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Printing down from 35mm neg to 16mm print


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#1 Tony Brown

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:23 AM

I want to shoot on 35mm to keep the neg good and for the depth of field benefits, however I want to induce grain (lots) without going into post fx which to me have always looked exactly what they are....fx

So printing onto 16mm seems a place to go (or even from print onto 8mm if I could ...anyone tried this??
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:29 AM

If this is for telecine transfer, why not just compose for and then zoom into a 16mm or Super-8 area of the 35mm negative? (Though somewhat of a waste of stock and money... unless you have regular 35mm material to shoot and don't want to change camera packages over to Super-16.)
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:45 AM

I just shot some 4 year old 16mm 7489 (800T) that failed its clip testing for a similar sequence. Worked like a charm and came out perfectly (although it was nerve wracking until we saw it, since there wasn't time to conduct proper tests).
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#4 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:49 AM

I don't think that printing onto 16mm will help you much in producing grain - print and intermediate stocks are very fine grained; they should be - they roughly have an ISO of 1 to 3.

I shot a short called "Bomb" a couple years ago that needed very visible grain but also very shallow depth of field. I had to beat up the stock a bit, but it worked. We used 5277 just as it was discontinued, and pushed it a stop and a half. The exposure was a bit meager - I rated it at about ei 1000-1200, which gave thin blacks but added to the grainy, degraded texture. The majority of the film is day exterior, and I was shooting through a bulletproof amount of ND filtration in the sun to reach a T/1.4-T/2. I had to give my eye about 20 seconds to adjust to the very dim viewfinder before we could roll, so I could scarcely compose an image. This is where a Panaflex would have helped, so I could put a ND 1.2 behind the lens to reduce the density imposed in the viewing system. I've found that underexposure makes the image go grainy faster than pushing, but then you have to assess how much shadow detail you're willing to lose, and how weak the blacks can be. The lows can be stepped on in telecine, which adds to the noise but can begin to look artificial at a point. Shadow detail can also become precious in dark scenes like night exteriors, so testing is a must to see how far you can go. It is a fine line that you can suddenly fall off of.

To do a similar look today, I'd pick a low-con stock like '29 or Fuji 400T and push it 1 1/2 or maybe 2 stops. Rate it a 1/3 or 2/3 higher after that ('29, +1 1/2 stops rated ei 1600 or 2000). The low-con stocks are a bit grainier than the standard ones, and help make up for the contrast gained by pushing.
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#5 Tony Brown

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 04:27 PM

If this is for telecine transfer, why not just compose for and then zoom into a 16mm or Super-8 area of the 35mm negative?


Its for Telecine yes.... but the director doesn't want to commit the neg, so I'd rather transfer to a smaller format and TK from that. I've zoomed into neg before (inspired by a film whose name escapes me - opening sequence is a zoomed into neg scene of a band marching down the street) and to be honest it didn't work. We took the centre cross area as our frame and it was nowhere near degraded enough. Thats why even printing onto 16mm worries me and I mentioned 8mm......

Also pushing stock is never enough either, I shot some pinhole stuff on the Kodak 800asa pushed to 3200 and it still was only just getting there - again that means committing the neg. This is for a commercial so its imperative we keep the neg as the client may not 'get' nor appreciate the concept and could want it fairly straight...... like they always do.

I'm after Taxi Driver type grain....5293????

Maybe underexposing a 16mm print stock a couple of stops, force one and then 'digging' in TK might work.......
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#6 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 05:57 AM

On my undergraduate degree at the University of Kent at Canterbury we used to often watch 16mm prints of 35mm films projected in our lecture/cinema theatre.

To be honest despite a slight loss of sharpness there wasn't a great jump in difference in regards to grain. The most obvious difference would be occasionally, usually as Jimmy Stuart was about to say something vital, the film would jump to warp speed as a few torn sprockets would mean the Fumo projector would skip a few frames.

Of course the brilliant opacity of the picture still kicked digital projection's ass.

Once I had some 16mm printed to a 16mm print and a projectionist at Riverside Studios projected it in the cinema there, the grain was the size of golf balls - however they have one the largest Academy screens in London.

What if you compromised and shot super16 and then optically printed that down to 16mm, and TK the print?

Edited by Andy_Alderslade, 13 May 2007 - 06:00 AM.

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#7 matt cooke

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:32 AM

Hi Tony,

On a 35mm short I shot about 2 years ago I over exposed a particular take by 5 - 5 1/2 stops and the lab corrected for this. The result was (to my memory) very grainy/noisey and degraded - but not outrageously so. If its a degraded image you are after, it might be worth giving that a try? Of course this also affects saturation & contrast too..

Best,

Matt Cooke.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:45 PM

I'm after Taxi Driver type grain....5293????


5247, TVC Chemtone.

Perhaps you should push it a couple of stops.
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:35 PM

An optical print from 35mm to 16mm sounds expensive. Wouldn't it be simpler to just shoot a roll or two of 7218 (or 7279 if you can still get it)? Shoot everything wide and then reframe in post. That should get you some serious grain.
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#10 Mike Williamson

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:30 PM

If you can't risk doing anything to the negative, then maybe you can make a 16mm print and do some work in process that. For example, you could underexpose and push the print stock a few stops which would probably induce a fair amount of grain. You could also look at whether a low-con print stock would give you more grain than Vision print stock, and obviously you'd want to avoid using IP/IN stock. Good luck with it, let us know what you come up with.
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#11 Tony Brown

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

Shooting on 16 was not an option nor was pushing the neg

The idea died a peaceful death
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