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Framing 2.35:1 on super 16mm for eventual HDCAM to film transfer


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#1 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 05:58 PM

Hi,
I am shooting a short on Super16, probably 7218, the director wants to do a telecine to HDcam and eventually do a film-out from HDcam (he can get a cheap deal), we are thinking of framing 2.35:1, I know we would have to crop the image from 1.78:1 to 2.35:1 wasting a lot of negative area, from the subsequent telecine master we could stretch the 2.35:1 image to cover the 16x9 HDcam image area which then would be projected using a 1.33 anamorphic projection lense (bringing it back to 2.35), this would improve the image for projection (save us image brightness etc.). This seems OK for projection from HD but I am wondering how all this would affect the film-out, would it create a grainy and slightly softer image? (could they use the 2.35 stretched to 16x9 HDcam master to create an anamorphic print?)
Any thouhts or input would be much appreciated!
P.S. Might it even be an idea to use anamorphic 35mm lenses? (I know this also requires cropping, but would it be less than the above scenario).
Cheers.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:33 AM

This really sounds like a question for the facility that will be doing your telecine and blowup. They likely will have done it before and will have their own preferred method. If not, ask them if you can work with them to do some tests to find the best route to 35mm.

It would seem that transferring with a slight squeeze to fill up the full 16x9 frame would give you the most information to work with, but again that's really a question for your post house.

I wouldn't bother trying to shoot 16 with anamorphic lenses -- it would probably create more problems than it would solve. As you mention you would still have to crop, you'd end up with a non-standard squeeze, and you wouldn't have the full range of focal lengths you can get with spherical 16mm lenses. If you're really concerned about getting the maximum sharpness and resolution, then spend your money on the sharpest spherical lenses you can get.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:53 AM

If you're going to do an HD telecine transfer and use that for a film-out, at least use HD-D5 instead of HDCAM, if not HDCAM-SR. HDCAM is only 8-bit, 3:1:1, 1440 x 1080. HD-D5 is 10-bit, 4:2:2, 1920 x 1080. HDCAM-SR is 10-bit, either 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, 1920 x 1080.

If this is a Spirit transfer, I'm not sure there is an advantage to cropping the Super-16 frame to 2.35 and then stretching to fill 16x9 on the tape because the pixel relation between the film and the CCD is fixed in the Spirit, so you are essentially already cropping 1920 x 1080 down to around 800 lines in the initial scan to get to 2.35 and then stretching that to fill 1080 lines on the recording. So I don't see the advantage versus doing the crop & stretch when you do the film-out.

It would be different if you were talking about shooting in 35mm anamorphic where you would be scanning more pixels vertically on the Spirit; storing it partially squeezed to fill a 16x9 recording makes more sense, versus transferring a 2.35 letterboxed image to 16x9.

Now in the case of using anamorphic lenses on 16mm, you'd be cropping the sides to get 2.35, versus cropping Super-16 top & bottom to get 2.35, so I think it's a wash, although in this case, you could scan more pixels vertically and then store it in this "2.35 stretched to fill 16x9 HD" format.

Edited by David Mullen, 28 November 2005 - 12:54 AM.

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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 09:38 PM

Never Die Alone was shot this way, using a 2.35/1 crop out of a super 16mm frame. Unfortunately, the projected image was quite grainy, enough to be a significant distraction. Absolutely do a test first before committing the entire project to this format, including an anamorphic 35mm film out and viewing on a good size screen.
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