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#1 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:07 PM

Been shooting 16mm for a while now and just had my first print made from negative stock I shot this Christmas. What a joy to see it actually projected. Not so much joy from my bank account but it was an experiment for me.

I'm curious what the longevity of a print like this will be.
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#2 chris descor

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:57 PM

Been shooting 16mm for a while now and just had my first print made from negative stock I shot this Christmas. What a joy to see it actually projected. Not so much joy from my bank account but it was an experiment for me.

I'm curious what the longevity of a print like this will be.


sounds good.
i want to get into 16mm soon.
i dont have a real big interest in shooting negative stock then getting it scanned so I can watch it on a computer or tv screen.
i only really want to keep it all analouge. and it seems this is what you've done.
that is; shoot negative film stock, then have it printed onto print stock so that it can be projected of course. :)
one could just shoot reversal film I suppose, but shooting negative stocks opens up more experimentation.

could you please post a video/clip of the print? even if filmed off a wall/diy ?
could you also please explain the process of getting neg-film transferred to print stock ?
the costs/price? the choice of which one(kodak or fuji or agfa ?), where to get it done etc
just what is involved ?
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#3 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:59 PM

Been shooting 16mm for a while now and just had my first print made from negative stock I shot this Christmas. What a joy to see it actually projected. Not so much joy from my bank account but it was an experiment for me.

I'm curious what the longevity of a print like this will be.

how long it will last if stored? or how many times can you show it before it gets worn?

is it on Polyester or acetate stock? (hold the reel up to the light you should see almost all of the light through Polyester, much less through acetate.
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:45 PM

could you also please explain the process of getting neg-film transferred to print stock ?
the costs/price? the choice of which one(kodak or fuji or agfa ?), where to get it done etc
just what is involved ?


This might help. I did it two years ago, but I would think the prices wouldn't be that much different.

Shoot a short on film and finish on film , Here's what it would cost.

Best,
-Tim
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:09 AM

Congrats Will, there's nothing like seeing your work projected. Was it a completed film finished to answer print or just a workprint? Also, which lab did you use? Labs that still do 16mm are disappearing rapidly - Fotokem is the only lab in LA that still processes 16mm, I just checked a few weeks back.

I'd guess that modern answer print longevity would be measured in decades if properly stored and cared for. I don't know if workprint is held to the same standard. I have workprints from around 5 years ago that still look perfect.

My rolls of Kodachrome reversal from 10 years ago still look better to me, but that ship has sailed I guess. Reversal can last much longer, I've seen gorgeous projected Kodachrome prints shot 50-60 years ago still look brand new.
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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:44 AM

I splurged and did a timed print to see what I'd get.

They corrected all my poor lighting/filtering. I had about 445' and it cost $213.60 for the print and $62.25 for processing. That's $.48/foot. It feels like about what I'd pay for a decent telecine which makes sense because of the work/craft/art involved with old school timing for color.

Not sure what stock was used for printing, it's not indicated on the invoice.

One thing I thought was interesting was that instead of leader it was blank stock; no slices at all (even though the negative was several 100' reels sent for processing).

Another thing I know now; there is no substitute for Kodachrome 16mm on a sunny day. Those colors were amazing. When I look at Ektachrome 100D from the same day and same shoot it looks completely dull next to the Kodachrome. Not as noticeable in a transfer but a major difference when projected.
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#7 John Salim

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:04 PM

is it on Polyester or acetate stock? (hold the reel up to the light you should see almost all of the light through Polyester, much less through acetate.


Just slightly going off topic here, but it's not true with the base density being lighter with polyester stock. Yes it's thinner, but you'll not see the difference.

If you want to test if film is acetate or polyestar ( without trying to tear it ), place two polarizing filters on top of each other, then spin one round till the light through it is blocked out. Now simply place the film in between the filters and you'll see the acetate will show no difference, but the polyester stock will 'interfere' with the polarized lightwaves and appear clear ! :rolleyes:

John S
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#8 John Salim

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:10 PM

I'd guess that modern answer print longevity would be measured in decades if properly stored and cared for. I don't know if workprint is held to the same standard. I have workprints from around 5 years ago that still look perfect.


