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Moving from Video to 8, 16 or 35.


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#1 Wayne Crider

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 04:06 PM

Ok. I'm a newbie to the forum here. Background in national cable TV and producing commercials, starting as a grip about 9 or 10 years back and progressed to doing some directing and camera work. I currently have a SD JVC GY DV700W with an Angenieux 14x8 lens that has been sitting for the last couple of years while I have been in another business. As an avid still analog photographer I have always thought about using a film camera and so wanted to post a question or two for the film guys here. As I know that cost run up in format size, I'd still like to know the range of entry cost into the the three formats and buying decent used equipment. I came to this forum thru APUG.org as a member and readiing some talk about 8mm over there. Maybe someone can give me a quick run down on camera and film cost in the three formats. I have sticks and lights and all, so all I would need would be a camera and film. I investigated Bolex 8mm about a year ago but without a good working knowledge of the equipment all I did was look and I've forgotten what I have found. I would love tho to shoot at least 16mm and I suppose 35mm would be a dream. Thanks in advance for your insights.
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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 03:33 AM

Why should 35 mm be a dream ? With some discipline you'll get far. Not so expensive cameras: Bell & Howell Eyemo, Arriflex II, DeVry "Lunch Box", Konvas (russian). You find less problems in having something printed than with 16-mm film. Finally you can take your 35-mm pictures to every cinema on the globe. Give the projectionist something more than a coffee, maybe a tenner, and study the job, big.
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#3 Ira Ratner

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:26 AM

Hi, Wayne.

DO you want to shoot anything in particular? Or just "mess around" a little?

I'm a noob with Cine, but I learned that sound is the bitch. I'll be shooting 16 with an inexpensive hand-wind K-3, and doing the sound thing in the future:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...id=p3286.c0.m14

What a lot of people do is convert their 16 to Super 16. Since basically all 16 film is now single perf, they expand the opening to use all of the film surface. When transferred to digital, this gets you closer to 35mm quality.

I got the K3 mainly because it was CHEAP, and it comes in two lens mount formats. The one shown, like mine, is M42 screw type, so I can use all of those M42 lenses floating around on eBay that were meant for film SLRs.
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#4 Serge Teulon

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 07:25 AM

Hi Wayne,

If you want to dispel the mysticism of 35mm without spending too much money then I recommend that you contact kodak/fuji ask them to send you a stills roll of your preferred stock, slot it in to your slr(if you have one) and take some pics whilst taking notes of your exposures in frame.
You can then really understand that your eye is really your best asset!
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#5 Wayne Crider

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:23 PM

Hi, Wayne.

DO you want to shoot anything in particular? Or just "mess around" a little?

I'm a noob with Cine, but I learned that sound is the bitch. I'll be shooting 16 with an inexpensive hand-wind K-3, and doing the sound thing in the future:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...id=p3286.c0.m14

What a lot of people do is convert their 16 to Super 16. Since basically all 16 film is now single perf, they expand the opening to use all of the film surface. When transferred to digital, this gets you closer to 35mm quality.

I got the K3 mainly because it was CHEAP, and it comes in two lens mount formats. The one shown, like mine, is M42 screw type, so I can use all of those M42 lenses floating around on eBay that were meant for film SLRs.


Hey Ira your right down the road from me. I'm in Lauderhill, west of University.

My thoughts on subject matter is to shoot some nature stuff. If you've ever seen Sunday Morning on CBS at the end they do a, ( now very short), nature segment. I like that. Like a still shot but with sound and movement in the scene. I could obviously do it with my camera, (although I'd prefer something a little lighter), so I would like to move in that direction eventually.

That ability to use screw mounts is pretty nice. Camera looks interesting. Thanks for the link. I'll have to keep that in mind.
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#6 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:33 PM

Unless you're looking for the 8mm/S8mm look, which is pretty specific, I would stick with 16mm or 35mm. And like Simon says, why not try 35mm? I can't believe the 35mm Konvas outfits (crystal motor, lens set, mags) I am seeing on ebay. Brand new or close to new for about $1000 (ebay Item number: 300269302484, seller sovjak). Using short ends and a low cost lab you can shoot 35 for less than 16mm.

Live the dream! You only go around once.


Bruce Taylor
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#7 Ira Ratner

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:48 PM

HOORAY! I HAVE A NEW CINE BUDDY NEAR ME!

