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Peter Gilabert

Ultra 16 on a CP-16R Test Results

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The results of my self-done Ultra 16 conversion, shot on 10 and 20 year old Fuji daylight and tungsten respectively.

I'm pleasantly surprised how well the film stock itself looks.

The vingetting occuring between 14-25mm isn't surprising but why only ONE side?

Any theories welcome, they cropped it at the lab so I may have to inspect the negative closer to figure it out (?)


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ultra 16



Edited by Peter Gilabert

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If the film were scanned with the full Ultra-16mm area you would see the perforations on the left which you would crop out for a 1.85:1 picture.


When we scan Ultra-16 we show the full area with perfs on the left and typically do a 2K scan on our ScanStation which shows the full Ultra image area and a little room around it so the filmmaker can decide how to crop / frame the end result.

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Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. I feel like they dumbed it down for me and chose a 16:9 that looked the best to them. Perhaps I should've specifically stated I wanted the whole area to work with.

I would've thought since they knew it was an ultra 16 test they'd give me at least all the area evenly on both sides.

I still can't believe how easy it was to convert myself, knowing I can always still just use the reg 16mm 4:3 anytime I want later...

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Super cute kiddos!


I've had an Ultra16 Scoopic for many years but only recently have I been using that space between the sprockets due to modern scanners. Spirit never could see there. Have to say that I'm not so sure that between the sprockets is really practical. I find that simply cropping the standard 16 area gives me more flexibility for re-framing up and down as needed; like with full frame 35. A little grainier but not really an enormous difference, especially with 50D outside.

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I watched your film when I was looking for U16 samples a few weeks ago, but I just found this topic here. I recently got my Canon Scoopic MS converted to U16 and I replaced the light seals myself of course I wanted to make sure that the camera was working fine, not scratching the film, I wanted to know how big the image was, if the lens was sharp, light leaks and stuff like that. I'll share my methods for testing cameras with film quick at home, analyze the data and redo. I have done this with a K3, a Bolex and now with the Scoopic.


I have trained myself to load and unload the cameras in total darkness, so using B&W film (Eastman 7222 or Kodak 7266) I load the camera in total darkness so I can take advantage of the short 5 foot film strip that I'm going to use. I shoot a few tests using charts or whatever I want to test but taking in consideration that I only have 7 seconds. I can shoot 7 different shots if I want but the limit is 7 seconds. I advance the film a little, and in total darkness I open the cover of the camera, cut the film with scissors, put it on a Yankee developing tank (it can take 16mm film) close the camera, close the developing tank and back to daylight. I use inexpensive D76 developer and Kodak fixer to process the film and after a couple of hours you can analyze it with a magnifier, but there is a better way to do it. Using my Epson flatbed scanner (I have a method to fine tune it) I scan some frames and that allow me to see if there is something wrong with the camera like light leaks or scratches, but it allows me to see what I cannot see trough the viewfinder. Is the converted camera going to cover 2k DCI aspect ratio or just 16:9? I can open the scanned file on Photoshop and crop the image or just make masks using the mentioned aspect ratios.


I put marks on the wall and using a tripod I align the camera with those lines and the guides inside the camera or the frame on the viewfinder, process the film, scan, compare the marks with the actual image being captured, use the rulers on Photoshop to define the frame and that helps me to know where the limits of the frame are or should be (top and bottom) and how much more is being captured that I can't see, or that I see but is not going to be visible in the final product.


The method works of course to test if a lens is going to vignette too. I have tested 4 different cameras with a spool of film and I haven't used half of it yet. This method is practical and inexpensive, but even better it's fast, I don't waste valuable film and money getting the film processed and scanned just to learn that the camera has light leaks.


When I'm sure that the camera is in good condition I shoot a project and then I send the film to the lab to be professionally processed and scanned.








You can use my painfully slow method to test "registration"of a camera too, but it takes a lot of time.




Just sharing some ideas, I hope you find the helpful in some way.

Edited by Ruben Arce

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Thanks for sharing your techniques for economically checking your ultra 16 cameras, very interesting.

I did try scanning pro-developed color film earlier but I couldnt ever get my scanner to give me a good enough image, I sold the scanner later.

I like the idea of cheaply developing B & W film snippets yourself just to spot check.

I did end up getting an edge-to-edge scan of everything for that roll and-

It highlighted my rough DIY conversion (which I could work around easily) but more importantly the vignetting caused by the 12-120 Angenieux.

Its OK at 12mm, then vignettes from about 14mm to 30mm or so.

I can work around this too albeit in a limited way or- just embrace 4:3 and/or not worry about it and crop any way I want.

The only dilemma is that I have a lot of old Fuji Id like to use and cropping later may highlight the grain too much.

Since Im trying to start a fairly ambitious project this year I realize I shouldnt probably be messing around with old stock and an iffy-reputed CP-16R camera anyway, but it all depends on what my budget ends up being I suppose!

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Congratulations on your ambitious project. This forums are very important because we can get information and hear about other people experiences, I've been refining my methods and I do it at a very low price. I buy the scanners for $5 at thrift stores and most of my processing equipment I got it years ago for $20. I'm going to make a series of videos about this things later. One of the most important things about scanning 16mm or even Super 8 on a flatbed scanner is you have to position the film in a vertical way. Why? I don't know, I got that info from someone else, I tested and it is totally true. Those are the kind of things that can be frustrating.


Personally I'm not fan of the 1.33:1 format, and I hate seeing all that space wasted on my film. Super 16 and U16 are great, you get actual resolution, take advantage of the film and if you decide to go whit even something more extreme like 2:39.1 you don't have to waste that much of your digital file. I hate wasting 30% of the pixels when I crop R16 to widescreen, and obviously as you mentioned it before the grain is more apparent, and if your original scan was at 1080p you end up with a decent 720p or you have to digitally enlarge the image to fit the 1080p frame which is a lie too, is not 1080p anymore.


I think you should test a bit more, and go with ultra. Have you seen footage from the Logmar camera? Super 8 that looks almost like 35mm. At this time 16, S16 or U16 should be able to deliver good quality image for indy projects and more serious stuff for sure. It would be nice to have a SR3 or an Aaton XTR prod, but I think is possible to shoot something that is going to look good with any camera, and the CP-16R is not a bad camera, I wish I had one, but I'm going to shoot something nice with the Scoopic.

Edited by Ruben Arce

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