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Why are bad cameras the best cameras?


kye
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For some reason, I seem to get the most excited about using the worst cameras I have.  I know I'm not alone......  @dreamplayhouse @PannySVHS @QuickHitRecord @mercer

I have some spectacular cameras..  the GH5, BMMCC and OG BMPCC.  The GX85, XC10, X3000, iPhone don't have 10-bit or RAW so aren't in my top tier, but definitely are no slouches....   and yet, it's the GF3 and SJ4000 action cameras that make me the most excited.  My eyes somehow skip over the nicest lenses and camera bodies but yet linger on those cameras and cause "what if" thoughts.  I have similar thoughts about some of my worst lenses too.

It's like there's a satisfaction from getting results that are better than they should be.  A thrill about 'cheating' perhaps?  It's not about image quality, otherwise it'd be the GH5 or BM cameras every time, but it's not.

I think there's something in here about limited dynamic range.  I've noticed that many people seem to be afraid of contrast these days too - maybe it's from staring too long at LOG footage and forgetting that film created rich contrasty images?  Sure, these lower-DR 8-bit 709 cameras clip pretty hard, but according to imaging-resource the GF3 has about 10 stops of dynamic range.  According to ARRI, colour negative film has 5.5 stops of DR between 2% and 90%.  Who knows what film they were talking about but it's a real measurement from a reliable source so it's in the ballpark and worth consideration.  According to Sony rec709 has about 5.2 stops - pretty similar to film.
This means that we can take the 10-stops from the GF3 and add contrast so that we compress a couple of stops into a highlight rolloff and a couple more into the shadow rolloff and we'll be in the right range of contrast.  This equates to 'stretching' the dynamic range of the middle stops.  Assuming that the in-camera profile hasn't compressed any highlights/shadows then we only have to stretch the middle stops by a factor of two, which is do-able - just, but in combination with poor quality compression it benefits from a little blurring to smooth over any jagged transitions.

I also think it might be the level of detail and sharpness.  Steve Yedlin showed that a developed 35mm film has about 2-3K resolving power and high levels of noise (Resolution Demo pt 2 ~19:00).  The sharpness is interesting too - film is resolution limited by how soft it is, whereas digital isn't.  However, on moderate bitrate cameras the codec tends to obscure fine detail (but not creating artefacts so bad they have overly sharp edges), so this is a comparable aspect too.  It's one reason I shoot 1080p on the GH5 - to control the fine detail to a more organic amount.

BUT, regardless of the above..  I just know that I get more excited by these 'lesser' cameras than the better ones.  I'm looking forward to getting better at grading with higher contrast looks, film emulation looks, and other nicer and stronger and more nostalgic image processing.

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  • kye changed the title to Why are bad cameras the best cameras?
EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Ah, Kye, you are my hero! @kye. Regarding video, a GH1 would be my entry into the world of 8bit wonders. I started with the G6, beautiful creamy, well resolving HD. I take pride in having used it until it quit working. GF3, well, touch screen beast with a hump. You are the champion of cameras oddities.

big hug and shouts to ya! I will look for some of my G6 oddities and post them if you allow.

Btw G6 was darn spiffy in emulating a look. I enjoyed regarding some of that stuff. Such fun colour response, once I found a trick. @QuickHitRecord made a Lumix FZ47 Superzoom shine with his grading moves.

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1 hour ago, PannySVHS said:

Ah, Kye, you are my hero! @kye. Regarding video, a GH1 would be my entry into the world of 8bit wonders. I started with the G6, beautiful creamy, well resolving HD. I take pride in having used it until it quit working. GF3, well, touch screen beast with a hump. You are the champion of cameras oddities.

big hug and shouts to ya! I will look for some of my G6 oddities and post them if you allow.

Btw G6 was darn spiffy in emulating a look. I enjoyed regarding some of that stuff. Such fun colour response, once I found a trick. @QuickHitRecord made a Lumix FZ47 Superzoom shine with his grading moves.

Please do share some G6 footage!

I bought the GF3 for stills images and it didn't disappoint...  it was an MILC that shot 12MP RAW images, and was actually pocketable with the 14mm f2.5 lens.  Think of the hype around the P4K when it came out, when all it did was the same thing, only it shot those RAW images continuously and recorded sound at the same time.

