Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Coast To Coast With An Intervalometer

Published : 27th November 2003


I'm planning to take a cross country road trip (coast-to-coast) and wanted to mount a camera on my car to record the entire 72-hour trip which I could then compress into approximately seven minutes of total footage.

Basically, the plan is to start off with a brief scene shot in real time on the coast of the Atlantic and as the characters enter the car, we ramp the speed while the car races across the country and we see the vista of the open road. When they arrive at the Pacific, we ramp back to real time as they get out and play another brief scene.

I've received a number of suggestions, but I've come up with two general schemes :

1) Shoot on film (using a wide anamorphic prime) with a 1000' Mag and use an intervolometer to capture somewhere between 1 and 4 frames per minute when the car is moving, depending on the ultimate running time.

2) Shoot on DV (Dan at Panavision in Woodland Hills has offered to help me modify my DV camera so that I can use a Panavision 35mm spherical prime lens on it) and either change the tape every hour or run the camera into my laptop.

As I see it both options pose a number of challenges. In both cases, I'll have to swap out batteries (unless I can rig the equipment to run off the cigarette lighter). There are, of course, many other logistical problems.

The appeal of the film approach is that it could - in theory - be done in a single take so to speak. No changing tapes. Plus the time between frames would be so long that I might be able to swap out battery belts without interrupting the shot.

Then again, if the film jams half way across the country I might as well have shot on DV and changed tapes.

That said, I'd appreciate any advice you all have. Thanks in advance.

Josh Gronsbell,
NYU Film



Seems a perfect use of film. I'd also suggest buying a car battery and powering it off that. That will easily run the rig the whole time no matter what gear you use. Either way you should consider some form of environmental housing to protect the camera from the elements.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Josh Gronsbell wrote :

>I'm planning to take a cross country road trip (coast-to-coast) and >wanted to mount a camera on my car to record the entire 72-hour trip >which I could then compress into approximately seven minutes of total >footage.

Wow that sounds like a cool little project. Ah to be single and free again! Are you driving continuous or stopping at the occasional motel?

I think film is the easiest route here. If you are looking for 7 mins total why shoot 1000ft of film? Unless you have to shoot 35mm why not safely mount a SR or Aaton on your car or near the dashboard and shoot in S-16. 1 400ft core of film and do the math. Sounds like the perfect job for 7218. Whose going to be riding ND and exposure shotgun?

Watch out for those bug splats...

Tom McDonnell
DP
New Orleans, La



Josh Gronsbell wrote :

>Shoot on film (using a wide anamorphic prime) with a 1000' Mag and >use an intervolometer to capture somewhere between 1 and 4 frames >per minute when the car is moving, depending on the ultimate running >time.

Several unrelated thoughts -- the best one is at the bottom :

Gross overkill. Remember, there's night. A good time to change rolls.

You need a camera with a real shutter as opposed to a mirror shutter (or else you'll need a PITA capping shutter) to avoid light leak around the shutter. I'd use a Mitchell rack over with the fancy Norris intervalometer that can use a light meter (spot meter) to ride exposure -- aim the meter at a gray card or similar.

You can use 400 foot mags, as they're smaller.

I'd shoot to the rear, as the shot is more interesting because things are always being revealed, as opposed to getting closer to them. However, shots like this end up being cut down to the highlights, always. They never really work in the context of the film. You'd be better off shooting MOS stuff and recording wild dialog and making a scene out of that, if you want to do something cheap and interesting that gets you across the country.

You might include pieces of time-lapse in there, maybe.

Note that with a car driving at 70 mph there will be no relationship between frames shot 15 seconds or 60 seconds apart. Just think about it. All you're really shooting is a collection of unrelated stills.

And since that's the case, here's a cheap and good idea that's much better than film. Get a decent (6 megapixel or more) digital still camera with good auto exposure, and a laptop. Mount the camera, if it doesn't have an intervalometer I'm sure someone makes one, or you can rig one up.

Continually download the frames to a Firewire drive (or two, to be safe). Import them all into After Effects, get rid of ones that don't work, and have it output onto film at a service bureau.

Simple, small, cheaper. You can actually now afford to have two or more cameras. Intercut between a front-mounted and rear-mounted one.

Do some time-lapse scenes of the driver (every second) or a sleeping passenger, too. Use three or four still cameras. You can rent them.

