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S16- Getting the most out of it?


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#1 Amith Surendran

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 12:14 AM

Hi all, Im in the planning of a project on S16. What can i do to get the best out of the medium? What are the precautions and techniques i can employ to get less grain. It is a DVD only project. Any tips on getting better results in the telecine are welcome. The scenes are mainly, exterior night and interior day. Im planning to use Kodak 200T for the interiors, and the new Vision 3 for the exteriors.

Thanks in advance...

Edited by Amith Surendran, 17 September 2008 - 12:17 AM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 12:22 AM

You want to over-expose your stock to tighten it up as much as you can. I like to rate my 500Ts at 320, and my 200T at 125. This will help limit the amount of grain you see, but grain is part of the image. You notice it most in low-contrast scenes (a white kitchen, for example, can be a nightmare of grain on the 7218... I know from experience!)
Also, as you're going to SD, a lot of the grain will hide in the end, because of the difference in resolution. Most telecines, if not ALL, have grain reduction software which can be dialed up and down to suite... of course... this can have other worst results.
Don't forget, the eye is looking for contrast.. and that's what "grain," is in a way; it's contrasted bits of color information surrounded by black, the actual crystals of the film. If the scene has a good amount of contrast on it's own, well the eye won't notice as much as if the scene was flat (refer to white kitchen scene scenario)
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:06 AM

Why don't you use the 200T throughout? While I like '19 it is pretty grainy in S16.
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:50 AM

Use the slowest speed stock you can get away with, and as Adrian says, overexpose it by 2/3 stop. For day exteriors, consider using 7201 or 7205, 50D and 250D respectively. The Vision 3 7219 is 500T stock, which will be much grainer than either of the stocks I mentioned.

*Also, rent the best lenses you can afford and aim to shoot in the T4-T5.6 range. Most lenses perform their best at those apertures. Good luck!

Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 17 September 2008 - 01:52 AM.

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#5 John Brawley

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 02:00 AM

Hi all, Im in the planning of a project on S16. What can i do to get the best out of the medium? What are the precautions and techniques i can employ to get less grain. It is a DVD only project. Any tips on getting better results in the telecine are welcome. The scenes are mainly, exterior night and interior day. Im planning to use Kodak 200T for the interiors, and the new Vision 3 for the exteriors.

Thanks in advance...



Make sure you shoot on an Aaton XTR series or an Arri 416 or SR3 ADVANCE. All these camearas have lateral film support in the gate. Anything else tends to have image stability issues. Image stability means the image jumps around or "weaves". It also can affect apparent image sharpness. I know you're question was about grain, but image stability is one of the major weaknesses of Super 16.

jb
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:00 AM

It also is important to get the telecine done at a good transfer house with a good colorist. A spirit will be much less grainy than some of the cheaper machines like the old ranks. I would definitely try to transfer it using a Spirit. Even more important is a good colorist. They can work wonders.

Another thing, S16 has a lot more depth of field than 35mm. Production design and interesting ways of filling the frame on multiple planes will help to take advantage of this, rather than fight it. If you want to fight the DOF and make it more shallow like 35mm, shoot very wide T-stops (1.4 or 2). The downside is you will not get as good of performance out of the lenses. Shoot on longer lenses farther away. I would definitely say that production design plays a huge role in making S16 (or any medium) effective.
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:06 AM

Many points already made, but to recap a few and add some others:

1. Overexpose.
2. Use slow film (I rarely shoot over 250T unless I have to).
3. Transfer on Spirit.
4. Avoid wide vistas and "busy" wides. Barren deserts a la The Serachers can work, but busy forests or foliage and lots of stuff happening in frame makes it fall apart. There really is no substitute for resolution.
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#8 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:08 PM

Many points already made, but to recap a few and add some others:

1. Overexpose.
2. Use slow film (I rarely shoot over 250T unless I have to).
3. Transfer on Spirit.
4. Avoid wide vistas and "busy" wides. Barren deserts a la The Serachers can work, but busy forests or foliage and lots of stuff happening in frame makes it fall apart. There really is no substitute for resolution.


Does this apply to regular 16 as well? With a stock like 7222, would you have a preference for overexposing a tad to tighten it up? (if you wanted to minimize grain)
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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:25 PM

Yes, this goes for all color neg 16mm. 7222 should probably be shot pretty straight as you risk to get bounce-back on overexposure from the pressure plate into the neg on B/W stocks. As they don't have a rem-jet backing, that will milk it out and create softer contrasts. Now, if you're going to telecine this is not a huge problem, but for print it could be.
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#10 Amith Surendran

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:11 AM

Thanks for all your feedback s. In fact we have a few important night shots on a jetty without any practicals, and the Sydney harbor bridge in the background. So my natural choice was the 5219, considering the minimal lighting kit we have. ( a blondie, a few redheads, and a kino bank).
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#11 Amith Surendran

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for all your feedback s. In fact we have a few important night shots on a jetty without any practicals, and the Sydney harbour bridge in the background. So my natural choice was the 5219, considering the minimal lighting kit we have. ( a blondie, a few redheads, and a kino bank).


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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:40 AM

Being a SR2 owner, and having used SR2s for decades, I have found them very stable. Not perfect. But never an issue. I wouldn't count out an SR2. I would rather use an SR2 with Zeiss Super Speeds than a more modern body with lesser Lenses.

Edited by David Rakoczy, 15 October 2008 - 11:43 AM.

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#13 Amith Surendran

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:13 PM

Being a SR2 owner, and having used SR2s for decades, I have found them very stable. Not perfect. But never an issue. I wouldn't count out an SR2. I would rather use an SR2 with Zeiss Super Speeds than a more modern body with lesser Lenses.

actually we are shooting with the SRII, i also have a set of Zeiss Superspeeds[9.5mm to 50mm] at my disposal. I find it to be a pretty stable camera.
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#14 David Rakoczy

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

Good for you... You have a work horse!

I have never noticed any weave (including in any Compositing)... They are not 'perfect'.. but totally acceptable.

A couple suggestions:

1. Try your darndest to use 50d, 100t & 200t Stock(s).

2. Overexpose 2/3 Stop

3. Shoot as much on the 25mm and 50mm as you can.

4. Try to shoot between 2.8 and 5.6.

You have a great Package!

Go get em!!!
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#15 Amith Surendran

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:04 AM

Thenks David,

The shoot is over. Thanks to all your suggestions. I always overexposed a minimum of 1/2 stop throughout and shot a grey card for each roll with the same settings, also worked on t2.8 for all scenes . The director wanted to work without a shotlist, it was a different experience, responding intuitively to the situation. Waiting for the rushes.



Good for you... You have a work horse!

I have never noticed any weave (including in any Compositing)... They are not 'perfect'.. but totally acceptable.

A couple suggestions:

1. Try your darndest to use 50d, 100t & 200t Stock(s).

2. Overexpose 2/3 Stop

3. Shoot as much on the 25mm and 50mm as you can.

4. Try to shoot between 2.8 and 5.6.

You have a great Package!

Go get em!!!


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