category of the EXR stocks...maybe you were mislead, or didn't do your homework.
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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 02:43 AM

ive been very unhappy with this vivid160T stock.

Were you looking at a workprint or a telecine from the negative?

I've noticed in a lot of student projects that have shot Fuji that their timed workprints consistently tend to look overly green or magenta. I believe the problem might be that most US labs are only used to printing Kodak and that some extra care needs to be taken in printing Fuji stock onto Kodak print stock. Maybe the printer lights need to be retrimmed for Fuji, I don't know. But in my own tests with the Vivid stock in 16mm, I overexposed by 2/3 stop, processed and printed at Fotokem onto Kodak print stock, I was also very unhappy with the results. The gray card at the head of the roll was quite green, and overall found the stock to be very grainy compared to 7217. I've never had a timed gray card printed that far from neutral with Kodak neg at any lab, Fotokem or otherwise. I've been wary of shooting Fuji stock every since, though I realize there's nothing wrong with the stock itself.

I guess if you were doing a telecine from the negative, then this wouldn't be an issue. Jaime, I'm glad to hear your footage turned out great - I'd love to see some eventually. How did the Vivid intercut with the Kodak low-con Expression? I realize they were never used in the same scene, but I'm still curious if there was a significant shift in look from scene to scene.
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#8 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 02:59 AM

Were you looking at a workprint or a telecine from the negative?

I've noticed in a lot of student projects that have shot Fuji that their timed workprints consistently tend to look overly green or magenta. I believe the problem might be that most US labs are only used to printing Kodak and that some extra care needs to be taken in printing Fuji stock onto Kodak print stock. Maybe the printer lights need to be retrimmed for Fuji, I don't know. But in my own tests with the Vivid stock in 16mm, I overexposed by 2/3 stop, processed and printed at Fotokem onto Kodak print stock, I was also very unhappy with the results. The gray card at the head of the roll was quite green, and overall found the stock to be very grainy compared to 7217. I've never had a timed gray card printed that far from neutral with Kodak neg at any lab, Fotokem or otherwise. I've been wary of shooting Fuji stock every since, though I realize there's nothing wrong with the stock itself.

I guess if you were doing a telecine from the negative, then this wouldn't be an issue. Jaime, I'm glad to hear your footage turned out great - I'd love to see some eventually. How did the Vivid intercut with the Kodak low-con Expression? I realize they were never used in the same scene, but I'm still curious if there was a significant shift in look from scene to scene.


Sats, I think you are correct about the overuse of Kodak. I've heard a few times that Fuji is a bit more magenta because of Asian skin. I don't mean that as a joke either. I can't remember which way it goes though, since Caucasian skin is more pink, and kodak films are skewed towards that (would make sense)

If I remember correctly, we shot Hide and Seek pretty much on the money as far as exposure went, except for the third day when we needed to over expose 1 stop to match the cloudy day to the non-cloudy day previous.

I was not present at spypost, but all I asked for was a "good looking one-light". Skin tones looked just fine. Everything looked just fine really, only thing I was a bit unhappy with is the sunrise footage, where I thought I would be able to see the sun, but it was a bit blown out. That might be fixable in our best light.

I guess sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes being too technical works against you.

What are your thoughts?

Jamie
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