This is topic Film vs Digital ... Lets put this one to bed. in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.
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Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 19, 2016, 09:34 AM:
Do you ever get bored and fed up debating with others flogging
this old warhorse to death ?
Lets face it and if we are truly honest with ourselves the
Digital image is far superior to film in a number of ways.
For decades Cinema Film Exhibitors and 35mm/70mm Film Projector
and Camera manufacturers strived and struggled to succeed in getting an absolutely rock steady image on very large screens.
They never quite achieved this as there was and is always a small amount of movement noticeable on the screen. No matter
how good the equipment or film stock or print.
Its the nature of the beast and intrinsic to the medium.
So this problem comes with the turf and cannot really be solved
There is also the issue of film going out of focus on the screen
as the reel unwinds. We end up with a slightly softer focus during the course of the film projection.
Cinema projectionists always have to keep an eye on this during
Another issue with film is of course wear and tear on the film print.
This starts from the first run of the print and continues thereafter.
It may not be noticeable at first but happens in small degrees
no matter how well the print and equipment is handled and maintained.
Yes you can use a film lube to coat and help protect the print
but in the end the print will still wear out.
Be it scratches or perforation strains or heat buckle it will
The reason being its a physical / mechanical tangible thing and vulnerable to exposure to the atmosphere and of course use over
So insofar as Cinema Projection of a movie is concerned Digital wins by a very large margin.
Okay I grant that Digital too has its faults and problems because it too is not perfect.
Yes Digital movie files can and do become corrupt from time
However in general daily use it does not suffer from any of the
drawbacks and defects of film.
It does not wear out during projection and these days gives an
excellent colour bandwidth that has now surpassed any film stocks.
It also now gives a very smooth flowing image on the screen.
Unlike the early days when it could appear a bit juddery during
fast moving shots. Digital always stays in focus too.
I still like film but these days DIGITAL IS KING.
I await your replies.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 09:54 AM:
I can't or won't disagree with anything you say there David.
All is true and every point you make is a valid one.
Ultimately, it is simply the fascination with film and film projectors that keeps many of us still interested I suspect David.
As for wear to prints. I am getting away with it for the time being using the cluster of stuff I use.
I don't know how long this will be the case or when my luck on this front in recent years, may begin to run out.
All I know is for the time being at least, I'm the most relaxed and contented I have ever been running real film and given the fascination I have for real film and projectors, that I know for certain, will never ever leave me, I will continue to enjoy for the foreseeable at least, the joys of real film.
In fact while ever I continue to experience this level of satisfaction, I will always gain far more personal pleasure from using a cine projector than I ever will by switching on and plugging in my digital counterparts, much as I enjoy both worlds.
My TV produces a far superior image quality than any film I own, yet I hardly ever bother watching that aside from the news, a good northern gritty drama, or the football.
Certainly I never find myself wanting to watch a film on tv these days, that's despite its glorious image and sound quality.
I gotta say,I could sit and watch good working refined cine projectors whirring away for hours without getting bored.
I'd last about a minute and a half staring at my boring black or white square digital boxes before nodding off despite their superb image quality!
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on August 19, 2016, 10:57 AM:
This one will never be put to bed!
If all I wanted to do is "watch movies", I wouldn't be bothered with all the paraphernalia and the frustrations. These days "Movies" are like water: you just open up a spigot and they come pouring out.
-but that's not a hobby. A hobby needs challenges to make it worthwhile. If not for that the idea of building a ship in a bottle is completely pointless!
I got a Honda Civic a couple of years ago: delightful little car! It just runs trouble free all the time and it's nothing I really need to think about a great deal. You could spend easily that much restoring an antique car. You can't compare these two though, they are entirely different things for different reasons.
So I'm perfectly OK with sitting down in front of the flat screen and enjoying a digital based movie with my wife and kid: it's relaxing and entertaining. It doesn't demand very much either.
-maybe later on I'll pull down the screen and watch a film too, it packs a lot more endorphins!
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 19, 2016, 11:00 AM:
With real film you used to have (me included) real projectionists who put on a good show. The presentation was king, and the projection staff made this happen. Screen masking always the correct ratio. Tabs. Attractive lighting. Even the interval music was selected to match the mood of the feature film. The ice-cream girls had a follow spot on them.
Focus and the carbon arc were continually monitored and the afternoon shows used carbon extenders.
A feature and a second feature, adverts, trailers and a newsreel made up the programme which was continuous all day (pardon me, this is where I came in.) Queues around the block hoping to get in for the evening show.
This was the joy of a real presentation.
I rest my case.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 19, 2016, 11:53 AM:
Yes Maurice, all good points, but that's more about the experience of going to a movie rather than film vs digital. Even at 52 years old, I can barely remember when theaters had real ushers with flashlights. I grew up in a small town and most of the movies I went to where at the theater connected to a shopping mall. That theater was spartan to put it kindly, but it was still film.
There was the Cooper theater a bit farther away, - one of the few "Cinerama" theaters in the area. I did go there a few times and it was wonderful, but there is no reason a comparable experience to what you're describing couldn't be done with digital.
Given my recent interest in film, I've been thinking about this topic a lot. I imagine in 30 years folks will be waxing poetic about the "warmth" and tactile nature of Blue-Ray discs compared to the coldness of having VR productions streamed into their brains.
I too have a fascination with film and the mechanical beasts that capture and display it. And one of the positive things about the rise of digital is that I've been able to get some glorious machines for free or very little cost. Things I could only dream about owning as a kid.
Earlier this week I was going to pay $45 dollars for an old but very nice Canon 35mm camera. I brought a battery with me to try it out, but alas the camera didn't work, so I left without it. The man selling it took it to a camera shop and they pronounced it dead. I had told him I'd give him $20 for it if he couldn't get it working. He emailed me back later, saying he'd give it to me for free since he felt bad about my making a 40 minute trip for nothing.
After some tinkering I have it partially functional but the meter isn't working quite right yet. This is half the fun for me.
I'm also very seriously contemplating developing my own 8mm film after realizing that shooting any more Super 8 will cost far more than I can justify.
But all my work with film will eventually end up in a digital format too. There's just so much that can be done in that world that is very difficult or impossible with film.
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on August 19, 2016, 12:03 PM:
You can get a perfectly good sweater from a factory in Singapore for less than the wool costs at a local shop.
Why on earth would anybody ever knit one?
(-Maybe it's not entirely about the sweater!)
Let's not even get into the whole "process" of going fishing vs. just buying fish!
(That may be partially about the beer, though...)
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 19, 2016, 12:22 PM:
For me that sums it up pretty well Steve. I've heard lots of arguments being made that in some ways film is intrinsically better than digital. My recent attempts at shooting Super 8 hasn't borne that out so far. I have taken some 35 mm pictures that make me almost believe it.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 19, 2016, 12:44 PM:
Celluloid : Long lasting format over 100 years now.
digital : Can decompose in less than a year, no matter what format you save in. DVD, Bluray ect.
Digital : Superior in image quality ... variable
celluloid : Well you really can't improve upon the original celluoid image, you can just come close to equaling it.
Celluloid : endless hours of happily messing with it, editing, splicing, recording ect.
digital : Gee, I have a round little disc ...
... and, if we lose all electricity ...
Celluloid : I can still pull it out, looking at it frame by frame.
digital : Gee, I have a round little disc ...
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 19, 2016, 01:44 PM:
Very Windy Up here Today.
Blondes, Brunettes, Red Heads Black or even folically challenged you go to bed with what turns you on. Moving Images have the same effect some like exclusivituty some like to avail of all options. Instead of stressing out on format go and watch what you want on whatever you want.
