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2022 Film Stock Price Increases?


Robin Phillips
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1 hour ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

I do, yes. I also remember how they wanted to bring back Kodachrome. Well, I appreciate the fact that they had those intentions. But hey, miracles can and do happen!

Ektachrome was much easier as the processors are basically the same as color negative, just different chemicals and temperatures. Kodachrome would require an entirely different processor, so even though they COULD make Kodachrome, processing it would be impossible unless they changed the formula which would make it not Kodachrome anymore. 

Having used the new Ektachrome, it looks great when projected, but does not look good when scanned. It's really a projection format in my opinion. 

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13 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

 

Having used the new Ektachrome, it looks great when projected, but does not look good when scanned. It's really a projection format in my opinion. 

I've not yet used the new Ektachrome, as I still have some of the older 7285 in freezer.  Are you saying it's even more contrasty now ?  I've always tended to post-flash the 7285 to bring contrast down for scanning etc.

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1 hour ago, Doug Palmer said:

I've not yet used the new Ektachrome, as I still have some of the older 7285 in freezer.  Are you saying it's even more contrasty now ?  I've always tended to post-flash the 7285 to bring contrast down for scanning etc.

It's not like the old stock sadly. It's still contrasty, it just doesn't scan as well as the older stock for some reason. IDK why. 

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12 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's not like the old stock sadly. It's still contrasty, it just doesn't scan as well as the older stock for some reason. IDK why. 

Thanks Tyler.  Hoping it may match fairly well with my older stock in a project I'm working on.  I guess then it will need a similar amount of flashing.

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

What kind of flasher do you have?

None, it's all very basic the method I use, and seems to work fine.  I simply shoot out-of-focus, a matte-black card, in a shaded doorway.  Bright sun without any cloud. So no danger of lights failing during the flash (except eclipses 🙂) I over-expose in a range of half to one-and-a -half stops.   So with careful footage-readings of the film already taken, I can vary the flash accordingly during this second pass.  Usually by fading the iris ring.

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I suppose I'm repeating the obvious, but this is such a bummer for us little guys. I really love shooting 16mm just for fun, but it's going to be so hard to justify doing that, and I'll certainly have to reconsider my hopes to shoot my next narrative project on film. I've been waiting for the right time to invest in a 16mm sync sound camera for several years, but now I feel like I've missed the boat.

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7 minutes ago, Brett Allbritton said:

I suppose I'm repeating the obvious, but this is such a bummer for us little guys. I really love shooting 16mm just for fun, but it's going to be so hard to justify doing that, and I'll certainly have to reconsider my hopes to shoot my next narrative project on film. I've been waiting for the right time to invest in a 16mm sync sound camera for several years, but now I feel like I've missed the boat.

I am sure there is workarounds which would allow you getting a good enough camera so that you can just start shooting narratives without needing to worry about the camera body being too large of an investment. The bells and whistles are the expensive part of the camera and if you can manage without a video tap and S16 then it would be possible to get a perfectly good N16 sound camera body for something around 1.5k - 2k or even less depending on how much you can service it by yourself and how lucky you are finding a mechanically usable camera body to work on.

For example a very cheap electrically broken CP16R which is still in very good mechanical condition and then getting me to install my new crystal sync electronics into it (from 200 to 300 for the camera body and from 450 to 1000 for the new electronics depending on how many crystal speeds you need and if film counters are needed or not, etc.) . 

Personally I would not buy an Aaton or Arri SR for indie use unless getting some money back for it. One should be pretty easily able to borrow a suitable camera or rent it cheaply so no need to pay 10k first for the camera before getting to shoot anything with it.  I got an LTR as a gift a while ago but would never had bought one for "normal price" because I think the lower priced N16 camera bodies give much more bang for the buck 

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On 12/9/2021 at 2:37 PM, aapo lettinen said:

I am sure there is workarounds which would allow you getting a good enough camera so that you can just start shooting narratives without needing to worry about the camera body being too large of an investment.

Yeah, for a long time the Aaton XTR was at the top of my list, but I've now started looking for deals on good N16 cameras instead. Super 16 and a video tap are features I can live without for my projects. Specifically, I have been longing for an SR I or II, though your recommendation about not buying them for indie use might make me re-evaluate that.

The Eclairs and CP16R are also interesting and generally lower-priced, but I've heard people recommend against them due to a lack of replacement parts. I've seen some of your posts about fixing old cameras though, and it's very encouraging to see that they can be made viable again with new electronics. While I don't have experience servicing cameras yet, I certainly wouldn't shy away from the challenge.

