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Suggestions for shooting a test roll (elmo 1012sxl)


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#1 Niall Conroy

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:26 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm ready to shoot my first roll of film on my Elmo 1012sxl. I bought a few rolls of film (4x 100D, 3x Vision 200T, 3x Trix). I'm thinking of putting only one roll of 100D through the camera and sending it off to be processed and scanned at 1080p just to make sure the camera is working properly. I have a short film planned to shoot with the 3 rolls of Vision - so I don't really want to waste a roll of it on a test (at least not yet...I don't want to risk shooting more than one roll and find that they come back with nothing on them)

So, now i'm just wondering - what would be the best things to shoot in order to get a good feel for what the camera can achieve?

Focus test charts?
varied shots- Wides, close ups, some macro stuff?
Colour charts?
using the manual and automatic exposure?
shooting scene in 24 fps to test syncing sound?

any suggestions would be very much appreciated. I want to fit in as much tests as possible into this one roll!

many thanks!
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#2 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:33 PM

Hi!

Shoot some 100D in good light - for example close ups and medium shots and you will be blown away at the resolving power of the lens! This is what is best with this camera! It is also a pretty darn good low light camera with it's f1,2 lens and XL shutter.

For test shots I would actually shoot people and places if that is what your film is about. Lock the exposures on your shots as the auto is very sensitive on contrasting light sources. What is your short film about? will you need macro and synch etc?

To expose your 100D correctly please makes sure you have the filter settig on 'lamp'

For exposing the Tri-X you'll need to have it on the 'sun' setting - or notch hack the cart and shoot on 'lamp' otherwise the camera will expose it as 100 ISO and overexpose by 1 full stop - not good for Tri-X!

You can shoot your Vision3 200T 2 ways - with the 'sun' filter in and exposed at 160 ISO or with it out ('lamp') and a good colour conversion filter screwed on the lens for daylight shots and just on 'lamp' and without a screwed on filter for shooting under artificial light.

Hope this helps!

Jamie
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#3 Niall Conroy

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:03 AM

Lock the exposures on your shots as the auto is very sensitive on contrasting light sources.

To expose your 100D correctly please makes sure you have the filter settig on 'lamp'


Thanks for all that, Jamie.

When you say 'be sure to lock the exposure' is that what the "EE Lock" button is for on the camera? If I'm using the Automatic exposure mode do i press the 'EE Lock' button to lock the current exposure?

Also, I find the switch method of 'lamp' or 'sun' slightly confusing... I presume if the 'sun' symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'lamp' symbol) then this means its exposing for daylight balanced film - and if the 'lamp' symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'sun' symbol) then this means its exposing for tungsten balanced film?
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#4 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 10:32 AM

The Elmo 1012s-xl is a great camera and I shot my last short with it. I had shot two test rolls at different times with it. One using an external meter and attempting to compensate for the light loss due to the prism based system and another by taking a base auto reading and adding needed compensation for the film stock (since 1012 meters for 40t.) I got better results (IMO) taking the auto reading and setting it to manual for the take. This is probably because the internal meter considers T-stops instead of F-stops. Anyhow, the downside is having to calculate your exposure offset based off of stock if you're switching stocks alot.

I would test ANY particular type of stock by shooting a test role before using it for a shoot. This is important! I know we are all poor and it's always easy to justify not doing it. Ask people on this board and they can tell you that I'm as cheap as they come but I still advocate shooting a test role of interiors and exteriors and even dialog takes (if you use them) using pre and post take slates. Then if everything comes back good and you find it easy to sync your audio in your NLE by slowing your audio clips to match your slates, you know you are good to go.

I have owned 3 different Elmo 1012sxl cameras in my life and they all have kept workable steady sound timing for me. But the condition of the cameras and the optics can differ substantially depending on how they were taken care of.
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#5 Niall Conroy

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 01:30 PM

The Elmo 1012s-xl is a great camera and I shot my last short with it. I had shot two test rolls at different times with it. One using an external meter and attempting to compensate for the light loss due to the prism based system and another by taking a base auto reading and adding needed compensation for the film stock (since 1012 meters for 40t.) I got better results (IMO) taking the auto reading and setting it to manual for the take. This is probably because the internal meter considers T-stops instead of F-stops. Anyhow, the downside is having to calculate your exposure offset based off of stock if you're switching stocks alot.

I would test ANY particular type of stock by shooting a test role before using it for a shoot. This is important! I know we are all poor and it's always easy to justify not doing it. Ask people on this board and they can tell you that I'm as cheap as they come but I still advocate shooting a test role of interiors and exteriors and even dialog takes (if you use them) using pre and post take slates. Then if everything comes back good and you find it easy to sync your audio in your NLE by slowing your audio clips to match your slates, you know you are good to go.

