Jump to content

Color Correcting Tungsten Balanced Film to Daylight in DaVinci Resolve - 16mm


Recommended Posts

I'll be shooting a 16mm project exclusively on 500T soon and had planned to simply correct the color balance to daylight in DaVinci Resolve. Whilst I do have experience with color grading 16mm film in DaVinci, I don't have very much experience at all correcting one stock of film to an opposite color balance. Does anyone here who has any experience in this field have any advice, tips, guides, or steps they'd generally take in doing so? Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Just now, Bruce Greene said:

Use the orange 85 filter on your camera when shooting daylight.

If for some reason you won’t, over expose by one stop to allow not under exposing non-blue light.

I was actually planning not to use any kind of correction filter. I heard that you can get much more out of the dye layers by not filtering out the blue in camera, but instead correcting in post. Heard it can produce a pretty vibrant look with warm skintones. I'm going for somewhat of a vintage look, hence the grain of the 500T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Owen A. Davies said:

I was actually planning not to use any kind of correction filter. I heard that you can get much more out of the dye layers by not filtering out the blue in camera, but instead correcting in post. Heard it can produce a pretty vibrant look with warm skintones. I'm going for somewhat of a vintage look, hence the grain of the 500T.

You’ve been misinformed.

For best options in color grading, correctly balance the color exposure in camera by using the 85 filter. Or use daylight balanced film.

If you don’t use the filter, when you remove blue from the skin tones, your shadows are going to turn orange due to under exposure of the orange range of colors. Neutralizing the shadows will result in noisy shadows, or you’ll need to crush them to black.

To give yourself a fighting chance at a normal color correction when shooting without the filter, increase your exposure by exposing at ISO 250 or 200.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

I have done some testing with tungsten stock outdoors in broad daylight and it's very tricky to correct it in post. It can be done, but as Bruce says, it does come out funky. I recently had a feature that I scanned and colored and they accidentally shot two rolls of 500T outdoors thinking it was 250D, mislabeling the magazines by accident. Anyway, boy was it a nightmare to grade due to it being over exposed AND way the wrong color temp. I guess in the long run, it won't matter as it's a documentary so things that look weird don't degrade the story, but holy crap getting skin tones right was a big lesson in "getting it right in the camera". 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is where a test really helps out a lot. Also, talk to the lab before hand to get their input on the matter. However, I have to agree with what has already been said. I would shoot it neutral with a 85 in place and then warm it up in post. Are you shooting exclusively outdoors? Why not try the 250D with a warming filter? Over exposing 500T is good idea. I have shot lots outdoors with 500t, the St. Patty's day parade in Southie, the lab, Cinelab was able to bring all the colors back to a "norm" There was plenty of grain still, but it was old stock and did have great retro look

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

If all you want is more saturation, I'd shoot close to correct colors and then add more saturation in the digital color-correction.

What happens when you shoot without the 85 correction in daylight is that the blue layer is overexposed compared to the red and green layer, as opposed to each layer being more balanced.

If you were printing the negative, you get somewhat more saturated blues and greens compared to reds.  I found that when doing the correction digitally, you get a somewhat brown-ish tone by taking out all of that blue by adding orange. If you opt to leave it on the cooler side, you're OK though, it looks fine but the skin tones can seem a bit paler.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

If all you want is more saturation, I'd shoot close to correct colors and then add more saturation in the digital color-correction.

What happens when you shoot without the 85 correction in daylight is that the blue layer is overexposed compared to the red and green layer, as opposed to each layer being more balanced.

If you were printing the negative, you get somewhat more saturated blues and greens compared to reds.  I found that when doing the correction digitally, you get a somewhat brown-ish tone by taking out all of that blue by adding orange. If you opt to leave it on the cooler side, you're OK though, it looks fine but the skin tones can seem a bit paler.

