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Super 16mm sharpness, lenses, 2k transfer


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#1 William Mckay

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:56 PM

Hello,

I have a few questions after months of testing in prep for a feature. I have an Arri SR3, a few Zeiss superspeeds, and an illumina lens in PL. I've had the camera overhauled and the lenses worked over by Ablecine. Have done many tests with fresh Kodak 200T, test shots w/ controlled lighting, etc. Have tried several 2k transfers at various facilities but convinced the Scanity has produced the best results for us so far. 2k timeline in Premiere/AE to bluray.

 

However, still really disappointed in the footage even after extensive colouring and even some sharpening. None of the footage is coming close to the sharpness I'm seeing in Super-16 originated shows. The Walking Dead, for example. I know that they use an Arri 416 with a Canon 10.6-180 zoom as the workhorse. Moonrise kingdom used Superspeeds, and was still much sharper than what we're working with. I'm closer to super-8 with sheets of grain compared to these incredible films. 

 

Would the much newer Arri 416 produce a sharper image than an older SR3 IF the SR3 is adjusted properly? 

 

Could a late model Canon zoom be that much sharper than MKIII superspeeds or Illuminas in top condition? 

 

Are the scanner settings monitored more precisely for bigger ($) clients?

 

Any help or suggestions would be really helpful.

 

 

Thanks so much

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:02 PM

I don't see how a 416 would make footage any sharper. I am assuming you have it in focus? Have you done Noise Reduction to decrease the grain? How are you rating your film and exposing your scene? You could try to over expose by 2/3rds of a stop and pull it back in the TC.

 

Optar Illuminas aren't that sharp by themselves (i own a set). Same with some Super Speeds, kind of depends on the lenses. Have you put them up on a projector? Personally I like the softer feel of Super Speeds. Also how's your F Stop since they will perform best in the 4~8 F range.

 

Also you're seeing primarily the amount of time spend in post to make the film great. Why not try the same labs they used for their neg for a test-- if you can find that out.


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#3 William Mckay

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:24 PM

Adrian thanks so much for the input.

 

I'm going to try out several lenses on a projector and compare them. Haven't overexposed routinely but will do 2/3 to a full stop from now on. I've found the lenses start to really perform at 5.6 as well. And yes, it becomes very apparent in post how much tweaking/untweaking needs to be done with a digital image. Noise reduction seems to work up to a point. 

 

Hoping the FFD is slightly off from the Arri making a cross-country Fedex trip. Is this possible?


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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:49 PM

Hoping the FFD is slightly off from the Arri making a cross-country Fedex trip. Is this possible?


It's possible, but pretty unlikely. We used to ship SR3s all over the place and the flange depth never went out. Only ever really happened if a camera was dropped. It's possible Abel Cine made a mistake setting the camera up - unlikely given their reputation, but we're all only human. If you're concerned it wouldn't take long for a technician to double check the basic settings.

Or shoot a simple focus test of a slanted piece of newspaper marked with distances so you can see exactly where focus is lining up compared to the lens focus scale. Does eye-focus line up with the lens marks? Are you getting consistent softness with all lenses?

I would think the transfer house should be able to tell you if your footage is noticeably softer than other S16 material shot on the same stock.
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