I have owned 3 different Elmo 1012sxl cameras in my life and they all have kept workable steady sound timing for me. But the condition of the cameras and the optics can differ substantially depending on how they were taken care of.


many thanks for that, Matthew - i do definitely agree another test roll or two will be needed in preparation for the short i'm working on. Right now however I'll just stick with the 1 roll of 100D to make sure the camera is functioning.

Also, seeing as you are somewhat of an Elmo expert I have one more question for you - Have you ever had any problem with focus on the Elmo? Do you find the split prism focusing system reliable? Or have you ever encountered any focusing problems?

(lastly - do you have any clips of the footage you shot with the Elmo? I always love seeing new footage shot on this camera - it gives me hope!)

thanks again,
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#6 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 01:43 PM

Whatever you do, I highly recommend you use a good steady tripod for your tests.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:11 PM

...Have you ever had any problem with focus on the Elmo? Do you find the split prism focusing system reliable? Or have you ever encountered any focusing problems?

(lastly - do you have any clips of the footage you shot with the Elmo? I always love seeing new footage shot on this camera - it gives me hope!)


The focusing of the Elmo produces, IMO, fantastic sharp footage considering this is Super 8 and its not an expensive camera like the Beaulieu 7008 Pro or something. I've never had any focusing problems as long as I take the time to set up the focal length right.

As far as footage, it is your lucky day! ;) My short film is on youtube right now with audio so you can see what you can expect as far as sound syncing with image (I did head and tail slating and had to mildly adjust some audio clips; nothing serious).

Note: The intro scenes were shot with a Sankyo Supertronic and transfered using a miniDV camera recording from the footage projected on a piece of paper. I did this to give it a home movie feel.

The rest of the movie was shot on the Elmo 1012s-xl on Kodak 64t reversal and Rank Cintel telecined at Debenham Media Group.

Here is the film:

And a tripod was used for all the shots...he is right that a tripod is a must!
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#8 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for all that, Jamie.

When you say 'be sure to lock the exposure' is that what the "EE Lock" button is for on the camera? If I'm using the Automatic exposure mode do i press the 'EE Lock' button to lock the current exposure?

Also, I find the switch method of 'lamp' or 'sun' slightly confusing... I presume if the 'sun' symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'lamp' symbol) then this means its exposing for daylight balanced film - and if the 'lamp' symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'sun' symbol) then this means its exposing for tungsten balanced film?


Yes you can either use teh EE lock button or diall in the exposure manually.

Ektachrome 100D is a dalylight balanced film - the 'D' stand for daylight - the built in 'sun' filter on all super 8 cameras is designed to convert the colour temp for Tungsten balanced films in daylight - for example Vision3 200T ( the 'T' stands for 'Tungsten' - artificial light) you would need the filter to get the right colour balance when shooting in daylight. But you dont need any filter for tungsten balanced film when shooting under artificial light!

Ektachrome 100D is already balanced for daylight so NO FILTER is needed - with the Elmo 1012s-xl you need to manually disengage the filter. This is inportant - both for colour balance and for the correct exposure setting!

Here is a test roll of 100D I did with my Elmo 1012s-xl to check it was working -



I have shot loads with it since , but nothing else uploaded yet.

Please also see this mini western shot with the shorter lensed brother to the 1012s-xl - the 612s-xl and with Ektachrome 100D!



Hope this helps.
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#9 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:01 PM

Please also check out this clip shot by a guy testing out the low light capabilities with Vision3 stock -



If you follow his links you will also find the short film he made afterwards.
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#10 Niall Conroy

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:57 PM

haha! it really is a small world, Matthew and Jamie - I have watched these videos of yours many times in the past while i was trying to decide whether to get the 1012 Elmo or not, so I hope you'll both take the complement that it was thanks to both your footage that i DID get the camera after all!

Ektachrome 100D is a dalylight balanced film - the 'D' stand for daylight - the built in 'sun' filter on all super 8 cameras is designed to convert the colour temp for Tungsten balanced films in daylight - for example Vision3 200T ( the 'T' stands for 'Tungsten' - artificial light) you would need the filter to get the right colour balance when shooting in daylight. But you dont need any filter for tungsten balanced film when shooting under artificial light!


thanks for that, Jamie. However, I already understand the differences between film stocks etc. but what I'm not too sure about is which setting i'm on when I have the switch switched to (for example) the sun symbol - when the sun symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'bulb' tungsten symbol) does that mean the camera IS putting the 85 filter into the gate or does that mean that it thinks its daylight balanced film stock in the camera therefore it DOESNT put the 85 filter into the gate for correction. You see I understand the science and effect to it all - just not the function of which side of the switch does which.

