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Best Way To Achieve Deeply Saturated Black and White image in Super 8


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#1 Christopher Frey

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 05:03 PM

What is the best way to to achieve a deeply black and white image... with a narrow gray scale? Should I use a filter? Or would a lighting setup be the best way? What would be a good exposure for indoors on Tri-x?

Thanks for the help-- first time user.

Christopher Frey
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#2 Jim Carlile

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 05:08 AM

If it's indoors you can control your setups and make sure they are high contrast. Outdoors it's harder, but a red, green, or orange filter will get darker and more dramatic results.

For that classic Hollywood B/W look, the best place for advice is the John Alton book, called something like 'Painting with Light.' First came out in late 40s but was reprinted a few years ago.

There's no way you can alter the inherent curve of the film stock, except maybe through processing techniques, so what you have to do is control the subject lighting.
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#3 Ian Nesbitt

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:02 PM

What is the best way to to achieve a deeply black and white image... with a narrow gray scale? Should I use a filter? Or would a lighting setup be the best way? What would be a good exposure for indoors on Tri-x?

Thanks for the help-- first time user.

Christopher Frey


you can cross process your tri-x, if thats not a problem for you, really brings up contrast from my experience..
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#4 Tim Halloran

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 01:44 AM

Pro8mm Super8/63 – ASA 10 B&W Hi Con Reversal Film. Expensive, but might be what you need.

Sample vid here:

http://www.pro8mm.co...gory_Code=S8flm

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#5 Justin Lovell

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:58 PM

Are you planning on projecting your film or telecine for digital editing?

If projecting, you'll have to control you saturation (better word for this being contrast) by your lighting.
If doing a telecine xfer, you could light your film fairly flat (light with a low contrast) and can then manipulate your contrast during the transfer or in post.

My results differ from the previous poster about cross-processing. I scan lots of tri-x cross processed here at frame discreet and it has a much lower contrast (wider latitude) than reversal film. That's why I always cross process my tri-x (unless I need to project it). Cross processing gives me more shadow detail and more highlight detail (at a sacrifice of a grainier image, which I quite like).

Maybe the other poster wasn't able to supervise his transfer to see how much range there really is in the cross-processed image?


Best of Luck!

oh attaching some samples.
tri-x from BELLADONNA, our raw 2k scanner.
SUPER 8 and SUPER 16.
First image is the FLAT scan with no correction. Second Image is with a contrast and gamma adjustment to give it more of a 40's film noir kind of look. (the super 8 was under exposed by 1 1/2 stops so not as much latitude in the shadows- and a little softer than normal).

Posted Image
Posted Image
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Posted Image

Edited by Justin Lovell, 11 April 2010 - 02:00 PM.

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#6 Stephen Floyd

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:10 AM

Your desired effect could be achieved with art direction. Take a look at this opening scene from Tokyo Drifter, a '60s gangster film.

http://www.tcm.com/m....jsp?cid=243141

The suits did a lot for the motives of the characters and stood out well against the background.
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#7 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:02 AM

Hard light and under expose 1/3rd
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