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The Subtle Differences between expensive film transfers and the rest


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#1 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
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Posted 30 July 2008 - 06:38 PM

IMG_3913_TXT_1.jpg
IMG_3917_TXT_2.jpg

I should have worded the second image differently. I mean that the highlights are not as blown out so they are more pleasing to the eye, however detail in parts of the image that were already in shadow in the first image, are almost black now.

I shot both images above off of my television screen with a digital still camera while the image was in freeze frame mode. I varied the digital still camera's exposure from minus 1/3 f-stop for the first exposure, the second exposure for almost the identical frame is -2 f-stops. These two exposures of the shot above reveal why the more expensive video transfer systems exist. If you are shooting either back lit, side lit, or even front lit but highly contrasty set-ups, a properly tuned rank cintel transfer system or properly tuned Spirit will probably handle most of the contrast the super-8 film has to give. If a wider angle shot results in a smaller area on the film containing the high contrast, especially if the contrast is from backlighting, it is more likely that the expensive transfer systems will do a better job transferring the footage than a lower cost system.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule since humans run the equipment and someone on less expensive gear may have figured out a way to get a decent image while another place doing a one light might not stop long enough to maximize the electronics in their gear.

The smart high end places actually store pre-set choices that put them really close really quickly and then they do a final tweak.

IMG_3905_TXT_1.jpg

This shot also has some contrast issues on the girls shoulder and arm. On a more expensive system the subtlties that actually exist in this high contrast area can be saved, on lower cost systems it may or may not blow out depending on how willing the facility is to try and "save" the shot.

Notice the "super-8 dust particle" in the shot. Super-8 dust particles can be added in electronically but I am assuming they were actually there and that this is super-8 that was used.


IMG_3940_TXT_1.jpg

Were the above images shot for this company Super-8? I am assuming so.
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