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Is cropped 16mm footage worth scanning in 2k?


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:06 PM

Hello all,

I need a bit of advice before embarking on my first feature shoot in a month or so. My original plan was to shoot on Super 16 with a rented camera, but for budgetary reasons I will be shooting B&W 16mm instead, using my Eclair ACL 1.5, using the following lenses:

9.5-57 Angenieux zoom
12-120 Angenieux zoom
75mm Angenieux
25mm f/0.9 Angenieux
10mm Angenieux

My groundglass has 1.85 and I'm strongly considering cropping the final footage to that aspect ratio, seeing as all my storyboards are done in that aspect ratio.

My original workflow was going to be:

- shoot the footage, develop
- telecine at 32 bit
- edit, compile a final EDL
- using the EDL as reference, scan the footage at 2K
- colour correct and finalize

Now my question is, given the fact that I will be shooting 16mm B&W instead of super 16mm, would it be worth it to scan at 2K? Especially since there will be a lot of low-light night shooting, which will inherently result in grain, which I'm ok with stylistically.

Any help with that decision or any other advice about my workflow would be highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ray
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

Yes, definitely scan your edit selects at 2K, for two reasons:

1. You will be using R16, so you will all the resolution you can squeeze out of it, and
2. low light will look better at 2K, as you correctly assume.

If you frame for 1.85:1 on camera you will be fairly close to the HDTV 16X9 aspect ratio in case you decide to do that instead . . .

What stocks will you be using? Reversal B/W stocks tend to be less grainy than negative B/W stocks. The trade off is latitude, in a major way.
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:24 PM

Yes, definitely scan your edit selects at 2K, for two reasons:

1. You will be using R16, so you will need all the resolution you can squeeze out of it, and
2. low light will look better at 2K, as you correctly assume.

If you frame for 1.85:1 on camera you will be fairly close to the HDTV 16X9 aspect ratio in case you decide to do that instead . . .

What stocks will you be using? Reversal B/W stocks tend to be less grainy than negative B/W stocks. The tradeoff is latitude, in a major way.


Need to upgrade to the sustaining membership . . .
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#4 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:32 PM

What is your destination format?
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#5 Ray Noori

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

Yes, definitely scan your edit selects at 2K, for two reasons:

1. You will be using R16, so you will all the resolution you can squeeze out of it, and
2. low light will look better at 2K, as you correctly assume.

If you frame for 1.85:1 on camera you will be fairly close to the HDTV 16X9 aspect ratio in case you decide to do that instead . . .

What stocks will you be using? Reversal B/W stocks tend to be less grainy than negative B/W stocks. The trade off is latitude, in a major way.


Thanks Saul! I actually had no idea that reversal tends to be less grainy. I will need the latitude badly, however, so I doubt that I'd be using reversal stocks.

What is your destination format?


That's a great question, and undecided as of now. I would like to do a 35mm blowup if I can get the money together, but I'm not sure how good cropped 16mm would look blown up to 35mm.
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#6 marc barbé

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:57 AM

Thanks Saul! I actually had no idea that reversal tends to be less grainy. I will need the latitude badly, however, so I doubt that I'd be using reversal stocks.



That's a great question, and undecided as of now. I would like to do a 35mm blowup if I can get the money together, but I'm not sure how good cropped 16mm would look blown up to 35mm.


Hi,
I don't understand: if your groundglass on the ACL is 1.85, I guess it has been upgraded to Super 16?
In case it's a regular 16mm ACL, cropping a 1.33 frame to 1.85 for 35mm blow up will create quite a bit of grain, since you'll be using only about 2/3 of the original 16mm neg... (and don't forget the lenses you'll be using are not that sharp)
But if you're planning on theatrical release, I'm not sure 2K will solve the grain problem (after all, it's only a blown up scan of the original footage)
Also, HD post production is quite expensive if you want to do things right
I suggest you make a few tests before you decide wich way to go.
Good luck.
Marc.
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:01 PM

Thanks Saul! I actually had no idea that reversal tends to be less grainy. I will need the latitude badly, however, so I doubt that I'd be using reversal stocks.


