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Sharing a 16mm music film recently shot in a Peruvian desert cemetery. All we had for stock was 500T 7219 without filtration, so I overexposed +3 stops and pulled -2 stops in the bath for a low contrast, pastel color rendering. The film took four trips through airport x-rays despite battles with the various TSA securities, but turned out okay.

Link: https://vimeo.com/342635015

JMH

 

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Thanks for sharing, Jason. I won't say I'm a fan of softer lenses on 16mm, but there was nothing wrong with the look you got. It's still natural - unlike the nonsense colours and looks that many people introduce via software. Some footage is simply unwatchable due to the obsession with over-grading images.

I suppose you may have heard that for a scene in The Dark Knight, the DP overexposed 5219 by 5 stops. That's what you call a super dense negative. 😉

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4 minutes ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

Thanks for sharing, Jason. I won't say I'm a fan of softer lenses on 16mm, but there was nothing wrong with the look you got. It's still natural - unlike the nonsense colours and looks that many people introduce via software. Some footage is simply unwatchable due to the obsession with over-grading images.

I suppose you may have heard that for a scene in The Dark Knight, the DP overexposed 5219 by 5 stops. That's what you call a super dense negative. 😉

Thanks. Do you know which Dark Knight scene was overexposed 5 stops?

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Pfister talks about it here, "says Pfister. “I can underexpose it by 3 stops and overexpose it by 5 stops within the same frame and see the entire spectrum on the screen."

He doesn't give an example of a scene he did it on though.

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He's talking about the range of contrast within a frame, not over or underexposing a whole scene by a lot of stops and correcting it back to normal.  He's saying that there is detail in shadows that are 3 stops under or highlights that are five stops over.  If you consider the middle to be its own stop, that's a 9-stop range which is not necessarily extreme other than the fact that many digital cameras would struggle to hold detail around five stops of overexposure, particularly not without some oddness.

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16 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

He's talking about the range of contrast within a frame, not over or underexposing by a lot of stops and correcting it back to normal.  He's saying that there is detail in shadows that are 3 stops under or highlights that are five stops over.  If you consider the middle to be its own stop, that's a 9-stop range which is not necessarily extreme other than the fact that many digital cameras would struggle to hold detail around five stops of overexposure, particularly not without some oddness.

 I didn't think of it that way. Thanks for the info, good to know!

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The interview with Wally Pfister is here:

https://ascmag.com/podcasts/batman-the-dark-knight-wally-pfister-asc

You want to go to the 16:26 mark. The most he went was 6 stops over. Of course you'll want to listen to the whole thing!

It's always interesting listening to DPs talk, although I usually avoid interviews where the DP is talking about digital (and I really like digital BTW!). If film is the medium that a project is shot on, it provides a much more interesting centre of gravity for the conversation, even if most of the conversation is about lights, day-to-day things, production philosophy and locations.

Digital? I don't care in general, although some digital cameras interest me personally: most RED models; and these days I'm curious about the Micro 4/3 hybrid cameras.

16 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

many digital cameras would struggle to hold detail around five stops of overexposure, particularly not without some oddness.

I'm pretty sure that Dragon had a limit of 6 stops, and I'm fairly sure that Monstro has at least that. I'd like to know how far you've pushed those sensors, or if you have heard anything from other DPs about their clipping point above middle gray.

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Jason. I really like the result. The shots are rich in various textures and it's all very pleasing to the eye. Did you use a 85 filter?

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Posted (edited)

Does Pfister mean he's lighting at +6 stops over key (through the incident meter) or +6 stops over 18% gray through the spot meter?

I think CML found the Monstro to hold to about +2.5 stops over key in their test scene, which would translate in their test scene to +5.5 over 18% gray or just under I suspect. Alexa held to +5 I believe, which would correlate with the rated +7.8 over 18% gray. I believe...

I like the look of the Vimeo link btw.

Edited by M Joel W

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, M Joel W said:

Does Pfister mean he's lighting at +6 stops over key (through the incident meter) or +6 stops over 18% gray through the spot meter?

I think CML found the Monstro to hold to about +2.5 stops over key in their test scene, which would translate in their test scene to +5.5 over 18% gray or just under I suspect. Alexa held to +5 I believe, which would correlate with the rated +7.8 over 18% gray. I believe...

I like the look of the Vimeo link btw.

Good question. The light in that scene was fairly uniform, so I wonder if that would affect anything. At the end of the day, I should do these kinds of tests for myself. I think the Russians have a saying: a thorn of experience is worth more than a whole wood of knowledge.

Edit: Pfister used 5218, not 5219, which I don't think was out yet.

Zacuto measured 5213 as having a 10.4 stop upper limit. 5219 was 9.5. Alexa (RAW) had an upper limit of 6.8, and the RED ONE had 5.0. I assume these are values over 18% gray. None of this matters, of course, if you are shooting your movie on an iPhone. 😛  

I did see two frames of new Ektachrome 100, 10 stops apart. The base image may not have been exposed 'correctly', but it looked normal. The second image, 10 stops over, retained a surprising amount of detail, although I don't know if the colours would be recoverable.

The base for Monstro is 1600, so if you're just doing a clipping test, you must use that. The Dragon does have more total DR than the Alev-III, but it depends on what ISO you're using. From what I understand, Monstro is the gold standard now. I prefer the smaller formats personally, but it's great to have a choice. Heck, I still love Super 8.

Edited by Karim D. Ghantous
Correction

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This is a rather nice music video. Thanks for sharing.

Although the grain is smoother than it would be in a "normal" regime, a lot of highlight information and separation is lost by exposing so high on the h+d curve, despite the pull process. In other words, some parts of the frame (sunlit backgrounds) are exposed beyond return. Heavy pull and push processes distort the curve progression in general, affecting the tonal separation adversely.

 

Nonetheless, creatively, this was interesting to see.

 

Jarin

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