Wayne, if you decide to go this inexpensive K3 route as a starter plan, keep in mind that you can borrow any of my lenses and other stuff! I've been on a buying spree the last few months, including a Peleng 8mm. (300 bucks!!!)

I'm on NW 110th Avenue, just west of Coral Springs Drive, and between Sample and Wiles. Right near Coral Springs Elementary.

I haven't even TESTED all of my equipment yet, but I had planned to do my first few rolls in the preserve at the end of Loxahatchee Road off 441.

Ever been there? It is PHENOMENAL for nature stuff--alligators and all, and right in our own backyard!
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 03:05 AM

Forget about 8mm or S8, it's a consumer format and not much less expensive than 16mm. If you DO decide to go that route, Nizo is the way to go. Of course NOTHING shows more style than a Beaulieu 5008-S (well ANY of the '008 series), even as they're breaking down, you still look cool! :D

AS for 16mm, Arri BL hands down IF you can afford it, otherwise an Arri S or SB. Below that Canon Scopic. If you want a cheap camera, Beaulieu R16. (I got one of these for fun and to use in the non-profit film school we are planning on opening) They are temperamental and fragile BUT they ARE cool! There are those that also Like the Russian K3. Good reliable cameras. Bolex REX are good too.

A Konvas is your best bet for an inexpensive 35mm movie camera. They are practically indestructible and produce EXCELLENT pictures. IF you go with the turret style Konvas, the lenses are VERY inexpensive and most Konvas packages come with a set. They are noisy though, MOS cameras (not good for recording sound) although the newer styles do have crystal sync motors available for them. The next best bet would probably be an Arri 2 A, B or C (B or C would be better). This is the definitive indy film camera, more expensive than the Konvas (and in my opinion, not NEARLY as well made or well designed). They can be converted to a PL mount so you can use the newest lenses (though, because of price, you'll probably have to rent.). In sync cameras, your best bet is the Kinor 35H with updated electronics or the Arri BL-1 or 2. The Kinor is less expensive but the Arri are good cameras too. Then there's the Mitchell BNCR, VERY good camera at a reasonable price but you're gonna need those sticks with this one, same with the Mitchell BNC and NC MOS cameras. The Eyemo is OK but for what they cost, go with a Konvas or Arri.

Cameras are not the major expense though, The REAL savings on a one man shoot is in how you buy film and negotiate with the lab. Short ends will be the cheapest (THIS is where the Konvas REALLY shines with it's quick change mag design), Recans will be the next cheapest and then sealed cans left over from other people's shoots, finally buying from the manufacturer, MOST expensive, THOUGH they will send you 400 ft or so to test for free if you tell them you're planning a movie AND you can be assured the film is perfect when you get it. The whole key to saving money is to negotiate well and EVERYTHING is negotiable even factory film. On little shoots you can usually get a cast and crew for free BUT I warn you if they are working for free, TREAT THEM WELL and FEED them, that's the un-written rule of indy film making and WAY to many people break it. You've already done video shoots so you should already know that part. (BTW, MY first camera was a GY-500U , Gotta LOVE those JVCs) B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 04 November 2008 - 03:09 AM.

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#9 Simon Wyss

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:18 AM

Using short ends and a low cost lab you can shoot 35 for less than 16mm.

Live the dream! You only go around once.


Bruce Taylor

Exactly. 35 can be cheaper than 16 when you make yourself a lab's friend. Believe me, I have known a number of @*$#! clients who haven't got the slightest understanding of what lab people do in general and in particular. You can save money with one-band assembly where 16 needs to be spliced in checkerboard fashion, sometimes 16 costs as much as 35 in processing, the projection thing I explained already, and t-h-e-n : 35 yields something of a picture, resolution-wise (greatings from The Apartment, 1960). Almost no grain trouble.

You are respected ! That's a cine camera, not a television squirt gun. (What am I mean !) Sound comes in good quality w-i-t-h-o-u-t extra costs. Edit 35 or split magnetic film on a flatbed and you're ready for the sound studio. There again you are respected. A-n-d you can have 35 reduced to 16. That looks nice at festivals.
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#10 Simon Wyss

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 12:47 PM

greetings
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#11 Thomas James

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 06:15 PM

So how much does an hours worth of short end 35mm film clips cost to purchase and develop using this underground lab ?
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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:04 AM

