Kodak to Ilford : Alternative Products.

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Keith Tapscott, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Actually the strongest reason for going digital is a direct editing process.
    You don't need to edit a film on a computer and then try to stick the
    negatives back together in the proper order to create a print.

    Distribution is also much easier. The compressed video can be encrypted
    and sent over the Internet, satellite or optical disk. The problem is
    that the current projection systems don't have the resolution of film.

    This problem will disapear in a few years when Organic Light Emiting
    Diode (oLED) technology becomes common. Current display screens are
    limited in size, number of pixels and cost. oLED screens can be
    manufactured in a process similar to printing with an ink ject printer.

    The problem with oLED screens is that they have a relativley limited
    lifetime, but in 5-10 years it will be cheap enough for a movie theater
    to close for an afternoon, roll up and remove the old screen and unroll
    and install a new one.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Nov 11, 2005
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  2. They already are, in cell phones. They will be common very soon in
    computer LCD type screens- they will also drastic lower the cost of
    producing laptops and other screens.-From what I have heard.
    The next greatest American thing-the disposable Laptop.
    Gregory Blank, Nov 11, 2005
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  3. There's one huge benefit in particular for theatregoers, too: chain theatres
    often instruct their (poorly trained, poorly paid, often incompetent, often
    absent during much of the run of a film in states that permit that)
    projectionists to adjust the projectors so that the film is slightly out
    of focus (too far from the light source) to reduce the risk of heat damage
    to the film. If you know what a properly focused 35mm print can look like
    (gorgeous, of course) and are conscious of this issue it's tremendously
    obvious that *most* films shown in *most* theatres these days are in fact
    significantly out of focus.

    With digital projectors this simply isn't an issue. This means that the
    end-to-end performance of the projection system -- whether the native
    resolution of 35 or 70mm film or the current digital projectors is
    better being left largely by the wayside -- is often far better for a
    digital system simply because such systems aren't deliberately adjusted

    That said, a few chains have started to put in low-end digital systems
    recently out of frustration with waiting for the technology for the higher
    end systems to mature and become less expensive. On a screen the size of
    that in most real movie theatres, even chain ones, I think that such systems
    don't have enough resolution to lok good (on the other hand, for the 70"
    square screen at my house, a 1024x768 projector looks terrific -- it's all
    a function of just what you're adking the system to do).

    The real systems intended for theatre use are very, very good. The Pixar
    films often show them off very well. If you're in New York next time a
    Pixar film is in the theatres try to catch it at the big Loews' on 42nd
    Street that's in the same building as the Chevy's restaurant, but make
    sure you see it *in the digital theatre* (sometimes they show the same
    film in analog and digital); it's a great way to see what high-end digital
    projection systems can do.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Nov 11, 2005
  4. Keith Tapscott

    John Guest

    It'll be a while I think. Here's the ultimate LED/LCD for the
    photographer :

    John, Nov 12, 2005
  5. Interesting for 7k you can have a LCD screen that will display Adobe
    1998. Course I don't have that kind of money to bandy about, but
    interesting none the less.
    Gregory Blank, Nov 12, 2005
  6. Keith Tapscott

    Derek Gee Guest

    There is no huge conversion going on. Why? Theater owners will not pay for
    it, as there is NO savings for them, and the movie studios are reluctant to
    pay for the switch as well. On top of that, projection technology is
    changing very rapidly, making the equipment installed two years ago

    Derek Gee, Nov 13, 2005
  7. Have you ever adjusted a large theatrical projector? The film transport
    can be moved relative to the light source -- I've done it myself -- and
    this, of course, changes focus because it _also_ moves the film relative
    to the lens. It works very much like adjusting the upper bellows on a
    condenser enlarger.

    If you don't believe that chain theatres often run films slightly out of
    focus to avoid burning prints, go find someone who works as a projectionist
    in such a theatre and ask him.

    You seem to have the idea that foul language and LOUD UPPERCASE TYPING
    somehow establish that you're right. Has it ever occurred to you that,
    even though you sometimes _do_ have useful things to say, your obnoxious
    SHOUTING AND FUCKING SWEARING ALL THE TIME really just give most people
    here the idea that in fact you're unable to tell whether you're right or
    wrong, but, gosh, you sure are loud about it.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Nov 13, 2005
  8. Keith Tapscott

    UC Guest

    Utter bullshit.

