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Film tests shot on 16 for 35mm...


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#1 Nicholas Melo

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

Hey All,

In a few months I will be shooting a 20 min short on 35mm. The problem is that I won't have access to a 35mm camera until the week we shoot. I've been thinking of doing film tests to look at latitude, grain structure, and push a few different stocks to see how they handle. Could I still do these film tests on 16 or would I have to compensate somehow for 35 having a much larger image size?

In other words when looking at grain structure will 35mm film and 16mm film look just as grainy if they are the same ISO? or since 35mm is roughly 4 times larger than 16mm would I have to step down say 4 stops in the 16mm test?

I hope I made some sense...

Nick
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 10:34 PM

I won't have access to a 35mm camera until the week we shoot. I've been thinking of doing film tests to look at latitude, grain structure, and push a few different stocks to see how they handle. Could I still do these film tests on 16 or would I have to compensate somehow for 35 having a much larger image size?

well, the 16mm frame is about 1/4 or a bit less of the size of the 35mm, so you could pretend that 3/4 of the picture is missing, and try to form an impression of what the whole thing would look like based on that 1/4 image..... If your imagination is good you may be able to form some opinions, but perhaps not be able to get the full impression.

You would also have to perhaps adjust your viewing of the tests to give yoou the same sort of magnification that the final product would be viewed with.

Any chance that the place you are getting the Camera from might be able to "loan" you a test setup for a half day?
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:50 AM

Obviously, 16mm is going to appear more grainy than 35mm. That aside, you can definitely shoot tests with 16mm to prepare yourself for the 35mm shoot. If you have not shot a lot of Film, I'd highly recommend it... you will learn a ton!
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

Don't handicap yourself. You should be doing your tests with the same stock and lenses you are planning on using for the shoot. I'd recommend against shooting in a different format (yes, 16mm and 35mm are definitely different formats), especially when you're talking about evaluating such things as grain structure, and then trying to figure out some formula for making approximate comparisons.
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#5 Nicholas Melo

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for everyone's replies, Im going to get my producers to talk to the rental house here about doing the camera tests, if not I think I might be able to get an Eymo to test the film with although it wouldn't be with the same lenses. I agree it does sound absurd to really try and compare the two. So hopefully I can get my hands on a 35mm camera to do the tests. Thanks again everyone.

Nick
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

Don't handicap yourself. You should be doing your tests with the same stock and lenses you are planning on using for the shoot. I'd recommend against shooting in a different format (yes, 16mm and 35mm are definitely different formats), especially when you're talking about evaluating such things as grain structure, and then trying to figure out some formula for making approximate comparisons.



I completely agree. Not only will film grain and the like look different, it is an opportunity to how lenses and depth of field will look a bit different on the larger format as well. Depth of Field was a huge learning experience for me when I first stepped up to 35 from 16.

Best

Tim
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#7 David Rakoczy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:45 PM

Don't handicap yourself. You should be doing your tests with the same stock and lenses you are planning on using for the shoot. I'd recommend against shooting in a different format (yes, 16mm and 35mm are definitely different formats), especially when you're talking about evaluating such things as grain structure, and then trying to figure out some formula for making approximate comparisons.



A truly definitive test would include the exact stocks, lenses, filters, lab, telecine or print stock, lighting etc. etc. etc you are considering. However it all depends on what level you are at. Again, if you have not exposed a lot of film and you can not test with 35mm, doing a test on S16 would be very educational. To say otherwise would be ignoring these considerations.

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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:58 PM

A truly definitive test would include the exact stocks, lenses, filters, lab, telecine or print stock, lighting etc. etc. etc you are considering. However it all depends on what level you are at. Again, if you have not exposed a lot of film and you can not test with 35mm, doing a test on S16 would be very educational. To say otherwise would be ignoring these considerations.

...and to say so would be ignoring the original post. If one has the financial backing and intention to cover a 20min. 35mm "short feature", especially at a real world shooting ratio, then one should certainly be able to figure in the resources for a preliminary film test using the actual intended stocks and lenses. In other words, if one has the resources to cover shooting a minimum of 80 to 120 minutes worth of 35mm stock (at a bare minimum 4:1-6:1 ratio), then it would defy logic to believe that one can't afford to cover an additional 3-minutes worth of film for a test. "To say otherwise would be ignoring these considerations".
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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:11 PM

...and to say so would be ignoring the original post. If one has the financial backing to cover a 20min. 35mm "short feature", especially at a real world shooting ratio, then one should certainly be able to figure in the resources for a preliminary film test using the actual intended stocks and lenses. In other words, if one has the resources to cover shooting a minimum of 80 to 120 minutes worth of 35mm stock (at a bare minimum 4:1-6:1 ratio), then it would defy logic to believe that one can't afford to cover an additional 3-minutes worth of film for a test. "To say otherwise would be ignoring these considerations".


