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You're favourite stock any why...


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 05:40 PM

I fell in love with 5247 as soon as I saw Grease. I can't specifically place what I like about it, but I think it's the nice snappy bright colours, the grain structure, the way it handles low light, the general look about it. :)

What do you think?

Kind regards. ;)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 06:18 PM

Did you see it projected in the theater? Otherwise, how do you know what 5247 looks like?
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 06:32 PM

Did you see it projected in the theater? Otherwise, how do you know what 5247 looks like?


That's what I was thinking...

Again, another discontinued stock (replaced a few times over, actually).

Never shot it myself. Kodak was introducing their "new" EXR lineup about the time I started shooting film ;) so it would have been '48 at that point.

One thing about older Kodak stocks is that they were much more linear throughout their response curve (in general, at least). When the Vision line came out you had differing stocks with steep or shallow shadow curves, and different color biases. The Vision 2 line seems to have smoothed them all out, and made all the curves more gentle with less "straight line portion."
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 07:11 PM

Did you see it projected in the theater? Otherwise, how do you know what 5247 looks like?


I've seen it on DVD, and I thought that was enough. :(

Oh well, all the more reason for me to buy some and cut it down to Super 8. :lol:
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 07:42 PM

Saturation, contrast, and black levels are more a function of the video transfer than the stock (I could make 5247 into a b&w image in the transfer if I wanted to). Grain structure and sharpness are very hard to judge with 35mm material viewed in standard definition video, especially something shot in 2.35 35mm anamorphic. Also, "Grease" was somewhat atypical of the time, trying to look more like something shot in the past, with harder lighting and stronger colors in the production design to make things pop. I mean, compare the look of "Grease" to something else shot around that time on the same stock, like "Alien" or "Apocalypse Now".

Not that 5247 wasn't a lovely stock; it was certainly better than the early high-speed stocks of the 1980's that were used alongside 5247.
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#6 ryan_bennett

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 09:12 PM

True, is what Matthew likes, is it the stock or the aesthetics that the Director, Cinematographer, Colorist and probably another huge team of people including the Art Direction?
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#7 Sam Kim

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:05 AM

after shooting negative stock what stock does it get transferred back to? I never realized this. Every time I shot something (50D 500T 250D) I never questioned this, just assuming I was seeing what I shot on, but I've never shot on reversal except for once when i hand processed it.

Did you see it projected in the theater? Otherwise, how do you know what 5247 looks like?


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:11 AM

after shooting negative stock what stock does it get transferred back to? I never realized this. Every time I shot something (50D 500T 250D) I never questioned this, just assuming I was seeing what I shot on, but I've never shot on reversal except for once when i hand processed it.



When you shoot negative and transfer it to video, the "look" you see is a combination of the stock (and processing, if special techniques are used) plus the look created by the transfer device, the video color-correction tools, the recording format, even the TV set it is shown on. And the visibility of the inherent qualities of just the film element (the grain, sharpness, contrast, etc.) are either too small in detail to pick up on most TV monitors, or are altered by the transfer and color-correction process.

So if you want to eliminate the variables of the video transfer, color-correction, etc. you need to print the negative onto print stock and project the print on a reasonable-sized screen. Of course, now you're seeing the look of the neg plus the print stock, but in a sense, it's always been a neg-pos system meant to work in conjunction with each other. You rarely look at a negative image.

It's just that it drives me nuts when people try to draw conclusions about the look of obsolete film stocks and film formats by watching the movie on a standard def TV set, unless you are shooting a project aimed for release on TV in which case you are trying to emulate how these old movies now look on TV. Otherwise, there are far too many variables in the chain of events that got the old movie onto video for you to accurately judge the original film elements.

Standard def video can't resolve all the details in a film frame, hence why so many stocks tend to look alike. You look at Kodak's demo of the Vision-2 stocks and even on the big screen, they match pretty closely, so on the DVD version, they just look the same. Of course, the smaller the film format, the more visible the differences in grain structure become even on a video transfer, because of the degree of magnification.
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#9 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:12 AM

I'm still a big fan of Kodak 5245, but that's sort of like saying "I'm a big fan of lobster tail dipped in butter."

