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Nate K

Best F-Stops for Expired Film

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I recently purchased the expired Kodak Film Stock listed below and would like any suggestions on the best F-Stops for exposure. I plan to telecine to 1080p or 2K. Will be using a K-3 16mm camera.

 

7246-250D

7274-200T

7279-500T

7289-800T

7298-500T

 

Thanks

Nate

 

 

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All of those stocks are fairly ancient, and will exhibit a fair degree of fogging, depending on how they've been stored. Your best bet is to send them to a lab for clip testing. Be aware that the lab will almost certainly tell you that the stock is unusable, as they don't want to be liable for poor results.

 

Try overexposing by at least a stop. If you accept that you are not going to get a perfect 'normal' image from such old stock, and you can find a good telecine colorist, you may still get images that you are happy with.

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Thank you so much Tyler! Do you have any idea what the cost would be?

I think it's $25 dollars? Something like that.

 

Knowing the fog level, will allow you to understand HOW many stops to over expose.

 

I would also experiment with over and under exposing so you know the limits vs noise level.

 

I have some Fuji stock from the late 90's that's been in the freezer since original purchase and it came out very nicely one stop over, even though the fog test said it was pretty bad.

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I think it's a mistake, I worked on the show and saw the camera reports from various episodes -- and some Vision-3 50D was used, but I didn't see anything listing EXR 50D. The Kodak article itself says 5245 in the main text but 5203 in the summary at the end. I could be wrong and maybe some EXR 50D was dug up out of a freezer somewhere.

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I think it's a mistake, I worked on the show and saw the camera reports from various episodes -- and some Vision-3 50D was used, but I didn't see anything listing EXR 50D. The Kodak article itself says 5245 in the main text but 5203 in the summary at the end. I could be wrong and maybe some EXR 50D was dug up out of a freezer somewhere.

It does say 5245 in the ICG Magazine as well. Paul Cameron is quoted as saying "it's a really rich stock that has that Marlboro feel." ICG does say that 5207 was favored by the other DPs on the show. Perhaps they used 5245 only in the pilot.

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It's just odd considering EXR 50D 5245 was discontinued in 2006. But it's possible I suppose.

I think a lot of these articles work from the same press release, so who knows?

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I would not send them for fog testing. When you send for fog testing, they will either pass or not pass very narrow definitions. And if it doest pass, they normally just throw it away. And just because it won't pass, doesn't mean you can't shoot on it. I've shot many, many times on film that not only was expired, but that the lab condemned.

 

Trick is to overexpose. Thankfully film can take a lot of over-exposure and still be fine. I would start with at least 1 stop overexposure for any expired film. Then the general rule is add 1 stop for each decade of expiration. Obviously, you will reach a point where the stock might be too old, where the radiation all around has has built up the fog levels too much.

 

Here's a good article from a stills magazine on subject:

 

http://www.popphoto.com/guide-to-shooting-expired-film

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Hey Adam, FotoKem here in Los Angeles, doesn't throw anything away or damage anything. The film comes back with a piece of paper that tells you how far off it is and most importantly, if one or more of the channels is different then the others. You can see what each layer is suppose to be and there is a little chart that tells you based on a certain percentage, how much over-exposing you'll need to do in order to get past the fog level.

 

I personally feel it's an important step because if you're shooing something critical, you NEED to know if one of the channels is way off for some reason AND exactly how much to over-expose for. It's worth the money because sometimes, the film will be totally toast and way beyond the ability of correcting.

 

I just did a fog test on some Fuji stock that was from the 90's and it was barely acceptable. It came out great, though it was VERY noisy, even with over exposing.

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