There isn't any difference with longevity, it's only colour timing ( grading ) of the same print stock.

John S :rolleyes:
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:24 PM

There are three aspects to longevity:

1) Physical wear and tear from projection (scratches, torn sprockets, etc.)
2) Light storage -- fading due to being exposed to a bright projector light over time
3) Dark storage -- fading during long-term storage in the dark

If you are just asking about color dye stability in the print stored in a vault, nowadays it is quite good, should be fine for the first few decades before you start to see fading in one of the layers (usually the yellow and cyan dyes are the first to fade, which is why old prints look magenta.) But this implies storage in a proper environment in terms of temp and humidity, not sticking a can containing the print in your closet or garage.
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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 04:57 PM

There isn't any difference with longevity, it's only colour timing ( grading ) of the same print stock.

John S :rolleyes:

Thanks, good to know!

Fotokem is $0.09/ft for processing, not sure what it costs for printing. There's only one choice for 16mm print stock at most labs, regular Kodak Vision 2383/3383.

I hear you about the Kodachrome. It's kind of shocking to A/B it on a projector with a workprint from 7201 50D (the finest grained color neg film currently available). The Kodachrome literally appears grainless, while the 7201 has a lot of texture to it. I guess Fuji Velvia would be the next best thing, would love to try it someday.
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:55 PM

One other aspect of print/negative longevity is proper processing.


John Pytlak would probably do a better job explaining this than I, but without proper silver removal, or dye removal, or proper stabilization of color dyes in color stocks, they are subject to premature fading.

I remember reading a study from the early 1990s (available somewhere on the 'net from the Wilhelm Institute) where color negatives, might have been slides or still negatives, actually, would prematurely fade in as little as THREE YEARS from the date of processing if the proper processing weren't adhered to.
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

Just to clear the air on this thread, Paul used to correpsond with me, asking for advice, all the time.


When I told him one of his many purchases, wasn't suited for an elaborate DIY project he had dreamed up one day, he stopped talking to me abruptly and hasn't been cordial ever since. Instead he resorts to snide comments and innuendos, never directly though, always from out-of-nowhere, cross thread. :ph34r:
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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

If you are just asking about color dye stability in the print stored in a vault, nowadays it is quite good, should be fine for the first few decades before you start to see fading in one of the layers (usually the yellow and cyan dyes are the first to fade, which is why old prints look magenta.) But this implies storage in a proper environment in terms of temp and humidity, not sticking a can containing the print in your closet or garage.

Thanks David.

My understanding is also to avoid sealed cans, cardboard boxes that breathe are better in general (as long as you can avoid water damage over the years.) Hence the reason processed film often comes back in "pizza" boxes.

After restoring home movies by my parents and grandparents I've been obsessing over proper archiving and storage of any new footage I shoot. The Kodachrome from the 40's & 50's of course always looked like it was shot yesterday (except for a little more dust) while any Ektachrome or other stock was barely visible.

What about the negative? Would I expect the same life out of Vision stocks as the print stock?
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#14 Will Montgomery

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:33 PM

Fotokem is the only lab in LA that still processes 16mm

We still have a great lab in Dallas that handles 35 & 16 (negative only.) The Lab at Video Post & Transfer.

Glenn Shank has been the manager over there for years and is obsessed with quality; with all the awards to show for it.

There's another lab here in Dallas, Filmworkers Sanitary Lab, but I haven't used them yet. Wild that this town still has two motion picture processing labs up and running both 16 & 35mm.
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#15 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 09:26 PM

Thanks David.

My understanding is also to avoid sealed cans, cardboard boxes that breathe are better in general (as long as you can avoid water damage over the years.) Hence the reason processed film often comes back in "pizza" boxes.


Acetate base which is used on negative film and USED to be used on print stock can get the dreaded "vinegar" syndrome if it is not allowed to breathe. The polyester stock which is what most prints are made on these days as it is needed for the Platter drives at the 35mm theatre setups. does not have the vinegar problem.