Happy Angling and I'm sure the fishing will be good. You are bound to get a catch when you use dynamite. What next a snuff video( pardon the pun) of you burning film in the back garden.
Posted by Daniel Macarone (Member # 5102) on August 19, 2016, 01:53 PM:
David, It won't be that easy getting all the film lovers to think digital is superior. I worked at a movie theater while there was film and also after the digital conversion. The digital projectors failed way more times than the film ever did and there was constantly a repairman trying to solve a problem. It is frustrating to not know how to fix these new computerized machines when you used to be able to see and touch every part of a film projector.
The steady image of digital is cold, sterile and too much like an HDTV at home. Manufacturers perfected film projection many decades ago to meet industry standards. It has a gentle vibrating; just the right amount of trembling that is hypnotizing and vivid; It feels alive.
Projectionists and filmmakers have many challenges and responsibilities for film and that is all worth it for watching film. With digital, young theater employees are now given projection duties and there is no rewarding feeling because it is too easy to operate; They have a lack of respect for the presentation.
Digital has always been trying to match the look of film and it's still not there. The frames look nothing like 24fps of film. The depth is very flat because there are no physical layers as there are with film. And when movies shot on film are projected digitally, it doesn't reproduce film grain very well, making it too apparent when it should be gentle.
I learned that the studios are still archiving on negative film because they know that has the best archival qualities. Hence, we should appreciate physical, tangible things.
By the way, there are already many good replies on this subject in another topic called "The romance is missing".
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on August 19, 2016, 01:58 PM:
I just like AV equipment, really. Old and new. As new equipment and formats come out, some people dump their old things for money or space and they may only want to have the very best picture and sound and nothing else. This is understandable. But I'm a 'keeper' and I am interested in old things so it isn't only about having the best picture and sound but about having interesting equipment. I like discovering and re-discovering things. I have just started with open reel quarter inch tape. This is new to me. I don't 'need' it to record music. I am just interested in it. To me it is a new thing I enjoy finding out about.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 19, 2016, 02:07 PM:
I think you will find this topic was covered extensively in this classic thread that has never been equalled since we both gave up thermofilm.🎭
Got you to look
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 19, 2016, 02:08 PM:
I am not against digital projection as such, the point I was trying to make was that presentation and showmanship has disappeared.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on August 19, 2016, 02:14 PM:
I shouldn't watch The Big Bang Theory. I read this and thought Film Vs Digital Hmm Noun vs Adjective :-)
A lot of good points on either side. But remember a 100+ year old film can still be projected and it is relatively easy to manufacture a projector for it without vast technology. Digital file formats tend to need very high technology hardware to read and use practically. how long will file formats stay viable? How easy will it be to convert? Will anyone bother, even to copy and verify when the storage medium is at its end of life? Compressed files (and most digital ones are) are more difficult to restore than analogue images. Movie shows from servers can be programmed to operate lights/sound/curtains etc to give a tremendous show, but where even does that?
Money talks and digital files can be "protected" so that they cannot be pirated or used more/elsewhere than paid for, so for the movie Business there is no choice, if profits are to be made.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 19, 2016, 03:10 PM:
I don't think converting current digital formats to new ones will be an issue, but preservation is. You can't just throw them in a closet or a warehouse somewhere and expect them to be playable in 50 years.
And there's a difference between packaged videos and your home movies/videos. If you wanted to make a backup of a packaged Blu-ray, there's encryption to worry about. It can be done, but you have to bother to do it and have some (minimal) technical skills.
Home movies are much easier and they can be backed up to a cloud service. Again, it's not like putting reels of film in a box. A cloud service can got out of business. The person who knows about the cloud service could pass away and family would never find those old movies.
I already have digital images that are close to 20 years old and they look as good as the day I took them, but I'm an IT guy and I care enough to make the effort to preserve them.
A bigger question is how long is long enough? The immediate answer is probably "forever". However, I've paid for lots of music I already had analog copies of. Do I really need to keep it around? Most of it I don't listen to and won't.
The sentimental answer for home movies is also "forever", but there again, I wonder. I really value the home movies that we've taken and that my parents have taken. If my grandparents had any, I might appreciate those too but far less. I never met my great grandparents and while I would like to have their home movies if any existed, I wouldn't treasure them in the same way. The people in them would be like strangers to me.
As for my kids, they'll laugh at home movies of my brothers and I when we were young, but if those somehow got lost, it would not be the end of the world for them. They don't have much connection to them.
[ August 19, 2016, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Tom Spielman ]
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on August 19, 2016, 04:09 PM:
Last weekend, my mate and I enjoyed the "Final Cut" of "The Wicker Man" on Blu-ray, and on the big screen in my modest home cinema.
The previously lost segments have now been digitally restored from a very faded and damaged 35mm print, the only source left.
The results, whilst not perfect are still remarkable and the whole thing was hugely enjoyable and very filmic on my D-ILA projector.
Next day, for fun, I watched my 400ft Marketing Films print of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on the Beaulieu, blown up to give nearly a scope size image.
I marvelled at how little fade there was, and how booming the excellent mono mag sound was, made me feel 11 years old again.
Again, totally enjoyable.
Best of both worlds!
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 04:31 PM:
And no doubt Rob, you wouldn't like to leave yourself without either option for your enjoyment.
I know I wouldn't anyhow.
I think we are lucky in this era now, as both technologies can live side by side by many for very little expense in terms of the hardware at least.
This wasn't always the case if you wind the clock back even to just 14 small years ago.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on August 19, 2016, 04:48 PM:
Indeed, and I think you and I both wasted a lot of cash on basically poor video projection back in the day.
The point with digital is that a lot of different facets have advanced over the years; scanning, image manipulation and projection to name but a few and the culmination of many areas of the industry now offer us splendid quality at home.
And we're now at the beginning of 4K, and just as importantly, High Dynamic Range in home set-ups.
I think Maurice is right when he says that showmanship and presentation has vanished, but sadly, I think this is more to do with the popularity of the multiplex and the "get 'em in, get 'em out quick" agenda, which has eroded and cheapened presentation values over the last 30 years.
More to do with intensified commercial gain rather than the presentation format.
There's no reason for a multiplex not to have someone in charge of presentation, except that it's cheaper not to.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 04:57 PM:
It didn't seem like a waste at the time Rob, in fact it was astonishing to see these first projected digital images hitting our screens back then for the first time.
Full length movies for around £15 a time back then was very welcomed!
Of course now, those clearly visible cross hatched images or washed out CRT ones would be laughed at compared to what we now can experience for a fraction of that expense back then, but nevertheless, at the time at least, we were happy.
As you say Rob, regarding presentation standards now in our cinemas, aside from the actual image size and quality, you may as well stay and watch them at home for what the overall Cinema experience of today brings to the table.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 19, 2016, 05:09 PM:
I agree that it is a nice that we have both. They can compliment each other.
Youtube channels, vimeo and other digital video services have made it possible to share old home movies with friends and relatives across the globe. While it was always a special occasion when we got the projector out as kids, often missing from the room were aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Even the bad VHS copies of film that were crudely digitized later can be shared with people across the globe. My brothers and cousins had a great time this Spring looking at some of these old movies and sharing memories, even though it was all done electronically instead of in person.
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on August 19, 2016, 05:23 PM:
One of the things that I love about collecting films is it let me reclaim an old hobby.
When I was a teenager I built electronics for myself. Somebody thought I should go to school for it and I did. As a result, for about 30 years now I've been doing other people's electronics.
When I went into sound, I thought it would be nice to plug into my stereo.
-sounded absolutely awful! (Cool!)
Now at least I got so solve my OWN electronics problem!