Ironically it was bested by the Canon 700D - the only camera I still own that I don't shoot with anymore, despite it being Canon colour science and the largest sensor I own!  Being good for stills sure doesn't automatically translate to being good with video, that's for sure.

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7 hours ago, kye said:

 I think there's something in here about limited dynamic range.  I've noticed that many people seem to be afraid of contrast these days too - maybe it's from staring too long at LOG footage and forgetting that film created rich contrasty images?  Sure, these lower-DR 8-bit 709 cameras clip pretty hard, but according to imaging-resourcethe GF3 has about 10 stops of dynamic range. According to ARRI, colour negative film has 5.5 stops of DR between 2% and 90%.  Who knows what film they were talking about but it's a real measurement from a reliable source so it's in the ballpark and worth consideration.

Film doesn't underexpose well so you get crushed blacks rather quickly hence the contrasty look but it obliterates digital in highlight DR latitude. Kodak Vision has been championing their motion film stock and I remember reading it gives DR readings anywhere from 12 to 20 stops depending on scan techniques and recovery methods. You can check some of the charts yourself:

https://www.kodak.com/content/products-brochures/Film/VISION-200T-Sellsheet_US_4PG-EN.pdf

The wider exposure latitude in KODAK VISION3 Films differentiate film capture from the limited dynamic range of digital capture. Digital "dodging and burning," a very powerful tool in the colorists' toolkit, is now even more powerful—up to two stops more image information can be extracted from scene highlights in VISION3 Films.

If traditional 10-bit scanner data encoding schemes are used to digitize films having this extended density range, highlight information captured on these film could be lost. Kodak has recommendations for extracting the full density range stored on high dynamic range films in a technical document titled Scanning Recommendations for Extended Dynamic Range Camera Films

Also recommend some of the great accompanying videos :

 

notice at 1:40 how the DP states he overexposed the highlights by 6-7 stops and again at 2:00 the field is 4 stops over and the sky 7 stops over before recovering the highlights. have fun achieving that kind of highlight latitude in digital!

..again at 7:37 overexposing the grassy area by 3-4 stops and perfect recovery.

Just some extra food for thought when comparing film to digital.

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14 hours ago, Django said:

Film doesn't underexpose well so you get crushed blacks rather quickly hence the contrasty look but it obliterates digital in highlight DR latitude. Kodak Vision has been championing their motion film stock and I remember reading it gives DR readings anywhere from 12 to 20 stops depending on scan techniques and recovery methods. You can check some of the charts yourself:

https://www.kodak.com/content/products-brochures/Film/VISION-200T-Sellsheet_US_4PG-EN.pdf

The wider exposure latitude in KODAK VISION3 Films differentiate film capture from the limited dynamic range of digital capture. Digital "dodging and burning," a very powerful tool in the colorists' toolkit, is now even more powerful—up to two stops more image information can be extracted from scene highlights in VISION3 Films.

If traditional 10-bit scanner data encoding schemes are used to digitize films having this extended density range, highlight information captured on these film could be lost. Kodak has recommendations for extracting the full density range stored on high dynamic range films in a technical document titled Scanning Recommendations for Extended Dynamic Range Camera Films

Also recommend some of the great accompanying videos :

 

notice at 1:40 how the DP states he overexposed the highlights by 6-7 stops and again at 2:00 the field is 4 stops over and the sky 7 stops over before recovering the highlights. have fun achieving that kind of highlight latitude in digital!

..again at 7:37 overexposing the grassy area by 3-4 stops and perfect recovery.

Just some extra food for thought when comparing film to digital.

Yeah, there's lots to talk about in there, but I think the reality is that it's just different.  Digital highlights are spectacular quality until they clip and quality goes instantly to zero, whereas film has a rolloff that just gets lower and lower quality, almost forever.  Sure, you can bring the highlights down a couple of stops and there isn't nothing there, but try exposing skintones at 5 stops over and then bring them down by 5 stops - that will show that film doesn't have the DR of an Alexa, and not in a particularly kind way either!  Shadows for both are similar for film and digital in that they both descend into a noise floor, and for that you have to take some sort of signal:noise ratio as the threshold, but of course we're aware that this can be gamed and that the practical and aesthetic attributes of this don't line-up to the maths of testing software and the 'enthusiasm' of camera PR departments.

