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Still film T/D


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#1 Louis

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:04 PM

Here's a question I've been wondering about for a while: How come motion picture film comes in Tungsten balanced or Daylight balanced, while still film does not. Still film can generate accurate color rendering under any lighting, so what makes motion picture film different?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:06 PM

Most still film is daylight-balanced because when indoors, one is most like to use a flash, which are also daylight-balanced. There are a few tungsten-balanced professional still camera films, like Kodak Portra 100T color negative, and Ektachrome 64T, 160T, and 320T color slide films. But the majority are daylight-balanced.

Movies tend to be shot more indoors under tungsten lighting, plus the correction filter to use the same tungsten-balanced film in daylight only loses 2/3's of a stop of light, whereas the correction filter to use daylight-balanced film under tungsten light cuts nearly 2 stops of light. So there are more motion picture stocks that are tungsten-balanced than daylight-balanced.
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#3 Robert Edge

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 06:51 PM

I think that the reason that most colour films for still photography are daylight balanced is that most still photographers, when they work in a studio or otherwise with artificial light, work with flash rather than continuous lights. Flash is daylight balanced. Historically, continuous lights have required tungsten-balanced film. There are now continuous lights that work with daylight-balanced film, but they are much more expensive than tungsten lights.

I am currently involved in a large format still photography project for a book and I decided, for various reasons, that I wanted to use continuous tungsten lights rather than flash. So, at last fall's NY Photo Show, I bought some Dedolights instead of the latest flash system. In fact, it is because of this project that I started to follow this site. My interest wasn't in cinematography, but in continuous lighting, a subject that very few still photographers these days know anything about. In fact, if you spend a few minutes reading threads about lighting on the major still photography site on the internet, you will find that it is considered a self-evident truth that the use of continuous lighting is both obsolete and, for heat reasons, stupid. What you won't hear about is that there are indeed still photographers who are using continuous lights, both tungstent and daylight balanced, in preference to flash.

Unfortunately, the result of following this site is that I've become interested in making a couple of films :)
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