It's actually quite funny you'd say that. An acquaintance of mine who pushed me in the direction of shooting 500T in daylight w/no filter quite literally told me "I would recommend shooting on Tungsten and correcting it back to Daylight in post. I've been finding that it really helps give me that vintage look with cool blues but warm skin tones". So in your professional experience, would you strongly disagree with this statement? 

Edited by Owen A. Davies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

And be absolutely sure that you want to shoot 500 ISO stock outdoors in the daytime. Unless you want to stop down the lens a lot and work with a very deep depth of field, the amount of ND you're going to have to put in front of the lens, is going to make looking through the viewfinder really hard.

It's difficult even with 250D at times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/11/2022 at 7:24 AM, Mark Kenfield said:

And be absolutely sure that you want to shoot 500 ISO stock outdoors in the daytime. Unless you want to stop down the lens a lot and work with a very deep depth of field, the amount of ND you're going to have to put in front of the lens, is going to make looking through the viewfinder really hard.

It's difficult even with 250D at times.

I've always been a fan of deeper depth of field on smaller format cameras, so I planned with that exact notion in mind. Adds more detail and draws attention away from the grain in an effective way in my opinion. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

My friend color corrected a roll of 16mm tungsten stock  (500T i think) in post. You can see it here:  https://www.instagram.com/p/CBH_kDkhqO9/ 

Some DP's prefer not to use an 85 filter. Chivo as an example says that it "homogenizes the color" (Qoute from Tree of Life article in ASC magazine). The thing is that these DP's have world class post infrastructure with some of the best graders in the world, combined with extensive testing. I would guess you don't have the same luxury. If this is a low budget thing then i don't think you should worry about this, and just use an 85. There are bigger fish to fry ... 

That being said I would recommend using Resolve' printer light hot keys feature to color correct. I find it to be the most intuitive way to color correct 16 mm (Haven't done 35).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

If you want to get a partial sense of what's involved, shoot a digital photo in jpeg (not raw) of a face with a blue-ish daylight cast and try correcting it back to normal. I wouldn't go as far as setting the camera to 3200K since color negative film has more information in all three layers / channels than an incorrectly-balanced jpeg does but I'd try taking at photo at 4200K, for example, and correcting it to neutral on your computer.  And take a second photo at 5600K for reference and see if you really notice a difference in the colors of the shadows versus the highlights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

500T at dawn shot without any filter. These are very quick basic grades done in Premiere without going into colour specifics. I like the slightly unreal colours that you get when shooting Tungsten in daylight.

Screenshot 2022-02-16 at 07.16.59.jpg

Screenshot 2022-02-16 at 07.16.16.jpg

Screenshot 2022-02-16 at 07.15.26.jpg

Screenshot 2022-02-16 at 07.14.54.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

If, as you say, you are looking for warmer skin tones, just use an 85B instead of the usually called for 85.  All of those who suggest (very strongly) that you use a correction filter do so most correctly.  Their advice will save you a lot of  headache.  Hank Harrison long retired as owner of Harrison and Harrison Filters taught me that in situations where one pulls the 85 off (morning or evening) to at least add 1/8 or 1/4 coral to prevent over exposure in the Blue layer and make it much easier to color correct later.  Also those who recommend against using 500 ISO outdoors ---- especially on SUNNY days ---- are totally correct about the difficulties you will encounter.  The higher the footcandle level the more filtration required.  Artistic decisions may prompt you to move toward pulling the filter --- just be aware of the difficulties.  And TEST, TEST, TEST.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/15/2022 at 5:05 PM, Sune Bang Ingemann said:

My friend color corrected a roll of 16mm tungsten stock  (500T i think) in post. You can see it here:  https://www.instagram.com/p/CBH_kDkhqO9/ 

Some DP's prefer not to use an 85 filter. Chivo as an example says that it "homogenizes the color" (Qoute from Tree of Life article in ASC magazine). The thing is that these DP's have world class post infrastructure with some of the best graders in the world, combined with extensive testing. I would guess you don't have the same luxury. If this is a low budget thing then i don't think you should worry about this, and just use an 85. There are bigger fish to fry ... 

