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Fuji or not Fuji, that is a the question


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#1 Adam Thompson

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 02:07 AM

I know it's a long shot but was hoping to find someone with experience in testing the Eterna stocks against V2 for grain. The project requires the tightest grain possible from 200, 100 and 50/64 ASA stocks as they want to push 16mm to the resolution limit for 35mm projection. I'm discouraging 500asa though we may have to go there. I'm open to any other advice in helping 16 to look like it's big brother.

I was very impressed with Last King of Scotland but I know our budget won't allow for a 2k DI.
Anyone seen a Scotland tech article yet? My ASC mags. dont seem to have coverage.

What about HD DI's? I saw one from 35mm at Fotokem and it looked ok overall but in 16mm it scares me a little. I recall that Transamerica was done this way and sorry to say but the print I saw was very grainy and soft. Maybe that had little to do with the DI though.?

Edited by Adam Thompson, 11 March 2007 - 02:11 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:13 AM

The Eterna stocks are great, grain-wise -- trouble is that 250T and 250D are the slowest-speed stocks in Eterna, below that and you're talking about the previous Super-F series. F-125T wouldn't be any finer-grained than Eterna 250T, and F-64D is rather contrasty compared to Eterna. I'd almost rather overexpose Eterna 250D and print it down, or pull-process it, rather than use F-64D. Or use Kodak 7201 50D or 7212 100T.

Tight-grain + sharpness and Super-16 blow-ups to 35mm are somewhat contradictions -- if tight-grain and sharpness are really important to your project, you should be shooting in 35mm. At some point, you have to embrace aspects of your medium for what it is.

That said, most of the grainier blow-ups come from either the use of fast stock or underexposure or both. If you can shoot most of your interiors on Kodak 7217 200T or Fuji Eterna 250T, you should get a decent image, grain-wise. Save 500T for really low-light stuff and it should intercut fine, there isn't a big leap in graininess. I did a Super-16 feature years ago and used 200T for most of the movie but 500T for some night exteriors and it intercut fine.
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#3 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 12:14 PM

i was well impressed with the grain structure of ETERNA 500 on my super16 film "Truth"...it cuts quite well with 250, i was very worried about grain but its not an issue.
id love to see a blowup but its just not gonna happen ;-)
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#4 Adam Thompson

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 12:49 PM

Tight-grain + sharpness and Super-16 blow-ups to 35mm are somewhat contradictions -- if tight-grain and sharpness are really important to your project, you should be shooting in 35mm. At some point, you have to embrace aspects of your medium for what it is.


Mr. Mullen, I really appreciate your response and respect your work immensely. I even walked out of a showing of The Astronaut Farmer last week because of poor registration in the "Carmike" projector. I got my money back before the opening credits finished as I didn't want to disrespect the work nor acquire a headache. (seems like 40% of the time I go to the theater there is some issue like that... luckily this one is going to digital projection soon) It's too bad the other 50-70 people there didn't know any better.

Anyway, if I had the chance to shoot on 35, that'd be great of course, but this project is trying to push the limits of a lower budget and they refuse to go the HD route, which I fully support with good reason, and I'm starting to embrace 16mm with a new love, esp. after seeing "Babel" and "..Scotland". Trying to stay with the slowest stocks possible and testing for the sharpest lenses I can find are about all I can do on my end. One issue I'm having is that I'm doubting I will be able to shoot tests for projection.. any advise on what I can do there? Just stick with the newest Zeiss's I can find? Is there much reason to use 35mm lenses instead? (assuming they will fit the cam)

Edited by Adam Thompson, 11 March 2007 - 12:51 PM.

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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 01:49 PM

If you have a lot of telephoto shots / close ups planned and like to play around with shallow depth of field, then you are going to love 35mm format lenses.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 02:40 PM

You get the best lenses you can afford, that's all -- what else can you do? You work with what you can get. The older Zeiss Super-Speeds made for 16mm aren't bad if you don't open them up below T/2, or stick to around T/2.8.
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#7 robert duke

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 06:00 PM

Adam,

sorry to go off topic but I have a "carmike" close as well and have gotten to the point of refusal to go there and will drive 60 miles to the next closest theater just to see films. Is this a problem at all carmike cinema's?

PS ours went digital but the projection still sucks.


lost in the wonders of small town life but working the big city ways.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:40 PM

I even walked out of a showing of The Astronaut Farmer last week because of poor registration in the "Carmike" projector


I suspect it was not a film print, as "poor registration" could have been a setup problem with the digital projector. Was there color fringing? How did the pre-show trailers look?

PS ours went digital but the projection still sucks.


Whether it is film or digital projection, a skilled projectionist is needed. I've seen too many digital presentations with obvious problems like flare from dirty optics.
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#9 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 10:43 PM

Always good to read a post of yours, John - informative as usual. How are you doing these days?
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#10 Adam Thompson

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:00 AM

I suspect it was not a film print, as "poor registration" could have been a setup problem with the digital projector. Was there color fringing? How did the pre-show trailers look?
Whether it is film or digital projection, a skilled projectionist is needed. I've seen too many digital presentations with obvious problems like flare from dirty optics.


John I appreciate your position and I may be referred to still as a somewhat novice Cinematographer but give me some credit here... I know when a film is being projected on film. There was a problem with lateral movement on the screen. The film projector lacked a Projectionist, which seems to be a rampant problem nowadays and is certainly helping to put Kodak/Fuji print stocks out of need. After I told the manager, he said he would adjust it for me but it was too late then as I had to miss a few minutes of the movie.

