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new Kodak Vision3 500T demo


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 02:52 AM

I just posted this on CML as well...

My impressions of the new 5219 stock based on the Kodak demo:

I think exposed and posted normally, compared to 5218, what you will probably first notice is some mild increase in red saturation, somewhat richer fleshtones. Second thing you'd notice is a slightly "cleaner" look due to less grain in the shadows. Third would be some extra detail in the brightest of highlights.

They are using something they call "sub-micron sensors" in the slowest layer, a fancy way of saying that they've designed super-small T-grains to fill in the spaces between the normal grains -- these allow detail to form in the brightest areas of the image, increasing the range into overexposure.

They have also designed something they call "Dye Layering Technology" which allows more light transmission thru, which in turn allows them to decrease the size of the silver halide grains while maintaining the same speed. This accounts for the less grainy look to the underexposed areas.

In normal photography, the improvements are not that obvious, but when you start working at the extremes, you can see the benefits -- there was one shot that was underexposed by two-stops and push-processed on both '18 and '19, and improvement in graininess in '19 was a lot more visible then. Plus there was not as much loss of color saturation when '19 was underexposed.

However, contrast for the most part seems to look similar to '18 -- shadow detail is similar but there is maybe another stop of information in the highlights. However, in the underexposed and pushed test, the shadows did not seem to block up as much with the new '19.

This greater ability to underexposed combined with an extra stop of information in the highlights overall gives the stock a wider latitude.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 04:09 AM

Wow, thanks David. Any word on pricing / estimated time of availability yet?
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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:33 AM

Thank you very much, David, for the comprehensive review.

So in a nutshell (please correct me), what makes Vision3 technologically new is a complementing dual-size T-Grain layering with better light transmission despite the tighter density of the silver halides on the film base. Any further comments on color reproduction apart from skin tones through the red layer (as I don't know what was screened, this question might be pointless if the reel did not showcase the colour palette in its entirety)?

Rick Palidwor attended the same demo and kindly posted in the Super 8 subforum that availability in 65mm and S8 is envisaged in the nearer future, after 7219 and 5219 have been launched. Any further comments on that from Kodak or the audience during the Q&A session which Rick could no longer attend time-wise?

Your description indicates that particularly the smaller format will greatly benefit of 7219's characteristics, especially when used in extreme-end aesthetical cinematography with available light or high-contrast set-ups going to digital post or for DI, such as for video-clips, some commercials and specific feature film inserts where Super 8 has digged a succesful niche.

It would also be interesting to see how 7219 holds up for contact printing on 7386, a service offered by Andec in Berlin, DE?

I sincerely hope 7219 makes it into the Kodapak Coaxial Instamatic-Cartridge. That, together with the most useful and fitting stock for the format at the moment, namely 7217, as well as Plus-X and Tri-X and hopefully at some time in the future 7201 (Rochester, N.B.!) would allow Super 8 a comprehensive and commercially viable quartett/quintett of film stocks covering all cinematographic eventualities. And nothing more is needed from Kodak's side, I dare to say.



P.S.: Interesting to note that Kodak used a term usually associated with video technology, namely "sensor", to communicate its innovation...
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:40 AM

They are using something they call "sub-micron sensors" in the slowest layer, a fancy way of saying that they've designed super-small T-grains to fill in the spaces between the normal grains -- these allow detail to form in the brightest areas of the image, increasing the range into overexposure.

They have also designed something they call "Dye Layering Technology" which allows more light transmission thru, which in turn allows them to decrease the size of the silver halide grains while maintaining the same speed. This accounts for the less grainy look to the underexposed areas.


Unfortunately, one of the things that apparantly hasn't been improved on this new line (or is it just this one stock?) is electron sensitization. I thought the "3" may have denoted an extra stop of speed gain for a given grain size, "triple electron sensitization" if you will, but aparantly this either isn't possible or is not yet possible. This is all hearsay, but as this guy used to design photographic films himself, I trust what he says more than what Kodak says officially, especially since a lot of what they release officially is marketing spin at its finest (not that we don't all like it! ;-) ).

Still, it is great to know that the new negative films are being designed to really take advantage of the latitude of negative film combined with the ability of scanner technology to pull detail out of the shadows and highlights that would have been lost in the optical process. Now if we could only see more 4K scans. . .
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:48 AM

I sincerely hope 7219 makes it into the Kodapak Coaxial Instamatic-Cartridge. That, together with the most useful and fitting stock for the format at the moment, namely 7217, as well as Plus-X and Tri-X and hopefully at some time in the future 7201 (Rochester, N.B.!) would allow Super 8 a comprehensive and commercially viable quartett/quintett of film stocks covering all cinematographic eventualities. And nothing more is needed from Kodak's side, I dare to say.


Well, just from what has been bandied about here, it seems that Kodak is billing this as a premium product rather than a replacement to the Vision2 line (at least for now). Therefore it is unlikely that it will see specialized release applications since it will have a smaller run size than the Vision2s.

