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Jon O'Brien

2 perf and S16

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I read here

 

http://www.digital-intermediate.co.uk/examples/2perf/2perf.htm

 

that 2-perf actually turned out clearer and sharper than 4-perf anamorphic when shown in theatres. I'm really surprised about that. I always thought that 2-perf, in the days when everything was shown on 4-perf projectors, never looked as good because it had to be optically enlarged and anamorphosed when printed.

 

Also, when film was still completely edited by hand using splicers and cement, why did people complain that 2-perf was difficult to splice due to there being no space between the frames, as wouldn't this also have been the case with 4-perf anamorphic (no space between the frames to hide a splice)?

I was really surprised to read that the Titanic wreck shots were done on 2-perf. For Cameron's later documentary "Ghosts of the Abyss" in Imax 3D, what format was used ? In http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297144/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec

it just says Video ! I'd assumed they had used 15 perf 65mm cameras, but maybe they were too big for the tiny sub.

 

Interesting that there's apparently lots of definition within 2-perf, assuming I guess that you use slow emulsions. What would be nice... a 2-perf projection system, so avoiding the anamorphic print entirely. And I've always thought the fears of dirt and hairs in the camera's gate are a little unfounded, as hair-checks are regularly done anyway. And it's surely unnecessary to recompose the image in post.

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4 perf anamorphic would surely need careful checking for 'dirt and hair' in the gate too. The image is probably cropped no more than 2 perf.

 

I've been thinking the same thing ... a 2 perf projector would be great.

 

I'm starting to realise that a lot of industry things were done because that was simply how the infrastructure was set up. Anamorphic came in to lure people back to the theatres, and it allowed the existing projectors to be maintained.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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I read here

 

http://www.digital-intermediate.co.uk/examples/2perf/2perf.htm

 

that 2-perf actually turned out clearer and sharper than 4-perf anamorphic when shown in theatres. I'm really surprised about that. I always thought that 2-perf, in the days when everything was shown on 4-perf projectors, never looked as good because it had to be optically enlarged and anamorphosed when printed.

 

Also, when film was still completely edited by hand using splicers and cement, why did people complain that 2-perf was difficult to splice due to there being no space between the frames, as wouldn't this also have been the case with 4-perf anamorphic (no space between the frames to hide a splice)?

2-perf was blown up to 4-perf workprints. Neg was cut A&B, just like 16mm.

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingts2.htm

Edited by Mark Dunn

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I've heard that 2-perf cameras are often louder than 4-perf.

 

As Julius Sumner Miller so famously often asked:

 

"Why is it so?" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIfxV7uNZXQ)

 

Is it possibly the throw of the film advancing claw being limited in its travel by something. Anywhere I can read up in detail on what's involved in a conversion? Thanks in advance.

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As Julius Sumner Miller so famously often asked:

 

"Why is it so?".

My Goodness, Julius Sumner Miller! There's a blast from the past! However, only Australians (and maybe Californians?) would know of him.

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Growing up in Melbourne in the seventies, we kids all loved him. Everyone mentioned him. Paul Hogan did a memorable take off of him once on his tv show.

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I've heard that 2-perf cameras are often louder than 4-perf.

I can attest to how much quieter 3 perf cameras are from 4 perf.

 

I haven't shot with a 2 perf camera yet... so I wouldn't know and I don't see how that could be the case.

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I have been less than 5 feet from an Aaton Penelope 2 perf when it was running on a very quiet set. Some of the ACs were putting their ears up to the body to see if they could hear anything. (not during a take) Completely quiet from where I was standing

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I can attest to how much quieter 3 perf cameras are from 4 perf..

How many 3 perf cameras have you used in your anecdotal survey?

 

I don't recall noticing any difference in noise between Arricams or Moviecams in 3 or 4 perf configurations, but then they're pretty quiet cameras anyway. I suppose the film is travelling at 3/4 speed in 3 perf, but the mirror and movement are still working at 24/25 revolutions per second. Most noise comes from the claw and rego pin entering and exiting the perfs, which doesn't change. I would say noisier cameras are more due to the condition and model of camera than whether they run 3 or 4 perf.

 

Many 2 perf cameras are MOS anyway so noise is irrelevant. Can't say I've heard a 2 perf sync sound camera to compare.

