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Sharpest super 8 transfers i have seen


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#1 Lisala Dolo

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 07:38 AM

I just wanted to post this link
View on Vimeo and ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many of the commercial transfers I have seen. I realize this is K40 and it shows far less grain than many of the newer stocks but I still think the difference is so great that its worth commenting on. The example i posted also gives much more credibility to using super 8 instead of 16mm for low budget shorts.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:29 AM

I just wanted to post this link
View on Vimeo and ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many of the commercial transfers I have seen. I realize this is K40 and it shows far less grain than many of the newer stocks but I still think the difference is so great that its worth commenting on. The example i posted also gives much more credibility to using super 8 instead of 16mm for low budget shorts.


I consider most of your shots close-ups, and yes, they look terrific. You also incorporate blue skys in at least one of the shots, which is another technique I recommend on my super-8 websites. But, if you ever go to wider shots, the contrast that is acceptable in the close up shots will be harder to deal with.

Suddenly, you have more contrast nodes within the same shot, and less resolution to represent each of the contrast nodes. But that is actually still more of a limitation of the video format for not being able to capture the contrast in as pleasing a way as when kodachrome 40 is projected with a nice bright bulb.

I wonder if Kodachrome 40 somehow dropped off in quality in the early 90's and was never quite what it used to be. Part of that might have to do with the processing. Once Kodak sold off the processing part of the business in the United States, the processing was ok, but not necessarily as good as it used to be when Kodak actually did it in Hollywood with their own kodachrome processor. I presume the European processing was good however, even till the end.

I also wonder if Kodachrome 40 film retained the same level of silver in it, or if formulation changes might have occurred to cut costs. I say that only because after the early 90's, I believe it was harder to get the kind of results you are showing us, not impossible, just harder.
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#3 Marc Guerriero

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:08 AM

Don't forget that this guy "Video Fred" is a bit of a technical expert in video. He made his own transfer system that is of very high resolution.
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#4 Steve Wallace

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 03:37 PM

Don't forget that this guy "Video Fred" is a bit of a technical expert in video. He made his own transfer system that is of very high resolution.

Agreed. Fred is no amateur. He posts at filmshooting.com regularly, and I would consider him a subject matter expert.

regards,
(teadub)
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:12 AM

I don't understand what the last two posts are contributing to the discussion.
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#6 Art Leal

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 02:00 PM

I've read that Freddy uses a TIS (The Imaging Source) DFK31F03 ccd unit with a 45mm Sony macro lens focused on the projector gate. Along with that he has a wet method to minimize scratches and several AVISynth scripts. He also does degraining.

Apart from the cost and time of setting up this type of sytem, I imagine that having this setup it might be more viable economically to go with Super 8 vs 16mm, especially with the savings on telecine and transfers and such. Also, owning and using such a device would give one more control over how your transfer looks and would allow further manipulation to your liking.

Tough question to answer... many variables to consider. If all things were equal, meaning I found a transfer house that did Super 8 and 16mm transfers both to my liking, and did them consistently, then for me it would be easier to consider the cost of S8 vs 16mm. I'd also consider which "look" I would want more for a given project.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:30 PM

It is a very fine transfer. I would like to see how it handles wider shots with people, backlight group shots with visible backgrounds.
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#8 Marc Guerriero

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:16 PM

I don't understand what the last two posts are contributing to the discussion.


Well, let's take a look at Lisala's post again:

I just wanted to post this link
View on Vimeo and ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many of the commercial transfers I have seen. I realize this is K40 and it shows far less grain than many of the newer stocks but I still think the difference is so great that its worth commenting on. The example i posted also gives much more credibility to using super 8 instead of 16mm for low budget shorts.


Seems pretty obvious to me!
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#9 Marc Guerriero

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:19 PM

Don't forget that this guy "Video Fred" is a bit of a technical expert in video. He made his own transfer system that is of very high resolution.


Agreed. Fred is no amateur. He posts at filmshooting.com regularly, and I would consider him a subject matter expert.

regards,
(teadub)


I don't understand what the last two posts are contributing to the discussion.


Well, let's take a look at Lisala's post again:

I just wanted to post this link
View on Vimeo and ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many of the commercial transfers I have seen. I realize this is K40 and it shows far less grain than many of the newer stocks but I still think the difference is so great that its worth commenting on. The example i posted also gives much more credibility to using super 8 instead of 16mm for low budget shorts.


Seems pretty obvious to me! Could it be that there are many DIY experts out there that have more time to indulge their time in making their own footage the best that it can be?

Edited by Marc Guerriero, 24 November 2008 - 07:21 PM.

