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Shot My First Test Roll of 16mm - Weird Light Problems!


Jon Salimes
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Finally shot my first test roll with the refurbished & serviced CP-16 I recently bought. It’s Super 16mm modified and I’m shooting Kodak, 500T. It’s worth noting that the film is expired and although I don’t know how old it is, it might be very old (3-15 years). I also got a flat-scan when I had it processed. 

The first problem seems to be some kind of light leak or something. Midway through the first shot, all of a sudden the image gets very faded and blue. It continued through the entire following shot. Strangely enough, at the end of the second shot (and the third shot that is included), when I jerked the camera down because I was about to stop rolling, it briefly goes back to normal. For what it’s worth this was maybe 1/3rd through the roll. And in between the second shot and the third, I shot some b-roll of the bright sun reflecting off a lake where I had to stop down all the way because it was so bright.

The Problem: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KUKdxBacbVwR22kFg6gFnWb2mKLu1OQb/view?usp=sharing

The second problem is this weird flash of light for a frame or two at the beginning and end of every single shot. It seems to happen pretty regularly around 64 frames before I stop rolling and 64 frames after I begin rolling (this is a compilation video of the phenomenon). It happens every single time. This problem is a little less worrysome (I can just let the take roll for a few seconds at the beginning and end of every take to neutralize it) but it’s still a little concerning.

The Problem: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MdJqbxcvYibzJFvClUxcYczGC_5Upb34/view?usp=sharing

Thank you for any help you can give!

 

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First issue could be a light leak that depends on the direction and intensity of outside light, or maybe you left the eyepiece uncovered. 

Second issue sounds like a leak that isn’t too bad until you stop the film. Measure 64 frames in front and behind the gate with a loaded camera and see where it is - probably in the mag where it fogs both the feed and take-up film. 

You could try putting strong torches inside both the camera and mag, then sitting in a totally lightproof space with the kit until your eyes adjust and then checking every nook for a glow of light escaping. 

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On 2/14/2021 at 11:03 PM, Dom Jaeger said:

First issue could be a light leak that depends on the direction and intensity of outside light, or maybe you left the eyepiece uncovered. 

 

On 2/15/2021 at 1:35 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Were you looking through the viewfinder the entire time? Leaks like that can be caused by removing your face from the viewfinder in a light situation. 

Sounds like it was the viewfinder then. I didn't even know that covering it up is a thing. The little eyepiece even fell off at one point and I didn't even bother to put it back on.

Weird that it only affected the 100ft or so in the middle of the roll. So what's the best way to deal with this? Keep the viewfinder covered between takes?

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1 hour ago, Jon Salimes said:

Weird that it only affected the 100ft or so in the middle of the roll. So what's the best way to deal with this? Keep the viewfinder covered between takes?

It can depend on the light source, intense sunlight directly onto the eyepiece will fog the film more than diffuse or subdued light.

You need to make sure your eye covers the eyepiece, or the eyepiece backlight shutter is closed. Most cameras have a way of closing the viewfinder off to protect the film from stray light, often in the eyepiece itself. The CP-16 uses an eyepiece shutter. See the manual, page 7:

http://operationalportal.com/wp-content/uploads/Cinema_Products_CP-16r_User_and_Maintenance_Manual.pdf

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17 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

It can depend on the light source, intense sunlight directly onto the eyepiece will fog the film more than diffuse or subdued light.

You need to make sure your eye covers the eyepiece, or the eyepiece backlight shutter is closed. Most cameras have a way of closing the viewfinder off to protect the film from stray light, often in the eyepiece itself. The CP-16 uses an eyepiece shutter. See the manual, page 7:

http://operationalportal.com/wp-content/uploads/Cinema_Products_CP-16r_User_and_Maintenance_Manual.pdf

Oh wow, thanks for this PDF!

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