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Contact prints & DI


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#1 Jan Weis

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:26 PM

Ok if we look back to the days before DI, when the classic contact print process was used, what kind of resolution were the prints at?

most films that go through DI are scanned at 2k?Correct? and the prints contain aproximately 1.5-2k resolution?

So I'd imagine that the contact prints reached around 3-4k, Is this assumption correct?


Hope I can get this cleared out

thanks

/Jan
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:41 PM

I'm not sure that pixel resolution is an accurate way to measure the decrease in resolution from a negative to a contact print, not to mention the variable of projection and its effects on resolution. Technically, you'd really want to discuss it in terms of MTF on the neg versus the print.

Generally, a projected contact print is similar to 2K digital projection in very rough terms. So yes, maybe you'd say that a 4K to 6K neg becomes 2K to 3K when printed and projected, even lower if an IP/IN is made, but again, projection quality is also a variable, contrast of the image, the print stock, etc.

Pixel resolution when describing film is either to make a rough guess at the scanning resolution needed to distinguish between each grain particle in the scan (no reason to scan even higher than that) or what the equivalent digital camera would have to produce to be similar in detail captured, and that's only an approximation as well. Remember, film does not have pixels, so its resolution can't really be measured in pixels.
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:41 PM

In general I find a print that went through a IP/IN stage to be sharper than a 2K DI print.
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#4 Jan Weis

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 06:28 PM

Thank you both for your insights. The reason I asked was because I remember reading somewhere in the red department of this messageboard, that since DI was introduced (with 2k resolution) people in this industry have had their standards lowered in terms of quality/resolution of movies on the big screen.

So I'm starting to wondering if Kodak & Fuji will start promoting 4k scans in the future, now that HD
is becoming used more frequently in studio pictures...Only speculation, but does anybody have a theory
they would like to share concerning this matter?

/Jan
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:58 PM

4K scanning is becoming more commonplace, thanks to many D.I. companies buying Spirit 4K's, but most of the time they then downrez to 2K for the rest of the D.I. work. An all-4K D.I. will become more and more affordable over time but for now, it's still pretty expensive and slow.
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