Jump to content
Paul Korver

Ultra 16mm.... Finally!!

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I've seen a lot of Ultra 16mm discussions on this board... most of it hypothetical. We decided to dig into it at Cinelicious so for the past few months we've been R&Ding an Ultra 16mm Mod for a Canon Scoopic (I'm an avid Scoopic shooter). We also had a gate made for Ultra 16mm telecine. Then we had issues with processing... turns out not all labs rollers are created equal. Some labs scratch/rub the area between the perfs ruining the Ultra 16mm image. Finally... we found a lab who's processing is clean & we've got the whole workflow down from acquisition through post and after few months of trial and error the results are in and looking gorgeous. A native widescreen 16mm image that's perfect for HD and doesn't break the bank. Can you tell I'm excited? There's more info and HD sample footage on our site (www.cinelicious.tv) under Services>Ultra 16mm.

 

Enjoy!

 

-Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally... we found a lab who's processing is clean & we've got the whole workflow down from acquisition through post and after few months of trial and error the results are in and looking gorgeous.

 

 

I am assuming Alphacine... but you just need to handle U16 as you would handle S-16 i.e. wind it down after processing with a set of tight winds. Also you need to have a non sprocket drive film processor like an Allen which is all tires. We have both an Allen for 16mm/S8 ECN and a Treise for 16mm/35mm ECN that is the typical machine used by bigger labs. The Treise is sprocket drive which precludes running U-16 because they never thought about using the image area between the perfs.

 

-Rob-

 

 

Cinelab has a U16 gate in development at the machine shop now too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know Rob. Yeah... we had bad results with bigger labs (Fotokem, Deluxe). Alphacine's came back clean as a whistle between the perfs. Good to re: your U16mm gate. Not a lot of support for it out there right now so the more options the better!

 

Best,

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very exciting, the footage looks of the highest quality, I was very impressed. I was wondering if there was also the option of keeping the footage as 1.85 aspect ratio?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
very exciting, the footage looks of the highest quality, I was very impressed. I was wondering if there was also the option of keeping the footage as 1.85 aspect ratio?

 

Yes we can Evan... however, it depends on your Ultra 16mm camera. The Scoopic does vignette ever so slightly in the corners at certain zoom lengths which edges a tiny bit into the corners of a 1:85 aspect... but at 1.78 it's clean all the way through. So for an Ultra 16mm Scoopic we're recommending full-frame 1.78 HD transfers. There are other Ultra 16mm cameras that don't have this issue which we could transfer at 1:85. Call Bernie at Super 16mm Inc who would know best about other cameras.

 

-Paul

Edited by Paul Korver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good to know Rob. Yeah... we had bad results with bigger labs (Fotokem, Deluxe). Alphacine's came back clean as a whistle between the perfs. Good to re: your U16mm gate. Not a lot of support for it out there right now so the more options the better!

 

Best,

 

Paul

 

 

I am not sure what processors Alpha runs but have always heard good things about them, I think Deluxe and probably Fotokem run on Treise or TFS sprocket drive processors which will preclude trouble free U16 but make running 35mm at higher speeds very safe. We have both and a few people have been calling about U16 so I decided to work out a gate.

 

-Rob-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone give me a dummy's lesson on what this means to a dummy like me?

 

In other words, all you have to do (if possible for your camera) is expand the gate 7mm on two sides, and find someone who can process and telecine the stuff?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can someone give me a dummy's lesson on what this means to a dummy like me?

 

In other words, all you have to do (if possible for your camera) is expand the gate 7mm on two sides, and find someone who can process and telecine the stuff?

 

To piggyback on Ira's question, can a CP16R be converted or only camera that use single pull down claws and not a system of rollers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To piggyback on Ira's question, can a CP16R be converted or only camera that use single pull down claws and not a system of rollers?

 

I know CP16s are some of the harder cameras to convert to S16, if not near impossible. I don't really know about U16, though. IMO, the greatest strength of U16 is that one can use most R16 lenses unlike S16 to shoot 1.85 natively on 16mm stock. I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.

 

You basically need a telecine that can "see" the entire film including the sprocket holes. Here in Dallas I've worked with a Millenium, Spirit and Y-Fronts; none of which can see into that area. Super 16 no problem, but not the sprockets. I'm sure Paul knows more about the technical issues. I have seen effects where the entire frame including sprockets are transfered so there must be some type of machine that can do it. Maybe a modified Spirit but not with the stock gates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love for Spirit telecine machines to support the format, although some of them may.

 

 

Highly unlikely as the Spirit is a fixed imager and the construction of the gate makes modification difficult. The Millenium machine should be allot easier to modify a gate for.

 

-Rob-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know CP16s are some of the harder cameras to convert to S16, if not near impossible. I don't really know about U16, though.

 

Hi-

 

Visual Products has been converting CPs for several years now, and apparently Aranda does as well. I can't speak to the difficulty of it (only those guys can) but it doesn't appear to be near-impossible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi-

 

Visual Products has been converting CPs for several years now, and apparently Aranda does as well. I can't speak to the difficulty of it (only those guys can) but it doesn't appear to be near-impossible.

