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Oil Lantern Lighting


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#1 Hamid Khozouie

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 11:51 AM

Nestor Almendros in his book "A Man With A Camera" says he used lamps in oil lanterns in 1976.He pushed the films and took a good advantage in DAYS OF HEAVEN 30 years ago .
I worked with kodak vision 500(5279) in F:2 without pushing and without using lamps in lanterns, but I wasn't very satisfied , with this realistic lighting of lantern .May be I must push or it will be better to put the lamps in lanterns.
Do you have any experiences ? or any films or DOPs methods in magazines?.......
I will be very glad if it is possible , attach the frame of lighting .....THANK YOU .Posted Image
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 02:35 PM

Nestor Almendros in his book "A Man With A Camera" says he used lamps in oil lanterns in 1976.He  pushed the films and took a good advantage in DAYS OF HEAVEN 30 years ago .
I worked with kodak vision 500(5279)  in F:2  without pushing and without using lamps in lanterns, but I wasn't very satisfied , with this realistic lighting of lantern .May be I must push or it will be better to put the lamps in lanterns.
Do you have any experiences ?  or any films or  DOPs methods in magazines?.......
I will be very glad if it is possible , attach the frame of lighting .....THANK YOU .Posted Image

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


For a film rated 500T, 24fps 170-degree shutter, and f/2.0, you need 10 footcandles on your main subject to give a "normal" exposure to the film. The low color temperature of an oil lamp is usually not an issue, as typically you would balance the print or transfer to look somewhat orange like the oil lamp. Oil lamps vary, but I suspect you can get 5 to 10 footcandles illumination within a meter or so of several oil lamps set for full intensity without smoking.
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#3 hugovillasmythe

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

Interesting tech fact Mr. Pytlak.
In my experience, shooting with oil lanterns has proven not so easy the first couple of hours because I (and my gaffer too) am not a very outdoorsy type and I don't know how in bloody hell to get them to stop smoking.
Light is good, though.
I've tried them with Vision 800 and pushed one stop. I must have been at my favourite t. stop on S166 Zeiss 10-100 which is between 2.3 ans 2.8
Ended up looking nice.
I was never able to get the fc. that John talks about but I'll take his word for it.
There are some very nice coleman hand lanterns that work on LP Gas or Natural gas.
They work well too and are less cumbersome that oil lamps which means you can slide them ever so close to actors.
I've had some chance to work with cheated oil lanterns and candles using all sorts of bulbs inserted into them and I have to say (only used Kodak neg., never Fuji) that I'd rater go "natural" because stocks can take it, it looks more believable, actors have a more comfortable way to relate to their subject and all the wiring, batteries and contraptions you have to use make the chances for failure grow.
Thank god for fast negs., good telecine colorists and noise supression circutry on telecines.
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#4 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 08:02 PM

I've always found that working in these sort of low key/night situations depends a lot on contrast, rather than average lumination by itself only...

BTW, we don't know what stock Nestor Almendros was using, actually, maybe 5247, does anybody know? - too tired to turn my back reach his book and look inside, sorry...

Then if he pushed two stops, we here would only be 1/3 of stop over what he did, right ?

The thing is, Hamid, this topic is very interesting, but can you tell us more about how it didn't satisfy you ? Was it only a question of general exposition or a question of color temp as John refers to ?

Edited by laurent.a, 17 May 2005 - 08:03 PM.

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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 10:11 AM

One trick I?ve learned is to use smokeless indoor oil. It is much more expensive then the cheap stuff but it is very clean burning. I even use it at home in my Tiki torches.
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#6 Hamid Khozouie

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 03:56 PM

BTW, we don't know what stock Nestor Almendros was using, actually, maybe 5247, does anybody know? - too tired to turn my back reach his book and look inside, sorry...


He used 5247 & push it. " We shot at 200 ASA with the lens stop between 1/4-2/2 " Almendros says .
dear Laurent
You see the picture attachment of DAYS OF HEAVEN ,this lantern is putted lamp in it and the foot candles of lantern is very high ,but now we wanted to eliminate the lamp and only use the real oil lantern
How can we reach this high power of light?
Now without using the lamp ,can we take this shot like DAYS OF HEAVEN ?
I worked with kodak 500 F 2 without push don,t near this picture.................
Posted Image
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