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Telecine Quality


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#1 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:17 PM

I'd appreciate any opinions on these stills from a transfer that just came back:
http://jmharper.blog...creenshots.html

I was a little surprised to see the footage dark and green. It's not a major deal to correct but it made me curious what others expect during a transfer - would you expect your footage to come back looking exactly as it was shot (ie if something was a bit underexposed and not 100% color balanced). Or would you usually expect the lab to adjust that stuff within reason? I don't have the negative so I can't say what the footage really looks like. I don't have enough experience with various labs to know what the standard is. Thanks for any thoughts.
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 04:06 PM

Did you shoot a Color Chart/ Gray Scale at the head of the roll?
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 04:38 PM

The lab normally won't correct anything, unless you are also transferring with them. If you are, they will only correct as per your instructions (and/or the grayscale you shot). They don't know how it's "supposed" to look, and unless otherwise noted they'll generally leave it "as is," unless you gave them instructions; eg asking for a best-light transfer. On a "one light" or for dailies, it's left as is understanding that you'll go back and rescan/correct off of the finished edit.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 05:31 PM

I would ask all the same questions as the others have already and add, what are the specs of the shoot. Is that 35 or 16? Was it scanned or telecine? One light, best light, scene to scene? It looks like a one light to me and yes a little green and dark. How did you light it? What did you expect?
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:55 PM

To me the green cast looks consistent in all the pictures, suggesting mixed (green spiked) fluo lights and tungsten lights shot on tungsten film. Totally speculating, of course.

The images also consistently look rather contrasty, suggesting reversal stock. The exposure looks about one stop under to me. If you used reversal stock, its latitude is a lot narrower than negative stock, which would explain the darker look. Whether you underexposed it intentionally or not is another matter.

If I were taking a shot at guessing what was used to come up with those images, for lack of any more info from the original poster, I would say it was Kodak 7285 100T shot under uncorrected fluos and tungstens and 1 stop underexposed.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 12 September 2009 - 07:00 PM.

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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:02 PM

To me the green cast looks consistent in all the pictures, suggesting mixed (green spiked) fluo lights and tungsten lights shot on tungsten film. Totally speculating, of course.

The images also consistently look rather contrasty, suggesting reversal stock. The exposure looks about one stop under to me. If you used reversal stock, its latitude is a lot narrower than negative stock, which would explain the darker look. Whether you underexposed it intentionally or not is another matter.

If I were taking a shot at guessing what was used to come up with those images, for lack of any more info from the original poster, I would say it was Kodak 7285 100T shot under uncorrected fluos and tungstens and 1 stop underexposed.


OK, so the OP does say he used negative and not reversal stock, my mistake.
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#7 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:37 PM

well i should say that the director is quite happy with the shots and has no problem correcting them, and I also think they will be fine after correction in post. it was the most affordable transfer the director could find for HD so certainly nobody is complaining, rather i'm just curious to know if you might have expected different results? i normally have used a local lab who are not the cheapest but they always deliver really nice colors, so perhaps I'm just spoiled by their service?

Without going into every shot, we shot on 7217 w/ tungsten lights for most of it and did shoot a gray card for every setup. Saul you are correct there were warm fluoro practicals but i was a ) surprised a 30 watts lamp would so completely tint 2k of tungsten and b ) that would have been corrected out. I might have expected the practical to look radiate a tiny bit green but not to totally tint the room. The practicals also look whiter than the rest of the room which would seem to indicate that was not the source of the green. Am I making really bad assumptions there? i'm not so experienced that i thought the footage would be perfect, but i was expecting it to be a little more neutral.

Edited by Jason Hinkle, 12 September 2009 - 07:42 PM.

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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:40 PM

If it was so cheap, they probably dialed in the telecine on one shot and let it run for the duration of the flat, and even dialing it in they might've done it quick and dirty. It looks a bit like HD un-timed dailies to me; nothing wrong with that as it makes a lot more sense to go back to the negative for a supervised scene to scene/shot to shot color correction after you edit it.
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:04 PM

Wow, hardly ever seen 7217 look that contrasty! Not that it is a problem, at all.

But yes, non cine use approved fluos (even warm ones) will bite . . .