Short of going back for some kind of software degree, I don't see myself doing something like this with digital video.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 05:33 PM:
I definitely think all of this stuff is appealing to all of us middle aged guys, probably more so than it does to our younger generations.
At the end of the day, we all grew up with this kind of technology used back then. Open a cover on a video projector and I wouldn't even stand a chance of knowing where to begin apart from a little panel cleaning and alignment perhaps!
Even this is totally inaccessible now of course as they are all air tight sealed in a separate chamber
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on August 19, 2016, 06:00 PM:
Most young people have no idea film technology even exists.
-a couple of years ago my son (maybe 10 or 11 at the time?) had some friends in the house.
I heard this conversation:
"What are those?"
"They are movie projectors."
For people of their generation, this discussion doesn't even exist! "Movies" are "films" are "videos" are "films" are "movies"!
-always have been, are now and always will be!
It's part of the reason we keep hearing film called "analog", it's as if people can't imagine the world existed before electronics!
Oil Painting="Pigment Based Analog Still Image"
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 19, 2016, 06:13 PM:
Simply you cannot compare a classic Chevy Bel Air with a new Honda civic just becauce Honda has a power steering, good air cond, turbo engine etc.
Both can ride us to the city centre, but whose get more attention that is the matter
We are collectors and we love that attention, just the same with other type of collecting hobbies. The most loveable question is "what is this? Is lovely"
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 06:13 PM:
(sorry came in at exactly the same time as Winberts comments here. This was obviously aimed at Steve's witty comments, as ever!)
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on August 19, 2016, 06:19 PM:
You don't want the Bel-Air going to work in traffic in a snow storm. The brakes are lazy, the tires are slick as ice skates and you don't even have seat belts!
-on a nice day when you have nowhere in particular to go and you want to roll down the windows and just go for a ride, you may want nothing else!
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on August 19, 2016, 06:22 PM:
"Do you ever get bored and fed up debating with others flogging
this old warhorse to death ?
I couldn't agree more!
Posted by John Richard Almond (Member # 2939) on August 19, 2016, 06:41 PM:
This is going to be difficult to put into words but only the other day my eldest granddaughter picked up a 50 foot kodak yellow spool and asked "whats this Grandad" and fortunately it was a reel I shot of her dad when he was three years old. I said to her that it was film of her dad and she just looked at me totally blank with her head tilted to one side like they do at that age, (she is 9 by the way).
But not having the old eumig to hand and the fact it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon I could not set it up and show her. I oppend the the reel and let her have a look at the frames and her eyes being much better that ours she could see little tiny pictures of her dad 6 years younger than herself and was totally gobsmacked.
So this being the case I decided to set up the projector the following evening and show her the film...................the look on her face was just simply amazing to watch, and between looking at the screen and looking at the projector she could still not understand how it worked so I ended up explaining what was going on.................Im glad I looked in now on this thread because I wasnt going to post this little episode.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 06:45 PM:
A moment of pure magic John! A simply wonderful tale of what will now become a lifelong etched precious memory for you both, no doubt
"Keep it with Kodak", was never more poignant!
Posted by John Richard Almond (Member # 2939) on August 19, 2016, 07:18 PM:
Thanks Andrew, it was indeed a moment of magic.
Just to add though, she then later asked how the film was made...........so I dug out one of my cameras, the Nizo pro that I have, and she instantly said "it feels like dads Iphone, only its bigger" I think she meant it feels smooth and is the same colour that an Iphone looks and feels.
Maybe this could be a different thread about how our grandkids react to our hobby.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 19, 2016, 07:25 PM:
Paul,Graham & you here John, could certainly start one!
Going back to David's initial question here, I think you've explained precisely the reason we all here, love real film despite all of it's criticisms and short falls at times, far better than 10,000 words from the rest of us John, with your tale.
Posted by Kevin Clark (Member # 211) on August 20, 2016, 03:00 AM:
Oh dear - the 'Old Turkey' had raised its ugly head again - not talking about you David, just the subject heading!
My simplest way to put it from someone who enjoys projecting all formats of real film and digital projection at home:
Reel cine film = hands on hobby
DVD / Bluray = casual pastime
There is nothing wrong with either way of watching and enjoying the movies at home and one often compliments the other perfectly, but real cine film and equipment has so many hands on facets it is still my personal hobby preference, with digital projection ideal for watching recently released movies and restorations inexpensively at home.
In the past this subject has caused some heated debate amongst members so lets hope Betty Pickering doesn't kick off in this one!
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 20, 2016, 03:33 AM:
One things for certain Kevin,despite David's initial wish here when raising this one, nothing whatsoever is ever likely to be put to bed regarding this subject.
No matter how digital technology evolves, looking through all these comments from everyone here, no digital media or hardware kit is ever going to diminish our fascination for the handling, splicing, editing and simply watching real film.
The thrill of the reel!
Posted by Kevin Clark (Member # 211) on August 20, 2016, 04:50 AM:
You are spot on there Andrew - 'Sprockets In The Blood' as they say for all us cine die-hards, a bit like classic car and bike owners, steam train enthusiasts, antique furniture buffs, etc. etc. nothing wrong at all in using the best of old and new tech.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on August 20, 2016, 05:28 AM:
News item in Britain today.
BAFTA is to consider including digital only releases for awards, they define this as films not shown in cinemas. In this case "digital only" means those distributed as paid for internet only releases!!!!
It would seem that digital cinema is, to them, just cinema.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 20, 2016, 08:04 AM:
This is always a tough topic to reply on - Let's remember there is the Jeffrey Selznick School for Film Preservation in Rochester NY - Film, not Analog - I like to "see" film, frame-by-frame, can't do that with a digital hangup - It is simply a matter of preference - Being a kid from the 60's, all we had was the television and the movies - We bought films and played with them - Todays so-called "films" are fascinating, however there is the pleasure in hearing a projector whurr along as it projects a sharp b&w noir image - I'm sorry, I understand the images can be cleaned up and look "as new", but I prefer them older, a bit used and charmingly attractive - We started with film, and we'll end with it, no matter the technology because everything traces back to its origin - Even a decent copy analog to analog doesn't cut it - It must be from the source; celluloid - You will never see this with records, comic books, toys or paintings - Restored, yes, but virtually left intact - But I digress - If you like the new look of motion pictures, so be it and if some are of the other presuasion, even better - Personally, I could never see "The 1st Annual Digital Film Collector Show", replete with tables of unitarian plastic cases and no more original artwork boxes - I'm sorry again, it was a glorious time and will always be - Nowadays, anything that is created is just a follow-through - Shorty
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 20, 2016, 12:32 PM:
Good points Joe ...
I had a little fun with my post yesterday, but in truth, I see no compariosn between the two. Digital is disposable, where film is something well worth the time to search for, and the great pleasure of finding that treasured print is well worth the wait ...
even if it takes years in the waiting ( ala "Grizzly Adams" )
For instance ...
I, like any other number of film collectors, also buy DVD's (rarely nowadays) and Bluray (almost as rarely), but I diligently search for film and when I find that print, YAY!!
I just won, for instance, a film print of an episode of "The Mighty hero's", Ralph bakshi's firth venture into directing aniamted cartoons, while he was still with Terrytoons, (mid 1960's).
I have seen many prints of these films and usually, they have been faded to various degrees. I just found a print that has pristine color (eager to find out which stock!), and I can hardly wait to see it. I just never have that same feel when buying something on DVD, whether the film is restored or not.
... but I also have to admit that part of this whole collecting thing IS nolstalgia. maybe it's because i like to think that I'm like these old films i collect. They are ready to throw away and are worth archiving, hopefully I'll be worth archiving someday.
One thing is very true however ...