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How many 3 perf cameras have you used in your anecdotal survey?

I just know from the Aaton's how much quieter the 3 perf is over the 4 perf.

 

The ASC manual also gives DB ratings to confirm in most cases, the 3 perf is quieter then the 4 perf.

 

The "studio" cameras are so damn quiet, you couldn't tell.

 

BTW, the "loudest" single sound from the Aaton is the film running past the gate. The single pulldown claw barely makes any noise from what I can tell. I've done some tests to see where the noise is coming from with the perf's missing from the pull down side and it makes ZERO difference in the noise of the camera.

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I just know from the Aaton's how much quieter the 3 perf is over the 4 perf..

Right, so your blanket statement that 3 perf is much quieter than 4 perf should have been qualified to only describe 35III Aatons, rather than the much more commonly used Arricams and Moviecams.

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Right, so your blanket statement that 3 perf is much quieter than 4 perf should have been qualified to only describe 35III Aatons, rather than the much more commonly used Arricams and Moviecams.

Again, "studio" cameras are so quiet, it's a moot discussion. Anyone who cares about the loudness of a camera, is certainly discussing cameras that are on the borderline.

 

I bring up the Aaton 35MKIII because it's a "borderline" camera and I've done quite a bit of testing on what makes it "loud" and it's the movement of the film, rather then the "pulldown" mechanism.

 

This would theoretically be the same case on other MOS style single pulldown cameras like the Arri 2C or even 235 for that matter. In my mind, this the only "point" of even mentioning the loudness between formats.

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Just a few years ago before his death in late 2014, Laurie Buckingham of Australia developed a 2-perf camera that was not only quiet but very small too. Son Steve gave me these test clips recently: the original negative and a b/w scope print from an original. I'm sure he won't mind me showing them here. He also had a 16mm reduction print that demonstrated the steadiness of the 2-perf image. I presume this camera was pin-registered.

 

post-29820-0-98883100-1505648791_thumb.jpg

 

Some earlier notes by Steve Buckingham:

He spent years developing a superb, compact, lightweight, self-blimped 35mm Techniscope-format camera, initially for his own use but later made cursory attempts to see if anyone would want to make it under licence. After his experience with the lamphouse people dad was very secretive with this camera. I accompanied him to Sydney to have the camera evaluated by an industry expert so as to support any negotiations with prospective licencees. The report was generally excellent; the only negative I recall was that the film transport design would not accommodate reverse film direction, something I don’t think dad had ever considered in design, but a feature sometimes used for dissolves and other effects. In conjunction with the Techniscope project he made a 35mm B&W developer/processor (mainly I think for processing the miles of film he shot in developing the camera), an optical reduction printer (35mm Techniscope to 16mm anamorphic) for his own editing purposes and also a 16mm contact printer, with correction, for his own use .

 

 

 

 

It seems to me 2-perf is the ideal way of originating 2.4:1 movies cheaply, assuming slower high resolution film is used. Spherical lenses, especially the shorter focal lengths used in Techniscope are after all, generally faster.

Edited by Doug Palmer

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Spherical lenses are faster... but you'd reap the same benefit if you shot 4-perf or 3-perf instead of 2-perf, you're just wasting less film for a 2.40 image. There is some increase in depth of field, especially over anamorphic, due to the shorter focal lengths.

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That's very interesting Doug. I'd be really interested to learn more about Laurie's work. Thanks for the picture too. Film will endure. It's like real acoustic pianos with strings and hammers and sound board, vs digital pianos. One's real, the other imitates reel ;)

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https://filmisfine.com/blog/henry-l-buckingham-widescreen-pioneer/

 

Yes it sounds like he was a great guy and a genius. I get the impression though from his son Steve that he was a lone inventor, and wasn't too good at getting the industry to take up his ideas.

 

David rightly points out that all similar spherical lenses for 3 and 4-perf are also fast. 2-perf really benefits from low-cost 2.40 origination, whether for film or digital. And the fact that magazines can be smaller. Also perhaps... fewer focus issues in low light due to the shorter lenses.

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One thing about 4-perf c-scope that's so attractive is the depth of field and overall look. Watched 'The Sea Wolves' last night on DVD and could quickly see it was shot on spherical. Still, there are many benefits to 2-perf and with affordable lenses eg. Nikkor SLR on a 35-III would be a relatively low-cost entry to 35mm filmmaking. I think your posts on Ultra-16 are very interesting, being very close to 2-perf image quality. That's amazing about Laurie, I lived 5 minutes away from him in the 70's.

