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Leicina Special time exposure question.


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#1 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:49 PM

I plan on mounting my Leicina Special/ST1 Controller/10mm Cinegon on my bike this weekend for some nighttime time exposure experiments with the average exposure per K40 frame = 3 seconds.

In general I prefer shooting at optimal apertures, e.g. f/5.6. Another factor is the age of the stock. And this is not a typo. It is factory sealed refrigerated K40 from 1982.

I am not concerned about possible color shifts nor reproducibility failure. It's experimental footage, dudes!

I have had a previous wonderful experience with an identical setup back in the early nineties with FRESH K40. The streaking solidity of crazy colors is amazing and ended up in a film of mine called Silly Billy which ironically played in Germany this year. I may eventually release it publicly.

Back to the point.

I utilize a digital spot meter for my work in general and my exposures tend to be spot on. However it's been awhile since I have dabbled in the extended exposure realm of time exposures.

What are the best guides that take into account film stock ASA, exposure time per frame and ambient tungsten lighting (car headlights, windows, buildings)?
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#2 Carl Looper

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:16 PM

What are the best guides that take into account film stock ASA, exposure time per frame and ambient tungsten lighting (car headlights, windows, buildings)?

From memory there is a thing called "reciprocity failure" which works to one's advantage when exposing film. The rule of thumb is that the longer the exposure time you intend using the longer the exposure time you'll actually need. The term "reciprocity" refers to the reciprical relationship between exposure time and aperture (or ND filter). As you increase one you decrease the other by the same ammount. Well normally you do, but for longer exposure times this reciprical relationship fails. As the exposure time increases the less you need to decrease the aperture size (or increase the ND filter) to compensate.

I know this doesn't completely answer the question but it's a useful thing to know and keep in mind when researching the problem further.
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#3 Carl Looper

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:32 PM

From memory there is a thing called "reciprocity failure" which works to one's advantage when exposing film. The rule of thumb is that the longer the exposure time you intend using the longer the exposure time you'll actually need. The term "reciprocity" refers to the reciprical relationship between exposure time and aperture (or ND filter). As you increase one you decrease the other by the same ammount. Well normally you do, but for longer exposure times this reciprical relationship fails. As the exposure time increases the less you need to decrease the aperture size (or increase the ND filter) to compensate.

I know this doesn't completely answer the question but it's a useful thing to know and keep in mind when researching the problem further.


I'm not sure I've characterised the problem correctly. The failure occurs at low light levels. But in the case of shooting outdoors in sunlight the situation is at the other end of the equations - one has more light than one needs (not less) so I imagine if there is going to be reciprocity failure that you'll need to compensate the other way.

http://en.wikipedia....ty_(photography)#Reciprocity_failure


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#4 Carl Looper

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:40 PM

But if shooting at night - as you are - then reciprocity failure is definitely what you need to take into account.
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#5 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:02 PM

But if shooting at night - as you are - then reciprocity failure is definitely what you need to take into account.


Thanks, Carl.

I found the following which I will be utilizing as a reference, i.e.

THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER
http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

Basically, i.e.

ISO 50 reference (with perhaps a 1/3 stop compensation for the K40), i.e.

EV = 4, i.e.
Candle lit close-ups. Christmas lights, floodlit buildings, fountains, and monuments. Subjects under bright street lamps.

Chart recommendation re: exposure factors, i.e.
1. f/5.6 aperture w/ 4 second exposure per frame.
2. f/4.0 aperture w/ 2 second exposure per frame.

So my initial guesstimate reference point of 3 seconds per frame at my preferred shooting aperture was not too far off.

However I will still vary my exposure times across multiple takes to effectively "bracket" my experimental exposures.
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#6 Carl Looper

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 07:45 PM

Thanks, Carl.

I found the following which I will be utilizing as a reference, i.e.

THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER
http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

Basically, i.e.

ISO 50 reference (with perhaps a 1/3 stop compensation for the K40), i.e.

EV = 4, i.e.
Candle lit close-ups. Christmas lights, floodlit buildings, fountains, and monuments. Subjects under bright street lamps.

Chart recommendation re: exposure factors, i.e.
1. f/5.6 aperture w/ 4 second exposure per frame.
2. f/4.0 aperture w/ 2 second exposure per frame.

So my initial guesstimate reference point of 3 seconds per frame at my preferred shooting aperture was not too far off.

However I will still vary my exposure times across multiple takes to effectively "bracket" my experimental exposures.