My point was that by the time you take a 10-stop digital image and effectively flatten the top couple of stops into a rolloff and the bottom couple of stops into a rolloff then you're not going to be missing much.  Sure, film might have had another few stops compressed into the highlight rolloff and maybe you could recover a bit of stuff from them, but when presenting that rolloff in a final grade where it's up close to 100IRE it's barely-perceptible data with almost zero contrast, so any differences between the two in that final image aren't going to be that visible.

I'm also aware that Kodak went on an all-out offensive in defence of film as digital was taking over and they were fighting for their lives.  I remember going to a lecture by a Kodak technician in about 1995 and it was just 90 minutes of them talking about how film had more DR and that it meant you didn't have to light as accurately and so it paid for itself.  He may as well have just got onto his knees on the stage and begged us to keep using film so they wouldn't go bankrupt. I remember leaving the lecture and just thinking 'but the tech will continue to get better' - it was almost embarrassing.

Besides, rec709 broadcast had a similar DR and that's what we have seen for out entire lives apart from HDR and movie theatres.

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Sadly, most cameras that have a lot of DR are out of the reach of most people or even if they are cheap they are probably a Huge camera. But looking back at thousands of pictures I have taken, hundreds of videos the better looking of both photo and video were cameras with a lot more DR to them.

Sure, color science adds to it but without a good spread of light to dark they are not very interesting unless it is a total stand out shoot. Not quite sure what the answer is other than stealing TomTheDP's Arri, but I am rethinking all I have or had. Surprisingly the newer Smartphones are better at DR than some of the older stuff, especially M4/3 cameras not surprisingly.

The one trouble with better DR cameras are that they are a pain in the butt on average to get the best out of them. No auto anything on most of them, and the better the lens the better the output. So not a cheap option for sure. Decisions, Decisions.

The bigger the sensor helps no doubt. So, FF cameras are sort of the answer.

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On 6/24/2022 at 1:14 PM, IronFilm said:

That 10 stops of DR would be for photos, while for videos it would be less than that. 

Yeah, you kind of assume it'll be less, but getting any info on the DR of the video mode of early cameras seems to be impossible when I've gone looking. 

Having a few stops less certainly isn't ideal, even to emulate lesser film stocks, but I do think there's sufficient scope for getting a nice amount of contrast.

14 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Sadly, most cameras that have a lot of DR are out of the reach of most people or even if they are cheap they are probably a Huge camera. But looking back at thousands of pictures I have taken, hundreds of videos the better looking of both photo and video were cameras with a lot more DR to them.

Sure, color science adds to it but without a good spread of light to dark they are not very interesting unless it is a total stand out shoot. Not quite sure what the answer is other than stealing TomTheDP's Arri, but I am rethinking all I have or had. Surprisingly the newer Smartphones are better at DR than some of the older stuff, especially M4/3 cameras not surprisingly.

The one trouble with better DR cameras are that they are a pain in the butt on average to get the best out of them. No auto anything on most of them, and the better the lens the better the output. So not a cheap option for sure. Decisions, Decisions.

The bigger the sensor helps no doubt. So, FF cameras are sort of the answer.

Good points and you're right, although DR is getting better with each new sensor generation.  Smartphones are getting smarter through taking multiple exposures in super-quick bursts which works a lot of the time (but not all the time) and of course are benefiting from improvements in sensor tech too.

I do think there's a point where things are enough though.  One of the main challenges I have found is fitting in the stops of DR that you get from a modern camera into the limited DR of 709 - it's a question of what parts of the luma range to throw away and/or which to compress, and in making those decisions you're deciding about which things should have contrast and which won't.  

I guess part of my point with this thread is that the lower DR from 'worse' cameras forces you to choose that when filming, and also makes you have a "full" amount of contrast with most scenes, which I think is a fundamental aspect of nice images, except in very-low DR scenes of course.

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On 6/23/2022 at 7:48 AM, kye said:

According to ARRI, colour negative film has 5.5 stops of DR between 2% and 90%.

Now, @kye I'm a big fan of your posts, steeped in research and a relentless pursuit of the truth, with a generous doses of suspicion of received wisdom and contempt for misapprehension and hearsay. But in this case you might be a little bit guilty of some of the things that you so rightly rail against!

