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Arri S footage question


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#1 Christian Janss

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 02:51 PM

I own an Arri SB and I've shot lots of film on it and I love it. But, often if I'm shooting regular color film (i.e. Vision 2 500T or 200T or even 50D) I can't shake the feeling that the footage looks like it was shot in the 1970s.

It's not the grain really, because I notice it with high and low speed stock, it's something about the saturation of it, or maybe the softness of the image... I know I'm being vague, but the impression I get is a vague one, but definitely there.

One issue I'm considering is that I'm shooting all this thru an Anginuex 12 - 120mm zoom which came standard (I believe) with the camera way back when. So, my question is this: if I got a newer, sharper lens would that make my stuff look less 70s-ish? If so, what type would people recommend?

Or is it the plain fact that 16mm is 16mm and I'm thinking it looks "70s" because soooo much 16 was shot then and my mind has just made 16mm synonymous with 1970s footage?


anyway, thanks in advance.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 02:57 PM

Keep in mind that most of the camera neg stocks today are pretty low contrast, so as to give you the greater latitude, and leave open possibilities for post production workflow. The 16mm stock you shoot now is the same as 35mm stock, just cut differently. The reason it looks so different is because it's gone through so much manipulation both in post and on set, by very talented individuals. Look at 28days later, for example. On my small DVD screen, it's hard for me to tell it was shot on the Canon XL1.
Normally, to make things "pop" when I shoot, I expose as i normally would any film, and then slide down the gain later on, to add in more contrast. You loose midtones, so you have to balance it, but even just a little nudge can help. I do that for all the video I shoot, and for the S16mm stuff to (unless it doesn't' work for the project at hand, of course)
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 03:32 PM

I own an Arri SB and I've shot lots of film on it and I love it. But, often if I'm shooting regular color film (i.e. Vision 2 500T or 200T or even 50D) I can't shake the feeling that the footage looks like it was shot in the 1970s.

It's not the grain really, because I notice it with high and low speed stock, it's something about the saturation of it, or maybe the softness of the image... I know I'm being vague, but the impression I get is a vague one, but definitely there.

One issue I'm considering is that I'm shooting all this thru an Anginuex 12 - 120mm zoom which came standard (I believe) with the camera way back when. So, my question is this: if I got a newer, sharper lens would that make my stuff look less 70s-ish? If so, what type would people recommend?

Or is it the plain fact that 16mm is 16mm and I'm thinking it looks "70s" because soooo much 16 was shot then and my mind has just made 16mm synonymous with 1970s footage?


anyway, thanks in advance.


The Angenieux lens you have could be part of the issue. Also make sure your camera is set up properly. To find out lots of information about the Arriflex 16S/B you can visit the web site below:

Arri16S.com

Take a look at the "Camera Performance: Film Clips" article to see what different lenses from Zeiss, Schneider, Angenieux and Cooke look like with an Arriflex 16S. And take a look at the "Getting the most out of your Arriflex" to learn how to get the best from whatever lens you choose.

A properly set up Arriflex 16S/B is capable of making the same quality images as any of the new 16mm cameras, just in regular 16 instead of Super 16. A properly set up 16S/B with a Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 lens will create the same quality image as an Arriflex 416 (a brand new $50,000 camera) with the same Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 lens.

Check out the web site to see what these cameras are capable of.

-Tim
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#4 Chance Shirley

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:10 PM

The colorist could have something to do with it if you're having the stuff transferred to tape.

Personally, I always think my S16 stuff looks too modern -- I wish it looked more like footage from the 70s!
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:31 PM

Generally, you'll get a sharper/cleaner image if you shoot with primes instead of a zoom. Try to get your hands on a good set of Arri standard or some bayonet primes and see.

I don't know how you're exposing, but overexposing just a bit will help. If you're looking at prints of your work, you should also take into count that a lot of labs print onto Fuji print stock because it's cheaper than Kodak.
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#6 Charlie Peich

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:36 PM

Christian Janss:
"I own an Arri SB and I've shot lots of film on it and I love it. But, often if I'm shooting regular color film (i.e. Vision 2 500T or 200T or even 50D) I can't shake the feeling that the footage looks like it was shot in the 1970s. "


Chance Shirley:
"Personally, I always think my S16 stuff looks too modern -- I wish it looked more like footage from the 70s!"


Trade cameras! :lol:
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#7 Kevith Mitchell

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 02:01 PM

Thats interesting, because I shot a ton stuff with my Arri S and I have Arri lens from the fifties. When get it telecined I think it looks like HD video. Especally my interiors. Exteriors look like film.

The saturation is there and everything. But I would not be surprised if it is the Angenieux lens. My last film I shot I used an old beat up Angenieux on a CP-16 and my Arri S. I watched the finished product on the big screen and could see the differences between the lens. The Angenieux was'nt as sharp and crisp as the Arri. Maybe it was the age of the lens. I dont know. No one else could see the differnece, but I could. So there a high chance it is the lens.

If you are going to get a new lens go all the way. 3 optic.
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 02:26 PM

Try primes. That particular model angie zoom is pretty notorious for being really soft. I used one the other day that was so soft wide-open that you couldn't zoom in and go wide open to focus. You had to go to a 2.8 or even a 4 to look sharp. Have you tried lighting up to a 4 or a 5.6? It should sharpen up by then.
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The Slider

Visual Products

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Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

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Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

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Aerial Filmworks

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