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Price/Performance -S16mm vs. Ultra 16mm vs. 2Perf35


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#1 Alain Lumina

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:36 AM

Hello;

Independent writer/producer here, saving up for a non-commercial fantasy feature,
lots of outdoor scenery, water shots, definitely need portability. About one third
will be indoors with electricity available.

I'm figuring out what camera to get to shoot my film.

It looks like the sweet spot in price-performance is among these stocks--
full 35mm seems too expensive, regular 16 may lack adequate resolution.

And politically-promotion-wise, with 2 perf you can say "It's on 35 mm."

Ideas, opinions, sales pitches?

Thanks
Alain Lumina

http://magicalrealis....com/poster.mov
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

I'm figuring out what camera to get to shoot my film.


Hi Alain,

if rental is out of the question for various reasons I'd recommend hiring a cinematographer who already owns a camera or has access to one. There is many of us around. No need to endure the hassle of selecting, collecting and paying for the body, lenses etc yourself. After all, that is, in part, what we are here for. ;). I think that S16 will be a good choice for just about any story of that kind. Unless of course, you need the increased resolution of 35mm for opticals, VFX etc. I'd recommend spending the savings on set design, costumes and the like.

Regards, Dave
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:34 PM

It is going to be cheaper to buy and outfit a S16 U16 camera than a 2 perf 35mm one, if you intend on buying it. 2 perf 35 mm will give you more resolution, obviously, but do you really need it? If you will release a 35mm theatrical print, fine, but otherwise S16 / U16 will be good enough. 16 mm fine grained film stocks will do wonders when properly shot, lit and scanned to data HD.

David is right to suggest finding a DP with access to the gear you are looking for. And also about spending your money wisely. If you intend to make a fantasy film, sets and efx will be $$$$.

Bruce Taylor at Indie 35 rents his Russian 2-perf 35 mm for a very reasonable amount, but otherwise be prepared to spend big bucks on one. Aaton is delivering their Penelope 2 perf 35 mm camera soon, if they haven't already, but it will be pricey to rent. You will be hard pressed to find a nicer 2 perf camera, though.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:25 PM

[/quote]

Bruce Taylor at Indie 35 rents his Russian 2-perf 35 mm for a very reasonable amount

[/quote]

Thanks for the plug, Saul. the website is www.Indi35.com, BTW.

I think it would only make sense to buy a camera if you were going to shoot it over a long period of time with the intention of selling it when you were done. That could be economical. There are some amazing deals out there these days on very nice modern Arri and Aaton S16 cameras. Otherwise hiring a DP with his own kit seems sensible.

I think 2 perf 35mm is great (obviously!), especially if your project calls for a 2.4:1 aspect ratio image. However, sync sound 35mm gear is heavy, requires a lot of cases and is not easy to move around like 16mm is. If location sound is not important, Arri IIC or Konvas 35mm cameras are very portable, cheap to buy or rent (though 2 perf conversions are expensive).

Alternatively- depending on the project- you could get really creative. There's no reason you couldn't shoot MOS S16 or U16 with a Bolex (for portablility), sound with a S16mm Aaton (for economy) and the big landscapes in 4 perf anamorphic (or 2 perf flat) 35mm. You have a lot of possibilities.

Good luck,

Bruce Taylor
www.Indi35.com
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:32 PM

As you may have detected, there is such a thing as format loyalty. I'll recommend 2-perf. It can be done better and done cheaper than 16mm.

OK, fellas. Flame-on.
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#6 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:56 PM

OK, fellas. Flame-on.


Bruening! Here I am trying to be fair and balanced and you come up with this one-sided, unsupported recommendation!

You are, of course, correct as well. 2 perf would surely look beautiful while potentially being more economical than S or U16.

Bruce
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