I haven't read the link as I'm drinking wine on holidays in Tuscany, but surely the point being made in that document is that the difference between 2% and 90% reflectance of linear light is 5.5 stops (it's straightforward multiplication), and not that negative film has a dynamic range of 5.5 stops (slide film might, depending on the film).

On 6/23/2022 at 7:48 AM, kye said:

 According to Sony rec709 has about 5.2 stops - pretty similar to film.

No, it's not similar to film, unless you're talking about Velvia slide film, for example, which does have a very limited dynamic range because it's so contrasty. Negative film can record a lot more. Around 10 stops is probably the lowest I've seen (Ektar 100). That's the recording medium. The display medium traditionally was paper (about 7 stops) for print photography, depending on the paper, and I don't know how many stops a projector could reproduce but I'd guess that for movies the dynamic range of the negative was compressed to fit the dynamic range of the print film.

Sony's point about Rec709's dynamic range being around 5.2 stops has a lot to do with the dynamic range of a traditional CRT display. And historically this was all that was needed. Black paper and white paper in flat lighting conditions, ie: TV studio lighting. If you watch old BBC shows like Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean you'll notice that the interior scenes, where lighting could be controlled, were shot on video, and exterior scenes (where it couldn't) were shot on film. It was all compressed for shitty old TVs. But you can still spot the difference.

On 6/24/2022 at 6:03 AM, kye said:

try exposing skintones at 5 stops over and then bring them down by 5 stops

Any Vision 3 film or still film based on Vision 3 technology should be ok at 5 stops over for skintones. The highlights will be a bit compressed for sure, but the skin itself when properly colour balanced should look fine. Here's Portra 400 at 5 stops over:

2064131109_KP400_22brack1209con1.thumb.jpg.950dd98e07a225be8fe266c01a6635e3.jpg

Anyway, these are just small points and your thesis still stands: that there's a lot to be gained from shooting with "lesser" digital video cameras.

To that I would add for you specifically Kye or anyone else reading this thread who is interested in image quality - which I define as (in order of importance) colour interpretation, stops of light reproduced and resolution - get yourself a 1990s/2000s autofocus film SLR that will accept one or more of your existing lenses and shoot some film OR any film camera. If you like pretty pictures, it leaves digital in the dust.

But yes, we are shooting on digital devices that record 10+ stops and have been for quite some time now. The average scene brightness range is 7.5 stops and if you're grading for a Rec709 display, traditionally that meant quite a bit of contrast. So if your camera A does 12 stops a camera B does 10 those 2 extra stops are in the very bright highlights and the very dark shadows. However, with an insipid Netflix drama grade where everything just looks like they shot in log but forgot to apply a lut you would definitely notice a difference. I don't think film ever looked much like that (although it could, if we had wanted it to). And we'll look back on the log look in ten years' time with the same rueful sense of aesthetic horror as we view any decade's transgressions of taste, until in another decade or two they become cool again and everyone scrambles to recreate it.

So don't throw out your first gen Sony S-Log thingy, just as I've kept my MiniDV Canon XM2 that I expect to be asked to make a music video on any day now.

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10 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

Now, @kye I'm a big fan of your posts, steeped in research and a relentless pursuit of the truth, with a generous doses of suspicion of received wisdom and contempt for misapprehension and hearsay. But in this case you might be a little bit guilty of some of the things that you so rightly rail against!

I haven't read the link as I'm drinking wine on holidays in Tuscany, but surely the point being made in that document is that the difference between 2% and 90% reflectance of linear light is 5.5 stops (it's straightforward multiplication), and not that negative film has a dynamic range of 5.5 stops (slide film might, depending on the film).

No, it's not similar to film, unless you're talking about Velvia slide film, for example, which does have a very limited dynamic range because it's so contrasty. Negative film can record a lot more. Around 10 stops is probably the lowest I've seen (Ektar 100). That's the recording medium. The display medium traditionally was paper (about 7 stops) for print photography, depending on the paper, and I don't know how many stops a projector could reproduce but I'd guess that for movies the dynamic range of the negative was compressed to fit the dynamic range of the print film.

Sony's point about Rec709's dynamic range being around 5.2 stops has a lot to do with the dynamic range of a traditional CRT display. And historically this was all that was needed. Black paper and white paper in flat lighting conditions, ie: TV studio lighting. If you watch old BBC shows like Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean you'll notice that the interior scenes, where lighting could be controlled, were shot on video, and exterior scenes (where it couldn't) were shot on film. It was all compressed for shitty old TVs. But you can still spot the difference.

