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35mm Print Resolution


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:04 PM

Having three release prints made from the original 35mm negatives for my short film, "Dead Lonesome."

By directly printing from the original 35mm negative, how much more resolution is there when compared to your typical feature print at the local mega-plex which often go through so many for generations from the negative? Is there a noticeable difference?

Also, do some films ever have special, higher quality prints made for big premiers or road show events? If so, how would they differ from the mass print jobs?

Edited by Joe Taylor, 03 July 2008 - 10:06 PM.

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#2 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:51 PM

Having three release prints made from the original 35mm negatives for my short film, "Dead Lonesome."

By directly printing from the original 35mm negative, how much more resolution is there when compared to your typical feature print at the local mega-plex which often go through so many for generations from the negative? Is there a noticeable difference?

Also, do some films ever have special, higher quality prints made for big premiers or road show events? If so, how would they differ from the mass print jobs?


Most hollywood feature release prints are in the area .5k-1k, so right around HD resolution. Being made straight from a neg. I'd guess it be in the 2k-3k range.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 03 July 2008 - 10:51 PM.

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:34 AM

I'm not sure the numbers mean much, but there is some visible loss when printing from a dupe neg made from an IP versus the original neg, assuming all is contact-printed.

One could argue that optical printing can be sharper, but then each grain is refocused through a lens onto the new piece of film and thus is somewhat "sharpened" by the process compared to contact printing, which has a smoother look.

Premieres of big movies usually use a "show print" made off the original negative, or original digital negative if a D.I. was done. Using a print stock with more silver in it, like Vision Premier or Fuji XD, can make the image look richer and sharper.
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#4 DJ Joofa

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 01:17 AM

Most hollywood feature release prints are in the area .5k-1k, so right around HD resolution.


I think the resolution on the print itself is higher than this. It is after projection the effect is around 800 vertical lines according to some studies.
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