Friday, 20 January 2017

Final Cut Pro X with Lightroom. Yes, then No, now Yes with a workaround

On 23 November 2016, I noted with regret that I could not find a way of importing a folder of jpgs to the new Photos and Audio Sidebar in FCPX 10.3. Before 10.3 I could do this using a Published Smart Folder from Lightroom.

I now realise, having looked up the various import procedures for 10.3, that it is possible to import folders and individual files from the Published Smart Folder by dragging from the standard Apple Finder to an event or directly to the timeline.

The two convenient ways to do this are (quoting from the Apple manual):

  • Select a file, Command-click to select multiple files, or select a folder of files, then drag the file or files from the Finder to the event.
  • Select a file, Command-click to select multiple files, then drag the file or files to a project in the timeline.

This method is not so convenient as in 10.2 because it adds an extra step.

And, just in case you are wondering, the latest update (10.3.2) which I installed this morning still does not restore the functionality in this respect of 10.2 although files of audio folders can now be added to the photos and audio sidebar.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Why are the numbers on the back of Ilford and Rollei 120 films so indistinct?

I an preparing an article on a particular sort of old film camera, one that has a red window in the back through which the frame number on the film backing can be read. These are not the cameras that space the film automatically when winding on, like the Rolleis, or Hasselblads or Bronicas  but the run-of-the mill folding cameras and box cameras from the likes of Zeiss, Agfa and Kodak.

I started by loading a 120 Ilford FP4+. Even taking into consideration my eyesight I had great difficulty in seeing the numbers through the red window. They seemed to be printed in a very pale grey, not black as they once were.

On processing the film, I kept the backing and discovered that the numbers were indeed a light grey and what made matters worse that for 12 exposures, the row of numbers in the middle of the roll, were the most indistinct of all.

I then looked at the backing paper from a roll of Rollei infrared black and white film. It was identical to the Ilford one, suggesting some film manufacturers are buying backing papers from the same source.

The scan below shows the problem:

The red window dates, of course, to the time of orthochromatic film which was insensitive to red light. Any red light leaking round the backing paper to reach the film would have had no effect. Even when panchromatic film became cheaper and replaced orthochromatic in common use, the red window remained despite the fact that a deep green window would have provided greater protection; only a few cameras had a green window but at least one had a shutter to provide a choice of red or green.