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Ultra 16mm.... Finally!!


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#1 Paul Korver

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:00 AM

Hi All,
I've seen a lot of Ultra 16mm discussions on this board... most of it hypothetical. We decided to dig into it at Cinelicious so for the past few months we've been R&Ding an Ultra 16mm Mod for a Canon Scoopic (I'm an avid Scoopic shooter). We also had a gate made for Ultra 16mm telecine. Then we had issues with processing... turns out not all labs rollers are created equal. Some labs scratch/rub the area between the perfs ruining the Ultra 16mm image. Finally... we found a lab who's processing is clean & we've got the whole workflow down from acquisition through post and after few months of trial and error the results are in and looking gorgeous. A native widescreen 16mm image that's perfect for HD and doesn't break the bank. Can you tell I'm excited? There's more info and HD sample footage on our site (www.cinelicious.tv) under Services>Ultra 16mm.

Enjoy!

-Paul
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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:15 AM

Finally... we found a lab who's processing is clean & we've got the whole workflow down from acquisition through post and after few months of trial and error the results are in and looking gorgeous.



I am assuming Alphacine... but you just need to handle U16 as you would handle S-16 i.e. wind it down after processing with a set of tight winds. Also you need to have a non sprocket drive film processor like an Allen which is all tires. We have both an Allen for 16mm/S8 ECN and a Treise for 16mm/35mm ECN that is the typical machine used by bigger labs. The Treise is sprocket drive which precludes running U-16 because they never thought about using the image area between the perfs.

-Rob-


Cinelab has a U16 gate in development at the machine shop now too.
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#3 Paul Korver

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:23 AM

Good to know Rob. Yeah... we had bad results with bigger labs (Fotokem, Deluxe). Alphacine's came back clean as a whistle between the perfs. Good to re: your U16mm gate. Not a lot of support for it out there right now so the more options the better!

Best,

Paul
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#4 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:29 AM

Sing it with me guys, "We are the world" :lol:

Seriously, anything to keep film going is a good thing.

Tom
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:15 PM

This?

http://www.cinematog...n...t=0&start=0

If so, fantastic!
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:43 PM

This?

http://www.cinematog...n...t=0&start=0

If so, fantastic!


Just checked your site. Wish you success with the project. Keep us informed with how it's going. 16mm is still a superior HD level capture medium and your U16 makes it even more so.
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#7 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:10 PM

very exciting, the footage looks of the highest quality, I was very impressed. I was wondering if there was also the option of keeping the footage as 1.85 aspect ratio?
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#8 Paul Korver

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:18 PM

very exciting, the footage looks of the highest quality, I was very impressed. I was wondering if there was also the option of keeping the footage as 1.85 aspect ratio?


Yes we can Evan... however, it depends on your Ultra 16mm camera. The Scoopic does vignette ever so slightly in the corners at certain zoom lengths which edges a tiny bit into the corners of a 1:85 aspect... but at 1.78 it's clean all the way through. So for an Ultra 16mm Scoopic we're recommending full-frame 1.78 HD transfers. There are other Ultra 16mm cameras that don't have this issue which we could transfer at 1:85. Call Bernie at Super 16mm Inc who would know best about other cameras.

-Paul

Edited by Paul Korver, 20 November 2008 - 01:19 PM.

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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:58 PM

This?

http://www.cinematog...n...t=0&start=0

If so, fantastic!


Close, but not quite, more like this:

http://marylandfilms...6-compared.html

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 20 November 2008 - 05:59 PM.

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#10 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:12 PM

Close, but not quite, more like this:

http://marylandfilms...6-compared.html


Yea, I spoke too soon. I still wish them all the luck.
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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:31 PM

Good to know Rob. Yeah... we had bad results with bigger labs (Fotokem, Deluxe). Alphacine's came back clean as a whistle between the perfs. Good to re: your U16mm gate. Not a lot of support for it out there right now so the more options the better!

