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#1 Soodhakar Shukla

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:54 AM

hi I am student I want to know why many cinematographer take light reading or set their meter e.g.
ISO 320 or 400 for 500 ISO
lesser than the recomendation by kodak or fuji 100 for 160 T
please help me out


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:07 AM

To over expose their negative to get more information in the shadow areas (slightly which can be discarded later if needed) and in order to reduce grain (especially on a 500T stock).
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:45 AM

As you overexpose a stock a little bit, you are exposing more of the smaller, and thus slower, grains in between the larger, faster grains. This tightens up the grain structure and makes the image look less grainy.

You also record more shadow detail, at the expense of a little bit of highlight detail, but film negative already has a wide dynamic range in bright areas anyway.

Also, the higher the printer lights that are needed to get a normal-brightness print, i.e. the more you have to print down to correct an overexposed negative, the deeper the blacks in the print get, and blacker blacks make the colors look richer and the contrast look snappier. This is less of an issue with digital intermediates and telecine work though where the negative is converted to a digital file instead of being printed directly.

Let's say you had a totally unexposed image, as dark as it can be, basically let's say you took an unexposed roll of negative and had it processed. The negative would more or less be clear. Now you print it in the 10's, 20's, 30's, 40's (the scale goes from 1 to 50). You'll find that the blacks are stronger when the image is printed in the 40's instead of the 10's, let's say. Now a normally exposed image generally prints in the high 20's since 25 is the middle of the scale. But if you rate the stock 2/3-stop slower, that may get your image printing in the mid 30's, which would give you richer blacks in the print.

But even in digital color-correction, more shadow information recorded allows you to darken the blacks more digitally while still giving you some flexibility in color-correcting the shadows, whereas if you had underexposed the image, then there is less shadow information recorded so once you set the black level to black, you don't have much detail to play with without making things get grainy or milky.
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