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Doug Palmer

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    Camera Operator
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  1. Doug Palmer

    Y16

    I wonder if it would be feasible to manufacture a totally new 16mm camera cheap. $999 ! At least the body would be cheap, to attract many people, rather than a few dozen. Zero profit perhaps, but then they'd buy the other bits for much more money, according to what they want to do with the camera. The 16mm gauge is very under-rated it seems to me. So much potential, and capable of very steady clean images. And why not borrow some of the ideas from S8 cameras. Imagine perhaps a very simple SMALL L-shape, the bottom containing the motor and batteries, the upright containing movement, gate, lens-mount and a very simple reflex finder at the top. Spinning reflex design. Image could be simply turned back-to-front. No pin registration, just a very stable intermittent using ideas from Bolex, Bell & Howell and so on. It doesn't have to be silent but it must be down to the noise level of say a well-maintained decent S8 or R8 camera. So you'd just need a barney for sync sound, not a blimp. The camera runs only at 24/25 fps. Then the accessories... coaxial magazines sit behind the body. Maybe they contain a sprocket somewhere that connects to a shaft in the body. 50ft, yes 50 ! 100ft and 400ft. The 50ft and 100ft mags contain daylight spools. The 400ft mag has to have an additional motor. Remember, all these items are generating profit, but the user only buys what he/she needs. All connecting pieces are totally unique to this camera, and obviously patented. So hopefully nothing is copied by others. The reflex finder can have a unit added on that makes it normal to view.. Or you can buy a video unit instead. The lens mount: perhaps c-mount, or at least something that accepts many lenses including still lenses. It might be a good idea to include a variable shutter in the body. If you need more running speeds, you'd buy a separate motor that connects to the 1:1 shaft. Then another version for animation. $699 ! Impossible ? Maybe. Metering ? Why not a plug-in meter measuring the light near the gate, and a led in the viewfinder. The point is... you like many others are tempted by the $999 no-profit body, and you then find yourself adding more and more accessories, including the unique mags, not so cheap. That camera body though has to be totally reliable with good registration. Not a studio camera by any means, but something that many would be happy with, using all the good design ideas from the past.
  2. I think where imax 15/70 really excels is in the height of things. No other format including digital imax can do this. And this capability is ideal for creating the effect of vertigo if needed. I would also like to see something monochrome in 15/70. There may have been occasional olde photos as in Cameron's Titanic documentary, but it would be nice to see and experience an entire film in black and white, with the richness that only chemical film can bring. Assuming a 65mm film with sufficient low grain is available somewhere.
  3. It's a shame Ilford stopped supplying 16mm movie film in the 1990s. FP4 looked amazing.
  4. I'd just like to add to your list Phil: Badly adjusted anamorphic. This happened the last time I saw a 35mm film at a Cineworld theatre in Weymouth. I missed a few minutes of Warhorse in my fruitless attempt to complain at the popcorn counter, that half the image was out of focus ! It was obvious then, and probably more so now.... the main problem with film is the dearth of real projectionists. I'm not sure how you'd solve this, even with perfect Kinotons.
  5. I was so looking forward to seeing again after many years The Elephant Man at my local cinema. And in b/w Scope , unusual, and hopefully the same ratio in its digital release. I passed the cinema ad hoarding many times, then the lockdown suddenly cancelled everything! At the time it was originally screened I can still remember clearly the experience, maybe more likely with monochrome films, as one is more appreciative perhaps of the richness of the actual image. As it's more abstract than colour? The same happened with Schindler's List when I first saw it in Leicester Square, London. Although strangely they screened a print that looked hurriedly spliced together: real b/w plus the occasional colour parts, the colour prints starting as "b/w" which somewhat spoiled the effect. However, still an incredible experience.
  6. A cheaper option might be their super-8 Aspheron version, also covering 16mm frame. It's not quite as wide an angle, maybe 6.5mm when attached to the Switar 10mm. I've often used one and found it gives sharp images with a 10mmRX lens. I'm not sure if Kern made it or not. An adaptor ring needed. I have one of these Bolex Aspherons for sale on my website if you are interested.
  7. Although I guess with 1.33X you'd end up fairly wide on S16. 2X maybe too wide. I agree that digital projection can look very clinical. Though with lockdown it's been so long away from the cinema I'm sure when they open I'll be happy with anything 😂
  8. A 16mm Switar lens will not work with one of the older types of anamorphic such as Kowa 8z, without vignetting. The front element is not forward far enough. Something like a 16mm Nikkor or Russian lens may work (possibly). Normally with these 2X anamorphic adaptors the widest focal length is about 20mm, unless you can find or adapt a 16mm lens so that its front element is nearly touching the rear element of the anamorphic. (And the nearness improves the image quality.) Don't know about 1.33X adaptors. But is it worth the trouble with these ? Longer focal lengths of course no problem. And tele anamorphic shots can look really good, especially with out-of-focus areas in the wider frame.
  9. If using a front anamorphic adaptor like the Proskar or Kowa lens, it's very important to mount it as close to the prime (or zoom) lens as possible. Also no light entering at the join obviously. Then you get optimum sharpness as well as the best chance of avoiding vignetting. When I've used these combinations in the past, I've generally focused the anamorphic to the same setting as shown on the prime lens, assuming both lenses are correctly calibrated. Probably best to get the anamorphic's focus setting fairly correct first by measurement , then do the prime lens through reflex finder, then fine-tune the anamorphic focus if necessary. A good lenshood helps the contrast. You can get some very interesting bokeh effects that you don't get with spherical.
  10. I've had a similar effect with a bent spool. Before loading film onto daylight spools in the dark, I always make sure the sides of the spool are parallel, using a piece of 16mm leader held inside as a guide. But as it looks constant, maybe it's just light-fogging when loading the camera, worse obviously with fast films.
  11. I'd think the front damage may not show any bad effect if it's just near the outer ring, as it's probably not used much optically especially if slightly stopped down. Shielding the lens with an efficient hood obviously will help. As for the internal fungus, if that's what it is, it could lower the contrast of the image. It's unlikely the dogleg finder will show anything much visually so I guess the only way is to do a good test with film under different conditions. Personally I wouldn't attempt to take the lens apart😆
  12. I'm wondering if part of the reason for making a film print from some digital productions is to firstly get an original neg, which presumably happens ? Then that acts as an insurance for archiving ?
  13. As Martin points out, this is getting away from Super-8 ! I'd just like to say that Bolex 16mm cameras also can have light leakage around the door. No problem when running but when left idle you could notice slight fogging of individual frames. I've seen it on 3 cameras especially above the gate. So I always black-tape the door. Not a problem with super-8 :D
  14. If you can rig up a pack of 5 AA 1.5v batteries that should work.
  15. The movie has many recorded accounts of soldiers' experiences as a narration. And as Timothy says, there are varying views of the enemy. It's difficult for us to imagine the horror and despair of seeing one's pals blown apart. The movie only really covered the trench warfare in France. WW1 was obviously much more extensive. Maybe Peter Jackson or someone else can use the same techniques of film restoration on other subjects too.
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