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35mm Motion Picture vs DSLR Timelapse


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#41 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:30 PM

Generally the creation of a video tap on the actual camera, rather than side-by-side cameras, is credited to Joe Dunton working for David Samuelson, for "Oliver!" (1968) -- necessary to settle arguments between director Carol Reed and the choreographer (I guess Onna White?)...
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#42 John Brawley

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:32 PM

Generally the creation of a video tap on the actual camera, rather than side-by-side cameras, is credited to Joe Dunton working for David Samuelson, for "Oliver!" (1968) -- necessary to settle arguments between director Carol Reed and the choreographer (I guess Onna White?)...


That's a story I also have heard from a guy that was working at Sammies at the time.

jb
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#43 David Rakoczy

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:20 PM

And one would think Mr. Reed would have gotten his way despite a Tap... ^_^
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#44 K Borowski

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 01:59 PM

Kubrick used a polaroid camera for checking lighting on '2001'.


You are right Kubrick only used video for very very special shots, mainly the one in the revolving "hamster wheel" of Discovery. But I am not making this up, it was in B&W, and it took several minutes to play back, but it's from one of the books on the making of "2001." I also saw photos of B&W polaroids that he somehow used to analyze color too, so he utilized multiple methods of double-checking during the shoot. If I recall correctly all of the polaroids I saw were of one of the leads in a space suit helmet. What was the lead actor's name, Keir Duleia?

If the man took three years to make the movie, he deserved it. Hippie ending aside, Kubrick is the only guy that has gotten realistic space travel right.


As for "kicking" a tripod, a poor choice on words on my part. I've had a metal tripod slide slightly down the side of a hill on a timelapse, ruining it. Obviously a video tap can't check for film damage, light fog, etc. A before-and-after test would catch that though.

Ideally, if you want optimum quality you can shoot bigger formats, like 35mm 8-perf. or 70mm that rival the resolution of 35mm. IDK why resolution arguments constantly factor in with people that advocate digital over film. The cost of film is negligible in time-lapse photography.

DSLRs will out-resolve film handily on time-lapse shoots, IF it is 3-perf. but I seem to remember animators using 35mm full-frame film YEARS ago, that would give digital a run for its money, same with 70mm downconverted. They just never bothered when there wasn't a digital alternative.


Ironic for me to say this, but, film reciprocity becomes a big issue with long exposures too, compared with digital cameras. Noise becomes an issue with digital, but colors and speed don't drift at least.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 08 December 2009 - 02:02 PM.

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#45 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 03:01 PM

DSLRs will out-resolve film handily on time-lapse shoots, IF it is 3-perf. but I seem to remember animators using 35mm full-frame film YEARS ago, that would give digital a run for its money, same with 70mm downconverted. They just never bothered when there wasn't a digital alternative..


Film kicks ass on a timelapse, something called DR is the key. Nikon still cameras were used in model shoots for Raiders because they were much smaller than the Vista Vision cameras, so they could go places where a bigger camera could not. Possibly they wanted the best so shot film, many people still do.
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#46 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:20 PM

If the man took three years to make the movie, he deserved it. Hippie ending aside, Kubrick is the only guy that has gotten realistic space travel right.


In 'For All Mankind', one of the Apollo astronauts, in a voice over, says that actually being in space is just like '2001'.

& there's that shot where one of the astronauts in zero-g in the command module spins a small black cassette player playing 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' at the camera.

Apparently they love the movie.
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#47 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:09 AM

Here is a clip of 35mm timelapse I am working on, I have not done a good job color correcting this yet so it's basically as came out of the 2k scanner...




-Rob-
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#48 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:42 AM

jerry lewis is credited as the first person to use video assists.


That Jerry Lewis?
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#49 Henri Titchen

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:29 AM

I am a big fan of film however this is one application in which digital SLRs IMHO generally win against 35mm film.

1) Resolution of the new digital SLRs is incredible, as are ISO ratings! E.g. Variable ISO from 100 to 102,400. (Fewer problems in dim light).
2) No registration issues, image is as steady as the support. No need for pin registered film SLR or modified motion picture camera.
3) No problems with ageing filmstock in the magazine on long takes or in warm conditions
4) Digital SLRs are small and easy to mount.
5) Digital SLRs are cheap compared to many of the alternatives.

From my understanding not much stop motion uses film any more. Digital SLRs are more commonly used. This is a similar application to timelapse.

Take a look at the wonderful digital SLR results in the following BBC clip (not posted by me).


Cheers,
H.

PS: I have a single frame capable eyemo :-)

Would like to ask if anyone has experience comparing the quality of a traditionally done 35mm motion picture timelapse with the timelapse you can now do with many DSLR cameras.

The stuff I have seen online that was done with DSLR cameras looks a bit jumpy, flickery, and not as polished.

Anyone with experience with both who would like to share, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks,
-Tim


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#50 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

Sorry for dragging up an old post.

I am a big fan of film however this is one application in which digital SLRs IMHO generally win against 35mm film.

1) Resolution of the new digital SLRs is incredible, as are ISO ratings! E.g. Variable ISO from 100 to 102,400. (Fewer problems in dim light).
2) No registration issues, image is as steady as the support. No need for pin registered film SLR or modified motion picture camera.
3) No problems with ageing filmstock in the magazine on long takes or in warm conditions
4) Digital SLRs are small and easy to mount.
5) Digital SLRs are cheap compared to many of the alternatives.


All valid points but we must also consider the disadvantages of using a DSLR for time lapse.

1. Flicker which is caused by the aperture blades not returning to precisely the same position for each exposure. Though this can be remedied by using older lenses with full manual diaphragms (often with adapters.)
2. Flicker caused by the inconsistency of the electronic shutter. Though apparently, this can be fixed by using slower shutter speeds.
3. Limited shutter life. Some peoples' DSLRs have worn out shutters after so many thousands of clicks though others have lasted longer.
4. Data loss!

I admit that I am more of a film enthusiast myself and have shot time lapse with film previously but I am attracted to the idea of doing time lapse with digital. Even so, it won't necessarily be more convenient doing this with digital. I feel that with digital still cameras, there's a whole checklist of auto functions that need to be turned off otherwise they'll spoil the time lapse. So probably more time consuming during the set up stage at least.
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#51 dan kessler

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 02:30 PM

That Jerry Lewis?



Boy, we're covering a lot of ground here, but -- yes, it was
Jerry Lewis the comedian, actor, director who first stuck a
video camera onto a Mitchell. He was making his movies for
Paramount and they bankrolled the development of the
video playback system for him.
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#52 Jad Beyrouthy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:09 AM

I don't think anyone can compare between 35mm and DSLRs even not between a 16mm cam differences are huge in terms of dynamic range (for changing light during the time lapse) and color rendition even texture. One of the most amazing time lapses I've seen are on Baraka shot on 65mm film with motion control if im not mistaken.
even for portability, you can always shoot it on 16mm film and still get colors, texture and dynamic range of 35mm. Even more the motion on film especially in time lapses are much smoother than DSLRs.

DSLRs became famous for their portability but will hardly replace film in any case.

Jad Beyrouthy | Cinematographer
Beirut, Lebanon
jadbeyrouthy@cyberia.net.lb
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