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what is the look under sodium available lights


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#1 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 11:50 AM

hi all
yes i'm preparing my first drama as a "dop"
the film will be shot in algeria by the end of september.
i'm using the agdvx100A (imposed by the director who baught one recently) and a 35 print will be made out of it.

Some night scenes will take place in a street lighted only with sodium street light.
my concern is what is the the way the agdvx manage the spectrum of the sodium wich is regularely "rich" un the greens (over 20 pt)
should i recreate a sodium look out of a controled light projector or is there a way to manage with the practicles.

is there a follow focus for this cam i should ask for?
at what distance is the minimum focus without a wide angle adaptor and is it serious to strart a production without such an item.

for the grip equipment i have 35 tools available for free (crane, spyder, head and tripod) how can i handle this cam on the shoulder?

if you've experienced tricks you want to share don't hesitate it's my first job after nearly 8 years as a cam assistant in the 35 industry and i'm a bit exited about the project
thanks
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 12:26 PM

hi all
yes i'm preparing my first drama as a "dop"
the film will be shot in algeria by the end of september.
i'm using the agdvx100A (imposed by the director who baught one recently) and a 35 print will be made out of it.

Some night scenes will take place in a street  lighted only with sodium street light.
my concern is what is the the way the agdvx manage the spectrum of the sodium wich is regularely "rich" un the greens (over 20 pt)
should i recreate a sodium look out of a controled light projector or is there a way to manage with the practicles.

is there a follow focus for this cam i should ask for?
at what distance is the minimum focus without a wide angle adaptor and is it serious to strart a production without such an item.

for the grip equipment i have 35 tools available for free (crane, spyder, head and tripod) how can i handle this cam on the shoulder?

if you've experienced tricks you want to share don't hesitate it's my first job after nearly 8 years as a cam assistant in the 35 industry and i'm a bit exited about the project
thanks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


There are different kinds of "sodium vapor" lights used for street lighting and security lighting. "Low Pressure" sodium vapor lamps emit an almost pure set of spectral lines at 589 nanometers, with almost no output in other portions of the spectrum. No way to correct the color to anywhere near "normal", other than replacing the lamps.

"High Pressure" sodium vapor lighting is quite yellow, but with a somewhat broader spectrum:

http://www.sylvania..../LightAndColor/

http://www.sylvania..../HIDTechnology/

Sodium Lamps
High-pressure sodium sources, such as SYLVANIA?s LUMALUX® lamps, were developed primarily for their energy efficiency. Mercury and sodium vapors in the ceramic arc tube produce a yellow/orange light with extremely high LPW performance and exceptionally long service life (up to 40,000 hours). High-pressure sodium lamps render colors poorly, which tends to limit their use to outdoor and industrial applications where high efficacy and long life are priorities. Variations within the LUMALUX family of lamps include a Standby version with 2 arc tubes for rapid re-strike after power interruption. LUMALUX PLUS® ECO® eliminates cycling at end-of-life. Low pressure sodium sources, are also available. Since these lamps produce light at only one wavelength in the yellow region of the spectrum, they are used where energy efficiency and long life are the only requirements.


http://members.misty...n/dschlamp.html

http://www.wendycarl...vis/color3.html

http://www.heliopan....c2/000000d1.htm

http://www.westingho...oducts_07.shtml
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#3 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 08:00 PM

thank you Mr Pytlak, always there when we need you!
do you think it make sens for the lab to film a Mc beth chart in every different light?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 08:07 PM

Since sodium lights are so difficient in other colors, color-correcting out the orange cast (more of a pinkish-orange on video, more yellow on film) tends to produce a monochromatic image -- there are no other colors to recover.

This may be fine for some shots, although it's probably best to embrace some of that color cast rather than try and remove it.

The best trick is to light the foreground with tungsten lights gelled the same color as the sodiums; since these are full-spectrum sources, once you time some of the orange out you still have some other colors in the foreground skintones.

