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From DV to 16mm


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#1 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:25 AM

Hello everyone.

I come from a DV world of 29.27, inetrlacing and bad slo mo (to name a few things). I'd like to make the conversion over to 16mm, and have been looking at the Krasnogorsk-3 to get started with 16mm extreme sports (skiing, snowboarding, downhill mountain biking etc) documentries. I have many questions, some of wich may sound silly, but comming from a DV backround... well you know DV :).


First, how are exposure and focus handled? I would assume that you cannot just look through the view finder and spin a knob/wheel.

Can you view the zoomed immage in the view finder? With DV cameras what you see is what you get, so you can see the ned immage in the VF.

Is there any where that I can buy film for cheaper (that means less money, not quality) then $50 for 100ft??? That seems like so much just for a few minutes of footage, even less when shooting slo mo.

On avrage how much does developing it cost?

Is there any alternitive to telecine? Something much less expensive? Maybe some of those old "Convert you're old film memories to DVD or DV" services?



Thanks for bothering with this! :D :)


Dory
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#2 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:24 AM

Hello Dory B and welcome to the exciting world of film!

"First, how are exposure and focus handled?"

You basically focus just like with a DV camera - by rotating the focus ring and looking through the viewfinder until the image you see on the ground glass screen is sharp, if your camera has a reflex viewfinder. Alternatively, there are some people who prefer to use a tape measure for setting focus - when this is done, the beginning of the tape measure is held at the film plane (the point where the film is located in the camera ready for exposure) and then the distance to the subject is measured, and whatever measurement obtained is then set on the distance scale on the lens.

For setting the exposure, you need a light meter. Once a light reading has been taken, you simply adjust the aperture ring to the desired setting - ie the f stop. Remember that with a movie film camera, you cannot see the effects of the exposure on the viewfinder, unlike a video camera. However, you will see the viewfinder image gradually darken as you close down the aperture to the appropriate 'stop'. Though don't worry about the darkening - the resulting footage should turn out correctly exposed - as long as you took care with the light readings! You can also adjust the exposure by changing the shutter angle if you have a camera with a variable shutter. However, in most situations, the shutter is left alone. Remember that in the basic fundamentals of photography, exposure is regulated by a combination of the shutter and the aperture.

The correct order to do things is first focus with the aperture wide open and then close down the aperture to the selected f stop.

"Can you view the zoomed immage in the view finder?"

That depends on the camera. Many of the older 16mm cameras lack a reflex viewfinder and only offer an approximate view of what you are filming. So parallax can be a problem if you are filming at close quarters or using a telephoto lens. Additionally, you can't see the 'zoomed image' if you are zooming with a zoom lens.

Most of the later 16mm cameras have reflex viewfinders where you view through the taking lens - so basically what you see is what you get. Unfortunately, there is usually quite a considerable price difference between non-reflex 16mm cameras and 16mm cameras with reflex viewfinders. For example, in terms of versatility, a non reflex Bolex H16 has basically the same features as a reflex Bolex H16 but the reflex models will usually cost several hundred dollars more. There are exceptions however. The Krasnorgorsk 3, which you mentioned, is a 16mm camera with a reflex viewfinder that can be purchased quite cheaply, making this particular camera a real bargain. Though bear in mind that quality control at the Russian factory where the K3 is made is not consistent. As a result, you could get a well made reasonably reliable K3 or a K3 that can scratch and jam your film. According to one source, the K3s that have the camera name written in English are supposedly the later, better ones.


"Is there any alternitive to telecine? Something much less expensive? Maybe some of those old "Convert you're old film memories to DVD or DV" services?"

Telecine is the process of transferring movie film to video. So basically, this is the only way if you want your film footage to end up on video. Though there are different priced options within telecine but generally the higher you pay, the better quality you get. As you have no doubt found out, Rank and Spirit machines offer very high quality transfers but also very high $$$. A cheaper option, but still offering quite impressive quality, is to look for a business that operates a Workprinter or Sniper unit - rates are usually lower with these machines but they lack some of the fine touches of the Spirit and Rank machines.

Since you seem very new to film, I would actually recommend that you start off with super 8 equipment and then move to 16mm later on. Super 8 is a great training ground for 16mm. The basic principles are the same but the cost of the film and processing is much cheaper. Mistakes will be less expensive too! The quality you can get out of super 8 is quite good and you get the usual benefits with film such as nice smooth slow motion. Buying a 1970s or early 1980s 35mm still SLR is also a great way to learn about film and the fundamentals of photography. Think of all this as 'preparation' for the expensive 16mm format.
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#3 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:02 PM

Hello Dory B and welcome to the exciting world of film!

"First, how are exposure and focus handled?"

You basically focus just like with a DV camera - by rotating the focus ring and looking through the viewfinder until the image you see on the ground glass screen is sharp, if your camera has a reflex viewfinder. Alternatively, there are some people who prefer to use a tape measure for setting focus - when this is done, the beginning of the tape measure is held at the film plane (the point where the film is located in the camera ready for exposure) and then the distance to the subject is measured, and whatever measurement obtained is then set on the distance scale on the lens.

