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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:09 PM

I have noticed on a number of transfers, at two different telecine houses, that the registration of the regular 16 and Super 16 footage is not very good. At first I thought it was possibly the camera, but then I looked at footage transferred of a registration test on an Arriflex 16SR that had just returned from ARRI USA in New York after a complete overhaul and the lines on the registration test were dead on and steady, but the whole image was moving around.

Is this a common issue with 16mm transfers? Some of the footage was done on a Rank Cintel and some was done on a Spirit, at two different houses.

Is this just a component of the tiny negative size? Is it just something you have to live with when shooting on 16mm?

Any and all info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:49 AM

I have noticed on a number of transfers, at two different telecine houses, that the registration of the regular 16 and Super 16 footage is not very good. At first I thought it was possibly the camera, but then I looked at footage transferred of a registration test on an Arriflex 16SR that had just returned from ARRI USA in New York after a complete overhaul and the lines on the registration test were dead on and steady, but the whole image was moving around.

Is this a common issue with 16mm transfers? Some of the footage was done on a Rank Cintel and some was done on a Spirit, at two different houses.

Is this just a component of the tiny negative size? Is it just something you have to live with when shooting on 16mm?

Any and all info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim


Hi Tim,

On an older Rank steadyness was always an issue. I have had very good transfers on a Spirit when shooting with Aaton cameras, they have the advantage that they don't have a registration pin (like a telecine).

With 35mm transfers of multi-pass motion control shoots, I have at times had isues with a Spirit. There is a bearing/roller in the gate that needs to be lubticated. After time it stops turning and steadyness decreases. Many clients or telecine houses don't notice or assume it's normal for the film to weave. A 35mm pin registered scan will always be better than a telecine transfer, when transfering film shot with a pin registered camera.

Stephen
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#3 Tim Terner

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 01:04 AM

I've seen a short of your's Tim and the lens test footage on your site and there doesn't appear to be any registration problems on the transfers
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:44 AM

Thanks Stephen.

Tim, for the most part, you wouldn't notice the registration issue, especially if the film is interesting and draws you in. As a director, I try to make sure the story holds the audience's attention so they are not noticing little things like the picture is slightly moving around.

As a camera repair tech, I am very concerned with registration and that is how I noticed the issue. I superimposed a grid over a number of different shots done by the two different telecine houses, and noticed the image is slightly dancing around on all the footage. I had not noticed it on the two short films I've done over the years, or on the original footage I put up on my site. But when I went back to that footage, and superimposed the grid, all of it is moving around slightly.

So maybe it is something that you just have to live with. And maybe most people would never notice it. I just found it a bit disturbing, when you look at the cost of a supervised transfer, that the registration on the transfer machine would not be up to par with the registration on the camera.

-Tim
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:07 AM

So maybe it is something that you just have to live with. And maybe most people would never notice it. I just found it a bit disturbing, when you look at the cost of a supervised transfer, that the registration on the transfer machine would not be up to par with the registration on the camera.

-Tim


Hi Tim,

I think that's about it, if it's obvious then machine maintenance / tensions could be an issue.

Stephen
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:06 AM

Stephen,

The more I think about it, and the more I look at the footage, I think the situation is that the Rank footage is not terribly steady, and that can be expected with a Rank, and it is not like it is awful, I mean that transfer is what we used to get one particular short film into a number of different festivals, so it wasn't that bad.

And I think the footage done on the Spirit, I think that particular Spirit is just not well maintained. Once, when I was there for a transfer, they started my footage and it was jumping around all over the place. The operator said there must be something wrong with my camera. I said I knew that was not the case, then he went into the other room for a few minutes. He then came back and said there was a big chunk of something on one of the rollers (which was causing the image to jump all over the place) and he removed it. The image was much more steady, but still not perfect. He said that was the best they could do and the problem was probably with the camera.

So I think I will just avoid that transfer house in the future.

