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Sorry to post here, for some reason the button to create a new topic in the books for cinematographers section was unavailable. 

I am looking for a book that takes in analysis the differences between the two mediums or perhaps a book that defends analog and why it shouldn't go away as a tool for expression. 

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I thought you were specialised on the sub 1M productions and commercials / docs.  You should ask the line producers of these 50M+ shows to correct the credits and imdb

Tell me about it. When you work as an engineer, the only people who get credit are the post house executives, they never credit the technical people. Worst part is working in restoration, when yo

I mean don't get me wrong, the stuff I'm talking about has nothing to do with indy/low budget production. The sub $1M productions, are rushed in production and in post, no doubt about it. I'm referrin

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OP... I'd advise you to forget the fight. Try the two and see for yourself. If you like film, shoot it. If you like digital, shoot it. No cine' police to tell us otherwise.

I used to have lots of comparison samples with still film vs digital on Tumblr. But in 2019 Tumblr shut me down and I lost it all.

35mm flatbed scanned negative film = about 3 or 4 mp with a point & shoot camera. It is not very high res stuff. That is also its beauty. Digital can sometime look plasticy and fake cause it is too sharp. I never tested chrome, so can't say. But film has a beautiful organic grain structure and nice blacks and shadows. Digital can have noisy blacks and shadows. 

I'm ALL digital with my personal work and ALL film with my archival work.

Good luck with figuring it out!

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well, most of it is like discussing whether you can play the same melody (the same notes) on synth and grand piano. People playing the same melody on both and then testifying that no one could tell the difference because the notes were the same! 

it starts to become a problem when you are trying to use the piano to play a melody originally composed for a cello or violin... well it has to work because the notes were the same so no one shouldn't be able to tell the difference heh 😄  

of course it is understandable that for some persons and institutions cinematography is just like choosing a paper for a book which will be published. no one cares about the exact specifics of the paper as long as it is not super annoying to handle and the print quality is good enough. so "not annoying and not too cheap looking" just like most of the Netflix stuff and the Marvel type of stuff which is very good looking but every movie looks always exactly the same (no difference in the visual style), only the character count will increase every time 😄 

for other persons and projects it is like choosing the right instrument for playing a concert piece. If "not annoying and not too cheap looking" is not good enough for the persons and institutions, then the format choice DOES matter and people start to feel it. maybe if playing some crappy pop music it does not matter that much (you can play pop music by whistling the melody and drumming the table to get the beat. no need to use real instruments for it, no one will care. Kinda like making a movie with the iPhone: as long as you can hear and see what is happening then it is perfectly OK and does not need to be enhanced further ) . if playing classical stuff, then it might matter a little if you are whistling the melody or if you are playing it with a cello or something. 

BTW how many of you are annoyed by the look difference when you are replacing tungsten lights with led units? especially on low colour temperatures like 2500 - 3200K-ish?    to me, most low temperature LED stuff looks like crap for skin colors and it is why I am still using tungsten if wanting anything under 4000K and if it is not too difficult to do with real tungsten lights. For higher temperatures the LEDs are generally OK because one is used to making high temperature "cool" lights with HMI or fluorescent so the poor spectral distribution/response is not a problem in most cases.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

well, most of it is like discussing whether you can play the same melody (the same notes) on synth and grand piano. People playing the same melody on both and then testifying that no one could tell the difference because the notes were the same! 

This is a pretty good analogy. Same thing for guitar amps, whether you are using a vintage Marshall JTM45 tube amp thru a specific cab with specific speakers thru a specific microphone, or a digital modeler direct into the computer. A great musician will make either sound great. But they won’t sound exactly the same, at least to those who know the difference. Is it good enough? That’s for each artist to decide for themselves.

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5 hours ago, Leonardo Gastel said:

I am looking for a book that takes in analysis the differences between the two mediums or perhaps a book that defends analog and why it shouldn't go away as a tool for expression. 

I'm not sure anyone has written an entire book about it. Many cinematographers have discussed it and their personal beliefs about why they chose the formats they chose. You can find articles about this in American Cinematographer as well. 

I don't know your experience with film, but currently there are new lab's being built all over the world, there are new stocks being developed, there are new cameras in development, the pricing for cameras has skyrocketed back to pre 2010 numbers. I mean I don't think there needs to be a book about it until it's going away and currently, we're seeing a growing trend. 

Now, 2020 wasn't a good year for any industry, especially the cinema. What needs to be discussed is the rebirth of cinema, but using film as a springboard. To me, the death of GOOD film presentation is more critical. 

 

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5 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

.. currently there are new lab's being built all over the world, there are new stocks being developed, there are new cameras in development, the pricing for cameras has skyrocketed back to pre 2010 numbers. 

I'm curious to know where new labs are opening and who is developing new cameras.

I know Logmar introduced a new 65mm camera in 2018 which has helped fill the shortage of 65mm cameras, but do you know of anything else on the horizon?

I wish Australia could get a film lab capable of supporting large features, but I doubt the demand is there. Of course it's a bit of a chicken/egg situation, where no-one shoots on film here because of the lab shortage, so no-one wants to open a lab.

