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16mm at the aquarium. How to?


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#1 Timothy OBrien

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 02:31 PM

I will be going to the aquarium tomorrow. Wanted to shoot a reel of Tri-X reversal with a Bolex. Not sure how to meter or what tricks I could use to make sure I get an image. Anybody have some advice or recommendations to save me a wasted roll?

Thanks.
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:34 PM

I will be going to the aquarium tomorrow. Wanted to shoot a reel of Tri-X reversal with a Bolex. Not sure how to meter or what tricks I could use to make sure I get an image. Anybody have some advice or recommendations to save me a wasted roll?

If it gets dark, shoot at slower frame rates on a wide lens. I've gotten some great low-light night ext. Tri-X footage with my Scoopic at 16fps, 170 shutter, all handheld. I haven't shot Bolex in a long time, I think it's got a max 130 shutter, right? Might have to go to 12fps in some cases. The Scoopic has a built in meter, which is a big advantage. But you can always keep a spot meter in your pocket. It might slow you down a little. Also, you can push Tri-X one stop without it getting too grainy. Two stop push creates super grain, but it's beautiful Seurat-like film grain so you might like it.

I've shot some 7218 at Monterey Bay Aquarium and it looked amazing. Hi-speed color neg would capture maximum detail with the least amount of grain. Take a roll of 7219 if you have a chance, I hear it's even better at low-light than 7218.
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 05:45 PM

Use a spot meter to determine exposure. Have a friend along with a big piece of black cloth to block reflections in the glass. Maybe some windex and paper towels, too....




-- J.S.
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#4 Timothy OBrien

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. You're right on the shutter Satsuki, Bolex only opens to 130. Definitely use a spot meter and try to rig some sort of set-up to reduce glare on the glass. The tanks are pretty well lit for the most part so I'm hoping things should come out o.k. If I can find enough light I'd love to get some slow motion shots. Especially of the jellyfish.
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:53 AM

Jellyfish move pretty slow to begin with so you'll probably be fine at 24fps. On the other hand, keeping up with sea otters is a challenge! They're like puppies on crack...

The thing is, there will likely be a huge exposure range as you move through the exhibits. In the dark areas, you'll be wide open and 6-12fps, while in the sunlit areas you'll be at f/16 and a 65 degree shutter (1/2) at 24fps. Remember, Tri-X is 160T/200D. And if in the dark areas you only need enough exposure for the lit display windows, then you will likely be fine - just be aware of your surroundings.
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