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Dom Jaeger

An era ends (and no-one noticed)

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The Arri is so much better than a Bolex -- rugged, reliable, pin registered -- that I've been tempted to grab one as an antique. What's the price of a factory new Bolex?

About US$6000 for the wind-up model.

Which is about the minimum you'd need to spend getting your $500 ST up to about the same standard :P

 

 

True, there are no wind-up digital cameras. But there are hand cranked flashlights and radios. There are solar battery chargers, why not a crank/windup charger? .

Yes, there are windup flashlights and radios, but that's because modern LEDs can produce workable amounts of light from tiny amounts of power, and modern radios similarly have been re-engineered to work with extremely low power levels. A digital camera that can be hand-cranked is still a long, long way off.

 

Another same ol' same ol' :If you really could make a workable camera that could be hand cranked, a standard battery would probably last for weeks or months with it anyway, so it would probably be easier to just design it to run off AA cells and just carry a couple of dozen of those :D

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Plenty of 35mm still on TV though. I think HBO and AMC both are "film only (Eastman only?)" although the latest new AMC series (western?) might be digital. "The Closer" - 35mm Don't watch much current crime drama mush

 

HBO's "Games of Thrones" is shot on the Alexa.

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HBO's "Games of Thrones" is shot on the Alexa.

And it looks stunning too.

 

I wonder if Tarantino will really quit when we can't show 35mm film in theatres?

 

Or maybe he's just talking crap. I love Cameron and Peter's response.

Edited by Marcus Joseph

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I knew Panavision had stopped building Milleniums and Arri were only making the odd film camera to order using stock parts, but with Aaton's Penelope only fairly recently unveiled I thought they might still be manufacturing them. But apparently they've turned their attention to a new digital design, so I guess the factory has retooled.

 

 

Its a misleading article.

 

Aaton ARE still making the Penelope. They haven't stopped. It's a SWITCHABLE camera. You can shoot 35mm or when they eventually get their digital back built for it, it will also be a digital camera. But it will still be a 35mm camera as well.

 

 

jb

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Guest Stephen Murphy

On Facebook today Panavision posted this statement

 

"As a rental company, Panavision is committed to supporting our customers worldwide by providing them a wide range of camera equipment which includes film cameras. We continue to support our fleet of film cameras, and that includes ongoing major refurbishment, which in many cases means almost a complete rebuild of existing product. There is still significant demand for film equipment in many of our key markets, including studio feature film productions. So, while our ongoing focus is the transition to future products in the digital world, the implication that we’ve quit the film business isn’t accurate".

 

and Kodak quickly followed up with this

 

"Nice post! Film and film cameras have been with us since imaging began because the technology is in the medium, not the hardware. You can put a fresh roll of film in a 20 year old film camera a get state-of-the-art images. We have been protected from technological obsolescence for over 100 years. We will be lucky to be talking in increments of 5 years as it relates to this issue into the future. As for film, Kodak will continue to provide the same high quality film portfolio as always....and you never know....you may see a new member of the KODAK VISION3 family appear very soon".

 

So let's not panic yet.

Edited by Stephen Murphy

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Its a misleading article.

 

Aaton ARE still making the Penelope. They haven't stopped. It's a SWITCHABLE camera. You can shoot 35mm or when they eventually get their digital back built for it, it will also be a digital camera. But it will still be a 35mm camera as well.

 

 

jb

 

It will be a totally digital camera, rather than a switchable camera. http://www.aaton.com/files/delta-p_sept-2011.pdf

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On Facebook today Panavision posted this statement

 

"As a rental company, Panavision is committed to supporting our customers worldwide by providing them a wide range of camera equipment which includes film cameras. We continue to support our fleet of film cameras, and that includes ongoing major refurbishment, which in many cases means almost a complete rebuild of existing product. There is still significant demand for film equipment in many of our key markets, including studio feature film productions. So, while our ongoing focus is the transition to future products in the digital world, the implication that we’ve quit the film business isn’t accurate".

 

and Kodak quickly followed up with this

 

"Nice post! Film and film cameras have been with us since imaging began because the technology is in the medium, not the hardware. You can put a fresh roll of film in a 20 year old film camera a get state-of-the-art images. We have been protected from technological obsolescence for over 100 years. We will be lucky to be talking in increments of 5 years as it relates to this issue into the future. As for film, Kodak will continue to provide the same high quality film portfolio as always....and you never know....you may see a new member of the KODAK VISION3 family appear very soon".

