Magazine article American Cinematographer

The New Fujicolor Negative Film A250

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The New Fujicolor Negative Film A250

Article excerpt

Fuji's new ultra-high-speed color negative film, with an exposure index of ASA 250, is discussed by cinematographers who have used it

First out with an ultra-high-speed color negative specifically designed for cinematography, Fuji Photo Film last year announced the introduction of its new Fujicolor negative film A250, available in 35mm (Type 8518) and 16mm (Type 8528).

Since then it has been used on important feature projects (in some cases exclusively) by top cinematographers, several of whose opinions on the new stock appear after the following technical report provided by the manufacturer:

A250 is an ultra high-speed motion picture film with an exposure index of ASA 250. It is color balanced to a 3200K tungsten light source, and incorporates colored couplers for automatic color masking.

Even with its ultra high speed, A250 provides fine grain, high definition, wide exposure latitude and natural color reproduction. It is designed for all kinds of movie use, and is ideally suitable for indoor and outdoor use under low light conditions, and for special applications such as nighttime, underwater and high-speed photography. It will exhibit excellent image qualities when printed on Fujicolor positive film or other similar color print films.

High-sensitivity tungsten type color negative film with an exposure index of 250

Fujicolor 400 film and other high-speed color negative films for still cameras are currently on the market, but these are daylight type films and not for professional applications. Until now it has been extremely difficult to obtain high sensitivity tungsten type color negative film, due to its spectral sensitivity.

Tungsten light has fewer blue elements than daylight. Thus, it is necessary to raise the blue sensitivity of the film to a higher level to maintain accurate color balance. This is why it is so difficult to obtain a high-sensitivity tungsten type color negative film.

High sensitivity enables a wider range of shooting possibilities

Insufficient illumination: The high sensitivity of A250 film permits shooting under extremely low light conditions such as outdoor nighttime scenes or large-area indoor scenes.

Restricted lighting: In situations where strong lighting may damage or distort the subject, such as photomicrography, the high sensitivity of this film permits shooting at reduced light levels.

High-speed shooting: Because of A250's great sensitivity, the user can shoot fast-action movements at extrahigh speeds with significantly lower levels of light.

Depth of field: The ability to use small apertures with A250 films affords greater composition flexibility and easier focusing in panned action shots due to extended depth of field. This is particularly beneficial when using zoom lenses.

Picture quality of high-sensitivity A250 film

Graininess: In the past coarse grain was considered unavoidable with high sensitivity. Fujicolor Negative A250, however, has fine grain in spite of its high sensitivity, thanks to the development of multilayer emulsions and other technological innovations. Fujicolor Negative A250 has the same graininess as Fujicolor Negative Film Types 8517 and 8527 pushed to twice their normal speed.

Suited to various kinds of light sources: A250 has been designed so that it is not only balanced to tungsten light (3200K), but also it will produce good results with fluorescent light and mixed illumination. Note: When using only fluorescent lighting, a suitable filter is recommended.

Forced Processing

A250 has a high sensitivity with normal processing, but when an even higher level is required the film can be used at an exposure index of 500 with forced processing. In this case, resolution and color balance will be sufficient for practical use. But when compared to normal processing, the results are a bit grainier. Therefore, when using 16mm film, forced processing is recommended only when placing priority on sensitivity. …

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