Ralifan footage (not made for the cinema) shot on film (16mm and wider formats) since 1980

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I've learnt that movie film was used for TV shows as late as the 1990s, maybe even the early 2000s. So were any railfan videos made during this time shot on a film format that has a higher level of detail that the television standards of the time?

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  NSWGR8022 Assistant Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
I've learnt that movie film was used for TV shows as late as the 1990s, maybe even the early 2000s. So were any railfan videos made during this time shot on a film format that has a higher level of detail that the television standards of the time?
Myrtone

Cameras would have been very expensive back there so those who had them or were lucky enough to have them would be scarce.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
16mm was cheap enough that it was used a lot by amateur filmmakers. Note that even this format does, at least at slower film speeds, have a higher level of detail that the television and video of the time.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

16mm motion film scans quite well to 1080p HD. That's about it's limit as far as native resolution goes (and detail is lost in shadows or if push-processing is involved).

Quite expensive to shoot on, especially after video became widely available to consumers in the early-mid 1980s. Although there were probably a few gunzels running around with Bolex cameras and the like up until then. Super8 was far more common though.

Fun fact - Home and Away was shot on 16mm right up until the mid-2000s. And most TV news footage was shot on 16mm before 1980. Industrial scale labs were required at each tv station.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
16mm motion film scans quite well to 1080p HD. That's about it's limit as far as native resolution goes (and detail is lost in shadows or if push-processing is involved).
Carnot
Hence excluding narrower film formats. Doesn't this depend on film speed?

Quite expensive to shoot on, especially after video became widely available to consumers in the early-mid 1980s. Although there were probably a few gunzels running around with Bolex cameras and the like up until then. Super8 was far more common though.
Carnot
Surely pretty cheap when compared to cinema formats - 35mm and wider.

Fun fact - Home and Away was shot on 16mm right up until the mid-2000s. And most TV news footage was shot on 16mm before 1980. Industrial scale labs were required at each tv station.
Carnot
So even some Australian shows were shot on film! The only people who would have seen them on film would have been the ones doing the show editing. So if Home and Away was shot on film until that time, have older episodes been remastered in 2k?

I'm looking for railfan footage that was shot on film, excluding anything anyone other than editors would have seen on film.

It made sense for a lot of older T.V shows to be shot on film because the video of the time was limited to 570 lines of resolution. It also gave way more flexibility in the editing. Movie film can be edited by cutting and splicing, most video formats, even analog ones, cannot be edited without copying.
Movie film has capabilities like freeze-frame and trick play, not so easy to do with analog video.

Also, does shooting on film and copying to tape give a better picture than on a dub of a videotape?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Most motion picture film was pretty slow (ie. Typically ISO 50 - 200). ISO 50 is generally able to resolve to HD, ISO 200 quite grainy.

Up until about 10 years ago film had better dynamic range than HD video. Thus if it was shot on film and professionally scanned it looked noticeably better.  Still quite a lot of feature films are still shot on 35mm to get a filmic look. Mad Men was one of the last TV serials shot on film. Very rare for TV shows today.

The introduction of the Arri Alexa and Red digital cameras about 10 years ago killed it.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Most motion picture film was pretty slow (ie. Typically ISO 50 - 200). ISO 50 is generally able to resolve to HD, ISO 200 quite grainy.
Carnot
All motion picture film was surely fast enough for 24fps, at least in broad daylight, and maybe fast enough for 25fps or even 30fps. The resolving power for a given film speed would depend on film format, larger formats giving a better definition for a given film speed.
Speaking of frame rates, film would generally have been run at 25fps (750 frames per minute) when used for television in 50Hz countries, which includes Australia and New Zealand. This could fit our refresh rate with the audio and runtime kept original. This apparently did not have the same "soap opera" effect seen with footage shot on tape at 570i50.
Another option with film that could not have been done when shooting on tape is filming low light scenes with little movement at just 375 frames per minute and scanning each frame twice to fit the 50i refresh rate.

Up until about 10 years ago film had better dynamic range than HD video. Thus if it was shot on film and professionally scanned it looked noticeably better.  Still quite a lot of feature films are still shot on 35mm to get a filmic look. Mad Men was one of the last TV serials shot on film. Very rare for TV shows today.
Carnot
A lot of feature films shot on film are apparently shot on 70mm, which does exceed 4k. Even if a movie is shot on film for the cinema, the only ones who see it on film these days would be the ones doing the editing, not many rolls of film needed for each title.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

A lot of American TV was shot on 30 fps film. Both 16 and 35mm. Hence when it's frame interpolated to 25 fps (50i in broadcast), it can look different. NTSC video likewise from 60i to 50i.

Feature films shot at 24 fps were simply 'sped up' on the telecine to 25 fps (50i).

Getting back to film - lots of variables based on what it was shot on (B&W, colour negative, colour reversal) and how it was transferred to prints. Ie via interpositive-internegative, or via Digital intermediate to laser printed film.  Amateurs often shot on colour reversal so that the developed film could be projected. (No need for expensive intermediates).

Hence why many film restorations to Bluray begin with 4k or higher scans of original camera negatives if possible.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
A lot of American TV was shot on 30 fps film. Both 16 and 35mm. Hence when it's frame interpolated to 25 fps (50i in broadcast), it can look different. NTSC video likewise from 60i to 50i.
Carnot
Weren't a lot of American T.V shows actually shot at just under 24fps? Their refresh rate (just under 60Hz) being fitted by the way they scanned some frames and others.

Feature films shot at 24 fps were simply 'sped up' on the telecine to 25 fps (50i).
Carnot
Maybe movies made for the cinema were simply sped up to fit our refresh rate, but when using film to shoot a T.V show shown in this country and other 50Hz countries, it might as well be 25fps.

Getting back to film - lots of variables based on what it was shot on (B&W, colour negative, colour reversal) and how it was transferred to prints. Ie via interpositive-internegative, or via Digital intermediate to laser printed film.  Amateurs often shot on colour reversal so that the developed film could be projected. (No need for expensive intermediates).
Carnot
What about using film to make a video? Say shooting on colour negative film and then transferring it to videotape. What I'm looking for is railfan videos done like that.

Hence why many film restorations to Bluray begin with 4k or higher scans of original camera negatives if possible.
Carnot
This applies to T.V shows shot on film, and when such transfers are done, and the original negatives are well preserved, the remaster can really blow the minds of viewers.
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
While it doesn't strictly meet post-1980 the film was released on VHS tape in the early 1990s IIRC. It was re-released on DVD a few years ago: https://www.trainpictures.com.au/steam-on-16mm-in-the-sixties?manufacturer_id=1408

I've watched the original VHS release and the quality of the film is pretty good (the dubbed over music gets a little annoying though).
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

A lot of American TV was shot on 30 fps film. Both 16 and 35mm. Hence when it's frame interpolated to 25 fps (50i in broadcast), it can look different. NTSC video likewise from 60i to 50i.
Weren't a lot of American T.V shows actually shot at just under 24fps? Their refresh rate (just under 60Hz) being fitted by the way they scanned some frames and others.nd the original negatives are well preserved, the remaster can really blow the minds of viewers.
Myrtone
In the very early days of TV, yes.

Once TV was more established, content made for TV in the US and shot on film would have been shot at 30fps and drop frames used to match the NTSC frame rate of 29.97fps.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Digging around on Vimeo, there are a couple of 16mm films shot around the railways:

An example:


16mm Arri SR3 Film "Morning" by Reid Collins

And the film mentioned by K160 is available on DVD. Preview here looks phenomenal:


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