Excellent article. But make sure you take into account the following advice in STEP THREE - USE THE ULTIMATE EXPOSURE COMPUTER WISELY:

For some films, exposures involving shutter speeds in excess of several seconds may require additional exposure because the film's sensitivity decreases with continued exposure to light for long periods (this is called "reciprocity failure"). Light meters do not correct for this phenomenon, because it varies according to the type of film. Consult the manufacturers' specifications for details. There are some tricky exposures where you can improperly expose the film whether you are using a camera meter or the Ultimate Exposure Computer. Many of these situations are addressed in "What to do in Tricky Light Situations" in Appendix A.
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#7 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:09 PM

Carl,

I did end up riding my bike in the cold this evening for a total of 41 km. I shot approximately 34-40 ft of K40 with two variances, i.e. 2 or 3 secs per frame. My base reference for K40 time exposures is my film "Silly Billy" shot in 1994, i.e. exterior (nighttime)/interior (dim tungsten lighting) approx. 3 seconds per frame.

Unfortunately the Manfrotto Super Grip is not ideal. The 3/8, 1/4 inch tripod bushing spigot keeps vibrating loose. I had to re-tighten it constantly. Shortcomings observed and improved mount forthcoming.

The Leicina Special performed like a tank. Consistent exposures for over 2 hours in cold weather riding. It helped to have the batteries/controller underneath my jacket. Stay tuned. I am attempting to arrange local Super 8 12bit uncompressed, non-color corrected, no-pull down 2K scan as a donation to your project.

Are you receiving my private messages from Filmshooting.com?
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#8 Carl Looper

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 03:43 AM

Carl,

I did end up riding my bike in the cold this evening for a total of 41 km. I shot approximately 34-40 ft of K40 with two variances, i.e. 2 or 3 secs per frame. My base reference for K40 time exposures is my film "Silly Billy" shot in 1994, i.e. exterior (nighttime)/interior (dim tungsten lighting) approx. 3 seconds per frame.

Unfortunately the Manfrotto Super Grip is not ideal. The 3/8, 1/4 inch tripod bushing spigot keeps vibrating loose. I had to re-tighten it constantly. Shortcomings observed and improved mount forthcoming.

The Leicina Special performed like a tank. Consistent exposures for over 2 hours in cold weather riding. It helped to have the batteries/controller underneath my jacket. Stay tuned. I am attempting to arrange local Super 8 12bit uncompressed, non-color corrected, no-pull down 2K scan as a donation to your project.

Are you receiving my private messages from Filmshooting.com?


Hi Nicholas - I did get your private message. Thanks heaps for that.

Looking forward to seeing your experiment. Wonderful stuff. Hopefully no goblins are listening in and getting angry that we actually enjoy this sort of thing. You know someone I knew in the early nineties (his name is Robert kitchell) did something similar - but it was during the day and didn't involve long exposures. He road from one end of Canberra (in Australia) to the other, taking a single frame every x seconds.

Carl
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#9 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:47 PM

Your Aussie mates bike adventure sounds very interesting? Did he utilize S8 or 16mm?

Can you please respond to my PM on the other forum?

Cheers!
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#10 Maurizio Di Cintio

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 04:39 AM

Gentlemen...
The reciprocity failure is not what has been descibed in this thread. It consists in the fact that when a film is exposed for longer time than 3-4 seconds, the emulsion does not react consistently to all colours so you may end up having strong color dominants which have to be corrected while shooting. Tech- specs manufactures' sheet usually address such a problem, which vary from film stock to film stock.
My toppence.
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#11 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:51 PM

Well the 5x test K40 cartridges finally arrived back from Dwaynes' yesterday.

I will transfer this eventually but I could not resist a quick peek in my Hamel (?) 1001 S8 viewer.

First the negative. Though apparently cold stored for 30+ years the reversal footage displays a pinkish cast. I was hoping for classic K40 dense blacks as these bicycle mounted Leicina Special w/ 10mm Cinegon time exposures were made at night. Is there a software "negative" filter available that can remove or minimize this?

I am planning to reshoot all this in warmer weather with fresh stock. Maybe E100D? How is 100D's density regarding night time blacks?

And now the positive!

The Leicina time exposure technique w/ approx. 3 secs exposure per frame is quite spectacular. The light points represented by the car headlights, street lamps...dance, vibrate...and a phenomenon I call highly energized "jaggies"...due to the vibrations transmitted by the road surface/bicycle. It's as if the famous hand painted films of Norman McLaren at the NFB were morphed into some frantic electrified source of crazy energy!

There is a fascinating roughness to the technique that is pure analog in nature. How the hell could I even replicate this with a HDSLR?

