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Phil Thompson

Can Super 8 look as good as 35mm?

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I was wondering. Is it possible?

 

Hi,

 

Does the tester have normal vision? I ask as some of my clients must be blind, based on what they say!

What size will you view the image?

 

Stephen

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It depends what you consider to be good! Some people love Super8 more than 35mm! They like the look of it.

 

Super 8 can use the same vision neg stocks that are typically used on 35mm productions.

 

Obviously they will be more grainy because the film size is smaller, but then again, maybe you won't blow the finished film up so big anyway. *shrug*

 

It depends on many things in the chain, what film stock is used where the telecine is done etc.

 

35mm film can also look very bad if you get a lot of practice in and are paticually skilled in that way.

It all depends what you mean really.

 

Bad and good mean different things to different people so you woud need to define good! :)

 

love

 

Freya

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What size will you view the image?

Stephen

I think this is the most important question. I would argue, viewed on TV, ipod, Web streaming, or Video Installations it is possible. For Theatrical exhibition, I would say it is not likely going to look like a 35mm print.

 

But then again, "as good" is relative.

Edited by teadub

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If you don't actually have a side by side comparison going on, do close-up shots up close, you could strike gold and get a good looking film. Probably fool people into thinking it was 16mm, assuming you avoid small objects with lots of detail in your shots.

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I was wondering. Is it possible?

 

Hi;

 

I would say absolutely not. However it brings up a nice point I am beginning to come round to that for internet based films proffesionaly shot and TK'd super 8 is a lovely alternative to DV. I've seen a few super 8 originated films on the net lately that show glimpses of its amazing potential in this area, once you get bigger than an SD monitor though this is no longer the case and S16 and 35 come into their own in pure terms of technical quality, however that is only one consideration out of many when determining which format best portrays an idea.

 

Olly

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When it comes to film formats, Size DOES Matter. A smaller format magnifies the grain, and doesn't match the sharpness of a larger format.

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I think if 7201 makes it to super-8 then you have the final rebirth of the format.

 

For my eye the Plus-X and V2-200T can support about 450 lines of sharp footage with a good transfer.

 

7201 exposed at 25ASA should give something like 600 lines, which makes it a very good alternative to DV even on a strictly technical basis. Aesthetically it would blow DV away and be an acceptable alternative to 720p HD, with a softer grainier look, but with more character.

 

Artistically I like the format. With my super-8 Cities project I have had feature film directors super-keen to shoot a short doc on the format. Everyone loves super-8 it seems.

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Guest santo
For my eye the Plus-X and V2-200T can support about 450 lines of sharp footage with a good transfer.

 

7201 exposed at 25ASA should give something like 600 lines, which makes it a very good alternative to DV even on a strictly technical basis. Aesthetically it would blow DV away and be an acceptable alternative to 720p HD, with a softer grainier look, but with more character.

 

Actually, V2 50d has less resolving power than V2 200t by a considerable margin in terms of line pairs per mm, or cycles per mm. As you can clearly see in these mtf charts from Kodak.

 

Using the charts and shooting with a lens which performs at the theoretical limit possible for a lens (for example, the new Zeiss Ikon 25mm, which does just that), you are looking at about 90 lp/mm resolution at a practical 20% response in the green layer. So about 955 lines x 721 lines transfered, dependant on film flatness, shooting conditions, perfect development, and film transfer method.

 

50d: http://www.kodak.com/global/images/en/moti...ve/5201_mtf.gif

 

Meanwhile, V2 200t at around the practical 20% response limit is at least 110 linepairs per mm in the green layer, so you're looking at a theoretical 1168 lines by 882 lines of resolving power.

 

200t: http://www.kodak.com/global/images/en/moti...ve/5217_mtf.gif

 

The advantage of 50d is finer more invisible grain, obviously, but slightly overexposed 200 has a really fine grain already even in super 8 form.

 

This is why I, and others who have experience and know what they are talking about, advocate HD transfers for negative stocks as being worthwhile, and insist that 10 bit uncompressed SD is the minimum for super 8 of any kind to maintain the beautiful exagerated film qualities which is one of the main reasons to shoot super 8. There is an enormous difference between DV quality and DigiBeta quality for film transfers for a whole bunch of reasons.

 

Lastly, if you want to advocate the best negative stock for super 8 use, it is without question Vision2 100t. The sharpest negative motion picture stock ever made. I don't know what its lp/mm is exactly, but it's even better than the V2 200t, which is already excellent provided one uses prime lenses and professional telecine and video format for finishing.

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I was wondering. Is it possible?

 

No.

 

It's not a complicated question, so it's a simple answer: NO.

 

Now, if you want to be silly, and start putting qualifiers on it, like "if you used a screwed up 35mm camera, bad glass, old film stock, a drunk and stupid camera operator, under the worst conditions, then compared that to the best super 8 camera, new film, the best lens, and a qualified camera op shot under absolutely ideal conditions.... blah blah blah., but that's just stupid.

