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Matthew B Clark

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Everything posted by Matthew B Clark

  1. I'm trying to do a few projects this year at different labs to get results and a feel for each. Next up is Fotokem (this week I'm sending a short b/w film to them for 16mm neg 4K scan). But something has me completely confused. All this talk of Arriscan machines, and for the life of me I feel like every lab speaks up about their Spirits and Directors and Scanitys etc., but what labs actually operate Arriscan machines? I really want to give it a crack, but you'd be surprised how hard it is to google "Arriscan scanner film lab" and get reliable results of anyone showing one off.
  2. Jean-Louis, would the same be true on a Bolex EBM? If there is any range I can get from this lens on the Bolex, it is attractive to me...since the lens itself is so sharp...but I don’t know if this is only true of BMPCC...
  3. Hi everyone. Wondering if the image circle is big enough for 16 or S16 to work at all on S16. Came across this interesting video of someone using it on a BMPCC. It's cropped, but it looks surprisingly good when he gets to the 36mm macro shots (even though it's cropped). I shoot on a S16 modified EBM and have a set of Switar primes, and as long as it's standard C-mount and the focal flange and image circle are "decent" enough to get some trick close-ups and macro shots of eyes that look all dreamy, it could be of use...just didn't know if this had been covered or anyone has experience... The 36mm seems sharp...would be nice... Is the coverage good on that lens for BMPCC / S16 sensor size without vignetting?
  4. Thanks for explaining that workflow along with the decision-making aspects of it, David. That helps a lot to characterize the reasons why one would choose between the different strategies in a hybrid digital/analog workflow toward various different ends. It's obviously very expensive to 'experiment' with optical printing, interpositive prints, etc in a chemical workflow for any project, let alone people like me, who self-finance something. Obviously the advice is welcome, respected, and helps more than you might know. From what you mentioned, I am really curious about your take on the benefits of optical color-timing during that IP versus doing a really high quality scan up-front, editing the DI in the box, grade in the box and output to DCP directly. Also, is it unheard of and completely insane for me to try to cut my own negative? I feel like with all the digital tools we have now, it might be kind of interesting to see how much I can get away with....just to see.
  5. Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Gregg. I've thought of the 15-150 too -- which has a lot of what I'm after, yes....but is it gargantuan for a c-mount adapter? I could probably affix a lens support, but yeah, we are quickly escalating into the territory of 'tricked out Yugo's,' you're right. I originally felt the small 17.5-70 would slot in with weight and size just right without the need for a bigger rig. The EBM has that bayonet mount, and I would have it hanging off a C-mount Bolex adapter to boot. So yeah, it would require a full step up in rig support for that, new rails, tripod, lens support. Otherwise I'd probably do it. I like the range of it, as I prefer the long end of lenses pretty naturally. So yeah, in summation, both my rig and my tastes are working against me in the 'shot stability' department I guess. The 17.5-70 seemed like a n effort to naturally combat all that. Still getting me to 70mm on a S16mm frame. The Schneider primes look great. I've seen some comparisons of these to Zeiss primes (standard speeds I think), and I actually prefer them over the Zeiss. The Zeiss give me a really complicated reaction aesthetically -- they seem to be technically superior lenses, but they have that same ubiquitous appeal in their quality that say, top 40 radio songs do when they are recorded. I mean sure, if I were the last man on Earth, and no films existed, and I lay atop a mountain with two cases containing a set of Zeiss and a set of Schneider, I might well pick the Zeiss there, but since we live in a world where everyone wants a top 40 radio hit, I owe it to myself not to pick the thoughtless copycat jerk route. How good is that guy's movie going to be? Notice I said good, not shiny.
