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#1 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:07 AM

I'm finding some difficulty getting my workprints to result with the density I want. I usually go for a best light, and over expose my negative by about 2/3rds. My prints always come back a little bright and unsaturated. A telecine of the same footage can be easily dialed down to my desired density and saturation. I've had the colorist show me the raw exposures in telecine in the past... that reveal an accurate 2/3rds over on the neg, so my exposures should be what I want. Is there something I can request from the lab, or is that just the nature of modern negative and 3383 print stock?
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 03:08 PM

I'm finding some difficulty getting my workprints to result with the density I want. I usually go for a best light, and over expose my negative by about 2/3rds. My prints always come back a little bright and unsaturated. A telecine of the same footage can be easily dialed down to my desired density and saturation. I've had the colorist show me the raw exposures in telecine in the past... that reveal an accurate 2/3rds over on the neg, so my exposures should be what I want. Is there something I can request from the lab, or is that just the nature of modern negative and 3383 print stock?

Are you shooting a grey card at the head of the roll, overexposed by 2/3 stop as well? If you do this and instruct the lab to "time to grey card" the you should be fine. If it still comes back too bright then you can overexposed the grey card more, and they will time the whole roll even darker.
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:19 PM

I've tried a grey card in the past, but did not seem to help-
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:39 PM

Well, did you talk to the lab about this? Sounds like it could be a communication problem. If there's an issue with the lab's work, you should give them a call and let them know that the prints are coming back too bright. They should fix it for you.

Another possibility is that your expecting something that the film stock and print stock can't deliver. If you shoot an over/under test for each stock you will get a good sense of what the film can and can't do.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:14 AM

If your lab is not timing down the overexposed grey scale to normal even after you requested it, there's a good chance you can get them to reprint it correctly. But this is assuming you are shooting the grey scale correctly, i.e. at the slower ASA rating you are using. And that your camera reports and work order say "TIME PRINT TO GREY SCALE AT HEAD OF ROLL" or something like that.

As mentioned, you can go even further -- for example, overexpose the grey scale by 1-stop but the roll at 2/3-stop, then printing for the grey scale... the roll will look 1/3-stop darker than normal-looking.


The thing about testing is also you would know what the normal ASA prints at and what your slower ASA rating prints at. So you would find that the print from the overexposed print looks correct in the mid 30's, let's say, so if your later print came back printed in the high 20's, you know that they aren't correctly printing down.

This process is all about eliminating confusion and error, about being precise with your exposures and with the lab's printing lights.

You could even assign them a set of printer lights determined through tests, it's just that then they can't fix or adjust anything, plus they won't be correcting for day-to-day color variations. Richard Kline used to determine a set of printer lights from tests and then just make a rubber stamp with those numbers that went on the camera reports and work order.
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#6 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:45 PM

As mentioned, you can go even further -- for example, overexpose the grey scale by 1-stop but the roll at 2/3-stop, then printing for the grey scale... the roll will look 1/3-stop darker than normal-looking.

Good idea, thanks David. It could be that my preference is off. I'm wanting to get somewhat closer to my projected reversal look, that I usually like on target or 1/3rd under. I've hit the sweet spot a few times with print stock, maybe by happy accident?
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#7 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 05:09 AM

You could even assign them a set of printer lights determined through tests, it's just that then they can't fix or adjust anything, plus they won't be correcting for day-to-day color variations. Richard Kline used to determine a set of printer lights from tests and then just make a rubber stamp with those numbers that went on the camera reports and work order.


There is no reason why you can't specify printer lights.

The normal set-up in a lab means that their lights remain constant. The trims on the printer are used to compensate for variations in light output, process variations and so on.

It is vital for a lab to maintain their line-up otherwise a job that was graded 10 years ago would have to be re-graded if it needed to be printed today. This is the reason that the standard light will vary from 25-25-25 as new and different film stocks become available and depending when the lab standard was first set-up.
Brian
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Aerial Filmworks

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