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16mm vs S16mm


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#1 IvanKane

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 12:42 PM

Hi
I need some advise.
I have an Eclair NPR 16mm and a zoom lens, Cook lens.
I am trying to put together a Camera package for a low budget feature to send to festivals.
OK, I am really poor so I am wondering what would be the smartest thing to do?
Should I convert the camera to S16mm which costs £700 and then I would have to buy another Zoom lens (zomm lens because it's cheaper) which cost about £800, service included or should
I just shoot 16mm and use the lenses I have but pay £300 to service it?(Footage from camera phulses a bit).
I could then transfer it to digital and put a letterbox so it looks like it was shot in S16, and if it's any good film I could then blow it up to 35mm if necesity, but then again I would loose quality right?, now how much quality would one loose?.
Does it really make much dieffernce, shooting it in S16 or 16 and put a letterbox then blowing it up?. Isn't the filmstock to day so good?
Thanks for a great forum
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:09 PM

Blowing-up/cropping regular 16mm film to get a widescreen picture will leave you with more grain than using Super 16mm. But, if I recall correctly, David Mullen mentioned in a previous post that you can make up for the grain difference by using a one-stop-slower stock. For example, the grain visible in blown-up/cropped regular 16mm footage shot on 250 speed film would be comparable to the grain visible in 500 speed Super 16mm footage.

So, on paper at least, it's not a huge difference.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:42 PM

As always, "Size DOES Matter". If you plan on shooting lots of material for 16:9 HD television or blow-up to 1.85:1 35mm in the future, moving up to Super-16 makes alot of sense. If you tend to shoot lots of 4:3 aspect ratio, using Regular-16 is fine, especially if you want to make 16mm contact prints with optical sound for projection.

To maintain equivalent graininess, taking a one-stop "penalty" in film speed for Regular-16 seems about right. In other words, instead of using 7218, you may opt to use more light and shoot 7217 to better manage the grain in the smaller image. With any color negative film, increasing exposure by a stop or so will tend to reduce graininess, since your scene information uses more of the slower finer-grained emulsions.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 03:41 PM

If he's talking about using a letterboxed video transfer & edit for the blow-up to 35mm, the problem isn't 16mm versus Super-16, it's the loss of quality from transferring to 35mm using a videotape master, unless he's talking about an HD transfer to HDCAM-SR or something.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 03:46 PM

If he's talking about using a letterboxed video transfer & edit for the blow-up to 35mm, the problem isn't 16mm versus Super-16, it's the loss of quality from transferring to 35mm using a videotape master, unless he's talking about an HD transfer to HDCAM-SR or something.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think the difference between 16mm and Super-16 will show up even in a letterboxed SD (PAL) transfer. If you intend to shoot for 16:9 or 1.85:1 on a regular basis, Super-16 is a significant advantage for image quality.
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#6 IvanKane

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 04:52 PM

I think the difference between 16mm and Super-16 will show up even in a letterboxed SD (PAL) transfer.  If you intend to shoot for 16:9 or 1.85:1 on a regular basis, Super-16 is a significant advantage for image quality.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks a lot for the great help :)
I meant from tape to 35mm.
So you recon I should go for the S16mm conversion?
Cheers!
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#7 Dominic Case

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 05:36 PM

I meant from tape to 35mm.

If you are using film, and thinking of a 35mm finish, then your "tape" stage should be HD as a very minimum. Otherwise the whole debate of super versus standard 16 is irrelevant ,as you will be throwing away any advantage you get from shootng super 16.

You won't lose quality by blowing up to 35mm: you would lose it by going through any digital stage which is less than the quality of the super 16 original.

By the way, for a 1.85:1 ratio image, super 16 uses 46% more negative area than standard 16.
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#8 jeremy edge

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 02:07 PM

In our project we ended up with 2 rolls of double perf 200 speed so we framed that as 16:9.We found it to be similar in grain to our 500 speed s16 footage.

So 35mm is what about 4 times the area of a s16 negative. what kind of numbers are we talking to get s16 grain to that of 35mm 500asa?

50,25 ?

Would 7245 equal 5218 in terms of grain?

How would 7212 compare?

Just wondering what it takes to get 16mm to look "35 ish"

Edited by jeremy edge, 02 September 2005 - 02:12 PM.

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#9 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 04:36 AM

This may be a stupid question, but if your goal is blowing up to 35mm and you have 700+ quid to spend on a S16 conversion then why not just shoot 35mm at a lower shooting ratio with a Konvas 2M or some other relatively cheap 35mm camera?

