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Shooting a film in the Montreal Metro/Subway/Underground 16mm, what stock to use?

16mm bolex Metro Subway undergroud 500t

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#1 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I'm shooting on a bolex, I figure Kodak 500t is the best option (I remember reading in a topic, that it "saw into shadows well).

That being said I've also heard that fuji does better with mixed lighting sources, and the metro certainly has a mix of tungsten and fluorescent.

I'd also be interested in the best place to transfer it in Montreal.

Any general tips for shooting in the Subway?
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#2 Mark Baluk

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

Well, Technicolor in Montréal will be accepting film for processing until Nov 20th, when they close!
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:16 PM

You are correct sir, 500T. Get Fuji while you still can. If not, Kodak 7219 is probably the finest 500 speed film made.
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#4 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

Well, Technicolor in Montréal will be accepting film for processing until Nov 20th, when they close!

Do you live in Montreal? If so I am very eager to work on as many sets as possible, if you ever need any assistance I would love to help.

You are correct sir, 500T. Get Fuji while you still can. If not, Kodak 7219 is probably the finest 500 speed film made.

Can you elaborate on what you like about Fuji (which stock in particular) and what you like about 7219 (I know there are many fans, and supposedly it is low on noise)?
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#5 Mark Baluk

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:46 PM

7219 is great. I just shot on some fuji. Will see how that turns out in comparison for me.

Fuji is haven't some stock clearouts lately. Best to get in touch with them. If you want an email, shoot me a PM.


And no, I'm in Toronto actually. But I just shot a short and we had to send the film up to the Montreal labs cause thr Toronto labs closed before the summer! Yikes.

I'm sure there are some smaller places in the city to get it processed tho.

Edited by Mark Baluk, 07 November 2012 - 11:47 PM.

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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

It will all come down to your colorist as far as the mixed lighting. Try taking some stills and see what you're getting. Write down your settings on the DSLR for reference plus take pictures of the ceiling or wherever lights are for reference. Since you're not shutting it down and controlling the environment probably it will come down to what you do in post.

If you can figure out if it is more daylight or tungsten, you can bring lights to match that and light your subjects with the most common light color in the station...
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#7 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:16 AM

Luckily most of the subjects will be the architecture, various murals and sculptures in the underground transit system. Also there will be very little or no daylight in most cases, it's more of a case that there is a mix between tungsten and fluorescent.
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#8 Geoff Howell

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

Might it be posible to go with something a bit slower and less grainy? I don't know what it's like in Montreal but the Tube here in London is pretty brightly lit,
In the past I've shot tons of Tri-X, Fuji rt200n and Fuji Eterna 250 on verious subways with no problems

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#9 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

I'm going location scouting this coming week with my dslr, so I should have a better idea as to what the lighting is like, but if memory serves I'm going to need asa of at least 500.
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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

either the Vivid or the Eterna are great, they are a bit softer than the Kodak 7219, maybe more than a bit, but really handle mixed light very well. 7219 is the king of 500T for S16. It is very low grain and really sees into the shadows a lot. Great over and under exposure latitude. The Fuji is probably more grainy now that I think about it.
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#11 zachary sala

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

7219 is the way to go for 16mm, but a nightmare on super8. With higher ASA you stand more risk for grain unless properly lit.
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#12 Chris Burke

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

7219 is the way to go for 16mm, but a nightmare on super8. With higher ASA you stand more risk for grain unless properly lit.


7219 in Super 8 is not that grainy at all, but I suppose that is a matter of taste. I like grain so I might be biased, but it really is less grainy than people tend to think. I get that the typical logic states that with faster film comes more grain, however the '19 stock is very fine grained and not typical. I have even pushed it one stop and the grain still wasn't a distraction, although more present. Just curious why grain is considered risky and what it is you would be risking?
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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

In Super 8 people tend to think they don't need any light or use the film in the lowest light situations which of course will magnify the grain as you try to pull out an image. 7219 in Super 8 can look great and not overly grainy as long as it is lit properly for the ASA.
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#14 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:11 AM

I just spent the last three days shooting. It's been great fun, I can't wait to get this first round of film back, and post my results!
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#15 Matt Stevens

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:48 PM



That is the first short film I photographed in super8 and actually one of the very first rolls of 8mm I ever shot. This was for Straight8.net and what you do is edit in camera. All first takes. You mess something up, tough poopy.

We have wanted to shoot on a roll of 500T but royally ruined a shot almost right out the gate. So we said OK, let's try a Tri-X Reversal, despite it being just ASA 160 and see what happens. We were stunned with the results.

I took great pains to use whatever light sources were available to avoid an amateurish look. That is easier to accomplish than with color film.

Anthony, please share the results once you can. We'll all want to see what you came up with.
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#16 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:28 AM



That is the first short film I photographed in super8 and actually one of the very first rolls of 8mm I ever shot. This was for Straight8.net and what you do is edit in camera. All first takes. You mess something up, tough poopy.

We have wanted to shoot on a roll of 500T but royally ruined a shot almost right out the gate. So we said OK, let's try a Tri-X Reversal, despite it being just ASA 160 and see what happens. We were stunned with the results.

I took great pains to use whatever light sources were available to avoid an amateurish look. That is easier to accomplish than with color film.

Anthony, please share the results once you can. We'll all want to see what you came up with.

Very impressed given it was in camera editing (I used to do this with my parents camcorder when I was 13, but at last with that you could rewind and do another take if something went wrong).
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