It is a bit overwhelming visually when "manually" played back at approx. 24fps. My intentions are to slowdown the playback to about to 3-5fps in my NLE.

Well, the proof is in the pudding and I will post some examples over next few months.

Cheers!
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#12 Carl Looper

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:18 PM

Well the 5x test K40 cartridges finally arrived back from Dwaynes' yesterday.

I will transfer this eventually but I could not resist a quick peek in my Hamel (?) 1001 S8 viewer.

First the negative. Though apparently cold stored for 30+ years the reversal footage displays a pinkish cast. I was hoping for classic K40 dense blacks as these bicycle mounted Leicina Special w/ 10mm Cinegon time exposures were made at night. Is there a software "negative" filter available that can remove or minimize this?

I am planning to reshoot all this in warmer weather with fresh stock. Maybe E100D? How is 100D's density regarding night time blacks?

And now the positive!

The Leicina time exposure technique w/ approx. 3 secs exposure per frame is quite spectacular. The light points represented by the car headlights, street lamps...dance, vibrate...and a phenomenon I call highly energized "jaggies"...due to the vibrations transmitted by the road surface/bicycle. It's as if the famous hand painted films of Norman McLaren at the NFB were morphed into some frantic electrified source of crazy energy!

There is a fascinating roughness to the technique that is pure analog in nature. How the hell could I even replicate this with a HDSLR?

It is a bit overwhelming visually when "manually" played back at approx. 24fps. My intentions are to slowdown the playback to about to 3-5fps in my NLE.

Well, the proof is in the pudding and I will post some examples over next few months.

Cheers!


Playing the film back at a slow rate is a good idea.

The following is based on a misreading of your post. I thought you were talking about negative film rather than K40. But since I've written it already I'll leave it here - just reinterpret for K40:

Regarding digital processing of negative this is (of course) a little tricky if you don't have software already set up for it. One approach is just "trial and error". What you want to do, after inverting the signal, is to control the RGB channels, or the CMYK channels, independantly of each other rather than together. This is because the film has a different bias for each channel. The main throttle will be moving the midpoint on each channel (altering the gamma). For example, if the signal is too pink, then you'll want to start by moving the midpoint of the red channel in the appropriate direction (to the right), or the blue/green gamma in the opposite direction (to the left). But of course pink is a mixture (in RGB space) of red and some blue, so you'll want to take that into account.

A trial and error approach can be fustrating if you are not familiar with how colours mix. Many people use CMYK colour space, as it accords with how mixing paint works - but I find RGB space a lot easier. Note that in RGB space, red + green = yellow. Say this to a painter and they'll think you're crazy - but after working in RGB colour space, you eventually get the hang of it. I find I have much more control and sense of where colours are going in RGB space.

Another approach (but costs a roll of film) is to shoot a colour chart on the filmstock you are using and take a digital photo of the same. Take both results to the computer and alter one to match the other - but alter each channel independently of the others, and in particular the midpoint (gamma) as much as the global levels.

And since this could take hours if not days to get right, make sure you write down everything you've done to get the final result (the numbers) as you'll no doubt want to use those numbers again.

Carl

Edited by Carl Looper, 13 February 2011 - 06:22 PM.

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#13 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 04:06 PM

Playing the film back at a slow rate is a good idea.
.
.
.

Carl


I appreciate your detailed response Carl.

I am in the process of constructing a 64 bit Windows 7 partition in my quad core i7 iMac such that I can upgrade to the new 64 bit Sony Vegas editor...which has been my workhorse.

I would like to also implement the new 64 bit Adobe CS5 suite on the MAC OSX side to start experimenting with 64 bit color space. Apparently the new real time media processor in both the editor (Premiere) and color processing (After Effects) is superlative.

I must say though that I am not enamored of color correcting this pinkish K40 cast. As I previously stated I will eventually re-shoot this footage with fresh stock.

I also wish to start experiments with converting my Vision2/3 "fine-grained" negatives into black and white. There has been no new b/w film stock development in over 30 years. Why not take advantage of these new stocks as did my two 35mm reference points? Martin Ruhe's cinematography in "Control" and Roger Deacons drop dead gorgeous film noir cinematography in "The Man Who Wasn't There".

How's your 3.5 K binary development coming along? Did the Leicina arrive safely?

Stay tuned for the K40 footage...
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#14 Carl Looper

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:51 PM

How's your 3.5 K binary development coming along? Did the Leicina arrive safely?


Yep - it sat at the airport for a month while I saved the money to pay for the import tax. I didn't realise that was required. It was the first OS item I'd bought that was over a thousand dollars. And the Leicina remote controls eventually arrived - must have been shipped by sea.