Unfortunately, there are no rental houses within several hours of where I live, so renting a film camera has never been an option for me. I happen to be planning a move to Atlanta now, so that will change, but ultimately I would still love to have my own N16 sound camera and rent if I ever need anything more expensive.

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1 hour ago, Brett Allbritton said:

Specifically, I have been longing for an SR I or II, though your recommendation about not buying them for indie use might make me re-evaluate that.

I agree that a normal 16 camera is the way to go today, way cheaper and much larger lens selection for low cost. 

However, be very careful with SR's, if they aren't stored perfectly, they can be nearly impossible to repair. There are a dozen failure points on the camera that are really difficult to fix. For instance, the German (best) motor for those cameras, is unobtanium. It's also unrepairable. So if you have a motor failure in a few years, you may find it difficult to repair. 

The prism on the viewfinder, the coating starts to decay. So eventually it won't reflect light anymore. Huge problem because you can't easily recoat them. There are issues with the electronics, but the later generation SRII's aren't bad, but finding a later camera may not be an option. Electronics are also easier to fix than motors and coatings on viewfinders. 

There are so many other issues, but those are the three which can really cause you to never shoot with the camera. The SR3 is a lot better (even though the electronics are a bigger problem) because motors are easier to get and are repairable. Aaton's seem to be the most repairable for some reason... I don't know why honestly. The motors are easier to work on, the electronics as well. There just is way less knowledge out there, so it can be tricker to find an expert. I also like that the Aatons are direct drive, it cuts out a lot of worries and the moment is way simpler than the Arri's, which are overly complicated for no reason. 

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4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

However, be very careful with SR's, if they aren't stored perfectly, they can be nearly impossible to repair. 

I get the sense Tyler has been talking to a technician and misinterpreted a few things. 

Any electronic camera from 40 or 50 years ago is potentially difficult to repair, Eclairs and Aatons are not immune. But I venture Arris tend to be the sturdiest and least likely to fail. 

The few SR motor failures I’ve come across in the 25 odd years I’ve worked as a tech in rental houses have been caused by sticky brushes, which are most definitely repairable. I’m sure some motors fail differently, I haven’t seen it though.

The viewfinder prism in SRs can yellow with age, but I’ve never seen one that “won’t reflect light anymore”. I’m pretty sure it’s the internal glue yellowing, much like certain doublets can yellow. In all the cases I‘ve seen the camera was still quite useable. It certainly won’t affect the film at all. 
 

The electronics are like any high quality electrical device from that era, susceptible to failure after so many years but generally repairable. Arri electronics seem to fail far less than other cameras actually. 
 

4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I also like that the Aatons are direct drive, it cuts out a lot of worries and the moment is way simpler than the Arri's, which are overly complicated for no reason. 

I would point out again that Arriflexes were by far the most preferred 16mm camera for rental houses and production companies during this era, in part because of their reliability. Just because you don’t understand the movement  design doesn’t mean there wasn’t a reason behind it.

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fixing small mechanical failures is often easy even if it seems hopeless at the first glance. I just fixed a broken footage counter axle holder (fragile plastic part which had shattered so that the footage counter axle did not hold firmly in place) on CP16R by wrapping dozens of rounds of cotton thread around it and then impregnating the cotton thread with superglue. when dried it created a very solid and durable composite material which is able to hold the axle in place for many years.  At first I thought taking the broken counter out and scrapping it but the cotton thread trick fixed it perfectly 😮  

By my opinion, if the original electronics are in bad condition it may be a better option to replace them with completely new ones than try to repair the old stuff. If the original motor itself works fine, it can be used as is to avoid extensive mechanical modifications needed for adapting a newly made motor to the camera.... but control electronics are just control electronics, they don't have to be similar circuitry than the original ones were as long as the camera functions roughly similarly or is better than the original one. Modern electronics allow adding displays, advanced footage counters and unlimited framerate options relatively easily  (the old systems only could have framerates which could be divided from the Crystal by using simple traditional divider circuits like divide by 2, divide by 5, divide by 10. The modern systems can for example divide by 52233 if needed which allows having any framerate one wants and one is not limited to for example having 24.00fps but NOT 23.976fps on the same circuit. This is the reason why old crystal sync units had very limited framerate options and not all of the framerates were even practical, they just added what was possible to divide with the old technology) so there is lots of reasons to update especially if the original electronics were not usable in the first place and the camera was thus cheap. The original CP16R had one crystal speed when even the basic modification I am designing has 10 internal crystal speeds and a variable speed function and it can use external input to have more speeds if needed.

