Color Balance with a film camera...

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by WileyP, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. WileyP

    WileyP TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone. I had a question about getting a proper cb with my Nikon FE2. I am a cinematographer so I understand the concept of color temps. I received a large box full of Kodak Ultramax film for Christmas. I found out that this film should shoot in any lighting situation but I still come out with orange, blue, and green pictures. I was wondering if I could trick the camera by shooting through colored gels to counter the locations lighting. What are the best options at hand to handle this situation?
     
  2. Photo13

    Photo13 TPF Noob!

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    When you are saying that they are coming out orange, blue and green are these on the prints or scans, or are you talking about the negatives.
     
  3. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    Different light sources can produce different tints in color film. It's common for a color film shooter to use a blue 80A or 80B filter indoors for "daylight" films under tungsten lighting without a flash. Tiffen recommends a FL-D filter (purple) for use with "daylight" corrected films in fluorescent lighting or a FL-B (orange-red) filter for tungsten-corrected films in fluorescent lighting.

    http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm
     
  4. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Such films are daylight balanced. If tungsten light is used, 80A filter is required.

    What do you mean, 'trick the camera'?
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Are you referring to the effect of multiple sources of different types in one image, or to a single type of source in an image? It's much harder to correct images shot under multiple types of light source.

    Still neg film behaves pretty much like MP neg film. It has a large dynamic range that can be used to facilitate colour correction, or you can correct with the same filters that are used in cinematography.

    Imagine that you are using your daylight-balanced neg film under tungsten lighting. If you don't use a filter and you expose it in the same way that you would expose in daylight the green-sensitive layer will be slightly underexposed and the blue-sensitive layer will be quite underexposed. This makes subsequent colour correction more difficult to achieve perfectly than if all three layers were properly exposed (it also leads to very grainy shadows).

    If you give a stop or two more exposure - the easy way is to set your meter to a quarter of the box speed of the film - all three layers get properly exposed (unless the scene brightness range is so great that the red-sensitive layer is overexposed, of course).

    (more in a minute)
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    If you use a blue colour filter such as an 80A (NOT a 47) you are attenuating the red and green part of the spectrum to some extent - and hence losing effective speed to a similar extent as if you gave the unfiltered film more exposure. You are in less risk of overexposing the red-sensitive layer.

    You can choose any combination between no overexposure to about two stops of overexposure, and filter correction from no correction to full correction - all depending on how exact you need your correction to be. Negative film is very versatile, and digital post production is ideal for this kind of situation. It's very similar to the way that digital cameras cope with different types of light source.

    Sidebar: It's easier to use tungsten-balanced neg film in daylight than it is to use daylight-balanced film in tungsten, but we are now short of daylight-balanced still neg film and it isn't easy to use use MP tungsten neg film because of the processing issue.

    Enough for now.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wiley, I'm pretty sure that Helen has answered your question but could you post an example?

    I haven't gotten unexpected results with Fuji and was wondering what the Kodak looked like (without actually buying, shooting, developing and printing any ;)).

    If you would please, that would be great.

    thanks
    mike
     
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How would you expect a film to correctly white-balance itself when shooting in different colors of light?

    There's no such thing as a color film that will shoot in any lighting situation--in fact kodak should be ashamed for false advertisment of ultramax.

    If you read the tecnical data, you'll see that they suggest using color correcting filters in different lighting situations: http://www.kodak.com/eknec/documents/4c/0900688a8088594c/E7023.pdf
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Haven't see any ads so I won't say they are not lying but it is true that a color film can be used with any light. Just have to use the right filter. :D

    To the OP: everyone saying to use filters is correct but I wanted to add that depending on what you are shooting and what kind of light you are going for, you can also gel the existing lights. I gelled neon fixtures many times in office buildings while also using strobes. Not ever perfect because no 2 neon bulbs are exactly the same color temp but a lot better than not doing it.
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I have to say, orange blue and green sounds an awful lot like a c41 neg.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you have any scans you can post?



    ...You can't change the white balance on film like you can with digital. You have to use filters to do that.

    Although - some Fuji films (the ones with the "4th color layer" - which would be all of their 'Pro' films, and some of the Superia ones) seem to be perfectly balanced in any light. It really does work as good as they say, lol!
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I think that some of you are underestimating the capabilities of modern colour negative film. Think of a colour negative as being the equivalent of a Raw digital file - the recording medium has an inherent colour balance that can't be changed, but the colour balance can be altered during post processing. I frequently shoot ISO 400 and ISO 800 colour neg film in all kinds of light, unfiltered.

    Read that Kodak tech pub carefully. It says "For best results without special printing, use the color-correction filters in the table below as starting points when you expose these films under fluorescent and high-intensity discharge lamps." (my underlining) They don't mention filters for tungsten - only those sources that require more than a simple CCT (correlated colour temperature) change.

    The results you get from colour neg film shot under different sources depends a lot on the printing.

    It's a very different story if you are shooting reversal film because of its smaller dynamic range.

    Roughly twenty years ago when EXR (extended range) colour negative motion picture film was first released by Kodak a bunch of us spent a week with Kodak trying it out in practical situations. One of the things I was interested in seeing was how important it was to use colour conversion filters. Even back then it was noticeable that the increased dynamic range made the use of conversion filters less important than it had been in the past.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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