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Could 16mm ever look like this movie?


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#1 Michael Carter

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 09:50 PM

Oliver Twist
This movie is how I want my 16mm movies to look. Be it reversal, negative and prints, or high Contrast 7363 processed as reversal, this is the look I long for.

How is it done? (Besides using 35mm that is)

I'm making a file of sample pictures for persperation.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:11 PM

If I were trying to make 16mm b&w look like 35mm, I'd probably use Plus-X reversal, sharp lenses, and a lot of light. Or I'd consider using 16mm color negative. If I had to use 16mm b&w negative, I'd use Plus-X neg, maybe pushed one-stop to increase the contrast.
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:33 PM

If I were trying to make 16mm b&w look like 35mm, I'd probably use Plus-X reversal, sharp lenses, and a lot of light. Or I'd consider using 16mm color negative. If I had to use 16mm b&w negative, I'd use Plus-X neg, maybe pushed one-stop to increase the contrast.


David,

Why the choice of Plus-X reversal, just because of the increase in contrast? I always felt it was a bit too contrasty when we used it on a film a few years ago. Then I felt the Plus-X negative we used was a little too flat. Of course we did not push it one stop, maybe that would have made it come out "Just right".

-Tim
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#4 Sam Wells

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:10 AM

Why the choice of Plus-X reversal, just because of the increase in contrast? I always felt it was a bit too contrasty when we used it on a film a few years ago. Then I felt the Plus-X negative we used was a little too flat. Of course we did not push it one stop, maybe that would have made it come out "Just right".

-Tim


Plus X neg developed at 0.70, ~ 1/2 stop push, is a good compromise for 16mm (bear in mind some labs will consider 0.65 'normal' and some may consider 0.70 'normal' -- I'd also try sending a rolls of the pushed to the same lab a week a part and looking carefully :unsure: At 0.75 it starts getting contrasty like PXR but:

Plus X reversal is just the smoothest 'n creamiest, but - as no doubt you've noticed, you've got to fight for differentiation in the midtones...

Personally I think something as hi con as 7363 would not really emulate the look of a classic film, more like the look of a classic film-duped-too-many-times....

-Sam
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:16 AM

Assuming you light to a workable contrast ratio for a telecine transfer or blow-up, Plus-X reversal is the sharpest, finest-grained 16mm b&w film stock, and thus would be a better match to 35mm. The contrast is similar to a b&w print, and many old movies are transferred to video using old prints, so the harshness may help add that dupey look of an old print.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:05 AM

Great information guys.
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#7 Michael Carter

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:05 AM

Great answers to take to the bank, thanks loads all.
onward and upward.
How would B&W neg or rev conformed to edit list and made into A&B rolls for a, what?, copy print, intermediate print, release print, answer print, fit into the equation? More dups = more contrast, yes?
Anybody ever go that route?
Thanks,

Michael Carter

Edited by Michael Carter, 23 January 2006 - 09:13 AM.

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#8 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:18 AM

All of the B&W emulsions are ancient and un-improved for a decade or longer. The Ilford MP film based on their XP technology was the sharpest most grainless B&W film I ever shot. Not made anymore.
You may find to get the 35mm look and have a less convoluted work flow, shooting Vision 2 stocks and pulling color in xfer a more efficient process. May cost less also.

Here is a link to a vendor I used in the 90's in Canada

http://www.blackandw...filmfactory.com
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:23 PM

All of the B&W emulsions are ancient and un-improved for a decade or longer.


That's not completely accurate. The 16mm b&w reversal stocks were reformulated and improved by Kodak just last year -- they even changed the speed of Plus-X reversal. It's the b&w negative stocks that haven't really been changed since the 1950's other than physical improvements.

But I agree that if you want better grain and sharpness for the speed, shooting Vision-2 color neg makes more sense. However, some people like the look of true silver-grained images.
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#10 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:57 PM

That's not completely accurate. The 16mm b&w reversal stocks were reformulated and improved by Kodak just last year -- they even changed the speed of Plus-X reversal. It's the b&w negative stocks that haven't really been changed since the 1950's other than physical improvements.

But I agree that if you want better grain and sharpness for the speed, shooting Vision-2 color neg makes more sense. However, some people like the look of true silver-grained images.


As David mentions, Kodak has even improved the B&W camera negative films over the years, mostly with regards to their physical properties related to camera transport and handling.

The newer Kodak T-Max technology was considered for these films, and evaluated:

http://www.kodak.com.../faq/#preprod14

The decision was to not pursue further testing of T-MAX 100 or T-MAX 400 as replacement products for either EASTMAN Double-X Film (EI 200) 5/7222 or EASTMAN Plus-X Negative Film (EI 64) 5/7231 stocks. This recommendation is based on the fact we were not able to achieve the original program objective of replacing current product with off-the-shelf camera negative stocks that exhibit significantly improved granularity.
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#11 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:59 PM

Kodak 7265

Posted Image

Hi-contrast? You tell me :P

Posted Image

Nevermind the added feather border mask :)
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#12 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:11 PM

Hmm guess I cant edit the post anymore :huh:

So here's another, you can see some detail in this one:

Posted Image

Should add that I did not sharpen these at all because it needs to have that authentic 20's look to it. For somereason though, the still image does not do the film justice, the uncompressed files are a bit sharper than that.

Edited by Trevor Greenfield, 23 January 2006 - 06:14 PM.

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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:52 PM

Demonstrates how spot-on you have to be with exposing b&w reversal...
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#14 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:03 PM

That is no joke. The noise in the still with the fire chief and fireman is from Alpha Cine's telecine at max before serious noise pops up. Fortunately I did a supervised session, and if I hadn't I have no doubt some shots would have been overlooked... the telecine op having no idea which shots were important enough that I had at least some noise in and it was still OK. Undoubtedly there are other better telecine's than theirs but when I said before you have 4 stops to work with I meant it. Fortunately there were no shots that were too far gone to resurrect, and most were spot on but there is a very very small window to work with. Also, my short is meant to replicate a 1920's silent comedy so I can get away with a small amount of noise and error in exposure, as was common in the day and is even moreso now that films are being resurrected from old decaying prints for DVD.

Edited by Trevor Greenfield, 23 January 2006 - 07:06 PM.

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#15 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:23 PM

That's not completely accurate. The 16mm b&w reversal stocks were reformulated and improved by Kodak just last year -- they even changed the speed of Plus-X reversal. It's the b&w negative stocks that haven't really been changed since the 1950's other than physical improvements.

But I agree that if you want better grain and sharpness for the speed, shooting Vision-2 color neg makes more sense. However, some people like the look of true silver-grained images.


News to me thanks for the update. Last reversal I shot was 16mm Kodachrome. Sad to see KM go away
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#16 boy yniguez

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:09 AM

david,
if you spliced together a positive and negative image of the same scene such that even numbered frames are positive and odd ones are negative, would you see anything upon projection or the will the images just cancel out each other?

boy y
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#17 Robert Hughes

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:18 AM

If your print was made on a continuous printer, that is exactly what you should see. The continuous printer places the processed negative in direct contact with the print stock, a light shows through the negative, exposing the print stock, and the print is sent off for processing. Prints made on an optical printer may or may not line up with the camera original.
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#18 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:48 PM

if you spliced together a positive and negative image of the same scene such that even numbered frames are positive and odd ones are negative, would you see anything upon projection or the will the images just cancel out each other?


---I think one would get a flickering/shimmering effect. It would be similar to viewing an anaglyph image where part of the image is made a different color in each of the left/right pairs.
This is sometimes done with lettering or backgrounds in anaglyph comic books.

---LV
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