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Some advice please!


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#1 Eugene Perepletchikov

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:44 AM

Hi all

Planning to do a bit of a shot on the super 8 soon. So far i have only used Ektachrome 64T and TriX in my experiments. Loved the TriX, was a bit skeptical about the 64T results, but granted that was my first roll ever and the camera's inbuilt meter was underexposing by about a stop.

Basically, I am considering switching to the negative stock for a number of reasons. Firstly, old camera, possible inaccuracies within the mechanism, so im thinking that the negative stock will give me far greater latitude for exposure errors and also for shooting a scene with more than a 6-7 stop range.

Also I have read that the grain of the Vision 2 200T is very fine and produces a superior look to the reversal stocks, and been a lower contrast stock it would give me greater flexibility in post for grading etc.


So really, here are my questions:

1. Am I on the right track with my reasoning to shoot negative stock?

2. I am in Australia, and it seems that no places here stock or process negative 8mm. What are the good places overseas to post film to for processing and telecine. What are the turnaround times like, are the costs for working with negative stock greater (telecine etc)?

3. Generally speaking, what are your experiences with posting film overseas for processing? How reliable is it? Is it worth the trouble?

I need to know how safe it is as i cant afford the footage that will be shot to be lost or damaged, since it will be almost impossible to reshoot.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Cheers
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#2 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 06:41 PM

see below

Edited by Richard Tuohy, 27 November 2008 - 06:43 PM.

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#3 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 06:42 PM

G;day Eugene,
yes, I would agree that your motivation for using neg is correct enough. Yes, you would have greater flexibility in post, provided you were able to pay for the suite time. As for grain, I think you will find that in super 8 the colour neg stocks are themselves quite grainy. I think it is quite fair to compare the 200t with 64t reversal on that front. You are right that it isn't possible to get super 8 negative processed in Australia. But you can get it telecinied at The Lab and Video 8 Broadcast, both in Sydney. Standard definition only. You would have to pay about $300 per suite hour. They may do a half hour for you. The trouble is if you want to do a small volume or just a test roll you will find it expensive.
I do keep a small amount of 7217 in stock for people like you.
I don't think you would have any problems with posting the stock overseas. We post lots of stock and processed film o.s. and don't seem to have any issues with it. Just make sure the addressing is correct and the package well sealed. It will be fine. Go for it.
But you might consider using 16mm neg. If you buy re-cans from sound and vision stock shop in Sydney, it will cost about the same as shooting super 8 neg as the processing can be done in aus and the telecine cost is identical. If you factor in the poor exchange rate to US$ at the moment you will probably find 16mm processing here is cheaper than posting super 8 os and back for processing. My advice would be unless you want a super 8 look or the features of using a super 8 camera, shoot 16mm if you want neg and are in australia.
If I were posting super 8 o.s. for processing I would use Spectra for the quality of service you get.

Just one more thing, you should be able to work out how to shoot 64t nicely in your camera. Shoot a careful test. Call me if you want to discuss that.
good luck
richard
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#4 Eugene Perepletchikov

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:52 PM

Hey Richard

Thanks for the great advice mate. 16mm would be nice but that would incure higher costs as we dont own a 16mm camera and in the end the stock would be more pricey.
I wonder if there is a way of avoiding the hiring of the telecine suite. What do you think of just getting the processing done, and then getting it telecined using your machine (as you do for reversal) and then inverting and removing orange mask ourselves in post. As i typed it i realized that this is probably a bit far fetched and not worth the trouble, but just a thought....I guess I'm banking on the fact that this way I would still have a wider tonal range captured with a lower contrast image with less blowouts. I am very comfortable in all areas of post so I'm guessing that I could do this myself, even getting the specific info on the 200T orange mask from kodak/local photo place.

Alternatively, what reversal (colour) would you recommend other than 64T? Do you still stock Velvia 50? Is it the same as the Fuji Velvia 50 (which ive used for medium format photography)?

Thanks Richard
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#5 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:02 AM

Hi Eugene,
it is possible for us to do the transfer as you suggest. We can make it positive and get rid of the orange mask ... but that is only the very start of colour correcting neg. You really need some way of ajusting the gamma of the low, medium and high ranges of r, g and b. I think some advanced editing programs can do that ... This would be fine for a test roll and you could see what you can make of it and whether it is worth pursuing down that path.
Yes the Velvia 50 is indeed the same velvia. It is a slide film cut down to super 8. Fuji supply unperforated 35mm which is perforated and cut to super 8 width in germany then loaded in cartridges in California by Spectra. It is a very fine stock, except that it does have a propensity to jitter. Usually not a problem with hand held work, but visible with tripod work. Can be 'de-shook' in post. The ABC show 'the hollowmen' used velvia super 8 for the title sequence.
But it is DANG expensive I am afraid, again due to the dollar.
Do give some thought to buying a Kransagorsk3 russian 16mm camera. Would probably cost about $250 or $300. Well worth it. Sound and vision sell re-cans and short ends for about 20 to 30 cents a foot I think. Short ends are a lot cheaper than velvia super 8. But you have to have the camera and all the aspects of the workflow to make any particular option work.
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#6 Matt Kemp

