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Fuji Film stock choice


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#1 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:12 AM

I am planning to shoot short film and I am in the process of choosing the appropriate film stock. I am going for the Aki Kaurismaki type look with strong colors, but not overly contrasted. I really like the look of the Fuji 500D and I was wondering what other film stock would accompany this stock well with indoor scenes, perhaps other daytime outdoor scenes. I would appreciate it a lot if you anyone with advice can input on the difference in quality between the 250D, 250T, and 160T. Any input/preference/info would be much appreciate. Thank!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:13 AM

Are you shooting in 16mm or 35mm?
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#3 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:11 AM

I am shooting R16 cropped 16:9
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:19 AM

I am shooting R16 cropped 16:9


Have you tested the 500D yourself? It's their softest and grainiest stock. I don't really recommend it for 16mm unless you want that look.

If you don't want contrast, then use the regular Eterna stocks (250D, 250T, 500T). If you want contrast, use the Vivid stocks (160T, 250D, 500T).
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#5 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:48 AM

Thank you for the advice, no, I haven't tried the film stock myself. I would like fair color contrast, but I would like deeper colors rather than colors that pop as I feel it does with high contrast/slower speed film. In this case would the Eterna be better?
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#6 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:08 AM

however, I should mention that I still do appreciate fair color saturation.
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#7 Daniel Klockenkemper

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:20 AM

Wiki,

I would encourage you to do a test to see if you like the look of the film in cropped R16. As David said, Reala 500D isn't the best film out there in many technical respects. I like it quite a lot for precisely that reason, though - interesting flaws are, well, more interesting than technical perfection sometimes. I think it could work for emulating an Aki Kaurismaki look.

The important thing is to test the film under all the conditions you plan to shoot. Be sure to get a set of ND filters for shooting outdoors. I think the 500D looks great with uncorrected tungsten light, but that look may or may not be appropriate for your film. If possible, get a roll of each film (your top two or three choices, depending on how many magazines you have at your disposal), load them into separate magazines, and shoot the same scene on each stock, swapping the magazine after each take.

Good luck.

Daniel
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#8 John Holland

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:56 AM

Contrast is up to how you light it . You should go for any of the Fuji Vivid stocks.
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#9 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:28 PM

Thank you for your advice daniel. I definitely plan to test out the film stocks, but I wanted input before I actually ordered the rolls. If I were to shoot outdoors on daylight balanced film, would I still need filters?
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#10 Wiki Park

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:11 PM

Also, do you think even with its soft quality the 500D will have the appropriate contrast to achieve the deeper pastel-tone colors as seen in Kaurismaki films?
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:00 AM

Also, do you think even with its soft quality the 500D will have the appropriate contrast to achieve the deeper pastel-tone colors as seen in Kaurismaki films?


Here's the thing -- unless you are only planning to make a contact print and project it in 16mm, this film will probably get transferred to video / scanned into digital. In which case, you can adjust the contrast and color saturation in post. Therefore it is more important to pick a film for speed, sharpness and graininess levels first, contrast and color second.

A lot of the look of Kaurismaki films are the color design and the lighting -- if you want those colors, you have to put them in front of the camera. You can then tweak them in post.

The main difference between Vivid 500T and Eterna 500T is that Vivid being higher in contrast, it has deeper blacks and looks a bit sharper as a result, and slightly less grainy. That may help you get closer to the look of Kaurismaki's 35mm movies. You can make it less saturated in the digital color-correction if you want. The advantage of Eterna 500T is that it is lower in contrast and would see more into the shadows.
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#12 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:05 AM

Yes you still need ND filters for shooting daylight stock outside because it will be way too bright for a 500 speed film. The ND will knock the light level down to a reasonable level. Still, the problem you will have is that it will be very hard to see through the viewfinder after putting the filters on.

