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Re: Primetime 2

>>Primetime is mainly designed and targeted for episodic TV work.

It's designed ONLY for television work. The response curves have been
altered to respond in an optimized manner for video transfer (and
scanning). Because of the changes (mostly in the peak red layer response),
the stock will not print correctly on film (I believe there would be cyan
lowlights and magenta highlights, but it could be the other way around - in
any case, it does not yield a projectible print). I think Kodak has been
somewhat evasive and confusing on this subject, by claiming that you can
print to an IP and then make dupes from there. This implies that during the
2 stage intermediate process, you can correct for the video optimized
colorimetry, when, in fact, you cannot. All you accomplish is the creation
of a new dupe neg that will not print correctly either, but is correctable
in an electronic transfer.

>Anyone else have any information of value on this topic???
>Personally, I have'nt seen enough of this stock to form a
>judgement yet.

The primary complaints I've heard (mostly from cameramen who shot pilots on
the stock; Eastman "seeded" the pilot DP's with a few million feet for
free) and seen have been the "overprotection" of the highlights. Kodak
changed the response curves (this is in addition to the colorimetry changes
I mentioned above) to give far more overexposure protection than any stock
ever made. Many of us feel they went too far -- the stock has a distinctly
"flat" look as a result. One cameraman was particularly bothered that in
order to "blow out" a window (intentionally), he lit it 5 stops over -- and
it wasn't enough! This is an issue that Chris Dumont (a friend and the lead
engineer on the project for Kodak) discussed with myself and Mike Robin
(co-executive producer on NYPD Blue) about a month ago. I wasn't able to
attend Chris' presentation last week, but at the time we discussed altering
the curves one more time to cut back a bit on the overexposure protection.
BTW, the response of at least 3 cameramen that I worked with, after tests,
was to rate the allegedly 640 ASA stock at 320 (one even went to 250) to
get a little more "pizazz". Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. For
me, the high point of Primetime is its color pallette - far better
separation than anything I've seen, particularly in terms of retention of
mixed light. It seems to hold on to warm practicals and colors like pure
yellow even when you time the shot to be on the cool side overall. That's
nice, and it prevents you from having to use secondaries to retain these
colors artificially. It's also quite good at handling mixed color
temperatures. The bottom line is: if you work in television, you're going
to transfer a lot of Primetime. That's because they're pricing it about a
nickel a foot lower than 5298 -- and making some very sharp deals to
certain producers as well. This repositions 98 as a "premium" stock that
will be used primarily for features and commercials, but the price
differential will assure that Primetime will largely replace it for

One final note -- according to everything I've heard, there are currently
no plans to introduce Primetime in 16mm.


Michael D. Most           |            Encore Video
mmost at cerf.net            |            Hollywood, CA.