  6. Hello David — Is pushing 200T by one or even two stops in processing totally unwise in such circumstances (given it was overexposed one stop already for density)? I’m trying to think of how much saturation and contrast can be gotten back during a push. Or would that just blow out all the highlights completely? Trying to figure out the best way to manipulate tried and true techniques during processing etc, and wondering if printing an interpositive is necessary to get all that saturation and contrast if I’m still going to use a DI. Did you also just scan that print back in then? And grade from that? Trying to get my head around the weird hybrid use of these technologies and balancing faithfulness to the original artistry and techniques with cost and other qualitative concerns etc. Mostly curious if pushing the stock here would have yielded similar contrast too.
  7. Hi Webster. Thanks for the reply -- It seems to be the only lightweight, high quality, relatively updated (for vintage Angenieux zooms anyway) zoom that covers a full 1-inch image circle for use with Super 16. Part of my attraction to zooms is ease of use and certain cinematic aspects for shots that require a creeping zoom look that I'll be doing, but the large part of it is due to the lower contrast look and higher quality bokeh of the zoom while still remaining sharp enough for use. I would use the Vario-Switar POE 16-100 for all the same reasons if it weren't for the crap bokeh it can break out into. Anyway, I'll be using a lot of hard light and diffusion, then pushing the processing to add contrast, so I think those techniques will offset the lower contrast of the glass and render the 'benevolent qualities' of this characterful lens. Take a look at what it does on a basic BMPCC for field of view comparison -- thats exactly why...
  8. Can anyone help me with sourcing an Angenieux 17.5-70 in C mount at a reasonable price? I've been hunting this particular lens for a long while in the background, but as I get set for a new project I feel like this lens will be really good for it, and have no leads. The other option would be to shoot with switars and my Kinoptik 5.7 on the Bolex EBM, but I don't like how 'pure' the switars appear sometimes. I like the aesthetics of the Angenieux look, and if I had to go with primes may opt for even an M42 adapter with bokeh blasters like Helios stills lenses etc. I wanted to ideally get by with use of my Switar POE 16-100 zoon for this, but I am pretty sure that two-blade iris is going to cause ridiculous bokeh I will likely hate in the edit. My only option to counter that would be using crazy nets to flare out the star shapes where it appears, which is part of the acceptability politics of this lens tango I am in I guess...
  9. You can also use this as an effect, if it suits the content. this was my first film project, and I made use of the mistakes. It was a little embarrassing for me after writing detailed treatment, flying a band out, lighting and dressing the 'set', first-time-quasi-directing random people and generally being way over my head by my own doing only to hear your 'trusty K3' start whizzing and whirring irregularly. "ummmm, smoke that again....please". Those shots gave me a sinking feeling, because I didn't know what the hell that was going on inside the camera, so I was just praying it wasn't an internal film explosion of coils. It wasn't. So I shrugged it off like a very good K3 owner would 😉 When I got this footage back, I actually wanted to make an entire video out of just the couple minutes of these shots! The "cigarette in the flame" and the "wiping the skull's tears" shots. The limitations of the K3 can be used impressionistically I guess. That's the moral of the story, in a circular, weird way I guess. But it has to sort of relate to the theme or it would be stupid looking. Going forward, I would totally buy a 'screwed up K3' just to get this insane effect to be honest. Hindsight is sort of valuable.
  10. I will be funding and shooting a short film myself (15' length) on 200T using an EBM (super 16). I'm contemplatng picking up a zoom with more appealing bokeh like the Angenieux 17-68 or perhaps even a Schneider 18-90 zoom. Both have very different character and bokeh it seems, but BOTH are better in that department than my current Switar 16-100 POE. I don't mind a lens that soft vignettes or darkens or distorts lightly at the edges, as I think that will compliment my Kinoptik 5.7 and will reinforce the look of the film. But I wanted to know if this Switar POE 16-100 is a bad idea to shoot with as I would rather buy a new lens now than discover unusable and weird bokeh later when editing. I love the sharpness of the POE, but I can't help feeling like the Angenieux 17-68 will work better. Is it worth the gamble? Or am I worrying too much about how bad the POE will look here? Just need some seasoned input on this subject because I'm about to buy it....and I don't want to if the POE will work fine.
