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DI and 35 mm release print resolution!?


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#1 Krstic Zoran

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:42 AM

There are many discussions about resolution for DI process.I understand that necessary resolution limit for 35 mm scan is 4K to keep all of detail or 6K for avoiding aliasing.OK.In case of digital projection more pixels of resolution is necessary for larger screens and theaters to see benefit in regard of 35mm film projection.

But...What happen with resolution if 4K or 6K scan (or RED RAW 4K) would be transfered to 35 mm with ARRILASER?Is it limited on 4K as camara negative?Or it would be some resolution as a release print in IP/IN process, less than 2K?

Edited by Krstic Zoran, 15 March 2010 - 09:43 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:24 AM

There are many discussions about resolution for DI process.I understand that necessary resolution limit for 35 mm scan is 4K to keep all of detail or 6K for avoiding aliasing.OK.In case of digital projection more pixels of resolution is necessary for larger screens and theaters to see benefit in regard of 35mm film projection.

But...What happen with resolution if 4K or 6K scan (or RED RAW 4K) would be transfered to 35 mm with ARRILASER?Is it limited on 4K as camara negative?Or it would be some resolution as a release print in IP/IN process, less than 2K?


It's not just the resolution loss of going to an IP & IN, there is the loss due to going onto a print after that and then projecting it (due to gate weave, jitter, lenses, focus, etc.). On the other hand, if the chain is "lossy" then there is even more reason to start the chain at the highest practical level.

I've heard reports that 35mm print projection is in the 1K resolution range, which is why 2K digital projection tends to look sharper to our eyes, close to what optimal answer print projection looks like in terms of sharpness.

On the other hand, 35mm print projection (we're talking about a postage stamp frame afterall being enormously magnified) is pushing it for larger screens -- back in the 1980's, you would have seen 70mm release prints in many of those theaters. So even 2K digital projection is not quite enough for larger screens unless you sit near the back and defacto turn it into a smaller screen. What we need is 4K projection for the largest screens and 2K for the smaller venues.
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#3 Marc Roessler

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:36 AM

I've heard reports that 35mm print projection is in the 1K resolution range, which is why 2K digital projection tends to look sharper to our eyes, close to what optimal answer print projection looks like in terms of sharpness.


David, I think I've read that report that you're probably referring to and I think that it was somewhat strange.

These tests where shot in the 1.85:1 format, where 35mm has a definitive disadvantage and digital projection has a definitive advantage (it's the other way round for 2.40:1! yes, this means that 2.40:1 won't be the "best" format any more when projected digitally...).

Besides, with the tests everything was listed, down to the camera serial number.... but not a word about the type of projectors or projection lens being used. I know from personal experience that there are major differences between the various projectors and projection lenses on the market. Sharpness also depends very much on the proper alignment of the optical system (i.e. lamp house - gate - lens) of the projector.

So these reports (which happened to come up just as the switch to digital presentation was around the corner) should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Greetings,
Marc
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#4 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:07 AM

These tests where shot in the 1.85:1 format, where 35mm has a definitive disadvantage and digital projection has a definitive advantage (it's the other way round for 2.40:1! yes, this means that 2.40:1 won't be the "best" format any more when projected digitally...)

It's true that 'scope films projected digitally are utilizing less resolution than 1.85:1 projected on the same system. However, way too many 35mm venues around the world are using second-rate and/or badly focused anamorphic optics in their projectors, often rendering their 'scope image softer than the 1.85:1 in my experience. :(
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#5 Marc Roessler

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:52 AM

However, way too many 35mm venues around the world are using second-rate and/or badly focused anamorphic optics in their projectors, often rendering their 'scope image softer than the 1.85:1 in my experience. :(


Antti, I agree. In practice, a scope film may look worse than a 1.85:1 film in a run-down theater. There are still lots of old anamorphic lenses from the 60s in use, unfortunately. I don't think that this should be an argument against 35mm scope quality, though. With new lenses from Isco (Bluestar... my favorite) or Schneider a scope projection has the potential to just blow you away. And that's what the first class theaters (successfully) strive for.

Greetings,
Marc
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#6 Aaron Rattner

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:54 PM

One option coming hopefully soon will be the 4k upgrade to the Cinevator film recorder. Currently the Cinevator can record directly to 35mm print at 2K resolution with sound tracks. When the new 4K DLP chips are available, the Cinevator will be able to create a first generation print at 4k without resolution loss from the duplication and printing process. The difference between a 1st generation print and a print made from a negative is noticeable but not a dramatic difference for most viewers.
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#7 georg lamshöft

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:27 AM

Take a look at the "4k+" document from ARRI on their site. It's not only about resolution in release prints, but on site 17/18 you see direct comparisons and why 2k is not enough.

Edited by georg lamshöft, 05 April 2010 - 07:28 AM.

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