You are assuming an aweful lot. Tests usually involve a lot more than three minutes of film. They involve more film than that including lighting rental and crew. Of course a difinitive test is best, however, a S16 test can tell you a lot. It was all my 16 experience that gave me confidence to shoot my first 35mm feature (Asylum, Malcolm McDowell & Robert Patrick).... An HBO World Premier... because even on that show I was not afforded any testing.

One can use several minutes of film on slating alone in order to keep track of the stocks, filters, exposures, pushes, pulls, silver retention, cross processing, lenses and on and on... being tested. You can also burn a lot on all the color charts you should be using during tests.

You can continue this debate with yourself.

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#10 Dan Goulder

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:23 PM

You are assuming an aweful lot. Tests usually involve a lot more than three minutes if film.

They don't need to, so you are assuming an awful lot as well.

Eh... enough of that.

To the original poster, if you really won't have the opportunity to run preliminary tests with 35... If you can get good images with 16, then you should have good luck with 35, and will probably be pleasantly surprised at the results. Just remember to keep a critical eye on your focus, as you'll be dealing with a much more limited depth of field than with 16. With proper exposure, you should be able to achieve good results with virtually any stock.
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:32 PM

Hey All,
. . . since 35mm is roughly 4 times larger than 16mm would I have to step down say 4 stops in the 16mm test?

Nick


So if you are shooting S-8 your exposure would be 8 stops lower from "35mm exposure," what ever that means?

Where do you get this notion from? Have you ever seen a light meter that includes a "format you are shooting on" adjustment button to measure light?

If you stop down 4 stops from an accurate light meter, reading there will be close to nothing on the negative. Light sensitivity on stocks or sensors is not size dependent, as far as I have ever read, heard or experienced.

And yes, I would second David' suggestion to shoot as much 16 in the stocks you plan to use for the 35mm shoot. Grain structure -and therefore grain visibility- and depth of field will change, but other than that they are virtually identical.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:55 PM

Saul is absoutey correct and no one has addressed the exposure question posed. Stocks, as far a exposure goes are (generally) the same whether you are shooting S8 or Imax.

The fact that you asked that demonstrates you will earn a tremendous amount from a S16 test.

Good point Saul.

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#13 John Brawley

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:05 PM

In other words when looking at grain structure will 35mm film and 16mm film look just as grainy if they are the same ISO? or since 35mm is roughly 4 times larger than 16mm would I have to step down say 4 stops in the 16mm test?

I hope I made some sense...

Nick


As has already been mentioned, it will be hard to asses grain, but exposure and latitude tests will still be valid.

Im surprised you can't get a camera. Most rental companies will at least allow you to use their test bays so you don't have to take the camera offsite. Have you explored this ?

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#14 Nicholas Melo

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:15 PM

I should clarify a bit...

Yes, I do know how to use a light meter and I realize that 5219 and 7219 need the same amount of light to reach an exposure.

What I meant by stopping down, which is absolutely the wrong language to use, is if I wanted to use 500T on 35mm would a 16mm with similar grain structure be 1/4 of that specific ISO... So would 500T's grain structure on 35mm be similar to a 50 or 64 ISO film's grain structure on 16mm.

After having time to really think about it I'm leaning towards no, but thats what my original question. I apologize if I confused anyone before for not making clear what I was asking.

And actually I am investigating using the rental companies test bays on Monday when they open, thanks for the suggestion.

-Nick

Edited by Nicholas Melo, 31 January 2009 - 08:18 PM.

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#15 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:41 PM

if I wanted to use 500T on 35mm would a 16mm with similar grain structure be 1/4 of that specific ISO... So would 500T's grain structure on 35mm be similar to a 50 or 64 ISO film's grain structure on 16mm.

their has been so much effort put into the new films because of the heavy competition between Fuji and Kodak, working particularly on the 500T stocks as that is what seems to be popular for televison production that I would not expect any corelation between the 500T stock and the rest of any line as far as grain stucture. A big factor may be when the "boys and Girls in the lab" last looked at a given formula.

(a 250T designed two years ago might be almost as gariny as the latest and greatest 500T that came out of the lab in the last couple of months.)

NOW

Since 16mm is about (very roughly) a 1/4 the size of 35mm in area the SAME film will look grainier in a 16mm production than in a 35mm production.
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#16 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 02:36 AM

What I meant by stopping down, which is absolutely the wrong language to use, is if I wanted to use 500T on 35mm would a 16mm with similar grain structure be 1/4 of that specific ISO... So would 500T's grain structure on 35mm be similar to a 50 or 64 ISO film's grain structure on 16mm.


Ah see.

I find (David and others may agree) that 16mm Kodak Vision ('01, '12 and '17) stocks are very fine grained. If exposed properly- they can look very similar to the 35mm versions, except for depth of field, of course.

It really depends how you are lighting your sets / exposing your footage, as well as how you are posting it and what your end format will be. The more light you have available the better grain response you get, no matter the stock. And if you are doing a hi res DI and finishing for HD, you may notice the difference between 16 mm and 35 mm, but lay persons will likely never guess.

I would think the difference may be 1 or 2 stops worth more grain on S16 mm than 35 mm, in the ideal situations
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