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I have a short film shoot set to go to camera early November and we're shooting on Kodak 35mm film. There's a particular scene involving two characters who go out for a night in the city and involves them running through the streets, in china town shops, and restaurants. We've set aside 5219 for those scenes and will be shooting on Zeiss Super Speeds but I'm worried it still won't be enough. So I've thought about push processing. The look of push processing would also aid the story as everything is supposed to feel heightened for the characters. I've never attempted it before so I wanted to see if anyone could help answer some questions:


- Does push processing actually get you more image in the blacks or just simply up the contrast?

- How many stops should one push to get clear characteristics of push processing (grain, contrast, saturation). I've heard that modern stocks need to be really pushed to their limits before seeing clear results?

- Considering I'm shooting 500T, how do I rate the stock for each additional stop? +1 = 1000, +2 = 2000?

- Is it even worth it to get the effect chemically or can the same results be achieved in the DI?


Thanks for the help!



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Last month a customer completed a short, shot on 7213 and pushed 2 stops for grain. During tests I suggested he did an exposure test to find the real speed after pushing.The speed point (.10 above D-Min) on the curve gained no more than 2/3 of a stop. The grain was increased considerably and he was happy.

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I've shot 500t on Super 16 in various dark natural light situations (night club, city at night, apartment with only practicals etc) and I feel that with Super Speeds at T1.3 the film captures what my eyes can see. Compared to modern digital cameras with high ISO I think the 500t/Super Speed combo gives a much more natural low light image.

Problem is focus even on Super 16, running around will not be easy :)


I'd also bring a china ball on a boom pole or maybe a 300w fresnel to get extra exposure on the most important element in the scene. Just as a compliment to the natural light, not like a big lighting set up.


I've pushed 500t one stop and it looked great for night time city shots (but no faces involved).


I can't answer all your questions… but I wanted to share what I could :)

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Keep in mind that push-processing does not increase sensitivity, which is determined by the stock and the size of the grains in it. All push-processing can do is increase the density or brightness of areas that did get exposure, which is one reason why there is an increase in contrast, you are basically brightening midtones and highlights without increasing actual shadow information. Of course, the shadow detail that the stock can normally capture also becomes denser on the negative, brighter in the positive image, and that with some mild increase in base fog level can give the impression of increased speed.


As for seeing "clear results" I'm not sure what that means, obviously you get more visible graininess and contrast the more you push, depending on the degree of underexposure done.


It is not uncommon to rate the stock less than the amount of pushing, i.e. perhaps rate it 2/3's of a stop faster when pushing one stop. "Eyes Wide Shut" for example, was shot on 500T rated at 1600 ASA with a 2-stop push.

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You should research the ARRI Varicon. It will help to lift the shadows for the nighttime scenes. Pehaps shoot a test with the Varicon. A test both with and without push processing.


One more thing to consider is the VANTAGE ONE T1 Lenses :




I believe KESLOW Camera has a 2 sets for rent.

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