Jeff "Mitchell’s are cooler, but the digital camera is better for this" Kreines



>an intervalometer to capture somewhere between 1 and 4 frames per >minute

1 frame per min will give you 60f per hour and in 72 hours you'll have 3 minutes (60 x 72 = 4320f / 24 = 180 sec = 3 min), 4 frames per minute will give you 12 minutes of footage.

So maybe 2 frames per minute is a good average, slower if you're going down straight roads with not much change, faster if you're on a curvy road with a constantly changing landscape.

Adopt a game plan with your assistant, unless you're going to be doing it all yourself. In that case, Think through your game plan before your drive.

>(unless I can rig the equipment to run off the cigarette lighter)

Easily done. Ask Panavision if they can make one for you. The advantage is that your battery will constantly be charged.

I've noticed though, sometimes it could disrupt AM radio signals, which could suck if all you're getting in some portions of the U.S. is AM.

Mitch's idea of using an extra car battery isn't a bad one.

> Then again, if the film jams half way across the country...


If the films jams (highly unlikely when the movement is going that slow, but anything can happen), then the camera will most likely stop. In which event you'll rethread the camera and keep going. Losing a few frames will not make a difference AT THIS INTERVAL.

You didn't mention where you'll be mounting the camera.

Make sure you tie down EVERYTHING properly, with safeties, etc.

You'll need some kind of rain cover system for the camera itself - it has to work in such a way that it won't blow out or act as a parachute when you are driving 55+mph.

You could ramp the exposure for sunrise / sunsets, OR you could have separate exposures for day time(s) and night time. Simple quick dissolves can look seamless in this situation.

It's a good idea to use a lower contrast stock, but that's no big deal. 5245 can look incredible. And it would help ease the ise of your ND’s.

Think about your exposure TIME for each interval. Too short can look to staccato, too long will lose detail. 1 second exposures could be good for the daytime. And maybe around 4 seconds for night to take advantage of the 'streaking' of passing car lights.

ND filters. If you can put one BEHIND the lens, it'll help avoiding ugly double reflections caused by the sun. If you go with this technique you'll have to remove the ND for the night shots, or increase your exposure, or f-stop.

If you're going anamorphic, I would paradoxically advise you to stay closer to wide open. It's one thing that can help hide pieces of debris getting stuck to the B'glass filter in front of your lens.

If you can afford renting a rain deflector, I imagine that can really help in keeping the elements off your image.

But would there be bugs during this season? What does it get like down south? What's your route? When will you be leaving?

Cheers,

Duraid Munajim
DP / Toronto



Score. Great advice everybody. Thank you. I'm going to do a number of tests and plan out everything as best as possible.

First and foremost, I'm trying to decide where to mount the camera. It could, of course, be mounted anywhere, but the most interesting possibilities are :

1/. The hood or bumper. This would yield a beautiful wide shot without any distortion, dirt or glare from the windshield. On the other hand, it would impair visibility and it's another piece of equipment with which I could have problems. Also, as several of you noted, it would necessitate an all-weather housing.

2/. The dashboard. This solution solves the problem of renting an all-weather housing and any potential safety issues stemming from a hood-mounted camera flying off at 70mph. On the other hand, if I'm going to accept the distortion of the windshield, I might as well see the action in the car.

Which brings me to :

3/. The backseat. Ideally, I would position the camera in the middle of the backseat such that the driver and passenger were on the left and right of the frame - sometimes in shadow, sometimes in light. Truthfully, this is the most interesting option in my opinion as it allows us to see both the road and the characters. I could even rig a geared head that allows me to pan from side to side in case interesting details pass by the windows.

That said, my biggest problem is that if I only expose two or four frames a minute, the "film" is really more of a collection of still images with very little, if any, connection between each frame.

So I guess the answer is to shoot some tests on both digital and film or, alternatively, use film and increase the frame rate to give each exposure more of a sense of overall context, and I could always further compress the running time later in post - especially since I'm finishing on DigiBeta.

Speaking of which, I'm probably going through Technicolor for the processing with an HD or DigiBeta transfer on a Spirit. Several of you have already recommended stocks. Any specific stock / development ideas?

My preference would be to shoot on a rich, contrasty stock such as the EXR 50 or the EXR 100, but the range of the 5298 EXR 500 is probably a better bet. Alternatively, the Kodak SFX stock yields incredibly rich colors, but you also have to be rich to afford it.

