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What is the difference between motion picture 35mm film and still photography 35mm film ?


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#1 Matthew Bartok

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:12 AM

HI, I am just wondering if there are any differences between motion picture film and film used for still photography. I am thinking of making a stop-motion short film and if I could use a still camera it would save me lots and lots of money as well as I would have a lot more control over my image for doing such a low budget project. I have done the math as far as to how much film I would need. For 16 minutes of film time I would need 960 rolls of 24 exposure film, obviously each roll being equal to one second of film time. I would then splice together all of my footage from the negatives and then send in the final project to get printed so that I wouldn't have to pay for as much printing and such. I have no idea of this is going to work or not and I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could kind of tell me if I am out of my mind or if I am a penny pinching genius. And just as a side note, I would develope all of my film myself as I will mainly be using b\w film and have access to a dark room. And I will probably use Illford 400 speed b\w film because it comes in 36 exposures for roughly the same price as a roll of kodak. I just used the numbers for a roll of 24 exposures because it is easier to crunch the numbers. I am also considering buying bulk film that I would load myself making it possible to load upwards of 48 exposures per roll, although I don't have the equipment to do that at this time.


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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:38 AM

You can load MP film into your still camera, no problem. Many DP's do that for evaluations and tests. Just remember to have it developed at a proper motion picture lab and not a regular minilab.

But basically the difference between MP film and still film is this:

1. Colour still film is designed for the C-41 chemistry processing, whereas MP film is designed for ECN-2 proccessing. The two processes are similar, but still significantly different as to not be interchangeable. You can process film experimentally in each, but there will be color shifts and other strange things happening.

2. MP film has a so called anti-halation rem-jet backing designed to block light to bounce off the pressure plate. Still film doesn't have this (although it has a backing designed to reduce friction and scratches). This rem-jet backing must be removed before developing and this is accomplished in a pre-bath to the ECN-2 developing.

3. The perforations are slightly different. On MP film they're barrel shaped and of the Bell and Howell standard. On still film they're square. Still works to use MP film in still cameras because the spacing is the same - you just might get slightly less stability and registration (which is academic since the image is still already).
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#3 Filip Plesha

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 08:16 AM

Well if you are using BW film, then is is futile to ask about the differences between still and MP film stock because BW film is pretty much what you make of it in development and printing. You can make either look like anything you want.

And why use 400 speed film, you can use longer exposures
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#4 Patrick Neary

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:55 AM

The biggest problem with this plan (one of many) is that a still camera exposes a completely different frame (horizontally) than a motion picture camera- Why not shoot your animation with a digital slr and import the frames into after effects or whatever- you'd end up with great-looking, hi-rez files that could be output to film or any video format.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:03 AM

Hi,

As mentioned (somewhat obliquely) above, you can't do that.

Motion picture frames are four perfs (sprockets) tall. Stills frames are eight perfs wide. There is actually a specialist motion picture format called Vistavision that does expose eight perfs horizontally, but handling it would be a bit of an adventure.

Also, your stills camera does not have sufficiently good registration to do this, that is the repeatability of the way it positions the film is not good enough. You'd get a huge amount of jitter and weave in the image.

And yes, the perfs are the wrong shape.

Do it on a DSLR.

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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:23 AM

He would probably scan the film.


There is one more problem with what you have suggested you would do. You said you would process the film in a darkroom. Well, if you shot in 24 rolls, every individual second of your film would end up having some variations in contrast or even grain.
Now if you scanned the film, you could make it all match, and stabilize the image too.


Using a DSLR would solve a lot of problems, but if you are going for a Ilford BW look, you won't be able to
get it with a digital camera, or even with color negative film desaturated, not without making complex profiles or photoshop techniques based on a lot of reasearch that you just can't come up with in one month.
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#7 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:48 AM

Most 35mm motion-picture camera film is perforated short pitch, BH-1866.

Most 35mm still film is perforated long pitch, KS-1870 (the perforations normally used for motion picture prints).

http://www.kodak.com...esP.shtml#perfs

NEVER try to process a camera negative film intended for the ECN-2 process in a commercial C-41 still film process. The rem-jet will come off in the developer, and contaminate the machine and any other film being processed.
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#8 Mike Kaminski

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:04 PM

If its stop motion then I wouldnt beat your head too much, just shoot it as stills if that is easiest for you--you may even want to consider doing it digitally for a much, much cheaper cost. Heck, Corpse Bride was shot using digital SLR's.

Edited by mike kaminski, 24 February 2006 - 01:07 PM.

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#9 Thomas Worth

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:51 AM

For stop motion work, I wouldn't even consider using anything but a digital SLR. The registration is perfect, and your images are already "scanned." If you shot on film, you would most likely scan it anyway, but would not get the registration (or cost) benefit.

Another thing you should be aware of is the aspect ratio difference between still and motion picture film. Still film has an aspect ratio of 1.5:1, where 35mm academy is 1.37:1, soft-matted to 1.85:1 (typically, anyway). So, if you use the DSLR, make sure you are framing within a 1.85:1 space and keep in mind the action safe area for television.
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#10 Nathan Milford

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 08:26 AM

I'd really like one of these! A Pen Half-Frame camera modified with a PL mount....

I'm getting married in January.. I wonder if I can register at the DOP Shop >8P
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#11 dullataj

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:29 PM

These are my shot words.......Cine Film...still has life after you shoot....but still photo...was dead after you shoot..
Best Regards,

Yoi Camera Corner Thailand
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