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#1 Greg Baumann

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:15 PM

I'm shooting a Super 8 surfing film with a Beaulieu 4008ZM, and I've got about 12 reels back from Yale. I've created shorts of a few of them with iMovie and posted them on my blog, www.spatoutinglory.com.

I'm a novice who would really welcome any critiques the group here can offer. The footage has some serious flaws, and to the extent problems can be diagnosed, I'd appreciate tips to make my imagery sharper with better color. Thanks for your help!

Here's an entry with some body surfing and mat surfing...
http://www.spatoutin...ody-whomps.html

Thanks again
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#2 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 07:06 PM

g'day Greg,
your footage is over exposed. When reversal film (like the 64t you used) is over exposed, you get a decrease in colour saturation, decrease in contrast, a decrease in grain and blown out high lights. With under exposure it is the oposite: more colour saturation, more contrast, more grain, crushed shadows.
Getting reversal exposure correct can take practice. A beach scene with lots of sand and waves and sky and glare is a tricky place to start. Usually exposure errors associated with a beach scene will be in the under exposed direction: because of all the bright light around your subjects the light meter usually indicates to close down the aperture more than would be required to get nicely exposed skin tones. You were using auto exposure, and UNDER exposure is what I would expect to see if your camera's meter was set correctly and was working properly. You however got over exposed footage. So either the camera's meter wasn't set properly (specifically the asa dial on the beaulieu) or more likely it isn't working properly. Given the footage seems to be always about the same amount over exposed, it means the meter is still working in a predictable way, its just systematically over exposing. With a 'new' camera, you can't just go ahead and trust the meter. With any new camera you must shoot a test roll first to see what the meter is up to and how to set it for best results. Given you are using a beaulieu, it is very easy to make the required adjustment you need using the asa dial. So what you have to do is shoot a careful meter callibration test.
Get yourself a roll of the reversal film (its always best to shoot exposure meter calibration tests with reversal film, even if you are planning on using negative to shoot on - this is because with reversal film, the accuracy of the exposure is easy to tell on viewing the footage). Now shoot some bracketed exposures. what you are trying to work out is how much to bias the asa control on the camera from the rated asa of the film in order to get the best exposure. You might find for instance that the best exposure is achieved by biasing the asa knob by 1 and 1/3rd stops from the rated speed in one or other direction (in your case it would be in the higher number direction - instead of 64asa rate it at 160 for instance).
Start with the asa know say 2 stops higher than the rated speed of the film (for 64t that means 250 asa). Write '+2' on some paper and include that in your shot. Now shoot a little bit of film like that. Now reduce the asa setting by 1/3rd of a stop to 200 asa and write '+1 and 2/3rds' and shoot again. Then reduce again to 1 and 1/3rd. Continue this way until you get to '-2'. When you get the footage back, put it on a projector and then decide which asa bias setting gave the best results. It would be best to repeat this test about 3 times in different situations so that you can look at all three results and average the most desirable compensation.
Dead easy really.
good luck with it,
richard
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#3 Rocket 88

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:30 PM

g'day Greg,
your footage is over exposed. When reversal film (like the 64t you used) is over exposed, you get a decrease in colour saturation, decrease in contrast, a decrease in grain and blown out high lights. With under exposure it is the oposite: more colour saturation, more contrast, more grain, crushed shadows.
Getting reversal exposure correct can take practice. A beach scene with lots of sand and waves and sky and glare is a tricky place to start. Usually exposure errors associated with a beach scene will be in the under exposed direction: because of all the bright light around your subjects the light meter usually indicates to close down the aperture more than would be required to get nicely exposed skin tones. You were using auto exposure, and UNDER exposure is what I would expect to see if your camera's meter was set correctly and was working properly. You however got over exposed footage. So either the camera's meter wasn't set properly (specifically the asa dial on the beaulieu) or more likely it isn't working properly. Given the footage seems to be always about the same amount over exposed, it means the meter is still working in a predictable way, its just systematically over exposing. With a 'new' camera, you can't just go ahead and trust the meter. With any new camera you must shoot a test roll first to see what the meter is up to and how to set it for best results. Given you are using a beaulieu, it is very easy to make the required adjustment you need using the asa dial. So what you have to do is shoot a careful meter callibration test.
Get yourself a roll of the reversal film (its always best to shoot exposure meter calibration tests with reversal film, even if you are planning on using negative to shoot on - this is because with reversal film, the accuracy of the exposure is easy to tell on viewing the footage). Now shoot some bracketed exposures. what you are trying to work out is how much to bias the asa control on the camera from the rated asa of the film in order to get the best exposure. You might find for instance that the best exposure is achieved by biasing the asa knob by 1 and 1/3rd stops from the rated speed in one or other direction (in your case it would be in the higher number direction - instead of 64asa rate it at 160 for instance).
Start with the asa know say 2 stops higher than the rated speed of the film (for 64t that means 250 asa). Write '+2' on some paper and include that in your shot. Now shoot a little bit of film like that. Now reduce the asa setting by 1/3rd of a stop to 200 asa and write '+1 and 2/3rds' and shoot again. Then reduce again to 1 and 1/3rd. Continue this way until you get to '-2'. When you get the footage back, put it on a projector and then decide which asa bias setting gave the best results. It would be best to repeat this test about 3 times in different situations so that you can look at all three results and average the most desirable compensation.
Dead easy really.
good luck with it,
richard





