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Practical joke...what's gonna happen?


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#1 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:34 PM

I was shooting a test roll of Ektachrome 64t yesterday indoors with some people who are going to work with me on my next short film in August. Since I'm using a new camera, I decided to get the base light reading from the built in meter and close the aperature 2/3 of a stop to compensate since my camera thinks that 64t is 40t.

I had set the switch to indoor filming but before I started shooting I had to use the restroom. I came back, got straight to shooting, and after I finished the roll, I noticed someone had changed the switch to daylight which means that the Wratten 85 was on for the indoor shoot. I sent the film off for processing today but I worry about how the footage is going to look. No one on the shoot is copping to anything. Can anyone tell me what will happen in this instance when a daylight correction filter is used in doors. I realize it will be warm but will it also cause my film to underexpose, and if so, by how much? I've tried to figure this out but I'm getting too frustrated:

- Used Auto reading for 64T, then adjusted down 2/3 stop to compensate for meter thinking it's 40t.
- When I did a metering test of a certain light point, it shows that the filter seems to create a light loss of between 1/3 - 1/2 stop.
- Does built in meter compensate for filter in use?

All this stuff is just boggeling my mind...I could use some help.
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:35 PM

It does compensate for the filter, and your footage will be a tad orange.
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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:38 PM

It does compensate for the filter, and your footage will be a tad orange.


So other than needed color correction in post, my footage should remain properly exposed?
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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:46 PM

So other than needed color correction in post, my footage should remain properly exposed?

In my experience, yes.
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#5 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 05:03 PM

Practical joke..., someone switched the daylight filter on: what's gonna happen?


Fire the idiot who did this and throw him off the set. There are times and places for practical jokes, even on set and during test set-ups, but already no longer when you shoot a test reel to figure out if all the mindboggingly complex parameters that go into a good picture work out. After all, good test reels are often more important than the actual takes shot for real, as you usually take several anyhow and will doublecheck camera settings for every take. But for a test reel that helps you to understand your gear and film stock for the shoot so that you know how they react and that all is right with the world, getting this "sabotaged" is truly dumb.

A person who can't keep it together then isn't right when the actual shoot comes.

Best of luck, and evidently seconding Nate's analysis,

-Michael
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:43 PM

If you were opening up 2/3 of a stop anyway, the footage may be fine exposure wise. Color will be off depending on how it was lit. Were you using tungstens only inside? Or did you shoot with sunlight coming in through windows as your key? A mixture of the two? If you are doing telecine, that can be corrected easily.

Since none of the people present are owning up to it, I would tell them that you couldn't work with any of them ever again, since you can't afford to have someone in your team work secretly against you. That is what I would do. This time may be OK, next time who knows.

But are you sure someone did this? It's easy for someone who is running camera and directing and everything else to overlook such details. No one is infallible, especially under stress. That is why on bigger shows, there are always assistants to cover for you . . .

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 25 June 2008 - 06:46 PM.

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#7 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:03 PM

It does compensate for the filter, and your footage will be a tad orange.


I am afraid the above is not correct if you were as you say shooting with manual exposure setting and the exposure reading (taken from an 'auto' setting) was taken before the filter was changed. If, however, the filter was switched to daylight BEFORE you took your reading (which the way I read your post, it wasn't) then it will have compensated.

The internal filter cuts 2/3rds of a stop of light. If your procedure involved taking one meter reading BEFORE you left for the bathroom and based all your exposures on that one reading then your footage will be underexposed (by 2/3rds of a stop) and orange. Bugger. Certainly the auto light meter in the camera will compensate for the presence or absence of the filter, but only when you are shooting on auto. If you base a reading on the auto setting, then switch to manual and alter the filter position (as I read you did) then the exposure will be wrong.

All this assumes of course that the internal meter was correct in the first place. It could well be off one way or another and only a test will tell. You might be able to glean some indication on how it is performing from the test you have done anyway. If its working correctly, and you metered correctly for your subject, then by what you did, the result should be 2/3rds of a stop under exposed and orange.

good luck with it anyway,
cheers,
Richard
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#8 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 08:16 PM

I am afraid the above is not correct if you were as you say shooting with manual exposure setting and the exposure reading (taken from an 'auto' setting) was taken before the filter was changed. If, however, the filter was switched to daylight BEFORE you took your reading (which the way I read your post, it wasn't) then it will have compensated.


I'm sorry that I didn't clarify this point. I did not adjust the exposure until after I came back from the bathroom. I did that to try to stay as current as possible to a true reading of the light at the time. I keep kicking myself for not checking that switch before getting my initial auto reading. I guess I learned a valuable lesson, eh?

From what all of you say, I should be ok with the exposure end of it. Now I just need to color correct to even it out. The test still has merit too because I tested the sync sound capability at different clip lengths. I thank all of you for your help.
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#9 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:10 PM

Just wanted to inform whoever cares that I got my test reel back from Dwayne's. I took a look at it under magnification and it looks beautiful. It is just the slightest bit warm but a good telecine colorist will fix that real quick. I'm glad everything is working out favorably despite that situation.

Thanks to all who gave input.
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