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Filming neon lights at dusk: 5279 or 5218?


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#1 Max Alvarez

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:42 AM

I am on the verge of filming a 35mm short film using expired stocks 5279 and 5218. I know the results won't be perfect since the stock is a number of years old, but I would appreciate any feedback on which of the two stocks might be best-suited for filming an orgy of bright neon signs/digital billboards in late afternoon/evening (think the Vegas strip or Times Square). I am not looking for a grainy look and would prefer saturated colors, but then beggars can't be choosers. My gut tells me to go with the 79. If I do, should I plan for a 1/3 overexposure? And do I need to rate the film lower than 400 ASA? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 04:22 PM

My gut tells me to go with the 79. If I do, should I plan for a 1/3 overexposure? And do I need to rate the film lower than 400 ASA? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


If you are finishing on video I would rate your stock at least 320 ASA (depending how old the stocks are) to tighten up grain and expose the slower silver particles in the emulsion. And then I would just get the right look in post.

The same approach has worked for me when going to print, just have the lab time the different stock footage as closely as they can, though some others here may disagree with the latter approach.
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#3 Max Alvarez

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:44 AM

If you are finishing on video I would rate your stock at least 320 ASA (depending how old the stocks are) to tighten up grain and expose the slower silver particles in the emulsion. And then I would just get the right look in post.

The same approach has worked for me when going to print, just have the lab time the different stock footage as closely as they can, though some others here may disagree with the latter approach.


Thank you so much for this valuable feedback (and I apologize for my delayed response). Being a hopeless romantic, my plan is to finish on film, so I will definitely take your advice into account when dealing with the lab.
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