Any Vision 3 film or still film based on Vision 3 technology should be ok at 5 stops over for skintones. The highlights will be a bit compressed for sure, but the skin itself when properly colour balanced should look fine. Here's Portra 400 at 5 stops over:

2064131109_KP400_22brack1209con1.thumb.jpg.950dd98e07a225be8fe266c01a6635e3.jpg

Anyway, these are just small points and your thesis still stands: that there's a lot to be gained from shooting with "lesser" digital video cameras.

To that I would add for you specifically Kye or anyone else reading this thread who is interested in image quality - which I define as (in order of importance) colour interpretation, stops of light reproduced and resolution - get yourself a 1990s/2000s autofocus film SLR that will accept one or more of your existing lenses and shoot some film OR any film camera. If you like pretty pictures, it leaves digital in the dust.

But yes, we are shooting on digital devices that record 10+ stops and have been for quite some time now. The average scene brightness range is 7.5 stops and if you're grading for a Rec709 display, traditionally that meant quite a bit of contrast. So if your camera A does 12 stops a camera B does 10 those 2 extra stops are in the very bright highlights and the very dark shadows. However, with an insipid Netflix drama grade where everything just looks like they shot in log but forgot to apply a lut you would definitely notice a difference. I don't think film ever looked much like that (although it could, if we had wanted it to). And we'll look back on the log look in ten years' time with the same rueful sense of aesthetic horror as we view any decade's transgressions of taste, until in another decade or two they become cool again and everyone scrambles to recreate it.

So don't throw out your first gen Sony S-Log thingy, just as I've kept my MiniDV Canon XM2 that I expect to be asked to make a music video on any day now.

Good points, but I think perhaps you took a few things out of context.

Firstly about the DR figures..  your quote was correct - I did say "colour negative film has 5.5 stops of DR between 2% and 90%", and I did mean that, however, I absolutely did not mean "colour negative film has 5.5 stops of DR", which is a completely different statement and one that is factually incorrect, as you point out 🙂 

(As you said that you didn't read the page I linked to, ARRI actually said "Current color negative materials can capture a dynamic range of 9 stops" and then had a summary table that outlined the exposure values at various points, of which the 2% was three stops below mid-grey and 90% was 2.5 above mid-grey).  

The reason I quoted stops of DR (either for the 2%-90% range for film or 5.2 stops for rec709) was to establish an absolute measure for how much contrast in a scene would translate to how much contrast in a given image.  

What I mean by this that when you adjust the image so that the clipping point of your input file is at 100IRE and your noise floor is at 0IRE, you can then adjust the contrast knob and you decrease the amount of stops that fit between (say) 10IRE and 90IRE, without losing the total DR (because it compresses that in the rolloffs).

The point of mentioning these things was to make the comparison between the DR captured by these "worse" cameras and the level of contrast in a properly lit/exposed film pipeline (eg in theatres), or a properly lit/exposed 709 (eg video broadcast).  This means that in these lesser cameras, by the time you shoot something in their 709 profiles (and maybe add some contrast or rolloff in post) then you're getting a similar level of contrast in the final image to these reference pipelines.

The purpose of that comparison was to say "these cameras have a similar level of contrast to get the looks that are desirable and even nostalgic".

I would go further than this actually, I think that given the (perhaps) 7-8 stops of DR in the video mode of these "worse" cameras it's easier to create an image for non-proficient colourists than it is to do so with a camera that captures more DR.  I know that when I was grading the images from the XC10, I had trouble with its ~11 stops of DR, because I wanted to keep everything it captured, all the way from the texture in the clouds to the subtlest shadow details.  
I don't know what it was about that challenge that kept me from getting it right, if it was that when I added enough contrast I would lose any contrast in the parts of the image that got pushed into either rolloff, or if I didn't know how to balance the level of contrast with saturation (converting the XC10 C-Log into rec709 using the CST or Canon LUTs gave crazy saturation that I didn't know how to deal with at the time).  Regardless, it was essentially too much for me to handle and I struggled.  Had I been given an image with those levels of contrast built-in, I think I would have just taken what I was given and did what I could with it.