Figure 5 to 10 cents a foot for short ends with 8 to 15 cents a foot for processing figure 90 feet per minute at 24 frames per second times 60 minutes which equals 5400 feet so $270 to $540 bucks for film plus $432 to $810 bucks for processing so $702 to $1350 for 1 hours worth of processed film. HOOOWWWEEEEVEERRR, THAT does NOT mean you'll have an hour of USABLE processed film, You have to figure on the camera ramping up and slating PLUS takes, out takes, coverage, ect. so figure on what your SHOOTING RATIO (the amount of film you're gonna shot compared to the amount of film you will actually edit together to make the movie). A shooting ratio of 4 to 1 is absurdly low but doable, I've even heard of a 3 to 1 shooting ratio but remember at these kind of ratios, you will have to settle for what you get which may NOT be what you want or need. There IS a way to shoot the film at a shooting ratio of 1 to 1 which is to put a zoom lens on the camera, rehearse the HELL out of the project including camera moves and shoot it like it was a play. It WILL work but remember, if someone flubs a line or screws up blocking, you just have to keep going in the EXACT same way you would if you were on stage, the only difference is it's recorded for all posterity to see the mistakes over and over again so there's no going back, changing timing, editing for effect, NOTHING, what ya git is what you got. That's a scary way to make a movie BUT it can be done if ya got the cahone's or are just plain crazy enough to try! B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 05 November 2008 - 12:06 AM.

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#13 Simon Wyss

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:10 AM

Let me calculate for a 10 minutes 35 mm black-and-white short, COMOPT

Camera, $ 3000 including lenses (Arriflex II)
Raw stock, 4000 feet, ratio 4.44 to 1, $ 600
Processing, 4000 ft. X 20 cents, $ 800
Dailies, 4000 ft. X 50 cents, $ 2000
Projections with processing lab free
Sound copy on split magnetic film, 2000 ft., $ 100
Synch work yourself
Editing yourself
Conforming of polyester negative, $ 500
Sound negative, 900 ft., $ 450
Trial answer print, 900 ft., $ 1000

Total, $ 8450

Please, don't forget, you make a film. With polyester base stock the original can be welded and will last a long time. An interpositive and an internegative or a reversal internegative (yes, there are even new materials available in black and white) can be made for wider distribution.

If you're afraid of synchronizing picture and sound yourself, that'll be a professional editor's job. Labs usually charge per clapper like $ 5 or so. Moviola or flatbed editing machine can be rented. You'll also need some small items such as cores, felt markers, scissors, leaders, a couple Rivas with tape, isopropanol and cotton swabs for cleaning, another $ 100.

I am not familiar with everything electronic at all. I master the classic work.
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#14 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:55 AM

Consider 2-perf:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Techniscope

Cut those film and lab costs in half but keep that 35mm image. It's not a perfect solution. But, it is a lot cheaper. Techniscope is strongest if you assume you will always go with a digital intermediate:

http://en.wikipedia....al_Intermediate

Telecine is the cheapest digitization method. It is often referred to as a DI, though technically only full scans are DI. Datacines are next cheapest and are somewhat better than telecine but not as good as a high-res scan. Scanning is best in quality but biggest in cost.

2-perf has only found a resurgence because of digital conversion. It's kind of a pain in the butt if you want to stay optical from start to finish.

If you're more into the learning/experience phase. A Konvas 1M in 4-perf would be the easiest to shoot, most reasonable cost (camera and short ends), and printable for viewing at a local theater's projector.
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#15 Wayne Crider

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

I want to say thanks for the info on the formats. With Simon's and James' insights into cost on 35mm where does 16mm stand in comparison? Like I said maybe 35mm will be a pipe dream. I'm not looking to spend $8k on a 10 minute short. In fact I may be interested in developing the film myself as I have darkroom experience. I also have a group of actors friends to call upon and one of my best friends is an editor. I need to research the cameras tho and I'll do that first and take it from there.
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#16 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 08:42 PM

Most color negative cine film has an anti-halation coating on the backside that has to be washed off in the first step of processing (ECNII). This takes a continuous processor made for the job. Otherwise, someone could make up a 200' reel like in still photography lab and do the processing in trays. But, alas, you have to have something that's too much trouble. Continuous processors need volume whether steady business or large enough batches to make it worth doing.

I'd love it if there was some way to do color neg in my bath tub.
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 02:13 AM

I want to say thanks for the info on the formats. With Simon's and James' insights into cost on 35mm where does 16mm stand in comparison? Like I said maybe 35mm will be a pipe dream. I'm not looking to spend $8k on a 10 minute short. In fact I may be interested in developing the film myself as I have darkroom experience. I also have a group of actors friends to call upon and one of my best friends is an editor. I need to research the cameras tho and I'll do that first and take it from there.