-Tim
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:15 AM

Stephen,

The more I think about it, and the more I look at the footage, I think the situation is that the Rank footage is not terribly steady, and that can be expected with a Rank, and it is not like it is awful, I mean that transfer is what we used to get one particular short film into a number of different festivals, so it wasn't that bad.

And I think the footage done on the Spirit, I think that particular Spirit is just not well maintained. Once, when I was there for a transfer, they started my footage and it was jumping around all over the place. The operator said there must be something wrong with my camera. I said I knew that was not the case, then he went into the other room for a few minutes. He then came back and said there was a big chunk of something on one of the rollers (which was causing the image to jump all over the place) and he removed it. The image was much more steady, but still not perfect. He said that was the best they could do and the problem was probably with the camera.

So I think I will just avoid that transfer house in the future.

-Tim


Hi Tim,

When I have to use a facility house I don't trust, I always shoot a DX steady test on the front of the first roll if at all possible. Then it's clear the camera is not at fault.

Ask the telecine operator to transfer the first minute twice, then overlay the 2 images, if they move against each other (they will) it's clear it's not the camera at fault.

Stephen
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:25 AM

Stephen,

Can you describe a "DX steady test", I am not familiar with that term?

Thanks,
-Tim

PS: I have some footage that was scanned multiple times by that particular Spirit (with different color corrections), so when I get a minute, I will overlay the two and see how off they are.
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#9 Ken Hale

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:30 AM

I have noticed on a number of transfers, at two different telecine houses, that the registration of the regular 16 and Super 16 footage is not very good. At first I thought it was possibly the camera, but then I looked at footage transferred of a registration test on an Arriflex 16SR that had just returned from ARRI USA in New York after a complete overhaul and the lines on the registration test were dead on and steady, but the whole image was moving around.

Is this a common issue with 16mm transfers? Some of the footage was done on a Rank Cintel and some was done on a Spirit, at two different houses.

Is this just a component of the tiny negative size? Is it just something you have to live with when shooting on 16mm?

Any and all info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim


Hello Tim,

We have noticed Rank registration problems from more than one transfer house as well. Our customer wanted a Rank transfer instead of our usual "process only" and project method. It is disheartening that all the effort/time/expense is spent to insure proper registration on the camera, only to have an unsteady product after tranfer. Now we will only project our registration tests in house with our beloved Lafayette analytical film projector. With this extremely steady projector, not only is the camera registration test steady, but the whole image is steady in projection as well.

Ken Hale
Whitehouse Audio Visual
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#10 Dan Goulder

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:31 AM

PS: I have some footage that was scanned multiple times by that particular Spirit (with different color corrections), so when I get a minute, I will overlay the two and see how off they are.

If you don't want to post the name of the transfer house I'd understand. On the other hand, if you do care to post the name, I'm sure we'd like to know.
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#11 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:20 PM

Stephen,

Can you describe a "DX steady test", I am not familiar with that term?

Thanks,
-Tim


Hi Tim,

Sorry DX = Double Exposure

Stephen
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 03:00 PM

Hi Tim,

Sorry DX = Double Exposure

Stephen


Stephen,

Just overlaid the two passes of the same footage, sure enough the image pulses in and out of focus as the two images align and misalign. Thanks for that tip. Next important project, I am definitely going to do the double pass test before scanning all the material.

Thanks,
-Tim
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#13 Ryan Ball

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 04:14 PM

Stephen,

Just overlaid the two passes of the same footage, sure enough the image pulses in and out of focus as the two images align and misalign. Thanks for that tip. Next important project, I am definitely going to do the double pass test before scanning all the material.

Thanks,
-Tim



I just had a bunch of Super 8 film Rank transfered at a reputable house and one of the reels was pulsing side-to-side quite badly. The other two reels came out rock-steady by super 8 standards. The facility took a look at it and agreed to redo it.
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Wooden Camera

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