There's also an element of the paradox of choice.  The more choice we have with something, the more that we get anxiety around not having chosen the best option.  The optimum amount of choice is (of course) not zero, but actually the peak where anxiety hasn't yet overtaken the experience is quite low in the overall spectrum, certainly lower than people would think, especially in todays world where manufacturers are always pushing us to think that more options is better.

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10 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

Any Vision 3 film or still film based on Vision 3 technology should be ok at 5 stops over for skintones. The highlights will be a bit compressed for sure, but the skin itself when properly colour balanced should look fine. Here's Portra 400 at 5 stops over:

2064131109_KP400_22brack1209con1.thumb.jpg.950dd98e07a225be8fe266c01a6635e3.jpg

 

Interesting, that's a lot more forgiving than I would have thought, being that 5-stops over is pushing things right up into the highlight rolloff.  Maybe I should have said 7 stops over!

Just goes to show the relative "bit-depth" of analog and what kind of subtleties are there, should they be expanded out to be more visible.  I guess that really emphasises the importance of bit-depth, and suggests why cameras like the ARRI, the Canon 5D with ML, etc have such great and flexible images.  In a way, the 9-stop DR of film that ARRI was talking about is 9-stops combined with an almost limitless bit-depth - such a great combination for colour subtlety and richness.

Every time I try and emulate the look of film in a project (not in a technical way but using pre-existing LUTs or transforms) I learn a lot about image aesthetics and colour and contrast and tone.  I really need to get back into shooting more little tests and grading them just to get more practice.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

The reason I quoted stops of DR (either for the 2%-90% range for film or 5.2 stops for rec709) was to establish an absolute measure for how much contrast in a scene would translate to how much contrast in a given image.  

Ah, I see what you mean now. The reason I misunderstood you is because 2% to 90% = 5.5 stops is a measure of light reflectance. It's a property of the scene and not of the recording medium. It's true no matter what camera you're using.

1 hour ago, kye said:

Interesting, that's a lot more forgiving than I would have thought, being that 5-stops over is pushing things right up into the highlight rolloff.  Maybe I should have said 7 stops over!

Ha ha! Yes, seven stops is pushing it a bit even for Portra 400. However, the image is still usable, if not optimal:

245322472_KP400_22brack1211con1.thumb.jpg.9fc87a7b14cf010c4b6e08f13caf99d4.jpg

Now please don't say "I should have said eight" as I've run out of images in this series 😂

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4 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

Ah, I see what you mean now. The reason I misunderstood you is because 2% to 90% = 5.5 stops is a measure of light reflectance. It's a property of the scene and not of the recording medium. It's true no matter what camera you're using.

I think it might be helpful if you'd read the link I posted?  The figures are about the Characteristic Curve of the film, which is how exposed the film is (density) when it's exposed to certain amounts of light by the scene.  

4 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

Now please don't say "I should have said eight" as I've run out of images in this series 😂

9 stops! 🙂 

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So, Arri cameras loaded with Kodak 35mm film are bad cameras then? 🙂

My best "bad" camera seems to be my GX85, Ibis and form factor are perfect. Give it 10bit and call it GX Ten. Should be a hit and a great camera.

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3 hours ago, mercer said:

what SLR/Lens was that with?

Canon EOS 1n with Sigma 70-200 2.8. In truth, the camera body doesn't matter so much for image quality on film, only the lens and film stock. Aside from practical considerations of AF ability and perhaps minimum shutter speed. 

1 hour ago, kye said:

The figures are about the Characteristic Curve of the film, which is how exposed the film is (density) when it's exposed to certain amounts of light by the scene.  

Yes but the reflectance values are a measurement of the light values in the scene, not of the film. Yes, they translate to density values on film. And they translate to RGB values in digital video. But the 2% to 98% = 5.5 stops is a characteristic of light, not of cameras.

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:48 PM, kye said:

It's like there's a satisfaction from getting results that are better than they should be.  A thrill about 'cheating' perhaps?

This. It's more satisfying to get a lot out of a little than a little out of a lot. And this applies in a much more profound way when you're just shooting stuff solo, for fun.

It becomes, "Look what I was able to capture -- wow!" versus "This is all I was able to do?"

Of course, it all changes in the context of a time-sensitive/high pressure paid shoot, when you need all of the help you can get.

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