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Will Montgomery

1/2 Frame 16mm

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Tell me why this wouldn't work...

 

Could a 16mm camera be modified to only expose 1/2 of the standard 16mm frame vertically so you wind up with a wide screen format (not sure of the ratio) and 2x the running time?

 

I realize this would result in significantly less area exposed than on Super 16, but if someone shot standard 16 and just cropped off the top & bottom in telecine, it would basically be the same, but you'd get more running time.

 

Perhaps instead of in 1/2, you could take 2 standard frames and divide that space by 3, gaining 33% more running time and not losing much in quality if going to HD (or SD widescreen).

 

I'm sure this has been thought of and not done for a reason... maybe telecine machines would have a problem adjusting... just thought if this had ever been explored.

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It wouldn't be cost effective to develop the format.

 

Since the frame to sprocket ratio is 1:1 it'd be very difficult to create a movement that'd pull down half a frame at a time, or a third of a frame etc... let alone the probable registration issues with such a scheme. Mechanically it would be... complex... and expensive to implement.

 

No telecine would accept it, and it would cause all sorts of problems with edgecode, keykode or AatonCode.

 

No one would invest in such a format.

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Trouble is that the 16mm frame is already one-perf in a sense, one perf at the top and one at the bottom of the frame, and it would be hard for a pulldown claw to only pull a frame down halfway and then half again, plus it means that the framelines would alternate being at the perfs and then between the perfs, making conforming the negative following keycode info really difficult.

 

In essense, you'd want to run 8mm film, which is 16mm film with twice as many perfs, and basically you'd have a frame that was like an 8mm frame vertically but was twice as wide, 16mm wide, a little more than a 2.66 : 1 aspect ratio, or 3.36 : 1 if you use single-perf stock and expose across the Super-16 width. It may be easier to redesign an 8mm camera movement and somehow apply it to a gate that was twice as wide.

 

It's hard to justify radically new film formats whose main users would be low-budget people, since there would have to be adjustments made to cameras, telecines, etc.

 

I mean, I've always wanted someone to design a sideways double-frame movement like VistaVision for Super-8 and 16mm to get a bigger widescreen negative, but that's not going to happen either.

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What if it was just a matter of blocking the top half of the gate - shooting the entire roll, exposing the bottom half - then making a simple adjustment, and blocking the bottom half of the gate - then reshooting the same roll, but exposing the top half?

 

 

 

 

Ok.

 

I just realized the problem.

 

It would be an editing nightmare.

 

Unless there was software that could quickly organize the footage. Im sure such software would be easy to create - or there may already be a setting in a NLE system that can do it.

Edited by Keneu

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hi all-

 

there was a thread here about this awhile back- if you REALLY wanted to, you could block off the top half of your gate, run double perf 16mm through once, then flip the roll (just like the reg.8mm days...) and then expose the next pass on the unexposed "underside" of the frame. Then run it through the telecine twice the same way, cropping for your "widescreen". No pull-down modifications, just a gate mask and viewfinder mask.

 

I was trying to come up with a good name for the process, maybe the most appropriate would be "Sh*tty 16" - twice the screen time with half the resolution (and twice the risk of damaging your film!)...:)

 

have at it

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Wouldn't unsplit regular-8 stock work? However it would be an uphill fight to get Kodak and Fuji to supply 100' and 400' foot loads of unsplit regular-8 perforated film in modern stocks. Kodak's website lists a couple of outside sources for regular-8 but who knows what stocks are regularly available. IMHO Will's basic idea is sound (assuming what I believe about using regular-8 is accurate). The camera modifications would also be probably quite expensive but all in all Vista16Vision© is a cute idea and quite compatible with the great quality of modern film stocks.

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Doing some math, I realized that a double-Super-16 horizontal frame would only create a 1.18 : 1 aspect ratio -- which is actually well-suited for 2X anamorphic lenses to create a scope image.

 

But if you want native widescreen, you'd have to pull 3 frames across horizontally. If you did that, you create a 1.77 : 1 frame that was nearly the same size and shape of a 3-perf 35mm frame. However, since normal 16mm is about 1/4 the costs of 4-perf 35mm, so 2-frame horizontal 16mm would be half the savings, then it works out that 3-perf 35mm and 3-frame 16mm VistaVision cost about the same, stock-wise. I guess the same amount of film real estate basically costs the same...

 

In other words, probably 2-perf and 3-perf 35mm would be a simpler solution than horizontal 16mm.

