Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:07 PM
There are a few methodologies at play here.
4 perf cameras are a dime a dozen, literally. Most sellers, are having to sell them for almost crap metal prices, which is INSANE. You can pickup a decent, quiet, large and hungry, 4 perf Super 35mm camera for under 3k any day of the week. You can pick one up, shoot the film and sell it right after and you've not missed a beat. Plus, if you ever plan on going back to film, 4 perf is really the only way to do it.
3 and 2 perf cameras are much more money and very few people are selling them. So doing the whole turn around thing on buying and selling, can be a lot more difficult and costly. Then you're also stuck to using 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, unless you have a lot of money and can rent 1.3x anamorphic lenses for the 3 perf camera. You're also using less negative then Super 35mm 4 perf, so more grain, noise and on 2 perf, the potential for hairs in the gate. The days of doing a blow up from 3 perf to 4 perf for a decent rate, those are long gone. Most labs charge a lot of money for that work, like $2.50 a foot or more.
I personally don't feel 3 perf is worth the aggravation of not being able to do inexpensive prints. If you're gonna do a film workflow, you've gotta shoot 4 perf. If you're gonna do a digital workflow, then you can shoot 2 or 3 perf without a problem and "fix it in post". 2 perf is the cheapest way to shoot 35mm, even if you count in rental cost. We're talking HALF the price for everything; raw stock, processing, transfer, etc.. The money saved can be put into a better camera package AND have more left over for other departments. I've budgeted all three 35mm options and S16. Honestly, 2 perf and S16 are VERY close in price, if you're doing a digital finish.
In the end, I still prefer S16 over 35mm any day of the week. Smaller/lighter cameras, cheaper cameras, cheaper lenses, cheaper stock/processing, filmic image and if you use lower ASA stocks, it's very clean. A lot of people waste money shooting 35mm because they want that "look" but a lot of that can be achieved through clever cinematic techniques during production on narrow gauge formats.