  11. Are you saying scan it in (say, simple HD ProRes 422 or other basic DI), edit in the box, then export your edit back to the lab for a film output....and scan that film out back in to add contrast? I'm also trying to get my head around a process that would allow for more of the feel of a photochemical finish, complete with the grimy charms and blemishes of antiquity (so be it) without the need for negative cutting (expensive....and likely not even available). I would love to know what sorts of workflows one can take trough the DI process for editing but still yield a contrasty, slightly old school photochemical look. Something that would allow me to shoot on S16 and obtain the same kinds of looks that harken back to an optical workflow David Mullen got with Love Witch, for instance. EDIT: and yes, I know the looks come from lighting, set design, lenses, etc. But I'm specifically addressing here the choice to embed some character into the printing process aspects....to add a tool to the tool chest if you will...
  12. Interesting points. But can we also have Technicolor? In all seriousness, I appreciate the depth of your writing in that response, Perry. Very well sums it up. Also, I really cant ever bash anyone for working toward the larger picture here....supporting the advances in these technologies that keep film viable in the first place. Now, is it sad that a near-perfected, already beautiful, perfectly functional industry of purely photochemical workflows has deteriorated? Well, yes. That makes even me, who has never worked with it, very sad. But, I am very happy that there are some systems being developed that keep film in the game (and actually above the game in many ways). So theres that. As for the every-day super 8 test...its still very much debatable. Ive had (curiously) most labs actually talk me down from the overscan in almost every case. Citing the negligible increase. However, the functionality of systems for the future is obviously a critical point. It isnt bad to calculate for that.
  13. I hear you loud and clear on that. But future-proofing something shot in Super 8 at 10K is....well....let's just say, maybe it reminds me a little of that weird 12-barrelled gun Leonardo DaVinci drew a sketch of. It's really nice in theory....don't think I'm ever going to equip any soldiers with it for very simple practical reasons. I mean speaking of diminishing returns, is it really in a labs' best interests to be investing their resources into 10K Super 8 technology? If we're moving into that sort of realm of cost-efficiency, then let's just bring back Technicolor, because that looked amazing.
  14. Do you mind if I ask why you could potentially need a 10K scan of Super 8 film? Here I am considering the value of 4K for grain resolution in Super 16mm. The lines of resolution in the film are so far below the resolution of the scan that it is almost an exercise of trying to cause the resolution of the grain to become the central focus of the scan.
  15. Is that a radical difference for some shots? Or negligible in all but extreme circumstances? I guess my most concerning point is about the differences in the way the two versions vignette...hard or soft vignetting....either way...if one vignettes less than the other on an H16 RX Bolex super 16 EBM....thats the one for me.
  16. That smiley face is a little crooked too, Dom. Just kidding...I appreciate your thoughts and info on these lenses. They are very good lenses that I think probably nauseate most of you because they certainly have been talked about to death. So when someone brings them up, I know its like here we go....cringe but all the same, I really appreciate it.
  17. Thank you, Dom! But I assume you meant 5-inches, not 5-feet, right?
  18. Also, Jean-Louis...does the macro version of 10mm have a radically different close focus distance than the normal 10mm? I am feeling like I dont even really concern myself with the preset version as much as the ability to close-focus in some cases. But if its a difference between an 8-inch minimum focus or something like that, and some extreme 1-inch focus, I can live with that sort of thing. Again, if one hard vignettes more than the other, that would certainly impact the choice.
  19. Thank you, Jean-Louis. This is very helpful. I appreciate your thoughtful response.
  20. Pairing this with the Kern Switar (or macro Switar) 10mm preset... to round out the focal lengths I need. But does the macro version affect S16 vignetting any better or worse than the normal 10mm? Ive read countless back and forth evidence about the preset vs. normal 10mm lens covering, but nobody mentions the differences between the macro design and normal. I believe both come in RX preset versions. And is collimation, particularly for these 16-100 and 10mm lenses much of an issue usually? I think Ive read some bad stories about the shorter focal lengths on RX lenses having trouble focusing due to inexact back-focus. These things have me the most nervous, because I want to make sure the lenses do their job.
