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Paul Korver

Ultra 16mm.... Finally!!

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Paul,

 

Do you know if ALL the Canon Scoopic models are as easy to convert (widening of the camera gate)?

 

I am asking because I recently bought a very clean and well cared for Sound Scoopic 200 SE, that has had the direct mag sound module removed. It has the same fast 1.8 (T2.4) 12,5-75 zoom as the later M and MS models (and the same 'TV safe action area' marking on the GG), but it has a mirror shutter (flickering viewfinder image when running) a registration pin movement, like an ARRI, and a through-the-lens meter. It also has the larger 170° shutter opening (at 1/50th sec), whereas the older 200 model had a 135° opening and a slightly slower zoom lens.

 

It would be very interesting to know if this Scoopic model, too, could be converted for the wider camera format - thanks.

(I have sent the same question to Bernie, by the way).

 

Best,

Bengt F

post-21496-1229837477.jpg

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oh yeah

 

and to all those not sure about ultra,

If I had the $7000 to convert my camera and magazines, which I don't, I would rather

spend that money on an Arri SRII that is already super 16 and has a PL mount.

What I have done to my camera has cost me nothing and looks great!

 

 

Supported format or not, it works for me.

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$7000?

 

I thought that Paul was talking about $750 for the Ultra16 conversion (machining of both sides of the camera gate), for the recommended cameras on the list.

Does it really cost that much more to trim all the drives and wheels?

 

Best,

Bengt

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$7000?

 

I thought that Paul was talking about $750 for the Ultra16 conversion (machining of both sides of the camera gate), for the recommended cameras on the list.

Does it really cost that much more to trim all the drives and wheels?

 

Best,

Bengt

 

 

sorry about the confusion.

I've been quoted up to $7000 for a conversion to super 16 with a PL mount.

 

I had a jeweller mill my gate for $50 and it works great.

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Hi Paul,

 

I think that Ultra16 is the most interesting thing since DoP Rune Ericson invented Super16 in Sweden in 1969.

I am, in fact, seriously considering an Ultra16 conversion for my Scoopic 200 SE. However, I need more info.

 

I have been enlarging the Canon Scoopic image on your web site and drawn a lens circle and it is obvious that if the lens covers the Regular 16mm image, it also covers the narrower Ultra16 1.78:1 (HD telecine) image. This is, in my opinion, pretty amazing as it opens up a choice of lenses which you don´t have in Super16 and on top of this, there is no need to re-center the lens mount or the viewfinder image by 1mm.

True, Super16, at 1.66:1, is a much larger format (probably also with a lot higher resolution in an ARRI SR3 Advanced precision gate with a Zeiss 'Ultra 16' prime lens) but the cost is quite another and, furthermore, when you compare the cropped 1.85:1 aspect ratio (for example for a 35mm DI 'blow-up'), the difference is not that significant.

 

I have a couple of additional questions:

1. Did you machine out the absolute maximum of steel on both sides of the Scoopic gate/s, or did you want to preserve edge coding, etc, and just settled for 0.7mm on each side? In my Scoopic 200 SE model, the registration pin enters the lower perforation hole on right side in the camera gate (just below the camera gate when viewed in the camera), but it does so from the rear so there seems to be room for some machining above the hole which it enters, if you get my drift.

If it is possible to machine out just a little bit more to each side, that would probably be useful as a maximum 'clean' native 1.85:1 format. Your view on this? Do you think it would be unwise to tamper with the registration pin hole?

 

2. It is apparent in the demo and in the Scoopic image that there is quite a bit of both pin-cushion and barrel distorsion at different focal lengths in the Canon 12,5 - 75mm zoom lens, at least at the close distances to the test chart - would you say that these line distorsions became more pronounced when photographed with the longer format?

 

3. Did you experience corner vignetting at infinity focus in the widest focal length (12,5mm), or at any other specific focal length? This is of major importance to know before attempting such a conversion, as the lens cannot be taken off the camera.

 

Thank you.

Best regards,

Bengt :)

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Hi all,

 

Have you noticed that this Ultra16 thread is the second-most viewed thread under the 16mm heading recently?

This interest must account for something . . .

 

I think we will see a lot of Ultra16 or similar between-the-perf gate modifications in the near future, as the struggling indie or documentary filmmaker´s answer to the costly Super16 format.

 

It seems very simple and straightforward to me - shoot Regular 16mm or Ultra16, or both, for projection or HD telecine. You just have to think a bit when you are framing your image in the viewfinder, and know from previous chart testing and experience how much to add on the sides, to keep the format corners clear from matte boxes, French flags & eyebrows, microphones and glass filter rings.