With nearly anything, the quality to modern materials is not better, it's cheaper and in most cases, more affordable, but it's not better. Things are made to be good for today and tossed aside tomorrow, and digital falls into that category.
Digital was never mneant to be something to be archived. It's convenient, nothing more.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 20, 2016, 12:54 PM:
The "experience" between formats is, with digital; sharp and brand-new - Film is the basis by which all is technologically advanced - That's all - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - Contrast; A slip-covered new, illustrated, up-to-date edition of Les Miserables is released - Does that mean all bookophiles will argue or discard those earlier editions? - No - Bedtime now - Shorty
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 20, 2016, 04:03 PM:
Frankly I cant understand people using the term Analog as film.
Analog...Signals in which information is encoded in a non-quantized variable, as opposed to a digital signal
Well that's a mouthful don't you think? Imagine telling someone that you are going to watch an Analog tonight, they would think you are nuts.
Here are a couple of photos of some of that analog stuff taken at the cinema when we were running it... long long ago.
Ah! the good ole days
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 20, 2016, 05:33 PM:
Then what is the use or scope of the Selznick School of Film Preservation? We're helping film, not a synthetic re-creation (now watch me get flack about that too) - Granted, digitation helps with film restoration, but again it's a matter of your pleasure - Case never closed - Shorty
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on August 20, 2016, 08:04 PM:
I think a good argument can be made that the Derann Disney prints have an exquisite beauty that is absent from digital versions of the same material.
Also, there is something about watching vintage films, such as Laurel and Hardy's, on a film projector, it just adds something indefinable.
Digital projection in the home is now as good as anything you will see in a digital cinema, which is great for the home showman. For me, the ability to also be able to show reel celluloid just adds to the interest and enjoyment of this whole home cinema hobby.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 20, 2016, 10:19 PM:
Graham, I agree that the terms analog and digital get muddled. It seems that to some people analog refers to anything that's not digital. However, depending on the context some things share both analog and digital elements, while others are really neither.
It probably goes back to "digital" clocks. Traditional clocks where then branded as "analog". The term "digital" in those days just meant that the display used digits rather than hands. The first digital clocks were mechanical gadgets, not computerized.
Working in the computer world, I probably get overly pedantic about the terms, but I find it interesting when people say things like digital is not archive-able. My favorite picture of all time was taken over 15 years ago on a low resolution digital camera. It's of my then 2 year old son wearing a blue, red, and green snow suit, sitting on a pure white snow bank, his pink dimpled cheeks framed by a perfectly blue sky.
There were no SD cards then, you hooked the camera up to a computer and copied the pictures. They were erased off the camera, and then it was ready to go again.
That camera is long gone, and so is the computer the picture was originally copied to. The picture has probably be moved to 3 or 4 other computers since. It's also on a backup drive, and stored in a cloud service. So, yes, the different mediums that image was stored on had short lives compared to film. Yet the picture (the important part) lives on, just as good as the day it was taken.
I have some films that are 50 years old. They're kept in a refrigerator in the basement for two reasons. The 1st is that the cool temps help maintain the film, the 2nd is that stuff in a fridge is more likely to survive a fire.
The point is that with either film or digital, care has to be taken if you want the images to survive.
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 04:33 AM:
Thanks to all you guys who replied to my question.
I can see this one is still a hot topic.
However the replies did go off on a slight tangent.
I was not asking about the hobby or the joys and fun
of handling and showing film but if any of you thought
that Digital was superior to film in a number of ways in
view of the fact that digital does not have the intrinsic
problems and flaws of film.
Daniel I have to disagree with you regarding digital images
looking flat and lacking depth of field.
Have you seen a Blu-Ray disc of " The Hateful Eight " via
a Video Projector on a decent sized screen yet ?
I for one was gobsmacked at the depth of field on this one.
I have never seen any of my film prints look this good.
Okay so it was filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 for cinema
release but hey this disc is amazing.
As regards film grain this is something we should not see
on a finished film print but we do anyway.
Companies like Kodak spent many years of research and
development try to eliminate this inherent problem but never
I know film grain is part of the magic of film for some though
but not me.
Graham your photos of those kids brings back fond memories of
my days as a Cinema Projectionist when I conducted the annual
projection box tours and hands on film experiences for parties
of school children.
They were always more interested in the film projectors and film.
They were very un-interested when I showed the Digital ones.
Maurice there is no reason why they could not put on a presentation in Digital Cinemas other than the fact they are
not bothered and could not careless these days.
In an un-manned projection box it is possible to do such
things via a computer.
The problem is most exhibitors would have to spend money
on screen tabs and adjustable screen masking and this they
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 07:28 AM:
Only one is a hobby David, as a conclusion.
Every other alternative, is simply a means to watch a movie, full stop.
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 08:18 AM:
Andrew ...Collecting DVDs/ BLU RAY discs alongside FILMS is now a
hobby regardless how intangible the disc means of projection
of movies may seem to some.
I mean just look at those brilliant presentation sets some
Limited Edition Blu-Ray Box Sets with extras such as books
that are available these days.
You can buy these for a fraction of the cost of a print and
and with a far superior screen image than any print.
Now that's a hobby in itself as its something i do in my spare time.
Its a bit silly to think that collecting silver discs cannot
be regarded as a hobby in itself.
In fact its just downright snobbery to think or suggest otherwise just because a movie is not on film.
In my world there is room for both mediums.
They are both merely a means to an end for watching a movie and
passing some time for an hour or two.
Nothing more nothing less.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 10:01 AM:
David, there certainly wasn't any snobbery attachment meant by describing all of the challenges we try to face and overcome as film collectors.
I was simply meaning that for collectors such as myself, the final outcome to purchasing a new film (new to me of course, I mean), is the actual viewing of it.
What turns film collecting into an actual hobby for me are the endless hours spent recreating original boxes and artwork or when placed on bigger reels, making new designs based very much on the originals.
Or other tasks like bringing the recordings into the realms of 21st Century listenable standards.
This is not to mention the countless hours spent splicing in New leaders, adding on trailers, cleaning and checking prints.
The list is endless and I haven't even begun to mention the dedicated hours restoring or maintaining the machines themselves.
These are the attributes I was aspiring to when I said, to my of thinking, only one offers me a hobby.
Honestly, if i were to retire tomorrow, there still wouldn't be enough hours in a day for me to complete everything I like to do involving the hobby!
All of these aspects of film collecting bring me an enormous amount of exciting challenges at times, but I really love every part of all that I involve myself in.
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on August 21, 2016, 11:18 AM:
Well said Andrew, you summed up exactly how I feel about the film hobby.
But to David's point, some of the packaging you get with BluRay and DVD is beautiful, such as the presentation sets and blu ray digi books, and collecting these can be very satisfying. As far as picture quality is concerned, home digital projection generally looks better than 8mm and 16mm film, but not always. Anyway, there is no way that I would want to go back 10 years and be without digital projection.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 21, 2016, 11:27 AM:
It is funny some collectors are in to different aspects of the hobby. There are those who are completists who decide on a genre and hunt down every title. Some are into building a home cinema experience and the films movies are secondary. There are even people who like watching films /movies.
I must admit I was like Andrew in that I cleaned every film that came into my possession and bought more reels and cans and personalised artwork of more titles than I care to remember. Whilst there was job satisfaction a bit little painting I would not have classed it as an very enjoyable aspect of the hobby. More like tedium and heartbreak. My days of scratched and pink are over although I still get soft prints. Is there a decent print of Big Combo out there ?
DVD and Blu-Ray gives you the scope to collect titles that were either not available or within the price ranges of most collectors. I would proberably have enough titles to last me a lifetime but I still pursue new titles, rare titles or improve the stock by weeding out early inferior prints with better later releases. I can also afford to indulge in buying titles that I would not normally have bought such as cult film noir, Orson Welles films or most recently discovering Guillermo Del Toro as a director.
