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Best Camera System for a 16mm Film Stock Emulation


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#1 Tyler Clark

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:42 AM

A project coming up wants to have a 16mm film look and doesn't have the money to do 16mm film.

 

I was wondering what people have found to be the best film emulation on a digital camera system? Looking to get some really old school looking stuff. 

 

Look inspiration

 

Initial thoughts would be Alexa or C500 for color space and DR, superspeeds, 1/8th and 1/4 diffusion filters, and VisionColor or Filmconvert applied in post. 


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:16 AM

A project coming up wants to have a 16mm film look and doesn't have the money to do 16mm film.

 

I was wondering what people have found to be the best film emulation on a digital camera system? Looking to get some really old school looking stuff. 

 

Look inspiration

 

Initial thoughts would be Alexa or C500 for color space and DR, superspeeds, 1/8th and 1/4 diffusion filters, and VisionColor or Filmconvert applied in post. 

 

Define "old-school looking stuff"...

 

And if they don't have money for 16mm, I doubt they'd have money for the Alexa unless they are getting the camera for free.


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:27 AM

Depending what you're shooting, on the cheap, the original 2.5K Blackmagic cinema camera is very solid. Rolling shutter is a downer, though.

 

Really it depends on subject and lighting more than anything else. Yes, you can make things look sufficiently like film if you're reasonably smart about it.

 

P


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#4 Tyler Clark

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:40 AM

 

Define "old-school looking stuff"...

 

And if they don't have money for 16mm, I doubt they'd have money for the Alexa unless they are getting the camera for free.

 

You are correct. I was more-so wondering if those camera systems with large bit depths and wide color spaces would work best for it. 

 

Mostly going for the look shown in the vimeo link. If I had to put words to it, clean but not sharp, smooth, wide DR. 

 

Its a bit of speculation right now. I was told this was they wanted a vintage 16mm look and am trying to get a rough jump off point before sitting down with the director.

 

In reality I'm gonna have to find a way to make it work with a C300. 

 

So lets try it again. C300 with older/softer lensing that can be EF mounted, 1/8 and 1/4 diff filters for highlight fall off, and VisionColor/Filmconvert emulation in post for the curve?


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#5 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:00 AM

If they want a "vintage" look, that is more a function of the lens than the camera system even though you are shooting digital.  If you can get your hands on some older Cooke, Schneider or Zeiss primes you will get a softer image than with a modern lens.  I have a Cooke Kinetal and Zeiss Planar primes and all produce nice images.  Even vintage Zeiss lenses tend towards sharp.

 

As Phil says, if all you are looking for is the amount of grain you have in the posted video, that can be added rather easily in post.


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#6 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:41 AM

That video was done on 7219 with Mk II Zeiss Super Speeds. So a relatively higher-grain stock, coupled with 25 year old lenses. You might do best using older glass on that camera, maybe some Nikkor primes or Super Takumars, the latter which would yield you a warmer look you might be seeing in that music video. You might come close to the look, but the way that stock performs in bright light is quite unique - particularly in highlights. Try shooting with the wide DR settings on the C300 and then finding a good colorist who can work your grade. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 10 July 2015 - 11:43 AM.

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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:54 PM

And also, pick your subject! The demo shot is a dark-skinned man heavily backlit against a blue sky. The image is full of contrast and colour and texture. Go in someone's magnolia-coloured apartment and shoot a a pasty white guy against a pasty wall under pasty light and it'll look feeble even if you shoot it on 65mm neg.

 

P


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:39 PM

The blackmagic pocket camera has a similar sized frame as S16, so it's a good start. Mixing that with older bayonet mount lenses, may help a lot. You won't get the grain, but adding a film stock LUT in DaVinci, should net you a similar color pallet.

One of the things that makes that music video so powerful is the slow mo. Looks like mostly everything was over-cranked, even if just a little.

It was a really nice piece, thanks for sharing. :)
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#9 Tyler Clark

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:49 PM

Sweet, there's a lot to consider. Thanks for all the help guys I really appreciate it! :)


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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:04 PM

The vertical flaring can quite straightforwardly be done digitally, by the way.

 

I might lay off the grain a bit, anyway - look how badly the compression reacts to it.

 

Do the triangular iris shapes betray the type of lens in use? I think it narrows it down to just a few.

 

The key thing is to expose cautiously. Hold the skies!


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#11 Pavan Deep

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 04:11 AM

It’s a question that is asked all too often. A novel idea but why not use film? Have you worked out how much working with 16mm will cost? I believe the visual characteristics - the look and feel 16mm/Super 16 is unique to the format. They still make 16mm film, so why not use it, at least try it and explore its real workflow before dismissing it; you’ll be surprised as 16mm film is not that expensive. Cameras are ridiculously cheap, film stock can be cheap too, depending on how it’s bought, processing and scanning isn’t too much either, depending on how much film there is, in my experience the most costly part of 16mm is usually professional PL lenses, you can get deals on camera rental, film stock processing and scanning.

 

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#12 Oron Cohen

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 04:35 PM

Have you considered the digital Bolex? I never shot on it, but form videos I've seen online it got a vey filmic 16mm look (It got a Kodak sensor, so not surprising) coupled with some vintage lenses could be a good combo. only problem is, where do you rent one? 

 

Another very filmic 16mm style camera is the Ikonoskop A-cam, which has a beautiful and very film like image to my eyes and it is available to rent from some places. 


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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 11:36 AM

I would second the Digital Bolex or Ikonoscop both have Global shutter Kodak CCDs from the same 5.5micron sensor family.


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