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good film stock to use in the desert??


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#1 Dave Brunelle

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:48 PM

Hey, I'm a newb to the forum. I'm shooting on an arri sr2 and I'm looking for a 16mm stock that will work in the desert, I was thinking maybe 50D and 250D, I'd rather not use filters so I don't think tungsten will be an option

also should I be over-exposing by 2/3 of a stop to reduce grain? and print down during development?

side note: any idea how loud the SR2 is while filming?
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:45 PM

Any Film Stock can be 'good' in the desert.... let's start at the beginning.. what do you want your image to look like?

btw... I wouldn't let a Tungsten Balance Film stump you as you will (should) be using Filters for day ext work.. what is the difference in putting in a ND 3, 6 or 9... or an 85ND 3, 6 or 9?

May I recommend the book FILM LIGHTING
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#3 Dave Brunelle

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:48 PM

We can definitely use filters, we're not the most experienced with film, so keeping the look of the shots constant is very important for us, as for lighting, everything will be shot during the day with the sun directly above. Only a few shots will be in the morning and at night.

I guess a better way of asking the question would most likely be should we use 50D or 100-200T with ND filters?


For the look, we want a good amount of color saturation, but we mainly want to keep the colors pretty realistic. Since we're shooting a lot of wide open shots with mountains and scenery, it's important to get the reds/oranges but keep the beige sand looking real.
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:52 PM

Ok.. do you want it looking slick and smooth.. or do you want it grainy?

You really should rush order the book.
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#5 Dave Brunelle

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:01 PM

slick and smooth
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:35 AM

Shoot as much 50D as you can, carry some 250D for low-light stuff when the sun drops.
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#7 Daniel Porto

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:55 AM

Any Film Stock can be 'good' in the desert.... let's start at the beginning.. what do you want your image to look like?

btw... I wouldn't let a Tungsten Balance Film stump you as you will (should) be using Filters for day ext work.. what is the difference in putting in a ND 3, 6 or 9... or an 85ND 3, 6 or 9?

May I recommend the book FILM LIGHTING


David I swear you should get paid for all the recommendations you give to people to buy this book! But it deserves every single one of them

Edited by Daniel Porto, 10 March 2009 - 04:58 AM.

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#8 David Rakoczy

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:06 AM

...... it deserves every single one of them


Thanks Daniel.

I don't understand why it is not a required reading for any first year film student. It amazes me how many students get on Cine.com who are totally unfamiliar with this amazing resource. Mr. Malkiewizs did a fantastic job and Mr. Mullen has really smoothed it out and kept it up to date. Thank you both!

If you have a film shoot (even this weekend) and you are unsure and have questions... GET THE BOOK! Four or five hours spent reading FILM LIGHTING is far better than a week/ month spent here. Start with the book.. the basics.. then ask your questions. We are all here to help and recommending that book is a responsible first response. Video shooters will also derive a tremendous amount from it as well.
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#9 Serge Teulon

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:44 AM

I totally agree David. Its a great source for students to learn from and a great book to refresh ones memory.

I would also add that "The Negative" by Ansel Adams is a must have as well!

Edited by Serge Teulon, 10 March 2009 - 11:45 AM.

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#10 Dave Brunelle

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:34 AM

should we be exposing by 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop if using 50d in normal daylight to reduce grain?
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#11 Dan Goulder

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:48 AM

should we be exposing by 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop if using 50d in normal daylight to reduce grain?

Since you're looking for good color saturation and don't want to use filtration, the obvious choice would be 50D. Don't worry about grain, and you probably won't need to go more than 1/3 stop over. That should put you around T16. On the other hand, don't be afraid to use an ND filter if you'd like to open up the lens a bit.
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#12 Ryan Thomas

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 10:33 PM

David I swear you should get paid for all the recommendations you give to people to buy this book!


I've only been around for a month or so, and I feel like I've seen it maybe...once or twice a week. I'm getting the feeling I should start scouring the libraries for this book.

(Oh yes...found it already. Looking forward to checking this out tomorrow!)

Edited by Ryan Thomas, 12 March 2009 - 10:34 PM.

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#13 Chris Burke

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:12 AM

Hey, I'm a newb to the forum. I'm shooting on an arri sr2 and I'm looking for a 16mm stock that will work in the desert, I was thinking maybe 50D and 250D, I'd rather not use filters so I don't think tungsten will be an option

also should I be over-exposing by 2/3 of a stop to reduce grain? and print down during development?

side note: any idea how loud the SR2 is while filming?



7212 is kodak's sharpest film. You would have to use filtration, so you could use a combo 85ND filter. But shooting in the desert, you wouldn't need a fast film and would definitely have to use at least an ND to get your ƒ stop down to a 5.6 to 4 split. Just assuming you would want the sharpest of film with the lens at it's sharpest ƒ stop. Please post your results if you can. Which desert is it?
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#14 David Rakoczy

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:23 PM

7212! That is what I would be using... based on the still image you posted with your lensing question
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#15 David Rakoczy

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

7212 is kodak's sharpest film. You would have to use filtration, so you could use a combo 85ND filter.


Not necessarily. One can always add the 85 easily in post... say during a sunset or sunrise.. etc..
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#16 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:48 PM

Not necessarily. One can always add the 85 easily in post... say during a sunset or sunrise.. etc..

yes that would work, BUT you will be running the blue sensitive layer close to the overexposure edge if you shoot without the filter and exposse the rest of the film normally. A little slip and you will get colours that you can't quite make work in both the hilights and shadows. using the 85 preserves the full latitude of the film.
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#17 David Rakoczy

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 08:49 PM

yes that would work, BUT you will be running the blue sensitive layer close to the overexposure edge if you shoot without the filter and exposse the rest of the film normally.


Not enough to make a real difference... not any thing a Di Vinci can't handle. It is done all the time in real situations. The emulsion will hold whether it be Kodak or Fuji.
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