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Lighting Tri-x with no electricity

super8 lighting tri-x

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#1 JayneAmaraRoss

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:53 AM

Hello everyone,

I am planning to shoot in a very isolated location, accessible only by foot (after a few hours of walking, and over uneven terrain).

The location is a small abandonned cottage in the North of England. There will be a working fireplace and the room should appear to be lit by this source, and a few candles only. 

I need your advice/experience on finding an appropriate way of lighting the scene without electricity. I have thought about battery-run torches & triple-wick candles, and push-processing.

I will be shooting on super 8 tri-x film (200 ISO) with a 4008 beaulieu camera and Schneider 6-66mm lens (max aperture: 1.8).

Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks a-million,

Jayne


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#2 Zac Fettig

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:45 PM

Shoot a faster film with lower contrast. That lighting sounds tricky (but doable) for Vision 500T. Tri-X is a PAIN to light correctly in low light. It's only got 1-1/2 stops of lattitude total. (3/4 up, 3/4 down)

 

If you want B&W, turn the saturation to 0 in post. Unless your workflow has you editing on film, you'll save yourself a ton of headaches down the line.

 

Other advice would be to make sure you've got a reflector in the fireplace. No need to waste any light. If you can dress the set, large mirrors or brass shields on stands to bounce light might help some.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:08 PM

Why not get a hand-carryable Honda generator? They are only 30 lbs.


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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

 Tri-X is a PAIN to light correctly in low light. It's only got 1-1/2 stops of lattitude total. (3/4 up, 3/4 down)

Are you sure this is correct? A film with only 1 1/2 stops of latitude would be literally black & white!


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#5 David Cunningham

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:41 AM

Yeah, my understanding is that it's closer to 3 stops.  Even double-x is sadly only about 6.  That's part of why "The Artist" was actually shot on color film and then graded to B&W.  It was just so much more versatile.  


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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:49 AM

Are you sure this is correct? A film with only 1 1/2 stops of latitude would be literally black & white!

Latitude, not dynamic range.


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#7 Matt Stevens

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:56 AM

Shoot 200t and 500t and go B&W in post. You won't be risking disaster that way. 


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#8 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:19 AM

I LOVE Tri-X!
 



I can see why people are sensibly advising you to shoot on Vision stock but please don't shoot colour just to accommodate one low lighting set-up. It simply won't look the same and the properties of Tri-X are virtually magical to my eyes.

Just buy a lot of cheap portable flicker-free LED lights* and batteries off of eBay plus use two or three reflectors add a few more candles in shot and shoot it all on Tri-X.

 


* Try shooting a test cartridge at home with the lights beforehand, you will get a good idea of what is actually achievable then.
 


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#9 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:57 AM

I've been shooting nothing but tri-x at sxsw this week. Definitely have a few underexposed night exteriors. Should be fine I think, but I'll let you know after I get everything processed. Shooting a test roll with various lighting conditions is really the best advice.
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#10 JayneAmaraRoss

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:49 PM

Wow, thanks guys for all your useful replies!  :)

I LOVE TRI-X TOO Bill!!! What a beautiful stock! I have been shooting it and processing it by hand for years. 

What kind of an autonomy can I expect from LED lights with portable batteries?

How far would you guys push-process if that was my only solution?


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#11 Jeremy Cavanagh

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:22 PM

Jayne,

 

I see someone else here has also suggested LED lights - I guess you got my post at film labs on hiring the LED lights of the sort that go on the top of ENG cameras for news work - the rectangular ones that use an array of LEDs so its a spread light.

 

These are light, flat and retangular so could lend themselves to being taped to something handy or even hand held rather than needing a tripod or stand and lifting the overall amount of light.

 

I would've thought it would be straightforward to hire one of two of them with a battery or two and charger or perhaps I'm a bit out of touch. I have to confess I don't know how long one battery would last operating a couple of these so perhaps two or three batteries would be better - depends on how else much you are carrying in to the location.


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#12 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

Thanks to the exploding DSLR market there are now loads of portable LED lights that are cheaply available on-line.

 

In all honesty I would try to avoid pushing Tri-X more than a stop and concentrate on using portable lighting.

 

I strongly advise experimenting with a few examples and examining the end results.

 

They don't cost a fortune and you can always use them again.

 


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#13 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

Pushing reversal film is not advisable unless you have seen the results and are happy with them. As I understand it, the Beaulieu cameras are good in low light even with f1,8 beinmg the widest aperture. Here is a film shot on a 5008 with Ekatchrome 64T in low light - look at the later scenes outdoors - I think they only had hand held lights - but not really sure.

 

However I am not that experienced with using Beaulieu cameras myself, but Tri-X is good for medium low light situations and not very good in real low light situations.

 

I agree that you shoudl do some tests - some pushed and some with LED portalamps and see what results you get and see if YOU are happy with the results.


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#14 JayneAmaraRoss

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Hello all,

Thanks for all these really helpful answers, after thought I think I will go with LED lights, candles, reflectors and a little hope ;-)!

All the best, and thank you again,

Jayne


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#15 Matt Stevens

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:48 AM

Brave woman. I admire you. I shot this straight8 under insane conditions over one long night in NYC's subways. It all came out, but I think even underground I had more light than you will have. 

 


Edited by Matt Stevens, 13 March 2013 - 11:49 AM.

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#16 Rudy Velez Jr

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:24 PM

Jayne you could also get a light gun on ebay, these things work wonders and if you get two or even three, then your got ghetto hollywood lighting lol, the LEDs are cool I just used one 2 days ago however my friends were shooting DSLR. Whats cool about the LED light kit I used was the fact the there were 2 cranks for hot and cold lighting on the side, it got me thinking about LED lighting and I am def gonna buy one of those and try to mix it up with my light guns. 

 

old super 8 light guns work wonders and charms and so do the LEDs ( the newer little brother to the old school light guns)

 

I say if you have the bread use em both if your got budget go straight for the LED lights, if you got time and a budget for the super8 light guns on eBay

 

Sidenote: as a fellow new yorker super 8 enthusiast Matt, that is AWESOME! shooting in the subway can be disastrous, at least for me, now I know, put it manual and keep it wide at 2, but yeah Tri-X is awesome

 

Question: was there ever like a superior b&w film stock for super 8 like Eastman Double for 16mm and 35mm.. What was Plus X?

 

Does Fuji have a b&w 8mm stock?


Edited by Rudy Velez Jr, 13 March 2013 - 01:24 PM.

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#17 JayneAmaraRoss

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

Rudy, thanks for your suggestions. I hadn't thought of that - I will check out those old super 8 guns on ebay now.

A friend of mine has just suggested gasoline lamps... like this : http://www.auvieuxca...ne-f1-lite.html another avenue to explore!

Thanks for the video Matt, it looks great!!!

Here's my contribution (tri-x beaulieu 5008 and canon 814 - then hand-processed) with various lighting situations:


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#18 Matt Stevens

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:19 PM

Jayne, I now want to see The Freemartin Calf. That trailer is sensational. Well done! 


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#19 Rudy Velez Jr

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:32 PM

gasoline lamps are intriguing..I wonder how much light those bad boys throw out? Has anyone else on here EVER use one?


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#20 JayneAmaraRoss

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:36 AM

Yes, I would definitely be interested if someone had any experience with these! 


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