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Will Montgomery

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Posts posted by Will Montgomery


  1. I have a crystal Scoopic. Great camera for casual shooting...lens is actually very good although fixed. Easiest loading 100' 16mm camera ever made.

     

    All that said, if you're shooting a feature or if it's your only camera, the ACL would have many advantages.

    • The 200 and 400 magazines for the ACL are super helpful on a feature. Yes, you can get 400' adapters for the Scoopic MS but it's a little unwieldy and hard to use compared to the ACL.
    • ACL's are more likely to be available in Super 16.
    • Interchangeable lenses on the ACL give you many more options (although that Scoopic lens is really good in the middle apertures).

  2. Making blanket statements that Super 8 has a certain fixed resolution makes no sense because there are *way* too many variables: Film stock, lighting, f/stop, lens, focus, subject movement, camera movement, exposure setting, and then there are almost as many (some of the same) on the scanning side.

    Yep. I've mixed shots from Canon AF310xl (possibly the worst looking Super 8 camera available) with my Beaulieu 4008 and it looks like Regular 8 vs. 16mm. night and day difference in sharpness.

     

    I've actually had noticeably better results with Regular 8mm shot with a decent lens than some cheap Super 8 cameras.

     

    Here's a sample of bad Super 8 cameras (and bad operator) and good Super 8 cameras in one piece. However, I actually like the out-of-focus shots in some situations...especially in home movies.

     


  3. Can I get some advice as to getting the most pristine/sharp image with 16mm?

     

    Make sure you focus really good.

     

    Here's some regular 16mm footage when I was testing an Arri SR1 with a Zeiss 10-100 2.8 lens. A decent lens, sunny day and decent focusing can get you very sharp results.

     


  4. Grey cards are a neutral source to judge exposure in the film transfer process so yes, they are very useful (but not completely critical). And just FYI, they've been around for film longer than digital :)

     

    Make sure you put the grey card where your subject is so the lighting is the same...like right in front of a face. If you do that consistently it will help the colorist keep different film segments looking similar. You only need a few frames but make sure the lighting doesn't change in between shots.

     

    I believe Kodak still sells their grey card but you can get water proof ones from B&H easily. Not sure when or if they switched from 12% to 18% but these days it is 18%.


  5. I actually do love the stock, but it can be grainy without a ton of light and that can be an issue for online streaming.

     

    I have a music project coming up next month where I'm shooting in the studio as an album is tracked with Double-X. It's notoriously dark in those studios so I may wind up going 500T and killing the color if I can't bring in enough lights.

     

    Here's some 35mm Eyemo footage I shot with expired stock a few years ago for a test.

     

     

    Here is a short section of a S16 film shot on 7222 we did two years ago. The intention was a 1964 look. http://www.deoverkantfilm.nl

     

    What a great look! Definitely feels 1964 in both stock and art direction.


  6. If the loop was JUST oversized enough to hit something but not so oversized that it made a ton of noise that might account for it. SR3's are pretty dang quiet...but I've also found the mags to be easy to load properly (at least on measuring for the loop) and they seem to have plenty of safety margin to avoid something like that.

     

    When you say you shot for the first time, do you mean that film (Double-X) or do you mean first time with that camera? Do you own the camera? If so you should do some scratch tests with all the mags for sure. You want to make sure that doesn't happen again before using the camera on something that "matters."

     

    Love Double-X by the way...such a beautiful grainy stock...unfortunately most streaming codecs don't like it for the same reason. :)


  7. To properly check a reflex camera like this a technician would use a collimator and a reflective backing plate in the gate to check that 1: a correctly set lens is focussing at the film plane and 2: the film plane and the ground glass are both set to the same depth (with the ground glass depth being reflected off the mirror). It's a pretty quick and simple check for a technician, and saves lots of headscratching and conjecture about what might be out of tolerance.

     

    In terms of focal flange depth 0.1mm is a huge error. A typical tolerance would be more like 0.01mm. On an 18mm focal length shifting the lens forward by 0.1mm would move the plane of focus from say 10 ft down to 5 ft.

     

    Bingo. Have you seen the thickness of a lens shim? They are so incredibly thin but are used to correct these issues by the tiniest adjustment. Hardest part is having the collimator.


  8. How big of a problem is this and where are good places to get a CLA?

     

    Try Bernie at Super16inc.com. He's revived several "dead" cameras for me over the years and made sure the ones that are working keep working. He can certainly help you diagnose the problem.


