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Will Montgomery

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Posts posted by Will Montgomery


  1. If you have a Batteries Plus store near you, take the battery and the charger up there and they will be able to re-cell it for you. Should cost between $50-80. Try to track down a few extra battery "shells" that you can also re-cell. Once you have those you're golden. My re-celled batteries last for at least 4 or 5 reels (MS model).

     

    I'm not sure but I think the original grey model has an external battery connector but I don't believe it's an industry standard and is hard to find in general. If you can take a picture of the connection and post it here maybe someone can help track it down or identify it's name. You would probably want to create an adapter from that to a 4-pin XLR power connector so you can connect it to industry standard 12 volt batteries.

     

    Great camera, congratulations. I also went from a K3 to a Scoopic many years ago and my wrist is very glad I did. Only thing I miss on the K3 is some of the M42 lenses I had for that camera.

     

    Bernie at Super 16 Inc. can do a cleaning and tuning for you.


  2. I've seen slight touches of noise reduction used from time to time...generally rare and for artistic reasons more often than technical/compression optimization reasons.

     

    But less now that film grain is a badge of honor and evidence of you spending more money on a project. :)

     

    My thought would be that if you NEED grain reduction, you probably exposed the film poorly or shouldn't have shot film on the project.


  3.  

    Yeah, but here's the thing that gets me, and that is a lot of footage I've seen in years past doesn't have a lot of grain to it. It has less visual information because it's 16mm, but it doesn't look grainy like today's Super-16.

     

    Is that my imagination, or is there some real reason for that?

     

    There may be a few things going on there. For one, if you are looking at footage in the past that was scanned in SD and possibly "up-rezed" to HD you won't have the same level of detail and therefore less grain.

     

    I will say that some of the 16mm re-mastered footage I'm seeing on Blu-Ray like "World At War" and even a Peter Gabriel concert re-mastered is showing more grain and slightly less vibrant color so my best guess is that you're seeing old telecine's of 16mm projects vs. recently re-scanned and colored versions of the same material.

     

    Maybe this is just a trend, but I'm seeing DP's less concerned with grain when they use Super 16 since that's one of the reasons they're shooting with it. Scanners today also may reveal more grain due to their amazing resolution. There is very good grain reduction software, but if you want no grain, why shoot film?


  4. I really like the look of super-16, but it feels like it gets grainy for low light or night shots.

     

    Very true. We've been so spoiled by digital in low-light situations. When in doubt, add more light. When not in doubt, add more light. That's what my colorist always tells me.


  5.  

    Curious though, was it the client that wanted you to shoot on 16?

     

    Yes. I was shooting some 16mm at a recording studio for another project when a different client saw it and asked if it was "still available" and I was like, "hell, yeah it's available."

     

    Music clients really like the idea of standing out from the crowd. I still wouldn't recommend film for most corporate clients, not because of the expense, but because in 16mm it has a different look than most of their other footage that I would have to work with and 35mm would involve me renting a quiet camera (I have a great Steve's Cine modded crystal 2C but it's ridiculously loud) If it's a project that can be from beginning to end in film, I definitely bring up film as an option.


  6. When Ektachrome returns, a great option is to shoot Ektachrome 100D, send it to Dwayne's photo in Kansas for processing and have them transfer it on their Moviestuff system for $10 a roll or just project it at home. Then when you get something worth a high-end transfer, send it off to Gamma Ray or Cinelab or Pro8mm.

     

    That's the least expensive route for Super 8. Get a little viewer and learn to cut film, then you only transfer the best parts and that will save significant amounts of money although it involves a lot of work.


  7. Many years ago I sent quite a bit of Super 8 for an SD transfer and they combined all the rolls on to a giant 1600 reel that their old Cintel machines could handle but nothing else (at the time) could handle with Super 8. That was many rolls and many different types of film (negative, reversal, B&W, ect...) that I wouldn't have wanted together necessarily. They did however do a great job of packing that film up for long-term storage so that was nice.

     

    I would just make sure that if prep order is important to you that you clearly mark that for the lab. They're used to that and Cinelab will take good care of you.

     

    I generally just make sure all my negative is on one reel, B&W on another, reversal on another, ect. so if I want to project the reversal I can without running any negative through a projector.


  8. The best part about a true 2k scan (and 4k for that matter) is you're not zooming in to get to 16:9. An HD scan at 1920x1080 will have bars on each side and force you to "zoom" in to get to 16:9 whereas 2k scans are 2048 pixels across so yes you are cropping top and bottom off but there is no loss of resolution.

     

    That's what makes the biggest difference. If you had 1920 x 1556 or so for an "HD" scan that wouldn't a problem...so the jump from HD to 2K is actually YUGE if you finish in 16:9.

     

    In Super 16 however, the difference between HD and 2k should be less noticeable since it's already a widescreen format (except if you are stabilizing...the extra few pixels may help if finishing in HD).

     

    I have an Ultra 16 camera and to be honest, I really don't use that extra space between the sprockets very often. I enjoy being able to re-frame vertically a little in post.


  9. The Walking Dead producers have tested S16 scanned to 4k and have said they prefer the 2k scans res-ed up to 4k vs. the direct 4k scans from an artistic perspective. 4k bringing the grain up too much. "Future Proof" might be a little strong. Soon they'll be a direct to brain scan anyway...

     

    I am, however, going back and re-scanning film from 15 years ago and finding a pretty big difference between SD and 4k. :)


  10. In Super 8 (or regular 8) a full 2k scan (2048x1556) is probably the best quality/vs. cost point now. Perry offers a great price and the Lasergraphics machine is pretty much the best scan you can get these days.

     

    Another advantage to full 2k scans is that if you are finishing to HD (1920x1080) you have flexibility of re-framing up & down and some room to work with if you are going to stabilize which Super 8 can often benefit from.

     

    4k will be coming down in price and I'd recommend 4k for 16mm & 35mm, but Super 8 is probably overkill...you can take a 2k from Perry and up-res it if you want to 4k & it will be fine. Lenses and the nature of the stock really don't resolve past 2k. There might be some sort of perceived sharpness increase if you res down to HD from 4k vs. from 2k, but it would be hard to tell the difference in Super 8.


  11. With the wide-spread adoption of the Lasergraphics scanners, I can finally use my Ultra 16 modified Scoopic to it's fullest potential. Previous scans with Spirits couldn't see between the sprockets.

     

    My reaction to the newly found room on the negative? Meh.

     

    I actually find it much more useful to have a little latitude reframing up and down from the 4:3 portion to 16:9 than to confine myself to the space between sprocket holes.

     

    Super 16 makes sense, I actually can tell a difference in grain between a cropped regular 16 and Super 16. Ultra 16? that's somewhere in between.


  12. Do those Pro8mm rebuilt ones have the light meter removed? I think they basically strip the camera down to the bare essentials. Everything goes manual, right?

     

    In my experience the best route on a 4008 is to send it to Bjorn in Sweden for an overhaul. He did mine about 5 years ago and they are still flawless. He has all original parts and the skill to keep it purring like new. It's just convenient to have that light meter. I usually allow it to set the aperture then lock it into manual mode so it doesn't breathe until I have another lighting condition.

     

    What I like about Super 8 is the complete simplicity and auto settings of the format. Good to be able to go full manual when you want, but full automatic has it's advantages too.


  13. Main issue for me with CP-12 is simply repair. When it breaks, and it will, you'll have to have a few of these on hand for spare parts. Starting to feel that way about Aaton cameras too...There just seem to be more Arri repair people and parts available.

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