 

Bengt F,

photographer

Stockholm, Sweden

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Paul,

 

Re. the Ultra16 conversion and the registration pin gate in my Canon Sound Scoopic 200 SE:

 

I took a really close look at the movement of the pin (with a lupe, and the camera moving slowly on film) and it is obvious that it is the slightly conical pin that actually holds the film in place rather than the pin engaging all four edges of the bottom hole next to the gate.

There is, in fact, a good deal of space around the pin in that hole.

 

So, I think it would be quite safe to say that even this camera model (the Sound Scoopic 200 SE) would be a good candidate for an in-between-the-perf-holes modification. If performed with great care, widening the camera gate (to the right) wouldn´t interfere with the pin movement at all. After all, the 0.7mm widening of Ultra16 isn´t much wider than half the perforation hole on the film, it is, in fact, less.

 

Any further views or experiences on Ultra16 conversions?

 

Best,

Bengt ;)

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I have a couple of additional questions:

1. Did you machine out the absolute maximum of steel on both sides of the Scoopic gate/s, or did you want to preserve edge coding, etc, and just settled for 0.7mm on each side? In my Scoopic 200 SE model, the registration pin enters the lower perforation hole on right side in the camera gate (just below the camera gate when viewed in the camera), but it does so from the rear so there seems to be room for some machining above the hole which it enters, if you get my drift.

If it is possible to machine out just a little bit more to each side, that would probably be useful as a maximum 'clean' native 1.85:1 format. Your view on this? Do you think it would be unwise to tamper with the registration pin hole?

 

We did not machine out the maximum on each side. We did go a bit more that 7mm... 7.5mm each way to give us some "cushion". There are edge code issues and also with daylight spools there is often a bit of side burn that prohibits going edge to edge. There is also shadow vingetting that encroaches into the 1.85 area but not the 1.78 area... so really for a Scoopic there's no reason to try to go wider than 7.5mm.

 

2. It is apparent in the demo and in the Scoopic image that there is quite a bit of both pin-cushion and barrel distorsion at different focal lengths in the Canon 12,5 - 75mm zoom lens, at least at the close distances to the test chart - would you say that these line distorsions became more pronounced when photographed with the longer format?

 

Not sure what you mean by "longer format".

 

 

3. Did you experience corner vignetting at infinity focus in the widest focal length (12,5mm), or at any other specific focal length? This is of major importance to know before attempting such a conversion, as the lens cannot be taken off the camera.

 

It's important to distinguish between shadow vignetting and sharpness vignetting. To me shadow vignetting is very distracting as a sudden dark corner will pulls my eye from the subject. Sharpness vignetting for the type of work I do with my Scoopic can add to the vibe of the image and I quite like it. There is some shadow vignetting that encroaches into the corners of a 1.85 frame at certain focal lengths (but not at 1.78). But if you crop in to 1.78 there is no shadow vignetting throughout the entire standard 1.5-7mm zoom. There is some sharpness vignetting in the corners of even a 1.78 frame. This doesn't bother me at all... but it might bother you. It's subtle but you should be able to see it in the sample footage. I think it becomes most pronounced at longer focal lengths (75mm).

 

Hope that helps. Good luck with your conversion!

 

-Paul

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Hi Paul,

 

Thank you for your thorough reply. This clears up many of the questions I had as to what happens in the far corners of the image, when the sides of the gate are machined out for Ultra16. So, 0.75mm is the max on each side if you want to keep the edge coding intact - that´s great, that means that there is almost 1.5mm of extra image area (compared to about 2mm in Super16).

I suppose edge burning of the film can be avoided if you are experienced in the loading of your camera in complete darkness.

 

Re. shadow vignetting; perhaps that can be adressed or corrected somewhat in post, if you really want to, in software like for example After Effects? I agree that shadow vignetting is more distracting to the eye that sharpness vignetting. I have been experimenting a little bit with a 77mm center filter on my Super8 Beaulieu 4008 in the telephoto end of the 6-66 zoom at near full opening, to see if this can be corrected. However, you loose a lot of light doing this, which requires a faster stock.

 

Re. sharpness vignetting; it´s interesting to hear that this is more of an issue in the extreme telephoto end (75mm). I haven´t got any experience of working with this lens yet, but it seems incredibly sharp in the viewfinder. I have to make some tests myself on fine grained film at different focal lengths and apertures to find out what it looks like in the corners. Zoom lenses are obviously a compromise, and I they often tend to have sharpness issues somewhere in the range of focal lengths.

 

Sorry about my bad English; what I actually meant was if you could see a more pronounced distorsion in the WIDER format of Ultra16 - that is, if the extra space accentuates or exaggerates some of the inherent optical issues in the zoom lens at certain focal lengths. In some lenses, the barrel or pin-cushion distorsion or curvature becomes more pronounced as you reach the outer limits of the lens circle. I think I have spotted a certain pin-cushion distorsion at the telephoto end and possibly barrel distorsion at the wider end. But this of course only becomes really obvious if you shoot a house, a fence, or something with straight lines along the edges of the format.