I can't blame movie-goers as I am one to complain myself and refuse to pay to see out-of-focus movies, or ones with other tech problems. I don't know that much about projection technology but you'd think after 100 years there would be a system that's more fool-proof in these high-dollar chains. I run into this trouble, literally, 40% of the time I see movies. The last big blunder, also at a Carmike, was going to see Babel... they had the anamorphic lens still on and if it weren't for me, I guess everyone would have assumed the "look" was the "style" of the film! Before that was a Harry Potter film; it was way out of focus and was never corrected, even after complaining. I've been to two digital theaters thus far and wasn't exactly blown away by the resolution or color but I have to admit, it was a fine trade-off to not have the other issues pop up. If something isn't done about the fast growing projection quality issues in this country, then the cinema will certainly lose all ground to the TV.

Adam,

sorry to go off topic but I have a "carmike" close as well and have gotten to the point of refusal to go there and will drive 60 miles to the next closest theater just to see films. Is this a problem at all carmike cinema's?

PS ours went digital but the projection still sucks.
lost in the wonders of small town life but working the big city ways.


Robert,

I don't know if Carmike simply lost it's will to survive or what, but the older ones surely have issues. Some of their new theaters have gone digital but you are right, nothing impressive except that it's in focus, which is my peeve and makes me throw some words to the manager every time. People just don't complain enough about issues like that anymore. They just put up with it and get their headache and often don't return to the theater for a year+. Too bad for us.

I wish I had an IMAX closer by..........
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#11 Ole Dost

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:30 AM

Concerning grain and colour of Fuji-stock.... I did some footage with Vision 2 100 T from Kodak. Now my 100T is run out but thee are still some shots to do. But I have some Eterna 250T left, enough for the shots that have to be done to complete my projekt. Do you think there´s a big, really visible difference between Kodak´s Vision 2 100T and Fuji´s Eterna 250 T concerning grain and colour -are these different fimtypes "intercutable"?
THank you for any advice!
Best regards,
Ole
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#12 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:12 AM

yes verry good to hear from you Mr Pytlak !!!! how are you?

to do a verry precise test of the grain structure of negative stock in 35mm, i did in february a comparative test shoot ext/day with 64D and 01 shot normaly around T4 (it was a steadycam/crane shot, starts facing the sun, continues tracking an actor that goes in a flyboat, get inside then outside and on the roof terrasse as the boat in going by the sides of the seine river)
I did 2 takes in each stock and had them processed at 2 different labs in Paris (arane gulliver) and in Munich (arrilab)
the 2 stocks where scaned at 4K on the arriscan in Paris at Digimage facilities and graded on a luster incineraor.
then i projected the test on a 4 K sony.

grain wise the 2 stocks are equal as the labs are (arane is imagecare)

i also did a push process of one stop of the fuji and the grain doesn't move either.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 08:41 AM

Concerning grain and colour of Fuji-stock.... I did some footage with Vision 2 100 T from Kodak. Now my 100T is run out but thee are still some shots to do. But I have some Eterna 250T left, enough for the shots that have to be done to complete my projekt. Do you think there´s a big, really visible difference between Kodak´s Vision 2 100T and Fuji´s Eterna 250 T concerning grain and colour -are these different fimtypes "intercutable"?
THank you for any advice!
Best regards,
Ole


I wouldn't intercut Kodak 100T and Fuji Eterna 250T within the same scene. Nothing wrong with Eterna 250T, simply it doesn't have the same look as '12 -- it would be a little softer, more pastel, and slightly grainier. It would be fine for a different scene in different lighting for intercutting.
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#14 Sam Wells

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 09:27 AM

to do a verry precise test of the grain structure of negative stock in 35mm, i did in february a comparative test shoot ext/day with 64D and 01 shot normaly around T4 (it was a steadycam/crane shot, starts facing the sun, continues tracking an actor that goes in a flyboat, get inside then outside and on the roof terrasse as the boat in going by the sides of the seine river)


So, can you tell me your subjective thoughts - given the digital post path ? (it's a comparison I want to do, although 4K will be out of my budget :D ) as will 35 probably.

I'm looking for the alternative to '45 -- do I want it photochemically (maybe the Fuji 64D which I like) or do I shoot 7201 and get there digitally......

I'll have to do my own subject-specific test but am curious anyway...

-Sam
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#15 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 11:58 AM

hi
it's maybe my english or my technical limits but i'm not sure to understand what you'd like me to tell you from what i saw.
what do you want to compare?
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 01:14 PM

Oh it's not so technical, which did you like (or both) and why ?

It's that type of question.

-Sam
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#17 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:11 PM

ok
both stock ware verry good, grain verry tight honestly : no grain
i chose the fuji : Paris at this time of the year is verry monochromatic, greys and whites no leafs on trees...
i had the feeling the skin tones ware better under un overcast weather with the fuji 64d.

and to be honest, fuji gave me more stock for the best deal, and my best take (for the actors) was made, guess what? with a roll of fuji.

and the fuji rates 64 asa it was so dar at noon that i had only an F4, at the mpf my lens was starting to be good at f4, so with e the kodak i was a little under (f2,8 2/3) starting to have less definition...
i was filming at 30 fps

i hope it will help
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#18 Sam Wells

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:43 PM

Thanks !

I know I was asking a subjective question.

again for me it's what do I shoot the followup to a project I shot on 7245 on, do I try & get there with the Fujior do I go with 7201 and get there in transfer/post. I'm undecided, (after many years of a get-it-on-the-film-in-the-first place philosophy) and will need to shoot some specific things. It looks like I'll have to try Fuji's "Eterna Vivid" (awkward name !) when available - and Kodak's rumored answer to that..

Oh well I won't complain about choices.....

-Sam
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:17 PM

Haha, be careful when you say "push" on a board that features processing in the title! You don't want to "push" film for what you're going for ;-) Maybe you want to pull the most possible detail out of it would be a more appropriate choice of words.

~Karl
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