Jump to content


Spirit or Rank for SD?


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 jeremy edge

jeremy edge
  • Guests

Posted 15 June 2005 - 05:03 PM

I was wondering if the improvements in using a spirit are worth it if your final product will be on video/dvd?

I've done about 4 sessions on a rank and although i do like the results..I feel even vision 2 footage is still grainer than I'd like and not quite up to par. I read that the spirit has a great system for hiding grain and imperfections at the cost of a slightly softer look. And it seems everyone loves it for super 16.

I'm doing a project soon with somoene who is way more experienced than me and
I think its going to turn out really good. I don't want to miss out on a better final product if I have the choice. I think we can afford it budget wise.
  • 0

#2 David Cox

David Cox
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • london, UK

Posted 15 June 2005 - 05:46 PM

I was wondering if the improvements in using a spirit are worth it if your final product will be on video/dvd?

I've done about 4 sessions on a rank and although i do like the results..I feel even vision 2 footage is still grainer than I'd like and not quite up to par. I read that the spirit has a great system for hiding grain and imperfections at the cost of a slightly softer look. And it seems everyone loves it for super 16.

I'm doing a project soon with somoene who is way more experienced than me and
I think its going to turn out really good.  I don't want to miss out on a better final product if I have the choice. I think we can afford it budget wise.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes, Spirit is particularly good for super 16 transfers. If it?s well shot and you've chosen a not-too-grainy stock, it can be hard to distinguish it from 35mm when looking at the final SD master. But make your telecine house work for your business! Get one to do a free test on the same footage you have doubts over from the Rank transfer to see if you like the results. Then you'll know what you're getting for your money.
  • 0

#3 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 15 June 2005 - 07:17 PM

I've done about 4 sessions on a rank and although i do like the results..I feel even vision 2 footage is still grainer than I'd like and not quite up to par. I read that the spirit has a great system for hiding grain and imperfections at the cost of a slightly softer look. And it seems everyone loves it for super 16.

I'm doing a project soon with somoene who is way more experienced than me and
I think its going to turn out really good.  I don't want to miss out on a better final product if I have the choice. I think we can afford it budget wise.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Have you tried over-exposing by a third to half a stop? Maybe you haven't been protecting the lens from stray light. Maybe you need to be more precise w/ your exposures. Otherwise, I can't understand how vision 2 film can be criticized for being too grainy.

Also, you might want to re-apportion the budget by doing a best-light transfer of the dialies on the Rank, and then supervise a Spirit transfer of the selected takes.
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 June 2005 - 08:12 PM

Also, you might want to re-apportion the budget by doing a best-light transfer of the dialies on the Rank, and then supervise a Spirit transfer of the selected takes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Seems rather convoluted if you're just going to transfer again to SD but using the Spirit, so two SD transfers for the price of... two. Would make more sense if you were talking about an HD transfer for the second time.
  • 0

#5 jeremy edge

jeremy edge
  • Guests

Posted 15 June 2005 - 08:24 PM

Seems rather convoluted if you're just going to transfer again to SD but using the Spirit, so two SD transfers for the price of... two.  Would make more sense if you were talking about an HD transfer for the second time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree, I will do one or the other.

I actually over exposed a little bit on one roll of 500t v2 and it was better...more saturated, but i would still say just a tad grainy.compared to other examples ive seen of 7218 .I still have a touch of that "Super8" look.Just a little.

I dont know if I could convince them to do me a free ...say 30 second sample ,if the project was only 2000 ft long. Maybe if I was doing something longer...but it looks like we'll have 30mins to one hour of footage.So if I could find a place for say $400 per hour thats $400-$800 for a best light to sd .The rank runs me about .15 a foot so the jump isnt going to be outrageous.

I may wait and see how I feel the shoot went. If I come away feeling really confident I may go for the spirit.i'm hoping duart can give me a good rate because I hear good things about them.

On a related note:
the "Lights 2" dvd is out for fuji eterna 500t
I just called today and they're sending me one.

I'm curious to see how it compares to 7218
  • 0

#6 Sean Morris

Sean Morris
  • Sustaining Members
  • 83 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney / Australia

Posted 15 June 2005 - 08:55 PM

I actually over exposed a little bit on one roll of 500t v2 and it was better...more saturated, but i would still say just a tad grainy.compared to other examples ive seen of 7218 .I still have a touch of that "Super8" look.Just a little.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Personally I find the quality of the images from say an older Rank MkIII
very Super8ish - 70's, mushy looking as well, no matter how hard you
get the colourist to work the dials it still looks like mushy 70's crap, you
have to remember a lot of the Ranks kicking around nowadays have been in
service for a long time, hence some are maybe not running to a decent
spec plus is pretty old technology I have been told my numerous colourists.

Recently the past three times I have had S16 rushes telecine to video, the
machine was down or playing up, the same footage I had telecined on a
Spirit it did not compare at all to the Rank MkIII, a more "cleaner" transfer.