B/W reversal stocks are more fine grained than B/W negative stocks only because Kodak has kept R&D money flowing into reversal B/W stocks. Negative B/W stocks have been left pretty much the same for several decades now _as Hollywood movies almost exclusively shoot on color stocks. Some of the movies that have been released on B/W in the lst few years (The Man Who Wasn't There, Control, etc) were actually shot on Vision color stocks and desaturated in post. This is something you may want to consider doing, since you are going to digital anyway. . .
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:18 PM

I think Pi was shot on reversal B/W 16 mm (or S-16) blown up to 35mm optically. I saw it on a 50' screen, and the grain was completely acceptable for 16 mm originated footage, but certainly visibly obvious. 16mm blown up to 35mm can certainly work for the project, but perhaps looking into 4K resolutions wouldn't hurt?
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:23 PM

B/W reversal stocks are more fine grained than B/W negative stocks only because Kodak has kept R&D money flowing into reversal B/W stocks. Negative B/W stocks have been left pretty much the same for several decades now _as Hollywood movies almost exclusively shoot on color stocks. Some of the movies that have been released on B/W in the lst few years (The Man Who Wasn't There, Control, etc) were actually shot on Vision color stocks and desaturated in post. This is something you may want to consider doing, since you are going to digital anyway. . .


reversal stocks are inately less grainy than a similar speed negative.
the larger grains are exposed, devolped and bleached out. leaving the finer grains which are "exposed" and developed.
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:42 PM

Hi,I don't understand: if your groundglass on the ACL is 1.85, I guess it has been upgraded to Super 16?



Not necessarily. I have shot several features 1:85 on R16. Remember 1:85 is just an aspect ratio not the size of your neg. Aspect ratio (4:3, 1:78, 1:85 & 2:40) is different from Format (8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, DV, DVCPro HD, RED and on and on). You can shoot 1:85 in S8 or Regular 8 for that matter. You can shoot 2:40 on S8. Heck, you could shoot 1:85 using 2mm Film (if there was such a thing) tho you would only have a couple grains to render your image :lol:

!:85 is an aspect ratio.. the 'format' tells you how much info you can pack into that 1:85 frame.
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#11 Ray Noori

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:07 PM

Hi,
I don't understand: if your groundglass on the ACL is 1.85, I guess it has been upgraded to Super 16?


Sorry for the misunderstanding Marc. The groundglass isn't 1.85, it just has 1.85 markings to make the framing easier.

B/W reversal stocks are more fine grained than B/W negative stocks only because Kodak has kept R&D money flowing into reversal B/W stocks. Negative B/W stocks have been left pretty much the same for several decades now _as Hollywood movies almost exclusively shoot on color stocks. Some of the movies that have been released on B/W in the lst few years (The Man Who Wasn't There, Control, etc) were actually shot on Vision color stocks and desaturated in post. This is something you may want to consider doing, since you are going to digital anyway. . .


I will definitely do some testing with reversal stock, but shooting on Vision color stock is actually a very attractive option. John Boorman did that for The General as well I think, on top of the examples you named.


I think Pi was shot on reversal B/W 16 mm (or S-16) blown up to 35mm optically. I saw it on a 50' screen, and the grain was completely acceptable for 16 mm originated footage, but certainly visibly obvious. 16mm blown up to 35mm can certainly work for the project, but perhaps looking into 4K resolutions wouldn't hurt?


Pi was shot on B&W S-16. I didn't have a chance to see it theatrically. The question of the destination format is very much open still. I have yet to get a good idea of the pricing for 2K or 4K scans. The film is self-financed at $10,000 for stock, development and scanning, so it's questionable whether I can afford even 2K scanning. I think the final destination format would highly depend on the fate of the film in terms of whether it can find distribution.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:17 PM

Sorry for the misunderstanding Marc. The groundglass isn't 1.85, it just has 1.85 markings to make the framing easier.



...there is no difference between a 1:85 ground glass and a ground glass 'marked' for 1:85. See my previous post.
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#13 Topher Ryan

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:44 AM

...there is no difference between a 1:85 ground glass and a ground glass 'marked' for 1:85. See my previous post.


...there is no such thing as '1:85' aspect ratio in film. See any basic cinematography textbook ever published.
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#14 David Auner aac

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 04:39 AM

...there is no such thing as '1:85' aspect ratio in film. See any basic cinematography textbook ever published.


I guess that's what is called a typo. David of course meant 1.85:1, 1.85 in short!

