Jump to content


Photo

Any experience with pushing S8 films?


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Mark Sperry

Mark Sperry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:53 PM

As a wedding shooter I need some more speed. I was just wondering if anybody out there has pushed S8 films much, and what I can expect? How does Kodak 500T hold up when exposed at ISO 1000? I'm shooting with a Nikon R8 and it allows me to underexpose by 1 stop. I'd also like to get a little more speed out of Tri-x. Could I process it as a negative and push it? It's never going to be for projection and it's going straight to scan...but I've never pushed a reversal film before...

Any tips on low light shooting would be appreciated. My main camera is an R8 which has a 160˚ shutter and a 1.8 aperture. I also have a Nizo 481 Macro but I only use that in good light with the films it can read.
  • 0

#2 Geoff Howell

Geoff Howell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:15 AM

I would imagine pushing the 500T would be crazy grainy, I was advised against pushing it in 16mm so it stands to reason that it would be twice as bad with super8.

My only direct experience of pushing super8 was with some underexposed fuji rt200 pushed to 400asa. It seemed to work very well in that I got perfectly legible images from a very very low light setting, but, having said that, it's kind of hard to judge exactly how much of a difference it made as there was no un-pushed footage to compare it to.
  • 0

#3 Martin Baumgarten

Martin Baumgarten
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Plattsburgh, New York U.S.A.

Posted 19 September 2011 - 02:36 PM

I've push processed films here many times, for myself and for customers. Going with a 1-Stop Push does increase grain and contrast, but marginally. Pushing is relative to the light level, since technically film isn't actually pushed to a higher filmspeed. What happens is that you are boosting the information that is actually recorded on the film, so that the image density comes up to a 'normal' level. If anything in a given scene is below the threshold of a film's ability to record it exposure wise, it won't be recorded, so there will be nothing to boost. That all withstanding, the parts of a scene that do get recorded by the imaging silver, albeit very low due to technical restrictions of the light level and camera's specs, will be increased in density so that the resulting images will be usable.

My personal and professional recommendation here though, besides pushing the film....is to purchase a couple of low light Super 8mm cameras [XL types which have anywhere from a 1.0 to 1.4 lens opening and a shutter vane opening of anywhere from 200 to 235 degrees. The more light they let in, the better for such work. The gain will be easily 1-Stop over your NIKON or greater, so that in some situations you won't have to consider push processing the film....or by doing so, will still gain a 2+ Stop advantage over your NIKON or any other non-XL type Super 8mm camera. You don't even have to spend a lot of money to do so, as so many of the ones I'm thinking about are very cheap to buy off eBay; CANON 310XL, GAF 220 XLS, SANKYO 320/420 XLS, YASHICA 50 XLS, YASCHICA 20 XLS, CHINON 132P XL, 133P XL and many others. Of course, many or most of these only shoot at 18fps, so I hope that's in your workable range....since that will still give more exposure power gain over filming at 24fps in Super 8mm. If you want a fancy looking camera that will cost you more money, there's plenty of those as well. Don't worry that a given "XL" camera might be a sound camera, since they shoot both sound and silent cartridges. So many of the later generation sound Super 8mm cameras are very compact anyhow, often just as small or even lighter weight than previous silent models. And for image sharpness, used with care they will be fine in most situations.

TRI-X 7266 can be push processed as well, and I've pushed it up to 3 Stops. It looks still very good going 1-Stop up, but the grain and contrast really show at 2-Stops or higher. Even so, the grain can add character and mood, and sometimes that can be an advantage. Tri-X as reversal film is ISO 160 under Tungsten illumination (as all photographic film loses some filmspeed in the absence of blue and UV daylight. Exposed for Negative processing the filmspeed drops down some more, to an effective ISO/E.I. 100 under Artificial Lighting, but it can be pushed processed to ISO 200 or IS0 400 easily, with of course some gain in grain and contrast. I recommend doing a test under various situations so that you can refer to your test film(s) as a guide to any future filmmaking projects or jobs; and of course carry some detailed shooting notes with your camera bag. As a B&W Negative, the Tri-X film can be processed in a variety of developers to alter the 'look' of the film and grain structure. For example, processed in B&W Reversal chemistry but without reversal, it will have a high contrast look to it. Processed in a continous tone Negative Developer it will have great image tone, and your choice would have to be whatever the lab offers, or if doing it yourself, however you would like it to look after doing some tests. You can do lots of testing with only ONE cartridge; just shoot a series of increments intended to be processed differently and break down the film and process each segment the way you want to test it. One cartridge can yield 5 test segments if you do each in 10 foot increments, or 10 test segments in 5 foot increments. It will take some work to break down the film in the darkroom, and then container and mark each one for however you want to process it. But when completed, you can have as thorough a test film under a variety of lighting situations and processing methods, to reference to for the future.

Hope this helps.
  • 0

#4 Friedemann Wachsmuth

Friedemann Wachsmuth
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Other
  • Hamburg, Germany

Posted 21 September 2011 - 05:16 PM

Use Diafine to develop your Tri-X to a Negative. It will easily squeeze 800 ASA out of it and makes super soft and tone-rich negatives. Diafine is fine grianed, sharp and lasts forever (its a very special two-bath chemistry that does not allow pushing film, but gives each stock a higher sensitivity).

This should make ver transferrable results.

I rate 35mm Tri-X usually up to 1200 ASA and it looks brilliant. As far as I know, the emulsion is the same as 7266. If you shoot at low light, better go 800 ASA though to compensate the low scene contrast.

This is an example Print of a 35mm Tri-X Still, rated at 1200 ASA and developed in Diafine.
  • 0

#5 Marc Marti

Marc Marti
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 September 2011 - 12:54 PM

Ektachrome 100D can be pushed to 200 or 400 ASA with great results. Give it a try...
  • 0

#6 Justin Lovell

Justin Lovell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Toronto

Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:10 AM

I've pushed 500t super 8 up to 3 stops and it still looked great!
Definitely grainy, but hell, that's why we're using super 8 right?

My general thought is:
If you're stuck in a situation where you are 2 stops(eg.) underexposed, then push it 2 stops in the processing.
You'll get a better image by pushing the processing. (this is especially true with super 8, less so with 35mm)
Get the silver to activate and develop an image on the film itself as opposed to trying to push the image in the transfer and dig an image out of something that never had enough light to make an image in the first place.
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Opal

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Tai Audio

CineTape

Technodolly

CineLab

Opal

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera