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Continuing Tests on Canon 814 AZ


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#1 Dave Perry

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:50 PM

Hey everyone.

 

I got my second batch of test footage back from Pro8mm this week. I shot 3 rolls of Vision 3 50D. This time I notched the cartridges to disable the internal 85A and used my own Tiffen screw on filter. The idea was that hopefully the bypass of the 40 year old internal filter would yield cleaner images.

 

I'm sorry to say that this run did not turn out as I expected. Most of my shots are under exposed. I'm thinking that bypassing the internal filter signaled the light meter to take different readings and that the use of the external screw on filter caused the under exposure. I had the film scanned to 2k log and applied a Vision 3 LUT in post, as I've done in the past. However, I've had to boost the highs so much and bring down the lows that it is exaggerating the grain, not what I want.

 

I will post some clips soon but does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

Thanks.


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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 06:53 AM

lots to discuss.

 

Indoor? Outdoor? Why use a 85 filter on daylight balanced stock?  You lost 2/3 a stop of light on an already slow stock. You are probably correct that the metering may be off, but in auto exposure that would adjust the aperture. Did you not pay attention to the aperture or what was it reading during different stocks. I ask all this and maybe more because, shooting outdoors with an 85 up front would give you a warm image. What did it look like? How underexposed was it?


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#3 Dave Perry

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:40 AM

lots to discuss.

 

Indoor? Outdoor? Why use a 85 filter on daylight balanced stock?  You lost 2/3 a stop of light on an already slow stock. You are probably correct that the metering may be off, but in auto exposure that would adjust the aperture. Did you not pay attention to the aperture or what was it reading during different stocks. I ask all this and maybe more because, shooting outdoors with an 85 up front would give you a warm image. What did it look like? How underexposed was it?

 

 

Hi Chris,

 

Sorry for the missing info. Yes, daylight stock shot outdoors.

 

My understanding is that Vision 3 50D cartridges are loaded with tungsten stock, but when inserted into the camera, the cartridge triggers the mechanism to engage the internal 85. It's not the stock that is different, simply the cartridge case. I notched the cartridges to disable the internal 85A and used my own Tiffen screw on filter. I get my stock from Pro8mm.

 

I payed attention to the aperture when shooting this batch and the previous batch, which turned out nicely. I took light readings with the camera's light meter then set the aperture manually based on the readings (old habit, rarely do I shoot using auto anything).

 

The only difference (I thought) was that this time I was using an external 85 rather than the camera's built in 85. I'm wondering if the metering may have been off, not because of the use of the external 85, but because of the mechanism that engages the internal 85 was bypassed.


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#4 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:27 AM

Ya you have a few things incorrect here.

 

First. There's no 50T stock out there from Kodak. 50D is exactly that: Daylight stock. So outside there is no need for a filter. And you saying you "notched" them to disable the filter doesn't make sense. You have it backwards. Daylight cartridges come with NO notch cut so that the cartridge pushes the pin inside the camera to disable to the 85 filter from being used at all since it's already balanced for daylight. If you were cutting out a notch that would actually enable the filter to be used on daylight which is bad. If you cut a notch, enabled the filter by having the switch on "sun" and then put another 85 filter on then you were doubling down on filters that weren't even needed in the first place. Also that effectively put your ASA at like 20 (if my math is right) with a heavy orange cast. So you'd need to correct that cast in your color correction manually and not via a LUT. and need a lot of light which also would account for the underexposure.

 

I think you may have been reading up on how Vision2 was notched which was incorrect on Kodak's part. Vision3 and I believe Pro8mm notch everything correctly now so that the auto exposure will be fine.

 

As far as the filter, if you don't want to use the internal filter, that only applies to 200T and 500T stock and you don't need to modify anything. Just set the filter to bulb when outside then screw on your filter and you'll be fine, even with autoexposure as the camera meters through the lens.

 

Hope that helps!


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#5 Dave Perry

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:44 AM

Ya you have a few things incorrect here.

