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Canon 1014xls/814xls light loss question....


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#1 Phil Dexter

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:32 PM

Hey guys.
I have a Canon 1014xls and 814xls and just wanted to know if anyone knew whether the metering system takes into account light loss to the viewfinder, or do i need to take a reading and then open up a stop?

I'll be using both reversal and negative Kodak film.

Cheers

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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 11:30 PM

Hi Phil.

First test you might want to do is see if both cameras meter the same target
identically.

The 1014XLS has a cool plus minus feature that will automatically compensate
the exposure by 1/3 increments at all times while in the auto exposure mode.

Generally, cameras might slightly underexpose when shooting outdoors in wider shot
and facing backlighting. One technique that I found worked well was zooming into the area
I cared about most, metering, then opening up about 1/2 stop to 2/3 stops to one full stop, locking the exposure,
then zooming out to the desired frame.

You really should do a test cartridge first to and try the technique above and see if it works. You may discover
the camera does fine in automode more often than not, especially with that auto over-ride option.

-Alessandro Machi
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#3 Michael Waite

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:46 AM

In my experience with a standard 814 the internal meter is accurate. I'm sure Canon took any light loss into account when designing it. I don't think it loses a stop anyway, more like half a stop. I used to check the camera meter against my Soligor spot & they were always very close. Of course what Alessandro says is also sensible re technique.
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#4 Phil Dexter

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:47 PM

Thanks so much for the advice guys! Really helpful.

Do you know Alessandro if the exposure compensation dial on the side of the camera works if I'm in manual and exposure lock mode? I think it only works in auto, but just wanted to check. As I wont be using the camera in Auto I guess i'll just have to do what you say and take a reading, open up a half or full stop then lock exposure.

i've read a few things regarding negative and reversal stocks, and supposedly reversal looks best when slightly underexposed and negative looks best when slightly overexposed to give a thicker negative. I have both types of film at the moment but the first test roll I'll be shooting is some Tri X 200D ASA reversal. So would it be sensible to just take a reading and lock it without making any compensation? If there were to be any slight loss of light, then it may do me a favour, if reversal looks better when slightly underexposed.

I'll be shooting some Tri X 200D ASA reversal stock on Wednesday. As I'll be shooting indoors and I'm guessing the film is daylight balanced, do i need a correction filter or is that only if I'm using tungsten balanced film, outdoors?


Cheers guys!
You've been a great help.

Dexter
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#5 Adam Garner

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:35 AM

Dexter:

My 2 cents:

I shot a roll of tri-x a couple weeks ago on my 1014XL-S only for projection. It was just a fun project to keep shooting. I tried to overexpose slightly as an experiment since some of the B&W I'd been shooting "seemed" dark. I set the exposure compensation to +1. The same week I blew my projector bulb out and replaced it with a brand new bright 150V halogen.

When I got my film back, the result was that I didn't like the Tri-X over exposed AT ALL. It just looked, washed out I guess. Not very good contrast and it felt flat. Not like some TriX I've shot in the past.

Stick with the normal exposure on a 1014XL-S. It's really perfect. If you're in a shadowy location like under a bunch of trees with some sunlight that might overexpose the shadows I MIGHT suggest overexposing by 1/2 a stop or 1/4.

Lose the 85 filter. It'll only add to light loss/blurriness and it's not necessary at all. You don't need to color balance your film if it's Tri-X. Pretty sure the 1014 disengages the filter automatically when you pop in a tri-x cart. Just in case put the switch on the lightbulb. That will ensure the color filter is out of the way. You can double check this before putting your film in by opening up the aperture manually, opening the film door and looking through the lens from the inside. If you move the filter switch back and forth you can see the yellowish filter drop when it's on sunlight. You don't want that filter.

TriX shines when you shoot in bright sunlight with dark accents. I've got some footie to share if you want to see.

Edited by Adam Garner, 23 November 2009 - 12:39 AM.

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#6 Phil Dexter

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:59 PM

Thank Adam! Would love to see some footage you've shot with TriX if thats ok.

i'll try what you suggest and just rely on the camera's metering and lock that. i'll be filming a two piece band (no audio syncing though) in a large room. I have about 4 tungsten lamps to create a contrasty look. i'll try and meter a pretty neutral zone and lock that, hopefully the blacks and highlights will fall where i want them.

I'll let you know how i get on.
Wish me luck!

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#7 Bo Price

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:09 AM

Does anyone know how much light is lost in the 1014 xls viewfinder? I've used these before with the automatic meter and never had a problem. But I just bought a new one and against my light meter, the 1014 xls seems to open up 2-3 stops more than the read I'm getting. With 50D film, in a "Sunny 16" situation, I was getting 5.6-8.