Otherwise, use the sickly orange color as a style... maybe even light the foreground in a completely different color, like cyan for a mercury-vapor or Cool White fluorescent look, for a mixed-color look.
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#5 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 09:41 PM

Hello,
As I was typing Mr. Mullen has said what needs to be said on this subject, but what I will add is that I have shot night exteriors recently (on DV and 35mm) both times I lacked the crew/time/money to fight against the existing lights (as you no doubt also will), and therfor decided to incorporate them into the look I was going for. The key for me is to use the existing lights to light the backgrounds and putting my own motion picture lights on the actors faces (street lights look bad on faces). As David said the best way to balance the b'ground with your actors without ending up with a very monochromatic look is to gel your tungsten lights with a combination of gels that simulate sodium/mercury vapour (I have attached a still were I used a combo of 1/4 blue/1/2 green/ 1/2 Straw on a kino then corrected out some orange in Telecine to give the background lights a less orange look I shot 5218).
Good Luck.
Cheers.Walkin_gab_copy2.jpg

Edited by Tomas Haas, 26 August 2005 - 09:44 PM.

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#6 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 02:35 AM

thanks for sharing.
so if i understand correctly :
- i light the face with the look of my choice OVER the sodium light. (if i want to avoid the monochromatic effect)
- I can keep the sodium back light effect
- I play with the sodium untouched in the background

so acording to you there are no differences from light to light on a street lighted by sodium vapor because it has a single frequence on the spectrum
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#7 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 02:41 AM

thomas your exemple is verry good but in my case, in algeria, the street have no shop lighted to justify a soft light it's only dark and vapor sodium (not much to play with)
i was remembering the look in "happy together"WKW lighted by C doyle (but he is more talented than i'm and was using 320 agfa in 35...)
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#8 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 03:28 AM

Hello,
Jean-Marie I cannot speculate what the color characteristics of the bulbs in Algeriean street lights are, but I know that there are many variations in bulbs, evident in the links that John Pytlak provided, bulbs even seem to shift in color depending on their age, I have shot tests with a video camera before on a street with only sodium Vapour lights and it seemed that almost every bulb had a slightly different color ranging from almost pure CTO orange to a strange pinkish/Red. There is no way to guarantee what color the bulbs are going to be, Also you should remember that changing the shutter time from 1/48/1/50 generally increases the risk of color fluctuation.

The stills I attached in my last post were from a short I shot on 35mm, the advantage you have shooting with the DVX is that if you have a well calibrated monitor on-set you will be getting a very good idea of what color the street lights are reading as, and can balance the light you are using on the actors against it, by eye, on the monitor.

Here is another example of balancing tungsten Key lights against sodium vapour that I did on the same shoot, For this scene I went the opposite way of the last still and I gave the key a similar color to the sodium vapour street lamps, then corrected out the orange in post (I used a kino with 216 diffusion and Full Straw as the guys side key) so that guys skin would retain it's warmth while letting the background cool off a bit.Gab_flare2.jpg
Cheers.
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#9 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:37 AM

thanks it's verry interresting, i like the "elegant thin" approach of this lighting the sodium effect is there but verry light....not the thick orange monochromatic effect.
i love it

here is an exemple of the main actress in the sodium light of Alger (sorry it's out of focus) but it gives a good idea of the sodiums over there
it was shot with the nikon d70 with a tungsten setting
http://www.cinematog...e_types/gif.gifDSC_3639copie.jpg
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 10:05 AM

Film tends to record more "hidden" colors, i.e. if you shoot in daylight on tungsten film without the 85B filter, enough red information is recorded that it can be recovered in timing. Same with shooting under Full Orange -- there will generally be enough blue information to pull out later in post.

Digital is less forgiving - if a face looks really blue or orange on tape, odds are high that there is not much opposite color information to pull out, especially if shooting on a compressed format with limited color space, like a 4:1:1 DV camera. In this case, I'd be more likely to light the foreground actor in front of a sodium-lit background with 1/2 Straw or something rather than Full Straw as I would with color negative.

Conversely, digital color-correction tools are more powerful than tradition film printing allows, but if you don't have the information in the original, it's not there to be manipulated, hence why shooting film and posting digitally tends to give you the widest range of options.

With the DVX100A, I would be more likely to try and get the color on the faces closer to what I wanted in the final project at the time of shooting and plan on a miniumal correction in post to remove some of orange sodium look but not all of it.
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#11 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 12:05 PM

brilliant!!
thanks all that's what i needed
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