 

The super 8 frame is absolutely miniscule compared to a 35mm frame.

This is like asking if a Volkswagen could win the Indy500 or something. Yeah, under absurd conditions, but I don't think that's what the poster is getting at.

 

MP

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:blink: Uuhhhmmm, I think the consensus is...NO!!! No way in hell. I'm not trying to be rude, but surely you knew this before posting?

 

I like to play, however, so here goes...

 

The Vision2 stock has already been mentioned. Great stuff. Now, I've seen footage shot with this stock on the Pro8 classic (which is a ultra refurb'd excellent camera) and telecined at Flying Spot that, when played on a decent TV/monitor, looks real kick-ass. I mean rivaling 16mm. That is the absolute ceiling though! I may even be over stretching a bit. Super8 has many problems when compared to other formats instead of its own aesthetic merits. For example , I think 8mm looks much better in the telephoto end of the lens. Wide angle shots tend to "show off" the inherent grain. Blah, blah, blah...

 

I love all formats, so beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If a story calls for it, Super8 is the way to go.

 

Also, there is some footage in the archives by one of you guys shot with V2 if anyone wants to see...? :huh:

 

BTW, I'm not advocating Pro8mm film stocks or recans. However they sell excellent, pretty much new, super8 cameras. They are expensive but have excellent resale value as well. Pro8 has been discussed before so please don't respond to any percieved hostility against the company. Some of you guys kill each other on the boards over this company... :lol:

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I was wondering. Is it possible?

 

 

The answer is self evident. If super8 looked like 35mm, then how would 35mm look?

 

It's like asking wheather one meter can be as long as 10 meters

 

Actually, V2 50d has less resolving power than V2 200t by a considerable margin in terms of line pairs per mm, or cycles per mm. As you can clearly see in these mtf charts from Kodak.

 

Using the charts and shooting with a lens which performs at the theoretical limit possible for a lens (for example, the new Zeiss Ikon 25mm, which does just that), you are looking at about 90 lp/mm resolution at a practical 20% response in the green layer. So about 955 lines x 721 lines transfered, dependant on film flatness, shooting conditions, perfect development, and film transfer method.

 

50d: http://www.kodak.com/global/images/en/moti...ve/5201_mtf.gif

 

Meanwhile, V2 200t at around the practical 20% response limit is at least 110 linepairs per mm in the green layer, so you're looking at a theoretical 1168 lines by 882 lines of resolving power.

 

200t: http://www.kodak.com/global/images/en/moti...ve/5217_mtf.gif

 

The advantage of 50d is finer more invisible grain, obviously, but slightly overexposed 200 has a really fine grain already even in super 8 form.

 

Somehow I get the feeling I'm responsible for this. Never listen to me in the future.

 

I'm pretty sure 5201 would show to have more resolving power if it were measured beyond 80lp/mm

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Guest santo
Somehow I get the feeling I'm responsible for this. Never listen to me in the future.

 

Huh? I don't recall reading anything by you on this.

 

I'm pretty sure 5201 would show to have more resolving power if it were measured beyond 80lp/mm

 

v2200tvs50d5jj.jpg

 

Not more than V2 200t. 20% is a realistic cut-off of what the human eye can detect in contrast. 10% response is not really a practical limit for these purposes. I used the green layer (line) for my rough calculations.

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The I'm pretty sure 5201 would show to have more resolving power if it were measured beyond 80lp/mm

 

Bench test resolving power doesn't always predict percieved image sharpness.

 

FWIW I'm cutting a project shot on 7245 and 7274. The 45 will look or feel sharper with most subjects but there's kinds of fine detail which are better 'rendered' with the 74.

 

I went through the mtf debate on all this with Jorge on another list; at the end of the day I don't look at charts I look at the pictures.

 

-Sam

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Huh? I don't recall reading anything by you on this.

v2200tvs50d5jj.jpg

 

Not more than V2 200t. 20% is a realistic cut-off of what the human eye can detect in contrast. 10% response is not really a practical limit for these purposes. I used the green layer (line) for my rough calculations.

 

 

then I must have mixed you with someone else, strange though cause that would be exactly

my way of irrational thinking

 

 

well anyway, it's true that 20% is a realistic limit, but you don't see 20% here in the green chanel. During the measurment it never falls so low for you to see it. And you don't know how the curve is going to behave beyond 80lp/mm

 

Some films hold the line up to some frequency then the line falls down quickly. That's also how digital image devices behave (and that's why they seem sharper to the eye)

Other films have a lown slow fall. Those films usually seem less sharp but resolve finer detail in the end

 

Now, you don't know how both of these films behave at higher resolutions. It could be that 5201 would have a long slow fall of the curve, reaching higher resolutions, and 200t could just reach a certain resolution and lose response quickly, or could be vice versa, you don't know so you can't make such conclusions.

