Redscale Technique: The Principle of Light Penetrability


I do not know if this is a unique idea; if it is, then I am taking my claim to immortality. Introducing, the “Principle of Light Penetrability” by Rene M. Nob.

Exposing redscale films has always been tricky. While I am convinced that I need to overexpose a film such as a redscaled Fujifilm Superia 400 by 4 to 5 stops to achieve ideal exposure, I got surprised with the results from lakandula and plasticpopsicle of a rescaled Lucky Super 200 that was overexposed by one stop. Despite that minimal overexposure, the photos were well exposed. I had to try it myself, and I must admit, one or two stops over was not a disappointment. Question is, why? Two different redscaled film that requires different degrees of overexposure.

As I physically examine both films, I noticed that the Lucky Super 200 was a bit thinner than the Superia 400. Perhaps, such explains why a redscaled Lucky only needs one or two spots over. That must be it! Before I make my conclusion, I had to test another film almost as thin as the Lucky, Kodak Color Plus 200. Below are the results, and it appears that my assumptions are true; thinner films require lesser overexposure to achieve ideal results.

You are probably wondering how much thin is thin. First, let me introduce to you what I call the “Principle of Light Penetrability.” A thick film has “Limited Penetrability,” such that light cannot pass through it; in other words, opaque. On the other hand, a thin film has “High Penetrability,” light can partially pass through it, or in other words translucent.

Now, how will you identify your films penetrability level? Here’s what you do. At night, hold the film against any of your house lights. If you can still see the light bulb clearly, then the film has “High Penetrability,” and is thin enough to be over exposed by one to three stops.

However, if you cannot see the light bulb, then that film has “Limited Penetrability,” and needs to be overexposed by four to five stops.

This technique is especially useful if it is your first time to use a particular redscaled film. Hope it helps.

written by renenob on 2012-03-05 #gear #tutorials #film #redscale #exposure #tipster #overexposure #the-principle-of-light-penetrability #stops-over


  1. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·


  2. dinospork
    dinospork ·

    Really excellent Tipster, thank you!

  3. phoenix1206
    phoenix1206 ·

    A very helpful tipster. Thanks a lot!

  4. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    great tipster!

  5. wolkers
    wolkers ·

    This really makes sense. I read a kind of German blog a while ago, where the author tried out self-made redscale with different exposure settings and he assumed, you need to overexpose because light needs to get through the plastic part of the film to reach the light-sensitive emulsion of the film. So the thicker the plastic, the higher the overexpose.

  6. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    A very helpful article, I like how you demonstrated the testing of films opaqueness.

  7. bylcuenca
    bylcuenca ·

    @renenob is the man! =)

  8. jochan
    jochan ·

    great tipster!

  9. feelux
    feelux ·

    awesome! You the man, @renenob

  10. bernardjoy-dones
    bernardjoy-dones ·

    i think you you are nearing immortality...cheers!!!

  11. superkulisap
    superkulisap ·

    I wonder why we needed to overexpose (by 7-stops) the Ektapress1600 that we tested couple of months ago? Perhaps the opacity of the film was affected by its expiration date?

    You write and explain so well. Nice tipster sir! :)

  12. toolzinho
    toolzinho ·

    LOL =) Its kinda obvious that given the same components the thinner the material the easier light will come trough it :) You haven't discovered a principle but still made a great tipster =)

  13. nebulasixty
    nebulasixty ·

    thanks alot for this :)

  14. sammi80
    sammi80 ·

    Great article/tipster. Thanks for sharing

  15. blablabla-anab
    blablabla-anab ·

    L*O*V*E I*T you should pattent this stuff :D !!!!!!!!!!!

  16. yokekei
    yokekei ·

    great tips. thanks

  17. renenob
    renenob ·

    Thanks everyone!

  18. paappraiser
    paappraiser ·

    i have noticed that the higher iso film is darker. Possibly to reduce errors on light bounicgin back the the more sensitive negative

  19. paappraiser
    paappraiser ·

    oh by the way, fantastic article!

  20. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Very interesting. I like your scientific approach.

  21. lostlittlekid
    lostlittlekid ·

    Great stuff! Thanks! :D

  22. renenob
    renenob ·

    @paappraiser, not necessarily. Solidgold 200 is ISO200, but it is so opaque.

  23. paappraiser
    paappraiser ·

    @renenob what other ones at lower speed do you see that are opaque? I generally like the kodak/fuji films so I stick with them mostly. I went through my inventory of fuji 100/400 kodak 100/400max/800 and protra160 and throughout the general kodak/fuji line it was pretty consistent. The higher in speed, the darker it was. The only differences one was kodak 200gold.. It was a little lighter than fuji 100..I have a roll of lucky 200 and it was the thinnest by far. On another note, this is one of the better redscale article I have red!

  24. yawn
    yawn ·

    i wish i could save tipsters without having to use my bookmarks. this tipster is great!

  25. renenob
    renenob ·

    @paappraiser, I still would have to check

  26. renenob
    renenob ·

    @paappraiser, I still would have to check

  27. qrro
    qrro ·

    best tipster EVER dude!!! really useful

  28. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    This is awesome, Rene!

  29. original_j2
    original_j2 ·

    So useful! I really appreciate it when people explain things to such great length!

  30. dianalerias
    dianalerias ·

    awesome tip <3

  31. megzeazez
    megzeazez ·

    Beautifully written and explained. Awesome!

  32. andrea_gail
    andrea_gail ·

    Basic rule is to always expose by two stops. I redscaled a roll of Fuji Superia 400 and the images came out more red that yellow-orange. Redscale Solid Gold 200 and Lucky 200 exposed two stops higher yields excellent results. The photos come out with a nice yellow to orange tint. This leads me to believe that the cheaper the film, the more transparent the film is. Perhaps somebody can do experiments with other Kodak and Fuji films to find out. Well done! :D

  33. icuresick
    icuresick ·

    Senor, magpa-seminar ka na! haha

  34. deje
    deje ·

    @renenob And how to be with 120 film, any ideas?

  35. totatigre
    totatigre ·

    now I can dream of being a true lomographer :) thanks

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