 

I would think that one could take a regular 8mm roll (twice as many perfs on a 16mm roll), take an 8mm movement in a camera, and somehow tie it to a gate that was twice as wide to create a widescreen image on the roll, but one would have to pretty much build a camera from scratch to handle the wide gate and a viewfinder that can see the whole frame, plus you'd need 16mm optics to cover the image area. Since it is really just 16mm stock, I don't see why it would be hard for Kodak to add the extra set of perfs.

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The "Vista 16" idea sounds like a good idea at first, but then you remember that the wider frame using more perfs gives you less run time. You'd probably want about 3 perfs per frame to get close to the size of a 2.35:1 extraction from Super35, so that's 1/3 the run time on a mag. That's close to what you already get with 4-perf 35mm, only you're saving about 50% on raw stock cost. 3-perf 35mm already saves you 25%, plus a savings on processing. So not a huge advantage...

 

If you did that, you create a 1.77 : 1 frame that was nearly the same size and shape of a 3-perf 35mm frame. However, since normal 16mm is about 1/4 the costs of 4-perf 35mm, so 2-frame horizontal 16mm would be half the savings, then it works out that 3-perf 35mm and 3-frame 16mm VistaVision cost about the same, stock-wise. I guess the same amount of film real estate basically costs the same...

 

 

I think we were writing our replies at the same time! ;)

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I mean, I've always wanted someone to design a sideways double-frame movement like VistaVision for Super-8 and 16mm to get a bigger widescreen negative, but that's not going to happen either.

 

We have similar devices.

This is 35 mm cine camera with 2 ( 3 ) perforations claw mechanism.

Arri 235 camera have small size like Arri 16SR-3.

 

The idea of 1/2 frame 16 mm can be use wuth DS8 or D8 films.

This is films have 1/2 step of 16 mm film.

You can take any DS8 or D8 camera, modify size of film gate, set 16 mm lens and you will have other type of cine camera. You need check of axis of shutter disk. But, theoretcially, this is modification possible.

From other side, all DS8, D8 cameras - amateur cine camera and have primitive transport mechanism and not high technical characteristics.

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Another alternative would be 1-perf 35mm. The frame ratio is very wide screen. I don't know if any regular camera's where ever made that way but I have seen some specialized 35mm Fastax high speed camera's that are 1 perf.

Edited by dd3stp233

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If you could get Kodak to produce the Vision2 stocks in "double perf", (R8 with perfs only on one side), some 16mm cameras could be modified to shoot it. I think the bigger issue is finding a telecine house that could scan it for you. I know little about how they are set up and how they go about getting a different "gate" to telecine odd size stocks. That would be a bigger concern to me than modifying a camera. Then you also have to deal with the HUGE grain issue in something like this.

 

-Tim

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Guest Ian Marks
hi all-

 

there was a thread here about this awhile back- if you REALLY wanted to, you could block off the top half of your gate, run double perf 16mm through once, then flip the roll (just like the reg.8mm days...) and then expose the next pass on the unexposed "underside" of the frame. Then run it through the telecine twice the same way, cropping for your "widescreen". No pull-down modifications, just a gate mask and viewfinder mask.

 

I was trying to come up with a good name for the process, maybe the most appropriate would be "Sh*tty 16" - twice the screen time with half the resolution (and twice the risk of damaging your film!)...:)

 

have at it

 

I think I was the one who began the previous thread Patrick is referring to. I had essentially the same idea, and went so far as to ask JK Camera engineering to quote me a price to convert one of my Bolex Rex 4's to this format (it worked out to be about the same as a Super 16 modification).

 

After thinking about it, and after receiving pretty much the same advice as has been posted in this thread, I decided that it just didn't make sense. Remember that if you mask the top half of the gate, you would need to recenter the lens for the best possible optical performance, and, as Patrick points out, you run the risk of damaging your film by running it through the camera twice.

 

If all goes as planned, you would end up with exposed film for which every second frame of film was upside down and part of another shot. Telecine would be possible, I believe, but with increased potential for mistakes.

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Guest Michael Carter

This has all been done before. Kodak made a camera with a built in mask system. The masks are interchangeable and very close to the gate so you get a sharp edge. The frame may be exposed in vertical halfs or in horizontal halfs. Just block off the projected image with a card and project as normal. Repeat after rewinding and project again the other half. Telecini as normal and crop in the PC twice into two files then conntct them into one file. What is the problem? If you didn't have a Cine Kodak Special I or II with the little set of metal masks then you could make a Matt Box. Remember them? Tons of articles were written about them in the old magazines. If you want some plans I can scan the articles for you as they reside in my collection. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, or in this case, the matt box.

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