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How do different light sources look on film?


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#1 Nojus Drąsutis

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 04:30 PM

At first - sorry, maybe i'm repeating this question, i just didn't found the answer yet. How do different lights look on film stock? Could I use HMI or LED lightining while shooting on film? Will it look as it looks in digital, will it catch flickering?
And also, i found a table in Kodak's Cinematographer's Field Guide about different lights and filters (https://flic.kr/p/JHcFqm). What does it mean?
Thank you for your answers and please don't be angry on the new boy in town
Nojus


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 05:49 PM

Film stock comes in daylight or tungsten balance, so how different types of light render, color-wise, first depends on which of these two types of stock you use.  It's the same thing as using a digital still camera set to daylight or tungsten balance.

 

HMI's are daylight-balanced, but LED's are sold in a variety of color types, though a lot of the basic ones made for movies are daylight-balanced, a few are tungsten, and others are bi-color (a 50/50 mix of both types).  Some are RGB so can be blended into all sorts of colors.

 

On a digital camera set to daylight-balance, or a film camera using daylight-balanced stock, then daylight-balanced lights look neutral ("white") in color, more or less.  Tungsten lights look orange in comparison.

 

On a digital camera set to tungsten-balance, or a film camera using tungsten-balanced stock, then tungsten lights look neutral but daylight lights look blue in comparison.

 

You can use tungsten-balanced film stock in daylight with an orange color-correction filter on the lens to convert a daylight scene to tungsten-balance. This is the 85 filter in the chart and since it loses 2/3-stop of light, you'd rate your 500 ASA film at 320 ASA film to compensate for the camera filter.

 

But you can also shoot tungsten stock in daylight with no correction filter and correct out the blue cast in post.

 

Cool White fluorescents, which are almost daylight-balanced (not quite) but with green in them, need both a warming filter (not a full 85 though) to cancel the blue + some magenta filtration to cancel the green if you don't want that blue-green (aka cyan) color on tungsten stock, which is why the chart recommends the CC40R filter, which apparently loses 1 2/3-stops, hence why 500 ASA becomes 160 ASA.  Again, you could shoot without the filter (and thus not lose the speed of the stock) and either live with the cyan cast or color-correct it in post.  Tiffen makes a similar filter to the CC40R called the FL-B filter.


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#3 Nojus Drąsutis

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 06:46 PM

David, Thank you! I was just afraid, that some of lights could not be used on film camera, but i'm happy to hear, that it's just with the color temperature.


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:10 PM

There can be 60 Hz / 50 Hz AC flicker issues (particularly with older magnetic HMI ballasts, or industrial fluorescents and other AC discharge lamps) but they are the same issues with digital cameras running at different frame rates, some frame rate / shutter speeds are safer for flicker than others.


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:18 PM

The simplest answer is to shoot a film test. Particularly with LED lighting, the results can be quite unpredictable depending on the film stock or digital sensor being used. Also, if you are using any colored gels on your lights this could further complicate things. The trick is to limit the number of variables in play - so pick one filmstock, one lens, one base color temperature (daylight or tungsten), and then only change out the lighting units to see what each of them do.

More generally, HMIs and 55K Kino Flos will more or less match daylight, though some bulbs will more green or magenta than others due to age. There may also be flicker depending on the how well-maintained the ballasts are, or if you are shooting at a non-flicker-free frame rate or shutter angle. This is a problem not just with film, but with video as well.

Here is a reference to flicker-free speeds: http://www.red.com/l...-video-tutorial
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