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I haven't seen every single test that could be done, but I have seen a lot of comparisons. You just have to find them.

I could virtue signal and say that you should not care about gear, but I won't, because that's a lie. If you're a DP, your whole job is to care about gear. The audience doesn't have to care, but you do.

It's also a lie to say that every situation needs a different camera, because a good camera can be used for anything. There are small, local exceptions to this, however. I don't think I need to give you examples.

Lenses are a whole different kettle of fish, though, but you should also care as much about lenses as you do about cameras. There are lots of useful lens comparisons out there.

This Zacuto shootout was very useful, IMHO, in showing the technology of the time - but beware, because it's very out-dated now. It was done long before the GH5, the A7S, and the Dragon sensor. Here's episode 1:

What is not out-dated is the measurements done on 5219 and 5213. Those emulsions haven't changed. The test also shows that the now outdated MX sensor was two stops behind the Alexa's sensor, which is pretty much what everyone observed at the time.

What is true is that if the sensor is good enough, you can emulate any colour palette with it. Perhaps it won't work in all situations, but it's very, very reliable. Look at how Fujifilm puts film profiles in their digital cameras. What digital can't do is capture light sources properly under low ambient light, although the Monstro might possibly be good at it (I haven't seen enough data). The best example is traffic lights.

I do prefer film in a lot of ways, but the good news is that if you can't afford it, digital is more than good enough these days. There are subjective reasons to shoot film over digital, but they won't be the same for everyone. Because of that, there's no real 'right' answer. It's a matter of understanding the compromises.

What is lacking is a more comprehensive comparison done by one group of people. That's no surprise, because they are not easy to do, and they aren't cheap either. However, you can find a lot of comparisons done by different people - it's just a matter of searching.

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1 hour ago, Dom Jaeger said:

I'm curious to know where new labs are opening and who is developing new cameras.

I know Logmar introduced a new 65mm camera in 2018 which has helped fill the shortage of 65mm cameras, but do you know of anything else on the horizon?

I wish Australia could get a film lab capable of supporting large features, but I doubt the demand is there. Of course it's a bit of a chicken/egg situation, where no-one shoots on film here because of the lab shortage, so no-one wants to open a lab.

There is a new Canadian lab which is under development right now according to one of my Toronto based film friends. 

Take a look at the lab list, this use to be pretty vacant and now is pretty populated with re-opened older labs AND new labs which sprung up. https://www.kodak.com/en/motion/page/labs#Hungary

Logmar is developing a new 16mm camera that maybe pretty promising. 

There is a new film stock being developed and believe it or not, there is a pretty big push to install film projectors in new "arthouse"' theater build-out's, according to my friends who rep that stuff. 

Now obviously, much of this happened prior to covid, so who knows where things sit today. 

I don't know if Neglab in Australia survived Covid or not, but they were still around pre-covid. Due to the cost of shooting in Australia, I don't know if it's worth someone investing in a fancy lab at this point, it's very costly. 

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11 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

There is a new Canadian lab which is under development right now according to one of my Toronto based film friends. 

Take a look at the lab list, this use to be pretty vacant and now is pretty populated with re-opened older labs AND new labs which sprung up. https://www.kodak.com/en/motion/page/labs#Hungary

Logmar is developing a new 16mm camera that maybe pretty promising. 

There is a new film stock being developed and believe it or not, there is a pretty big push to install film projectors in new "arthouse"' theater build-out's, according to my friends who rep that stuff. 

Now obviously, much of this happened prior to covid, so who knows where things sit today. 

I don't know if Neglab in Australia survived Covid or not, but they were still around pre-covid. Due to the cost of shooting in Australia, I don't know if it's worth someone investing in a fancy lab at this point, it's very costly. 

Tyler where did you find out about Logmar working on a 16mm? Would be Super 16?

I tried to look on google but nothing comes out other than the 8mm and 65mm cameras from Logmar.

To have a new Super 16 camera since the Arri 416 would be exciting to say the least.........

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1 hour ago, Leonardo Gastel said:

Tyler where did you find out about Logmar working on a 16mm? Would be Super 16?

I would assume it's super 16 or some variant of that format. I have a close friend who is friends with the team over at Logmar, he said the 16mm camera is their focus right now. I haven't heard from him in a year tho... Covid may have shut the whole thing down for all I know. 

I doubt it will be anywhere near what the 416 can deliver sadly. Logmar's whole business model is "MOS" cameras, so it'll be interesting to see what they come up with. 

If someone had $500k in their pocket they wanted to invest, I'm ready to quit my job and work with one of my friends to develop a "refreshed" Aaton. I've already hinted to them that I'd like to work out a deal for leasing the patents and they seemed ok with the concept.

A new sync sound quiet camera is possible, but only if we change the design substantially to make it less expensive to manufacture. 

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10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Where I love Yedlin's demo's, the amount of effort it takes to "recreate" the look of film, is probably more than it cost to just shoot the darn project on film to begin with. 

Is that true, though? The way I see it, you only need to create a LUT once.

The trick is, does the LUT fall apart at a certain point? Or is it all easy sailing? I don't see any discussion on this, if it's a thing to begin with.