Anyway, enough ranting. Thanks again for everyone's ideas. I'm looking forward to hearing any other suggestions.

Josh Gronsbell,
NYU Film

P.S Forgot to mention that I'll probably be filming this in the beginning of December, so it should be fairly chilly.



Jeff Kreines advises :

>Get a decent (6 megapixel or more) digital still camera with good auto >exposure, and a laptop. Mount the camera, if it doesn't have an >intervalometer I'm sure someone makes one, or you can rig one up.

I concur.

In Toronto I shot the building of an office tower for a Japanese firm on 35mm still film. I enclosed the WA camera (Exacta, I think) with a bulk magazine in a heavily fortified box on a solid pole (for theft), built a simple time clock intervalometer for 1 shot/hour for 2 years and 3 months, ended up with 12 minutes, cut down to 5 by removing most night shots and Saturday/Sunday non-activity. Post production was done in Japan, I just handed over the rolls. Turned out wonderful but I NEVER want to do that again. The Japanese were not too happy : the camera had moved a bit during a few magazine changes as I had to hire someone to take care of that regularly as I also had my own jobs. So they had to reframe in post. No exposure changes other than an ND on an arm that fell down at night time and rose at dawn.

It was also VERY expensive, even so, I lost money on it.

Ah well, I was born too early. Nowadays, with digital cameras, remote controls, auto exposure et.al. it would've been a snap. And as Jeff says, it would be far cheaper, and better, than on film.

Robert Rouveroy
The Hague, Holland

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.



Josh Gronsbell wrote :

>My preference would be to shoot on a rich, contrasty stock such as the >EXR 50 or the EXR 100, but the range of the 5298 EXR 500 is probably >a better bet.

If you are shooting intervalometer you *don't need the speed* .

The shortest exposure time with a Norris rig is 1/16 of a second. Most others do not have this short of an exposure time therefore your 50 ASA stock becomes a stop and a half faster. You can do longer exposure times at night to compensate but don't forget that during the daytime when there is 11,000 footcandles of light out there you will be piling on the ND. Using something like 5298 just makes you have to change ND/iris settings more often which increases the chance for a mistake....

Mark Smith
Oh Seven Films



Mark Smith wrote :

> The shortest exposure time with a Norris rig is 1/16 of a second.

Not if you use a Mitchell with a variable shutter...you can change shutter angle more and aperture less (so DOF doesn't bounce around too much).

Jeff Kreines



Jeff Kreines wrote :

>Note that with a car driving at 70 mph there will be no relationship >between frames shot 15 seconds or 60 seconds apart. Just think about >it. All you're really shooting is a collection of unrelated stills.

Having done a shot exactly like this at night, yes it is a collection of stills and yes it does tell a story and they are not as unrelated as you think...

It can be really beautiful. Did this driving back from Maine in snow storm at night.

The digital route is certainly a way to go but what the heck, do it on film, it makes you think about it a little more and that is a challenge in and of itself. I could almost guarantee if you shoot it digitally it will become a more sloppy process because the capturing of frames will not be automated, and there fore subject to operator whim/ state of alertness, proximity to attractive females/ beer and all those other important things in life.

Mark Smith
Oh Seven Films



Jeff Kreines wrote:

>Not if you use a Mitchell with a variable shutter...you can change shutter >angle more and aperture less (so DOF doesn't bounce around too >much).

Sorry I have a rare reflex 16 Mitchell which is limited to 1/16 exposure . I'm kind of limited in my thinking in this direction. But if I recall, Mitchell focal plane shutters operate between 170 or 180 and 0 degrees, they don't open wider than 180.

Mark Smith



Mark Smith wrote :

> do it on film, it makes you think about it a little more and that is a >challenge in and of itself.

Can't argue with that.

I know when I shoot DV my IQ drops 20 points. Or so I'm told.

Jeff "needs more resolution" Kreines



Jeff Kreines writes:

>Get a decent (6 megapixel or more) digital still camera with good auto >exposure, and a laptop. Mount the camera, if it doesn't have an >intervalometer I'm sure someone makes one, or you can rig one up.

Even though I would recommend shooting on film, Jeff Kreines digital advice makes a lot of sense.