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#10 Lisala Dolo

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:10 AM

Yes Marc your right hobbyist/perfectionist's - Fred - seem to be able to take super 8 to the next level - better than most commercial transfers I have seen and received. I was just amazed at the clarity and sharpness of the footage and also the lack of grain. Thanks for all of the input, it all seems relevant and constructive. Im just gonna have to work alot harder on my own stuff .
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#11 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:45 PM

As far as retaining the specific 'personality' of Kodachrome's colors and tonal scale, it's better than _any_ commercial transfer I've seen, even from 16mm on Spirits etc.

Very interesting.

-Sam
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#12 James Grahame

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 06:34 PM

I just wanted to ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many of the commercial transfers I have seen.

Fred's latest transfers have been absolutely stunning.

Part of the answer is that technology has advanced to the point where it is feasible to produce excellent images with machine vision cameras. However, Fred also takes the time to apply plug-ins during post production to improve the quality of his footage. That work can easily take hours or days of computing time and is simply not feasible in a professional environment where work is billed by the hour, especially if multiple tries are required to get it right.

Another part of the equation is that amateurs are really dedicated to getting the best quality they can out of their footage. They're not afraid to retransfer things several times to get things just right. That said, it's more or less impossible for a DIY system to outdo a high-end commercial transfer performed by someone skilled.

James Grahame
(reflex)
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#13 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 08:22 PM

That said, it's more or less impossible for a DIY system to outdo a high-end commercial transfer performed by someone skilled.

James Grahame
(reflex)


I would say this guy is skilled !

As to high end, I don't know: maybe if we saw Arriscanners doing 8/S8 transfers.... but again this would seem to beat a Spirit (a Spirit"1" in any case).

Break it down, a Spirit IS a transport and a video camera, no matter what anyone says.

I wonder who will be the first to build a DIY rig with RED Scarlet :D

-Sam
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#14 Steven Boldt

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 09:31 PM

I must have seen about 300 transfers in the last week and this is tops.
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

Well, let's take a look at Lisala's post again:



Seems pretty obvious to me! Could it be that there are many DIY experts out there that have more time to indulge their time in making their own footage the best that it can be?


Well, Marc, maybe if you read the very first sentence again, you'll understand my confusion.

I just wanted to post this link
View on Vimeo and ask why many of the DIY super 8 telecine systems seem to produce results far superior to many several commercial transfers I have seen.


The above sentence is referring to MORE than one person place or thing, the sentence is actually referring to SEVERAL DIFFERENT DIY telecine systems, and implying that SEVERAL DIFFERENT DIY systems are better than commercial transfers.

--------------------------------------------------

An example of wider shots is never provided, nor wider shots with additional contrast.
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#16 Steven Boldt

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:28 PM

It's interesting that he added some digital grain to neutralize the film grain. Maybe it's the same principal as adding reverb to a big hall with bad acoustics.

Edited by Steven Boldt, 14 February 2009 - 11:28 PM.

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#17 Marc Guerriero

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 12:51 PM

Well, Marc, maybe if you read the very first sentence again, you'll understand my confusion.



The above sentence is referring to MORE than one person place or thing, the sentence is actually referring to SEVERAL DIFFERENT DIY telecine systems, and implying that SEVERAL DIFFERENT DIY systems are better than commercial transfers.

--------------------------------------------------

An example of wider shots is never provided, nor wider shots with additional contrast.

But Video fred is not the run of the mill video guy among the "collective pool" of DIY video guys. And as far as I am concerned, the majority of DIY video guys don't come close to the quality that Fred Achieves. In fact, most of the DIY transfers look no better than film held up to a magnifying glass with a cigarette lighter on the other side for illumination!
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#18 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:56 PM

I consider most of your shots close-ups, and yes, they look terrific. You also incorporate blue skys in at least one of the shots . . . But, if you ever go to wider shots, the contrast that is acceptable in the close up shots will be harder to deal with.


Indeed, the smaller film formats tend to look the best on close up, well lit subject matter. Filming anything on small format that is (creatively) underexposed, with too much contrast or too much detail -and on reversal stock, to boot- and the resulting image starts to degrade _particularly when transferred to SD video, which can't handle either very well . . .

Which is not intended to lessen the skill of the person(s) who originally shot and who transferred the footage.
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#19 Freddy Van de Putte

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:39 AM

Indeed, the smaller film formats tend to look the best on close up,


Yes, it is the format itself.... An 8mm film frame is very very tiny. 8mm grain is often to large for my taste. That's why I am experimenting with digital removing of all grain. (Avisynth)

Fred.

Edited by Freddy Van de Putte, 16 February 2009 - 03:43 AM.

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#20 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:48 AM

Yes, it is the format itself.... An 8mm film frame is very very tiny. 8mm grain is often to large for my taste. That's why I am experimenting with digital removing of all grain. (Avisynth)

Fred.


You are doing a very good job. Do you have examples of footage that is not so close up, wider angle with more contrast? Would love to see that. Can you handle 16 mm footage? What about negative footage?

Best,

S
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