Cheers
Sean
  • 0

#7 David Cox

David Cox
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • london, UK

Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:28 AM

Personally I find the quality of the images from say an older Rank MkIII
very Super8ish - 70's, mushy looking as well, no matter how hard you
get the colourist to work the dials it still looks like mushy 70's crap, you
have to remember a lot of the Ranks kicking around nowadays have been in
service for a long time, hence some are maybe not running to a decent
spec plus is pretty old technology I have been told my numerous colourists.

Recently the past three times  I have had S16 rushes telecine to video, the
machine was down or playing up, the same footage I had telecined on a
Spirit it did not compare at all to the Rank MkIII, a more "cleaner" transfer.
Cheers
Sean

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes - this is a fair assessment in many places. As professionals we can all look at footage on the TV and guess the year that the footage was shot. The main reasons we can do this is advances in film stock and (probably more-so) advances in telecine technology. So it does stand to reason that using an older telecine might well provide a transfer with the texture of yester-year! Of course, it's still an aesthetic thing and some people don't like the look of a "spirit" transfer - although generally they dislike the over-use of aperture correction (processed sharpness) and this of course is an optional thing.
  • 0

#8 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 16 June 2005 - 05:43 AM

A new transfer on a modern telecine or datacine can bring out all the quality captured in the original negative, that wasn't seen using the old telecine technology:

http://www.pbs.org/c...m/remaster.html

http://www.findartic..._17/ai_94769355
  • 0

#9 Sam Wells

Sam Wells
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1751 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:55 AM

I like newer Cintel like C-Reality quite a bit for 16mm (maybe more a case of 'different' than better v Spirit) but compared to the older Cintel machines I'd go for the Spirit without hesitation.

-Sam
  • 0

#10 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:37 PM

Is that Duart in New York that has the Spirit? Technicolor has a Shadow, which is kind of the kid brother to the Spirit. Transferred two s16 shorts on the Shadow, and was very pleased; grain was not an issue. Just a note, I saw some reg-16 I shot which was transferred on Spirit to digi-beta, and frankly, I thought it "saw" the grain a little too well. This might just have been the mark of an inexperienced colorist, but it is something to look out for.
  • 0

#11 jeremy edge

jeremy edge
  • Guests

Posted 19 June 2005 - 01:00 PM

Is that Duart in New York that has the Spirit? Technicolor has a Shadow, which is kind of the kid brother to the Spirit. Transferred two s16 shorts on the Shadow, and was very pleased; grain was not an issue.  Just a note, I saw some reg-16 I shot which was transferred on Spirit to digi-beta, and frankly, I thought it "saw" the grain a little too well. This might just have been the mark of an inexperienced colorist, but it is something to look out for.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yeah, Duart in New York has a Spirit and I'm going to check with them.if anyone else has some other suggestions on who else has one and has good pricing on SD transfers on the spirit that would be great.I want someone who will take me seriously even though Im not sending in a ton of footage.I know Cinefilm in atlanta has one too but i think their prices are slightly higher than Duart if I'm not mistaken.

I imagine the higher res machines could reveal more grain in 16mm but I think what I need to do is tell the colorist that I'm looking for a minimal grain.I'm not sure how the spirit hides it ...maybe the defocusing feature?... but I bet it has tradeoffs and if you dont tell them what you are going for the colorist might be hesitant to soften up your image by hiding the grain.So I need to tell them what kind of image i'm looking for.
  • 0

#12 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 June 2005 - 03:58 PM

Hi,

Most Spirit suites will have some kind of noise reduction electronics after the scanner, which generally offer adjustable ways to reduce grain. The artifacts are a lagginess or smearing in the image which are at least somewhat visible almost whenever it's used.

Phil
  • 0

#13 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:58 AM

Yeah, Duart in New York has a Spirit and I'm going to check with them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

I have used DuArt and was very happy. Tell them if you hate grain and want the noise reducer turned up. I think there default settings are very low or off!

Stephen
  • 0

#14 Sam Wells

Sam Wells
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1751 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:19 AM

Well the best grain reduction is to begin by shooting a finer grained film stock !

Expose it well, be careful with large mid tone areas etc. The ususual suspects.

Is this a supervised transfer you're talking about ? I'd be extremely reluctant to go very far into grain reduction / denoise let alone something like defocussing on a best light transfer.


-Sam
  • 0

#15 jeremy edge

jeremy edge
  • Guests

Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:51 PM

Well the best grain reduction is to begin by shooting a finer grained film stock !

Expose it well, be careful with large mid tone areas etc. The ususual suspects.

Is this a supervised transfer you're talking about ? I'd be extremely reluctant to go very far into grain reduction / denoise let alone something like defocussing on a best light transfer.
-Sam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks for the advice sam.
i think what I need to do is to tell them I want a nice balance when using the noise reduction and to make it look nice without having an excess of grain.I doubt I will be able to be present to supervise but that applies to anywhere i get it done.