There is still the hunt search element for rare titles such as Hollywood and the Stars or titles only released as studio archives limited editions or politically incorrect titles like Tex Avery Hennessy etc that will never see the light of day in this country. You can also compile your own reels of coming attractions and trailers via technology and a bit of knowledge so you have the creative element too.I even have my own copy of Once Upon a Mouse on DVD with a bit of detective and creative work after much searching for years.
Anyway each to their own whatever rocks your boat.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 04:23 PM:
Ten good reasons to own a digital projector:
1/ The Shawshank Redemption
2/ Saving Private Ryan
3/ Pulp Fiction
4/ The Green Mile
6/ Apocalypse Now
7/ The Godfather Coppola Restoration
9/ The Lion King
10/ Toy Story 2 & 3
All on Blu Ray alongside thousands of others.
Ten good reasons to own a Super 8mm Sound Projector;
1/ Toy Story
2/ Star Wars
4/ Its A Wonderful Life
5/ Way Out West
7/ Lady & The Tramp
8/ The Lion King
9/ The Smallest Show On Earth
10/ EL Cid
As above, not in any particular order and as above hundreds if not thousands of other reasons
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 04:55 PM:
I have prints of THE SMALLEST SHOW ON EARTH on both 8mm and 16mm.
I also have a DVD the same title.
To these eyes the DVD blows both my film prints into the weeds
My 8mm print of this title cost me £ 125.00. My 16mm print cost me £ 250.00. It is much better than the 8mm print released by DFS.
However my DVD cost me the huge sum of £ 5.00.
It is not scratched or worn or unsteady like my film copies.
One good reason to collect and project Digital formats.
Wash that film grain out of your eyes guys and just enjoy.
Andrew your reasons for keeping up the film collecting hobby
is just to much hard work for me these days and gives me no pleasure at all.
I guess after 45+ years working in the industry as a projectionist has disenchanted me somewhat.
I am fed up fiddling about trying to repair machines in order
to keep them running. I am also fed up having to be careful when
handling and showing the prints.
So I think the magic for me has gone somewhat.
These days I like to just sit back and relax and watch the movie
without the added distractions of keeping an eye and ear on the
projector and the transport and focus checks involved.
That for me makes Digital my Primary choice.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 05:09 PM:
It's about the magic of the cinema for film and traditional cinema lovers David. Why not enjoy it in the traditional way it was created for?
Shaky films generally point to some problem on the machines themselves I've found.
On the odd occasion, it can be due to slitting, perforation,or printing faults, but many I've convinced myself are faulty look different again on a stable machine and when well lubricated I've noticed.
I had a similar experience recently with an acetate b/w print.
Shaky on one machine, steady as a rock on another after applying FG.
I don't believe this print on 8 has any common known fault of a particularly shaky image David from the guys I know who have this feature.
At the end of the day David, if the magic has gone for you, I fully understand your preference to screen everything digitally nowadays. It's certainly a whole lot less hassle if that is how you now view film projection these days.
Maybe I will feel similar one day,..you never know??
In fact thinking about it, I already have on two occasions previously. Once at the end of the first era of interest and secondly, about 2 months after getting back into it all!
Thankfully that was some time ago now and as said, I'm having a good time of it all of late, fingers and all else very firmly crossed!
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 05:28 PM:
Andrew the print is not that shaky due to any projection faults.
In fact I have two 8mm prints.
One on B/W stock and the other on colour stock.
There is a slight unsteadiness from the master used.
In fact these copies were never that great in terms of sharpness
and look a bit flat.
The sound also has some "motor-boating" noise on reel one transferred from the master used.
My DVD has no such faults.
I am stress free when watching via Digital Projection.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 05:30 PM:
Which is worse David, the colour or b/w print David?
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 05:35 PM:
The Black and White suffers from those oxide spots on the image.
I remember speaking to Ged at Derann about this and he informed me that was one reason they got the labs to print it on colour stock. It has a slight sepia tone to it.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 05:38 PM:
But is the b/w one more shaky than the colour one David?
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 21, 2016, 05:48 PM:
No both the same if my memory is correct.
I will need to dig them out soon to compare when time allows.
They are both well lubed.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 21, 2016, 05:55 PM:
I look forward to seeing the outcome David thanks.
Posted by David Michael Leugers (Member # 166) on August 21, 2016, 11:03 PM:
I think we are talking about two things. Film projection in a theater and the hobby of projecting film versus digital projection. Watching TV (even projected TV) is not a hobby. Certainly a pastime and enjoyable but lacks the rewards those who enjoy the hobby of film projection seek. The statements always made about the flaws of film projection in the theater are over stated. I still sorely miss real film projection in the theaters. To me the experience of film provided benefits that easily outweighed any minor flaws.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 22, 2016, 12:16 AM:
Now I can understand why you recently see collecting films as hoarding activities as your topic below:
Collector or Hoarder
Although at the first time, I found we are at the same stage, now I can see we are totally different.
You are in the phase of leaving the hobby because you are too tired with this hobby and cannot longer cope with it.
Nothing will change us from this hobby.
This is a hobby. If you like fishing as a hobby, you prepare the rod and baits, go to creek and river. Hire a boat. It cost you a lot of money.
If you like eating fish, go to supermarket, buy a kilo and fry it. Or the easiest way, go to fish and chips store....
A hobby cannot be described as your way. The more money we spend, the more enjoyment we got. We use hobby as the way to entertain ourselves no matter how much money we spend and what is the result (big fish, small fish, old broken shoes...whatever...) or in other words, we can buy a $5 DVD and got a copy of Tom & Jerry compilations in digital and 5.1 stereo sound or spend $25 for a super 8mm copy of Tom & Jerry.
I am happier with the later.
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 22, 2016, 03:10 AM:
Winbert / David we are getting slightly off topic here regarding
the Film vs Digital topic.
We are now in the realm of definition of what a hobby is.
Collecting things such as DVDs/ BLU-RAY discs and their projection can still be regarded as a hobby.
A hobby does not have to involve a lot of complex actions or
expense for it to be regarded as such.
That's why things like collecting Stamps / Beermats / Comics /
Film Posters / Match boxes / Birdwatching etc etc etc are hobbies.
HOBBY ... "A favourite leisure-time activity or occupation."
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
FILM COLLECTING is no different as a hobby as its merely a pastime or should be.
Winbert I still collect films but not as much as I used to
but I have not left the hobby at all.
I just don't give it as much time as I used to because I don't have the time and cant be bothered with it all the time or the expense.
I have other hobbies I actively pass time with such as Model Railways , Collecting Vinyl LP records and 78rpm records and Comic and Old Magazines.
Meantime Digital Projection is now becoming my primary means
of watching movies.
Film projection is secondary but still one of my hobbies.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 22, 2016, 03:17 AM:
Yeah, you were super right when quoting OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY for the terms of hobby.
The only thing is this forum is about film collecting hobby.
There is nothing wrong with DVD collecting hobby, or even just debating hobby, both have their respective forums...
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 22, 2016, 03:25 AM:
Winbert I am fully aware that this forum is about film otherwise
I would not be here. Thanks for reminding me. hahahaha !!!
However we are on the General Yak threads and that allows for
non-film topics such as Video etc.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 22, 2016, 04:19 AM:
quote:Good to know you were aware.
Winbert I am fully aware that this forum is about film
Just a bit of suggestion, if you were in a VW buggy forum, don't ask why not riding a BMW as it is nicer and more comfy ...although you post it in General yak....hahahaha...
