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16mm color reversal film


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#1 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:13 PM

Does anyone supply this film today? If so, please let me know how it looks. Are there any plans for bringing this type of film back? Now that I'm filming again I've decided to get back into projection and hands on splicing, rather than go with digital. If film prints are the only way to go for projection, how do they generally look?

All of my experience in the past was with Kodachrome 40 and 25, and a little bit of Ektachrome and Agfa color reversal film stocks, all of which were very good in my opinion.


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#2 Samuel Berger

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:24 PM

Wittner Chrome (Agfa) 16mm color reversal exists.





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#3 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:50 PM

Thanks Samuel. That looked pretty good to me. Though I can't figure out why some of the online examples of Super 8 footage are sometimes looking much nicer (to my eyes) than some of 16mm footage. You have posted some Super 8 examples recently that I thought looked fantastic. In fact I think it spoiled me a bit. My expectations were too high or something.


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#4 Samuel Berger

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:55 PM

Thanks Samuel. That looked pretty good to me. Though I can't figure out why some of the online examples of Super 8 footage are sometimes looking much nicer (to my eyes) than some of 16mm footage. You have posted some Super 8 examples recently that I thought looked fantastic. In fact I think it spoiled me a bit. My expectations were too high or something.

 

Don't be discouraged, the reason for the discrepancies is not entirely the filmstock, there's also the processing and telecine/scanning to take into consideration. I'm sure that 200D looks a lot better projected than on the silly telecine used for it in most videos.

 

The good Super 8 footage you've seen me post was scanned in 4K. In the examples above, I think the example on top is an off-the-wall transfer. The second example was a DIY home telecine using a Workprinter 16.

 

Here's a 2K scan of the same film, shot with an Eclair ACL.

 

 

and here's a better video overall:

 


Edited by Samuel Berger, 15 December 2017 - 06:58 PM.

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#5 Glen Brownson

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:23 AM

Jon

 

I've used the Wittnerchrome 200D a couple of times and was disappointed, my results certainly nowhere near as good as the examples above.

 

https://vimeo.com/197534050

 

Although this isn't the best quality scan (and I had some issues with exposure), when projected it still looked very grainy and the colours weak.

 

Compare it to Kodak V3 50D on the same camera

 

https://vimeo.com/225731553

 

I would, like you, prefer to be able to project my film, but the difference in quality between neg & reversal was too much so I now stick to neg.

 

If anyone can suggest reasons why my results were so bad I'd be grateful.


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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:59 AM

Let’s wait and see whether the announced new Ektachrome will be available in more formats than just Super-8. Kodakers would be blockheads, if they didn’t convert to 35mm and 16mm. Ektachrome would be just right for Eyemo users and 16mm amateurs, amateurs in the best sense of the word, enthusiasts.


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#7 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:40 PM

Thanks Glen, yes the V3 50D looks very nice. Kodak, please, we need GOOD color reversal film returned to the market, and developing. Thank you.


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#8 Samuel Berger

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:53 PM

I just wish we had Kodachrome back. It can't have been that complex to process. I was dropping it off at Ralph's as recently as 1999 and getting charged only $3.99 for processing.

 

The Ektachrome thing gives me some hope. But, it's not like we can't strike a print from negative and then project it.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 16 December 2017 - 11:54 PM.

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#9 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 02:42 AM

The Kodachrome 16mm I used to see projected at film nights at the old filmmaker's club in Brisbane was so damn spectacular it was hard to put into words. Just beautiful to look at. How can mankind let this sort of beauty slip away, out of reach?


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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:33 AM

I just wish we had Kodachrome back. It can't have been that complex to process. I was dropping it off at Ralph's as recently as 1999 and getting charged only $3.99 for processing.

 

The Ektachrome thing gives me some hope. But, it's not like we can't strike a print from negative and then project it.

It was a very complicated 16-stage process, with separate development for each colour layer, and a requirement for an analytical chemist on-site, which was why there were only a couple of labs in the world.

About the turn of the century Kodak did develop (haha) an automated system with pre-packaged chemicals, but who knows how many of those there were.

Kodachrome was always process-paid here, but the $3.99 or whatever was a mass-market price. It only worked when there were millions of rolls a year going through.

The look of a projected print is quite different from Kodachrome.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 17 December 2017 - 08:34 AM.

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#11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:36 AM

The Kodachrome 16mm I used to see projected at film nights at the old filmmaker's club in Brisbane was so damn spectacular it was hard to put into words. Just beautiful to look at. How can mankind let this sort of beauty slip away, out of reach?

