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  1. #1

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    Using flash with C41 films .. any suggestions?

    Hello all- I spent the better part of the morning scouring google for info on this topic before posting, so please forgive me if its been asked before.


    Im a long time digi shooter that has gone all film, shooting mostly 6x7 (pentax) and some 6x6 (rolleiflex 2.8E). During my digital days, I was a big fan of using strobe lights on location (not speed lights) and ND filters to knock down the overall light. THis technique made for a very dramatic look when you shoot at F 2.8 or below (with the strobe putting out F8 ish but the ND filter compensating). This weekend, if it ever stops raining, Im wanting to try this look again but with film. I have many film stocks to choose from being that Ive become a film hoarder...but Im not sure which to choose. My biggest concern would obviously be color shifts and issues with the high contrast scene (subject lit well, back ground underexposed a little). I will develop and scan my own C41 by the way (wont be using slide).

    My thoughts are:
    - Portra 160 rated at 100
    -Portra 400 rates at 200
    - 400H rated at 200
    and ektar rated at box speed

    Ill be using high quality day light balanced strobes (elinchrom) ...

    Can anyone give me their thoughts on using strobes with C41 films?

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    Hello all- I spent the better part of the morning scouring google for info on this topic before posting, so please forgive me if its been asked before.


    Im a long time digi shooter that has gone all film, shooting mostly 6x7 (pentax) and some 6x6 (rolleiflex 2.8E). During my digital days, I was a big fan of using strobe lights on location (not speed lights) and ND filters to knock down the overall light. THis technique made for a very dramatic look when you shoot at F 2.8 or below (with the strobe putting out F8 ish but the ND filter compensating). This weekend, if it ever stops raining, Im wanting to try this look again but with film. I have many film stocks to choose from being that Ive become a film hoarder...but Im not sure which to choose. My biggest concern would obviously be color shifts and issues with the high contrast scene (subject lit well, back ground underexposed a little). I will develop and scan my own C41 by the way (wont be using slide).

    My thoughts are:
    - Portra 160 rated at 100
    -Portra 400 rates at 200
    - 400H rated at 200
    and ektar rated at box speed

    Ill be using high quality day light balanced strobes (elinchrom) ...

    Can anyone give me their thoughts on using strobes with C41 films?

    Thanks all!
    I do this. I wouldn't say that the process is much different. I would rate the ektar at EI 80 though.

    Portra 400 would be fine at box speed with a strobe.

    But since you WANT light falloff in the background, I would thunk Ektar would be better because it falls off quicker in lower light, but that will end up a bit bluer, try a test shot before the actual shoot, maybe throw a warming filter on to compensate for the blue cast of ektar or use a warm tone gel on the back light strobe?

    It's really individual and you haven't shown examples of your digi work to show what you want to accomplish.

    This is ektar with a strobe outside... It's NOT a good example, but you can see how the dark stone in the foreground even just shade falls off quickly

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you shot E-6 I would suggest Provia100f as your best option...


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    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  3. #3
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Ektar has blue shadows under strobes? Outdoors sometimes yes, because open shade lit by blue sky IS blue, our eyes and brains just adjust for it and we don't notice until we see it in a film that shows it accurately. I wouldn't expect that from strobe though.
    Last edited by Roger Cole; 10-13-2013 at 11:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Ektar has blue shadows under strobes? Outdoors sometimes yes, because open shade lit by blue sky IS blue, our eyes and brains just adjust for it and we don't notice until we see it in a film that shows it accurately. I wouldn't expect that from strobe though.
    I was under the impression it had just a blue cast when under exposed in general, I attributed it to the base color which is not the same color orange as other films. I'm not positive, as I am an E-6 man mostly


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  5. #5

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    Interesting. In my limited experience I've had more blue shadow issues with Portra 160 than Ektar, which tends to shift a touch magenta.

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  6. #6
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I was under the impression it had just a blue cast when under exposed in general, I attributed it to the base color which is not the same color orange as other films. I'm not positive, as I am an E-6 man mostly


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    Could be I guess - I don't recall ever actually underexposing it (overall) as I tend to be very generous with C41 exposures, but of course the shadows do get less and I haven't seen this. But I've only shot a few rolls.



 

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