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 11:53 AM

Hi Eugene,

Just wanted to write and say that I recently had to make a similar decision with regard to choosing stock for a Super 8 short, and went with the negative Vision 200, for exactly the same reasons as you have described (more exposure latitude, more choice in post production and so on). I shot twenty rolls, and got them processed and best-light telecine'd on a Rank Cintel to Digibeta at ToddAO in London. I am now sincerely regretting my choice of negative stock. It is extremely grainy, even though I overexposed and pull-processed half a stop to deliberately try to reduce grain, and the colours are, for the most part, thin and under-saturated, with precious few of the qualities for which I chose Super 8 for the project in the first place. I know there will be a lot of people who read this and feel that very good results are possible with Vision 200, and that somehow I did something wrong to make the image so grainy and weak, and to be honest they are probably right. But as someone who took the decision you are about to make and invested many weeks and a couple of thousand pounds in a Super 8 film, only to have it look like an extremely poor imitation of 16mm, I would certainly encourage you to invest in a camera with a working lightmeter and shoot reversal, either 64T or 50D. Personally, I'll never use negative Super 8 stock again, unless the lighting conditions absolutely demand it.
Also, maybe look in Germany or Holland for stock, process and telecine options, that's where I have found the cheapest deals.
Cheers
Matt
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#7 michelle arakelian

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 12:19 PM

Hi Eugene,
If you use neg 200T and you have the correct exposure it won't be very grainy but if you underexpose
it and you want to correct it in telecine you will see all the grain specially in darker zone,
for processing and telecine you can try Movie and Sound in Italy, the price is 21,50 euro
for processing and telecine in DVD or MiniDV, they do color correction too with Davinci and they
post you where you want, they sell also all S8mm films.
if you don't want to see the grain you can ask the lab to use digital noise reducer.
regards
Michelle

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#8 Eugene Perepletchikov

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far.

Michelle, I'll check out that Italian company. I also dont see why the neg would have any excessive grain issues if exposed correctly, and I am not looking to have grain free footage, otherwise i would not be shooting 8mm!

Matt, its a real shame that your footage didnt come out well. Sounds like you did everything right (atleast in theory) so I guess you either messed up your exposures or the lab messed up the processing.

Richard, thanks for the great info again. I am an advanced user of After Effects and am a fairly competent compositor/colourist so Im thinking that the seperate colour channel tweaks that you describe would be within my scope.
Ill check out the titles that were shot on the Velvia. The shoot im doing will be locked off shots, but the jitter might not be too much of a problem, depending on how bad it is, since im going for a stylized look.
I did almost purchase a Krasnogorsk a few months ago, definately will be one for the near future ;-)
So you mentioned earlier that you have some small stocks of the 200T, any chance of snatching one up for a test?

Cheers
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#9 Matt Kemp

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 08:14 PM

Just add, Michelle was exactly right, it was the underexposed areas which suffered worse from the extreme grain. Thing is, for sequences such as a time-lapse dawn, I was deliberately underexposing the dark sky hoping for the rich blacks of classic Super 8 images. It's probably a very basic cinematography technique, but if anyone reading this knows how I can correctly expose a dark image to get proper blacks, I would love to know for future reference. Or am I missing an extremely dark elephant in the room..?

Good luck Eugene
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#10 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 11:02 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far.

Michelle, I'll check out that Italian company. I also dont see why the neg would have any excessive grain issues if exposed correctly, and I am not looking to have grain free footage, otherwise i would not be shooting 8mm!

Matt, its a real shame that your footage didnt come out well. Sounds like you did everything right (atleast in theory) so I guess you either messed up your exposures or the lab messed up the processing.

Richard, thanks for the great info again. I am an advanced user of After Effects and am a fairly competent compositor/colourist so Im thinking that the seperate colour channel tweaks that you describe would be within my scope.
Ill check out the titles that were shot on the Velvia. The shoot im doing will be locked off shots, but the jitter might not be too much of a problem, depending on how bad it is, since im going for a stylized look.
I did almost purchase a Krasnogorsk a few months ago, definately will be one for the near future ;-)
So you mentioned earlier that you have some small stocks of the 200T, any chance of snatching one up for a test?

Cheers

Sure you can buy them. $26 a roll. I currently have 5 x 7217 and 1 x 7218. Just email me through my lab email.
cheers,
richard
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