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The Searchers


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#1 Filip Plesha

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:02 AM

I've recieved a PAL version of this feature on DVD in mail today, and I like it. It isn't as good as some other transfers from that time, like "King of Kings" (which I find to be simply perfect), but some scenes of the Valley are just beautifull.

Now the reason I started this thread:
This DVD shares the same transfer with the older Laserdisc version. Does anyone know how this transfer was done?

I'm asking because I'm suspecting this to be telecined from a dye imbibation print.
Why? Because in some scenes misalignment of color chanels can be seen. The highlights are pretty blown out for the most part. And there are some colored scratches and dirt, including an ocasional big colored circle in the middle of the image (not in the right up corner)

In 1991 there was some sort of restoration of this title, and the Laserdisc transfer was a result of that.

Now these kind of artefacts can also be present if a new negative was made from old YCM's.
So I suspect it is either transfered from a negative made from YCM's or from some restored Dye Transfer print.


So anyone have any info on how this film was transfered to video?
And if now, what other clues must I look for to see if this is from an IB print?


thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:38 AM

It was restored several years ago and new color intermediates were made, reduced from the VistaVision original. New prints are in circulation.

The video transfers have been made from a color intermediate -- any color misalignment is evidence that YCM seps were used in the restoration. Now sometimes that only means sequences had to use them (as the "Vertigo" restoration did, mainly using o-neg but not always.)

Transfers from dye transfer prints don't look particularly good because of the high contrast; it looks like using an old projection print for the transfer (which is what it is.) Often in trying to compensate by lifting the blacks, the pictures look soft & muddy; in general, the transfer won't be as sharp as with using a new intermediate.

The old Criterion laserdisc of "Black Narcissus" is a good example; it was transferred from the best dye transfer prints they could find. It is fairly soft and contrasty, somewhat pastel. Then the BFI restored it and a new transfer was made from a color intermediate (created from the three b&w negatives) and the Criterion DVD is much better looking, sharp with rich colors and manageable contrast.
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#3 Filip Plesha

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:08 PM

But why is that? I'd figure that telecine manufacturers would put a good CCD in there with lots of dynamic range for the money those machines cost.
A print has the same kind of contrast like reversal film, projection/viewing contrast that is, and reversals can be scanned without any problems on good CCD equipment making the digital picture look as good as the original film regarding shadows and highlights detail and color saturation.

I find it suprizing that an expensive machine like spirit datacine would have a hard time trying to handle the contrast of a print/reversal
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:03 AM

It's not that it cannot handle the contrast, it's that there is a lack of information on the print, so you can't get enough shadow detail to look natural compared to using a negative or intermediate. The contrast of a print is designed to create solid blacks when projected onto a white reflective surface, so the contrast is extremely high. It looks natural on the screen but lacks enough shadow detail on the video transfer.

You can artificially pull up whatever low-end shadow detail is there in the print, but then you tend to get weak blacks in the video transfer.

A lot of this just has to do with how these images are designed to be viewed.
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#5 Filip Plesha

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:11 AM

Like I said, a print is not that much different from reversal film, so I still don't see how come
reversal can be transfered so that it looks like it looks when projected, yet a print can't.
How is that possible?

You are saying that there is lack of information on the print.

A print is designed to increase the contrast of negative to the contrast that can look natural to human eye.
Why would a transfer need any more information from the negative than there is in the print?
Isn't it the job on a transfer to provide the image that looks the same like the print?
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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:41 AM

David


here is an example of what I'm saying:

These images have been scanned from Fuji reversal film. Now, reversal film has the same kind of characteristics (density, contrast etc.) as a print, because it is made for the same purpuse: giving a natural image when projected. In fact a print contains even more information because it is printed from a high-latitude negative material.

Posted Image
Posted Image


Yet, there is nothing wrong with these scans, they don't look any different from most of the transfers from negatives. And a print is not in any way different from reversal film, exept for the different flavour, and perhapse the advantages of negative source film.

Edited by Filip Plesha, 04 January 2006 - 05:43 AM.

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