I think my two stock choises are 7218 or fuji eterna 500.

Here is a good example of a shot of the exr100t exposed pretty much right on I believe.There's a little bit of web compression here but you get the idea.
looks like this Rank/EXR combination would be pretty suitable for my " flashback in time scenes" .

http://backstreetlaw.com/id152.htm

I'll try to grab a still from the 7218 I shot tomorrow.The grain is much better. but still looks a little dated.
  • 0

#16 Sam Wells

Sam Wells
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1751 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:45 AM

THere is a good example of a shot of the exr100t exposed pretty much right on I believe.There's a little bit of web compression here but you get the idea.
looks like this Rank/EXR combination would be pretty suitable for my " flashback in time scenes" .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Even allowing for web compression this has the look of an older Cintel machine.

It's noisy. 7248 should be tighter than that.

-Sam
  • 0

#17 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:52 AM

I hate to say this, but this is one of the weaknesses of film. Remember the 7218 vs. HDCAM test I shot at the University of Texas where I posted frames and everyone said that the 7218-to-HD transfer was too noisy to be a fair comparison? I still haven't gotten around to retransferring that footage.

This is the weak link in the chain. Based on memory or experience, if a transfer looks too noisy, I have to somehow know it's not my film, pull the job, and take it elsewhere (if they can't fix it). What a pain in the a---. I did a whole 35mm-to-HD transfer at a facility with a new Spirit and DaVinci set-up -- we were the first show on it -- and it was noisy as hell but I couldn't convince anyone at the facility that there was something wrong. It was all "there's nothing wrong with our machine" attitude and me saying "I've seen less noisy Spirit transfers". Since the movie was supposed to be somewhat "gritty" I lived with the transfer.
  • 0

#18 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 21 June 2005 - 12:20 PM

I did a whole 35mm-to-HD transfer at a facility with a new Spirit and DaVinci set-up -- we were the first show on it -- and it was noisy as hell but I couldn't convince anyone at the facility that there was something wrong. It was all "there's nothing wrong with our machine" attitude and me saying "I've seen less noisy Spirit transfers". Since the movie was supposed to be somewhat "gritty" I lived with the transfer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi,

It depends if they have a noise reducer and know how to use it! I think a Spirit is noisy in the blue channel without any noise reducer but many times its set too high. I like to view the film without any noise reducer first, and if necessary dial some in when using faster stocks.

Stephen Williams
Lighting Cameraman

www.stephenw.com
  • 0

#19 jeremy edge

jeremy edge
  • Guests

Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:30 PM

OK I posted more stills on the same page,
first the exr stills then vision 2.

The vision 2 does look much better.

http://backstreetlaw.com/id152.htm
  • 0

#20 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:34 AM

I hate to say this, but this is one of the weaknesses of film. Remember the 7218 vs. HDCAM test I shot at the University of Texas where I posted frames and everyone said that the 7218-to-HD transfer was too noisy to be a fair comparison? I still haven't gotten around to retransferring that footage. 

This is the weak link in the chain.  Based on memory or experience, if a transfer looks too noisy, I have to somehow know it's not my film, pull the job, and take it elsewhere (if they can't fix it). What a pain in the a---. I did a whole 35mm-to-HD transfer at a facility with a new Spirit and DaVinci set-up -- we were the first show on it -- and it was noisy as hell but I couldn't convince anyone at the facility that there was something wrong. It was all "there's nothing wrong with our machine" attitude and me saying "I've seen less noisy Spirit transfers". Since the movie was supposed to be somewhat "gritty" I lived with the transfer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


A number of issues: Are "noise" and film grain the same thing? Or, is noise - the "tape hiss" on analog tape - something that happens to look exactly like film grain?

More importantly, I know we've discussed this before, but how about getting some film dailies for comparison? I'm not saying to print everything, but is it possible to lobby producers to print a couple of lab rolls so they can be seen as they actually exist in physical reality?

For example, that exr100t shot looks pretty awful, but think of all the variables involved in that image: How old was the tube on the Rank? Was the transfer to digital or analog tape? Who was the colorist? How much noise-reduction was applied? What kind of noise reduction? How many generations from the transfer are we looking at?

If the production won't go for printing a couple of dailies rolls, try to arrange w/ the lab to at least print a test. I'm not repping the labs, but, it will cost very little, or they might even comp you the 200 or 400 feet of the print. The best way to get rid of grain is to shoot an optimally dense negative. The only way to really verify your exposure technique is to look at the film projected, or, dig into someone's pocket (maybe your own) and supervise some of the transfer. If you just hand it off to someone and say, "make it look good," you'll have a much more difficult time assessing your work.

As far as the original question goes: If you "nail" your exposures in camera, all you're trying to do in post is to get the closest approximation of how your film would look if you actually printed it. Of course, you get what you pay for.
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

CineLab

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post