That being said I would recommend using Resolve' printer light hot keys feature to color correct. I find it to be the most intuitive way to color correct 16 mm (Haven't done 35).

I'd also read this about Lubezki and have seen some scans before correction; I believe they were a few stops overexposed. I get the impression there's a lot of sense behind what he's doing but it's evolved over time with synergy between labs, colorists, etc.

Those stills look great btw.

3 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

There is also the Tiffen LLD filter, which hardly loses any light but slightly reduces the excess blue while acting to cut UV -- it's sort of a super Skylight filter.

If I'm to buy one 4x4 filter for film should I go with 80A, 85B, 85?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

You absolutely need a set of ND filters, especially with 500T film outside! The question is whether to get the 85ND combo filters if you are only using tungsten film outdoors.

Thanks, David. I have IRNDs already. 

I just meant between 80A, 85B, 85, etc. I don't really know the difference well enough to know what to pick if I could only choose one filter or which would be used in what circumstances. 

Edited by M Joel W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

80A is blue, you don't need that one. The 85B is just a little warmer than the 85, it's within an easy color-correction adjustment so it's not an important decision. Technically the 85B corrects 5600K to 3200K (for what was called "Type B" film for shooting under tungsten movie lamps) and the 85 (aka 85A) corrects 5600K to 3400K for Type A film balanced for shooting under 3400K tungsten photoflood bulbs.

The real question is if you want full correction (85 or 85B) or halfway correction (81EF) or minimal correction (LLD).  The LLD is more for low-light conditions (dark interiors or twilight) where you can't afford the light loss. Outside in sunshine, the downsides of a second piece of glass probably don't justify the minor correction it provides. And using two filters can create problems if you aren't careful which is why typically you'd get a set of 85ND combo filters.

I think you should shoot a test and see if you are OK without using the 85 since you only own regular ND filters.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

80A is blue, you don't need that one. The 85B is just a little warmer than the 85, it's within an easy color-correction adjustment so it's not an important decision. Technically the 85B corrects 5600K to 3200K (for what was called "Type B" film for shooting under tungsten movie lamps) and the 85 (aka 85A) corrects 5600K to 3400K for Type A film balanced for shooting under 3400K tungsten photoflood bulbs.

The real question is if you want full correction (85 or 85B) or halfway correction (81EF) or minimal correction (LLD).  The LLD is more for low-light conditions (dark interiors or twilight) where you can't afford the light loss. Outside in sunshine, the downsides of a second piece of glass probably don't justify the minor correction it provides. And using two filters can create problems if you aren't careful which is why typically you'd get a set of 85ND combo filters.

I think you should shoot a test and see if you are OK without using the 85 since you only own regular ND filters.

Thank you. Embarrassed to admit I meant something like 81EF or LLD when I wrote 80A. But the difference between 85 and 85B was my biggest source of confusion.

Why can using two filters create a problem? And thanks again – I should have looked some of this up but your patience and knowledge are invaluable.

Edited by M Joel W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

You have to watch out for ghost reflections, it can help to tape the two filters flat to each other and use a tiltable mattebox filter tray. You just have to be vigilant. It's not a big problem other than I don't like to use more than two filters and if I ever want to use diffusion, that only leaves one more filter... so if an 85ND combo filter can replace using an 85 and an ND together, then I always opt for that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

You have to watch out for ghost reflections, it can help to tape the two filters flat to each other and use a tiltable mattebox filter tray. You just have to be vigilant. It's not a big problem other than I don't like to use more than two filters and if I ever want to use diffusion, that only leaves one more filter... so if an 85ND combo filter can replace using an 85 and an ND together, then I always opt for that.

Thanks again. That makes a lot of sense. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Site Sponsor

We are running a high profile spot for Hermes today that was shot on 16mm 500t rated as 320t without an 85 - this was on the cans that came in today.

I assume they used some ND will see when it goes on the Arriscan..

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...