 

All you can really see from that graph is that 200t looks sharper than 50D at some medium enlargements.

You don't know for sure which would resolve higher frequencies at 20%

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Guest santo

:blink:

 

If somebody can look at those charts and write a post like that, there is no point in making any further rational responses.

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Guest santo
Bench test resolving power doesn't always predict percieved image sharpness.

 

...

 

FWIW I'm cutting a project shot on 7245 and 7274. The 45 will look or feel sharper with most subjects but there's kinds of fine detail which are better 'rendered' with the 74.

 

Yes, of course you'll see this hard to describe phenomenon.

 

That is because the exr 50d 7245 had phenomenal ultimate resolving power, but far less "oomph" at the lower response ranges. Meanwhile the original Vision 200t had tonnes of "oomph" at lower response ranges (meaning all those lines over the 100% response rate which you can see in its chart) and not as high an ultimate resolving power (though very good).

 

Meanwhile, the new V2 200t and V2 50d charts show that the 200 clearly retains much of the "oomph" at the low ranges and is close to the orginal 200 in ultimate resolving power trajectory, while the V2 50d displays far less "oomph" down low compared to V2 200t, while in no way possible coming close to the 50 exr it replaced for ultimate resolving power and, based on easily achieved guestimation, it can't possibly be resolving as much detail as the 200 at the critical 20% mark. So it is beaten both ways.

 

So, yeah, your observations regarding the original v200 versus the exr 50d make total sense. Following that line of inescapable logical connection based on what you saw and the charts which back up that you should be seeing that, we see the obvious conclusions anybody can make regarding the new V2 200t and V2 50d, just by comparing charts, too.

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If somebody can look at those charts and write a post like that, there is no point in making any further rational responses.

 

Am I supose to argue against your imagination? Chances are you are right, but still you are using your imagination to draw the curve beyond what is charted so you can't take it as a fact.

Really, I don't see how you can proclaim yourself to be the one with higher logic, while relying on

data that is not charted, but one that you only suspect would come out as such.

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I have a general question about these film sensitivity tests.

 

When different film stocks are compared, are they compared based on optimal light that each film stock needs, or is the same amount of light used for each film stock?

 

What I'm asking is, what is the common denominator that makes the test comparisons accurate because films of different sensitivity cannot be exactly compared.

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I have a general question about these film sensitivity tests.

 

When different film stocks are compared, are they compared based on optimal light that each film stock needs, or is the same amount of light used for each film stock?

 

What I'm asking is, what is the common denominator that makes the test comparisons accurate because films of different sensitivity cannot be exactly compared.

 

Normally you expose them to get the correct density according to their speed in order to compare them in terms of grain & sharpness, saturation, etc. -- I mean, you could underexpose 200T by one stop and compare it to 500T rated at 400 ASA to compare two different speed stocks reacting to the same light levels to see which look you prefer (underexposed slower stock or overexposed faster stock.) You could even compare pushed 200T to normal 500T stock, whatever comparison you want to think up.

 

But in general, you shoot the stock according to the manufacturer's suggested rating to compare them as a starting point.

 

It sort of makes sense that you can't make an EXACT comparison between two stocks of different speeds. Why should you be able to? The two stocks were optimized for different light levels, not the same levels.

 

Even if it turned out that 100T was the sharpest stock or 50D was the finest-grained, that doesn't mean they are the optimal stock for your particular shooting needs.

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Guest santo
Am I supose to argue against your imagination? Chances are you are right, but still you are using your imagination to draw the curve beyond what is charted so you can't take it as a fact.

Really, I don't see how you can proclaim yourself to be the one with higher logic, while relying on

data that is not charted, but one that you only suspect would come out as such.

 

V2 200t resolves more detail in the red layer.

 

V2 200t is sharper both in low resolution contrast based on all observed layers on the chart and resolves higher than V2 50d in fine details in the red layer down to both 20% and 10% response levels. Case closed.

 

Even if it turned out that 100T was the sharpest stock or 50D was the finest-grained, that doesn't mean they are the optimal stock for your particular shooting needs.

 

I couldn't agree more. Nor are they better than, say, old-school Plus-X reversal for a particular look you are after if your eventual destination is black and white finishing.

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In the real world, you run into issues like "am I better off with a slower, sharper stock if I end up underexposing it and shooting at a wide-open f-stop... compared to using a softer, faster stock but being able to slightly overexpose it and shoot at an optimal f-stop?"

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Guest santo
In the real world, you run into issues like "am I better off with a slower, sharper stock if I end up underexposing it and shooting at a wide-open f-stop... compared to using a softer, faster stock but being able to slightly overexpose it and shoot at an optimal f-stop?"

 

You are never better off underexposing super 8. This is more a real world 16mm and 35mm issue than it is in this format.

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