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Brain teaser for super 8 gurus: fix this!


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#1 Jake Wilganowski

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 10:51 AM

Need advice for processing 3 rolls of film. These were shot by others but I want the footage, here are the specs...

SHOT: 3-50' rolls of Kodak Tri-X B&W Reversal Film (box labeled 200asa w/out filter daylight, and 160 w/out filter tungsten)

SHOT WITH: Keystone XL300 f1.1 lens, this camera is auto everything, no fstop controls, no selectable ASA, no markings indicating what speed film it recognizes, shot with the indoor/outdoor knob set to INDOOR

SCENE: performers on stage, 12 feet away, night exterior, light by one string of christmas lights in front of performers, and 2 blue gelled 3oo watt stage lights pointed at performers

BEST SCENARIO EVER RIGHT!!

Im assuming the camera was wide open, what im not sure of is how much the film should be pushed (if at all) given the actual speed of the film and what the camera thought the speed was

I know someone can help me save this footage!

thanks in advance....Jake
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:01 PM

Need advice for processing 3 rolls of film. These were shot by others but I want the footage, here are the specs...

SHOT: 3-50' rolls of Kodak Tri-X B&W Reversal Film (box labeled 200asa w/out filter daylight, and 160 w/out filter tungsten)

SHOT WITH: Keystone XL300 f1.1 lens, this camera is auto everything, no fstop controls, no selectable ASA, no markings indicating what speed film it recognizes, shot with the indoor/outdoor knob set to INDOOR

SCENE: performers on stage, 12 feet away, night exterior, light by one string of christmas lights in front of performers, and 2 blue gelled 3oo watt stage lights pointed at performers

BEST SCENARIO EVER RIGHT!!

Im assuming the camera was wide open, what im not sure of is how much the film should be pushed (if at all) given the actual speed of the film and what the camera thought the speed was

I know someone can help me save this footage!

thanks in advance....Jake


What exactly are the string of christmas lights? The blue gelled lights are tricky as the gel cuts down the light
quite a bit. Was there any backlight at all? What color of clothing were the performers wearing, were the faces clearly visible and lit up for the audience to see?

You say it's a night exterior. If by chance the first cartridge shot was just before full night hit, I would process that cartridge as is first, before doing the other two, and then base my decision on how to do the final two cartridges from the first cartridge of the night that was shot.
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#3 Jake Wilganowski

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:15 PM

What exactly are the string of christmas lights? The blue gelled lights are tricky as the gel cuts down the light
quite a bit. Was there any backlight at all? What color of clothing were the performers wearing, were the faces clearly visible and lit up for the audience to see?

You say it's a night exterior. If by chance the first cartridge shot was just before full night hit, I would process that cartridge as is first, before doing the other two, and then base my decision on how to do the final two cartridges from the first cartridge of the night that was shot.



no backlight, performers wearing white shirts, all 3 rolls shot after sunset, dark, Im thinking of having the lab push it 1 stop--if the iris was full wide exposing 160 speed under these conditions, and I push it a stop, I still don't think i'd be close to blowing out, what does everyone think, correct me if i'm wrong! thanks
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:21 PM

no backlight, performers wearing white shirts, all 3 rolls shot after sunset, dark, Im thinking of having the lab push it 1 stop--if the iris was full wide exposing 160 speed under these conditions, and I push it a stop, I still don't think i'd be close to blowing out, what does everyone think, correct me if i'm wrong! thanks


If the christmas lights were actually in the shot they may have fooled the meter into irising down a stop or a stop and a half to two stops. You are probably safe pushing a stop but if the performers were wearing white that actually complicates the issue just a bit.

Ironically, it is also possible that the whites of the uniforms fooled the light meter as well, which would mean pushing the film one stop might be a safe bet, UNLESS, the background was darker than the foreground and that would offset the white shirts and how the auto exposure meters it.
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#5 Jake Wilganowski

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:38 PM

If the christmas lights were actually in the shot they may have fooled the meter into irising down a stop or a stop and a half to two stops. You are probably safe pushing a stop but if the performers were wearing white that actually complicates the issue just a bit.

Ironically, it is also possible that the whites of the uniforms fooled the light meter as well, which would mean pushing the film one stop might be a safe bet, UNLESS, the background was darker than the foreground and that would offset the white shirts and how the auto exposure meters it.


yeah the christmas lights were in the shot strung between mic stands, but the background was definitely black, this footage is important to me as I am one of the performers and would love to have some cool B+W super8 footage for a video that we are currently in production of, obviously this wasn't a planned shoot,but I really need this footage, hmmmm to push or not, there is just no real way of knowing..... I am going to project and shoot the processed reel with a Panasonic Varicam to get it into Final cut in the resolution the rest of the video is at, perhaps I can compensate for some under exposure there? Or should I definitely have it pushed? I've never really worked with film....
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#6 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:07 PM

I would definitely push at least one stop to ensure getting something. Maybe push two stops. If highlights blow out a little it should still be usable.

You could also consider pushing one roll and check the results before processing the others.

You could also simulate a similar situation and take a light reading and make an educated guess based on that.

Rick
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:18 PM

You could also simulate a similar situation and take a light reading and make an educated guess based on that.

Rick


The reason I find this the most intriguing idea of all is that your original footage cannot be recreated since it was one time event. Backwards engineering is the key in this situation.
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#8 Jake Wilganowski

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 11:18 AM

thanks guys...I'll post when I get the results...jake
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#9 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:53 PM

Your plight is cinematography 101. Unfortunately its been a while since I took cinematography 101. I am a little foggy on the details but here is what I remember to be the key elements to knowing if you had enough light to expose the film.

1- The output of the light source
2- the distances from the source to the subject
3- the asa of the film.

In essence the question you are asking is:

How much light is required to expose the film with iris set at f1.1 rated either 200 or 160 asa.

Looking at the Kodak website they say that Tri-x rated at 200asa needs 16 FC at 24 FPS to get normal exposure at f1.4.

So the question is how many FC of light were falling on your subject?

You said you had blue gells on the lights. Full CTB will cut the light's output in 1/2 and a party blue will cut it even more.

anyway if you were using Arri 300W plus lamp with full CTB at a distance of 10 feet, then you would be getting about 70 FC (67.5) if the lamp was spotted and 14FC if the lamp was flooded. (according to Arri) which would give you enough light for normal exposure of your subject at F2.8 or F1.4 respectively.

Look up your light's output specs on line and then calculate the light loss due to the gells and distance from the subject.

Don't worry about the Christmas lights, they are low wattage and have no throw. The film will see them but they won't help expose your subject.
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 08:47 PM

Don't worry about the Christmas lights, they are low wattage and have no throw. The film will see them but they won't help expose your subject.


My concern is the christmas lights may fool the automatic meter in the camera, especially if there were any white lights in the mix.
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#11 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 09:46 PM

Alex,

Granted in a close up that could be the case but I was not responding to or countering your concern.

My post and the note about the christmas lights concern the light falling on the subject. Having so little power, they will not contribute to the exposure and therefore should not be considered in the calculation of how many FC are falling on the subject.
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