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Canon 514 XL-S


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#1 Chaske Haverkos

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

I've read the board for awhile now, not usually having any reason to post, but recently picked up a Canon 514 XL-S and had a few questions so I thought I'd get some info. I'm familiar with shooting video digitally and I shoot 35mm stills, but was curious about ASA and color balance with Super 8. Are the numbers (50, 200, 500) similar to ISO? I thought I had read somewhere that with newer films you should shoot w your camera set to daylight as well. I was considering getting some Tri-X and the appropriate Vision for some initial shooting. Just curious about that whole aspect.

 

Laslty, does anyone know about this camera, performance-wise? I did some research and it seemed to get favorable feedback but was curious if anyone had any experience or knew how the glass was.

 

I appreciate any info/respones/feedback anyone can provide and apologize if this topic and these questions have been asked frequently already. I look forward to getting into S8 and this board is a great resource!


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:11 AM

ASA and ISO are equivalent.

Tungsten- balanced films (with T in the name) need an 85 filter for daylight. It is fitted in the camera and a notch in the cartridge ensures that it stays in place. This reduces the sensitivity by 2/3 stop. It needs to be retracted manually when shooting in artificial light- there's a switch for that.

Daylight- balanced (D) films lack the notch so the filter is retracted automatically.

You will need to check that your particular camera reads all the ISOs correctly; this is done by feelers in the camera which engage in cutouts in the cartridge.

Tri-X is black and white, of course, so none of this is strictly relevant.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 18 April 2013 - 05:15 AM.

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#3 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:02 AM

ASA and ISO are equivalent.

Tungsten- balanced films (with T in the name) need an 85 filter for daylight. It is fitted in the camera and a notch in the cartridge ensures that it stays in place. This reduces the sensitivity by 2/3 stop. It needs to be retracted manually when shooting in artificial light- there's a switch for that.

Daylight- balanced (D) films lack the notch so the filter is retracted automatically.

You will need to check that your particular camera reads all the ISOs correctly; this is done by feelers in the camera which engage in cutouts in the cartridge.

Tri-X is black and white, of course, so none of this is strictly relevant.

 

Just be careful with Tri-X in bright outdoor light.  It's latitude is very low and although Kodak says it's excellent for natural daylight use, I find it tends to wash out faces/skin tones unless you get the exposure dead on or even slightly under.  It works well in outdoor light if exposed perfectly, but in the end it's really a tungsten/controlled lighting film.  Correctly tungsten/studio lit scenes will fair far better than outdoor natural lighting.


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#4 Chaske Haverkos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:17 AM

Awesome, I really appreciate the info! Definitely makes sense. I plan to shoot outdoors mostly, so would you avoid shooting Tri-X in natural daylight altogether or just overly sunny days? And I assume 50D would be optimal for shooting outside (given enough light) over 200T/500T? Are these even good film stocks? Again, sorry for all the questions and thanks so much for your responses!


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#5 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

If you are looking to transfer to digital (not concerned with actual projection) you cannot get any better than Vision3 50D for your 514.  

 

Your 514 is going to read the Vision3 50D cartridge as ASA 40, exposing it about 1/3 over.  That's perfect for shooting Kodak Vision3 50D.  That slight bump will decrease visible grain and bump up your shadows.  Also, using a daylight stock outdoors will eliminate the resolution reduction of your internal 85 filter.  In fact, don't use it even with a Tungsten stock.  Get an external screw on filter.  The latitude of 50D is about 5 times better than Tri-X.  Even if your over or under by 2 full stops you'll get a decent and very usable image.  With tri-x, you'll get garbage.  That's important if you have not had your 514 tested and tuned.  It's light meter was never perfect in the first place.  

 

After 30+ years, your light meter could very reasonably be a full stop off in either direction.  Even when it was new it was not particularly accurate or efficient.  Remember that it's going to use an average of the whole area of the image.  So, if you have bright back lighting but dark foreground it's going to take an average of the total light resulting in a scenario where neither is correctly exposed.  Vision3 50D will be much more likely to give you a usable image in that scenario.  Tri-X will give you crap.  :)

 

If you have a varying light scenario, zoom in on the subject you are most concerned with correctly exposing, get an exposure reading, and then use the lock function to lock the exposure in place.  Then zoom back out and shoot your scene normally.  This will increase your odds that your primary subject will be correctly exposed and your highlight areas exposed at reasonable levels.

