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Pro8mm Tech Talk: Shooting Color Negative Film for Black and White Images

Posted on May 19 2020

Shooting Color Film for a Black and White Effect

In Super 8 we have a dedicated black and white film stock that has a unique look. Known as Tri-X, at Pro8mm, we call it Super8/66. Tri-X has been around since the 1940’s for both still and moving image photography. But because it is a reversal film is has a very limited amount of exposure latitude, at a fixed ASA of 200. That is about 3 stops. Tri-X is great for projection and can provide you with a very unique feel, but it is also very difficult to expose correctly due to its limitation in latitude. For this reason a lot of projects that want the black and white film look choose to shoot on color negative film because it has such a broad latitude - up to 13 stops.

Chapter 9 from OBSKERZA on Vimeo. | Jake Brown (Super 8)

Color negative film also has a variety of different exposure range stocks, from 50D to 500T. This gives a greater ability to choose the film stock best for your lighting conditions - indoor or outdoor, low light to bright sun. After the film is shot, the images can then be converted to Black and White through scanning the film during the post production phase. The results are a much sharper black and white image because of this expanded latitude.

Priscilla and Her Sisters from STANDARD FANTASTIC PICTURES on Vimeo. | Omar Lopex (Super 16mm)

 (c) Pro8mm News May 2020

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