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Kodak Vision 2 50D, 100T, 200T, or 250D?


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#1 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:22 PM

Once again coming to you guys for help. I apologize for so many questions in such a short time.

I'm looking for a film that can handle high contrast ratios, with low amount of grain and medium to exceptional sharpness. I always want skin tones to stay fairly accurate.

From your guys' professional experience, which stock would fit the bill? I'll be shooting mainly outdoors in the mountains on an ARRI SR3, with a zeiss 11-110 T2.2

Here is an example of the kind of scene we'll be doing, and why I'm worried.
Guy walking outside under the forest canopy. (major transitions between light and dark, can the film handle both?)
Guy comes to his cabin, walks inside. There is a large window which appears to be the only source of light entering and filling the room. (high contrast ratio, will the highlights hold? will the blacks have any detail?)

What I would love to hear and what would be very helpful is if somebody could give me an approximate exposure index for these films. I've never worked with s16mm and want to find out what kind of contrast ratios i need to be working with.
Can a white persons skin be 3 stops over on one side and 2-3 stops under on the other side? That would be very helpful to know.

Evan
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#2 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:47 PM

Once again coming to you guys for help. I apologize for so many questions in such a short time.

I'm looking for a film that can handle high contrast ratios, with low amount of grain and medium to exceptional sharpness. I always want skin tones to stay fairly accurate.

From your guys' professional experience, which stock would fit the bill? I'll be shooting mainly outdoors in the mountains on an ARRI SR3, with a zeiss 11-110 T2.2

Here is an example of the kind of scene we'll be doing, and why I'm worried.
Guy walking outside under the forest canopy. (major transitions between light and dark, can the film handle both?)
Guy comes to his cabin, walks inside. There is a large window which appears to be the only source of light entering and filling the room. (high contrast ratio, will the highlights hold? will the blacks have any detail?)

What I would love to hear and what would be very helpful is if somebody could give me an approximate exposure index for these films. I've never worked with s16mm and want to find out what kind of contrast ratios i need to be working with.
Can a white persons skin be 3 stops over on one side and 2-3 stops under on the other side? That would be very helpful to know.

Evan


Hi Evan,

In general, negative stocks with higher ASA are less contrasty. Shooting in a large high-contrast area where the lighting can't be easily controlled, I often find it's better to shoot the higher ASA/lower contrast film and use ND filtration on the camera to reduce the effective film speed so I can shoot at wider apertures.

Likewise, I'll sometimes choose 50D on heavily overcast days because the flat light benefits from the slower film's higher contrast.

If you have access to a still camera, you can try shooting the same subject in the same light (either hard or soft light) with both 100 ASA and 400 ASA negative film to see what I mean.

-Fran
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#3 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

You might be able to cut the apperent contrast by using things like reflectors and such to "silently" fill in shadows...

Any film DOES have a bit more range than Video, and the higher speed films do have more range than the slower ones. Testing under the conditions you want to shoot is proably the only way you will know. in this case even a 35mm still camera using loads made form short ends might give you some insight.
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#4 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:24 PM

higher speed films have more range than slower ones? really? this goes against everything i've been told about 35mm photo film. anyone want to clear this up?

it seems any time i ask these detailed questions, the most common response is 'due some testing'. this is undoubtedly the best way to answer my questions but unfortunately i live in edmonton, alberta. without doing much explaining it is essentially impossible to do such testing economically. thus i resort to bugging you guys with detailed questions.

so again, anything, any footage tests you guys have done or experience you have or specific information in regards to super16mm's dynamic range would greatly help. i find myself constantly frustrated with the information on the kodak site. i want to see comparison pictures not numbers and pointless technical info!
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#5 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:51 PM

it seems any time i ask these detailed questions, the most common response is 'due some testing'.


Hi Evan,

Sorry, but you will eventually have to "do some testing". It's up to you whether it's on the job or before it. ;)

-Fran
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#6 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:00 AM

exactly. for me that testing happens on the job and it is very unfortunate. thus i turn to you guys.
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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:16 AM

...unfortunately i live in edmonton, alberta. without doing much explaining it is essentially impossible to do such testing economically...


I'll admit that I don't know either of the locations you've mentioned (not being based in the USA), but you don't have to use the exact locations you'll be finally filming on to carry out the tests (although it's obviously an advantage if you can).

