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Ultra 16mm Progress


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#1 John Adolfi

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 06:19 AM

After reading many posts regarding the interest in the newer format Ultra 16, I was wondering if anyone over the last year has actually shot some footage and what were the results?
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#2 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 01:14 PM

I had an extra gate on my CP16R/A widened to Ultra16, but it was missing the pins (that help it align when installed into the camera).
I decided to try it anyway.
My footage was really soft on the right 40% or so of the frame, but I'm not sure if it is because I put the gate in there and it was off-kilter from not having the pins.
So it may have been from the gate positioning, and it may have been from the "CP16 smear" problem you always hear about with CP16's & the butterfly shutter.
I'm going to give it another shot in a couple months or so, & I'll post the results here.
Problem is, I'll need to modify my Canon Scoopic M also, but I can't for the life of me find a gate (or trashed camera) for an M or MS.

Matt Pacini
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#3 Steven Budden

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 02:38 PM

Why would someone choose Ultra over super, out of curiosity?

Steven
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#4 Jeff DiMambro

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 06:34 PM

I asked a local post house about ultra 16 and they said, first that they'd never heard of it, but also they probably wouldn't be able to tranfer the entire image. Has anyone else encounterd this?
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#5 Nate Downes

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 08:01 AM

Why would someone choose Ultra over super, out of curiosity?

Steven

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Less costly to modify your camera. Super, you need to a) shave your gate and B) modify your lens mount. Ultra, you just need to shave your gate. Also, Super can only be done on 1R cameras, Ultra can be done on nearly any camera.
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#6 Steven Budden

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:28 PM

I see I see. But... is it that much cheaper to modify?

Seems like R16 would be ok for shorts or older cameras, and S16 for newer cameras for 35mm blow up, but I can't completely understand why be in between the two? Of course, all I know of Ultra I know from Cameraspro website, and when I asked Guy about it he said... no no go with Super. The applicability to any camera makes more sense than the up front cost (which doesn't seem to be that much more for super, and a lot of the difference comes from the recentering of the lens mount... right? Unless you're dong it yourself). Anyway, I'm curious. Keep in mind I learned about these issues through the bolex route... I wasn't really researching the conversion prices on Arri, etc.

Thanks!

Steven
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#7 Matt Pacini

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:40 PM

Yeah, it's cheaper to modify.
You just get the gate filed out.
Nothing else.
Do it yourself, of pay a jeweler to do it.
Super 16 mod = $2,000 & up.
Ultra 16 mod = $0 - $100.

The other benefits are, you can still get the 16mm frame without cropping if you need to, & you can use most lenses.

Still, it's not "better" than Super16, it's just a way to get a larger frame size (& wider) for those who can't afford Super16.

There are tons of arguments in the archives about the pros & cons, so look those up if you're really interested.
There are definitely downsides of this not-often used, non-standard format, but personally, I would like to see it used more often.

MP
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 09:09 AM

Again, use of formats not standardized by the SMPTE or ISO has some risk that post prodution will not be able to handle the format. Check with your lab or transfer house to see if they are set up to handle it.

Be careful that standardized areas like those used for edgeprint and KEYKODE are not compromised.
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#9 Steven Budden

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 12:06 PM

I see I see. I know on a bolex the difference (at Cameraspro) is only about 25% cost (600 ish for ultra, 800ish for super). But if it is more for other cameras that makes some sense. Can you still do a sountrack on a film print with ultra?

Steven
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#10 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 12:44 PM

I see I see. I know on a bolex the difference (at Cameraspro) is only about 25% cost (600 ish for ultra, 800ish for super). But if it is more for other cameras that makes some sense. Can you still do a sountrack on a film print with ultra?

Steven

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Any image farther than 0.513 inches (13.03mm) from the edge of the film opposite the soundtrack will interfere with an analog soundtrack in a contact print. (Standard SMPTE 41)
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#11 Oliver Gläser

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 06:35 PM

Hello there,
My name is Oliver Glaser I am a DOP out of Vancouver Canada. A couple of years ago ( may have been three) I joined this forum and read about a very interesting idea that someone had been proposing at the time and had apparently tested called 'Ultra 16'. I was immediatly interested in the idea and researched it fully before finally converting several cameras to the format. I started with a Bolex M5, Machined the gate, shot some test rolls and transfered them. I found that just as described the format was ideally suited for shooting widescreen (1.85:1) aspect footage.

Ultra 16mm is not intended for optical printing, it is however ideally suited for DI and digital blow up. For me the kicker came when shooting a feature film in Ireland shot partly on a ARRI SR3 Advanced in Super and my Eclair NPR's in Ultra and seeing that footage totally seemlessly cut together.

As I have stated in previous posts on the subject time and time again, despite others reservations on the format... Ultra 16mm is a great format of those that have older cameras, lenses and are shooting with the intent to digitally blow up. It is also far far less expensive to modify your camera. I have modified all my cameras to shoot in this format and have always had fantastic results. the format has always worked great for me and after having shot over a dozen films on it ( long and short) I think that I have tested it as much as anyone could. like I said though this format is designed for Digital blowup. I shoot in Ultra, Transfer to HDCAM, offline a MiniDV timecode burnt in version, online the HDCAM and digitally blowup to 35mm.

Just a note... regardless or super or Ultra, if you are going too 35mm as your end product, you are cropping regardless, the difference being that Ultra is designed for 1.85:1 transfer already. THe difference in image size is one of 3% of the finally cropped images. anyway, I think I have rambled on enough. I hope that this is of some use. I believe in my past posting on this subject I may have posted more techincal information. one last thing. if you have the money and it is feesable, convert to Super, it is the industry standard, however if this is not the case and you want to be able to shoot for theatrical blowup, give ultra a try, I think you'll find it a worthy alternative.