Cheers, Dave
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#15 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 06:53 AM

Topher... in the 'biz', that is how we write it. 25+ years in Hollywood and that is how we write in in shorthand despite what any of your 'books' may say... :rolleyes:
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#16 Topher Ryan

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:17 AM

I don't want to divert any more attention away from the thread, but I should explain why I said that. I had just read through a few threads, all of which had you chiming in to correct some trivial bit of semantics with the signature smug :rolleyes:

Elitist attitude and mention of Hollywood do not impress me one bit.

25+ years in the biz of life we say if you can't take it don't dish it out. Goes around, comes around. Karma, etc. etc.


It was pretty clear that neither of them meant to say 1.85 was a format. And yes a stock 1.33 gg (corresponding to the reg 16 gate) that has later had 1.85 marked upon it makes sense just as they were discussing it.


All that said, I've enjoyed many of your contributions in the past and pumpkinhead was pretty cool.
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#17 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:09 AM


I don't want to divert any more attention away from the thread, but I should explain why I said that. I had just read through a few threads, all of which had you chiming in to correct some trivial bit of semantics with the signature smug :rolleyes: Elitist attitude and mention of Hollywood do not impress me one bit. 25+ years in the biz of life we say if you can't take it don't dish it out. Goes around, comes around. Karma, etc. etc.
- Topher

Would you please refer me to some of these 'Elitist' comments? I guess it would not matter because you would have to post each entire thread so my words were in context.. not just taken in single sentences... so don't bother.


It was pretty clear that neither of them meant to say 1.85 was a format. And yes a stock 1.33 gg (corresponding to the reg 16 gate) that has later had 1.85 marked upon it makes sense just as they were discussing it. - Topher

No it was not.. that was precisely what the confusion was..... Mr. Barbe even stated he did not understand... I was speaking to him (and of course to anyone else who may have been confused about this).


All that said, I've enjoyed many of your contributions in the past and pumpkinhead was pretty cool. - Topher


Glad you enjoy (some) of them. I will be mindful of how my replies (may) come across in the future but if you speak to anyone (and there are many from this site) I have spoken with over the phone I am sure they will tell you I am actually the opposite. ;) (icon for effect only) :P

Have a great week Topher!
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#18 Ray Noori

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:36 PM

To continue the original conversation, I'm now considering upgrading the camera to this S16 NPR if I can sell my ACL for a good price:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/w...alenotsupported

I'm a little unsure of the glass that's included in this specific package, has anyone used it? If so, how were the results?
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#19 Topher Ryan

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:15 PM

To continue the original conversation, I'm now considering upgrading the camera to this S16 NPR if I can sell my ACL for a good price:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/w...alenotsupported

I'm a little unsure of the glass that's included in this specific package, has anyone used it? If so, how were the results?


That NPR has an ACL viewfinder on it. It's a nice viewfinder, but the ergonomics of it aren't designed for the NPR so you may be stretching your neck to get your eye on it properly when handheld. BUT, it does have that small Alcan motor so it could work. With the larger, more common NPR motors your shoulder butts up behind the motor and under the mag... look at some more NPR pictures to see how the kinoptic and angenieux NPR finders reach back farther. See this page for a picture of the NPR version of that viewfinder (they are both made by Angenieux):

http://eclair16.com/eclair-npr/

If you are in the area of the seller I would definitely suggest trying it out handheld to see if it is comfortable for you.

Have you considered sending you ACL to Bernie for super 16 conversion? You could get it converted and buy an AZ spectrum tap for a good bit less than that NPR's "Buy-it-now" price.
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#20 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:14 AM

NPR motors are uncomfortable. Some more than others, but they all make the camera a pain to hand hold, in my experience. These days NPRs are better suited to operate on studio tripods, if one must use them at all. ACLs were designed to be hand held when the NPR failed to be be considered a true hand-holdable camera. The NPR's mags are also harder to thread than the ACL mags, as far as I can attest.

I dunno why Ray would like to sell the ACL. Is there anything wrong with the camera / motor? Is the ACL motor not big enough to drive the 400' mags?

No offense to any of the NPR aficionados out there, but the only reason why I would ditch an ACL is to step up to more modern cameras. NPR cameras can be true workhorses, but woefully indequate for most people accustomed to more practically designed hand-held cameras There are quite a few Aaton LTRs on fleaBay right now, but they may be out of your price range.
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