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Re: B&W neg transfers


>>The  Rank (Mark IV?) transfer had midtone breakup or

You do not say what, if any color corrector was used in addition to the Rank.
I suspect you are referring to a Rank 4:2:2, I am not aware a Mk IV exists.

Mid tone breakup could be caused by a number of things, possibly by 8 bit
processing, (the breakup would show as a sort of banding) in which case any
Ursa Gold might help.Whatever the cause it is an indication that some of the
tonal range on the neg has been lost.

More likely the breakup was caused by trying to force the contrast too early in
the transfer process, probably because the PECs or colorgrade controls were
crushing over loading in one or more color channels. PECs need to be low so
they are not oversaturating, and colorgrade needs to be balanced enough to
prevent clipping. I recommend *not* using the rank mono switch, and relying on
saturation controls. This allows (rgb) colorgrading to influence contrast, in
addition to the dedicated color controls. Add green for strongest contrast.

So there is a way round it, most easily by having extra processing power from
Da Vinci or Pogle DCP. I have a fair history of B & W work, and can assure you
that it should not be necesary to compensate exposures, or filters for that
matter. My general advice would be to scan it flat (ie low gain) and add
contrast as late in the path as possible ie in Da Vinci. Also the RGBY
processing used by da Vinci is preferable to the RGB approach of Rank in the
quest for clean pix. 

Noise reduction is not really the best tool here because a) it is shutting the
door after the horse has bolted, and b) noice reducer  algorithms are largely
intended to deal with film grain, not "noise enhancemen"t from the grading.

Hope this helps and inspires confidence to shoot the pictures you want to
shoot. 35mm B&W stocks have a rich quality all of their own, and I have worked
on a handful of jobs where color stock would just not have had the impact.
(Even with secondary luminance the whole tonal range is wrong. You know red
comes out grey instead of black etc etc), although if 16mm cameras are to be
used, the benefits do not seem so apparent, and noise does become more of a
problem. I recommend the use of color stocks for 16mm B&W shoots. I find the
issue of shedding only reevant to 16mm stocks because of the glass lens just
below the film, required for corner resolution. On 35mm gates there is no where
for the dust to settle noticeably. (Do BTS machines have this problem?)

- out and about...

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