Posted by Kevin Clark (Member # 211) on August 22, 2016, 04:32 AM:
Fair enough really chaps, 'whatever floats your boat' as a previous poster said. Subject put to bed - no winners, no losers, no humans or animals harmed in the (thus far) friendly debate.
David, from your own statements if a spare time activity upsets you as much as film handling now appears to we can provide the perfect solution - simply advertise your reels of film and cine equipment with prices on these forums and you will then be able to use the proceeds to purchase as many digital media movies as you should desire.
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 22, 2016, 05:48 AM:
Digital and film I feel both have a place. I do feel though that there was for many years unfair criticism towards the 35mm film format itself in the push to go digital. People would say Oh they get scratched and so on. All I can add is that for the years I worked as a projectionist I never scratched a film. With careful threading, plus numerous checks before and after starting the projector, plus good maintenance, cleaning, having a projectionist to monitor sound levels and to keep an eye on the focus was what it was all about. Films like eg "King Kong", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings" looked and sounded great right through the many sessions that those prints ran.
The 35mm format itself was fine, but getting good projectionist that take care and pride in what they were doing with it were not that easy to find..... and that's the crunch.
Last week I bought a Blu-ray, the week before more Super8 and 16mm film which might not be as good as the digital stuff, but for me its more fun.
By the way this is a good documentary and well worth watching on DVD ...
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on August 22, 2016, 05:57 AM:
Analogue - Analogous or parallel word or thing. Computer that uses voltage/weight/length to represent numbers.
Analogous - Similar, parallel.
So so both film and digital CINEMA (not just digital; as anything can be digitised nowadays) are analogues (similar to, but not the same as) the original action that took place.
Fun playing with words and definitions, isn't it? :-)
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 22, 2016, 09:47 AM:
Yes Brian I fully agree with you.
I have been telling people that for years.
Even digital images or sound comes out as analogue or we would
not be able to see or hear it.
That's why there are D/A convertors and filters built in to
all digital equipment.
Graham that was the main problem towards the end of the 35mm film
era. There were really "numptie" projectionists employed in
the business at that time. No proper intensive training given
and it showed. Not their fault though but the Cinema owners.
It took me 3 and half years apprenticeship to qualify for my
Union " PROJECTIONIST CERTIFICATE " and only a couple of days to
gain my " DIGITAL CERTIFICATE ".
I am glad to be out of the industry now.
I have that DVD and it is very good indeed.
Kevin I had considered selling more of my films but I really cant
be bothered with that at the moment.
I did offer some for free sometime ago but not on this forum.
It was a lot of 35mm Features and shorts but no one was willing to come and pick them up from me so I simply binned the lot over
a couple of weeks.
They are now somewhere in a landfill site along with my Westar
Oh well that's life.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 22, 2016, 10:53 AM:
For me the question of whether film is better or not can't be debated in any objective way because most (not all) of the advantages that people attribute to film are subjective and intangible. I will say that as a person who's life is very much rooted in the digital world, I'm willing to accept that film really does have some unquantifiable benefits. The problem is that some people appreciate those benefits, while others don't.
What is less subjective is that there are people who clearly enjoy collecting, viewing, and shooting film. Not only that, there are those that enjoy tinkering with the machinery involved. I'm one of them, but in two or five years time that may no longer be true. My hobbies tend to change over time. I like the challenge of fixing something old and learning in the process, but I don't want to do the same things over and over again.
If the hobby is no longer fulfilling, then there is no crime in moving on to something else or taking a break from it and coming back. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed, and if collecting and viewing digital productions brings you more enjoyment, then that is what you should do.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 22, 2016, 11:14 AM:
the subject is as endless as a reel of...film, or digital film - The choice is yours - Cheers, Shorty
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on August 22, 2016, 12:31 PM:
I suggest that we should all be thankful and appreciative of the fact that we have the luxury of both of these fantastic mediums.
Pretty soon optical discs may cease to exist, and access to all movies will be restricted to inferior internet streaming. There will be no more beautiful DVD and Blu Ray collectors editions to collect, and the joy will be gone from digital projection using a medium that you actually own.
Today will then be seen as the golden age of home digital movie collecting.
Enjoy it while you can.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 22, 2016, 12:34 PM:
"Enjoy it while you can..."
Always good advice Paul. Once something is gone wishing it will come back is usually fruitless.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 22, 2016, 01:07 PM:
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on August 22, 2016, 01:18 PM:
I love film, although it's been a while since I've even set up a projector, for various reasons.
I also love classic film and if it wasn't for DVD/Blu I would never own copies of many of the movies I own from the 20's and 30's.Given the choice, I would own all of the 100's of titles I have from that era on 16mm...but, it ain't ever going to happen.
Both are just fine, in my book. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on August 22, 2016, 04:47 PM:
The only thing I can add at this point is please don't bin good condition films or equipment. Everything has a price on eBay. Someone else can always 'be bothered' even if you can't.
I have time and the space for various formats and collections but I don't have a wife. I wonder how much of this kind of debate is in fact prompted by having to justify space and expenditure to other members of a household?
I have had projectors and hi-fi and books and tapes and TVs ever since I was a child. I was quite early into computers too. Not a hobby or pastime for me, more like a 'lifestyle choice.'
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 22, 2016, 04:51 PM:
Living alone would certainly simplify things on both counts of space and expenditure Steven!
It's not a route I'd prefer though, personally speaking.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on August 22, 2016, 05:52 PM:
It's okay I have a cat!
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 22, 2016, 06:45 PM:
Here is one example where "film" wins out big time. A while ago I bought the Blu-ray of "Dances with Wolves" thinking this should be good projected on a VP. Well it wasn't, picture was ok but nothing to rave about, but much worse, the sub-titles when the Indians talk were of into the black masking at the bottom of the screen
So it was down to making up my old 35mm print, I loaded it onto the platter and projected it non-stop on my 1920s Ernemann 2 projector. What a huge difference, and what a treat, the film looked and sounded "Dolby Stereo" great. I have never run that Blu-ray since...does any one want to buy it?
All this stuff, projectors and platter would have all gone to scrap by now if I had not grabbed it....and glad I did.
For me its a real treat to bring film projection back to life.
David its a pity you threw out the "Westar" could a museum not have taken it? I helped to obtain one and got it going in a small way at the Heritage Park. One day "hopefully" it might be part of a small cinema down there, running all types of film from Standard 8 to 35mm.
Posted by Dave Groves (Member # 4685) on August 23, 2016, 05:12 AM:
I must admit I find film versus digital discussions a bit pointless. Film is film and does what it does. Digital is the same and those who go to the cinema are perfectly happy with it and don't even think about what's producing the picture. Last night I watched the Blu-ray of 'Cinema Paradiso'. Bit grainy but wonderful. If I could own it on film I'd crow forever but it ain't going to happen so digital rules. Both have obvious advantages. Film can be archived long term, digital can't. Film is now expensive and getting hard to find but digital is cheap and everywhere. Yesterday I bought loads of dvd's for 66p each (new) from British Home Stores closing sale, but they won't mean more to me than my old 'Bowery Boys 16mm film'. I'm enjoying the best of both worlds. Public shows of 35mm and 16mm every Wednesday with my pal John Salim, and 16mm monthly shows up at The Salvation Army`for an audience of between 30 and 40. And when I run out of stuff to show publicly (when I'm left with only faded or VS prints I shall happily switch to digital projection publicly and still enjoy Flash Gordon at home. Everthing has an enjoyment quotient and I intend to get every bit out of both.
