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I shot a short roll of Kodak 500T (16mm). Upon finishing I noticed, much to my dismay, that the ISO on my light meter was set to 50. So, the fast film's exposure index is rated at 500T and I overexposed by how many stops? Can either push or pull (pull, right?) processing save this spool? The negative is probably pretty dense too, right? I saw a latitude test where film was overexposed by 5+ stops and it looked nice. Hoping there's a way to remedy this problem.

Edited by Luke Roberts

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You overexposed by 3 and 1/3 stops, which is savable assuming you exposed correctly for 50 ASA and didn't overexpose on top of the overall overexposure. You may have some loss of detail in very light-toned objects though, hot highlights, etc.

 

You could have it pull-processed by 2-stops if you want, that would make the negative closer to normal density. Trouble is that a lot of 16mm labs don't offer pull-processing, just push-processing, but these days with all film processing being somewhat special, maybe the lab would be OK with pull-processing it for you. Otherwise, with normal processing, it will just be very dense -- it can be printed down, if printing, or it can be corrected in a telecine transfer, you just may see some noise in the whites.

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Spectra offer pull processing on 16mm film, but they have a 400' minimum. You can put your film on "standby" which means they wait for 300' other feet of film before processing the whole batch, but I can't imagine they would offer pull processing on that, since you'd probably be waiting a long time for someone else who also needed their footage pulled 2 stops as well. So if you have 400'+ of footage, that's probably the way to go, but it sounds like you probably shot 100', in which case, give them a call?

 

http://www.spectrafilmandvideo.com/Lab.html

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You overexposed by 3 and 1/3 stops, which is savable assuming you exposed correctly for 50 ASA and didn't overexpose on top of the overall overexposure. You may have some loss of detail in very light-toned objects though, hot highlights, etc.

 

You could have it pull-processed by 2-stops if you want, that would make the negative closer to normal density. Trouble is that a lot of 16mm labs don't offer pull-processing, just push-processing, but these days with all film processing being somewhat special, maybe the lab would be OK with pull-processing it for you. Otherwise, with normal processing, it will just be very dense -- it can be printed down, if printing, or it can be corrected in a telecine transfer, you just may see some noise in the whites.

Thank you for the quick and informative feedback! Is this how you figure out the stop differential?

 

...50 100 200 400 (500) (600) (700) 800...

1+ 2+ 3+ 1/3 2/3 3/3 4+

 

I'm going digital intermediate with this footage, but I'd still like to get pull-processing done if possible.

 

 

Spectra offer pull processing on 16mm film, but they have a 400' minimum. You can put your film on "standby" which means they wait for 300' other feet of film before processing the whole batch, but I can't imagine they would offer pull processing on that, since you'd probably be waiting a long time for someone else who also needed their footage pulled 2 stops as well. So if you have 400'+ of footage, that's probably the way to go, but it sounds like you probably shot 100', in which case, give them a call?

 

http://www.spectrafilmandvideo.com/Lab.html

 

Thanks! Yes. 100'. I've been meaning to try out Spectra, although at first I wasn't even sure if they were still in business (low-profile internet status I suppose)! I'm positive you guys have heard of this lab before; it's a great deal nearer to me than those long-standing SoCal laboratories (not that distance matters). On their processing form, you can choose Pull 2 from a drop down menu. I'm assuming that means pull-process by 2-stops?

 

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I'd be interested to see the results of this! Please post a frame grab or video link when finished.

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I'd be interested to see the results of this! Please post a frame grab or video link when finished.

Will do!

 

Yes, 400 / 500 / 640 / 800 -- Luke had "+3/3-stops" before "+4-stops" which doesn't make sense, they are the same thing.

No, it doesn't. But using a comma without a conjunction doesn't make sense either.

 

 

Anyhow, thanks for the clarification.

Edited by Luke Roberts

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We do Pull Processing at Cinelab it's just a per foot charge of $0.10/ft over the normal developing cost. Pull Processing is running the developer faster so it's fairly easy to put the Pull onto the processor at the end of a normal run and adjust the speed for it.

 

I have seen 500t intentionally overexposed 5 stops for a look.

 

With a Pull -2 and a Data scan it should be recoverable to a normal look.

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I recently did a +3 overexposure with a -1 pull, from Cinelab with a data scan, and it looked great. I was very happy with the results. You have a bit of space in the gamma to work with with a flat .dpx file.

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I'm getting a data scan done. Any tips on coloring and exposure?

 

We do Pull Processing at Cinelab it's just a per foot charge of $0.10/ft over the normal developing cost. Pull Processing is running the developer faster so it's fairly easy to put the Pull onto the processor at the end of a normal run and adjust the speed for it.

 

I have seen 500t intentionally overexposed 5 stops for a look.

 

With a Pull -2 and a Data scan it should be recoverable to a normal look.

 

Thanks. Do you you have any samples or examples of Cinelab's work? Although I've already sent the film out to be processed and scanned with a Pull -2 on the aforesaid roll.

 

I recently did a +3 overexposure with a -1 pull, from Cinelab with a data scan, and it looked great. I was very happy with the results. You have a bit of space in the gamma to work with with a flat .dpx file.