So if i have the 100D film in the camera I should have the 'sun' symbol displayed (while the tungsten symbol is being hidden by the switch)
and when I have Tungsten film in (200T) I should have the 'bulb' symbol on display (while the 'sun' symbol is being hidden by the switch) and then if I need to shoot exterior shots outside in the daylight with the Tungsten film I then switch the switch to the 'sun' symbol?

hope i'm not confusing everyone...because i'm starting to confuse myself

also - thanks again for everyones replies
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:36 PM

Niall, the Elmo was made to take Kodachrome 40t. Therefore, you use the Wratten 85 filter when you use tungsten film outside. If you wish to use daylight film inside, then you have to use an 80a filter which can be purchased cheaply online. If you use daylight film outside, you don't have to make any filter adjustment and put the setting on bulb so it knows not to add a filter. Bulb = no filter because the camera was made for tungsten. Sun = 85 filter.

Hope this helps.
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#12 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:01 AM

haha! it really is a small world, Matthew and Jamie - I have watched these videos of yours many times in the past while i was trying to decide whether to get the 1012 Elmo or not, so I hope you'll both take the complement that it was thanks to both your footage that i DID get the camera after all!



thanks for that, Jamie. However, I already understand the differences between film stocks etc. but what I'm not too sure about is which setting i'm on when I have the switch switched to (for example) the sun symbol - when the sun symbol is showing (i.e. the switch is covering the 'bulb' tungsten symbol) does that mean the camera IS putting the 85 filter into the gate or does that mean that it thinks its daylight balanced film stock in the camera therefore it DOESNT put the 85 filter into the gate for correction. You see I understand the science and effect to it all - just not the function of which side of the switch does which.

So if i have the 100D film in the camera I should have the 'sun' symbol displayed (while the tungsten symbol is being hidden by the switch)
and when I have Tungsten film in (200T) I should have the 'bulb' symbol on display (while the 'sun' symbol is being hidden by the switch) and then if I need to shoot exterior shots outside in the daylight with the Tungsten film I then switch the switch to the 'sun' symbol?

hope i'm not confusing everyone...because i'm starting to confuse myself

also - thanks again for everyones replies


hi niall - i went into the film stock explanation in relation to the camera as i thought it would help you-

with 100d no!
to shoot 100d in this camera - like i said it is daylight balanced and needs NO colour conversion filter for outdoor use - so you need it on the 'bulb' setting - the 'sun' setting puts the colour conversion filter in the light path to correct the colour temp of tungsten stock when shot in sunlight!

with the tingsten film you are right! 'bulb' for indoors and 'sun' for outdoors...

hope this clears up any confusion

the elmo was made to take kodachrome 40 and ektachrome 160 - but it also recognises the 100 iso value for daylight - but only when the filter switch is set to the 'bulb' setting and you shoot with 100asa rated stock.

remember 200T is notched as 100d so when you shoot with 'bulb' 200t will be rated at 100asa by the camera - and 160asa with the 'sun' setting. no problem though with negative film!

Edited by Jamie Frazer Noakes, 03 July 2011 - 12:03 AM.

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#13 Niall Conroy

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:27 AM

Niall, the Elmo was made to take Kodachrome 40t. Therefore, you use the Wratten 85 filter when you use tungsten film outside. If you wish to use daylight film inside, then you have to use an 80a filter which can be purchased cheaply online. If you use daylight film outside, you don't have to make any filter adjustment and put the setting on bulb so it knows not to add a filter. Bulb = no filter because the camera was made for tungsten. Sun = 85 filter.

Hope this helps.


ah thanks you! - you see, the reason it confused me is the fact that it seems counter-intuitive to set the 100D to the bulb symbol when image wise one would think the 'sun' symbol is telling the camera that you have daylight balanced film within therefore NOT to put the 85 filter in

also, I didn't realise the Elmo is built for Tungsten geared film therefore the switch revolves around Tungsten based stocks - because even the Elmo 1012 manual tells me 'when filming under natural daylight, keep the knob at the lower 'sun' symbol side' - but then again this is relating to the fact that it thinks one is shooting with Tungsten balanced film

this clears everything up!

many thanks Matthew and Jamie - I hope to join you with some 1012 test footage online soon!
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:18 AM

For doing a test roll, think of your camera as a still camera, and shoot each shot for about 7 seconds. However, you definitely want to evaluate if your lens holds focus from telephoto to wide angle, but don't get trapped into doing too many zooms as your roll will be gone before you know it.

As long as you have a goal every time you frame a shot and shoot it for seven seconds, you will learn about your camera and the film you wish to use.

I also recommend shots where you are closer to your object, and the camera lens is wide. If you get good results with those types of shots, it means you can shoot on location faster and with less set up time.