Unless of course you want the 'look' of 16mm... :unsure:
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 04:59 AM

You won't lose quality by blowing up to 35mm: you would lose it by going through any digital stage which is less than the quality of the super 16 original.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Dominic,

I'm not sure I agree!

An optical blow up would lose quality. AFAIK with any DI the final quality is lower than a contact print from the OCN.

Stephen
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#11 jeremy edge

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 11:54 AM

I guess noone wants to touch question of whether or not you can achieve 500asa 35mm grain characteristics by shooting s16 with 50d.

I would think you come at least close.Or at least close to that of 35mm films that were pushed one stop or bleach bypassed with 500 speed.

I've never shot with 7245 or 7212.I'm looking forward to testing some to see just how fine I can get the grain down to.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 02:18 PM

I guess noone wants to touch question of whether or not you can achieve 500asa 35mm grain characteristics by shooting s16 with 50d.

I would think you come at least close.Or at least close to that of 35mm films that were pushed one stop or bleach bypassed with 500 speed.

I've never shot with 7245 or 7212.I'm looking forward to testing some to see just how fine I can get the grain down to.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It's not quite as simple as that, since the 35mm frame has roughly four-times the surface area as the 16mm frame. So while you may achieve a similar graininess with 50 ASA in 16mm versus 500 ASA in 35mm, you won't achieve similar sharpness or fine detail reproduction (nor depth of field possibly). However, on a small TV screen, most people probably would have a hard time spotting the difference if you also matched depth of field characteristics.
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#13 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:09 PM

If you tend to shoot lots of 4:3 aspect ratio, using Regular-16 is fine, especially if you want to make 16mm contact prints with optical sound for projection.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>




Just out of curiousity,John,how much demand for 16mm optical sound release prints is there anymore?The last time I did a 16mm project for 16mm optical sound release was 1986.
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#14 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:16 PM

This may be a stupid question, but if your goal is blowing up to 35mm and you have 700+ quid to spend on a S16 conversion then why not just shoot 35mm at a lower shooting ratio with a Konvas 2M or some other relatively cheap 35mm camera?

Unless of course you want the 'look' of 16mm... :unsure:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Victor Nunez,a director here in my home state (Ulee's Gold,Gal Young Un)shoots in super 16 because he believes the smaller cameras provide a more intimate setting for his actors and they deliver a more natural performance,he also prefers the look of super 16 to straight 35.
A Konvas 2M or even an Arri 352C is difficult to blimp.The Eclair is already blimped.

Now for my question.If you shoot standard 16mm and want to satisfy all aspect ratios,1:85 for theatrical as well as 1:33 and 1:77 for HD,what's the best way to about framing?I've got a few indies coming up where that maybe a question.Unless they go the way of the others and shoot DV :(
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:31 PM

That's a creative issue, not a technical one. Personally, there IS no solution. There is only one correct composition possible at a time, all others being compromizes.

You're better off shooting in a manner to deliver the best image to the most demanding release format -- 35mm theatrical in some cases, HDTV broadcast in others. But in terms of composition, you have to make an artistic choice and try to stick to it, and understand that the alternative framings will be compromizing your intent.

From a practical, technical standpoint, shooting standard 35mm Academy, framed for 1.85, covers you in most situations: contact printing for theatrical 1.85 release, for 16x9 (1.78 : 1) transfers, and you've got a 1.37 negative for making the 4x3 full-frame transfer, assuming you protected the whole negative when shooting.

If you're shooting video, personally, I think you should shoot 16x9 unless your ONLY release format is 4x3 video. Cropping the sides of 16x9 to get 4x3 is as about as damaging as cropping the top & bottom of 4x3 to get 16x9, except that 16x9 broadcasts tend to go to more bigger & better, newer TV sets, so you might as well shoot with 16x9 in mind and let 4x3 be compromized technically a little rather than the other way around.

So for me, the only real argument for standard 16mm, except if that's the only camera you can afford, is the ability to make 16mm contact prints with a soundtrack.
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#16 Matt Pacini

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:17 PM

I'd like to chip in and mention something nobody is addressing here:

You said you're on a super tight budget.
If that means getting a cheaper lens that covers Super16, rather than a great sharp lens with regular 16, then that's also a consideration.
Personally, I don't think I'd sacrifice sharpness for less grain.
Just pointing out, all things are not equal in this equation.
You have to figure where your compromises are best made.

MP
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