Shoot B&W reversal which in Kodak would mean

Kodak 4-X reversal film 7277 400D/320T introduced in 1967
Kodak Tri-X TV reversal film 7727, TVTX, no longer identified by EKC

and develop it in a Lomo tank then dry it on your own home built drying rack. The Lomo developing tank runs about a hundred to two hundred bucks. 35mm B&W reversal will be more expensive than negative stock but it eliminates the need for printing or telecine so developing B&W at home is doable. You WILL need a 35mm projector though to view it though. They have portables fairly cheap, maybe a grand. You will probably be limited to 100 ft rolls because of the tank size (it MAY even be 50 ft. I can't remember exactly what the Lomo holds) but it IS doable with practice. Stay away from the Morris developing tank used by the Army, they are a pain in the ass and don't seem to give as good results. I did something a bit more elaborate which is gathered up all the equipment needed to furnish a private motion picture processing lab including an Oxberry areal optical printer, a standard optical printer, a step printer, a continuous contact printer, a Domino 4x4 film scanner, a processing machine w/ a soundtrack processor module, a densometer, a thin line splicer, a Source 2 splice, various glassware and electronic scales. and a BUNCH of chemicals.

I also have been been building a library of book on film processing and printing. For 35mm sound, I picked up one of each of the MTM and Magnasync mag film recorders as well as a pair of Magnasync sound reproducers, so I should be able to record sound from my Nagra to 35mm mag reels in house. Of course the mag reels will have to be sent out at this point to a sound lab to have them shot and printed as optical sound reels. (I did find a machine to do that but at 50K it was out of my price range at this point. BUT down the road we will get one. I also still need a Solitaire Cine II or III or equivalent if we decide to go through a DI on anything but for Blood Moon Rising, we'll probably go all film route). We're currently looking for a warehouse to convert to a studio with a place for the lab and editing rooms ad a set up so we can also screen films on one of the sound stages.

I mentioned the editing room because also have a pair of KEM flatbed editing machines with a high speed rewind and a pair of Acmade edge coding machines along with the editing support equipment. I n addition I have a SuperSimplex 35mm dailies projector that can accept mag reels for sound when screening the film or can also read optical tracks like any other projector. Once we find a warehouse to buy, I'll probably look around for a pair of either Simplex XL, SuperSimplex or Century projectors and set up a projection booths so we can wheel in the Magnasync reproducers, hook them up to the Selsyn setup and screen the entire film while we're still working on it for timing and for testing perhaps even with test audiences. I still need a Moviola upright for sound editing and a synchronizer with some long shaft hard re-winds. I've held off on the synchronizer until I can find a Pic-sync at a reasonable price but those are hard to find. I also want a 4 plate portable flatbed so I can do some work at home. BUT we could live without it if necessary.). This did take a couple of years to gather everything up at prices I could afford but reproducing my efforts for developing movie film may be a going a little overboard for your home processing set-up. :D
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#18 Ira Ratner

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 07:48 PM

Wayne, a 100-foot daylight spool of 16mm b&w reversal, with processing, is just 50 bucks. And that's about 3 minutes. (Spectra Film & Video in Hollywood--but the REAL Hollywood! Not ours here in South Florida!)

The two Kodak choices for 16mm B&W reversal are Plus-X/ASA 100....and Tri-X/ASA 200, for daylight use. The stocks are 7265 and 7266 respectively, as pointed to here:

Plus-X:

http://motion.kodak...._Films/7265.htm

Tri-X:

http://motion.kodak....versal/7266.htm
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:10 AM

OOPPPPSSSS, sorry I f*cked up, those were 16mm stocks I posted (brain lock I guess, sorry). I don't think anyone makes 35mm B&W reversal anymore. Kodak makes 5285 color reversal stock which processes E-6 but I don't know if color reversal has a anti-halation coat. I would IMAGINE it does and if it does, that's a problem for tank processing because the rem-jet can't be frushed from the tank very successfully and will likely end up on your processed film emulsion as black flakes, BUT you CAN still process B&W negative stock and have it printed. Not as cheap as reversal but it will save you SOME cash.
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#20 Daniel Porto

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:25 AM

I suppose 35mm would be a dream.


Heaven is a place on earth...

http://cgi.ebay.com/...o...A1|240:1318
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