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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 18th, 2004, 12:30 PM   #1
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16:9 transfer to film

If you transfer the 16:9 image from the XL2 to 16mm film, or even super 16mm, wouldn't it cut off the sides of the image, due to the different aspect ratio's?

If that's true, then wouldn't 35mm be your only real transfer option to film?

I can understand shooting on digital, and then, if accepted into film festivals, or if you feel you've made something worthy, then transferring to film. But if 16:9 limits you to 35mm, then that would really be cost prohibitive for most people...Which would mean that the 16:9 option is really for TV output, digital projection in a theater, or someone that could afford 35mm film in the first place, and is shooting on digital for some other reason, but not really for a lower budget transfer to film.

Is this right?
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Old October 18th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #2
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You could stretch it so it was anamorphic when printing to film. Then you just need a lens to display it properly. Not sure the practicality of that.


???
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Old October 18th, 2004, 01:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Jacob. That makes sense. I know they use different lenses on 35mm projectors...Does anyone know if this is done for 16mm??

I suppose if you transferring to super 16, which has an aspect ratio of 1.65, you wouldn't be losing much.

Everyone puts a lot of emphasis on 16:9, but are most people thinking of transferring that to film, or just capturing the letterboxed film aspect ratio on a TV screen, thus making it appear more "film-like"?
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Old October 18th, 2004, 01:56 PM   #4
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The film-like aspect ratio is probably the #1 reason to choose 16:9 I would think, regardless of your final output.

If you think about outputing to DVD, 16:9 makes a lot of sense. Does too for 35mm output.

Personally I have a harder time composing a shot in 4:3. Eisenstein thought the square was the perfect shape for composition, I'm far from being one of that camp. Always thought the perfect ratio (for me) would be 2:1.

Anyway, shooting 16:9 makes sense if you're outputing to DVD, 35mm, anamorphic 16mm, or S16mm. It also makes sense for Web distribution.

But I'm not sure Networks that are not HDTV compliant yet would be thrilled to receive some 16:9 footage. They might require some pan and scan (a technique I despise with all my heart).
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Old October 18th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #5
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Does anyone actually do an anamorphic 16mm transfer, or even video-to-super16 transfers?


I think most film festivals are capable of projecting digitally now, so it's not really that big of an issue.
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Old October 18th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #6
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Transferring to 16mm is basically a dead idea nowadays.

Back when festivals didn't have video projection capability, transferring to 16mm was a low-cost way to project video-originated material. But now most nearly all festivals support video projection, and transferring to 16mm will usually just ruin your sound and give you a grainer image.

35mm is about the only format it makes sense to transfer to, and even then only for theatrical distribution (or tests for the feasability of future theatrical distribution).
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Old October 19th, 2004, 08:49 AM   #7
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I've only seen one 16mm print in the last 10 years in a theater, and that was a film that was pretty old and nothing existed but 2 16mm prints. I think it's a dead issue. Only one theatert hat I know of here has has a 16mm projector, and it's almost never used.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 11:08 AM   #8
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16mm is pretty much only useful for students in film schools now. But no student is going to shoot DV and transfer to 16mm.

A few years ago, transfering to 16mm still made sense for film festivals, but now there's more digital projections than 16mm, so even that isn't an issue anymore.

So yes, outside of those academic walls, 16mm is quickly dying, just like 8mm died a long time ago. When will 35mm be next? I say 10 years.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #9
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Hopefully ONLY when digital technology can replicate exactly what film does.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #10
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Looking at the present HDTV capabilities, I think it will surpass film long before the switch is made by theaters and production houses.

The real problem will be changing the infrastructures, all those 35mm projection systems. Just like oil companies are trying to hold back the electric car revolution, theaters probably want nothing to do with digital, as this means their own equipment becomes obsolete and they have to re-invest in an all new digital projection system.

But HDTV isn't that far from film as far as the eye can see. In fact, it's already much cleaner than film could ever be, when it comes to graininess for example. The only true downfall is dynamic range. But really, how long before they figure this out? 5 years maybe?

Digital is the way of the not so distant future, and purists that beleive what Kodak is preaching (film will never die, we can still improve film stock by a substantial margin, etc.) will be left in the dust. And this is coming from a guy that hates 60i video.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #11
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>>Just like oil companies are trying to hold back the electric car revolution<<

Yeah but the difference is Oil Companies just don't have a choice. We're gonna run out of oil before we run out of 35mm film!
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