 

So let's not panic yet.

 

Good for both Panavision and Kodak! To these can be added Bolex and others, who continue to maintain a presence in the film world.

 

The more I read this and similar topics, I do begin to wonder whether some who post are not so much concerned with fact, but rather some kind of celebratory cry against film. One might be excused for thinking that for a number, the suggestion that camera manufacturers have ceased production of film cameras (which it now appears might be less than accurate) is not so much an issue of fact but rather a cause for a party. By the way, with the more sophisticated film cameras was it actually possible in recent years to buy a camera from a manufacturer "off the shelf" as opposed to having one made to specification?

 

I should emphasis that I am not "anti digital". I have, over the years, had VHS, Hi8, and now HD video cameras. However there are times when I wonder why I have spent so much money buying digital equipment to take and enable me to see what I have taken, when one system has been quite incompatable with what has gone before it. I have also used film, and I still do. I do so simply because I choose to use it in particular circumstances because I consider that it has unique qualities which digital imagery does not have.

 

One contributor to this topic asked what comes after digital. Based on what has gone before in the digital world, I suspect the answer is "digital" - digital which is different from what has gone before and which will again be incompatable. There is relatively little money to be had from incremental improvement or upgrading. That doesn't sell new equipment. Everybody in the digital world will be expected to buy the latest system or be left behind and eventually find that their equipment becomes unserviceable for one reason of another.

 

This criticism cannot so easily be thrown at "film". Cameras running at whatever speed are still able to use the latest film stocks and with limited periodic service produce the most beautiful images which the digital world seeks to emulate. The common standards of film, 35mm, 16mm, Super8, Standard 8, and others, are all still available and as new film stocks have been developed they too have been able to be used. Credit for that must go to both Kodak and Fuji primarily, who have continued to develop and produce filmstocks.

 

Having said that I appreciate the qualities and attributes of both film and digital imagery, different as they are from each other, and I celebrate the gradual improvement of both forms of imagery and the freedom of choice we presently have. I hope both will prosper and continue to be available.

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Switchable really never made sense. There's so little in common between the two technologies. A switchable camera would have to cost almost as much as two separate cameras, and weigh more than either one.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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I was just going to comment that heard Braking Bad was shot on digital and it looks as good as anything shot on 35. Then I checked on IMDB and it was shot on 3-perf super35 using Fuji. So much for my original theory. Good thing I checked. The show looks great. Stunning at times.

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Not down in my "Theater Le Shoppe" will all screens be digital.

35mm Simplex SP/CAT702/DA20/CP55/JBL Speakers

Around 25 good prints including several that won Cinematography Oscars.

 

Hal,

 

That is incredible! I am impressed that you own a 35mm Simplex

Projector. On the other hand, I am stunned that you have a collection

of 35mm prints including Oscar winners.

 

Have looked into buying a Christie SLC or a 35mm Simplex, but

was startled at the cost of print rentals. I'd love to hear how you

wound up with the 35mm prints.

 

-Jerry Murrel

CineVision AR

Little Rock

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Tim Burke used to have a pair of AA-2 Norelcos, and projected 70mm with changeovers in his garage.... IIRC, he moved back to Chicago.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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I love the old 35/70mm projectors at my old work...

 

 

They service a 2000+ seat theatre - the very one Kong smashes up in PJ's version.

 

They have a little portal that you can look through to the arc with a kind of UV blocking welders glass - the carpet (yeh I know DUST) is a very static kind, great fun getting people to build up a charge then tell them to check out the arc - one out of two times a static charge will pop out of their nose and hit the projector just as they catch first glimpse.

 

laugh.gif

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I've read this forum for some time now, and finally made an account just to offer a thought to this. I could be wrong about this, but theoretically film will probably become obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the film look on digital. A tall order, perhaps. But certainly possible. Not to the extent that the new high-end digital film cameras do, but a system that would eventually be indistinguishable from film. Thoughts?

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film will probably become obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the film look on digital.

That's a bit like saying that apples will be obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the apple taste in an orange.

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That's a bit like saying that apples will be obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the apple taste in an orange.

 

Good one Brad!

 

If film does become obsolete then all these great "film vs digital" threads will also become obsolete. That will be a real loss.

 

Then we'll only be able to have "digital system vs digital system" debates.