The biggest issue with newly made electronics is to try to mechanically fit them inside the camera body. There is often relatively little room for the circuit boards and the boards need to be very oddly shaped so one needs to design the boards separately for every different camera model and modular systems cannot be used. This makes the newly made systems more expensive than they should be: there is just lots of mechanical fitting to get the new electronics installed in the tiny and oddly shaped space available inside the camera. If controlling the motor using external electronics in a separate aluminium box like my Konvas 15epss crystal controller, it is much easier and cheaper because most parts of the system can be made mechanically standardised and modular instead of needing to make custom shaped circuit boards which only fit one camera body like the CP16R and nothing else. 

For example I could pretty easily make my Konvas 15epss Crystal Controller to control the CP16R with only internal modifications to the circuitry and externally the control box would look like the same and all the footage counters etc. would work similarly. This external box route is much easier for custom modifications when internal control electronics are better if a compact camera system is needed and one does not need unlimited features and customisation is not needed 

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35 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

 

The biggest issue with newly made electronics is to try to mechanically fit them inside the camera body. There is often relatively little room for the circuit boards and the boards need to be very oddly shaped so one needs to design the boards separately for every different camera model and modular systems cannot be used. 

external box route is much easier for custom modifications when internal control electronics are better if a compact camera system is needed and one does not need unlimited features and customisation is not needed 

here is one example of a modular Crystal Sync design made by me. There is one base board and additional boards are added to gain more functionality and to better adapt the system to work with a different camera body. Customising this type of system is very easy and effective if one already has the modules pre built but fitting a system like this inside a camera body is often impossible and a separate external box is needed to house the new electronics. And there is additional work assembling the modules because some of the module functions are not needed for all the modifications so that the system is less optimised than a custom design made specifically for one camera body would be.

Notice how all the boards are of the same physical size and have the mounting points at the same place so that they can be stacked together easily and connected differently if needed

51738320567_619b587c16_b.jpg

So one can choose between a neat and compact built-in design with limited functions and less customisation still being more expensive OR one can choose a modular external box design with unlimited functions and customisation and a more affordable end result BUT one has to live with the separate control box which is always needed if wanting to use the camera for anything.

 

One example of a external box design also made by me: 

51712519602_a533194c28_b.jpg

 

 

Edited by aapo lettinen
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On 12/11/2021 at 4:25 AM, Jon O'Brien said:

I also suspect the story might be a bit different if Tyler owned an SR/used one a lot 🙂

I owned one for a few years, great camera. Never had a lick of issues. 

I've also serviced them for while, but I also work with one of the best techs in the country, who is honest about old cameras. We also see everything, not just cameras owned and operated by our own rental house. 

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On 12/3/2021 at 3:05 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Right, but guess what? The little people like you and me, do not make up 5% of Kodak's sales. My best year, I shot roughly 40,000ft. That's nothing to Kodak, the last Bond film shot 2.7 million feet and that's ONE movie. They have 30 movies like that per year shooting on film. They make 60+ million feet of camera negative a year. What does a small decrease of 200k feet from the little people matter? It really doesn't in the long run.

The real die hards (myself included) will just shoot less film. 

The people just scraping by, will find it difficult to shoot film, that's for sure. 

It's a shame the prices have to go up, but material costs are through the roof. The fact Kodak has waited this long to do a major price increase, is quite amazing honestly. I figured they would have done this the moment silver started going up, but they didn't. Now we're getting 2 years of price hikes all at once and it's going to hurt... but I'm going to invest heavily before this happens. I should be able to stash away enough film to last me through the next two years if I play my cards right. 

Buy film and freeze it. I'm shooting Kodak film (photographic) from 2012 and its perfectly fine!!!!....see attached images.

1206351876_FR_Dulio_Fase_Perera_72dpi.thumb.jpg.7ef3a6d3f1e854cd4196e830ce0b83e2.jpg

F+R_Telde_Fase_Perera_72dpi.jpg

F+R_Dulio_Perera_72dpi.jpg

Edited by Stephen Perera
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7 hours ago, Stephen Perera said:

Buy film and freeze it. I'm shooting Kodak film (photographic) from 2012 and its perfectly fine!!!!....see attached images.

Not a big deal with still film (the price increase won't matter much for that market anyway) because the image is so much bigger. For super 8, 16mm and even 35mm, it makes a bigger difference, especially if you care about consistency. You can't really mix and match rolls from the freezer and rolls you get new for instance, they will look totally different. So you have to really tweak the way you're shooting, if you care. I know a lot of narrow gauge filmmakers who don't care. 