 

 

I had a very friendly e-mail reply from Bernie, by the way. He couldn´t say for sure about the gate in my 200 SE camera without actually seeing it, so I am going to send him some very close photos of the gate from different angles, showing the registration pin and hole. This may clarify some issues but I might have to send it to him anyway, to be really sure whether a modification is possible or not.

 

Thanks again,

Bengt ;)

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This all sounds really promising to me, but I got to dig deeper into that, just read about it (and just found this nice forum here :) )...

Throwing a quick question in: I own a Bolex H16, doing an Ultra16 conversion and the necessary adjustments of the internals (plus having a telecine being able to handle that format): Could I also use my Nikon primes I've been using with my 35mm adapter set up via an Bolex -> f mount adapter?

 

Thanks a lot and best from Germany,

Max.

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Could I also use my Nikon primes I've been using with my 35mm adapter set up via an Bolex -> f mount adapter?

Since Nikon primes would cover the area of a 35mm frame you shouldn't have any trouble using them in Ultra-16 or Super 16.

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Since Nikon primes would cover the area of a 35mm frame you shouldn't have any trouble using them in Ultra-16 or Super 16.

 

As long as you don't want any wide angle lenses.

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As long as you don't want any wide angle lenses.

?

Is that a limitation of the c-mount/adapter? Any Nikon lens designed for a 35mm camera should easily handle the 15mm or so needed for 16mm film.

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?

Is that a limitation of the c-mount/adapter? Any Nikon lens designed for a 35mm camera should easily handle the 15mm or so needed for 16mm film.

 

Hi,

 

As Nikon don't make many 7mm, 9mm or 12mm lenses you will have a problem. A standard lens would be around a 15mm.

 

Stephen

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A standard lens would be around a 15mm.

 

& a Nikon 15mm & a Canon 14mm are on the slow side for shooting interiors. The same goes for 20mm still lens.

 

& they cost almost as much as an Ari mount cine-lens.

 

Go with a nice C-mt like a Switar.

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?

Is that a limitation of the c-mount/adapter? Any Nikon lens designed for a 35mm camera should easily handle the 15mm or so needed for 16mm film.

 

Hi,

 

As Nikon don't make many 7mm, 9mm or 12mm lenses you will have a problem. A standard lens would be around a 15mm.

 

Stephen

The 15mm I was talking about was the 15mm "live area" width of the 16mm film frame.

 

It's too bad the new Nikon DX lenses don't have a manual aperture ring, they would cover the full area of the 16mm film as well.

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t's too bad the new Nikon DX lenses don't have a manual aperture ring, they would cover the full area of the 16mm film as well.

 

Well, I guess one could use them wide open and just add ND in front of the lens as needed. ;)

 

Not the best solution, but one guaranteed to give one the best shallow focus look ever.

Edited by Saul Rodgar

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Actually, just checked. The iris locks to the smallest aperture. The adapter has to have a pin that releases the iris. If that can be figured out, then it can work. I will play with my adapter, see if I can figure it out.

 

And YES!!, a little bit of tape to secure the pin in the desired position will work. Ghetto, but it can be figured it out.

 

Maybe an adapter that has an iris ring built in? Obviously the f-stops would change with different lenses, but still . . .

 

Sounds like I will be calling Les Bosher on it

Edited by Saul Rodgar

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Maybe an adapter that has an iris ring built in? Obviously the f-stops would change with different lenses, but still . . .

 

Sounds like I will be calling Les Bosher on it

 

Hi Saul, have you found anything out from Les? Just checking as this would also help me :)

 

Cheers.

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I've heard Bono Film in Alexandria, VA is thinking of making a U16 workflow. Check out their U16 site at http://www.ultra16mm.com/

 

Also, I am planning on making my rex-5 bolex into a U16 camera. Has anyone heard of how this process would pan out on the bolex?

 

-Brian

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I've heard Bono Film in Alexandria, VA is thinking of making a U16 workflow. Check out their U16 site at http://www.ultra16mm.com/

 

Also, I am planning on making my rex-5 bolex into a U16 camera. Has anyone heard of how this process would pan out on the bolex?

 

-Brian

 

I'd love to hear how this goes on the bolex.

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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

 

 

Hi guys...

 

Do you know in LONDON, or UK, where there is a facility to telecine ULTRA 16mm films?

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I'm also in the UK and got a Canon Scoopic on it's way to me. Is there anywhere in the UK I can get the gate modded for Ultra 16 and as asked above can we actually get it processed anywhere over here?

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