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Hi All,

 

We recently conducted some (rough) tests on some expired (2008) Fuji Reala 500D.

 

It had been in cold storage for 8 years and in a kit cupboard in an unheated studio for 6 months.

Had it clip tested with Idaillies (now Kodak) who recommend rating the stock at 125 ASA (2 stops over).

 

Here are the test results (500 ASA stock, rated at 125 ASA with global 2 stop pull):

pass = test

 

What we were trying to test:

- Latitude of the film when rated at 125 ASA

- Performance in daylight dusk situations.

- Characteristics of different lenses wide open (or near)

- Whether shooting Anamorphic helped negate some of increased graininess from pulling expired sensitive stock.

 

Things to bear in mind:

- Only had small tungsten fixtures inside (rebalanced after transfer)

- Had to move lights at points rather than opening up

- Using old anamorphic glass (Cineovisions) for interior/exterior tests.

 

We're going to load it up in Resolve in January and see what's there in a DPX.

 

But I'm curious as to whether any one has any suggestions for why T 2.8 @ 3.5+ stops looks better than T 1.6 @ 3.0 stops .We're wondering whether it's blooming from the lenses or a higher reflective quality from the skin due to increased proximity to the light? It's not 'blowing out' but it's certainly on the edge of usable.

 

Also - we're wondering whether we're better rating the stock at 125 ASA and pulling it chemically OR rating it 500 and pulling it digitally? And whether each of those processes would have their own merit for different situations (day vs. dusk).

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Josh

Edited by Joshua Lipworth

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If you mean rating at 500 but overexposing it by two stops (thus rating it at 125 ISO on your meter if you don't want to have to remember to open up two stops after you take a reading) and developing normally versus overexposing by 2-stops and then pull-processing by 2-stops (labs don't work in ISO ratings, they just follow instructions on whether to push or pull by a number of stops)... it's a good question that comes up all the time, which probably suggests there isn't a definitive answer.

 

You should shoot a test of both approaches and come back and tell us.

 

If this were for telecine transfer, I'd say to overexpose by 2-stops but pull-process by 1-stop at least, just because when a negative gets too dense, there can be some noise in the white areas on some telecine transfers. But for a film scanner, I don't know if this is still true.

 

But perhaps if you aren't sure and cannot test, this is the best compromise -- overexpose by 2-stops and pull-process by 1-stop and correct the rest of the way in color-correction.

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I recently did a shoot with 16mm Reala 500D that had questionable storage and was probably around 6 years old. We overexposed two stops, sometimes three, and processed it normal. Scanned by Metropolis on a Lasergraphics Scanstation - we had a surprising amount of information on the negative even despite the crazy density from overexposure. The colorist on this, Andrew Francis at Sixteen19, was excited about how much we were able to play with the tones and in many cases we pushed it to the limit just to see where skin tones would land. I wondered if this was due to the fourth color layer adding some resilience. Anyway, you're shooting 35mm which will help with the grain. I was excited by the results and wish I had more of this stock to shoot.

 

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I think you'd find the Reala holds up well and over-exposing by 2 stops or more, isn't really necessary. I've done some extensive testing on even older Fuji stocks and have found they work really well even when not over exposing. I shot a lot of stuff UNDER exposed on my last test and there was still a great deal of shadow detail and contrast I didn't expect. Usually when the stocks get this old, they loose contrast and are more noisy, but I haven't see that with the Fuji stocks yet and I'm working with 16mm.

 

When I get a scanner hookup, I will scan those test rolls so you can see what I'm talking about.

 

Thanks for the cool test though!

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I recently did a shoot with 16mm Reala 500D that had questionable storage and was probably around 6 years old. We overexposed two stops, sometimes three, and processed it normal. Scanned by Metropolis on a Lasergraphics Scanstation - we had a surprising amount of information on the negative even despite the crazy density from overexposure. The colorist on this, Andrew Francis at Sixteen19, was excited about how much we were able to play with the tones and in many cases we pushed it to the limit just to see where skin tones would land. I wondered if this was due to the fourth color layer adding some resilience. Anyway, you're shooting 35mm which will help with the grain. I was excited by the results and wish I had more of this stock to shoot.

 

I really like look of this video, colors really pop with the added density. 500D was a stock I've always wanted but was never able to get a hold of any. Fuji was real sticky about selling MP film to independents if i recall. I want it mainly for the speed, where 250D and 7219 @ 320 daylight filtered are always on the edge for me.. daylight interiors or even dusk. I stay away from push processing because the costs add up, but getting away from beam splitters may help soon.

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