Cardboard is actually NOT good for long term storage. Metal cans are Ok as long as they are Not rusty, a little bit of rust can triger the vinegar. Polypropoline with ventilation holes is considered the ideal for storage. see as an example the dan can line. http://www.dancan.dk/
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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:40 PM

see as an example the dan can line. http://www.dancan.dk/

Any dealers in the U.S. for these products?
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#17 K Borowski

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:13 AM

Cardboard is actually NOT good for long term storage. Metal cans are Ok as long as they are Not rusty, a little bit of rust can triger the vinegar. Polypropoline with ventilation holes is considered the ideal for storage. see as an example the dan can line. http://www.dancan.dk/


Right. Labs send film back in boxes because boxes are far cheaper. A can would probably be much safer, as it would cause no damage if film were just in there transit time.

Does Kodak still make molecular sheets that help minimize vinegar syndrome? The big problem with (non-rusty) cans is that they hold the same air inside, more or less, and the molecules released during the acetate breakdown process (acetic acid, vinegar, being one of the big ones) will accelerate the process if they are concentrated and not allowed to dissipate in an open environment. The sheets Kodak designed, contained, what I assume was a weak, diluted base (ant-acid) to counter the effects of acetic acid compounds.
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#18 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 01:28 PM

could you please post a video/clip of the print? even if filmed off a wall/diy ?
could you also please explain the process of getting neg-film transferred to print stock ?
the costs/price? the choice of which one(kodak or fuji or agfa ?), where to get it done etc
just what is involved ?


Since you were curious, here's a clip shot off of the wall - - it looks pretty incredible as you'll see! I get prints made all the time when I'm doing tests because it's slightly cheaper and without the minimum hourly fee of telecine. in fact, depending on what i'm testing, i sometimes just get the negative processed and run that through the projector (that is the case with this clip in fact). I tape two CTB filters over the projector, then I record it against the wall and use an invert filter in final cut. It looks like crap but it's fine for testing certain things like whether a mag is scratching, lens coverage for s-16, etc.

getting a 100' negative processed only is about $25 and getting processing plus a work print is about $100

Edited by Jason Hinkle, 21 January 2010 - 01:32 PM.

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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:35 PM

could you please post a video/clip of the print? even if filmed off a wall/diy ?
could you also please explain the process of getting neg-film transferred to print stock ?
the costs/price? the choice of which one(kodak or fuji or agfa ?), where to get it done etc
just what is involved ?

I'll be transferring the negative soon and can post some if that helps, but it's really more about the experience of projecting film rather than transferring and editing it as video. There's something magical about seeing it on the wall with the sewing machine noise of the projector going.

There are many labs that process negative film but I know only a few that still make work prints regularly. I used Alphacine in Seattle for this one.

There are different levels of color adjustments they will make. Here's an article that explains it a little from Colorlab in Maryland.

You can get pricing from Alphacine here.
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#20 chris descor

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:44 PM

I'll be transferring the negative soon and can post some if that helps, but it's really more about the experience of projecting film rather than transferring and editing it as video. There's something magical about seeing it on the wall with the sewing machine noise of the projector going.

There are many labs that process negative film but I know only a few that still make work prints regularly. I used Alphacine in Seattle for this one.

There are different levels of color adjustments they will make. Here's an article that explains it a little from Colorlab in Maryland.

You can get pricing from Alphacine here.


i would love to see what the print looks like telecined digitally, as well as the original negative, and then to compare them.
i've always wanted to compare them, feeling that the print would have something more in it, as its been passed through another photochemical process.

if anyone has seen the Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 911 on DVD, there is a version of the DVD I've seen of it, where the transfer looks like it was done from a cinema print, as the contrast was high and POW! and the blues very lucid and nice and yeah, a few pops and clicks and a very nice look to it, as opposed to them using the raw digital data. but i think the main available DVD as seen on dvdbeaver looks like it was done from the raw digital footage and is not the version i've seen.

is it possible to shoot print film in the camera? maybe for analogue visual effects things like titles etc ?
isnt it around 5 ASA ? what if you push process it ? say, 2 stops, to 20 ASA or 3 stops to 40ASA ?
any examples of this?
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