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Low Light Filming : Help With Stock Recommendation

Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic

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and many thanks for your help and support




I'm preparing to do a bit of filming this weekend and i'm anticipating a few seperate scenarios

in which lighting changes may warrant me purchasing 2 seperate film stocks.


I've just purchased a clean MINOLTA XL601 that has a fairly large aperture of 1:4,

which should allow for some Existing Light . Low Light Level filming.


My First question is which film stock would be best for Low Light Situations?


I had bought some Ektachrome VNF 7240 ASA 125 but i had intended to use

that for bright daylight situations.




Would it be best to shoot the Night/Low Light scenes with a manual aperture setting,

rather than on automatic?







Has anyone had experience with shooting SUPER 8 alongside a spotlight, or camera

mounted light?


What sort of effect would this have on the film and exposure if the only available light

was from a strong directional light on the camera?


What Stock and Speed would you recommend for this use?


( i'm thinking of going to home depot and rigging up a portable spotlight for this )




again, many thanks in advance for any help and advice






aerosyn-lex mestrovic . brooklyn

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If your lighting is compromised in any way I would highly recommend the Vision negative stocks and there have been many good reviews of the Vsion2 500T recently. I have some being telecine transferred at present so I can report then as to how it looks in Super8.


As regards auto or manual aperture setting, I almost always set manually, even if I am shooting off the hip home movies or something, then I know that my key subjects are exposed as I want them. In very low light you definitely want to expose manually otherwise individual light sources such as light bulbs etc, will close down the aperture if they come into frame.


AS regards artifical light, it depends on what sort of look you want to give the finished product. This will determine how powerful the light needs to be and where you place it. It might be worthwhile placing this aspect of the question in the lighting section of the forum.


Hope this is of help



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Whatever you do, don't shoot the Ektachrome.

It looks horrible, especially in low lighting.

I love Kodachrome in Super 8, so I'm always going to suggest that, but I haven't shot the new Vision2 stocks, so that may be the way to go.


Shooting with a camera mounted light is going to give you that "deer in the headlights" look, although I've shot with a 650 camera mounted light, pointed up at the ceiling, and it looks really nice, for an overall ambient fill light.

That's a good way to get your exposure up, and add other lights from there.

But don't point that thing right into the scene.


Matt Pacini

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There was a music video shot exclusively with a basher a few years ago, possibly by Michael Gondry? It may have been 8mm, but maybe 16/35 grunged up.

I think it was the morning after a party, shooting the wrecked people, it looked like a moving polaroid - hit and miss focus, permanent flash effect. I imagaine they did some colour work in post too for the polaroid look.

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