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B&W or Colour stock for final B&W output?


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:31 AM

Hello,

I'm about to embark on shooting a short, non-sync narrative using my Eclair ACL 1.5 (first time) and the Angenieux zoom lens it came with. The final product will be in B&W, but I want to know if there are any benefits to shooting using colour stock and draining the colour in post-production. I do apologize if this question is silly. There are a few things to consider:

1) The shooting aspect radio will be standard 16mm, but the final product will be cropped to 1.78:1, increasing the visible grain. Would a newer stock like any of the Vision 3s give me less grain to begin with?
2) The lighting and shooting will be done to maximize the contrast. I'm wondering if shooting in a colour stock as opposed to Double-X or Tri-X would diminish the almost harsh contrast in B&W. I've only ever shot colour stock in Super 8mm for a project in which I actually drained the colour and assembled the footage with some that was shot on Double-X in 16mm on a Bolex.

Super 8mm - Vision 2 50 D
http://www.glowfoto....0/img4/glowfoto

16mm - Double-X
http://www.glowfoto....0/img5/glowfoto

16mm - Double-X
http://www.glowfoto....0/img4/glowfoto

To my modestly trained eyes, there seems to be more contrast in the Double-X shots than in the Vision 2 50D shot that was translated to B&W in FCP.

I would appreciate any advice greatly.

Cheers,
Ray
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#2 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 03:32 AM

You obviously know exactly what you want so I'd definetely go the black and white route. I'd use negative stock because processing is easier and can be used for prints. From Kodak, as of June 2010, there is only one stock to order - the 200 ASA DOUBLE-X Negative Film 5222 / 7222. You can also try the 100 ASA stock ORWO 54 which is excellent, nearly grainless with medium contrast. I think the Kodak will be higher in contrast, but that may be a thing in colorcorrection or when the final print is made.

When shooting with B&W film you might want to use some filters. Especially a yellow filter when shooting outdoors. Please gather some information about filtering i.e. on the ILFORD filters site.
Hope this helps :o:L:I:V:E:R:
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#3 Ray Noori

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:02 PM

Thanks Oliver. I had never even heard of the ORWO stock. I might give that a try. I've decided to do tests on both the Double-X and one of the Vision 3 Daylight stock. Expensive, but better safe than sorry I feel. Again, thanks for the advice.
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:12 AM

Thanks Oliver. I had never even heard of the ORWO stock. I might give that a try. I've decided to do tests on both the Double-X and one of the Vision 3 Daylight stock. Expensive, but better safe than sorry I feel. Again, thanks for the advice.

Double-X is a beautiful but grainy stock. If you want to avoid grain you'll find any vision stock to have less grain. However, there's a certain feel to Double-X that is just great... so I would certainly consider it if you can handle the lighting required. Make sure on your test that you light as close as possible to your actual production because it has a wide range of behavior based on how you're lighting.
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#5 Chris Durham

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:17 AM

If you want a good example of a Vision stock printed to B&W check out Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon." Very crisp and absolutely stunning images.
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#6 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:30 AM

Thank you Chris and Will. I loved the look of The White Ribbon and wasn't aware that it was Vision printed to B&W. That gives me some food for thought. I do love the look of Double-X, that's what I've shot my only two serious shorts with. My process of shooting test rolls came to a grinding halt this morning when I found out that the first roll I had shot had not actually registered, just run through :( I'm about to post something about that in a different topic to try and get some help with what could possibly have caused it.
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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:03 AM

Thank you Chris and Will. I loved the look of The White Ribbon and wasn't aware that it was Vision printed to B&W. That gives me some food for thought. I do love the look of Double-X, that's what I've shot my only two serious shorts with. My process of shooting test rolls came to a grinding halt this morning when I found out that the first roll I had shot had not actually registered, just run through :( I'm about to post something about that in a different topic to try and get some help with what could possibly have caused it.


don't forget 7266 as an option. much less grain than 7222
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#8 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:19 PM

don't forget 7266 as an option. much less grain than 7222

Really? I always thought Double-X was less grainy as Tri-X. Also, someone mentioned earlier in this thread that 7222 is the only B&W stock available from Kodak these days.
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:47 PM

Really? I always thought Double-X was less grainy as Tri-X. Also, someone mentioned earlier in this thread that 7222 is the only B&W stock available from Kodak these days.

Of course Double-X is negative and Tri-X is reversal (at least now with normal processing) so it's a strange comparison but I've found Double-X to be much more "grainy" than Plus-X negative. Double-X is a faster stock & grainier. Still love it though...

Movies that used Double-X: Schindler's List (1993), Memento (2000), Kafka (1991), Casino Royale (2006) (opening sequence), I'm Not There (2007)
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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

Here is an example of 5289 desaturated in Color. I shot with an Eyemo with a Peleng 8mm for the indoor stuff. Exteriors were shot on 5245 also desaturated on a Arri 2c with an 18mm. The interiors shots were all hand cranked with a bit of back winding and such. Just an example of what it looks like. Indoors we shot a stop or two from wide open, it was all very wild and I wasn't expecting the very best footage. Turns out I was very pleasantly surprised with the results (wait till you see the full color) and Rob Houllihan did a fantastic job on his Y Front.
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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:41 AM

You can cross process Tri-X reversal to negative and it does come out less grainy than xx22.

and the Y-Front does look good doesn't it?

This is a short I made all B&W (7231,7222,7266) I neg cut and 16mm answer printed at Cinelab, the slow motion gunshot was Tri-x reversal cross processed.


View on Vimeo

-Rob-
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#12 Ray Noori

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 09:41 PM

Here is an example of 5289 desaturated in Color. I shot with an Eyemo with a Peleng 8mm for the indoor stuff. Exteriors were shot on 5245 also desaturated on a Arri 2c with an 18mm. The interiors shots were all hand cranked with a bit of back winding and such. Just an example of what it looks like. Indoors we shot a stop or two from wide open, it was all very wild and I wasn't expecting the very best footage. Turns out I was very pleasantly surprised with the results (wait till you see the full color) and Rob Houllihan did a fantastic job on his Y Front.


This is excellent footage! The outdoor footage perfectly demonstrates the amount of grain (or lack there of) and contrast I'm after. The image for the outdoor footage is incredibly sharp. I'm wondering how much of that is the good registration on the Arri 2c, how much of it is the prime lens, and how much of it is the stock!

You can cross process Tri-X reversal to negative and it does come out less grainy than xx22.

and the Y-Front does look good doesn't it?

This is a short I made all B&W (7231,7222,7266) I neg cut and 16mm answer printed at Cinelab, the slow motion gunshot was Tri-x reversal cross processed.


View on Vimeo

-Rob-


I have never shot reversal before, it looks like it could be well worth an experiment. It's hard to tell from the Vimeo footage how much less grainy it is than xx22.
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