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|| News Item: Posted 2001-01-23

What's The Light At "The Ray?"
By NFL Photos

In preparation for Super Bowl XXXV, NFL Photos performed a film, lighting, and digital camera test at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. We hope this information proves useful to the media organizations and photographers covering Super Bowl XXXV.

Please note that this test is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for your own tests. Due to the possibility of lighting changes occurring after our test was completed, we recommend that media organizations and photographers perform their own tests before the game. As in the past, there should be a day on the media events schedule for a light test the week of the game.

FILM TEST: The film test was shot at the Thursday night NFL game on October 19, 2000 between the visiting Detroit Lions (wearing white jerseys) and the home Tampa Bay Buccaneers (wearing dark jerseys). As the home team in Super Bowl XXXV, the NFC Champions will get their choice of light or dark jerseys. The cameras, lenses, and types of film used in the test are as follows:
* Canon EOS-1N cameras
* Canon EF 400mm f2.8L Ultrasonic lens
* Canon EF 600mm f4L Ultrasonic lens
* Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L Ultrasonic lens
* Canon lenses with shorter focal lengths (from 15mm fisheye to 100mm)

* Kodak Supra 800 (ASA 800) color negative film
* Kodak Ektachrome E200 (ASA 200) color transparency film
* Fuji Press CZ (ASA 800) color negative film
* Fuji NHG II (ASA 800) color negative film
* Fuji RHP III (ASA 400) color transparency film

FILM PROCESSING: The film was processed through BWC Chrome Labs in Miami Beach, Florida. The color negative and color transparency films were push processed by time (C-41 and E-6 respectively). To analyze the test results from the color negative film, we produced 8x10 custom commercial color prints at Photobition Burbank (California).

Photo by
METER READINGS and CAMERA SETTINGS: Based on hand held incident light meter readings and the recommendations of local photographers, our shutter speed and aperture settings for the 400mm lens and shorter lenses with a maximum aperture of f2.8 were 1/500th second at f2.8 (at ASA 800). Our shutter speed and aperture settings for the 600mm lens were 1/500th second at f4 (at ASA 1600). The light on the field was even from goal line to goal line. As expected, the light drops off approximately 1/3 of a stop in the corners of the end zone with digital cameras and 1/2 of a stop with film. The same falloff applies to the back
of the bench areas.

COLOR TRANSPARENCY FILM: Although NFL Photos does not intend to shoot color transparency film at Super Bowl XXXV, we tested two color transparency films pushed to ASA 800 and ASA 1600. The exposures looked good. Both films were sharp-and had acceptable grain in spite of the E-6 push process. However, there was a blue/green color shift due to the color output of the stadium lights. Although the highlight detail was acceptable in both films, the shadow detail on dark jerseys and under the helmets was not as impressive as the color negative films tested. Given the color shift and problems with shadow detail, we do not recommend shooting color transparency film at Super Bowl XXXV.

COLOR NEGATIVE FILM: The majority of the ASA 800 color negative films tested were rated and processed normal. Some of the film was rated and push processed plus one stop. A few rolls were rated and push processed plus one and one-third of a stop. The film rated and processed normal looked extremely sharp, had excellent color balance and saturation, with extremely fine grain. As expected, the film push processed was sharp, had good color balance and saturation, somewhat higher contrast, and more grain due to the push. It was hard to tell the difference between the Kodak color negative film and the Fuji color negative film. The Kodak color negative film was more neutral (inthe skin tones and uniform colors). The Fuji color negative film had a slightly warm shift in the skin tones and uniform colors.

DIGITAL CAMERA TEST: The digital camera test was done at the Monday night NFL game on Dec. 18, 2000 between the visiting St. Louis Rams (wearing white jerseys) and the home Tampa Bay Buccaneers (wearing dark jerseys). The digital cameras were shot at ASA 800 at 1/500th second at f2.8. The bench was shot at ASA 800 at 1/400th second at f2.8. Because of the color shift of the stadium lights, we recommend that you do a custom white balance (using Kodak grey cards) on all digital cameras before the game. It is simple to do and will save a lot of color correction time in Photoshop. The digital cameras and lenses used in the test are as follows:

* Canon D30 digital camera
* Canon D2000 digital camera
* Canon EF 300mm f2.8L Ultrasonic lens

We hope this information proves useful in covering Super Bowl XXXV.

(Source: NFL Properties, Inc.)

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