Best,

Paul



I am not sure what processors Alpha runs but have always heard good things about them, I think Deluxe and probably Fotokem run on Treise or TFS sprocket drive processors which will preclude trouble free U16 but make running 35mm at higher speeds very safe. We have both and a few people have been calling about U16 so I decided to work out a gate.

-Rob-
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#12 Ira Ratner

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:01 PM

Can someone give me a dummy's lesson on what this means to a dummy like me?

In other words, all you have to do (if possible for your camera) is expand the gate 7mm on two sides, and find someone who can process and telecine the stuff?
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#13 Jim Exton

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:40 PM

Can someone give me a dummy's lesson on what this means to a dummy like me?

In other words, all you have to do (if possible for your camera) is expand the gate 7mm on two sides, and find someone who can process and telecine the stuff?


To piggyback on Ira's question, can a CP16R be converted or only camera that use single pull down claws and not a system of rollers?
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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 11:36 PM

To piggyback on Ira's question, can a CP16R be converted or only camera that use single pull down claws and not a system of rollers?


I know CP16s are some of the harder cameras to convert to S16, if not near impossible. I don't really know about U16, though. IMO, the greatest strength of U16 is that one can use most R16 lenses unlike S16 to shoot 1.85 natively on 16mm stock. I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.
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#15 Will Montgomery

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:28 AM

I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.


You basically need a telecine that can "see" the entire film including the sprocket holes. Here in Dallas I've worked with a Millenium, Spirit and Y-Fronts; none of which can see into that area. Super 16 no problem, but not the sprockets. I'm sure Paul knows more about the technical issues. I have seen effects where the entire frame including sprockets are transfered so there must be some type of machine that can do it. Maybe a modified Spirit but not with the stock gates.
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#16 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:32 AM

I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.



Highly unlikely as the Spirit is a fixed imager and the construction of the gate makes modification difficult. The Millenium machine should be allot easier to modify a gate for.

-Rob-
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#17 Patrick Neary

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:51 AM

I know CP16s are some of the harder cameras to convert to S16, if not near impossible. I don't really know about U16, though.


Hi-

Visual Products has been converting CPs for several years now, and apparently Aranda does as well. I can't speak to the difficulty of it (only those guys can) but it doesn't appear to be near-impossible.
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#18 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:06 AM

Hi-

Visual Products has been converting CPs for several years now, and apparently Aranda does as well. I can't speak to the difficulty of it (only those guys can) but it doesn't appear to be near-impossible.



And I may be way off base on this, but I thought Ken down at Whitehouse Audio Visual used to do conversions of the CP's, in fact, I thought that was one of the things he specialized in.

Best,
-Tim
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#19 Simon Wyss

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:35 AM

If I ever come to Hollywood with our new old lab you all will find us processing U-16 originals with a kiss on the hand.
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#20 Paul Korver

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:05 PM

You basically need a telecine that can "see" the entire film including the sprocket holes. Here in Dallas I've worked with a Millenium, Spirit and Y-Fronts; none of which can see into that area. Super 16 no problem, but not the sprockets. I'm sure Paul knows more about the technical issues. I have seen effects where the entire frame including sprockets are transfered so there must be some type of machine that can do it. Maybe a modified Spirit but not with the stock gates.


Yeah you're right Will. And since a new S16mm Spirit gate costs $150,000 I think you'll find Spirit owners reluctant to experiment with a mod to support a relatively rare format like U16. My gate substantially less than that so it was a risk... but it made sense for me to get a second gate and have it modified. The first half of U16mm demo clip on our site ( http://www.cinelicious.tv/?page_id=39 ) shows how with the new U16 gate mod we get much wider view of the 16mm frame (with sprocket holes visible). This also opens up some cool "effects pass" work (where you see the frame edge and sproket holes) that can't be done on normal 16mm & S16mm gates.
-Paul
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