Posted by Stuart Reid (Member # 1460) on August 23, 2016, 06:06 AM:
I have prints of THE SMALLEST SHOW ON EARTH on both 8mm and 16mm. I also have a DVD the same title. To these eyes the DVD blows both my film prints into the weeds visually. My 8mm print of this title cost me £ 125.00. My 16mm print cost me £ 250.00. It is much better than the 8mm print released by DFS.
David, if you ever wish to move on either of these prints please let me know, thanks.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 23, 2016, 12:31 PM:
If I were single I'd have more time, money, and probably space for my hobbies but that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing.
My wife had had the extreme misfortune of being an only child to severely ailing and eventually dying parents. Her mother liked to buy things and their house was filled with stuff that had never been used tucked into every available nook and cranny. Along with having to deal with the grief of her passing, my wife had to deal with the estate. The volume of "stuff" was so overwhelming that a lot of things that would have been valuable to someone just got tossed. She did give a lot away and there was an estate sale, but just the time involved was too much, let alone dealing with the emotions.
So I can understand why sometimes even going through the effort of giving something away isn't worth it, though I personally hate to bin anything.
Being an only child was rough in her case, but at least she didn't have to fight with anyone over those sorts of decisions. My sister-in-law on the other hand, had a different set of challenges to deal with when her father died.
Something similar happened with our elderly neighbors. Their son was the only one that lived in the area and he was charged with dealing with their property. He lived about an hour away and had his own young family to manage. There was an estate sale but not everything was sold. Given enough time I'm sure he could have found homes for most of what was left, but time was something he didn't have.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on August 24, 2016, 02:50 AM:
This makes me wonder what happens to cine things when a "House clearance" firm disposes of a home of a deceased person whose relatives don't appreciate what they have. I can't say that I have seen anything like that in any saleroom near me.
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 24, 2016, 03:06 AM:
Graham your correct there they don't get the Blu-Ray disc
transfers spot on all the time.
Some can be a bit dire or indifferent. I have some early
DVDs that look dreadful as they were clearly sourced from
a Video Tape master.
Nice picture of the Westar and the platter system you use.
I did offer my machine to a cine -museum but they had plenty
of them so that was that.
Personally I always disliked working with the non-rewind platter
systems when they were first introduced in the 1970s.
I felt they de-skilled the job somewhat and were merely used to
exploit projectionists into working in more screens for less money with the coming of Twins/Triples and of course Multiplexes.
They did also cause some redundancies of very knowledgeable
and highly skilled cinema projectionists. Sad Times.
Insofar as Cinema films go give me Reel to Reel changeovers
and Carbon Arcs anytime. hahaha !
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 24, 2016, 03:17 AM:
Reading through everyone views about this subject has been very interesting. I don't think it will ever be put to bed, but that's not a bad thing....good topic.
I think in many cases family films have simply been thrown out "destroyed". My guess is some families don't want those films finding there way to just anyone, which is really fair enough due to the personal nature of much of the content.
They may also have had them transferred to VHS or DVD thinking that in itself will do.
Good points David
PS David another disaster of a Blu-ray was "Letters From Iwo Jima" the sub-titles are in the black as well We ran the 35mm print a few years ago and its one film I would like to get my hands on
Posted by Stuart Reid (Member # 1460) on August 24, 2016, 06:47 AM:
I thought Letters From Iwo Jima was an outstanding film. Very tough watch in places, but excellent.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 24, 2016, 06:20 PM:
You see some family films and photos showing up on Ebay. At first I couldn't imagine why anybody would be interested in some other family's home movies. I sort of get it now.
Then there is the story of Vivian Maier which I know has been posted about here before. She was a nanny most of her adult life, but photography and shooting 8mm film were passions of hers. She had so many photos and films that she had rented storage to keep them all, yet she never shared them with anyone else.
We she got older, she became destitute and could no longer afford the rent for her storage space. The owners auctioned off the contents. The buyers eventually realized what a talent she was and now her work has gone public.
On a different note, my wife has no siblings and is not terribly close to most of her family. She has some movies that were taken by her parents and grandparents which I probably care about more than she does. I can also see that my family movies, which I value a lot, will likely be valued less by future generations as they will have had no personal connection to the people in the movies.
Maybe someone in the future will want to preserve the films out of a desire to preserve family history, but maybe not. A little sad to think about, but in the end it's probably better to worry about maintaining good relationships with the living rather than with the dead.
Posted by Kenneth Horan (Member # 3) on August 24, 2016, 08:07 PM:
Film has greater latitude, better color depth, better resolution. Images on film look natural. Digital images have a cold "waxy" unnatural look. Digital lacks detail in highlights which are burned out. Many people may prefer this unnatural look thinking it's sharper but they haven't learned that just because it is newer doesn't mean it is better. Digital was chosen for feature production simply because it is cheap and the files can be highly compressed making distribution cheap and easy. Digital Cinema is really just television.
Films have lasted for over 100 years. Film is archival. Digital is not. Most major producers have their digital cinema features printed out onto film for archival preservation. The digital files themselves, as well as digital media doesn't last very long and corrupts. A great many digital files from the recent past already are unable to be played because of digital corruption and because of media failure. Not to mention the planned obsolescence of computer equipment and operating systems.
So quite simply film is best overall. Digital is a great tool but should have never replaced film. The public doesn't know any better. They're too dumbed-down. I've asked college students how the image is put up on the theatre screen and one guy answered; "It's a big VCR". So much for human evolution.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 24, 2016, 10:57 PM:
Ken, while a lot of that may have been true in the past, it is becoming less so all the time, and in many cases digital has surpassed film in terms of quality.
Limits to dynamic range and latitude were partially the results of compression but many cameras can capture "RAW" video now with very little or no compression. And it terms of latitude you also have to remember that a digital camera can change the sensor's light sensitivity on the fly so that a lot of latitude isn't as beneficial as it is in the world of film. High quality sensors have already surpassed the sensitivity of high ISO film without introducing as much grain/noise
As far as archiving goes, I think we need think of preserving digital content in a different way. Instead of storing it long term on some media in a climate controlled and protected environment, we preserve it by having multiple copies and moving those copies to new media and new formats on a regular basis. For me that happens without too much effort. When I get a new computer, I copy the contents of my old one to the new one. I backup both to an external drive and a cloud service daily and automatically.
I have 15 year old digital images that I can view any time I wish whether I'm at home or not. I don't have to worry about a flood or fire destroying those videos or images since they are kept in multiple places.
However, not everything is perfect. I have a lot of video still on 8mm tapes and one reason I haven't moved them to other media is because of the storage requirements. Hard drives and flash storage get cheaper all the time but improved video and image quality require more space. It's an arms race.
I still have a soft spot and respect for film. I plan on doing more with it and not less in the near future. However, ultimately whatever I do with film will ultimately end up in a digital format.
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on August 24, 2016, 11:30 PM:
Tonight I watched part of my Derann feature print of Grease. Every time I watch this print I am amazed at its beauty, and the re-recorded stereo sound was equally awesome. So here is one example of a movie that I would much prefer to see on film than on my digital projector.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on August 25, 2016, 12:28 AM:
Me too Paul, if only I had a Derann print of this classic musical.☺
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 25, 2016, 03:58 AM:
I think the following screen photos does say to a certain extent why its hard to compare
Derann "Peter Pan" feature on Super8 looks fantastic.
I went to the cinema to watch "The Artist" projected on digital, not only they could not adjust the masking for this format, but the Black and White just came across as very soft. Later I got a loan for a short time a 35mm print and boy you noticed the improvement, even over the Blu-ray projected at home.
A couple of screen shots of the 35mm print with the masking properly adjusted
The film print does look good, much better than what I watched in digital at the cinema.