However, that 10 to 1 zoom lens has many excellent applications, and you can quickly learn if your tripod is up to the task of keeping the camera steady when in telephoto mode.

One of the safest, and fastest methods for doing on location exposure settings is to zoom in to the portion of the frame that matters most to you, then lock the internal automatic meter to the manual setting, then reframe (aka zoom out) for the shot you want. If you discover that every time you use this method your shots are underexposed or overexposed a similar amount, then simply compensating that exposure a certain amount should give you a quick run and gun method for the future.
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#15 Scott Honea

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot a test roll of Pro8mm Daylight balanced ASA 500 film in this camera and I have a question about the manual exposure control.

 

When I look through the lens I can see the aperture numbers changing as I turn the wheel, but the numbers inside the viewfinder don't actually start progressing until the exposure wheel is almost halfway turned. Is this normal for this camera or should I assume that when the wheel is halfway turned it's actually halfway between the aperture spectrum as well. As it is now, at the halfway mark my camera is showing an aperture of around 2.8. 

 

I just want to make sure I am getting close with exposure. 


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#16 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot a test roll of Pro8mm Daylight balanced ASA 500 film in this camera and I have a question about the manual exposure control.

 

When I look through the lens I can see the aperture numbers changing as I turn the wheel, but the numbers inside the viewfinder don't actually start progressing until the exposure wheel is almost halfway turned. Is this normal for this camera or should I assume that when the wheel is halfway turned it's actually halfway between the aperture spectrum as well. As it is now, at the halfway mark my camera is showing an aperture of around 2.8. 

 

I just want to make sure I am getting close with exposure. 

I honestly can't remember without checking the camera myself, and I can't do that as I don't have the camera anymore (it died). They only way to tell will be to shoot your test roll! You probably already know, but 500D will be overexposed by 2.25 f-stops by the camera with the filter switch set to "bulb". You will need to take your reading using the auto aperture and then compensate by dialling down at least 2 f-stops. Hope this helps.


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#17 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

I honestly can't remember without checking the camera myself, and I can't do that as I don't have the camera anymore (it died). They only way to tell will be to shoot your test roll! You probably already know, but 500D will be overexposed by 2.25 f-stops by the camera with the filter switch set to "bulb". You will need to take your reading using the auto aperture and then compensate by dialling down at least 2 f-stops. Hope this helps.

 

I was going to post that over exposing negative isn't a bad idea anyhow...

 

 But, I just looked up the Pro8mm specs on that Fuji 500D and they rate it at only 6 stops of latitude!  So, being off by 2-3 stops might be pretty significant, especially outdoors in high contrast shadows and brights, etc.  The Fuji F-64D is also rated for 6 stops and I can tell you I mistakenly over exposed portions of a 16mm roll of it by about 3 stops and the results were DRASTIC!  The bright highlights and whites were completely blown out.  I've over exposed 500T outdoors by 2 full stops (including the 85 filter) and still had execellent results.

 

If you have an iPhone or Android device that can use a light meter app, get a base reading with that to compare to your built-in meter.  Don't forget to account for about 1/3 of a stop for the prism.  I found that the Elmo in question has a very wide 220 shutter, so assume about 1/40 shutter speed at 24 FPS.  Not sure if you will find a light meter that will let you set that speed, so that may be an issue.

 

thoughts?


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#18 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:49 AM

with a spot meter and grey card in full even light, I would use the meter to find exposure for 100 asa, cause that is where the camera meters it. set the spot meter to 1/30.this will give you a standard,  then use the camera in full auto, metering the same grey card in the same light. this will show you how the camera deals with that stock. in other words, how accurate the meter in the camera is.

 I can't find it right now, but I did shoot a roll of 500d from Pro8mm on a 220 degree shutter camera in full auto, on a bright sunny day in and out of shade. It was fine. during the transfer, they were able to hold the highlights. shadows were very bright, but that was good, because I could add contrast. don't know your situation, but you might have to really control highlights if shooting in full sun. you might be at ƒ64. most cameras don't go that high, even at 100 asa, you will need to add almost 3 stops. ND or linear polarizer will help a lot.


Edited by Chris Burke, 22 February 2013 - 08:52 AM.

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#19 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:37 PM

Although you don't need an 85 filter when shooting the 100D stock outside, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use a neutral density filter, especially if it's a sunny day. When I first attemped to shoot 100D by the beach on a sunny day, I couldn't get an acceptable exposure at all. According to my camera's internal meter, my footage would turn out overexposed, even if I shot at f32!

 

However, if you're shooting on an overcast day or in the shade, you might be okay without an ND filter.


Edited by Patrick Cooper, 23 March 2013 - 11:38 PM.

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