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Matching Film and lenses for Stills.


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#1 photomoto

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 11:59 AM

I am shooting stills for a commercial. I am fairly new to this, and need to know if I can match the ISO of the film in the camera to my film in the still camera with no problems. I will be shooting transparency. What would anyone reccomend as far as film type for this?


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#2 Filip Plesha

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 02:59 PM

you will not have any more problems matching MP ISO to still ISO that you would have matching ISO of different still films.
The problem is that not all still films have accurate ISO ratings on the box. Sometimes it is exagerated, and sometimes it is rated with a bit of headroom (in case of negative film).

What slide film were you planing on using?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:35 PM

You don't need to match what speed stock the camera is using because you aren't going to use their f-stops either. You just need to be able to get a correctly exposed image under the lighting being used for the scene, and a shutter speed that is reasonable for handholding the camera.

It is not unusual for a still photographer to use Ektachrome 320T when the DP is using 500T negative stock in the camera. Sometimes the still photographer has to push his film though. You're basically on your own, doing whatever it takes to get a good exposure. Talk to the DP and find out how they are exposing creatively (like whether a face is supposed to be a little dark, if the scene is supposed to be moonlit, etc.) But you don't have to match ASA, f-stop, and shutter speed on your still camera to what the movie camera is doing because generally it's not possible.
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#4 Filip Plesha

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:37 PM

why are they using reversal anyway?
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 05:57 PM

I assume you are the same person that also posted at Photo.net. I am a little confused by your description of what you are doing. Are you actually going to be INCLUDING some stills in the commercial, or are you just getting some publicity photos and/or highlighting how the commercial is going to be made?

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#6 photomoto

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 07:44 PM

They want me to match each camera shot, for story board, and publicity shots.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:07 PM

They want me to match each camera shot, for story board, and publicity shots.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Storyboards are made before a scene is shot, not afterwards. I can understand matching the shot for publicity purposes but it doesn't have to be a dead match because if it did, they can just scan the original movie frame.

If you really wanted a closer match, you'd be shooting on the same motion picture negative stock anyway.

As for why unit stills photographers on sets use mostly reversal film, it's because that's what they get asked to deliver because that's what magazines and other publications have traditionally asked for. But I see digital stills cameras more and more on sets these days, and I've delivered digital stills to magazine editors who asked me for photos to be included in the article. I think magazines just traditionally did not want to receive either prints nor dupe negs, hence the preference for slides. But now as they want digital files instead, it's becoming less necessary to shoot reversal.

Stills photographers shoot a mix of formats these days, including some b&w negative sometimes for behind-the-scenes "art" shots.

One thing that bugs me about stills photographers is that they never try and match the filtration on the camera, so if the movie has an obvious ProMist look, it's odd that the stills for scenes are shot sharp. And the stills photographers can't get the same anamorphic lens flares being used creatively for that type of photography either. And rarely are the stills in the same aspect ratio of the movie.

This is one reason why Kubrick eliminated set photographers shooting scenes back in the 1960's and spent his time printing shots from a dupe negative to be used in publicity. The "American Cinematographer" article on "Barry Lyndon" is full of beautiful frame enlargements. Besides, a still photographer would have had trouble shooting those candlelight shots done at f/0.7 without a tripod and longer exposures.

I understand the importance of the set photographer for marketing purposes and documentation of the production, but personally, I also prefer using actual frame enlargements for magazine purposes. One of the advantages of doing a D.I. or shooting HD is that it is easy to get some still frames from the digital master.
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#8 photomoto

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:53 PM

I know that storyboards are done before the shoot. And they will be filming using negative film stock.

They want each shot on the list matched with a still photo.
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