P.S.: Interesting to note that Kodak used a term usually associated with video technology, namely "sensor", to communicate its innovation...


Again, Kodak marketing spin at its finest ;) You have to remember that there are a lot of filmmakers that really have no clue or no care to know how this stuff works. They aren't going to look at the grains up close and go "Hey, those aren't really sensors!", they'll just blindly assume "Hey, now film has SENSORS in it!" Just a new spin for a relatively old technology being refined. I'm not complaining, mind you. If Kodak's marketing gains them more converts from the MiniDV, skateboard crowd I'm happy for them.


Does anyone know if any promotional material is available with previews other than the one we've already seen on the website? I'd like to see them take the stock out on the street and compare it with V2, so we can really see the improvements rather than having just stand-alone footage of the stock in action without any sort of comparison.
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 11:48 AM

Well, just from what has been bandied about here, it seems that Kodak is billing this as a premium product rather than a replacement to the Vision2 line (at least for now). Therefore it is unlikely that it will see specialized release applications since it will have a smaller run size than the Vision2s.


I think Kodak ameliorates its understanding of niche formats and caters for those increasingly better. From what Rick gathered, 65mm & S8 will definitely see Vision3. It just is a matter of when rather than if. The premium strategy is just operated during the first year after launch, as one would expect from marketing. So the question is basically if 7219 will come in S8 and 65mm while it's still in the premium year (which I agree with you is doubtful) or whether it will come when Vision2 will eventually be phased out (which I think is most probable) ? and that will happen over the next 3-4 years, based on the product cycles of the past 20 years (ECN->EXR->Vision->Vision2)

Here in Europe, Andec in Berlin and Todd-AO in London will probably have to work about optimising developing processes to get the optimum out of Vision3. As16 and 35 go first, that will lead to optimised results already around when Super 8 is eventually launched ? good for quality control of S8 shoots.

It's also great to have Kodak reps actually talk very inclusive about S8 as a format. So much for the fear that it isn't taken serious at Rochester. John Pytlack was always adamant that this wasn't the case, and I think he proved all the doomsday "yellow-giant-hates-Super-8" sceptics wrong in the end.


Again, Kodak marketing spin at its finest ;)


I totally agree and I would actually say this is overdue and necessary for Kodak to do it (although I personally highly dislike it, but hey: market psychologies), as I elaborated about in another Vision3 thread here... in form of a reply to a post by Tenolian Bell.
It is only when Kodak has "re-aquired the perception of predominance and hence investor confidence over its own originary market and products" (puh...) that we can actually see a probably interesting diversified future for cine-film "down the road" that alot of people seem to ponder about when just thinking back to EXR (which isn't that old, after all!).
This would also energise cinematographic practices in further directions, maybe even towards simplier, more daring, experimental aesthetics as discussused in this thread about Eastmancolor and the 1970s filmmaking. That current filmmaking practices are problematic were highlighted in the debates surround some posts of mine hyperlinked in this hub post.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:03 PM

They announced right there that it will be available in 65mm and Super-8, so I believe them.

The thing is, it is still a 500T stock -- the overall grains in the Vision2 200T stock are still physically smaller, as are even slower stocks. That's what makes them slower.

What this new stock has is better over and underexposure latitude. The grain improvement is there, but it doesn't jump out at you until you start underexposing.

So while it will help Super-8 definitely, I'd still recommend shooting a slow film stock in Super-8 whenever possible.
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#8 John Holland

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:19 PM

So what you have seen so far will this worry Fuji do you think ?
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:23 PM

So what you have seen so far will this worry Fuji do you think ?


I'm sure.

Though Vision-3 will be 3% more expensive than Vision-2, which is already more expensive than Fuji.
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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:29 PM

So while it will help Super-8 definitely, I'd still recommend shooting a slow film stock in Super-8 whenever possible.


I do most definitely agree with that, David ? 7217 and Plus-X really being the default stocks anyhow ? which is why the incomprehensive absence of Kodak Vision2 50 D (7201) for Super 8 is upsetting many cinematographers, filmmakers or DoPs working with the Super 8 format.

(hmm, that really was an unsubtle lobbying paragraph...)
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:35 PM

I dont understand Kodaks pricing policy its almost like a death wish .
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#12 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:35 PM

I think we all hope that this will worry Fuji and spur them to answer with another stock. More choice for us :)

I'll probably work on a short where the DP is planning to ask kodak some test rolls. I'm not experienced enough to know if that's possible at this time but if we end up with some i'll try to give you some impressions.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:46 PM

I think Kodak ameliorates its understanding of niche formats and caters for those increasingly better. From what Rick gathered, 65mm & S8 will definitely see Vision3. It just is a matter of when rather than if. The premium strategy is just operated during the first year after launch, as one would expect from marketing. So the question is basically if 7219 will come in S8 and 65mm while it's still in the premium year (which I agree with you is doubtful) or whether it will come when Vision2 will eventually be phased out (which I think is most probable) ? and that will happen over the next 3-4 years, based on the product cycles of the past 20 years (ECN->EXR->Vision->Vision2)


David and Michael, I am not saying that Vision3 won't be offered in S8 eventually, I just doubt that Kodak is going to ever cater it to instamatic 16mm cartridges. Kodak has done a wonderful job of supporting S8, albeit with a questionable lineup of products. '01 would be great in S8. . . . .

