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Jonathan Bryant

16mm Quality

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Where in your oppinion would you rate the different speed 16mm film stocks compared to other formats.

 

Example:

 

35mm

VIPER CAM

16mm 50 iso

Cinealta HDCAM

16mm 200 iso

Varicam DVCPRO HD

16mm 500 iso

SDX 900 DVC PRO 50

DVX 100

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This is a pretty subjective question.

It comes down to a matter of taste.

 

With all variables being equal I would almost always pick super 16 over HD. Mostly because I like grain. I don't care for the clean look of HD and I don't like the highlight burn.

 

All Super 16 stocks can be scanned to 2K which a bit better resolution than uncompressed HD, and is far better resolution than compressed HD. Super 16 can also being scanned to a higher bit color depth than HD can record.

 

But others will prefer HD in certain situations for various reasons.

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Also keep in mind that newer 500 speed stocks (like Kodak's VISION2 7218) are less grainy than older 500 speed stocks. But grain is part of the "film look." Even anamorphic 35mm footage has grain if you look close enough.

 

If you don't want ANY grain, you'll be better off with one of the digital formats. I personally prefer Super 16mm because of the color and exposure latitude. And I like the grain. I think 35mm stuff looks a little too clean sometimes.

 

And don't forget that choice of lens can make a big difference in perceived image quality, too.

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Kodak has a demo DVD about the difference between 16mm, 35mm and Digital Betacam... it would be worth calling Kodak and asking them to send it to you (its free).

 

I'm sure much of the DigiBeta look would carry through to HD, just in a higher resolution. The difference was most appearent on a bright day when there were alot of whites. Video just couldn't show detail in the brighter areas where film captured more information and looked warmer.

 

There is so much to consider, especially lighting, that it is hard to get a real comparison... but it appears that with the same size crew and lighting expertise, its easier to get a better picture out of Super 16 than one of the HD cameras you mentioned.

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Kodak has a demo DVD about the difference between 16mm, 35mm and Digital Betacam... it would be worth calling Kodak and asking them to send it to you (its free).

 

Is this the demo you are thinking of?

 

GET EXPOSED: Request a copy of the EXPOSED DVD.

 

We asked 14 of the television industry?s renowned producers and cinematographers from around the world to reveal their thoughts about film and electronic capture. They talked to us about their experiences with both. What works for them and why. What they like? and don?t like. Where they see things going in the future. And how they make their choice in the first place.

 

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/16mm/exp...orderform.jhtml

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Is this the demo you are thinking of?

 

GET EXPOSED: Request a copy of the EXPOSED DVD.

 

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/16mm/exp...orderform.jhtml

 

That's a great one, good interviews, but I think the one I'm talking about is called "The Difference" from 2004.

 

There was a great test sequence where they shot a docked boat on a bright day and you could really see the difference between film and a DigiBeta camera. I realize DigiBeta isn't HD, but I would think the characteristics would be simular.

 

Actually, I really liked the DVD on the Vision2 stocks as well. I found it interesting that the DP that shot the 250D demo kept saying that he couldn't really explain why a daylight balanced film was necessary, but it just felt right. I don't have quite enough experience comparing daylight and tungsten films, but in transfers with a decent colorist, it doesn't seem to matter as much.

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I think I got the difference DVD but I will have to check when I get home. I do know that all the interviews were filmed on one of the 16mm 200 speed vision stocks. Most of the interviews looked good but a few were soft and had hair,dust, or dirt during the transfer. I didn't recall examples of digibeta vs 16mm film or anything maybe that is the other DVD.

 

I am interested in trying out this new 50 speed vision 2 stock. If well shot on video could it give 35mm a run for the money?

 

I do also wish there were newer inexpensive cameras. It seems like the only 16mm cameras being made today are 10,000 plus variety by Arri, and etc.

 

Don't get me wrong I am a film proponent. I think that nothing compares to films natural and wide dynamic range. I am just curious of what others peoples perceptions are.

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I think I got the difference DVD but I will have to check when I get home. I do know that all the interviews were filmed on one of the 16mm 200 speed vision stocks. Most of the interviews looked good but a few were soft and had hair,dust, or dirt during the transfer. I didn't recall examples of digibeta vs 16mm film or anything maybe that is the other DVD.

 

I am interested in trying out this new 50 speed vision 2 stock. If well shot on video could it give 35mm a run for the money?

 

I do also wish there were newer inexpensive cameras. It seems like the only 16mm cameras being made today are 10,000 plus variety by Arri, and etc.

 

Don't get me wrong I am a film proponent. I think that nothing compares to films natural and wide dynamic range. I am just curious of what others peoples perceptions are.

 

There isn't a comparison in terms of resolution.

U can't compare different things,it's like comparing an apple with a banana.

TV has lines (interlaced or single field)

Film has photochemical emulsion that is made by millions of molecules.

Dimitrios Koukas

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