 

First. There's no 50T stock out there from Kodak. 50D is exactly that: Daylight stock. So outside there is no need for a filter. And you saying you "notched" them to disable the filter doesn't make sense. You have it backwards. Daylight cartridges come with NO notch cut so that the cartridge pushes the pin inside the camera to disable to the 85 filter from being used at all since it's already balanced for daylight. If you were cutting out a notch that would actually enable the filter to be used on daylight which is bad. If you cut a notch, enabled the filter by having the switch on "sun" and then put another 85 filter on then you were doubling down on filters that weren't even needed in the first place. Also that effectively put your ASA at like 20 (if my math is right) with a heavy orange cast. So you'd need to correct that cast in your color correction manually and not via a LUT. and need a lot of light which also would account for the underexposure.

 

I think you may have been reading up on how Vision2 was notched which was incorrect on Kodak's part. Vision3 and I believe Pro8mm notch everything correctly now so that the auto exposure will be fine.

 

As far as the filter, if you don't want to use the internal filter, that only applies to 200T and 500T stock and you don't need to modify anything. Just set the filter to bulb when outside then screw on your filter and you'll be fine, even with autoexposure as the camera meters through the lens.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Hi Nick,

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Wow! I feel like a dufus! The way I tested my camera was to set the the filter switch to "Bulb", press the pin with my finger and watch the switch move to "Sun", then remove my finger and look through the gate as I ran the camera. I could see the 85 filter in place. Little did I realize that removing my finger is what allowed the filter to drop back into place. I mistakenly thought that the filter was in place to correct for tungsten film for outdoor use.

 

UGH!!!! What an expensive FU*@ING lesson! I shot 3 rolls that way!

 

It all makes sense now that I check the camera again and see that removing my finger from the pin allows the filter to drop in which in effect is what I did by notching the cartridge. No wonder it's so over exposed!

 

Anyway, thanks for helping me get it straight. That's why I'm here ;)

 

dp


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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:58 AM

I might also add that it is cheaper to purchase directly from Kodak and send it to Cinelab.com. Pro8mm is way over priced.
D is for daylight T is for tungsten. How much under? With the right scanner and colorist, many mistakes can be corrected.
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#7 Dave Perry

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:05 PM

D is for daylight T is for tungsten. How much under? With the right scanner and colorist, many mistakes can be corrected.

 

Thanks Chris. I'll check them out.

 

Believe it or not, I do know what the D and T mean. ;)


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#8 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:06 PM

Ya sure! Honestly when I started shooting Super 8 a couple years ago, I did A LOT of reading on these forums and others and constantly typing into google "(camera name) (film stock)" in hopes that a video or forum would pop up showing that the combo would work. Even then I got mixed results. The problem being that Kodak and other companies haven't always stuck to the guidelines or changed the guidelines to stock and cartridges and the way cameras read the film over the past 40 years so it's not as user friendly as it used to be. With that said, I actually do think that nowadays they've finally smoothed it out plus Vision3 has a TON of latitude that allows one to shoot Super 8 in almost any camera and get halfway decent results. It's the overthinking that sometimes gets in the way! haha.

 

Also I echo Chris. Pro8mm is overpriced for sure. If you look at the other thread I just commented on or search "budget super 8" (I think that's what the thread was called) which is another thread where pricing is discussed, you'll see cheaper alternatives for shooting Super 8 so that each rolls isn't quite as much of a hit to the wallet. But still not dirt cheap unfortunately. That's just Super 8...


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#9 Ruben Arce

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 04:09 PM

I wouldn't recommend using the internal light meter on any old super 8 camera and non professional 16mm cameras. These cameras are old now and some materials and batteries were used back in the day that are not available these days, most Selenium light meters for example are not working or are accurate now, and mercury batteries are not around any more. I know in your case the light meter takes power from the AA batteries powering the camera, but it would be a good idea to compare the internal light meter with a hand held reflected meter against an 18% gray card.

 

As you know the light meter inside the camera is a reflected meter, that can be easily fooled by bright or dark scenes. A sunny day at the desert, the beach or the mountain with snow in the ground will cause your meter to underexpose.

