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16mm & Super 16 - Some basic questions


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#1 David Owen James

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:07 PM

I have some basic questions regarding the differences of these 2 formats that I hope some of you can help me with:

In terms of emulsion quality, is there any difference? Is the only basic difference in the two formats the additional width of the Super 16 picture?

Can you explain the compatibility of 16mm/Super 16 film with the camera - can you only use 16mm film with a 16mm camera and Super 16 with a Super 16 camera?

Also, I would like to shoot my picture in the 4/3 ratio. So, I assume that regular 16mm is sufficient. Are there any benefits in using Super 16 when the end result will be 4/3?

Lastly, the question of cost - is regular 16mm gear now cheaper than Super 16, and what about the difference in film stock costs if any?

Thanks a bunch!

David

Edited by David Owen James, 07 September 2011 - 05:08 PM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:06 PM

You use the same stock for Super 16 and regular 16mm, the difference is the sound track area is used for the image with the former. There is no difference in stock costs, the only difference is that you must use single perf stock for Super 16 and not double perf (which can only be used for regular 16mm).

Some cameras (like the Super 16 versions of the Aaton) are switch-able between the two formats by re-centring the optical path and viewfinder, together with the ground glass markings. Regular 16mm cameras can't shoot Super 16 unless converted by fitting the larger gate etc by camera engineers.

If shooting 4 x 3 regular 16mm would be the way to go, especially if you're planning a 16mm print.
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#3 David Owen James

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

Thanks for your response Brian. A few more questions for you if you don't mind:

So, If I understand correctly, there is no specific Super 16mm stock; it's all the same 16mm stock. Which means it's a matter of the format the camera allows to be recorded - the size of the gate? Does this mean that the area used for audio in regular 16mm is just film emulsion but used in a different way to record audio?

Can double perf stock be used in regular 16mm cameras?
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for your response Brian.
there is no specific Super 16mm stock; it's all the same 16mm stock. Which means it's a matter of the format the camera allows to be recorded - the size of the gate? Does this mean that the area used for audio in regular 16mm is just film emulsion but used in a different way to record audio?


Yes, the camera determines what is put on the negative. Ultra and Super 16 formats both assume that the negative will be used as a video or computer source and not be printed to be shown on a projector.

The film stock is made originally on rolls from 40 to 60 inches wide, and cut down for use, so the entire surface is same (other then the factory edge printing.

16mm Sound prints generally require the sound track negative to be recorded separately, and the sound is printed from the sound negative on the sound track area. The picture negative is masked in the printer so it leaves the soundtrack area free of information.


Can double perf stock be used in regular 16mm cameras?


yes. Some older cameras REQUIRE double perf stock unless modified. Most cameras will just ignore the extra holes, and as stated above the second row area will not be printed if making a conventional print, with that area reserved for the sound track negative.

Until super 16 came out, the default format for camera stock, was often double perf. Kodak saw that super 16 would be a good format for digital origination, and so changed the default to single perf, making double perf stock a special order in many cases.

Unless you are using a camera that demands double perf, or one of the high speed cameras that also has special perf requirements, you can shoot regular 16 with either stock. Even mixing the two and still get it printed or transferred as one final roll.


I don't know where the concept of Super16 film came from, other than perhaps folks having to order single perf when double perf was the norm.
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#5 Simon Wyss

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 02:04 AM

Read this: http://www.fdtimes.c...per16Story.html
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:06 AM

Some data on 16mm. Ignore the impression given that regular 16mm is only double perf, it's the image area that defines it.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/16_mm_film
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