 

 

And I may be way off base on this, but I thought Ken down at Whitehouse Audio Visual used to do conversions of the CP's, in fact, I thought that was one of the things he specialized in.

 

Best,

-Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I ever come to Hollywood with our new old lab you all will find us processing U-16 originals with a kiss on the hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You basically need a telecine that can "see" the entire film including the sprocket holes. Here in Dallas I've worked with a Millenium, Spirit and Y-Fronts; none of which can see into that area. Super 16 no problem, but not the sprockets. I'm sure Paul knows more about the technical issues. I have seen effects where the entire frame including sprockets are transfered so there must be some type of machine that can do it. Maybe a modified Spirit but not with the stock gates.

 

Yeah you're right Will. And since a new S16mm Spirit gate costs $150,000 I think you'll find Spirit owners reluctant to experiment with a mod to support a relatively rare format like U16. My gate substantially less than that so it was a risk... but it made sense for me to get a second gate and have it modified. The first half of U16mm demo clip on our site ( http://www.cinelicious.tv/?page_id=39 ) shows how with the new U16 gate mod we get much wider view of the 16mm frame (with sprocket holes visible). This also opens up some cool "effects pass" work (where you see the frame edge and sproket holes) that can't be done on normal 16mm & S16mm gates.

-Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi-

 

Visual Products has been converting CPs for several years now, and apparently Aranda does as well. I can't speak to the difficulty of it (only those guys can) but it doesn't appear to be near-impossible.

 

It's great to hear people are converting CP's today. I priced the conversion of one a few years back and all I could hear were people moan as to how hard it was to perform. The GZMO was named as an even harder camera to convert, unfortunately, not being a tech I can only repeat what techs have told me, true or not.

 

I just talked to my colorist at the shop who handles my telecine (Spy Post) and was told they are able to transfer U16 no problem with their Spirit.

Edited by Saul Rodgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This question is directed at Tim, but anyone else is surely welcome to chime in: I've always heard that the Arri 16S was a bad candidate for super 16 conversion, what are the prospects of converting the 16S to Ultra 16?

 

I would also extend this question to K3's to any K3 buffs who may be reading.

 

Paul, I see that both of these cameras are listed (with many others) as "good candidates" for Ultra 16 conversion. I'm not sure if the list is simply compiling all of the low-cost 16mm cameras out there, or if you have actual experience with converting each. Regardless, thanks for your work toward keeping film alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This question is directed at Tim, but anyone else is surely welcome to chime in: I've always heard that the Arri 16S was a bad candidate for super 16 conversion, what are the prospects of converting the 16S to Ultra 16?

 

Topher,

 

I have never been a fan of Ultra 16 so I really haven't looked into converting an Arriflex 16S or Arriflex 16M to Ultra 16. There are two areas of concern, first the mirror/gate area, and second the viewfinder. If you look at this post from last year, you can see the mirror/gate area of concern:

 

http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/in...showtopic=26451

 

I am not sure that widening the gate the .7mm on each side that Ultra 16 requires would allow the existing mirror to cover the newly opened gate area.

 

And the issue you have with the viewfinder optics if you try to convert the camera to Super 16 would be present in an Ultra 16 conversion as well, just not as severely as with the Super 16 conversion.

 

To assure "no scratching" in the new Ultra 16 image area, you really need to go in and relieve all the rollers and sprockets that come in contact with the film throughout the camera. This can be a bit tricky when trying to relieve a sprocket, you would need to relieve the material between each sprocket tooth.

 

Yeah, I guess I'm just an old curmudgeon, but I just can't get excited about Ultra 16. Sorry.

 

Best,

-Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, good info on the Arri mirror in that other thread, pictures, diagrams and all. Thanks Tim.

 

Perhaps we could talk about which of the cameras in the list might be better candidates than others.

 

From Cinelicious site:

 

"Other Ultra 16mm Conversions

 

There are many other 16mm cameras that are good candidates for Ultra 16mm conversion. Here’s a list:

 

Arri BL, S, M

Beaulieu R16

Bell & Howell Eyemo

Bolex H-16, Rex 4, 5

Canon Scoopic

Cine Kodak K100

CP Gizmo, 16A, 16R

Éclair (NPR, ACL)

Kinor 16mm

Konvas 16mm

Krasnagorsk K3"

 

*I've added NPR and ACL to the list by Eclair, since they use two different style mirrors, I think it's necessary to distinguish

Edited by Topher Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just won a eclair acl that came with an ultra 16 gate. I am very excited to try this format out. I will be shooting a short during december in ultra 16. I will post some pictures after I get the camera and check it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • CineLab



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Abel Cine



    Wooden Camera



    Just Cinema Gear



    Serious Gear



    Paralinx LLC



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Glidecam



    Tai Audio



    Metropolis Post



    Visual Products



    Ritter Battery



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Rig Wheels Passport



    G-Force Grips



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    FJS International


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...