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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Film Stock Improvement/Older IMAX doesn't look so hot (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Film Stock Improvement/Older IMAX doesn't look so hot
Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 07-21-2009 09:30 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I recently went to Niagara falls and stopped by to see the Legends and Daredevils IMAX which I guess was filmed in the mid 80's.

The image quality didn't look so hot. It was still rock steady but it didn't have the visual "pop" that I'm used to from IMAX. The quality of the image wasn't any better than the 35mm filmed and DMR'd portions of Dark Knight.

Has film stock improved that much or was this particular film not done very well?

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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 - posted 07-21-2009 11:25 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Other variables could be involved.

Is the theater running a really old print or something newly struck? What kind of elements were used in making the print? A dupe of a dupe of a dupe? The more generations that come between the original negative and the release print will equate to image detail becoming increasingly soft and colors being more muted.

The projection setup is also a factor. Less than optimal brightness and focus that is out of adjustment will make even the very best film prints look like crap.

Film stocks have improved dramatically over the last 20 years. However, IMAX has been able to show razor sharp detail on giant sized screens for longer than that.

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Tim Asten
Film Handler

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From: Brighton, United Kingdom
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 - posted 07-21-2009 01:58 PM      Profile for Tim Asten   Email Tim Asten   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was there about 3 years back. They were using a 4k lamp according to the voice-over intro - far to small for the size of the screen, resulting in a very dark picture. Total waste of money and the theatre itself was quite shabby and could have done with a refurb. looks like things have not changed.
Tim.

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John Hawkinson
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 - posted 07-25-2009 05:18 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dye stability is affected by heat, and thus by the number of times it is projected before a bright lamp. In a well-maintained large format system, fade from repeated projection is the number one cause of prints being replaced. Try searching for some old John Pytlak posts, but I think somewhere around 10,000 runs is what you should expect as the lifetime for dyes before the fading becomes a problem.

So for a twenty-year old movie that could likely be the cause.

--jhawk

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 08-01-2009 11:27 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Will IMAX even strike new prints anymore given their new digital direction, or just tell their partners that they can use exisiting prints until they are no longer playable and then it's either they install the Christies or shut down. Or does IMAX have a contractual committment to support 15/70?

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Mike Heenan
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 - posted 08-06-2009 12:13 PM      Profile for Mike Heenan   Email Mike Heenan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw the Grand Canyon movie up at the Grand Canyon a few months ago and the print was fantastic. I don't think I got the "wow" factor either, but I noticed that the right side of the image was a little dark, so their bulb is misaligned or not at full capacity.

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Gordon McLeod
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 - posted 08-06-2009 12:48 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pyramid Place Niagra I believe has one of the original aircooled "classic" imax projectors that use a 4K lamp
It used to be relatively good light in that theatre in the past
Most Imax prints are struck of the O neg or a slow stepped print protection master

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Tim Rectanus
Film Handler

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From: Raleigh, NC, USA
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 - posted 08-06-2009 02:22 PM      Profile for Tim Rectanus   Author's Homepage   Email Tim Rectanus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't been in a while but I thought the Lights outside used to illuminate the Falls at night were 4K Xenons and the IMAX projector boasted a 15K. I could be totally wrong though.

My guess on the poor quality, they show the same movie over and over again. No telling how many runs they have on those prints (they had at least 2 of the same movie when I was there), they say prints can run for a long time without losing quality but we know that isn't always true, even if it is handled with great care. Plus, running the same movie over and over again, I would think it is easier to get complacent about the quality.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 08-06-2009 04:04 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The air cooled classic is 4 or 4.5k the same print should be able to get several thousand passes on it with out an issue been there and done it many times

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Adam Martin
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 - posted 08-06-2009 04:06 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Heenan
the Grand Canyon movie up at the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon was re-cut several years back and new prints were issued.

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Tim Rectanus
Film Handler

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From: Raleigh, NC, USA
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 - posted 08-06-2009 05:11 PM      Profile for Tim Rectanus   Author's Homepage   Email Tim Rectanus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They still running the 2D Classic air cooled Gordon? If they are, they got some false advertising issues on the website going on.
From web page

quote:
"Light from the 15,000-watt lamp in an IMAX® projector is so bright that if it were on the moon we could see it from earth with the naked eye.

If a large log were held in front of the light beam from the projector, it would spontaneously combust.


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Gordon McLeod
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 - posted 08-07-2009 09:15 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The last time I was there and visited the booth they still had the aircooled classic
The booth is so small and low ceiling I doubt the 15K classic would fit but nothing is beyond the realm of possibility

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System Notices
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 - posted 12-05-2013 02:00 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 1581 days since the last post.


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Terry Lynn-Stevens
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 - posted 12-05-2013 02:00 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Lyle Romer
I recently went to Niagara falls and stopped by to see the Legends and Daredevils IMAX which I guess was filmed in the mid 80's.

The image quality didn't look so hot. It was still rock steady but it didn't have the visual "pop" that I'm used to from IMAX.

I saw the Daredevil movie in mid September. I noticed as well that the image did not look so breathtaking. I was told that new prints are struck every six months at this location and they use two different prints of the same movie and they alternate them every other hour. The light source was upgraded to about 7k recently.

What I did notice was that the sound was something to behold, way better than the 2K digital set ups.

One of the interesting things about this location is that it is one of the largest IMAX theatres for seat count at 600+ seats, but the screen is just 60 feet.

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Connor Wilson
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From: Sterling, VA, USA
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 - posted 08-31-2014 09:23 AM      Profile for Connor Wilson   Email Connor Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Earlier this year, I've been to a Philadelphia OMNIMAX at The Franklin Institute to see "Ring of Fire" (1991). The 20+ year old print was pristine with very, very light scratches and dirt. Having been struck from a film source rather than digital, the picture was very good, though there were some abnormalities.

The grain was more prelavent than the 15/70 scenes of The Dark Knight Rises. I wonder if this could be due to the OMNIMAX lenses if they enlarge the grain. The colors were very natural with reds (especially in the opening) standing out. For some reason, Samsara projected digitally had better contrast. The reason I bring that up is because both movies have night time scenes with lava rivers or what you call them.

For anyone saying that IMAX sound is shrill, "Ring of Fire" was made in a time without tastes being "bright." The magnetic soundtrack had TONS of low end. The drums were insanely low, but not as clear as a modern QSC sound system.

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