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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #16
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Re: Video in a darkroom

On a 60d 12800 iso will look awefull, at 3200 iso you are already looking at using neatvideo. Didn"t think about the 5DIII, think you can safely use 12800 iso on that one and should be very cheap to rent.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 07:19 AM   #17
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Hey Guys, a quick update...
Did some tests over the weekend.
Got a Nikon D800 for the tests, and also tried my own 60D.

Some observations :
- We managed to secure the darkroom entirely for ourselves. Don't think it would be really possible to get any video done if there were other people sharing the darkroom.
- Light from camera LCD was actually a non-issue, we didn't block it as it did not seem to affect the developing process in any noticeable way.
- "Darkroom" for B&W is well lit. Not a big of an issue to get decent footage as I had anticipated.
- With the 60D and the 50 1.8 lens, I could actually get a usable image in ISO 800, although it was a bit too underexposed, and honestly noise was not much better than at ISO 1600, which produced a better exposure.
- With the D800, we only had a f2.8 lens, and so we had to use ISO 1600 as well. We aim to get the D800 again for the final session with a faster lens.
- D800 seems to be producing as much noise as the 60D, however the noise is more 'film-like', less offensive. (probably down to Canon's bad downscaling/compression). We prefer the D800 image, but even so, the 60D footage is usable.
- On the 60D, I tried a few shots with increased bitrate (through ML hack) in the hope that it may alleviate the compression issues. I'll have to further scrutinize the footage, but at first glance it does not seem to me to produce any noticeable improvement.

Next stage is to see how much improvement could be done to the footage in post.
Thanks to all of your help so far, will update again...
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Old June 6th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #18
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Seems to be working OK for you so maybe useless info, but in the "old" days film was orthochromatic and only green and blue sensitive so FILM developing was done with red lights. Then the mid 50's or thereabouts Panchromatic film came along and we moved from red safelights to no safelights.

Print material is vastly less sensitive than film so the yellow safelights (ie non blue) work fine. I think in a film darkroom the lights from the camera would make a mess and I always take off my watch when loading film into holders.

Some people do use infrared night vision glasses when working in a film darkroom but most of us just do everything by feel. Particularly those of us whe remember orthochromatic film (which is still available by the way)
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Old June 6th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #19
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Just to add my 2p to the equation...........

When I was living in London shooting with a Canon XL 1s, I had some (how) printed blurb from one of the big rental companies about image intensifiers for use on same.

As what you are shooting is basically going to be monochrome, why not find a camera/ image intensifier rig you can rent?

In case I lost anybody, I'm talking about those "see in the dark" night vision devices so beloved of the military and rescue services.

They can be had to rent in single lens camera formats at at least one of the big pro rental companies in the South East UK, or at least, they could.

The newer ones make pitch black look like midday in the Sahara.

Just a thought.


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Old June 7th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #20
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Re: Video in a darkroom

You're going to need a safe-light that you can move around the room to give the bare illumination that you need. Alongside that, I'd suggest an f/1.4 lens (or faster) and one of these newfangled cameras that does crazy-high ISO (F3, C300, FS100).
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Old June 8th, 2012, 03:34 AM   #21
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Re: Video in a darkroom

if you are filming the print as it develops in a tray, you could focus and lock the shot on a tripod and then do a time-lapse with intervalometer.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #22
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Spent couple of decades in a darkroom.

If they have mercury vapor lights with an OC filter things can get fairly bright. Shouldn't be a problem with today's cameras which are quite sensitive.

You can probably add additional illumination just to see the image come up on paper. A critical eye might detect "fogging" on a print with a brighter light, but if it's just to see something appear on the print in the developer tray, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 06:07 AM   #23
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Guys, once again, thanks.

We did the shoot with the Nikon D800. Darkroom for B&W developing was relatively bright, so no need for any special measures as I had worried about before hand.

I will post some clips as soon as I can.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #24
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Re: Video in a darkroom

Why were you trying to shoot this under actual conditions?

Even for a demonstration you can light it and grade it so that it would look the same as it would to the human eye under the actual conditions. If you want to show an image develop on the paper you can do that with a bit of CG in aftereffects.

It has got to be easier to do it that way versus trying to find a camera and a setup that will work under the actual darkroom conditions.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #25
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Re: Video in a darkroom

I was helping out an artist who wanted to capture live the actual process of an image developing on paper.
Since the darkroom conditions were in fact not that harsh, this turned out to be relatively easy with the D800. Even my 60D with a fast lens produced acceptable results, though not as fine as the D800.
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