This is my blog about my interests in photography and film-making, also my travels as well as other items that I feel may be of interest. I also run the Photography equipment website, Filmcam....................................... IF YOU WANT TO ENLARGE ANY IMAGE BELOW SIMPLY CLICK ON IT !

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kodachrome is still being sold !

I happened to look in my local Boots chemists the other day. There on a low shelf was old 35mm Kodachrome 64 Slide Film. Not "old" old. Well in date 2010 stock. What's more it looks process-paid. Thought you should know !

Friday, August 14, 2009

Faces of Sixteen Mil, part 1

The 16mm film gauge has been with us a long while, and is responsible for many, many great documentaries and dramas. The actual strip of film I'm sure you know, looks something like shown above left, with the frame-line bisecting the perforations, sound-film having just one row. The image ratio is the classic 4 by 3.
There have been quite a few innovations over the years to make new formats from dependable old Sixteen Mil. Over the next few weeks I'll be taking a look at them.

Let's start with one you've probably never heard of if you are under 40. It's that one on the right and it's called PAN-16. No joke... there are two images between the perfs. What's more, they are a very wide aspect ratio... something like 2.7 to 1. So PAN-16 is a true widescreen format that uses no anamorphic lens, and costs half as much to run as normal 16. If I remember, PAN-16 was invented by Stuart Warriner sometime in the 1960s. It was adopted by a relatively small number of widescreen enthusiasts including a certain Tony Shapps. In some ways it's a bit like the cut-price 35mm TechniScope format that became very popular. PAN-16 offers better picture quality than super-8, probably cheaper too ! Very wide ratios like this are best seen on a curved screen to enhance the 3D-like effect.

But before you get too excited... remember this is a very non-standard format. The 16mm camera must be converted to half-pull-down, and so must the projector. Obviously, a precision engineering job. It's practically impossible that you'll find any equipment already converted. And then there is the slight problem of showing it elsewhere. However, we shouldn't scoff at outlandish formats like PAN-16. In today's world, it no longer matters too much how the images were captured. If it's somehow possible to convert to a standardised format on either digital or film... that's all that counts. The original PAN-16 image can be first-rate. With a bit of ingenuity it could perhaps be blown up to the 16mm SCOPE format, which we'll be looking at next....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Normal service will be resumed.... soon as possible !
We've been having one or two technical problems lately, I won't bore you with the details. Filmcam website is also affected, so if you are waiting for the update please bear with us. Don't hesitate to email me in the meantime if you need any info on anything.

The Blog will continue shortly.... I'm going to be looking at the various 16mm film formats, one or two of them may be news to you. See you soon!