To all of Jeff's excellent advice for your excellent adventure, I'd add the following :

Check out as many time lapse films as you can to see for yourself what works and what doesn't. Many things people have thought would be terrific turned out to be duds, and vice-versa.

If you plan to mount the camera outside the vehicle, you don't need a crash box, etc. Clear heavy duty plastic zip lock bags are a great protection. Put the entire camera in the bags -- use a couple, feed the cables out, zip them up, mount the camera.

Install a clamp-on adaptor ring over the lens and the bag, cut away the part of the bag covering the lens and put on a clear filter or put a clear filter over whatever other filter you might be using -- clear filters are much cheaper. The filter will get hit by sand and gravel as well as being splashed by the windshield washers of cars in front of you. At 70 mph, windshield washer fluid and road grit can carry a long way.

Also be sure the camera is securely mounted, I know that sounds obvious, but I have suffered the anguish and embarrassment of driving over my own camera. We thought it would be cool to drive through a construction site with all the flashing lights, etc. It was, until we hit a series of large potholes at 50mph, OK maybe it was a little faster... broken and tragedy were the result.

Anyway, I've done quite a bit of time lapse driving stuff -- never as long as you are contemplating -- and concluded that the vehicle you use is one of the most important factors.

The evolution of methods went something like this :

Mitchell on the front of a camera car with operator and AC -- only good for short periods; even on a mild day the wind chill and wind forces from crouching on a front platform at 60mph were exhausting.

We tried all kinds of splash boxes and housings, including underwater housings. Too difficult and time consuming to rig and adjust, as well as dealing with problems of flare, custom fronts, cleaning, etc.

Next idea :

Vehicle with a sun roof, camera mounted on roof, BMW then Volkswagen van -- quantum leap forward. The only problem was we were often stopped by the police when we stood up to check on the camera. Maybe it was just bad luck or bad timing; one trooper followed us for hours, another made us remove the camera. Apparently, on some roads it's illegal to mount a camera externally. Also you have to have a seat belt on, not without good reason, but they've gotten really obsessive about seat belts.

Others cops just wanted to know what we were doing.

Our best overall solution for everything was finding the right vehicle. It turned out to be a full sized Dodge van. The benefits of having the camera where you can easily adjust it and where you can be sure that it is working properly far outweighed nearly every other consideration. If the lens is close enough to the windshield, there is very little distortion and very little flare. Some black masking tape and black show card will take care of 90% the other 10% will never be noticed it time lapse. We even had considered having a hole cut in the windshield -- it's surprisingly inexpensive -- but tests showed it was unnecessary.

The van had a number of other benefits aside from lots of room. The side windows could be removed for side views, very nice for transitions and going through towns. Same with the rear windows. We replaced the roll pins with cotter pins for quick replacement. The bench seats could be removed so we could simply tie down a tripod. Well anyway I'm sure you get the idea.

You can still mount the camera externally when you need/want to, and there are many more "hard points " on a van than on a passenger car.

As far as power is concerned, any competent automotive electrician or mechanic can hard wire an adaptor into the vehicle's electrical system. Save the cigarette lighter for your cell phone.

Best of luck, let us know how you make out. It sounds like fun.

Brian "Motorhead at heart" Heller
IA 600 DP



Josh,

I did a similar project [of course, only across a single state!] as yours.

We shot 2 cameras, and went from day into night.

I mounted 2 Bolex Rex-5's in a cargo van :

One camera was mounted on baby sticks and pointed out the rear widow of the van [make sure the glass is clean!].

The 2nd camera was rigged to the dash board and pointed straight out of the windshield...we had to keep the cameras inside due to weather and to not attract too much attention.

I ran both Bolex’ s on Tobin intervolometers with a large G+M block battery for each unit. I only used 100' internal loads since we ran a 400 mile stretch and converted that to a 2 minute screen-time piece...which unto itself was VERY VERY fast! Just a series of isolated frames basically.

When we approached night, I switched the exposure to a longer dwell time per frame, I think I went down to a 1 second exposure or so...GREAT streaks of head & tail lights, great streaks of city images!

It was fun!

When we stopped for gasoline, we would momentarily shut down to check for bugs and bird poop on the glass...Plus, this would have been a great time to change camera rolls if you wanted to stay in the 100' daylight loads...sure beats a large magazine hanging off the camera!