I, too, don't think that cropped 16mm and Reala is a good mix unless you are going for an almost "Super 8" look. You may not like the contrast since the blacks will be a grainier than usual.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:20 AM

Thank you for your advice daniel. I definitely plan to test out the film stocks, but I wanted input before I actually ordered the rolls. If I were to shoot outdoors on daylight balanced film, would I still need filters?


The "Sunny 16" rule of photography is that in direct frontal sunlight on a clear day, your f-stop should be f/16 if your ASA and your shutter speed are the same numbers, i.e. 50 ASA at 1/50th, 100 ASA at 1/100th, 500 ASA at 1/500th.

Since at 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, your shutter speed is 1/48th of a second, that's close enough to 1/50th to tell you that you'd have to get your ASA down to 50 ASA just to shoot stopped down to f/16 on a bright sunny day in front light. An ND.90 cuts light by three stops and thus would turn 500 ASA into 64 ASA.

So you definitely need ND filters if you are using 500D in daytime outside, except in the worst conditions of heavy shade, overcast, dusk, etc. You just don't need an 85 correction filter or 85ND combos since your stock is daylight balanced.

It's standard operating procedure to carry a set of ND's -- ND.30, ND.60, and ND.90 as a minimum.
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#14 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:24 AM

A lot of the look of Kaurismaki films are the color design and the lighting -- if you want those colors, you have to put them in front of the camera.

My thoughts exactly.

By the way, Kaurismäki is a film purist who still refuses to go the DI route – he times all his films photochemically. That said, he has just agreed to release his latest feature Le Havre digitally (in addition to the 35mm release prints).
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#15 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:44 AM

Also, I seem to remember that at least Kaurismäki's recent features (Lights in the Dusk & The Man Without a Past – not sure about Le Havre) have been shot on Kodak Vision2 stocks.
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#16 John Holland

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:48 AM

I have to admit i have never heard of this person let alone seen any of the films in question . If as Antti says he doesnt do a D.I. then to me makes even more reason to use a Fuji Vivid stock to get the result you are after .
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#17 Wiki Park

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:03 PM

Because of the source I am obtaining my film from, I am limited to the Reala or Eterna stocks. Would you be able to inform me on the qualitative difference between using the 250D stock and the 250T stock using an 85 filter under a daylight source and also the qualitative difference between the 250T and the 250D using an 80 filter under a tungsten light source. Do the two stocks have a specific tendencies, qualitative differences?
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:12 PM

Because of the source I am obtaining my film from, I am limited to the Reala or Eterna stocks. Would you be able to inform me on the qualitative difference between using the 250D stock and the 250T stock using an 85 filter under a daylight source and also the qualitative difference between the 250T and the 250D using an 80 filter under a tungsten light source. Do the two stocks have a specific tendencies, qualitative differences?


Because the orange 85 filter only cuts 2/3's of a stop while the blue 80A filter cuts 2-stops, it is rare to buy 250D stock and then use an 80A filter for tungsten work, resulting in an effective 64 ASA stock.

Grain-wise, both stocks are similar, except that the 250D has less grain in the blues because it can make the blue layer slower since there is much more blue in daylight.

If you had an equal amount of daylight and tungsten scenes and only wanted to get one stock, then you'd get the 250T stock and just use an 85 filter for the daylight scenes, since you are more likely to have higher light levels in daytime (and if you needed that extra 2/3's of a stop, just pull the 85 filter and correct out the blueness in post). Otherwise, you'd be more likely to get the 250D for day interiors and exteriors and the 500T for low-light tungsten interiors.
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#19 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:39 AM

I have to admit i have never heard of this person let alone seen any of the films in question . If as Antti says he doesnt do a D.I. then to me makes even more reason to use a Fuji Vivid stock to get the result you are after .


Hi John, I'm a fan of the Vivid too, just wondering how you find how it deals with slightly red-ish skin tones like that of a pale English or Scotsman?
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#20 John Holland

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:55 AM

Andy i can say i havent had to deal with the subjects you are asking about , hope someone else can help on that . John .
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