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Testing film, profiling cameras/lenses


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#1 Curtis Alexander

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:40 PM

So I recently bought a Krasnogorsk-3 and I have a whole whack of kodak 3374 (is a high contrast b&w film meant for sound use) and I don't know how to test it. I'd really like to try to get good at shooting this film (perhaps it's not such a good idea given what the film is meant for, but I would imagine testing film is a good skill to have anyways). I picked up a Sekonic l-758CINE and would like to try to profile the k3 if I can. I've seen a couple examples of doing so for DSLRs (which is perhaps what the l-758 profiling is meant for) but I'm wondering if the same concept can be applied to film?

My workflow would probably be to have it scanned digitally, so I would assume that would be part of the process as well, but I don't know how I'd set the film up to be tested/profiled and also take into account the digital scan.

Any pointers on where I should start reading as to how to approach this?

Thanks,
Curtis.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:46 PM

Under and overexposure tests and lighting contrast ratio tests are good places to start, then also color-contrast filter tests outdoors.

I'd shot a face and a grey scale chart for the over and under tests to determine your workable range.

You may also want to test push and pull-processing as well and how that affects contrast and graininess, if you plan on any push or pull-processing.
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#3 Curtis Alexander

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:07 PM

Under and overexposure tests and lighting contrast ratio tests are good places to start, then also color-contrast filter tests outdoors.

I'd shot a face and a grey scale chart for the over and under tests to determine your workable range.

You may also want to test push and pull-processing as well and how that affects contrast and graininess, if you plan on any push or pull-processing.


Where does one buy inexpensive charts? And then once you've shot a chart, how do you go about interpreting the results?

(ps. I think it's amazing you post on forums, David Mullen ASC, and help people out!)
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:24 PM

Sometimes the lab doing the processing has grey scale charts that they give away to customers -- I have a FotoKem one.

Over the years, Kodak and Fuji have also given me grey scale charts, so talk to your sales rep for the film stock.

Worst-case scenario, go to a photo store and buy an 18% grey card, put it on a board with a white card on one side and a black velvet square on the other. That's mainly what you need to see: black, 18% middle grey, white, and fleshtone. Since you are planning on using a spot meter, it's really the 18% grey card that is going to be useful in terms of under and overexposing and seeing when it goes black or burns out to white.
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#5 Curtis Alexander

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:29 AM

OK, thanks. I bought a couple inexpensive grey cards and when they get here I'll start muddling through the process, hopefully learning as I go. Sure like my K3 camera though...really are built like a Russian tank, and with a nice M42 mount as well. Much to learn.
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