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2 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

Is that true, though? The way I see it, you only need to create a LUT once.

The trick is, does the LUT fall apart at a certain point? Or is it all easy sailing? I don't see any discussion on this, if it's a thing to begin with.

Can't be that easy, it seems Yedlin is the only person who has been able to make it work.

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On 5/31/2021 at 3:18 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

Take a look at the lab list, this use to be pretty vacant and now is pretty populated with re-opened older labs AND new labs which sprung up. https://www.kodak.com/en/motion/page/labs#Hungary

Most of those entries aren't even labs. Out of the five Canadian entries for example two are scanning/post production houses, two are "recovery" labs that don't process new films, and only one is an actual lab that processes new film. If you trawl through all the other countries it's pretty much the same, mostly scanning houses or little Super 8 labs. I want to be optimistic about the future of film, but I don't appreciate being fed bullshit by Kodak marketing.

On 5/31/2021 at 3:18 PM, Tyler Purcell said:


Logmar is developing a new 16mm camera that maybe pretty promising. 

Again, more empty hype. Anything Logmar make will barely register in the bigger picture. Nobody needs an expensive MOS 16mm camera, and they can't possibly make anything to compete with the cameras that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars. A new 16mm camera is likely to end up in the same place as the Super 8 camera they designed for Kodak.  I feel like the grinch crushing little kids dreams, but honestly, any talk of "new cameras" coming along to change the landscape is really just not realistic.

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film will remain in a niche / boutique roll .. thats just logic .. its done basically ..it costs more .. bean counters don't like it ..they always win .. but why worry .. Digital is now as good .. who cares what its shot on .. lets worry about the films themselves  ( enough of the escapist bollocks opiate of the masses )..  scripts ,directing , lighting and acting .. ie what really matters ...  end of debate .. next ... 

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forum member David Sekanina was making a new silent super16 camera. Don't know about the current status of the project but I think that is the only new sound sync 16mm camera in development at the moment (modifying the existing camera models does not count)

Custom electronics are relatively straightforward to do but custom precision mechanics are challenging and time consuming ( = EXPENSIVE) to make. there's another threads about the issue with exactly the same conclusions: silent and precise movie camera is not cheap to make from scratch and it takes enormous amount of time and resources. There is very few persons willing to pay the real costs for making this type of product. Meaning that one needs to do certain amount of free work to make this type of camera available, making it a "semi-commercial" project which is not likely to get any funding unless a kickstarter or something could work

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3 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Can't be that easy, it seems Yedlin is the only person who has been able to make it work.

I doubt that. It's surely not that difficult. Although he's not the first do to it, he actually showed us how he did it. It does take time though, I accept that.

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1 hour ago, Robin R Probyn said:

 scripts ,directing , lighting and acting .. ie what really matters ...  end of debate .. next ... 

You're a DP. You are supposed to care about the technical stuff. You don't have to prefer film to digital, though - that is your choice as a skilled technician. I like both, FWIW.

But the debate never ends, because that debate is part of your job. If a producer asks you why you aren't shooting film (or why you are), do you tell him that "the debate is over" like Al Gore might say, or do you give him reasons?

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the biggest issue of the film workflow is that you need to wait before you can verify that the end result was what you intended it to be and to see if something has to be reshot or not. For the director and the DP the wait time can be OK but the producers really really hate the extra waiting because there is always the 20k to 200k usd uncertainty in their minds that something has to be reshot. with digital they can ask the DIT to quickly check everything on the card and make a extra copy for them and then clinge on the copy and tell themselves that the scene is perfect now and no uncertainty can chew on the budget of that shooting day anymore.

So the main thing is the producers fearing to go over budget if shooting on film. To them there is a additional risk when using any film based workflow and they always want to eliminate all the risks they can. The artists working for them generally have very little to say on that.

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33 minutes ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

You're a DP. You are supposed to care about the technical stuff. You don't have to prefer film to digital, though - that is your choice as a skilled technician. I like both, FWIW.

But the debate never ends, because that debate is part of your job. If a producer asks you why you aren't shooting film (or why you are), do you tell him that "the debate is over" like Al Gore might say, or do you give him reasons?

haven't shoot film for over 30 years .. in my market it died a long time ago.. for docs .. if I was requested to shoot film now I'd say no .. for docs it was a pain .. 10. minute 400ft loads .. and anyway it never happens , at best it will stay a niche market in features .. well thats already happened .. I honestly dont have a preference looks wise .. but digital is easier to work with .. and can now "look " as good .. and so thees days , script etc is far more important ..  its like worrying about the color of a plane but not care about the state of the engines or a drunk pilot staggering up the steps .. .. time to move on .. I have spoken .. 

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on documentaries the film works pretty well for MOS stuff, insert shots and flashback scenes. But shooting talking heads on film does not work very well in most situations so you will generally want to shoot the talking heads on video in any case. That makes it a multi format production which is generally fine even when you have to explain the producer why it makes sense to make the movie that way. Most documentaries are multi format anyway even when shooting all digital... there is just not enough light and personnel and grip gear to make the same camera work in all shooting situations so you need to change camera scene by scene to make it work

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