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15 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Not a big deal with still film (the price increase won't matter much for that market anyway) because the image is so much bigger. For super 8, 16mm and even 35mm, it makes a bigger difference, especially if you care about consistency. You can't really mix and match rolls from the freezer and rolls you get new for instance, they will look totally different. So you have to really tweak the way you're shooting, if you care. I know a lot of narrow gauge filmmakers who don't care. 

I can't argue with what you're saying because I have never shot expired motion picture film....but I would like to question the 'totally different' comment esp taking into account the modern tools we have in colour correction editing.

Still....who am I in here to question.....

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On 12/8/2021 at 6:12 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Having used the new Ektachrome, it looks great when projected, but does not look good when scanned. It's really a projection format in my opinion. 

Sorry but I very much doubt colour reversal film is more difficult to scan. I have EXTENSIVE experience in scanning film. I bought a drum scanner in the 90s (ScanMate 5000) and 6 years ago a Hasselblad Flextight 646 scanner and slide film is always always always always x 1 billion easier and faster to scan than colour negative. I question this statement and humbly stand to be corrected

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drum scanners have both better dynamic range and higher overall image quality than motion picture scanners. I have had some of the 2000's version of the Ektrachrome 100D scanned and it did not look good, the scanner could barely handle the contrast at all and the colours were mediocre.

As for the expired MP film vs. expired stills film, the motion picture films are rated differently by using "Exposure Index" instead of a real physical "science based" ISO rating like stills films do. The motion picture films are typically optimised so that one gets pretty good grain structure when the film is new and one gets about 4 stops of usable shadow detail which is why the recommended Exposure Index is set so that the film is overexposed a little by default. In practice this means that the real "science based" ISO rating of a typical motion picture stock is about one stop higher than the Exposure Index of the stock. So a 500 ISO motion picture stock is really roughly comparable to 1000 ISO stills stock in terms of how sensitive it is to heat and ageing.

Additionally motion picture stocks have the ageing issues stills stocks don't have, like one side of the roll ageing at different rate than the other side which leads to pumping grain in the shadows (for example storing the stock so that the other side of the roll stays a little bit warmer than the other side) .  And gamma+cosmic ray decay continues at the normal rate even if the stock is frozen which leads to increased base fog and blue flashing. So when one can freeze the stock and store it forever, it will still decay and the image quality will be constantly lowered when it ages

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16 hours ago, Stephen Perera said:

Sorry but I very much doubt colour reversal film is more difficult to scan. I have EXTENSIVE experience in scanning film. I bought a drum scanner in the 90s (ScanMate 5000) and 6 years ago a Hasselblad Flextight 646 scanner and slide film is always always always always x 1 billion easier and faster to scan than colour negative. I question this statement and humbly stand to be corrected

I mean it's not just Ektachrome, it's Kodachrome as well. Nothing that I've seen digitally has come close to those stocks. When you watch them projected, they pop like no other. It's not like printing modern vision 3, it has an entirely different look. 

Someday you'll have to shoot and project some ektachrome and then compare it to a really good scan, you'll see what I'm talking about. 

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Ok guys... so after a few phone calls over to Kodak here is what I got: 

"I'd buy now" 

So Kodak has 35mm color negative in stock.

They do not have bulk 16mm in stock tho. So it's the same as a few months ago, buy now and wait a few weeks if you want bulk, onsie, twosie, no problem. 

Since they opened their store in Hollywood, they are now selling discounted stock from it. I talked to them years ago about offering a discounted program for scratch and dent/out of date stock and they finally listened. So they have it available to EVERYONE now instead of just a select few. 

So if you're looking for deals, just call over there first. 

Thais is awesome, she runs the Hollywood store and is super kickass. She'll do the best she can and make things happen. Her e-mail is thais.castrale@kodak.com

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2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Ok guys... so after a few phone calls over to Kodak here is what I got: 

"I'd buy now" 

So Kodak has 35mm color negative in stock.

They do not have bulk 16mm in stock tho. So it's the same as a few months ago, buy now and wait a few weeks if you want bulk, onsie, twosie, no problem. 

Since they opened their store in Hollywood, they are now selling discounted stock from it. I talked to them years ago about offering a discounted program for scratch and dent/out of date stock and they finally listened. So they have it available to EVERYONE now instead of just a select few. 

So if you're looking for deals, just call over there first. 

Thais is awesome, she runs the Hollywood store and is super kickass. She'll do the best she can and make things happen. Her e-mail is thais.castrale@kodak.com

Are they still offering student discounts? My daughter is starting a film program soon and wants to shoot on real film.

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