But then I watched "The Sound of Music" in digital at the cinema and it looked fantastic, even the Blu-ray looks stunning.
so there you go "swings and roundabouts" with all this stuff but I would never dismiss film in this digital age.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 25, 2016, 04:23 AM:
quote:Tom, you can do this daily because you are talking your home (domestic) archive.
For me that happens without too much effort. When I get a new computer, I copy the contents of my old one to the new one. I backup both to an external drive and a cloud service daily and automatically.
While Kenneth is talking about professional archive.
So for your rough idea, one 35mm cell :
quote:This means 1 cell can store = 19.4 MP data if we want orange-to-orange comparison.
A "35mm" frame is 36x24mm in size. Look at the resolution spec for some films and lenses. Some films were rated at nearly 200 lines/mm, but some much less. There was a tradeoff between sensitivity and grain size. That added noise and lowered spacial resolution of more sensitive films. Lenses also cover a range. Let's say roughly 50 lines/mm would be "good", and 100 lines/mm astonishingly superb. Of course that's only at the optimum f-stop and camera mounted and held very still.
So let's see what 75 lines/mm comes out to as a starting point. A "line" is actually one complete light-dark cycle, so you have to allow for at least 2 pixels per line width. So the 75 lines/mm becomes 150 pixels/mm, which means a full 35mm frame would have 5400 x 3600 pixels = 19.4 Mpix.
Now using this chart: http://www.canonblogger.com/megabytes-versus-megapixels/
Roughly that 19.4 MP = 20MB (actually between 17.5-26.2 MB)
1 second of film needs 24 frames, which equals to 24 (frames) x 20 (MB) = 480MB!!
That is only for a second.
So now for 1 minutes shows ....you need......errrrr.. ...480 MB x 60 (seconds) = 28,800 MB or 28GB.
I bet your computer now can only save 4 minutes...
FYI to copy a hardisk with 120GB capacity (about 4 minutes) it will take 1.5 to 2 hours.
So for 120 minutes shows..... you can count now what type the hardisk you need and how long to transfer only for one movie.
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 25, 2016, 10:40 AM:
Winbert: As I alluded to, storage is still an issue but not quite as bad as your post would imply and getting better all the time. If you were to archive in a completely uncompressed format, then I will accept your numbers, but there is no reason to do that to preserve the quality. There are loss-less compression algorithms where every pixel can be reproduced exactly as they were. Think about the way zip files typically work as a non-video example.
And archiving on film isn't cost free either. A single 2.5 hour IMAX 70mm print costs over $150,000. That's a lot of hard drives.
[ August 25, 2016, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: Tom Spielman ]
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on August 25, 2016, 03:18 PM:
It makes for fun reading when the film lovers and the digital lovers battle.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 25, 2016, 03:24 PM:
See what happens when a topic is started?
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 25, 2016, 03:27 PM:
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on August 25, 2016, 04:07 PM:
Just watched Star Wars The Force Awakens in my home cinema.
Honestly looked and sounded better than the big screen Odeon in Manchester where I saw it for the first time last December.
We live in fortunate times for film, erm, movie fans!!!
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 25, 2016, 04:20 PM:
The Force-Awakens is actually a good example of showing that film and digital aren't mutually exclusive choices. You can use both with great results.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on August 25, 2016, 05:10 PM:
A life-long love of films and music with a special focus on the technologies involved. That's how I describe it.
I've just purchased a super 8 Derann feature, a second copy to try and improved on one I already have. But as said above, last week I was re-running THE FORCE AWAKENS on the same screen and speakers as my super 8 and 16mm. No need to choose.
Posted by Alan Gouger (Member # 31) on August 25, 2016, 10:13 PM:
The best screening room incorporates the best of a all media. It does not get better then Film-techs cinema.
In my screening room ( modest compared to Brads)I am able to screen DCP's, 35mm,16mm and S8. My fav media is film, all scales. Here is pic of my screening room with a peek of the D cinema projector.
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on August 25, 2016, 10:45 PM:
Looks incredible Alan! How about a few more pics?
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on August 25, 2016, 11:49 PM:
I second that
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 26, 2016, 01:43 AM:
quote:Tom, when you are talking ZIP or any other compressed files then you are out of the basic principle of archiving.
Winbert: As I alluded to, storage is still an issue but not quite as bad as your post would imply and getting better all the time. If you were to archive in a completely uncompressed format, then I will accept your numbers, but there is no reason to do that to preserve the quality. There are loss-less compression algorithms where every pixel can be reproduced exactly as they were. Think about the way zip files typically work as a non-video example.
Professional archiving is to store the closest possible to the original, if you cannot have the original.
We cannot say that easy to archive William Shakespeare's manuscripts...just photocopy them (xerox) and store them in several places. Yes, you can still read the manuscript but the meaning of archiving is to keep the hidden information that probably is not yet seen now.
Star Wars The Force Awakens is 4K. We have just restored a B/W 1960s film to achieve the 4K quality. There are 150,000 frames in this film and to get this 4K quality, it took 2 hours for the archivist to restore every single frame, resulting 53GB for each frame. So the total for one 4K of this movie is 12TB!!.
12TB = 12,000 GB or eqv with 100 desktop computers
The hard work of our archivists is now can be watched through a single DVD, but surely our archivists will not keep that DVD in their storage, but the true 12TB files.
Pls remember our movie is B/W and mono.....Star Wars The Force Awakens is in color and 5.1 surround sound, so the information data stored must be tripled if not quadrupled.
Anyway, this is already out of the original topic.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on August 26, 2016, 07:01 AM:
and with Shak-a-spear, there is much hidden information
Posted by Alan Gouger (Member # 31) on August 26, 2016, 10:48 AM:
Winbert what a wonderful and interesting career, congrats. 12 TB for a single 4k B&W movie that is amazing. Is this uncompressed? Considering a good 2D 4k DCP will average a little over 100GB compared to the same Blu-ray @ 5GB it seems there is plenty of information we the viewer are not seeing regardless the format. Im guessing the archive file has enough information to benefit any future resolutions such as 8k and can be upscaled or doubled. Good work, thanks for your contribution.
quote:Paul I am on the road but return home in another week. I will post a few more pictures. Thank you
Looks incredible Alan! How about a few more pics?
Posted by Tom Spielman (Member # 5352) on August 26, 2016, 11:19 AM:
Winbert: I agree that with traditional media you want as close to the original as possible when it comes to archiving. However, when preserving digital information, the media isn't what's important, it's the content. Digital content can be copied thousands of times and all of them be exact duplicates of the original. That is not true of film.
It is the same with lossless compression. If you can reproduce the exact raw digital content from the loss-less compressed form, then there is no reason to store the information in a raw format. It's just waste. If that violates some principle of archiving then those principles need to be rethought when it comes to digital
If you decide that it's not only the content that's important, but for some reason you want to preserve the original hard drives used for "The Force Awakens" for whatever reason, that is a different matter.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 26, 2016, 11:59 AM:
This conversation is now WAAAAAY beyond me!
OSI "Ol-fart-Analog" Osgood
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on August 26, 2016, 02:36 PM:
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on August 26, 2016, 06:17 PM:
We never knew what we can do in the future with raw digital content and/or loss-less compressed form, so that is why archivists keep the best form possible. That is the basic principle of archiving.
PS: This is only a sci-fi idea. In the year 2180, human would have invented a technology to scren movie up to the sky where every person needs only look at the sky to watch the movie. However this need an 8K quality which can be made from raw 4K files...
Now you understand why we never knew what is going to happen in the future
[ August 26, 2016, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: Winbert Hutahaean ]
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on August 28, 2016, 04:11 PM:
Cor blimey guys this is great.
I never realized this was still such a HOT topic.
It all seems very subjective now and that it is in
the eye of the beholder as to which is better.
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