    UC, Nov 13, 2005
  9. Ignore or kill file the trouble makers and they go away.
    Gregory Blank, Nov 13, 2005
  10. I don't know about the other guy, but I have (I own two of them
    and have also run many different types of setups: carbon-arc,
    xenon, 16/35/70mm, etc).
    Yes, this is called focusing the lamp. Normally, you remove the
    lens and get the adjustment in the ballpark, then you replace the
    lens and tweak it. Then you re-focus the lens with film in the
    machine. No big deal, and no loss of image focus.
    I have worked as a projectionist for about seven years on a
    special-event/part-time basis and have never heard of this. Yes,
    it's true that de-focusing the LAMP reduces the chances of causing
    "arc-burn" to a print (which is normally only an issue with B&W
    silver prints and/or very large lamps), but this has nothing to do
    with the LENS focus and, thus, the focus of the image on the screen.

    If the on-screen image is out of focus, then either a) the operator
    is incapable of adjusting the "focus" knob; b) the scene in question
    was shot or printed out of focus (which sometimes happens); c) the
    theatre is using crappy lenses or (more likely) the "operator" is
    also the popcorn girl and she has smeared greas on the lenses and/or
    port glass; or d) the projector gate is adjusted improperly and is
    not holding the film flat and parallel to the lens.
    Scott Norwood, Nov 13, 2005
  11. I first read of this problem in an article on the quality of
    projection at the "premium" theatres in New York City (now down
    pretty much to just the Ziegfield since the Astor Plaza closed) when
    compared to chain theatres around the city. It didn't make much
    sense to me, either -- why not just refocus the lens appropriately,
    whatever position the lamp and film gate are in relative to the
    rest of the assembly? So I asked an acquaintance who worked as a
    projectionist at a chain theatre while he was in school. He said that
    at the theatre he worked at, the lenses for various formats are in
    fixed-focus adapters that supposedly allow the swapping of lenses to
    accomodate different formats with no refocusing required. He claimed
    -- and maybe this is false -- that the lamps were, at the dictate of
    management, sufficiently defocused to avoid burning prints that it was
    not possible to adjust the lens adapters to give correct back focus
    for all formats on all projectors, resulting in slightly out-of-focus
    images projected on the screen. At least that's how I've always
    understood what he said, but perhaps he was blowing smoke at me or I
    failed to understand something.

    I can try to dig up the article in question; I think it was in the
    New Yorker. I just ordered their archive DVD... I'll dig a bit when
    it gets here.

    Whatever the cause, I notice serious focus problems at chain theatres
    all the time, even in chains' "flagship" theatres like the AMC 25 or
    the giant Lowes across the street from each other near Times Square.
    In those same theatres, the digital projection systems are almost
    always in perfect focus and well maintained -- though there was a
    period about two years ago when the one at the Lowes had several stuck
    red pixels, and management didn't understand the problem well enough
    to give refunds or get things fixed in a timely manner.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Nov 13, 2005
  12. Just to be sure I grasp the issue, a defocused lamp with a correctly
    focused lens should give uneven illumination -- not poor image focus.
    Is that correct?

    It's been about 15 years since I spent any time tinkering with a 35mm
    projector. I wish I had the opportunity to do it again, though I think
    I'd be a lot more scared that I'd break something than I was in my
    callow youth. :)
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Nov 13, 2005
  13. Keith Tapscott

    UC Guest

    Be sure first to ignore those who post utter bullshit.
    UC, Nov 13, 2005
  14. Keith Tapscott

    raoul Guest

    Who loves ya, Peeps?
    raoul, Nov 13, 2005
  15. [a whole bunch of stuff that makes no sense]
    Depends on the _lamp_ defocus. You can get one or more of:

    1) a dim image
    2) a bull's eye, dark corners bright center
    3) a nice picture of the lamp filament

    The lamp is not focused/collimated on the image but on the
    back of the lens.

    Lamp focus should have _no_ interaction with film focus. I imagine
    a projector can be made where they interact but it makes no sense,
    I don't even see where such a design would lower product cost.

    Moving just the film gate would effect only the film focus, not the
    lamp focus. It [can] also affect the film format to be illuminated.

    Condenser focusing that moves the film gate is easy to see on the
    large[er] Beseler enlargers. Beseler calls this 'the cone of
    light' design. The light cone from the condenser to the lens stays
    the same. The negative is inserted into the cone at various
    points: small negatives near the tip of the cone and close
    to the lens; large negatives at the base of the cone, close
    to the condenser and far from the lens. The condenser lenses
    are designed to project a cone that is the same angle as the
    covering angle of the lens.

