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class="style5" Standards In Film

>Published :

>I'm busy sorting out all kinds of paperwork, I'm being inspected by the Revenue next Friday (you have been warned!)

>Anyway, I found the following :

>Printer lights from 6 labs, UK & US, for the same '45 neg.....

>30-29-35
31-31-27
28-32-31
26-34-37
33-41-37
26-31-30

>The lab I normally use is the third in the list.

>Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net



Geoff Boyle writes:

class="Paragraph">>I'm busy sorting out all kinds of paperwork, I'm being inspected by the >Revenue next Friday (you have been warned!)

>Condolences. I hope you're able to claim CML as a dependent or at least a medical expense (as providing free therapy for members).

>Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


>No doubt The Revenue will be fascinated by the fact that some labs seem to be supplying more light than others - possibly for the same price. I'm sure you will have the where with all to explain it away, Geoff.

>I for one think it is great that different labs have different lights : it is one of the few opportunities for variation and individuality in this otherwise grey, uniform world. Imagine getting rushes reports from lab after lab - and knowing, even before you open up the page, that the same dreary old numbers will be there - day in, day out. It's like knowing that MacDonald’s grill their burgers for the same one minute thirty eight seconds in every Maccas in the world. No more, no less. Just the same old stuff, wherever you go. Just think how your day is brightened when new printer lights pop up every time, and pause for a moment to thank the lab technicians who keep you so entertained.

>I think we mostly know that the difference in lights between labs - for the same print result - is of no significance. Light vanes in the printer are set as a combination of printer lights and trim settings, and the trims are simply an offset to balance up lamp brightness and stock sensitivity between one printer and the next, and from day to day. While you would expect a well-exposed negative to print somewhere in the mid range (between 25 and low 30s), there is no other reason to expect a number of independent labs to set exactly the same reference point.

>Are the lights you mention the labs' "one-light" settings, or a graded result for a specific neg? What would be a little more revealing would be to see the same 6 labs' lights for a different stock - say a Fuji stock for example.

>Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


>So Geoff,

>Are you saying that it may be that "Timers" may have the same subjective judgment as "Colourists"?

>Or are "Timers" not allowed the same opportunity to show their creativity?

>Pardon me if I appear ignorant, but I do know that a colorist has many more tricks available to him than an timer does. It's just that timers are so much underrated and under utilized in the era of the colorist. How many jobs actually go to print, after all?

>We all have our day, and the limitations to our days....

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



>How many jobs actually go to print, after all?

>A few billion feet's worth every year, after all.

>And growing.

>Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


class="Paragraph">>Are the lights you mention the labs' "one-light" settings, or a graded >result for a specific neg? What would be a little more revealing would be >to see the same 6 labs' lights for a different stock - say a Fuji stock for >example.

>A very controlled skin tone, grey scale etc. test chart reading specific densities at specific levels.

>Fuji 64D any good for you?

>23-28-31
30-27-20
27-28-24
25-30-30
33-38-33
Sorry no lab 6 on Fuji.

>Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based



Interesting.

>Whatever the lights are, there should be the same difference between the Fuji and the Eastman for each lab.

>What we actually see if we compare the Fuji light with the Eastman light, is

>-7 -1 -4
-1 -4 -7
-1 -4 -7
-1 -4 -7
0 -3 -4
no ref for lab 6

>I think I'd be happy that labs 2,3, and 4 had done the job fairly
scientifically. Lab 5 isn't all that far off.

>As for lab 1, I'd want to check the figures. Doesn't make any sense at all.

>Was the Fuji light perhaps 33 red not 23?

>BTW, a certain lab (whose printer lights I'm familiar with!) turns out to print 5245 one-light rushes at a setting that is within a point of the exact average of all the lights you've listed.

>cheers

>Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


>Dominic case wrote :

class="Paragraph">>I think I'd be happy that labs 2,3, and 4 had done the job fairly >scientifically. Lab 5 isn't all that far off.

>Geoff,

>Could you tell us who labs 2,3 & 4 were?

>Stephen Williams DP
Zurich
www.stephenw.com



>As for lab 1, I'd want to check the figures. Doesn't make any sense at all.

class="style7">>Was the Fuji light perhaps 33 red not 23?

>I've double checked.

>I agree it doesn't make sense/

>I must say that the figures/results fairly accurately reflect my "real world" experience of the labs involved

>Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based



> Could you tell us who labs 2,3 & 4 were?

>I don't think I should do that without naming all of them.

>I don't want to deal with the shitstorm I'd get if I did that!

>I have said that lab 3 is my normal lab and everyone should know by now that that is Soho Images

>Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based



Geoff Boyle wrote :

class="style7">>A very controlled skin tone, grey scale etc. test chart reading specific >densities at specific levels.

>This is great Geoff. Now I know to go to lab '5' for my rushes so that I can revel in big 'healthy' numbers over breakfast [33-38-33] then switch to lab '1' to grade the job and have plenty more room to print down exposures which have erred on the side of caution [23-28-31]!

>Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London.



Just one problem with that Tom, one is in London and one LA

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>Geoff Boyle wrote:

class="style7">>I must say that the figures/results fairly accurately reflect my "real world" >experience of the labs involved

>Might I humbly suggest.

>The soup, the difference is in the soup

>Steven Gladstone
New York Based Cinematographer
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com
917-886-5858
CML East Coast List Administrator


>Given the characteristic curve of EXR (& similar Fuji) not to mention Vision, is this really all that surprising ?

>The first color neg (after my first couple years w/ reversal - something everyone should do, fat chance ) I shot was 7247. I specify the "7" ie 16mm and the attendant fragility as it were. Printer lights were, I found - quite predictable.

>Simply, there were #'s you did not want to go below (I'd say 22 with TVC labs) and your top #'s were likely determined by "available firepower" re lighting, circumstance, etc.

>Switch to EXR that possible range was simply expanded. Then again Vision...

>I really thought the timer's job got harder, not easier with EXR (given a properly exposed negative of course).

>Recently, I had the odd experience of ordering timed film w/p section of material I had only seen via supervised telecine transfer. I hardly knew what to tell the lab timer - as in the previous telecine grade "what's on the negative" is to some extent what the colorist and I decided it was.

>Sam Wells
film/tempted to return to the philosophical purity of Kodachrome/nj/usa