 

All that said, if you correctly expose Tri-X it's a beautiful B&W and contrasty image.  When you get more comfortable with shooting Super 8 (and probably get either an external light meter, tuned camera, or both) it's a lot of fun to shoot Tri-X.  Try it while you can, I don't think it will be around for long.


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:05 AM

Here's a good example of correctly exposed (mostly) tri-x.  You can see how blown out the bright highlights are in daylight even when you do it right:

 

 

Now just imagine how much highlight detail you lose when over exposed.

 

Now here is quite possibly the best Super 8 image you will ever see, shot on a Beaulieu with Vision3 50D:

 


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#7 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

Awesome, I really appreciate the info! Definitely makes sense. I plan to shoot outdoors mostly, so would you avoid shooting Tri-X in natural daylight altogether or just overly sunny days? And I assume 50D would be optimal for shooting outside (given enough light) over 200T/500T? Are these even good film stocks? Again, sorry for all the questions and thanks so much for your responses!

 

Just be careful of using tri-x in any scenario with extreme ranges in lighting which you are more likely to run into in bright daylight.

 

Vision3 50D is the best for bright exteriors but there many good reasons to use 200T with an 85 filter outdoors, not the least of which is ease of use in mixed lighting.  You can shoot outdoors with an 85 filter on it, then take the filter off and shoot indoors with good lighting.  This is good for maintaining a consistent look, especially in the grain structure, and also not having to load different films when going back and forth between indoors and outdoors.

 

500T is an amazing film stock that makes amazing images.  However, it has far more grain.  If you need 500T for indoor scenarios you can put an 85 filter on and bring it outdoors.  However, you will notice a highly appreciable grain increase from 200T and certain from 50D.

 

I shot this wedding entirely with 500T with a wide-open aperture on a Canon 814 AZ.  

 

 

The lighting is entirely only available light.  (No added or on-camera light).  The ceremony itself was VERY dark and the reception was black except for ambient ceiling and wall lighting.  Yet, the image was very usable.  You'll notice it's heavy grain (even in the brighter scenes), but it has a very nice look.


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#8 Chaske Haverkos

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

Wow Dave, thank you for all the info- really appreciate such a thorough breakdown of those stocks. The examples you posted are really nice and it looks like the 50D should be where I start off at and get a handle for the camera. Am I correct that the process is that you first get the film developed/processed and then transferred to digital? That's what I've read and what makes sense, but never hurts to ask! Thanks again for all the info, it's super helpful.


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#9 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:44 PM

Yup. Although you usually do it all at the same time.
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#10 Chaske Haverkos

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 08:14 AM

Gotcha- thanks again for all your help and information David- I look forward with sharing some footage down the road!


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#11 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:28 AM

Your other big issue is going to be choosing a scanner/scanning house.  Your high quality options are:

 

Pro8mm (Millennium 2K) which will give you a more saturated, contrasty and home movie look because of the tendencies of their colorists and the nature of the CRT-based scanner.

 

SpectraFilmAndVideo (Spirit Telecine) - for a cleaner almost more video look... probably more accurate picture of what is actually on the film.

 

Cinelcious (Spirit Datacine) - similar results but a slightly different machine... really depends on the look you are going for.

 

Your cheaper/lower cost but still good options:

 

Cinelab - Upconverted Y-Front... similar look to Pro8mm but a bit more retro/old school/wonder years looking.  (Also a CRT system)

 

Video Conversion Experts - MWA Nova Flashscan Choice2k+ - no personal experience with this, but from what I can see it's got a similar video look to the spirit... cleaner... crisper... sharper.  Not necessarily what you want with Super 8.

 

 

So, I'm sure others have more comments and suggestions but the more I learn about modern Super 8, the more I realize how many options there are and how many of those options depend on personal taste more than real hard facts.


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#12 Chaske Haverkos

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 12:53 PM

Thanks David- definitely seeing what you mean about choosing a scanning house that suits your personal look/taste for how you want the end result to look. Which places have you used perosnally or have you had any issues with any of them? Only reason I ask is that I've seen various comments around the board swearing off using certain places due to prices/quality/etc and wondered if those were the result of just bad experiences or if some places really just don't produce a good scan. Also- do most places scan to HD now by default or is that an upcharge? Can you scan to SD and then scale up in post and still end up with a good image? Thanks again for all your help and info, it's really been valuable!


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