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#1 tom lombard

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:11 AM

My ignorance is so vast and questions so many that I'm hoping to be pointed to a good article or site on variations of number of 35mm perfs and their various pluses & minuses.  I'm currently going down the 16/s16 mm path now but I keep seeing 35mm articles related to perfs and am wanting to educate myself a bit.  It doesn't look like a real big leap (s16 to 35) in terms of just a camera body and it doesn't look like much of a leap in terms of stock & processing either so I might have to consider a new set of toys.   Thanks, Tom


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:28 PM

Start here:

https://en.wikipedia...wiki/35_mm_film

 

With camera negative film, the perfs are the same size and spacing, so the differences between 8-perf, 4-perf, 3-perf, and 2-perf, etc. are what you imagine, you use more negative area as you pulldown (or pull across, as with 8-perf) more 35mm film.  But since the width of the film stock is fixed, changing the number of perfs you pull down affects the aspect ratio.

 

The standard 35mm camera negative format from the beginning, along with the standard 35mm print format for projection, has been 4-perf vertical (as opposed to a 35mm still camera which pulls 8-perfs worth of film horizontally.)  The 4-perf 35mm frame at its largest in all directions -- aka "full aperture", also same as the silent era / Edison aperture -- has a 4x3 dimension (1.33 : 1.)

 

Since 3-perf is one perf shorter, the shape of full aperture looks more widescreen, though only because it got shorter in height, not wider -- it's something close to 16x9 (1.78 : 1), just like HD video.

 

2-perf, being half as tall as 4-perf, changes the dimension of full aperture from 1.33 : 1 to 2.66 : 1.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:41 PM

Wikipedia has some great, well made pages about this.

Here is one that describes all the formats: https://en.wikipedia...gative_pulldown

In terms of 16mm vs 35mm, the camera body alone, isn't much more money. However, there are a lot of draw backs.

Most 35mm cameras don't have on-board battery solutions and run of 24v, unlike 16mm cameras which are mostly 12v and have battery solutions.
Most inexpensive 35mm cameras are also very heavy, requiring different support. They also don't hand-hold very well, requiring special accessories to do the most basic of shoulder mount shots.
35mm cameras require 35mm coverage glass, which is generally more then twice the cost of super 16 lenses.
Most 35mm cameras that are inexpensive, are also 4 perforations per pull down. So your standard 400ft roll from 16mm which lasts 11 minutes, would last less 4 and 1/2 minutes on 35mm.

I personally don't see the validity in owning a bulky, old school 4 perf 35mm package these days for personal projects. I sold my 4 perf package and bought the lightest, smallest, sync sound (quiet) 35mm package ever made... Aaton 35III and I even found a 3 perf version. Even then, I don't foresee myself shooting any professional productions with it. In the indy world, nobody can afford 35 these days, so honestly I shoot A LOT of 16 and nobody has ever asked once for a 35mm camera. 


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#4 tom lombard

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 01:23 PM

Very informative links.  Thanks to you both.  I believe I'll be content to leave this as an educational exercise and continue my hands-on education down the 16/s16 path :)


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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

Don't forget "Ultra 16" where the gate is widened equally on both sides and you shoot between the 16mm perfs. Not as much room as S16 but much easier to do to a regular 16mm camera.


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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:27 AM

Tom, the leap is in the lenses. The bigger format needs bigger lenses, you step up quite a bit although

35mm film lenses can be had that are not much bigger than 16s. Beautiful productions have been made

with f/3.5 lenses, neat and compact. The apparatus doesn’t make for all the picture, it records what you

have before it. A major part of a DoP’s work is about light, shadows, and colours, perhaps to a larger

extent with independent production.


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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

2-Perf 35mm is a nice step up from S16 without a HUGE increase in cost. Especially if you like the Techniscope ratio. Just hard to find the cameras.


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#8 Kaspar Kamu

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:06 AM

I'll just go ahead and shamelessly ask; it's not possible to combine, for example, 3-perf and 4-perf on a single roll of film, is it? 


Edited by Kaspar Kamu, 21 May 2017 - 10:08 AM.

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 04:02 PM

It would be a recipe for post problems...

I guess, for example, you could shoot part of a roll on a 3-perf Arricam, unthread it without breaking the mag, and then thread it through a 4-perf Arricam, but whoever is doing your telecine transfer would have problems with the mid-roll switch plus it may create problems with the key code / timecode numbering for later conforming if you have two different perf formats on one original camera roll. Why would you want to do that when you can easily break the roll up?
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 04:04 PM

Same problem with cutting 3-perf and 4-perf negative onto one printing roll... 3-perf would have to be converted to 4-perf for intercutting with 4-perf footage if making a contact print for projection.
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#11 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 11:09 PM

The person doing the prepping before transfer should catch this mixture and make up different feels for each perf standard. The telecine/scanner and Keykode reader are set up completely different. It is best to split the reel and clearly mark the can.
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#12 Kaspar Kamu

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 06:28 AM

It would be a recipe for post problems...

I guess, for example, you could shoot part of a roll on a 3-perf Arricam, unthread it without breaking the mag, and then thread it through a 4-perf Arricam, but whoever is doing your telecine transfer would have problems with the mid-roll switch plus it may create problems with the key code / timecode numbering for later conforming if you have two different perf formats on one original camera roll. Why would you want to do that when you can easily break the roll up?

 

Thank you David. Makes sense to break up the roll!  


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