I wonder if ProRes 4444 will have the same amount of space?

Edited by Luke Roberts

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I have been meaning to put up a specific scanner and demo page on the web site, as the only lab in the Northeast we are pretty busy and I haven't got to it.

 

Here is my Vimeo page and all of the film materials on my page were done at Cinelab

 

 

www.vimeo.com/lunarfilms

 

 

We don't release any clients film but it's in TV shows, Features and Ad work all over the world.

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I'd be interested to see the results of this! Please post a frame grab or video link when finished.

There you go. Everything turned out nicely. I added a bit of contrast to it.
flotsom8_zpslljfmjvq.jpg

Thanks again, David.

 

I have been meaning to put up a specific scanner and demo page on the web site, as the only lab in the Northeast we are pretty busy and I haven't got to it.

 

Here is my Vimeo page and all of the film materials on my page were done at Cinelab

 

 

www.vimeo.com/lunarfilms

 

 

We don't release any clients film but it's in TV shows, Features and Ad work all over the world.

Thanks for the info!

  • Upvote 2

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Amazing! Try getting away with that in the digital world!

Seriously! I'm quite astonished by film's overexposure latitude and overall beauty. Also, I think the lab must have fixed the color balance for me. I don't have an 85 filter (not sure if I'm fond of the look either) and planned on color correcting myself since I went the D.I. route.

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The 85 filter doesn't really have or create a look if you are using it for tungsten film in daylight, it just converts 5600K light into 3200K light. Shooting without it and correcting it in post does create a subtle look shift because you've underexposed your reds in relation to your greens and blues without the filter. To my eyes, skin tones get a little more pastel and blues and greens get a little more intense, but conversely on some color-correction systems, attempting to get the blue cast leads to a slightly brownish image.

 

My general rule is to skip the 85 filter for movies that I want to be neutral to cool, and to use daylight stock or the 85 filter for movies I want to look neutral to warm. So I've skipped the 85 filter for winter movies shot in snowy landscapes but used it for desert movies.

 

Some of this is just about flexibility in color-correction because you have a big correction away from blue just to get a neutral image if you shoot in daylight without the 85 filter on tungsten stock, which makes it harder to time in even more warmth if you want a golden image. You may find, for example, that with an overexposed shot that also needs to be corrected for the missing 85 filter that your blue channel is so dense that it is printing at 50 points, so you can't correct anymore in that direction without trimming the printer. On the other hand, since the blue layer is the grainiest (fastest) on tungsten balanced film, by shooting without the 85 filter you do improve some of that graininess in the blues, but at the expense of a thinner red record, and faces contain a lot of red.

 

The other thing to keep in mind that 85 filters have some UV correction built into them, unlike other warming filters like Corals, so skipping the correction means you may have some UV washiness / haze in daytime landscape shots. Of course, you often need ND filters anyway outdoors and they have a little bit of UV correction in them.

 

This is one reason for the Tiffen LLD (Low-Light Daylight) filter as a replacement for the 85 for daylight interiors when you wouldn't need an ND -- it's basically a super Skylight UV filter with minimal light loss and it shifts your printer lights slightly away from having an over-dense blue layer.

  • Upvote 3

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Since most older movies can only be seen in a video transfer, the color subtleties of using or not using the 85 filter in daylight are near impossible to see. John Alcott was probably the most vocal proponent of not using the 85 filter and "Barry Lyndon" is a good example, if you can see a print in a theater. He specifically felt that the greens of nature were reproduced more vibrantly by skipping the 85; besides "Barry Lyndon" you might be able to see this Alcott's photography of "Greystoke". In fact, a number of U.K. cinematographers were fond of dropping the 85 filter, probably due partially to dealing with the lower daylight levels in the U.K. -- Alex Thomson was another cinematographer who often talked about why one should not automatically use the 85 filter outdoors, though he often warmed up the image instead with Coral filters. So in his case, I don't know if the Coral replaced the 85 or if he started with a base of no filter and corrected the image in timing and then added Corals to get warmth beyond that. I suspect he had sort of a halfway approach, using a light Coral as a base and then adding from there.

 

Dante Spinotti's "Heat" is another good example of a daytime movie shot on tungsten stock without the 85 filter.

 

Once daylight-balanced 50D and 250D stocks appeared by the late 1980's, you started to read less about shooting without the 85 filter, I think half of those cinematographers switched to the daylight stocks.

 

There are plenty of movies that went for a colder color cast by not using the 85 filter, "The Shawshank Redemption" for example, or "Saving Private Ryan", which used an 81EF instead of an 85.

  • Upvote 1

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Since most older movies can only be seen in a video transfer, the color subtleties of using or not using the 85 filter in daylight are near impossible to see. John Alcott was probably the most vocal proponent of not using the 85 filter and "Barry Lyndon" is a good example, if you can see a print in a theater. He specifically felt that the greens of nature were reproduced more vibrantly by skipping the 85; besides "Barry Lyndon" you might be able to see this Alcott's photography of "Greystoke".

 

This reminds me of Lubezki not using the 85 on "The Tree of Life," because it "homogenizes" the color. What causes that effect? Why is correcting in post different?

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