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First-time with a film camera, is my stock going to be fogged?


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#1 Benjamin Lawrence Horace Moyer

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:01 PM

Hello, my name is Ben. I've always been interested in film, and this is the first time I've got up the courage to shoot on film stock and purchase a 16mm camera. I picked up a 1963 16mm Bolex H-16 REX online for $72.
I also picked up some old, but sealed, Primetime 640T and Plus-X 7321 that had been refrigerated by the owner ever since he purchased it around 1996. Should I expect to have fogged film? Are these stocks any good? Does anybody have any experience with either stock? (I'm most interested in hearing about the Primetime.) I am aware that the Primetime is meant only for telecine, that's fine. All I plan to do is have the film developed and telecined.
I am also concerned about getting a dead on exposure. I have a decent incident light meter that has a calibration constant of 330. The Bolex has a shutter angle of 145 degrees. I am going to start shooting at 12 FPS to stretch my dollar on my first reels. This being said, I've calculated that in order to get a decent exposure I should use this equation (where y is the correct f-stop, x is the film speed, and z is the lux falling on the subject.) Does that seem correct? How forgiving is film stock in terms of exposure? Any advice for a nervous begginner would be helpful.
Thanks for your time,
Benjamin Moyer
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:31 PM

Hello, my name is Ben. I've always been interested in film, and this is the first time I've got up the courage to shoot on film stock and purchase a 16mm camera. I picked up a 1963 16mm Bolex H-16 REX online for $72.
I also picked up some old, but sealed, Primetime 640T and Plus-X 7321 that had been refrigerated by the owner ever since he purchased it around 1996. Should I expect to have fogged film? Are these stocks any good? Does anybody have any experience with either stock? (I'm most interested in hearing about the Primetime.) I am aware that the Primetime is meant only for telecine, that's fine. All I plan to do is have the film developed and telecined.
I am also concerned about getting a dead on exposure. I have a decent incident light meter that has a calibration constant of 330. The Bolex has a shutter angle of 145 degrees. I am going to start shooting at 12 FPS to stretch my dollar on my first reels. This being said, I've calculated that in order to get a decent exposure I should use this equation (where y is the correct f-stop, x is the film speed, and z is the lux falling on the subject.) Does that seem correct? How forgiving is film stock in terms of exposure? Any advice for a nervous begginner would be helpful.
Thanks for your time,
Benjamin Moyer


The film is junk, being 25 years old.
Light meters have very simple instructions, or just google Sunny F16 rule. Film is very forgiving but always overexpose negative 1/2 stop if in doubt.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:16 PM

If you're in the United States, I'd be happy to run some free clip tests for you. . .

Just pay for one-way shipping and I'll e-mail you back the base + fog density. . .


Pretty sure the Primetime is junk though. It was, from what I've heard junk NEW. Grain like cannonballs. Then agian, it lacks the orange base mask, so I don't know where the base fog would compare with a normally-masked ECN-2 film. . .


Private Message me for more details if you're interested. I'm running a lot of clip tests myself in the coming week, so I can piggy back your film onto one of my runs.
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#4 Benjamin Lawrence Horace Moyer

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for the info. As far as the light meter goes, I plan on taking a simple but decent lux meter and wiring it into a TI-84 in order to achieve a more accurate exposure using the equation above. Would that equation work for the programmed "back-end" of the meter software? The "z" value would be determined using the same curve (voltage vs. lux) the manufacturer used, but on the calculator, thus giving the TI-84 the same exact reading as the lux meter would have come up with itself, but without the need to punch it into the calculator manually. Then, using the equation I have outlined above, an f/stop value can be automatically determined by the calculator. This would allow me to use a cheaper lux meter, and would give me greater control over the variables at my disposal. If I am not mistaken, there are four variables available to a film-maker when calculating exposure: lighting, stock (specifically stock speed), exposure time, and the f/stop of the lens. Since the f/stop is the easiest to modify, it would make the most sense to use the other three variables to determine the best possible value for the f/stop. Since film speed and exposure time would remain constant, I could use the calculator to create a simple relationship between the f/stop and the light falling on the scene. I have the physical and electrical aspects of this DIY light-meter project under control, its the equation for a nice "medium-tone" exposure that I am most worried about. How many decimal places should I carry the f/stop number out to? How much of a change in the f/stop value will cause noticeable changes in the final product?
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 03:00 AM

How much of a change in the f/stop value will cause noticeable changes in the final product?


Negative has a huge latitude, more than a stop, you should do some tests to see what works for you. It's not rocket science I can guess the exposure within 1/2 stop. An incident reading with a Lux meter is more than enough.
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