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Motion picture print stocks


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#1 Marc Roessler

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 10:00 AM

Hello Guys,

i've got one specific question: is there any visible difference (with regard to colors, contrast and so on) when the same
raw material is printed to different stocks (for projecton), such as Kodak, Fuji, Agfa? Some say "yes", while others say "no",
because the specific setting of the printer lights should (in theory) yield the same results on all print stocks.

What do you all think? Anyone ever printed their materials to different stocks and thus was able to do a direct comparison?

Greetings,
Marc
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 11:41 AM

Sure there's a difference -- it's just that often it is not a radical difference.

They all vary somewhat in terms of D-Max (how blacks the blacks can ever get), which in turn affects contrast and saturation.

From least contrasty to most contrasty, it sort of goes:

Fuji 3510 (about to be obsoleted, matched the old 5386 Kodak print stock look)
Kodak 2383 Vision
Agfa
Fuji 3513 D.I. (some people would flip the Agfa and the Fuji here in order)
Fuji XD (not yet released, meant to compete with Premier but be a notch less contrasty)
Kodak Premier 2393 (most saturated and contrasty print stock ever.)

However, if you made a print of the same image on all these stocks, you would not see a wild range in looks, but you would notice the deeper blacks in some of the stocks, and the richer colors in the Premier stock.

Unfortunately, the stocks with the higher D-Max have a higher silver content in the undeveloped stock, and so they cost more to buy, although in small print orders, it's not going to make a big difference (Vision Premier is about 10% more expensive than regular Vision.)
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#3 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 02:33 PM

There is one good way to test this: a blind ABC test.

When the customer is not sure what stock he wants, we print a few sections of his film on different stocks and show it to him as stock A, B, C etc. We know which stock is which but won't tell him until after the screening to remain objective.

We see differences in color rendition, sharpness, contrast between the stocks. Some are rejected right away, others are a matter of taste. It also varies if printed from original negative or from intermediate negative.
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#4 Chris Fernando

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 02:46 PM

Unfortunately, the stocks with the higher D-Max have a higher silver content in the undeveloped stock, and so they cost more to buy, although in small print orders, it's not going to make a big difference (Vision Premier is about 10% more expensive than regular Vision.)



It seems like (at least at the lab I slaved away at) that cost was as much a determining factor as stock characteristics in choosing a release print stock; Fuji going out for most of the 3,000+ print orders.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:13 PM

It seems like (at least at the lab I slaved away at) that cost was as much a determining factor as stock characteristics in choosing a release print stock; Fuji going out for most of the 3,000+ print orders.


Yes, choice of release print stock will vary with the lab, and more often with the distributor. New Line Cinema tend to use Fuji print, most other distributors tend to use Kodak.
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