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Tungsten or Daylight

PJ Echlin

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Hi everyone! I know choosing different stocks almost always depends on the situation in which your shooting, and forgive me if I'm being to naive about the subject. 

I plan on shooting a short film soon using a Cannon Scoopic 16mm.  To my simplest understanding, daylight stocks are tuned more to shooting in direct daylight, and Tungsten are tuned more to shooting under tungsten/photofloods etc. The film takes place mostly inside a house, and due to budget constraints, I plan to shoot on naturally available light, along with strategically moving lamps and other light sources that are already inside the house to fit my needs.  Some scenes take place outside, during the day, and a few scenes outside during the night. 

For continuity within the look and feel of the film, what stock would you guys suggest shooting on? I know there are many variables and certain things you can't really predict unless on location in terms of lighting etc but what stock would be a generally good one to use in this type of situation? 

I originally planned on using 250D for pretty much the whole film, inside and out day and night, but now I'm doubting that strategy. Should I use a combination of stocks depending on the scene? And what recommendations would you suggest for day/night inside/outside? 

Like I said, If I could use one stock to shoot the whole film that would be great, just for continuity in look and feel, and so there are no mistakes when loading and shooting the film (loading the wrong stock for a certain scene etc)

I read somewhere that 250D or a daylight stock would probably be the best general stock in this situation but I wanted to get some opinions first. 

I am also getting it telecined and color graded by professionals, so if there is a discrepancy in using one certain stock for the entire film, can they fix that while grading in post? 

What stock would give me the most flexibility in grading etc? 

Thank you!



Edited by PJ Echlin
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1 hour ago, PJ Echlin said:

I read somewhere that 250D or a daylight stock would probably be the best general stock in this situation but I wanted to get some opinions first. 

I'm no professional, but definitely don't use 250D for night scenes unless you want an overly warm look (Assuming you're shooting under soft white light). Otherwise you'd need an 80A filter, effectively losing two stops of light. At that point you're at 64 ASA. Not fun. You'd be better equipped if you shot the whole thing on tungsten film, because daylight scenes would only require an 85 filter in which case you would only lose two thirds a stop of light and you'd still be at 125 ASA which is actually a very tame and versatile speed to be working with in daylight.

1 hour ago, PJ Echlin said:

For continuity within the look and feel of the film, what stock would you guys suggest shooting on?

As for image continuity between 200T and 250D in particular, there really is no visible difference. When you add 50D, 500T, etc. into the mix, then you really have to think about continuity. Here's a reply @David Mullen ASC wrote to a similar question I had asked a short while ago. Yeah, the guy knows a thing or two...

On 6/27/2020 at 3:04 PM, David Mullen ASC said:

The Vision-3 sticks have been designed to match each other fairly closely so color and contrast-wise, I don't think you'd see much difference, nothing that isn't correctable. 250 ASA is faster than 200 ASA so is slightly grainier.

In the days of EXR, 50D and 250D were more contrasty than the tungsten stocks.

For me, the decision whether to use tungsten stocks outdoors or for day interiors was a matter of (1) how many stocks did I want to carry, considering that some scenes would be tungsten-lit, (2) whether I'd want to pull the 85 filter for a blue cast outdoors or indoors, and how often.  So roughly speaking, my tendency was to use daylight stocks (plus tungsten for night interiors and exteriors) in a generally warm-toned movie and tungsten stocks for a generally cool-toned movie (sometimes not even shooting with an 85 filter and just correcting it halfway back).  Plus it also depended on whether I was keen to use 50D stock, like for a desert movie.

The other issue was day interiors -- if I wanted a warm-to-neutral look and didn't want to pull the 85 filter, then the choice was 250D rated at 200 ASA for me, or 200T + 85, so rated at 100 ASA for me, a stop difference in practical speed.  But sometimes I used the LLD filter instead of an 85 filter to help gain back more speed with the 200T stock.

For example, I shot "Seven Days in Utopia" in Texas and "Astronaut Farmer" in New Mexico on daylight stocks (Kodak 50D and 250D for the first, Fuji 64D and 250D for the second) other than the 500T shots... but when I went to Vancouver to shoot "Jennifer's Body" I just used 200T and 500T.  And when I did "Northfork", a winter landscape movie, I shot most of it on Fuji 125T without the 85 filter outside, with a few interiors on 400T.  That movie actually only had one single night interior scene in tungsten lighting.


Edited by Matthew J. Walker
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