For setting the exposure, you need a light meter. Once a light reading has been taken, you simply adjust the aperture ring to the desired setting - ie the f stop. Remember that with a movie film camera, you cannot see the effects of the exposure on the viewfinder, unlike a video camera. However, you will see the viewfinder image gradually darken as you close down the aperture to the appropriate 'stop'. Though don't worry about the darkening - the resulting footage should turn out correctly exposed - as long as you took care with the light readings! You can also adjust the exposure by changing the shutter angle if you have a camera with a variable shutter. However, in most situations, the shutter is left alone. Remember that in the basic fundamentals of photography, exposure is regulated by a combination of the shutter and the aperture.

The correct order to do things is first focus with the aperture wide open and then close down the aperture to the selected f stop.

"Can you view the zoomed immage in the view finder?"

That depends on the camera. Many of the older 16mm cameras lack a reflex viewfinder and only offer an approximate view of what you are filming. So parallax can be a problem if you are filming at close quarters or using a telephoto lens. Additionally, you can't see the 'zoomed image' if you are zooming with a zoom lens.

Most of the later 16mm cameras have reflex viewfinders where you view through the taking lens - so basically what you see is what you get. Unfortunately, there is usually quite a considerable price difference between non-reflex 16mm cameras and 16mm cameras with reflex viewfinders. For example, in terms of versatility, a non reflex Bolex H16 has basically the same features as a reflex Bolex H16 but the reflex models will usually cost several hundred dollars more. There are exceptions however. The Krasnorgorsk 3, which you mentioned, is a 16mm camera with a reflex viewfinder that can be purchased quite cheaply, making this particular camera a real bargain. Though bear in mind that quality control at the Russian factory where the K3 is made is not consistent. As a result, you could get a well made reasonably reliable K3 or a K3 that can scratch and jam your film. According to one source, the K3s that have the camera name written in English are supposedly the later, better ones.
"Is there any alternitive to telecine? Something much less expensive? Maybe some of those old "Convert you're old film memories to DVD or DV" services?"

Telecine is the process of transferring movie film to video. So basically, this is the only way if you want your film footage to end up on video. Though there are different priced options within telecine but generally the higher you pay, the better quality you get. As you have no doubt found out, Rank and Spirit machines offer very high quality transfers but also very high $$$. A cheaper option, but still offering quite impressive quality, is to look for a business that operates a Workprinter or Sniper unit - rates are usually lower with these machines but they lack some of the fine touches of the Spirit and Rank machines.

Since you seem very new to film, I would actually recommend that you start off with super 8 equipment and then move to 16mm later on. Super 8 is a great training ground for 16mm. The basic principles are the same but the cost of the film and processing is much cheaper. Mistakes will be less expensive too! The quality you can get out of super 8 is quite good and you get the usual benefits with film such as nice smooth slow motion. Buying a 1970s or early 1980s 35mm still SLR is also a great way to learn about film and the fundamentals of photography. Think of all this as 'preparation' for the expensive 16mm format.



A quick question:
At 24fps, how many minutes will 100 feet of 16mm be?
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:26 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Dory B @ Dec 24 2006, 10:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A quick question:
At 24fps, how many minutes will 100 feet of 16mm be?
[/quote]

Hi,

16mm has 40 frames per foot, assume 5' wastage front and end. So 3600 usable frames or 2.5 minutes.

Stephen
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#5 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 09:04 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Dory B @ Dec 24 2006, 04:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is there any where that I can buy film for cheaper (that means less money, not quality) then $50 for 100ft??? That seems like so much just for a few minutes of footage, even less when shooting slo mo.
[/quote]

For starting out or low budget productions you can often get what are called "ends", although when the film schools are in session those go up in price.... You will sometimes see one of the suppliers advertised on this site. I have only delt with the Canadian Firms, "Stock options" and "certified film" but have gotten good results. They will probaly alos re-spool it for you to fit the K-3 or other small camera. (the pro cameras use magazines that must be loaed in the dark, the small hand held cameras you might want to use WHILE snowboarding take 100FT spools, that can be loaded in a shady spot.)

There are Zillions of threads on this site on the K-3, use the search and you will learn all its good or bad points.

My personal camera is a filmo, which does not allow looking through the lens but is Built like a tank. Again if you are involved with teh action you might do better with something like that. Good luck.
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#6 shutter bug

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:57 AM

i would consider getting a doubl super8 camera since kodak just released ektachrome in it.its totally cheap compared to 16mm and per foot cheaper to buy and process.great way to learn and the images will look good too.
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#7 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 03:41 PM

Thanks all who awnsered:)!

We decided (for cost and time reasons mostly) that we will stick with DV this time. Next year we will go to film.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

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