 

I would recommend using a hand held incident meter, it doesn't have to be an expensive one, and I recommend over exposing film by half stop. With film it is better to over expose, and half stop is nothing. That would allow to compensate for the difference in light transmission of your lens if it as F-Stops instead of T-Stops.


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#10 Dave Perry

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:59 AM

I might also add that it is cheaper to purchase directly from Kodak and send it to Cinelab.com. Pro8mm is way over priced.
D is for daylight T is for tungsten. How much under? With the right scanner and colorist, many mistakes can be corrected.

 

Hi Chris. So far, from what I can tell, Cinelab is more expensive. I've reached out to them for clarification on pricing.

 

I'm a colorist as well, and it's anywhere from 1-2 stops under. Too much for my purposes. Boosting luma brings out too much grain. 


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#11 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:54 AM

Personally, I disagree Ruben. I've bought probably 8-10 Super 8 cameras over the past couples of years (from an 814XL-S and Nizo 801M to a crappy Bell & Howell or Argus-Cosina) and every single one has given me great exposures on autoexposure with various stocks, especially given the latitude of V3. I personally think that's part of the fun of Super 8; the run-and-gun style. Plus if you use an external meter you should probably also account for the ~1/2 stop light loss from the prism in Super 8 cameras as well. But like I said, I've generally always shot auto unless I needed to lock exposure for a specific purpose.

 

Also Dave I'm not sure how you see that it's more expensive. CineLab is $15-18/roll for processing and around $17.5/roll for HD Best Light telecine or $25/roll for 2k scan (which I recommend over telecine. It's a HUGE difference). So if you buy V3 stock for $26+ processing for $18 + 2k scan for $25 that's $70 without shipping which adds probably $15 but you should be sending in multiple carts at a time to offset that cost. Pro8mm starts at $100/cart for 2k stock+process+scan packages and 1080 is at like $130 due to the telecine process needing color correction. The 2k is cheaper due to being a flat scan so less work for them.

 

I recommend Gamma Ray Digital for scanning over anywhere else ($27.5/roll for 2k scan). It's better than anything I've gotten scanned at Pro8mm or CineLab for a number of reasons although they are all pretty solid in the end. It was easiest to grade, sharpest and also he has a special stabilizing method for Super 8's naturally shifty gate issues.


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#12 Dave Perry

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 11:32 AM

Also Dave I'm not sure how you see that it's more expensive. CineLab is $15-18/roll for processing and around $17.5/roll for HD Best Light telecine or $25/roll for 2k scan (which I recommend over telecine. It's a HUGE difference). So if you buy V3 stock for $26+ processing for $18 + 2k scan for $25 that's $70 without shipping which adds probably $15 but you should be sending in multiple carts at a time to offset that cost. Pro8mm starts at $100/cart for 2k stock+process+scan packages and 1080 is at like $130 due to the telecine process needing color correction. The 2k is cheaper due to being a flat scan so less work for them.

 

 

Nick, just got a response from Robert at Cinelab and he sent me pricing for telecine (which I would never do) but not LOG scanning. I contacted Gamma Ray also. Too bad they don't process the film also. I like the convenience of fewer shipments.

 

Thanks for the info.


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#13 Ruben Arce

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:50 PM

That's right Nick, You would have to compensate for F vs T-Stop, the prism (if the camera has one), I would add half stop to over expose a little and very important use the right shutter angle. People assume that the shutter angle on Super 8 cameras is 180 degrees as in professional cameras, the reality is shutter angle on most S8 cameras is 200 or 220 to allow more light into the film. In the case of the Canon 814 AZ the shutter angle is 155 degree, and that's a third of a stop difference.

 

Yep so many things change when you use a hand held meter and the internal one, I'm not saying they don't work (when they work) I'm saying a light meter averages the tones on the frame, sometimes you'll get perfect exposure, sometimes under or over exposed images, because the light meter doesn't think, it uses information based on the reflectance of the subject, so if we are shooting for fun or "shoot and run" style it works. If we want to take advantage of the film to an extreme, then hand held, research and thinking is the way to go.

 
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