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Comparing Film Stocks


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#1 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 04:41 PM

Is there any resource that has a comparison of film stocks under identical conditions? Kodak's got examples on their site, but each example is different and meant to show off that particular stock. Someone has to have done a test where they took the exact same shot under the exact same lighting conditions to see how they compare. Does anyone know where you'd find that?

In the same vein, I've heard that you can order rolls of still film using the cinematographic emulsion for testing. I'm assuming you would order those from Kodak or Fuji; how much do they cost?
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 12:34 PM

Is there any resource that has a comparison of film stocks under identical conditions? Kodak's got examples on their site, but each example is different and meant to show off that particular stock. Someone has to have done a test where they took the exact same shot under the exact same lighting conditions to see how they compare. Does anyone know where you'd find that?

In the same vein, I've heard that you can order rolls of still film using the cinematographic emulsion for testing. I'm assuming you would order those from Kodak or Fuji; how much do they cost?


The available Kodak demos usually compare each new film to the equivalent film in the previous generation of technology (e.g., Kodak VISION 500T Color Negative Film 5279 with Kodak VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218).

Kodak usually does not provide motion picture stocks spooled as still film --- for many reasons discussed in other threads, looking at still images does not accurately reflect the "look" of a stock, especially for grain and sharpness. Many labs are hesitant to offer routine ECN-2 processing of short lengths, due to the added risk of one of the many required splices breaking in the machine.
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:08 PM

The available Kodak demos usually compare each new film to the equivalent film in the previous generation of technology (e.g., Kodak VISION 500T Color Negative Film 5279 with Kodak VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218).

Where can I find these demos? Are you referring to the live events that Kodak puts on, or is this on a DVD or something I can get?

Kodak usually does not provide motion picture stocks spooled as still film --- for many reasons discussed in other threads, looking at still images does not accurately reflect the "look" of a stock, especially for grain and sharpness. Many labs are hesitant to offer routine ECN-2 processing of short lengths, due to the added risk of one of the many required splices breaking in the machine.

Huh, I could have sworn I had heard that this existed. Oh well. Thanks.
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:22 PM

Huh, I could have sworn I had heard that this existed. Oh well. Thanks.



If you go back a few weeks in the forum, their was a big thread on this. An outfit named RGB labs in hollywood used to repool 15mm MP film, and print it as slides. They are no longer arround.

Dale Labs in Florida says they will do this and I am waiting for some test rolls to come back.

Photoworks also claims to do this but they ruined about 50% of the test rolls I sent them . The REM-JET backing was not fully removed, and I suspect that they acidently ran the film through the still camera process.

You can easaly use a "bulk film loader" to spool your own test rolls from short ends. I am told that the short end folks find that less than 100 ft is not worth their time, but you could ask. Most bulk loaders will only take 100 ft max.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:09 PM

Talk to your Kodak rep to see what demos they have on hand to show you. Many times they will have film prints or a demo on HD video. But some demos and comparisons are available on DVD.
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#6 dbledwn11

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:40 PM

i'm just wondering then what is the best way (i.e. most economical) of purchasing small amounts of film stock to have processed (in whatever manner) merely for testing purposes???

any help would be much appreciated.
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#7 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 03:36 PM

i'm just wondering then what is the best way (i.e. most economical) of purchasing small amounts of film stock to have processed (in whatever manner) merely for testing purposes???

any help would be much appreciated.


Likely short ends or recans. Or the smallest quantity offered by the film manufacturers:

http://www.kodak.com...amerafilm04.pdf
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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 11:03 PM

Call Kodak's 800 # and ask for any DVD film demos they have available... A really nice lady took some time and found several for me.

There's a great one called "Embracing the power of light" on the Vision2 stocks where they compare Vision to Vision2 and have shorts in each speed of film to show potential. Also shows some 35mm vs. 16mm in the same stock.

Another one called "The Difference" has interviews with cinematographers about film. It has a GREAT demo of Digibeta vs. 16mm vs. 35mm. If you have a project where they can't decide between video or film, show them this and you might have a sale.

There is one on S16mm called "The Power of Shooting Super 16mm Film" from January of 2001 that shows off what that format can do.

Fuji also has a demo on the Super F Series, I think you can order it online from the Fuji site... or try calling.

Good luck, and let us know if you run accross any others... they are great references.
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#9 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 05:42 PM

Thanks for your help guys. I'm planning on calling next week to ask about the DVDs and also about how I can see their Look Manager software.

Edited by Scott Fritzshall, 15 October 2005 - 05:47 PM.

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