Also really like Fuji 125T wonderful look great colors and grain. Looking at my footage on this stuff I had a "did I shoot that?" moment because it looked so much better than I thought it would.

Edited by Douglas Hunter, 26 February 2007 - 02:14 AM.

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#10 Christian Appelt

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:10 PM

It's just that it drives me nuts when people try to draw conclusions about the look of obsolete film stocks and film formats by watching the movie on a standard def TV set, unless you are shooting a project aimed for release on TV in which case you are trying to emulate how these old movies now look on TV. Otherwise, there are far too many variables in the chain of events that got the old movie onto video for you to accurately judge the original film elements.


Very true, even for theatrical 35mm prints. I see a lot of studio archival prints, and they range from excellent (straight print from OCN with good timing) to really awful (new print from new interneg that was struck from a 40 year old interpositive - yellowish hues, grainy like 16mm and with tons of printed-in dust & dirt).

With 3-strip Technicolor, many restored/reprinted versions have lots of color fringes because the scene-by-scene adjustment of the color separations could not be duplicated. Other films have been duplicated from dye transfer prints, looking too contrasty with actors faces looking badly made up.

With special formats it gets even worse - some restored Technirama titles actually come from very old 4-perf 35mm internegs and look in no way like any old 35mm print, be it Eastman or Tech IB.

Even with 65/70mm you hardly see a new print as good as vintage ones because it is too dangerous to print from OCN any more. Re-timing old films seems to be very problematic, they usually get too yellow (like the new 70mm prints of CLEOPATRA and THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES). A friend of mine who does timing/grading at a lab told me that very often the different colour masking of 1950s Eastman stock is neglected, and doing numerous answer prints is too expensive for most customers.

By no means do I mean to put down the work of restorers, lab techs and studios, they have to operate on a budget. But too often prints of vintage movies are shown that do not reflect the preservation work or the original look. Recently, I watched a 70mm print of SPARTACUS, knowing both vintage prints and a good print of the restored version in detail. It was terribly grainy, totally off-balance in timing and too light. Someone must have thought that this (maybe first) answer print was too expensive not to use it - it does not in any way reflect Bob Harris' delicate job in restoring this classic.

There also is a SOUND OF MUSIC 70mm print that looks like very soft Super 35, not at all like 65/70mm Todd-AO. People see it and think that back then, the movie must have looked like this.

This is the situation even with film prints - so there is absolutely no reason to believe that a video or DVD version gives an authentic picture of the original cinematography and the film stocks used. Sometimes, it can come close, but don't depend on it.

Edited by Christian Appelt, 26 February 2007 - 12:12 PM.

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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:19 PM

Did you see it projected in the theater? Otherwise, how do you know what 5247 looks like?


Even if he did, what stock was it printed onto?
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#12 Matthew Buick

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 03:36 PM

Oh well, wrong YET again. :(

I noticed that the stock used in The Shining was a lot more desaturated, I'm told this was also 5247, is this the stock in it's original form?
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 12:48 AM

Oh well, wrong YET again. :(

I noticed that the stock used in The Shining was a lot more desaturated, I'm told this was also 5247, is this the stock in it's original form?



Again, what are you judging the saturation level on -- a video transfer? Or a projected print?

"Grease" and "The Shining" were shot on the same generation 5247 stock, the post-1976 version that replaced 5254. "Grease" was shot in 35mm anamorphic in hard lighting and brightly colored production design and "The Shining" was shot in softer, more natural lighting in spherical 35mm, with a fairly muted production design (except for the color red.)

You have to remember that until 1982-ish, generally there was only one Kodak color neg motion picture stock on the market at one time, except for the two-year overlap between 5254 and 5247. Practically every movie shot in 35mm from 1976 to 1982 used 5247 exclusively, and after that, used 5247 for day exterior scenes until the mid 1990's -- that's a lot of movies shot on 5247 with a wide variety of looks.
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