Hello,

The comments are pretty much correct here - I've been repairing/selling and shooting with Beaulieu's for 7-8 years. The 85 gel on a 4008 is always in place. You need the filter key to insert in the side of the camera to push the 85 out and the clear gel in. These gels can get dirty over time and ruin the picture, despite a clear lens, so an inspection of the gel is in order.

If you happen to have the Schneider 6-70mm offered on the later models, usually the ZM4, but a few zm2's also, then the gel is located on the lens and not in the camera body - so no filter key used.

As for the overexposure issue - I have shot tons of footage at the beach - Malibu, Topanga et all - my experience is that the footage will look overexposed unless you compensate. The amount of light reflected back at the lens by the water, and the overall bright conditions, combine to produce overexposure by 1 to 2 stops. The bracketing of exposures on a test roll is a good idea.

Also abandoning 64T film would be a good idea -this is not great film to begin with, and less so at the beach.

Here is a short test reel of 64T shot at the beach. It's converted to an flv file by photobucket so a little quality is lost. It is from a Beaulieu zm2 with the Schneider 6-66mm. Shot at 24fps - about 25 - 28 shots were taken, reel time was 2.5 minutes and a quick edit to a jazz tune was done that used 1/2 the footage, lasts about 1 minute:

Posted Image

Kodak now sells Ektachrome 100D from their outlets in Hollywood and New York directly to the customer: 1-800-621-3456

This is a great film. On the beaulieu, set asa to 200 when at the beach, even 400 when shooting at the water, if you're going to leave the camera on auto exposure. This will bring exposure down enough for a solid picture. Also, a ND filter on the lens would be good, because the 100asa speed puts the lens aperture in the f/16-f/22 range - even bumping against a fully closed aperture. An ND 2 filter will bring this down into the f/11 to f/16 range in bright sunlight. (the Schneider 6-70mm only closes down to f/16 due to physical design of the lens - so this lens will bump closed at the beach with this film)

Buy a couple books on camera technique - there is no camera technique here - just read these books over and over as watch your footage: "The grammar of the shot" by Roy Thompson - "The five C's of Cinematography" by Joseph Mascelli. A picture frame is the same whether it's a painting, still shot or moving shot - it needs to be compose in relation of subject to the frame, including motion when there is motion.

If your camera does not operate properly I can check it out and get it fixed for you.

For transfer, www.thetrasferstation.com is cheapest for one-pass Rank Cintel transfer, http://filmvideoservices.net/ is cheapest for processing B&W and film-chain transfer .12/ft

Yale is not bad but not cheap either. Buy film directly from Kodak, or use Pro8mm stocks at $30/reel process included, http://www.dwaynesphoto.com/ is good for E-6 process color film (Ektachrome 100D) - call around for cheap prices. Spectra Film http://www.spectrafilmandvideo.com/ process and sells a Fuji 50D stock which would be good at the beach - they are not cheap but have good services.

Regards,

Monty

818-442-8752
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#4 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:52 PM

Of course, shooting at a beach, for the reasons both myself and Rocket 88 have explained, is a classic 'back light' situation. Thus the natural tendency is for the light meter to indicate an exposure that results in UNDER EXPOSURE of the subject you are interested in, not in over exposure. In your instance you have OVER EXPOSURE not under exposure, so its not the back light situation that has caused you problems. Yes, I think you need to crank up your asa setting by 1 or so stops (and only testing will tell you how much). But this is not the usual situation for shooting at a beach. Usually it is the other way around - you would have to wind down the asa a little to trick the meter into opening up more than it would ordinarily recommend so that the exposure of the subjects is correct. So maybe Rocket 88 is referring to a specific Beaulieu light meter issue when he says that one should deliberately over rate the asa of the film stock for beech shooting. Normally it is the other way around for beech shooting (and for snow etc..). But your case is different, as your meter is simply wrong by a certain amount.
rt
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#5 Greg Baumann

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:26 PM

Thanks guys. I can't wait to take this stuff apart piece by piece. I shot three rolls at Rincon Point Saturday, carefully marking settings on the camera, moving through different apertures etc. I'll be able to correlate those readings with the results and it should be educational. The points you bring up are the next step after that. I yearn for the clearest Super 8 I can achieve. Such a beautiful look. I think it's going to be a long-term project. Thanks a million. You guys are great.