I have some in for conform at the moment. It's even spectacular on the Steenbeck, but I wouldn't dare project it even if it were mine and I had the facilities. It's too valuable.


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#12 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 06:20 PM

I know I harp on about this film a lot, but it reminds me of the scene in 'Soylent Green' when Sol, the old guy, is about to die and he and the Charlton Heston character are looking at the projected images of nature in the euthanasia facility and both are just aghast and nearly crying at the beauty. "I had no idea" one of them mumbles.


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#13 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:26 PM

I think a lot of people would be very willing to pay extra for Kodachrome. Come on, Kodak, you know you want to do it. Bring it back before the technical capability is lost forever. It's a fact of history that high-level technical competency in any field is quickly lost and not regained when it's allowed to fall away. People try to re-invent creative things and even technical processes that have been lost to history but they usually manage only a rough approximation of what was once enjoyed. Eg. Roman cement was actually an extremely fine concrete in some ways far superior to modern Portland cement type concrete but they don't know how to make it any more.

 

Another example is in music. Musicians try to re-invent ancient lost music styles especially ancient 'classical' music but at best they manage only some kind of quirky, folky personal interpretation of what they *think* was lost - and it never catches on because, well ..... it's gone and it ain't coming back. The magic has been lost and something entirely new has replaced it. In cinematography that would be digital but a lot of beauty and warmth has been traded for convenience. A topic that has been over-discussed, sure.


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 17 December 2017 - 08:36 PM.

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#14 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:20 PM

I think a lot of people would be very willing to pay extra for Kodachrome. Come on, Kodak, you know you want to do it. Bring it back before the technical capability is lost forever. 

One of the reasons Kodachrome was discontinued was due to the toxicity of the chemicals used to develop it, and attendant environmental concerns. Unless Kodak decides to reformulate the stock and process, which would cause howls of complaint from purists, it's hard to see how they can bring it back, no matter how much people might ask.


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#15 Samuel Berger

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:24 PM

One of the reasons Kodachrome was discontinued was due to the toxicity of the chemicals used to develop it, and attendant environmental concerns. Unless Kodak decides to reformulate the stock and process, which would cause howls of complaint from purists, it's hard to see how they can bring it back, no matter how much people might ask.

 

I often hear from old timers that this was a lie propagated so that Kodak wouldn't look bad for discontinuing one of the greatest inventions of mankind. But I don't personally have any info.

It sounds like it could be right, though. I don't think Kodak was processing it themselves by the end. All those rolls I dropped off at Ralph's, Rite Aid, etc, ended up being processed at Dwayne's.

So it really wasn't their problem if the chemicals were too toxic or if someone was causing environmental damage (which it probably wasn't).


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#16 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 10:44 PM

 

I often hear from old timers that this was a lie propagated so that Kodak wouldn't look bad for discontinuing one of the greatest inventions of mankind. 

It wasn't the only reason, or even the main reason. Digital cameras were the main culprit, but if they were thinking about trying to relaunch it, obviously environmental factors would be a concern.


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#17 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:16 PM

Unless, as Samuel seems to be saying, deception was possibly involved. That's a well-known fact of the world we live in. Lies can be told to push something out, usually or always because of bucks to be made. Might not apply in this case, of course. More research is called for perhaps. By the way, I hope no one calls me a conspiracy theorist for suggesting even the possibility of 'dirty tricks'. I'm just being realistic. Come on, we all know it can sometimes happen. Anyway there are enormous advances being made in mitigating and/or totally avoiding all sorts of environmental problems and perceived environmental problems without having to kill a very fine artistic and technical achievement that gave so many people so much joy (okay trying to get just a little bit Churchill-like there in that last sentence).


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 17 December 2017 - 11:25 PM.

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#18 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:49 PM

Which reminds me of an entirely different matter. We live in a world that sometimes lately seems rather keen to push back against the joyful. Just a general comment. It's rather plain to see, if you will but see it. But it won't work, because those who are determined to experience joy will find it, regardless of the ghouls of society who want things grim.


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#19 Samuel Berger

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:12 AM

Which reminds me of an entirely different matter. We live in a world that sometimes lately seems rather keen to push back against the joyful. Just a general comment. It's rather plain to see, if you will but see it. But it won't work, because those who are determined to experience joy will find it, regardless of the ghouls of society who want things grim.

 

Agreed, we shall continue to shoot film while the lost souls will continue to churn out green unusable images with their Sonys. ;-)


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#20 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:45 AM

And for the last damn time, digital doesn't come out looking green!! You get that?!

 

Just joking.


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