    Getting a slightly fuzzy movie theatre image on the screen
    is a matter of millimeters. My guess is that the management
    installed a fixed focus system so that the projector was
    never out of focus and instead ended up with a projector
    that was never _in_ focus: a common engineering conundrum.
    Condenser focus may have been clamped down to keep the
    popcorn girl from moving the condensers and burning
    the film. I doubt the theater management cares about film
    fade but I am sure they care if they lose business because
    their picture is dimmer than the competition.

    This sounds like a none-too-intelligent newspaper reporter
    was informed by a none-too-cognizant popcorn girl.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Nov 14, 2005
  16. On the old Zeiss and Kodak 35mm projectors I tinkered with on a few
    occasions, the film gate could be moved forward or back by a good
    centimetre or so. Since I read that article years ago and inquired with
    my friend the mall-multiplex "projectionist" I've always assumed that the
    focus problem being described was caused by moving the film gate forward,
    away from the light source, close enough to the rear lens element that for
    some lenses (e.g. lenses mounted in the adapters he described) it'd be
    too close to the rear element to make sharp focus possible. If that
    doesn't square with how big projectors are used in practice -- then it
    doesn't, of course. It all seemed pretty plausible to me at the time.
    Now, here's what bothers me: I think the New Yorker article in question
    was written by one of the film department folks at Tisch -- I remember
    recognizing the name when I read it. Those folks certainly know how
    taking -- and projection -- equipment works and is used.

    I'm not sure the article was in the NY'er; it might have been in _New York_
    which is of course a much less credible publication in general. When that
    DVD gets here I'll see what I can find and see how it squares with my
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Nov 14, 2005
  17. If the links are in response to my query thanks, I will read them
    I have no doubt the industry will convert to digital eventually,
    maybe even soon, mostly because it is cheaper to distribute
    electronically and probably more secure (remains to be seen). So, we
    will see fancy television at the theater.
    This thread is now so extended I am not sure where I read certain
    things so I will respond here. I've not seen enough digital stuff in
    commercial theaters to form an opinion of its overall quality. Its also
    a new process so problems causing poor quality will likely disappear in
    the future.
    As far is poor quality film presentations, those have been with us
    forever. There are problems everywhere, poorly maintained equipment,
    incompetent projectionists (where they even exist now), poorly
    installed or maintained sound equipment. I've also seen many very poor
    prints, some from quite respectible labs. I remember seeing one movie
    at our large theater ( 20th Century Fox) which was printed out of focus
    throughout. Easy to tell, the film grain was sharp. I hasten to say
    this was not a Fox picture nor a product of Deluxe labs. I don't see
    as many bad prints now as in the 1960s-1980s but there are still
    plenty. Partly this is likely due to the enormous number of prints made
    for general release. Its interesting to compare this stuff to prints
    from the 1940s which were consistently good.
    Converting from film to television may help. When this happens it
    will substantially reduce the market for color film. I don't have
    statistics on how much of Kodak and Fuji output goes to the movie
    business but with the switch to digital by snapshooters its likely
    substantial. If that goes away both companies are likely to discontinue
    color film.
    Ilford is in a somewhat different place since they do not make color
    film. I think there will be a continuing albeit small market for
    conventional B&W material and, with the demise of the big guys (Kodak
    and Agfa) there will be enough to support a smaller company, or maybe a
    couple. Keep in mind that Kodak was perfectly enormous. A market too
    small to justify their interest in it may still be large enough for a
    much smaller company to find profitable.
    This may all be wishful thinking on my part, I hope not. Digital has
    many advantages over conventional silver based photography, but I enjoy
    working with it and digital is too, what shall I say, routine.
    Artists interested only in producing a product won't care, any
    medium that works is OK, but I've spent a lot of time and effort to
    learn the "magic" of silver based photography and am reluctant to let
    it go.
    As far as movies go I am more concerned with the quality of the
    drama than the medium. To me its amazing what the practitioners in the
    old days did with astonishingly clumsy equipment.
    Yours for a Movieola at midnight...
    Richard Knoppow, Nov 14, 2005
  18. Hear hear!


    Lawrence Akutagawa, Nov 14, 2005
  19. As things become "easier", its easier to forget how magic is created.
    Gregory Blank, Nov 14, 2005
  20. An optical engineer knows as much about directing movies
    as a movie director knows about optical design. And that's
    as it should be.

    IME, artists have some really wild ideas about how and why things
    work. And engineers and scientists have some really embarrassing
    ideas about art
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Nov 14, 2005
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