 

R,

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Good one Brad!

 

If film does become obsolete then all these great "film vs digital" threads will also become obsolete. That will be a real loss.

 

Then we'll only be able to have "digital system vs digital system" debates.

 

R,

Not necessarily.

There are still VHS vs Betamax forums out there (or there were until quite recently) :lol:

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That's a bit like saying that apples will be obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the apple taste in an orange.

 

Why the hell would you want to do that!!

oranges are really impractical and difficult to use!

It should surely be the the other way round?

The best thing about the orange is its taste! That's why it is so popular!

Other than that, and the nice colour, I feel oranges are all hastle. I mean yeah they have texture and stuff but c'mon!!??

 

Personally I feel that if you are going to all the hastle of reproducing the apple taste in another fruit then it should be the bannana. You still have the protective peel but it comes off easily and doesn't leave your fingers all sticky and sting-y feeling.

 

Seriously, oranges are not the only fruit!

 

love

 

Freya

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Trick with orange juice stickiness is just to keep rubbing it in - it feels for the world like it isn't going to go away and you are just smearing its mess over a larger area, but there comes a point where you notice your hands are dry as they need to be, and citrus smelling ;)

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VHS rules Keith, I dare you to challenge my educated statement!!

 

R,

Naturally VHS rules.

Betamax was never more than a half-arsed attempt by Sony to resurrect a failed "industrial/educational" 1/2 inch format they (ironically) called "Beta".

VHS was developed a couple of years later by Matsushita/RCA to overcome all the deficiencies Sony encountered trying in re-engineering the legacy tape cassette and loading mechanism. Not being hampered by the need to "use up" any particular piece of Albatross-ware, by simply making the cassette a bit bigger they were able to nearly double the tape speed and still give 50% more recording time.

Every single parameter of Betamax is inferior to an equivalent VHS machine; the figures are are/were routinely pulled out by the Betawankers are the specs for BetaCAM, which is/was a completely different (and outrageously more expensive) format.

 

"Beta vs VHS" is always trotted out as the ultimate bit of Urban Wisdom, the triumph of marketing over technical quality. Bizzarely it's almost exactly the opposite: Sony managed to convince a lot of people that their technically inferior system was actually better than the technically superior VHS that defeated it! Most people voted with their credit card, and Betamax died the death it deserved...

 

Interesting that except for very small runs for the looney tunes market Sony stopped making Betamax machines 25 yeas ago. VHS machines continue to be sold (although more usually these days as part of a DVD/Tape combo unit).

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I've read this forum for some time now, and finally made an account just to offer a thought to this. I could be wrong about this, but theoretically film will probably become obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the film look on digital. A tall order, perhaps. But certainly possible. Not to the extent that the new high-end digital film cameras do, but a system that would eventually be indistinguishable from film. Thoughts?

 

To be truly indistinguishable from film, it would need a solid state recording device that changes weight as you shoot. One of the weird little things I miss is being able to pick up a can of exposed film that has, say, "280 ft" written on it, and know by the weight that that's likely to be correct.

 

When you take film out of a mag and put it in a can, it's gone from the mag and in the can, for sure. Absolutely. But with digital, you transfer from a card to a hard drive, and it's in both places at once, except maybe not absolutely sure and error free on the hard drive.... So you want to hold on to the card version until somebody watches it in post. With digital, you need more Maalox. ;-)

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Film is awesome it has a look naturally about it that i think everyone can agree looks great and unique. Film does have a technical advantage in most areas over digital, something like 13 stops of latitude on a test chart for example. once digital looks like film then yes we would be closer but you need to factor in resolution, detail, dynamic range, contrast ratio and image bit depth as well. But the price of film/processing its really not worth it in the long run.

I heard film prints alone cost $2 billion a year for studios.

 

What about IMAX, they just started to really promote it?

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I was watching a Kodak thin recently, Intro to Digital cinema, where they bring up the interesting point that each film exposure is akin to a "new imager," wherein the grain structure changes, randomly, grabbing out different detail than the proceeding frame. On a conceptual level, think of this, you are in an unchanging room with a banana, or whatever. The digital sensor sees each successive image the same, where as film actually creates 24 different images per second. And, I for one, think that is the inherent film look (which we see either consciously or unconsciously) and furthermore why I don't think a digital, fixed, system can ever get the real "film look."

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