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Limitations of Eastman Double-X 7222

16mm Eastman Double-X Exteriors

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#1 Nicholas Liang

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:34 PM

Hello all,

I'm not familiar with this forum's etiquette, so please feel free to correct me if starting a new thread is unnecessary.  I thought I would start a dedicated thread for this topic, as I previously commented on another member's post and not all of my thoughts/questions were germane to her/his native post. So, please forgive any repeated thoughts!
 

I have a few questions regarding shooting on 7222. Throughout my searches, I've been observing mixed responses in regards to how problematic the lack of rem-jet backing on the film is for shooting on the SR3. Some say that the reflective back plate in the film gate can cause extreme halation effects, whereas others have had no problems. 

I ask, as I will be filming a short, approximately six minutes in length, on an Arri SR3 in the early summer. The majority of the shots will be exteriors, ideally on a somewhat diffused overcast day. The camera will be making a few large dynamic movements, so I was thinking of using a fairly wide angle lens (9.5mm Zeiss Prime Super Speed). Though, I am concerned with focus pulling while the camera makes a few of these longer movements. My thoughts on this problem are that pull focus issues can be minimized by maintaing a deep focus with the wider lens. Though, I'm curious as to how well 7222 performs when stopped down. I've read that, for Super Speeds, the sharpest image is obtained when shooting close to wide open - which would run counter to my desire to retain a deep focus. It is entirely possible that, given the speed of 7222, deep focus and image sharpness have an inverse relationship. Yet, with most shots being exteriors, it's entirely possible stopping down would not affect image sharpness if I were to refrain from using any nd/polar filters. Thoughts? I have experience working with colour negative stocks, but this will be my first attempt at shooting on black and white negative stock. Suggestions for complimentary filters are also welcome!

 

Finally, from the many online examples I've seen, there seems to be a large variance in the sharpness, contrast, and grain of 7222. I would expect this, as there is a large variance in the intention and skill of film makers, but it is making it difficult to assess the limitations of the stock. I may do some tests on a 100' roll, but I thought I would see if anyone had thoughts on how to retain a sharp, low grain, image on the stock. I will likely be purchasing about 500' of film for approximately six minutes. That amount of film does not afford a great deal of latitude as it is about a 2:1 shot ratio. I know that in order to achieve a gamma slope coefficient of 0.65, Kodak recommends exposing at an ISO of 250 for exteriors. In practice, has this proven true? I will have a light meter on hand, but would like to minimize potential problems beforehand. I'm also open to suggestions regarding push/pull processing as a solution.

 

Finally, here are a few examples of films that achieve a similar effect. Although all of these cinematographers were shooting on 35mm, I would like to approximate the richness of detail as close as possible. Thanks for taking the time to indulge me and I look forward to reading your recommendations. 

 

František Vláčil, Bedrich "Beda" Batka - Marketa Lazarová 

 

This first still is interesting, as it seems to be predominately backlit - yet, the features of Marketa are defined, while the horse is but a silhouette with no front lighting. 
 

zdenek-liska-marketa-lazarova1.png
marketa%20lazarova.jpg

 
Mikhail Kalatozov, Sergey Urusevsky - Soy Cuba

soycuba1.jpg
soy_cuba_5.jpg
 

Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Wojcik - Popiół i diament

Ashes-and-Diamonds-2-1140x600.jpg

 

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 06:03 PM

You've already got roughly two more stops of depth of field with 16mm over 35mm, and that combined with using a 9.5mm lens, I wouldn't worry about stopping way down to get deep focus except for shots where you have something really close to the lens in the foreground, then stop down as much as you can -- if the composition is striking enough, I don't think people will notice a little more softening of the lens, particularly if the lighting is high in contrast.

That's an important point, contrast improves the feeling of sharpness, which will matter even more if you are shooting in 16mm on a stock that is somewhat soft and grainy like 7222.
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#3 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:33 PM

I would consider shooting 7266 reversal, you could develop it as negative.

 

I find the Reversal stock to be smoother, lower grain and exposed right it has great contrast and will match your samples / intent more than 7222 which tends to be a "lighter" less contrasty stock with more grain.


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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:27 AM

One more time confusion of technical things and such with regard to contents

 

Limitations of Eastman-Kodak 7222? Do you mean maximal density? That depends on development, you can push it to log 2.5, if needed. Do you mean granularity? That can be influenced by the exposure-developer combination.