I agree that Vision3 is the eventual replacement of Vision2 across the board and that it will probably occur over the next 3-4 years (although maybe we'll not see an improvement to '01 until Vision*4* or 10 years, whichever comes first :rolleyes: )

I don't know if this may be some sort of stop-gap stock until they have figured out how to get that extra stop out of their electron sensitization research, or if that won't be incorporated into films until the next generation of emulsions after this one comes out.

Although I've never shot any Fuji MP stocks, I happen to like the notion of their sticking with an old-school 500T emulsion. After all, a lot of people are inspired by the looks of older films, and will have a hell of a hard time emulating them if every stock is a space-age, T-grain, 12 stops of latitude whatever. For some reason, negative films in all realms of photography are the most susceptable to complete conversion from one product to another. Reversal films still have Ektachrome 64T, a 30-some year old stock. Fuji brought back 50-speed slide film after they had improved it to Velvia 100 with the same grain.  Kodachrome 64 is as old as the hills, as is Tri-X. In every realm other than ECN-2/C-41 neg films, there are plenty of "old-school" (sorry for using this expression, I hate it) film stocks out there.

Perhaps this is logistical. I'm sure a lot of Kodak's improvement of its pro line of C-41 neg films had to do with only having to make one batch of t-grain silver for Vision2 and Portra2. At the same time though, despite the inherent inefficiency of having to make an extra batch of silver and an extra batch of dye, there is a huge advantage to keeping some, not all, of the older stocks around. EXR 500T, or its predecessor, or maybe even a neg film that predated it (forget the name at the moment, the one before T-grain in the early to mid-80s) would be well-received by filmmakers.

Fuji is in a position where they are supposedly keeping their old-tech 500T around. I think they had definitely try to match the Vision3 line, and I am sure they are moving in this direction, but hopefully they will also be able to continue making their current stock as well, as an alterantive creative tool that may suit the needs of filmmakers who aren't after an ultra-fine, ultra clean looking filmstock. After all, you can't get all the look of old films just by pushing.
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#14 John Holland

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:52 PM

Just out of interest Fuji Eterna 500 isnt old school it is leading edge. same tech. as vision 2. but i think better .
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#15 K Borowski

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:17 PM

Just out of interest Fuji Eterna 500 isnt old school it is leading edge. same tech. as vision 2. but i think better .


Maybe thinking of the 500D? Like I said, I've never shot Fuji. I've heard it mentioned several times here that Fuji has an older high-speed stock that they haven't improved because cinematographers don't want them to.
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#16 John Holland

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:26 PM

Well i havent heard that and the stock in think you mean is Fuji reala 500d which can be a bit grainy , but still a great stock i like grain [doesnt look like video ]
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#17 Gary Baum

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:42 PM

I was impressed with the screening last night at the Arclight of the Vision3 500T as well.
I am assuming that eventually all the current Vision2 Eastman stocks will convert, if this prove to be successful. As far as pricing, given their +3% increase, it would take it out of the T.V. market.
IMO the cost increase for this new stock would not equate to an overal benefit for this medium.
As far as the decades old Fuji vs. Kodak is concerned, the price difference gave them huge inroads into the American market in the early eighties, while beating Eastman to the punch with the first viable high speed negative 8512. Eastman responded with their 5293.
Their will always be creative differences between the Fuji, and Eastman camps, some cinematographers mixing raw stocks as well. It depends on the project, as well as the price point.
I'm not sure of Fuji's response to this new stock, or if they will have one. They seem to do things at their own pace.
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#18 Matthew Buick

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 03:54 PM

David, were there any more propsects of other stocks?

Kodak VISION3 50D. Wowee.
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#19 grant mcphee

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 04:20 PM

the dop i've just worked with said he shot some last week though hasn't had a chance to grade it. i'd imagine there would be quite a few people out there who now have/are about to shoot some.
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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 04:25 PM

Vision-2 5201 50D is pretty recent and there isn't much room for improvement. In fact, the "sub-micron sensor" technology that created the super-small T-grains for the slow layer of 5219 was invented for the recent 50D 5201 stock.

The Kodak demo has A-B and split-screen comparisons to 5218, and even a zoom in to see the graininess difference. However, you aren't going to see any difference unless you see the demo projected in a theater. In fact, I'm not sure if the people sitting near the back of the theater could see the difference except in the magnified shot.
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