Oliver Glaser
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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:05 AM

Basically some cameras such as the canon scoopic, cannot be converted to S16. It's just too difficult.

Even worse, some lenses do not cover the size of a S16 negative, even if the mount is re-centered. This can be very bad as high quality lenses are expensive and it means you will have to replace them.

Some cameras, such as the Bolex can be converted to S16 easily and cheaply, and in that case, unless you have some great standard 16 lenses you don't want to part with, it would be utterly silly not to go S16, as it is a very recognised standard and there is loads of support for it.

Unless of course you just kept your standard 16 camera as it is, which is also nice. :)

love

Freya
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#13 Steven Budden

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 09:35 PM

Basically some cameras such as the canon scoopic, cannot be converted to S16. It's just too difficult.

Even worse, some lenses do not cover the size of a S16 negative, even if the mount is re-centered. This can be very bad as high quality lenses are expensive and it means you will have to replace them.

Some cameras, such as the Bolex can be converted to S16 easily and cheaply, and in that case, unless you have some great standard 16 lenses you don't want to part with, it would be utterly silly not to go S16, as it is a very recognised standard and there is loads of support for it.

Unless of course you just kept your standard 16 camera as it is, which is also nice. :)

love

Freya

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I also think it still makes sense to just shoot regular 16mm or go all the way and do super 16mm. If you're going to do blow up super is of course ideal, and if you're not, if you're just going to project the 16mm print then reg is fine. And if you're going to create a DVD than super would be great. You can get super 16mm cameras for not that much, so if it is to be your medium of choice you might as well bite the bullet, unload the "unconvertable" camera and use the money to pay for super conversion camera.

After doing much research on my own a year or so ago, I came to the conclusion that ultra is just an odd place to be. In between the two standards... therefore not quite as good as either one.

Steven
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#14 jeremy edge

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:09 AM

Deja Vu.

When i first wanted to get into 16mm a year ago ... I couldnt understand why ultra 16 wasnt an option.

It's basically for lack or support for it! You'll have trouble getting your footage transferred.

If you want my opinion ....If ultra came first ....we would not have super 16.
Change the gate ....you have more surface area....you cannot get more simple than that.No expensive conversions...most lenses would cover etc.
Sure S16 has a tad more area...but it's just a pinch. it would be hard to tell in side by side tests.

I didnt want to fool with it because of having to deal with the transfer logistics.If I found one house that would do it...i didnt want to bestuck with 1 option.
Bonolabs expressed that they had been interested in ultra but I doubt they had enough calls to follow through.Im curious if more stubborn guys had actually made some progress since then getting houses to hear them out.

Short answer is stay away from it. There's no support. It will be a pain in the butt.

It's good for the poor filmmaker who wants to own his own camera but not so beneficial to the rest of the industry who has already gotten used to an established format.

It's a great idea that came along way too late.
I wish I could get someone to admit at least this.
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#15 Matt Pacini

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:43 PM

Again, use of formats not standardized by the SMPTE or ISO has some risk that post prodution will not be able to handle the format.  Check with your lab or transfer house to see if they are set up to handle it.

Be careful that standardized areas like those used for edgeprint and KEYKODE are not compromised.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Good advice about avoiding the keycode area.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't they just pull back in telecine to get the full frame?
It's not "off-center" like Super16, and worse case scenario- the unmodified 16mm frame is s still there in Ultra16.

MP
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#16 Stephen Williams

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 02:49 AM

Good advice about avoiding the keycode area.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't they just pull back in telecine to get the full frame?
It's not "off-center" like Super16, and worse case scenario- the unmodified 16mm frame is s still there in Ultra16.

MP

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Hi,

The telecine gate will probably mask the perf area. Therefore one side of the ultra 16 will be cut off using a super 16 gate.
Super 16 took many years to establish, without demand nobody will custom modify telecine equipment.

Stephen
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#17 Mark Williams

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:47 PM

Good advice about avoiding the keycode area.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't they just pull back in telecine to get the full frame?


MP

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Cracking Thread ! Would like to hear an answer CAN They?

Anyone know who does the Ultra 16 Conversion for the Arri-BL In the UK? OR Could I seriously get a Jewellers to do this?
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#18 Chris Burke

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:02 PM

Cracking Thread !  Would like to hear an answer CAN They?

Anyone know who does the Ultra 16 Conversion for the Arri-BL In the UK? OR Could I seriously get a Jewellers to do this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I have a Krasnagorsk K-3 that I wouldn't mind modifying to Ultra. As long as I could use the stock lens, it wouldn't such a bad thing to do. What are the specs for machining out the gate?


chris
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 02:18 AM

Cracking Thread !  Would like to hear an answer CAN They?

Anyone know who does the Ultra 16 Conversion for the Arri-BL In the UK? OR Could I seriously get a Jewellers to do this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi,

Many telecines have options and modifications. You have to test the one you will use!

For your Ultra 16 conversion give Les Bosher a call.

Stephen
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#20 Mark Williams

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 05:48 AM

Hi,

Many telecines have options and modifications. You have to test the one you will use!

For your Ultra 16 conversion give Les Bosher a call.

Stephen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Stephen Thanks..Hmm At the risk of looking silly :blink: WHO is Les Bosher and one more thing. If I film in ultra 16 Any Telecinist would still be able to convert even if they had to chop the sides? Is this right? :ph34r:
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