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35mm 1.85 vs S35mm full frame for DI


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#1 J Costantini

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 12:47 AM

If I want to do a DI and have a final 35mm 1.85 ratio print, does it make a difference to shoot S35mm full frame instead of regular 35mm with a 1.85 ratio on camera, in terms of picture definition and grain?

Keep in mind that the end product will not me anamorphic.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 02:54 AM

Hi,

Yes, any competent DI software will be able to do that and it is a standard procedure. You should confirm it with the company that's doing your DI, of course, but it would seem reasonable to shoot s35 and take the grain advantage.

I assume that a suitably-marked groundglass is available, probably for people who have done this for TV before.

Phil
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:57 AM

If I want to do a DI and have a final 35mm 1.85 ratio print, does it make a difference to shoot S35mm full frame instead of regular 35mm with a 1.85 ratio on camera, in terms of picture definition and grain?

Keep in mind that the end product will not me anamorphic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi,

The only disadvantage of shooting S35 is you cannot make a direct 35mm print for projection. If you have the money for a DI then shooting S35 3 or 4 perf would be the way to go. With high speed stocks you can see the grain advantage of S35. However not all cameras are S35 friendly. If you have the money for a DI then I don't think you have budget issues.

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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 06:46 AM

As always, "Size Does Matter". The larger image area of Super-35 will definitely be an advantage if you are going to use a DI.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 10:09 AM

However, it could very well be that a contact print off of a standard 35mm 1.85 negative may look sharper than a 2K D.I. of something shot in Super-35 for 1.85, scanned, recorded to a 35mm IN, and contact-printed -- so the only point of the D.I. would be if you needed digital color-correction.

But yes, if you are definitely doing a D.I., there's not much reason not to shoot Full Aperture for 1.85, or 3-perf Full Aperture for that matter. Assuming you can get the right camera equipment & lenses.
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#6 J Costantini

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 02:00 PM

But my doubt is
What the larger neg area of the S35mm will be used for if my final ratio is 1.85? I believe this extra area is going to be cropped, isn't it?
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 02:27 PM

But my doubt is
What the larger neg area of the S35mm will be used for if my final ratio is 1.85? I believe this extra area is going to be cropped, isn't it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

Full camera apeture is .980 wide, 1.85 projected is .825 wide. So a Super 35 frame uses approximately 18% more negative. The top and bottom are cropped which is why some people shoot 3 perf.
As David pointed out a direct contact print could well yield a better result than a 2K DI. IMHO Unless your film is very effects heavy there is little reason for DI.

Stephen Williams Lighting Cameraman

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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:32 PM

Super-35 has extra horizontal area over standard (sound aperture) 35mm. So you use that extra width for any format -- it's the amount of vertical information you waste depending on the aspect ratio.

Super-1.85 extracts a 1.85 image from the 1.33 area of the 4-perf Full Aperture neg or 1.78 area of the 3-perf Full Aperture neg. Standard 35mm uses a smaller 1.85 area inside the smaller 1.37 Academy Aperture, which lies inside 1.33 Full Aperture and slightly offset to one side. So standard 1.85 neg & print projection uses a smaller area than 1.85 exposed across all of Full Aperture (Super-35). But standard 1.85 allows contact-printing, whereas Super-1.85 requires an optical or digital reduction to a standard 35mm format so that prints can then be contact-printed.
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#9 J Costantini

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:41 PM

Ahhh
Ok.
So you're saying that I CAN shoot super-35 full frame and reduce it digitally to a 1.85:1 ratio for the copy?? This sounds like an interesting option in terms of graininess... reducing instead of making something bigger... Am I right? How does this reduction work?

Thanks everybody who posted.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 10:55 PM

You don't really "do" anything with the D.I. in terms of the reduction other than recording the digital image back to film within the smaller sound aperture area of the negative, rather than to Full Aperture. You scan Full Aperture but record back to sound aperture. You could shoot 3-perf, scan that, and record it out to 4-perf, etc. The capture format and the format you record out to can be completely different.

The main thing is to remind everyone doing the D.I. that the Super-35 image is framed for 1.85 and not meant to be cropped & stretched to 2.39 anamorphic when recorded out to 35mm. Shoot a framing chart, keep it at the head of your reels when editing.

Just be aware that if you don't do a good D.I. at sufficient resolution, you may have gotten better results shooting in standard 35mm 1.85 and just contact-printing the elements.

It's a different story when shooting Super-35 for cropping & stretching to anamorphic because contact-printing to get a scope version is not possible and the digital blow-up will probably be less grainy than an optical printer blow-up. However, again, if you had shot in 35mm anamorphic to begin with and just contact-printed, you may have gotten better results.

In other words, don't shoot Super-35 framed for 1.85 just because you think a reduction to standard 1.85 will produce better results, because the methods of conversion add their own variables which may negate that extra quality from the slightly larger negative. However, if you were doing a D.I. anyway for other reasons for a 1.85 movie, THEN you might as well shoot Super-35 anyway to get a slightly bigger negative to work with. But the slightly bigger negative is not reason enough to shoot Super-1.85 over standard 1.85 if you ultimately need theatrical prints.

Back before D.I.'s, there was a brief trend towards shooting in Super-1.85 in the late 1980's / early 1990's ("Two Jakes", "Bonfire of the Vanities", "Malcolm-X", "Fisher King", "Godfather III"). The idea was that the increase in grain from making release prints using the IP/IN method could be mitigated by shooting Super-35 framed for 1.85 and making one of those steps an optical printer reduction to standard 1.85.

It worked well for blow-ups to 70mm release prints, as some of these films did, but for the 35mm prints, it turned out the using an optical printer in one of the steps caused the grain to be sharpened because it gets rephotographed thru a lens onto a new piece of film, almost creating an edge-enhancement effect -- sharpened but "gritty"-looking, compared to the smoother look of contact printing. So the end results weren't much better and probably not worth the hassle. The 70mm prints were improved, but 70mm releases died out soon after that anyway and were no longer a factor.
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