Now -- the shutter speed seemed to account for 1/3 of a stop. And I think they read the 50D as 40, so that seems to be another 1/3. But that's at least 1 1/3 stop difference, sometimes a little more.

I shot a roll today, so I'll know soon enough. But I'm wondering if I've always been over-exposing, and they've been compensating in the transfer. Incidentally, does anybody know how much latitude there is on reversal for telecine? I know for projection you have to pretty much nail it, but is there much lee-way for transfer?
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#8 Wooda McNiven

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 05:06 PM

For what it's worth, I too wanted to determine the correct T-Stop to use on my Canon 1014 XLS with Tri-X.

My external meter is a Sekonic L-398M. I set it to ISO 160 (Tungsten lighting)

As I was shooting at night, I set the shutter at 220 degrees and shot at 18FPS (1/30 shutter speed)

I adjusted my light source (1K Lowell with a chimera and a rheostat) until I got a 40 footcandles reading on the Sekonic, which equates to a 2.8 f-stop.

I shot three tests. Each test started at F 2.8 (meter reading), then I opened up 1/2 stop over meter for the second test then a full stop over meter for the third test. I shot these three tests at three different focal lengths, 10mm, 15mm, and 25mm.

I just got my film back from Alphacine and to my surprise, the meter reading (2.8) was spot on, providing the best exposure. So now I know I don't have to worry about T-Stops at these focal lengths. I will, however, need to repeat this test using longer focal lengths, e.g. 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 65mm.
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#9 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:18 PM

To answer the original question- Yes, the internal meter takes the light loss from the view finder into account. If your using an external meter, you'll get a different reading than the camera meter. Which means, you have to know "light loss to the viewfinder" to compensate with an external meter setting... I don't know the correct answer at the moment, but recall it being around a full stop with my 814XLS.
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#10 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:53 PM

For what it's worth, I too wanted to determine the correct T-Stop to use on my Canon 1014 XLS with Tri-X.

My external meter is a Sekonic L-398M. I set it to ISO 160 (Tungsten lighting)

As I was shooting at night, I set the shutter at 220 degrees and shot at 18FPS (1/30 shutter speed)

I adjusted my light source (1K Lowell with a chimera and a rheostat) until I got a 40 footcandles reading on the Sekonic, which equates to a 2.8 f-stop.

I shot three tests. Each test started at F 2.8 (meter reading), then I opened up 1/2 stop over meter for the second test then a full stop over meter for the third test. I shot these three tests at three different focal lengths, 10mm, 15mm, and 25mm.

I just got my film back from Alphacine and to my surprise, the meter reading (2.8) was spot on, providing the best exposure. So now I know I don't have to worry about T-Stops at these focal lengths. I will, however, need to repeat this test using longer focal lengths, e.g. 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 65mm.

If you are going to do a bracketed test, you really should use reversal film (maybe you did), and you should make your exposure assesment by looking at the film directly rather than a telecine (or do both - project the film AND do a telecine). You will find that a super 8 camera is between 1 and 2 stops divergent from a normal light meter because of the shutter opening and the viewfinder loss. O.K., if using an XL (low light) camera with a wide shutter opening, it could be between half and one and a half stops. However I must say I don't know about converting a footcandles meter to asa/shutter speed/f-stop camera meter ...
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#11 Wooda McNiven

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:44 PM

If you are going to do a bracketed test, you really should use reversal film (maybe you did), and you should make your exposure assesment by looking at the film directly rather than a telecine (or do both - project the film AND do a telecine). You will find that a super 8 camera is between 1 and 2 stops divergent from a normal light meter because of the shutter opening and the viewfinder loss. O.K., if using an XL (low light) camera with a wide shutter opening, it could be between half and one and a half stops. However I must say I don't know about converting a footcandles meter to asa/shutter speed/f-stop camera meter ...


Yes, I did use reversal (Tri-X, as reported) and I did view the results using a projector. Because light loss through the viewfinder (or is it through all the glass elements of the lens? Or both?) should require a T-Stop adjustment, I performed these bracketed tests to determine how much I needed to adjust from the external meter's reading. The Sekonic meter's reading was f 2.8. So I shot at f 2.8, then again at f2 and finally at f 1.4.

I expected a half-stop or full stop adjustment over meter would be needed. But this was not the case. The Sekonic's reading furnished the best exposure. But again, I only performed these bracketed tests at the shorter focal lengths; 10mm, 15mm, 25mm. Perhaps longer focal lengths will require some adjustment over meter reading. I intend to test this out as well. But I am satisfied that with my particular camera, I do not need to concern myself with T-Stops at these focal lengths.

As for how my tests will look after telecine, that is an excellent question. I intend to send one of my test rolls to a
professional telecine outfit and see how it turns out.
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