Since Bolex cameras are so tiny, you could place 2 cameras in each area...like 2 Bolex’ s with different focal lengths...or 2 identical cameras [one as a back-up], or the second camera could be a digital DV camera in tandem with the 16mm camera...again, extra coverage as well as security in case one dies.

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com



>I'm planning to take a cross country road trip (coast-to-coast) and >wanted tomount a camera on my car to record the entire 72-hour trip >which I could then compress into approximately seven minutes of total >footage.

I just did something similar (half a state) with the Aaton A-Minima. The good news about that camera is that the intervalometer is a very cool feature in a very small package. The bad news is that the longest exposure the camera will allow is 1/4 sec at any speed below 2fps. The other bad news is that you should wrap the mag in bright sunlight as there have been reports of light leaks below 2 fps. (One of those reports was mine. It was a subtle leak but it was there.)

It's a small package, though, and I had great results at 1 fps and 1 frame every three seconds. This camera and a 12mm lens would have been all I needed (although I brought a zoom just in case).

It was suggested to me that I do a couple second burst every few minutes or half hour, so that there was a long enough interval for the eye to get a sense of location. I didn't do that but it sounded cool.

1 fps worked really well on straightaways but on curvy mountain roads it was a recipe for illness or a possible seizure trigger.

I'd highly recommend 16:9. You'll see a lot more stuff going by than with a square frame.

If you go this route let me know. The production company I shot this piece for has three 200' A-Minima rolls of 7246 laying around that you could probably have cheap.

Art Adams, DP
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/



Mark Smith wrote :

>But if I recall, Mitchell focal plane shutters operate between 170 or 180 >and 0 degrees, they don't open wider than 180.

In 35mm, that's the case -- but we were looking for shorter, not longer, exposures.

In 16mm, Mitchell’s above #237 (I think) open to 235 degrees.

Not your delightful SSR16, tho. Need one someday for my collection.

Jeff "you can never have too many Mitchell’s!" Kreines



Jeff Kreines wrote :

> Not your delightful SSR16, tho. Need one someday for my collection.


Actually it is a DSR...Maybe you need one of those too?

Mark Smith



Mark Smith wrote :

> Actually it is a DSR...Maybe you need one of those too?

Ah, the double-system version!

When you decide to part with it, let me know...

Jeff Kreines



>And since that's the case, here's a cheap and good idea that's much >better than film. Get a decent (6 megapixel or more) digital still camera >with good auto exposure, and a laptop.

I would highly recommend a Canon EOS Digital Rebel. I am a colorist and if they get this picture quality @ 24 (or more fps) I will being making only digital look better.

It's 6.3M pixel SLR and comes with a great intervalometer (and more) software package that does Mac or Windows via firewire. I'm sure you could rent some very wide Canon EOS lens and the camera only costs a grand so you could do a couple as Jeff suggests and e-bay one or both at the end.

I never thought I would go digital but am thinking of selling my Canon F1 setup. Maybe Canon should get in the motion picture game??

Clark Bierbaum
Senior Colorist / Finishing Artist
The Film Foundry
Charlotte, NC



>I'm planning to take a cross country road trip (coast-to-coast) and >wanted to mount a camera on my car...

When I moved west in '88 from DC I shot the whole trip with a Super8 Nizo S560 on sticks in the passenger seat. I used the built-in intervalometer, shooting (IIRC) about 2-4 fps, with the shutter open at night to (a) get exposure on ISO 25 stock (including the 85A filter) and (b) get cool streaks of light from headlights. I *think* my night exposure were 90 seconds, though I'd have to go look at my notes to be sure (the Nizo soaked up another 1.5 stops in its beam splitter finder.

My lighting in those days was mostly about getting exposure without blowing breakers. There are some things I don't miss about the Good Old Days!.

Most was shot right out the front of the windshield, though I did some pans to shoot out the side window (including the wide-angle passenger-side mirror) and over to get me in the shot for a bit. I used to shoot a lot of stop-motion, so it was easy for me to nudge the head half a skoshe on every frame to get a quasi-smooth pan in playback.

About 66% was shot with a fisheye adapter, the rest with the lens at 7mm (Super8 focal lengths, remember). Mostly I have some part of the car--dashboard, hood, windshield wipers flicking past in the rainstorms--in frame at all time for context. And yes, a couple of bug splats.