I got hold of a second hand Canon right-angle viewfinder that fit the Leicina eyepiece perfectly. Am going to attach a small Sumix USB 1024x768 camera to the eyepiece, feeding the signal to an attached tablet, to use as a video display which I'll program to do anamoporhic corrections, crops, even light readings!

The 3.5K scanning rig is coming along slowly. Have decided to try a different strategy for the film transport mechanics - a second hand Elmo K100SM - modified. Building the transport mechanics from scratch has not been my cup of tea.

I managed to get an enlarger lens (from a garage sale down the road) that works so much better than the microscope objective. Requires a longer distance throw.

The super-res software is coming along extremely well. Even without super-rezzing, the full frame 3.5K scans are just so much better looking than anything less. I just scanned some K40 last night and it's just unbelievable how good it looks. Unbelievable. Don't listen to anyone that says scanning Super8 beyond 1K is overkill. It's not. It's exquisite.

The more I've been studying about why the higher scan looks so beautiful the more I understand the real difference between film and digital. The thing about digital is that it has a fixed cutoff frequency beyond which details in the potential signal just simply vanish. Woosh. Gone. Nothing there. Zero information. The end.

But with film the variation in signal (and/or noise) is still there no matter how high your sampling frequency goes. I mean technically it's infinite. Every particle, or corresponding dye-cloud, while having limits in terms of size and position, has an infinite number of sizes and positions (between those limits) that it could be. To reproduce this variation in digital terms is impossible. It would require an infinite number of pixels. Literally.

That all said, I am so excited with the super-rezzing algorithms I've been writing up. Lots of ideas in play.

Carl
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#15 Carl Looper

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:16 PM

Here is a subsection from a full frame 3192 x 2250 scan. The subsection is 1280 x 720. There was a little bit of level correction done but otherwise it is as scanned. Keep in mind that this is only a subsection - less than half the width (and height) of the full frame and yet it still looks great.

It represents 2.2mm x 1.2 mm of the Super8 frame.

Or what K40 in a 4mm format might look like :)

Posted Image


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#16 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:47 PM

Yep - it sat at the airport for a month while I saved the money to pay for the import tax. I didn't realise that was required. It was the first OS item I'd bought that was over a thousand dollars. And the Leicina remote controls eventually arrived - must have been shipped by sea.

I got hold of a second hand Canon right-angle viewfinder that fit the Leicina eyepiece perfectly. Am going to attach a small Sumix USB 1024x768 camera to


More then $1000 for a Leicina Special? Next time you can have mine :) Or was it a no-brake high-speed version?

You are going to produce an adapter yourself for the angled finder?
If you CNC-ing something you could consider a run of 10 pcs. I am sure you would find buyers for these...
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#17 Carl Looper

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 02:10 PM

More then $1000 for a Leicina Special? Next time you can have mine :) Or was it a no-brake high-speed version?

You are going to produce an adapter yourself for the angled finder?
If you CNC-ing something you could consider a run of 10 pcs. I am sure you would find buyers for these...


Yeah - a friend of mine has a Leicina Special as well - and said the same thing. It's the cheapest one I found at the time. Standard version. But only had the Optivaron zoom lens - no Cinegon.

The eyepeice was second hand ($50). I was expecting I'd need to make an adapter for it but the shoe clip of the finder mated exactly with the Leicina groove in the eyepiece.
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#18 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:29 PM

What a lovely mysterious and evocative frame. I am intrigued.

I am also impressed that this jpg represents a "percentage" of the larger Super 8 frame. Good work, Carl.


Here is a subsection from a full frame 3192 x 2250 scan. The subsection is 1280 x 720. There was a little bit of level correction done but otherwise it is as scanned. Keep in mind that this is only a subsection - less than half the width (and height) of the full frame and yet it still looks great.

It represents 2.2mm x 1.2 mm of the Super8 frame.

Or what K40 in a 4mm format might look like :)

Posted Image


Carl


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#19 Carl Looper

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:26 AM

Hi Nicholas.

here is what Kodachrome 40 Super8 looks like after SR processing (2X), level correction and some sharpening.

2546 x 1845 pixels

Posted Image


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#20 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:57 AM

Wow.

The subtle and varying shades of black on the dress are most impressive! And how the shadow has sharpened. Those are classic Kodachrome skin tones. Would you agree that film transport (velocity) is another factor in the overall film resolution? My girlfriend reaction was interesting. She was not so impressed as I was. I suspect motion picture still frames do not meet most people's expectations of a "high quality" still photo.

But I am beginning to understand the "uniqueness" of both mediums.

Excellent work!
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