From the two situations you've mentioned here, you could carry out a test in any room with a window at about the right time of day for the lighting to be similar to the final scene you'll be shooting - it could be at the top of a high-rise apartment block, doesn't have to be a shed in the woods! ;) Whilst film has more latitude than video, to have a range of 6 or 7 stops across someone's face is going to be pretty harsh. As already suggested, a reflector just out of shot can subtly reduce the ratio to something a little less dramatic - again, testing is the way to find out how it looks. You might not have access to a dappled woodland setting suitable for use in the final film - but are there any local town parks with some trees or undergrowth that gives similar lighting for someone to walk back and forth under?

Kodak has some examples of meter readings on various filmstocks on their website: V2 200T , V2 100T , V2 50D , V2 250D , V3 500T.


Even if there isn't a rental house near where you live, I'd have thought the cost of rental and shipping of a camera for a couple of days would be a small part of the overall budget. Even if you ended up buying a cheap K3 and selling it on again afterwards just to carry out some tests (in the UK a K3 off ebay is around £100, similar cost to lab charges for 400ft of film to be processed and Tk'ed), I think you'll discover a lot more than anyone here can advise in writing. One (obvious) big difference between video and film is that you won't be able to see how things are working out whilst you're shooting on the day, if you don't arrive having a rough idea how the film will react in advance, then you'll be left guessing until after it's too late. The worst case scenario is having to pay to reshoot, the next worst is having to live with something you (or the director) aren't really happy with. Fortunately the latitude of film is wide enough you should be able to drag something off the negative, but it might not be what you were aiming at!

Edited by Ian Cooper, 27 January 2009 - 03:19 AM.

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#8 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:55 PM

exactly. for me that testing happens on the job and it is very unfortunate. thus i turn to you guys.


Evan,

Based on what you have said earlier in this thread and your previous 16mm topic, you should try 7205 Vision 250D.

Sounds like you'll be working primarily in daylight (even the interior shot you describe as using window light).
The 250D is finer grained than 500T and has both higher speed and lower contrast than 7201 50D. You will likely need the extra speed in lower light scenes since you'll be working with the 11-110 Zeiss t 2.2

Be sure to bring enough ND filters (0.6, 0.9) so you can use it outdoors in bright sunlight.

-Fran
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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:56 PM

In S16, I use 200t or 100t... sometimes 50d.. I use that 100t whenever humanly possible... fantastic Stock!!!!!
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#10 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:59 PM

i live in edmonton, alberta. without doing much explaining it is essentially impossible to do such testing economically. thus i resort to bugging you guys with detailed questions.

When we know that it is expensive to LIVE in edmonton, and the days are short there this time of year..(Sunrise:8:26 Sunset: 17:07) But besides that what is getting in your way? you can rent a camera and have it shipped in, or you can buy an inexpensive camera. It you just want to see various stocks you can get shome short ends from Toronto or vancouver. Canada Post will happlily sned your film to toronto or Vancouver or Seatle for processing. One lab that I know of will still do a best light workprint, or you can have the shots scanned to video

If you are careful you can even make your tests in such a way that you can use them as cutaways or something in your final film if they work out. About the only thig I can see that it would be hard to do is to shoot without gloves on, although the forcast for next week looks like it is warmer there than it is here in Stittsville.
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#11 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:38 PM

When we know that it is expensive to LIVE in edmonton, and the days are short there this time of year..(Sunrise:8:26 Sunset: 17:07) But besides that what is getting in your way? you can rent a camera and have it shipped in, or you can buy an inexpensive camera. It you just want to see various stocks you can get shome short ends from Toronto or vancouver. Canada Post will happlily sned your film to toronto or Vancouver or Seatle for processing. One lab that I know of will still do a best light workprint, or you can have the shots scanned to video

If you are careful you can even make your tests in such a way that you can use them as cutaways or something in your final film if they work out. About the only thig I can see that it would be hard to do is to shoot without gloves on, although the forcast for next week looks like it is warmer there than it is here in Stittsville.

i appreciate your help but without getting too far into it i'm a university student and i live alone. buying film just to 'test' is completely not an option. i'm applying for a grant this febuary and if i get it i will most certainly be doing some test. if not, just cant afford it.

thanks everyone else for your help!

no one has said anything number wise yet. 3 stops in the highlights too much to render detail on a white face? what kindof dynamic range am i looking at here. i'm sure SOMEONE must know this. what about shadows? 2 stops, at best?
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#12 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:26 PM

i appreciate your help but without getting too far into it i'm a university student and i live alone. buying film just to 'test' is completely not an option. i'm applying for a grant this febuary and if i get it i will most certainly be doing some test. if not, just cant afford it.

thanks everyone else for your help!

no one has said anything number wise yet. 3 stops in the highlights too much to render detail on a white face? what kindof dynamic range am i looking at here. i'm sure SOMEONE must know this. what about shadows? 2 stops, at best?


