Jump to content


Photo

Techniques to make 16mm look more like 35mm


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Matt Read

Matt Read
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 05 March 2007 - 04:04 PM

I am wondering if there are ways of making 16mm film look more like 35mm. Obviously 16mm won't be able to match the resolution of 35mm. The depth of field in 16mm is larger than 35mm, so shooting wide open and using longer lenses would help shorten that up. Is there anything else that could be done? Is there a specific film stock that looks more like 35mm than others? Is there something that can be done during processing? Would regular 16mm or Super-16mm be better?

Edited by Matt Read, 05 March 2007 - 04:07 PM.

  • 0

#2 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 March 2007 - 04:16 PM

It's obvious, but shoot on good prime 'glass & use the slowest speed stock you can get away with and definitely shoot on s16!
  • 0

#3 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 March 2007 - 04:19 PM

Shooting on Super 16 with the slowest speed film stock, the best prime lenses and if transferring to video, the best telecine eg a Spirit. The slow daylight stocks are about the best.
  • 0

#4 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 05 March 2007 - 06:24 PM

I'd like to try anamorphic 16mm one day - although most punters dont go 'oh, its anamorphic' when they see the horizontal flares, tall bokeh etc... But still I'd like to think of it as a subliminal thing as those effects are usually associated with 35mm Scope.

But yes, slow film on S16, shoot open on longer lenses
  • 0

#5 chuck colburn

chuck colburn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Other
  • orygun

Posted 05 March 2007 - 06:41 PM

I am wondering if there are ways of making 16mm film look more like 35mm. Obviously 16mm won't be able to match the resolution of 35mm. The depth of field in 16mm is larger than 35mm, so shooting wide open and using longer lenses would help shorten that up. Is there anything else that could be done? Is there a specific film stock that looks more like 35mm than others? Is there something that can be done during processing? Would regular 16mm or Super-16mm be better?


Ah... depth of field is an optical function not a format one.
  • 0

#6 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 05 March 2007 - 06:44 PM

Actually - a simple trompe-l'oeil and fool-the-brain thing is to simply alter the aspect ratio - shoot 4x3 on 16mm. I kid you not - the 16mm stuff I've done framed for 4x3 have been the stuff people have thought were shot on 35mm. Why? Because 4x3 signals 35mm, and 16mm signals letterbox and almost nobody shoots 4x3 on 16mm because they're afraid to waste any of that precious neg.

Another trick is to use swing shift lenses so as to force a bit more selective out of focus into the frame (subtly - not in that late 90's Marilyn Manson way or the gag will end up looking like what it is).
  • 0

#7 Matt Read

Matt Read
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:05 PM

Ah... depth of field is an optical function not a format one.


That's actually not true. Because 16 has a smaller negative, it actually has a larger depth of field than 35.
  • 0

#8 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:21 PM

That's actually not true. Because 16 has a smaller negative, it actually has a larger depth of field than 35.


<_<

That actually is 'kinda' true... but there is a bit more reading involved to get the full story - do a search here as this debate pops up almost weekly somewhere here at cinematography.com (and every other photo forum that deals with different neg formats/sizes)

Its a relative thing - a 50mm lens will always have the same DOF no matter what size the film is you put it in front of - the longer the focal length the smaller the DOF ... It depends on in which direction your thought path has arrived at the statement "depth of field is an optical function not a format one" to whether this is 'true' or not

But basically don't mistake field of view with focal lengths ... as DOF gets tangled in-between, once you understand that then the problem is just one of semantics.
  • 0

#9 James Erd

James Erd
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Director
  • Palo Alto, CA

Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:10 PM

<_<

But basically don't mistake field of view with focal lengths ... as DOF gets tangled in-between, once you understand that then the problem is just one of semantics.


I always preface any statement regarding DOF with "for a given field of view"

but this usually doesn't reduce the circle of confusion to the extent that I'd hoped for :D
  • 0

#10 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2007 - 01:58 AM

It's the same rules for making a good optical printer blow-up:
Slowest film possible or practical, overexposed (at least by 2/3's of a stop), sharpest lenses possible shot at their optimal stop, contrasty lighting, visually sharp edges in the image to enhance illusion of sharpness
  • 0

#11 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 06 March 2007 - 02:50 AM

It's the same rules for making a good optical printer blow-up:
Slowest film possible or practical, overexposed (at least by 2/3's of a stop), sharpest lenses possible shot at their optimal stop, contrasty lighting, visually sharp edges in the image to enhance illusion of sharpness


over-exposed - as in a pull ? or just over-exposed ? - lenses at their 'optimal' stop ? as in as open as possible without loosing contrast ? I've noticed my 16mm Switars come alive around f 4 - 5.6 - they are a little soft when fully open...
  • 0

#12 Bryant Jansen

Bryant Jansen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Other
  • Bozeman, MT -or- Enumclaw, WA

Posted 06 March 2007 - 11:58 AM

It's the same rules for making a good optical printer blow-up:
Slowest film possible or practical, overexposed (at least by 2/3's of a stop)...


Why does overexposing help, David? Is it just to get the aperture open a little bit more and thereby getting a shorter depth of field? And if I do overexpose, should I do anything differently when processing?
  • 0

#13 Kevin Armstrong

Kevin Armstrong

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 06 March 2007 - 01:40 PM

Typically, overexposing your film slightly allows for a "denser" neg. this means theres "more" information there to work with. this is done quite alot in the optical-post process when the OCN has been underexposed to prep for the opctial blowup.
  • 0

#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:45 PM

I've seen some great student films shot on slow 50D film in studio environments, and I could have sworn they were shot on 35 they were so sharp.

If I had a budget for large sources such as that ALL THE TIME, I'd probably roll more of the slower stocks than anything else.
  • 0

#15 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:17 PM

over-exposed - as in a pull ? or just over-exposed ? - lenses at their 'optimal' stop ? as in as open as possible without loosing contrast ? I've noticed my 16mm Switars come alive around f 4 - 5.6 - they are a little soft when fully open...


... Pulling is underexposing. Optimal stop means in the middle of the range around 5.6 but subject to testing.
  • 0

#16 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:44 PM

... Pulling is underexposing.

eh ?

I would say its underdeveloping, and hence (all things being 'equal') the required overexposure
  • 0

#17 Jonathan Benny

Jonathan Benny
  • Sustaining Members
  • 166 posts
  • Other
  • Vancouver, Canada / Paris, France

Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:54 PM

... Pulling is underexposing.


Not the same thing.

Pulling is a process that takes place in the lab.

Underexposing usually takes place in the camera.

Pulling will result in underexposure if no compensation has been made for the process and there are no other factors that could naturally compensate (ie: combining with bleach bypass).

AJB
  • 0

#18 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 06 March 2007 - 08:24 PM

Have you considered 2-perf 35mm?

Probably not very practical due to lack of telecine options & hard to find the cameras, but film costs would be only a little more than Super 16 and a much larger negative.

There's a company in Austrailia that's promoting the idea, maybe you could pick up a camera from them...

http://www.multivision235.com.au/

And another in Sweden...

www.solidentertainment.se
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Opal

Metropolis Post

CineLab

The Slider

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

CineTape

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Ritter Battery