Motion picture film vs. walmart film
Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:35 PM
I've always noticed that hollywood flicks get really sharp picture, however they use high speed films - such as Enterna 500 for example and it still turns out looking sharp as hell!
And as a still photographer I thought the only way to get sharp pictures was to use low speed films - like 100 or 200. However I've taken one or two photos on 800 speed and gotten fairly sharp images. I was wondering if their was a difference in the quality of film that motion pictures use compared to regular kodak or fuji film you can buy at walmart. I also was wondering what determines how sharp your image turns out.
here is that 800iso photo that came out sharp when exposed correctly:
but here is 100 speed exposed correctly and it's REALLY grainy for that speed:
so really, what's determining how sharp the film comes out and why am I not getting as sharp of images as the film industry?
By the way I use a nikon camera with nikkor lenses.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:39 PM
The 800 speed image is also inhearantly more contrasty because of the lighting which helps the appearance of sharpness.
In general though the higher the speed the larger grain you get, depends on the specific stocks you are using though. In MP film the negative area is smaller because the film runs vertically instead of horizontally.
You can get hi-res scans off of consumer grade scanners which help to see the texture of the grain better. Here's some examples of some that I've done (negative or slide scanned on a $100 canon):
Kodak Porta 160NC
Kodak Porta 800
Kodak Porta 800 overexposed negative 2-3 stops and pulled back in PS
Kodachrome 200 (slide)
Fuji Superia 1600
Fuji Superia 1600
Kodak Ektachrome 64T slide (processed C-41)
Fuji 50D slide (processed C-41)
Fuji 100D slide (processed C-41)
You should be able to get sharp pictures with these films! Hope this helps, there are better informed posters that can comment on the lighting which can also help you with getting a sharp image.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:06 PM
anyways that's not really getting too far into my question but thanks for the pics you posted - slide film definitly has smaller grain but most motion pictures don't use positive film right?
Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:49 AM
I'm not the most informed when it comes to MP stocks vs still film but my understanding is that it is similar enough technology that you should get pictures as sharp as MP film. If you project a still slide of E64T onto a 40 foot screen it should look as sharp as a movie. I'm not sure if Kodak has incorporated their Vision 2 technology into their Porta line but I think Porta is at least comparable to Vision which many movies are still shot on. Plus 35mm photo has a larger exposure area which helps. If you are looking for ultra-sharp no-grain you may want to consider medium format which has a significantly larger negative than 35mm.
Much of the perceived sharpness in motion pictures has to do with the lighting. For example in still photography, doesn't a photo taken with a flash look much sharper than natural lighting? But again as I stated in my previous post there are better informed posters that can address lighting and how to make an image look sharper (I can tell you edge light helps!). I think my main point is that there isn't a significant difference in the film stocks themselves where sharpness is concerned.
Posted 15 November 2006 - 12:06 PM
Posted 15 November 2006 - 02:05 PM
Then again, I've found just about no more infuriating industry than the still photography development business. You get some kid in highschool, who is God of his machine, and makes all manner of arbitrary decisions about what is and is not worthy of his holy art. An operator once didn't develop 4 photos because they "were too underexposed." No poop sherlock, I was shooting test charts, and to add insult to injury they tried to charge me the full rate because they still had to 'process' all 24 exposures.
I fully endorse the anonymous, corporate machines slaving away to develop your negatives at your local superstore. They're usually newer and more reliable than your "high end" photography shop, and you don't have to deal with the a**ho** behind the counter.
Posted 15 November 2006 - 05:48 PM
You'll get better results from an independent pro lab that knows, really knows, about their machines and the processes involved. You will pay more, but the difference in quality should be apparent.
Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:21 PM
The only way I'll know if I'm getting good exposures comparable to motion picture films will be to get a hold of a scanner where either I or the person operating it has a goal of scanning it accurately.
Posted 17 November 2006 - 01:14 AM
Posted 17 November 2006 - 12:31 PM
Hope this helps,
Posted 17 November 2006 - 12:52 PM