Evan,

Are you in a cinematography class at the university? If so, it seems like this would be something you could discuss with the instructor.

-Fran
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#13 David Rakoczy

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:52 PM

no one has said anything number wise yet. 3 stops in the highlights too much to render detail on a white face? what kind of dynamic range am i looking at here. i'm sure SOMEONE must know this. what about shadows? 2 stops, at best?


A face 3 stops over will still render detail.. bear in mind there is two different "3 stops over",s.. there is 3 stops over 'Ambient'... and 3 stops over 'Reflected'. 3 stops over 'reflected' will render whiter on a white face than 3 stops over ambient.

Most modern film stocks are made to handle the last bits of detail 5 stops over or under (reflected). Most will say film has a 11 stop 'latitude'.

I generally set a 'normal' exposed face at 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 over.. reflected, on most stocks until you get into silver retention and cross processing or even reversal film.

Buy this book asap FILM LIGHTING



Fran, we can often be more help than instructors at Universities... and after all.. many here are University Instructors.
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#14 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:38 PM

A face 3 stops over will still render detail.. bear in mind there is two different "3 stops over",s.. there is 3 stops over 'Ambient'... and 3 stops over 'Reflected'. 3 stops over 'reflected' will render whiter on a white face than 3 stops over ambient.

Most modern film stocks are made to handle the last bits of detail 5 stops over or under (reflected). Most will say film has a 11 stop 'latitude'.

I generally set a 'normal' exposed face at 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 over.. reflected, on most stocks until you get into silver retention and cross processing or even reversal film.

Buy this book asap FILM LIGHTING



Fran, we can often be more help than instructors at Universities... and after all.. many here are University Instructors.



Good point, David.

I guess I'm just having a hard time helping because Evan's questions are so vague. I mean, "three stops over" what, exactly. Midtones? Shadows? High or low contrast stock? Processed normal or pushed?

All due respect, but I get the impression he's had no experience with film of any kind.

Evan, we're here to help, but maybe you could explain a little about your experience so we can speak at your level. BTW, having an SR3 handed to you for your first student project is not too bad. I started with a flea-market Filmo.

-Fran
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#15 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:33 PM

am i coming off like an butt? i hope not. i am not having an SR3 just handed to me, i will be paying 200 dollars a day to rent it. this 'director' i've been referring to is really just a friend. this is just a site for professionals and i'm trying to 'respect' that, if you know what i mean.

i go to university for english literature, not film.

david thankyou for your support and i agree very much, you guys have practical experience, something many professors often lack. your help is always VERY much appreciated.

fran i often find when i am really specific and write a lot, my topics get looked over because they are so complex and annoying with questions. had i known you needed more detail i would have certainly given it, now i do, thanks.

i am very comfortable with shooting super8mm and regular 16. i've worked mainly with old bolex cameras. but you are right, i have absolutely no experience working with super 16mm, thus all the questions. you guys are a great resource and these 'quick' questions will literally drastically impact the quality of my film. i try to be a quick learner.

when i was speaking about the dynamic range of s16mm i meant in general. i forget who but someone answered that, 11 stops? thats phenomenal. i found it to be much less than that working with SD files of 16mm, so i'm happy i asked.

when i was speaking about '3 stops over' (sorry for being vague) i meant ambient light, probably kodak 50d, 200t, or 250d. i am so particular in asking this because i have worked several times with the hvx200. i feel i've produced great results but i spent many a tedious hour lighting everything in the most particular way, just so the highlights would hold. i'm not implying i won't do this with s16mm but i'd like to know how much more i can push it.

and again, from my limited knowledge and experience, as well as what i've read on these forums, i've found that film does not 'see' into the blacks as well as digital. this is why i ask how much range i have in the shadows(ambient light, probably 50d, 200t, or 250d)

i'm really thinking of going with 50d for all the daylight stuff. i saw some exceptional results on youtube the other day, youtube of all things!

evan
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#16 David Rakoczy

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:53 PM

i am very comfortable with shooting super8mm and regular 16.

evan


Then, treat this project the same... S16 is 16.. it just looks better :)

Think of it as 11 stops from loosing total detail in the blacks to loosing total detail in the whites. When spot metering a lamp shade I usually run it 3 - 4 stops over (reflected).

The book will greatly bless you ;)

Fran is right.. if you are comfortable with 16.. do the same thing you would normally do per each scene's requirements.. enjoying the better look and creature comforts of the SR3.

Get a great 1st AC!!!
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