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Re: super 16mm questions

Hi Rob.
Hope  I can Be of assistance. My experience shows the following, but it may not
be gospel.

> The image on the negative, however, was no larger
than a normal 16mm frame, and the client confirmed he hadn't shot
the film as Super 16.

Some labs do not look at the picture - Single perf means it might be Super
16mm, and hey lets no take any chances. Also it is possible, but unusual,  to
shoot with S16 optics, but frame for normal 16mm, just as it is normal to frame
for academy, but shoot open gate.

>I've heard Rank has a Super 16 gate for rent; are the runners the only

Not really, Super 16mm has a larger image area. The old S16 gate used a 35mm
gate lens to see the extra picture, but this did mean smaller patch size, and
hence the burn problem. This gate also had noticeably poor corner resolution.
There is a relatively new gate (about 2 years now) that has special optics, and
gives a normal size patch. This also has the advantage of not requiring corner
focus correction(an extra lens under the runners) and so lest dirt in the gate
problems. Corner resolution is improved too.

> I'm hesitant to run much Super 16 film through our Ranks because
with the necessary smaller patch on the tube (due to zooming out to
get the whole frame), burn becomes an issue when we go back to our
normal 35mm patch.  Anyone else share this concern?

The new gate, when properly set up in scan align, should not cause any problems
at all. This,  makes the ursa ideal for s16. Mk III users will be reluctant to
do as much work!!!

> What are the differences between a Super 16 camera and regular 16?
Single sprocket drive and mask?  Is this 7297 film stock I saw a
specially-designated "Super 16" stock?

As you say, plus different lenses. The stock is the same, but single perf.

Super 16 is popular in Europe because it closer to 16:9 formats, including Pal
Plus. However, for purists, 16:9 is ac*tually a ratio of 1.77:1 and Super 16 is
effectively 1.66:1. I can confirm that in practice this *does mean that S16
gets cropped a little in the height on true 16:9 formats.
Even on regular 4:3 tvs the extra picture area, plus the smaller size, (the
letterbox means the actual magnification is significantly less than that of
regular 16mm) gives the pictures a noticeably improved resolution.

Re alignment films Options have promised a S16 alignment, but it has not been
passed by SMPTE. It seems there is no single standard, so I set up the geometry
using standard 16 tests, zoomed in, and then zoomed out to get the full width. 
The lack of test films is a constant problem. 
Hope this helps

Kevin, Zurich