 

Nicholas, you speak of stopping down lenses, of focal lengths, and how well the film would perform under these circumstances, a complete farrago. The film only records what a given lens projects on it. If you are concerned about a shiny pressure plate, cover it with a piece of thin black felt or wind the raw stock up together with matt black leader. I know that some colleagues will howl at my suggestions, especially with an Arriflex 16 SR 3.

 

Everything else has nothing to do with the raw stock. It is the cinematographer or she/he together with the lighting designer who decide/s on brightening, filling, masking. 7222 is a panchromatic negative film on cellulose triacetate tinted grey in the mass, exposure index ISO 250 with daylight. There’s nothing more to it. The film in the CAMERA OBSCURA, the lens. The object in front of that. You at the place of the future subject who will watch pictures of the object. You telling something


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#5 Nicholas Liang

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:07 AM

David, 

Thank you for the reply. You are very right, I'm not sure a softened lens would be too distracting given the other competing visual elements. Re: contrast - I agree, it will behoove us to maximize contrast given the stock and format. Thank you for the insight!

Robert,

Thank you for the reply. Ideally, I would use Plus-X, as it seems to have been designed for daylight exteriors. It hadn't occurred to me that you could develop Tri-X as negative - so, I'll definitely do more research on the subject! I'm currently seeking out a few demo examples, though the results I've come across are less encouraging than what I've seen with Double-X. Thanks for the suggestion!

Simon,
 

Thank you for the response. I'm not certain how elucidating it is to discuss the form of cinematography from a philosophical perspective in response to technical questions about a specific film stock. Certain stocks react differently under specific conditions and, as I have never used the aforementioned stock, I thought that individuals with more experience could provide some insight into its performance under these conditions. I completely agree that shot composition, lighting, and, above all else, intent inform the end result much more than the vessel in which said result is documented. Great art can be captured using anything - film, digital, iPhone, potato. An understanding of the techniques, chemistry, and physics involved simply increases the consistency and efficiency of your output. Thank you for your thoughts.


Edited by Nicholas Liang, 18 April 2017 - 01:21 AM.

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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:33 AM

Great art can be captured using anything - film, digital, iPhone, potato. An understanding of the techniques, chemistry, and physics involved simply increases the consistency and efficiency of your output.

 

No, disagree. Art is never captured but made. That’s not philosophical.

I think you have to learn about the subject-object cleavage.

 

Techniques are not understood but learnt. You have a pair of hands, I hope. There’s τέχνη.


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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:53 AM

Simon can you provide some high res examples of cleavage please.. early Sophia Loren if possible .. 60,s Cinecitta..  Im very willing to learn more .. 


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#8 Nicholas Liang

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:00 AM

 

No, disagree. Art is never captured but made. That’s not philosophical.

I think you have to learn about the subject-object cleavage.

 

Techniques are not understood but learnt. You have a pair of hands, I hope. There’s τέχνη.

Apologies. I assumed that, on a forum dedicated to cinematography, the fact that we're focusing on capturing creative expressions post-inception would be implicit and uncontroversial. 


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#9 Chris Burke

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:31 PM

Simon can you provide some high res examples of cleavage please.. early Sophia Loren if possible .. 60,s Cinecitta..  Im very willing to learn more .. 


Second that request. ..
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#10 Michael Rodin

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:10 PM

Soy Cuba must have been shot on Soviet panchro negative, KN2 I guess, which is quite far away in grain structure from '22, and Urusevskij could have asked for special processing. It was also 35mm shot mostly on a 9.8mm Kinoptik wide angle.


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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:05 PM

I would also consider Orwo UN-54 which is a slower speed stock and when I have shot some in the past I found it to be similar to Plus-X


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#12 Simon Wyss

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:48 AM

the fact that we're focusing on capturing creative expressions post-inception would be implicit and uncontroversial. 

 

Are you? Creativity has nothing to do with your technical question, has it? Else you wouldn’t have mentioned a definite film stock. To me you are like the apprentice with chisel and hammer in his hands asking Michelangelo whether the block of stone really suits his needs. I think Michelangelo would have replied: get to know that stone, then we will see further.


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#13 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:45 PM

It might not help, but here's some super16 I shot that's tri-x processed as a negative. This stuff was hand-processed in D76 and scanned on a homemade scanner, so it's a pretty dirty and uneven, and a lab won't be using D76, so I'm not sure if it's even that helpful. But here it is: 


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#14 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:50 PM

Josh, that was quite impressive, given the limitations. However, the one thing that I have noticed for quite some time now is that hand-held 8mm and 16mm cameras need compatibility with stabilized lenses (Micro 4/3 lenses would work really well with these formats).


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