As Adrian says, you can totally get the green out if you do a good scene-to scene transfer using DaVinci 2K and better color correction hardware, etc.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 12 September 2009 - 08:06 PM.

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#10 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:44 PM

But yes, non cine use approved fluos (even warm ones) will bite . . .


to think i had some minus green sitting in my light kit too. i didn't dream that desk light used for decoration would turn the whole room green. i was even hitting the lampshade with tungsten to make it seem like it was the primary source so not much light is coming from that actual bulb. it sure didn't look green and i figured whatever tiny effect would get balanced out with the gray card too - i guess i shouldn't assume that anymore.

i can't say for sure about the contrast except that i was playing with hard light on the actors, trying to get interesting shadows and let some things go black. i've been experimenting with 35mm stills and extreme lighting situations so i may have been pushing my comfort zone a little bit. The meter numbers looked good and it looked amazing through the viewfinder so i'm a bit disappointed in the results. but i did some correction on those frame grabs in photoshop and its going to look pretty good in the end.

thanks a million for the advice, as always it is greatly appreciated

Edited by Jason Hinkle, 12 September 2009 - 08:46 PM.

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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:49 PM

I recall I once rolled out on '17 on my x g/f and my roomate's cat (also the name of the X) in my room, having a little CFL in my desk lamp; very similar effect, green across the frame despite the fact that it wasn't the main light, nor the brightest. I think their spectrum just doesn't jive with emulsion too well. On the other hand, I have used a big CFL, a 300W equivalent, on '19 stock and '18 and never had a problem. Anecdotal, I know, but it seems to me to be the reasonable explanation.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:47 AM

Assuming the Color Chart/ Gray Scale was exposed properly, that is indeed a horrible transfer!.. and what you are seeing goes WAY beyond one little floro...
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#13 Paul Bruening

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:28 AM

Try a fix in post. If it fixes then what's the worry? If this was a good deal at the transfer house and you've got time to fix it... penny wise and pound foolish is often the only strategy available to us lo/no budgers.

By the way: An African American in a white T-shirt? You couldn't have made this any harder on the telecine guys?
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:32 PM

Saul you are correct there were warm fluoro practicals but i was a ) surprised a 30 watts lamp would so completely tint 2k of tungsten and b ) that would have been corrected out. I might have expected the practical to look radiate a tiny bit green but not to totally tint the room. The practicals also look whiter than the rest of the room which would seem to indicate that was not the source of the green.


Although flourescents, if uncorrected, do produce green, it's wrong to assume that all green must be due to flourescents. I think you were right the first time, that a 30 Watt flourescent wouldn't make it that bad.

That the practicals look white doesn't mean they're not green. Where all three primaries are burned out, you get white, even if one of them is much hotter than the others. In that case, you'd find extra green nearby, where the practical falls off enough that the green is just barely not burned out. But this is green pretty much all over.





-- J.S.
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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:39 PM

Although flourescents, if uncorrected, do produce green, it's wrong to assume that all green must be due to flourescents. I think you were right the first time, that a 30 Watt flourescent wouldn't make it that bad.

That the practicals look white doesn't mean they're not green. Where all three primaries are burned out, you get white, even if one of them is much hotter than the others. In that case, you'd find extra green nearby, where the practical falls off enough that the green is just barely not burned out. But this is green pretty much all over.





-- J.S.


I dunno. I have had experiences where even small output practical fluos read very green, if there isn't any other light in that (smaller) picture area, usually closer to the ceiling. That is what I see in the images posted. Just my personal take on it, without having being there when the footage was shot and at the telecine transfer room, it is hard to tell for sure.

A color temperature meter helps tremendously in cases like these. And a supervised telecine transfer couldn't hurt either.
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#16 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:47 AM

Well, again the director is quite happy and the extra work in post is a small trade-off for the price. I was mainly just curious because the footage is fairly consistently in color, assuming I shot the gray card I figured that would be balanced out during the transfer. now I know not to assume that will be the case.

the conclusions I'm drawing are a ) don't trust any floro bulbs and b ) my local lab is worth the higher cost

thanks again everyone.

Edited by Jason Hinkle, 15 September 2009 - 03:48 AM.

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