  21. Thank you, Jean-Louis! Yes, I just tested out all apertures again, and they work. Its odd to think so hard about the dangers of bokeh shapes with this lens. It can literally stylize a background like a cheesy Photoshop filter! But its a good lens like I said, and sharp. Im learning to be careful with it. Ranging from normal bokeh wide open to perfect diamonds that almost become big clunky diamond and kite objects themselves at around f8. But its a useful bastard of a lens for my purposes. So... Its a strict diet of no bright backgrounds, shots with infinite depth of field, or all the way open when the bokeh actually stays round. Or....shoot casino commercials.
  22. I suppose the title could be taken into a thousand directions...and that's ok! I picked up a Kern Vario-Switar POE 16-100 H16 RX zoom to match up with the bayonet mount of my S16 Bolex EBM, but after shooting a few tests (which seemed a touch "dark") I looked closely at the aperture blades on this lens...it appears there is something (could potentially be a blade stuck perhaps, or not? Not sure...) that is very obviously protruding into the usually circular aperture opening. Here are some pics below that illustrate it a little more clearly. Basically, it looks like a piece of a blade sticking out....but I know the mechanics of this lens are really extreme for a zoom in this price range, and lets just say, it isn't exactly "not-nuanced", particularly with regard to the relationship evertything has to have with Bolex's camera specs at the time these were produced. So I guess what I'm asking is, has anyone else with a POE 16-100 seen this wonky blade/object in theirs? What exactly is it? If it's normal, or requires some special operational workaround, please do let me know! Like I said, my footage was a touch too dark, and even with plus-x reversal at 100 ASA indoors, it shouldn't have been THAT dark....so I'm wondering if this thing is an abnormality that is either blocking out light, or if it's maybe an entirely overlooked aperture sticking problem (I thought it was all the way open at 1.9....fairly darn....99.9% positive I looked at the blades open at each stop before testing). Anyway, with their 2-blade aperture system deposited into the back of what seems to me to be a wonderful zoom, this is certainly a goofy lens. While the bokeh will no doubt be polarizing (get it....two blades hehehe) I actually love it, and it's RX balanced for the S16 bolex so.....I'm planning on making it work for me. But I need it to work! Here are the pics attached...
  23. Thank you Roberto, Doug and Simon, for your input on this issue. It seems that Canon FD lenses work for this gentleman at 24mm and 50mm: I think the 16-100 Vario-Switar RX zoom is my best bet. Simon, thank you for scaring me away from all but the most "RX" of RX lenses! This is good information though, and it definitely eliminates using my K3 zoom, with its massively protruding rear element, I'm sure. I am guessing the RX lenses are the safest lenses for the Bolex reflex for good reason... Because this will be for personal projects, and I actually enjoy the look of what I've seen from the Kern Switars immensely, this shouldn't be a problem. But I would simply like options, as we all do. Especially since BMPCC users are trying to pretend they can make a digital camera "look filmic" by gobbling up my entire stock of lenses to pick from. So it would be a real blessing to know some sort of general rule of thumb regarding use of potential "other" primes for use with a Bolex EBM. Say, how many elements it needs (7 always?)...or how deep the back threads can be in terms of exact measurement....any tricks to know that could help eliminate major problems at a glance so that I at least don't end up with what "won't work".