Of course, shooting at a beach, for the reasons both myself and Rocket 88 have explained, is a classic 'back light' situation. Thus the natural tendency is for the light meter to indicate an exposure that results in UNDER EXPOSURE of the subject you are interested in, not in over exposure. In your instance you have OVER EXPOSURE not under exposure, so its not the back light situation that has caused you problems. Yes, I think you need to crank up your asa setting by 1 or so stops (and only testing will tell you how much). But this is not the usual situation for shooting at a beach. Usually it is the other way around - you would have to wind down the asa a little to trick the meter into opening up more than it would ordinarily recommend so that the exposure of the subjects is correct. So maybe Rocket 88 is referring to a specific Beaulieu light meter issue when he says that one should deliberately over rate the asa of the film stock for beech shooting. Normally it is the other way around for beech shooting (and for snow etc..). But your case is different, as your meter is simply wrong by a certain amount.
rt


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#6 Ian Payne

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 12:39 AM

as a layman filmera, it looks like you have no 85b filter for the 64t. Note to mat rider, to get barrelled on a mat you need to dig the rear rail with your hand(back bit on the mat closest to the face of the wave) youll be amazed. keep on filming.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 08:41 AM

I didn't read the comments yet so as to give you an unbiased opinion.

The picture is too blue. I am presuming you didn't have an 85 filter. I thought the images looked very clean, very little dust or scratching. I noticed the upper left and right hand corner of the image is slightly vignetting dark. is that a transfer issue, or were you so far stopped down on the lens that it happened while shooting?

If only you had added an 85 filter, you might have had perfect exposure as well.

I wonder if you could have gotten a more balanced color corrected transfer. The face looked washed out, and yet the white water splash did not look overexposed to me. I wonder if you will be able to re color correct to bring in warmer tones without contaminating the white.

If you had been shooting Ektachrome 100D (which I presume was not out yet), your footage might have looked amazing. It still is usable footage however.

Did you change your f-stop for the slow motion footage? By how much did you change it?
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#8 Jim Gibbons

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:14 PM

All the previous comments seem to say what I was thinking so I'll give you my thoughts on something other than the color and exposure. This might be asking alot but can you get closer to the surfer? The back of a Jet Ski or a small boat? I know the risk to the camera is high if you do but it would make for much more interesting shots. Any chance of rolling some slo mo as well? Real slo mo and not Final Cut Pro slo-mo? I commend you for shooting Super 8 in this digital world of ours and think you could really be onto something with a retro feeling surf FILM. A famous photographer once said "if your subject is not interesting you're not close enough." Post some more when you get it.
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#9 Justin Donoghue

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:25 AM

I know the risk to the camera is high if you do but it would make for much more interesting shots.


I have a water resistant housing for my ZM2 thich I'm dying to use sometime near water for some action stuff.
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#10 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:23 AM

Is Super-8 the format to use? The images may have some atmosphere but for are an outsider there is very little to see. You need more frame filling events. Super-8 was always recommend to the be applied in close up. It is a consumer format.
For your kind of work 16mm would be better and/or you need to make things happen in the frame.

That would mean get on a board/jetski and get a underwaterhousing. These exist for Beaulieu 2/4008, 6008, Bauer Aquarius C-series, Fuji for P1 and AX100. The EWA things should work too. And there are small watertight Eumig's

Surfing is not a sport to enjoy watching through a telescope :)

Posted Image Posted Image

Edited by Andries Molenaar, 01 May 2010 - 03:26 AM.

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#11 Greg Baumann

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:14 PM

Ian ... that's me on the mat. Watching the film is a killer way to learn, eh? Normally I grab both front corners of the mat and squeeze/release to control speed and rocker. Are you saying I need to move my hand that's closest to the face back on the mat's rail somewhere? I know for sure that I'm doing too much drop down the face before turning. An immediate corner into the face upon takeoff, then a stall, I think will but me where I need to be. Cheers dude.

as a layman filmera, it looks like you have no 85b filter for the 64t. Note to mat rider, to get barrelled on a mat you need to dig the rear rail with your hand(back bit on the mat closest to the face of the wave) youll be amazed. keep on filming.


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#12 Greg Baumann

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:18 PM

Ah Andries - 16mm is way outta my price range. Luckily with the Beaulieu I can step up lens power. I have an HV30 with a Del Mar housing that I'm using for water shots. The film I'm putting together ultimately will only use the Super 8 for backstory, lead in, and the ending. The rest is HD video. Cheers.

Is Super-8 the format to use? The images may have some atmosphere but for are an outsider there is very little to see. You need more frame filling events. Super-8 was always recommend to the be applied in close up. It is a consumer format.
For your kind of work 16mm would be better and/or you need to make things happen in the frame.

That would mean get on a board/jetski and get a underwaterhousing. These exist for Beaulieu 2/4008, 6008, Bauer Aquarius C-series, Fuji for P1 and AX100. The EWA things should work too. And there are small watertight Eumig's

Surfing is not a sport to enjoy watching through a telescope :)

Posted Image Posted Image


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