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I wouldn't over-think this. The 85 filter just corrects 5600K to 3200K.

 

If using the correction is bad for colors then why shoot under 3200K lighting for an interior scene using 3200K film stock? You should put full blue gel on all your lights or use daylight HMI's and LED's instead, shouldn't you?

 

All that skipping the 85 filter does is give you a blue-ish image on tungsten film in daylight.

 

"Tree of Life" is timed on the cool side so they didn't completely correct for the missing filter anyway. Same goes for "Heat". Probably a better example is "There Will Be Blood" which was shot without the 85 filter and timed back to neutral.

 

Generally a colorist would rather start with a neutral base rather than have to start with a correction for a missing 85 before they then add more corrections on top of that, but you should do your own tests and go with what you like.

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If you shoot a comparison test, I'd include a MacBeth color chart or something with RGB panels in it so that you can see the changes in noise in each color channel.

 

Keep in mind too that in the case of a movie using a lot of natural light, like "Tree of Life", it's annoying to have to pull off the 85 filter every time the light level drops below a certain point, just to get that extra 2/3-stop exposure, and it could be a matching problems if you remove the 85 filter in mid-coverage, so it makes sense to just shoot everything without the 85 unless you want to use daylight balanced stocks.

 

In terms of digital cameras, though, it is safer to shoot closer to the correct color temperature because a digital file doesn't quite have the hidden depth of color information as film negative has, it's a bit more of "what colors you recorded and see on the monitor is what you'll have to play with in post".

 

It's better today with 10-bit and 12-bit log cameras, but in the old days of 8-bit 3:1:1 HDCAM, if you shot a scene with a heavy blue cast, you'd find that there were no warm flesh tones recorded to bring back in post, you'd basically be taking grey skin and trying to put some magenta-brown color over them (and probably ending up with a magenta-brown tint to everything...)

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Roger Deakins said on his forum that with the Alexa, there isn't much difference between using the correct colour temperature in-camera and using an 85 filter. He also said that on 'The Shawshank Redemption' he shot on tungsten and corrected in post because the shadows would be cooler than with an 85 filter.

 

http://rogerdeakins.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2871&sid=8c7765023daf10c331961e7ce3aff878

Edited by Leon Liang

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If you look on a waveform, you'll generally find with most digital cameras that the blue channel noise is higher at 3200K than at 5600K, so it makes less sense to use 85 filters for daylight.

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Thanks. Not initially, but I went with it after trying stabilization in AE. Haven't used Resolve much, and wasn't even aware it included stabilization. To be honest, I'd like to circumnavigate the foible altogether by procuring a proper 16mm camera.

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Upgrading your camera is a great idea. From what I observed in the film,it is easily fixed and will yield excellent results. Work from the dpx files.

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

Nolan and Pfister did that for one scene in the second Batman film. I think the RED Dragon sensor can handle a lot of overexposure, but I don't know how much.

 

Edit: BTW, I'm amazed at how good 16mm looks given its small surface area.

Edited by Karim D. Ghantous

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Thanks! I guess some overexposure makes for a better image, especially when the weather is overcast.

Edited by Luke Roberts

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