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a tri-x super 8 exposure dilemma - any ideas appreciated!


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#1 Gary Gregerson

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:13 PM

i got in a little bit over my head and shot 10 cartridges of tri-x super 8 indoors...my friend couldn't get a light meter (guess I should get my own!) so I used the one on my camera, a Bauer super D1. We had a combination of tungsten, halogen and natural light through a skylight and I couldn't get the exposure past f2.8! most of the time it was at f1.6, I believe. I shot a group scene (10people) with a wide range of ethnicities and skin tones - am I in big trouble? The scene seemed pretty well flooded...should I get it pushed during processing or can I do that in Final Cut Pro? (I'm a student and I'd rather not pay the $5 per cartridge for 1 stop...) I'm planning on sending this to pac-lab on tuesday because i have to have the project finished by nov. 18 - any help would be appreciated!
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#2 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 05:33 AM

g'day garry,
there is no way for us to know if the film needs pushing or pulling or whatever - there are just too many variables. But lets make a few assumptions. lets assume that the camera is working the way it did back in 1967 when the camera was made (43 years ago!!). So lets assume the meter is working. If it read 2.8, then 2.8 is correct for 160 asa film (which is what that model bauer will read tri-x as. Tri-x is actually 200 asa, but all sueper 8 cameras that use automatic asa notch detecting (which all but a few do in one way or another) will rate it either as 160 or 250 asa, not 200. Yours rates it as 160 which is a 1/3rd stop over exposure. That's fine. The next issue is the distribution of the light within the frame. If the scene was uniformly lit, then the exposure meter will have read the scene as accurately as any reflected light meter pointed at the scene, so the result will be correct. If your lighting was patchy, however, then all bets are off - correctness or otherwise will depend on just what the light was falling on compared to what the camera's meter was seeing overall. But lets assume it was evenly lit more or less. Given those assumptions, I think with Tri-x indoors with a daylight boosted by other lights (unless you are just talking domestic light fittings) you will have had enough light. What you should do however is just have one roll processed and ask what the results are like. You might well say, 'I don't have time for that'. Well how much time is there to shoot it again?
cheers,
richard
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:43 AM

perhaps pushing one roll one stop to see the effect it has may be prudent. Otherwise, it is hard to tell. ten rolls times five equals fifty bucks that may save you a lot of headache. Tri-X has very little latitude, so pulling it up in post isn't going to yield good results. How was the scene lit? I know you already said it was "flooded", does that mean that it was evenly lit, without much contrast or did it have lots of contrast? If the former, you may have a bit more wiggle room in post, but not much.
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#4 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:05 PM

of course, if 1.6 was the correct exposure, then pushing 1 stop will mean over exposing 1 stop. If the lighting was even, and you are prepared to trust the camera's light meter, then process 1 roll normally and see.
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#5 Gary Gregerson

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:55 PM

thank you so much! i'll get one developed and see...
gary
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#6 Friedemann Wachsmuth

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 06:38 PM

It is probably too late, but since you intend to telecine and postpro this footage anyway, I would have developed these rolls as negatives in some mitigating Developer as Diafine. That would give you 1-2 stops more speed (with tri-x actually 1 2/3 stops) and way more headroom for compensating mistakes.
How did it all turn out..?
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#7 Gary Gregerson

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:40 PM

It is probably too late, but since you intend to telecine and postpro this footage anyway, I would have developed these rolls as negatives in some mitigating Developer as Diafine. That would give you 1-2 stops more speed (with tri-x actually 1 2/3 stops) and way more headroom for compensating mistakes.
How did it all turn out..?

i'll find out soon but pac-lab says it looks good...
thanks for all the tips.

Gary
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