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One thing about 4-perf c-scope that's so attractive is the depth of field and overall look.

Yep, it's a very nice look. You can get SOME of that with Super 35mm 3 perf, because you aren't cropping that much.

 

Watched 'The Sea Wolves' last night on DVD and could quickly see it was shot on spherical.

Academy gate 4 perf matted to 1.85:1.

 

Still, there are many benefits to 2-perf and with affordable lenses eg.

Well, ya ain't owning 2x anamorphic glass anymore. Everyone wants the vintage stuff, the value's have skyrocketed. The newer stuff is also super expensive. Glass rental is pretty high up on the reason list of why people don't shoot anamorphic, even 1.3x on Super 16. It costs like $700/per lens per day. EEK!

 

Remember, the vast majority of production is spherical either cropped or native aspect ratio, both film and digital. Really the only "benefit" to 2 perf is cost of film stock/processing. Which may sound like a big deal but if your camera package costs 3x that of a 3 perf camera... the added benefit kinda goes out the window.

 

Nikkor SLR on a 35-III would be a relatively low-cost entry to 35mm filmmaking.

You'd think so, but it's pretty bad. Still lenses don't focus properly, they aren't very accurate at all and the focus rings blow. I've tried to use them for digital cinema and I gave up, wound up having to buy real cinema glass.

 

35mm is kinda of expensive no matter how you put it, even if you get film for free. So if you wanna just mess around with it, spending all that money on a 2 perf camera seems counterintuitive unless you've got a camera that is worthwhile like a modern Arricam or Moviecam. So at least you could rent it when you're not using it and/or shoot more serious projects with it. Can't really do very many serious projects with an MOS camera. Heck, I find it nearly impossible to rent my Aaton 35III 3 perf camera and it's a complete kit, with glass!

 

I think your posts on Ultra-16 are very interesting, being very close to 2-perf image quality.

Ultra 16 uses the space between the sprocket holes, which means you crop quite a bit of image to get 2.40:1. It's really no different then shooting S16 and cropping to 2.40:1, so it's nowhere near the quality of 2 perf. If you NEED 2.40:1 aspect ratio, 2 perf is superior then even anamorphic Super 16. If you're OK with 1.75:1 then the benefits of 2 perf kinda aren't as much over super 16.

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Ultra-16 is a bigger frame than S-16, also when cropped to 2.40:1, but maybe I missed the point you were making. Thanks for sharing your valuable experience.

 

It's not directly relevant to the original topic, but can anyone comment on the qualities of Lomos, for instance the 50/T2.5, 75/T2.5 and 100/T3.3 anamorphic primes, as might be rented? What sort of extra costs are involved for a set of 3 such prime lenses from what they quote per day? There is a branch in Brisbane I could ask, but presumably they would have to ship up from Melbourne. Is there often a requirement to hire for more than a day? Must you be a company with solid industry experience to hire? I suppose it depends. I will ring and ask but would like to be slightly more informed first. Feasibility is my interest at this stage. Sorry if my questions irk those who've already made clear that this sort of gear is not for small projects. Your point is noted.

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Ah! I see what you're saying. I was looking at it from a cropped perspective. I think it's fair to say that as a cropped image, Ultra-16 2.40:1 is a larger image area?

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Ah! I see what you're saying. I was looking at it from a cropped perspective. I think it's fair to say that as a cropped image, Ultra-16 2.40:1 is a larger image area?

For 2.40:1 only, Ultra 16 has a VERY small advantage, .7mm to be exact.

 

Unfortunately, there weren't any production Ultra 16 cameras made. So it's not like the format has any merit. The cost to have someone make you one, would be pretty astronomical these days and if memory serves me correctly, there are only a few camera bodies that can have that side of the frame cut large enough to use the format.

 

So where I agree that Ultra 16 in practice (it being .7mm larger) then S16 with a 2.40:1 deliverable... getting a decent camera to shoot that format, is nearly impossible. There are FAR more 2 perf 35mm cameras out there and they're getting nabbed up so fast, very soon they too will be impossible to find outside of rental houses, which already charge a lot of money for them.

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