  9. Does anyone know how the Sony a7s compares with the BMPCC? Maybe there's no comparison for serious filmmakers (I've no idea at this stage). I found this footage and to me it looks great. Yes, it's using an anamorphic lens but it made me sit up and take notice, which I usually only do with film. Taken with an a7s:

     

     

    Jon, what you're probably liking on that footage is the depth of field. BMPCC footage would not look like that with the same focal length lenses. As far as "quality"... you can achieve excellent quality on the BMPCC, especially with the RAW setting but you have to know your way around Resolve to get the most out of it.


  10. Ohh and for people who have Super 16 cameras, the pocket allows them to re-use that wonderful old school glass. That's partially why I haven't bothered buying anything else, I have over $30k worth of S16 glass that works great for a camera the size of two iphones.

     

    Yep. I have a PL adapter on the BMPCC and use my Zeiss 12-120 zoom on it from my S16 SR2. Basically the BMPCC is a decent sensor for my S16 glass.

     

    Like all Blackmagic cameras it's all about the post. It's designed so you spend time in Resolve getting it to look like what you want. The generally low contrast image out of the "film" mode is nice to work with...but you're still dealing with an HD image; not 4k.

     

    Depth of field is a consideration as well. If you're used to DSLRs and large sensors the BMPCC is an adjustment. It is certainly a good and inexpensive tool to have at your disposal. My only issue with it is it's unnatural consumption of batteries. External power is a must.


  11. I watched the vid repeatedly but could not make out the slightest reference to Kodak or Super-8. I mean, Cara does look nice. Will?

    Watching it several more times would probably be good professional research. ;)


  12. Actually, that's the only question to begin with : ) But I'm also open to any other general comments or questions. Thanks.

     

     

    If you're looking to scan 16mm in 4k, search for a Lasergraphics Scanstation in Australia. Maybe even email the Lasergraphics people and ask them.

     

    We're seeing them more and more in the U.S. and they are really at the top of their game. You can even scan to 5k if you want although that's probably pushing usefulness on 16mm. But that would allow you to do a little re-framing & slight scaling without resolution loss.


  13. Similar issues come up in Super 16 conversions that are done only half way; just enlarging the gate to one side. Without re-centering the lens mount you can some strange lens issues, especially when using a zoom lens (when zooming) which is probably more common with Super 16.


  14. Experimenting is always good but the reality is that anything short of the Hawk anamorphics is going to be soft. Definitely play with it; it may give you exactly the look you're looking for, but you may also be frustrated in the end...I know I was.

     

    Have you thought about maybe trying 35mm 2-perf? Film costs approach Super 16 and it would be much easier to shoot and way sharper.


  15. I think the 12-120 is the best Super 16 lens you an get. It's great for 80% of your shooting. For the wider end of things, invest in a few cinema primes.

    Zeiss made a version of their "high-end" 10-100 16mm Zoom for Super 16 and it was an odd range like 11-112. I first used that lens with an SR3 and was completely blown away by it so I made it my mission to buy one. When I couldn't find one for sale I went with the conversion and I've loved it ever since.

     

    I just wish there was a 4k sensor in a Super 16 size format so I can keep using that lens! (although I'm using it this weekend with an SR2 for a music video).


  16. I use a PL mount Zeiss 12-120 Super 16 lens (it was originally a Zeiss 10-100 "kit lens" for the SR2) modified to S16 by Charlie Pickel at Serious Gear with truly amazing results. The great thing about the BMPCC is all the Super 16 glass out there that works brilliantly with the camera. PL adapter from Wooden Camera.


  17. Then again, personally I was very curious on how the Panasonic adapter performed on Nikon-still lenses mounted to a S16 camera, on film that is.

    C

     

    Sorry I don't have any samples posted, but I can tell you that it was not very impressive. That lens adapter was designed for an SD video camera...everything was very soft in my opinion. Nothing wrong with giving it a try but it is nothing like the Hawks.


  18. Third idea is to invest in a Panasonic AG-LA7200 adapter, with a 0.25 diopter, and use B4 lenses on the ACL to get the image we are going for.

     

     

    I've had one of these. I think you may find the quality lacking, but you should try it. Cheap anamorphic lenses are difficult to work with and keep in focus. You can always just sell it if you don't like it.

     

    I think I made an adapter by removing the glass from a variable ND then finding a step-up size adapter. I was using it on a Canon Scoopic.

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