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Fuji Eterna Vivid 250D and exposure - Need some advice


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#1 Henrik Efskin_57493

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:22 PM

Hi!
 
I'm doing a shoot in a few days with the Arri 416 loaded with Fuji 8646 Eterna Vivid 250D and I'm in need of some advice. I have shot Fuji motion picture film before during a film school assignment a few years back. I rated the film at box speed and the image came out ok but not as appealing as I wanted to, mainly do to exposure; the image came out slightly underexposed and a tad too grainy. I've previously had great results exposing still film like Kodak's Portra series up to three stops over, and being really impressed with the results. The shadows are inky black while still retaining a lot of detail, the grain is tight and more balanced throughout the image while the highlights still hold the same amount of detail. The image just feels more robust and has a lot more omph to it overall. Not wanting to end up like before, I'm thinking about rating the 8646 at 125 or perhaps even lower. For a general overcast-ish day this would probably work well, however we're looking to shoot on a sunny day with a fair bit of contast between the areas in direct sunlight vs the shade. Did a reading today and the meter showed f22 in the sun and f8 in the shade. What do you guys think about this, should I generally rate everything at a lower iso, or rate it at 250 but meter for the shade? I'm just worried the highlights will blow out if I meter at a lower iso for something in the shade. I've attached two images, one is a corrected raw still and generally how I hope the stock captures the contrast difference, the other how I'm afraid it might look if I'm not careful. What do you guys think I should do? Would really appreciate your help!
 

img02.jpg


Edited by Henrik Efskin_57493, 22 July 2014 - 09:25 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:50 PM

Overexposing the negative is fine, you just want to pick a consistent method.  Rating the stock slower is one way, exposing for the shadows is another, but you should figure out the amount of overexposure either way.

 

One way would be to rate the stock at 125 ASA instead of 250 ASA, and then expose for what would give you the correct brightness you want, once the base level is corrected for 125 ASA.  In other words, shoot a grey scale in direct sun at 125 ASA, expose it correctly for that ASA, and let the colorist set the brightness of the image for that base, then the footage that follows will look however you exposed it to look at 125 ASA.  You may want the sun to feel a little hot, for example, but overexposing one-stop over key in frontal light and letting the shadows feel a bit more open.  For top to toppy-backlit scenes of mixed sun and shade, you'd probably go for a split exposure so the sun feels a bit bright and the shadows are just slightly down.  For a real backlit look near late afternoon or early morning, where most of the image is in shade, you'd meter the shade and maybe underexpose it by one-stop so that it felt like the shade.

 

Exposing so that the shadows are normal in brightness doesn't make much sense to me unless perhaps you are in total shade with no sunlit areas.  I mean, you could expose for the shadows are method of overexposing the image and then correcting it back down to a normal look where the shadows feel like shadows... but then you'd want to figure out the true amount of correction you are having to make.  To me, it's a rather imprecise method of exposing and every shot will have to be adjusted back to the exposure look you actually want. Whereas if you had a base ASA rating that gave you a consistent level of overexposure, and shot a grey card or grey scale at that ASA rating so that a basic level of brightness could be set, then the shots that follow could be exposed by you for the specific look you want.

 

Generally for sunny scenes, working at the base ASA rating I have chosen, I expose so that the sun feels like sun and the shade feels like shade, just how hot or how dark depends on the mood I am trying to set.


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#3 Henrik Efskin_57493

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:02 PM

Alright, thanks a lot for the reply David! That makes a lot of sense and is very helpful, I will definitely be going the grey card route with a lower base iso. Just out of curiosity, how far do you think one could safely overexpose this stock? Like I mentioned before, I've had good results with rating 400 film at 100, but I'm curious if two stops over would be too much for such a harsh and bright setting like this. What are your experiences with rating stocks lower? Is this something you generally do? Thanks again for your input!


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#4 Oron Cohen

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:58 PM

Alright, thanks a lot for the reply David! That makes a lot of sense and is very helpful, I will definitely be going the grey card route with a lower base iso. Just out of curiosity, how far do you think one could safely overexpose this stock? Like I mentioned before, I've had good results with rating 400 film at 100, but I'm curious if two stops over would be too much for such a harsh and bright setting like this. What are your experiences with rating stocks lower? Is this something you generally do? Thanks again for your input!

Hi Henrik, 

 

Although I'm not even close to Mr Mullen knowledge I could tell you my experience.

I also love the Kodak Portra 400 and use it a lot with my Rollei 6x6, I also recently used the Fuji Vivid 250D with great results on a Music video. 

 

I think kodak Portra is the best colour Negative film I ever used. The way this film can handle overexposure and underexposure while staying super sharp and giving you amazing blacks is unmatched IMHO. 

 

From my experience Fuji stocks are not as good with overexposing as kodak Vision 3 films. But Fuji got this beautiful  look that many love even though technically is not the best, it's also very good with mixing daylight and tungsten. 

 

So, to your question, I would definitely rate the film 125ISO or 160ISO, as it will reduce the grain and get you slightly better look overall, but I won't count on it to behave like Kodak Portra or even Vision 3 regarding overexposure (it's still amazingly good, just not as good as the Portra). 


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 05:17 PM

One-stop overexposure is pretty safe, two-stops is OK if you are going to pull-process at least back by a stop... it but otherwise, too much overexposure with normal development and you risk having such a dense negative that you get noise in the whites in some telecine transfers.


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