  24. Hello. I'm getting into a nice S16 Bolex EBM, and leaning into a bunch of potential lens options. Trying to make the wisest decision for a good set of basic primes or possibly a good zoom paired with one wide angle prime to get very wide when needed. I have a bayonet to c-mount adapter and a bayonet to M42 adapter (I have a lot of decent stills lenses in M42)...but... I'm hitting a wall on two really concerning issues, no matter how much I ask around or research it -- 1) Issues about focal flange distance are concerning to me, especially with the possible use of adapters, given the Bolex's notoriously weird "compensations" made with the Kern Switar lenses. I know the Kern Switar H16 RX were designed to compensate for some kind of "odd" focal flange distance (is that right?) and prism compensation on the bolex EBM viewfinder. The prism compensation doesn't bother me because I can just open up a third of a stop to do that myself, but the focal flange from back element of lens to film/sensor plane is very troubling. I guess I just am worried that anything "other than Kern Switars" will be out of lens tolerance or something, and they may produce a slightly blurred or affected image, especially with adapters that may be a bit janky. Is this true? False? Halfway true false true? And does that mean if I slap some M42 mount lenses or newer glass on it via adapter, that it'll give me a blurrier image? I'm really concerned that I'm going to be playing with fire by disregarding the Bolex specs/design tolerance by using new glass (say the Sigma 10-20 zoom, 18-35 zoom, or Rokinon primes, or even any of my olde pentax M42 lenses to be honest). 2) The other issue is the whole MFT sensor lenses on S16 camera issue. In terms of coverage. The thing that cracks me up is there are TONS of articles and posts online about using S16 glass on MFT sensor cameras, but almost NOTHING the other way 'round. I guess I'm one of the few guys with a S16 set-up who really want to put some new Sigma or Rokinon lenses on it cheaply. I kind of want to do the same thing people are doing with BMPCC, except using FILM stock instead of digits (beep boop). So far I'm looking at some combo of these lenses: Camera: BOLEX EBM S16 Lens package option #1: Sigma 10-30 zoom (or) Sigma 18-35 zoom Lens package #2 Rokinon 14mm prime Rokinon 35mm prime Lens package #3 Kern Switar 10mm Kern vario Switar 16-100 What I have now lens wise is from my K3 set-up as follows: Peleng 8mm Vivitar 28mm Pentax SMC 50mm Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm Meteor zoom 17-69 I guess I'm saying...."what's gonna be blurry....what's gonna be crappy....what's gonna be good...and what's gonna not be good on a BOLEX EBM S16??" Many thanks.
  25. The clinical audio is still there though, just buried under faked tape noise. You could add noise, but the problems (or should I say "the differences") lie with the capture medium itself. It's just like when people ask about lenses vs camera vs filter vs lighting...it's the whole chain that does it. Tape as a medium (especially 1/4") does round off transients and captures a limited range, although a 2 track is pretty dang fat tape width honestly, and many recording studios still master on 2-track decks. This isn't "that" weird, and I think if you brought your 1/4" reels to any decent recording studio that specialized in actual audio, they would happily convert it for you, and Fotokem could keep their "special machine" in storage. Don't have a clue why that wasn't thought of, but hey. Anyway, tape accentuates certain frequency curves (depending on the machine, etc.) and generally is far less clinical than any sort of typical digital recorder with tip-top state-of-the-art (see "clinical" again) converters. So it's going to sound a lot different. It's analogous to the same problems and comparisons people are always throwing around between "real film" vs the effects of "faking the film look". Do you want to capture hyper-real precisely rendered content and then sit around and "dirty it up"? Or do you want to do it the real way? The real way is a lot easier. The biggest thing for me is, the point of a nagra, or use of old dynamic mics, is pretty much to get a specific "colored tone", and to NOT RECORD a lot of crap in the background at all in the first place. Dynamic mics need to be held super close to the sound source though, and so you'd likely be using condensers regardless. Which brings up the biggest point of why to use nagras / tape....because the general tonality of the machine and the circuit, coupled with the way the tape handles transients and dynamic information overall (see coloration) is why the choice is made. Honestly, I don't know what people are using out there, but if you seriously can't get clean tones out of 2 tracks on 1/4" tape with a condenser mic into a nagra with it's built-in analog limiter/compressor circuit, I have no f-ing idea what your sound guy/gal is doing, but maybe they are putting your lens caps on the mic diaphragm.
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