I went to 6fps while driving through the French Quarter of N'Orleans, for a brief shot of Paisano Pete (World's Largest Roadrunner) in Ft. Stockton, and for POV walking out the beach at Morro Bay (with shutter open, as night was falling) to stick my toes in the Pacific.

The whole thing runs about 10 minutes. It's mesmerizing. Road traffic is mostly too fast and staccato to make sense of, though you can definitely see the traffic jam in Tennessee, or the rush-hour congestion around Phoenix. And the looming of mountains, the evolution of clouds and weather and light, the changing of terrain and vegetation is fascinating to watch. Slower would have been too slow to sit through. Faster would be a bit too quick to make any sense of the trip.

One set of batteries, 4 and a half 50 ft rolls of film. No jams, but I lost a few hours of overnight time-lapse on a ranch in Texas when (I guess) the camera got too cold to function.

Adam Wilt
Menlo park CA USA



Jeff Kreines wrote:

>...And since that's the case, here's a cheap and good idea that's much >better than film.

I agree with Jeff.

Haven't tried it in a vehicle, but we're currently doing a construction time lapse that will extend for 14 (theoretically) or more (realistically) months using a Nikon Coolpix 5000 camera and its accessory intervalometer, shooting a frame every 25 minutes during the day with stops at night and weekends when nothing's happening. At regular intervals the images are downloaded (I'm not doing this, so I don't recall the exact intervals.)

The 5000 (now 5400) is a 5+ mp. camera that is so small it can be mounted almost anywhere and costs less than $700 at B&H. Use two and stitch the frames together for widescreen. Accessory wide angle and fisheye lenses are available.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614



Jeff Kreines wrote :

>...In 16mm, Mitchell’s above #237 (I think) open to 235 degrees...

Ours is #186 with a 235 deg. dissolving shutter, circa 1951.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614



Wade Ramsey wrote :

>Haven't tried it in a vehicle, but we're currently doing a construction time >lapse that will extend for 14 (theoretically) or more (realistically) months >using a Nikon Coolpix 5000 camera and its accessory intervalometer...

Wade, What accessory intervalometer? I Googled that but did not come up with one. I do have a cool pix 5 K and an intervalometer would be a cool thing to have.

Mark Smith



Mark Smith wrote :

>Wade, What accessory intervalometer? I Googled that but did not come >up with one.


I'll have to check with the guys doing this, but I believe it is a part of the accessory AC power supply (which in the mobile application we were discussing would require an inverter to run, I suppose.)

Wade Ramsey



Wade Ramsey wrote :

> Ours is #186 with a 235 deg. dissolving shutter, circa 1951.

Oops. Must be a lower number...Don't have Mr. Samuelson's great books in front of me to check...

That extra 1/2 stop much have really helped in the days of Kodachrome Commercial!

Jeff Kreines



Jeff Kreines wrote :

>...That extra 1/2 stop much have really helped in the days of >Kodachrome Commercial!

That's for sure! Our widest lens was a 15mm f/2.5 Ektar for the Maurer. On a large set we had to light to about 500 fc to shoot wide open.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614



>Sorry I have a rare reflex 16 Mitchell which is limited to 1/16 exposure .

Can you actually get a reliably consistent exposure at 1/16 with your Mitchell/ Norris combo. My experience has been the 1/16 setting should only be used for half stop corrections, that the inertia of the camera movement will impinge on the accuracy at that quick pulldown. Unless you remove the flywheel from the camera.

Maybe I just have used Mitchell's with sticky movements...

Don Canfield
Gear+Rose Motion Control
New York
www.gearandrose.com



Don Canfield wrote :

>Can you actually get a reliably consistent exposure at 1/16 with your >Mitchell/ Norris combo.

In a word Yes, exposure has been reliable @1/16. Actually I've done some exposures that started at 1/16 and slid all the way to 4 seconds with the light meter interface and they were quite good. Using a Norris rig on an Arri S with the 1/16 exposure I have encountered some problems with exposure variation strangely enough.

Mark Smith



>Sorry I have a rare reflex 16 Mitchell which is limited to 1/16 exposure


A brief note of explanation here. This camera is limited to 1/16 as the shortest exposure time. it does not have the classic Mitchell focal plane shutter which will close to zero degrees if desired, which could further reduce the minimum exposure time of a single frame.

Going the other way, however, towards longer exposures, the sky, or reciprocity failure, is the limit.

Mark Smith