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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » End date for 15/70 IMAX (Page 1)

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Author Topic: End date for 15/70 IMAX
Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012

 - posted 06-07-2013 02:23 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone have some definitive information on when we will see the end of IMAX 15/70?

I was at a purpose built IMAX venue a few days ago, this location was well over 30+ years of age, you could clearly see the age in the facility. The image was good and steady, but the picture did look aged, the movie was produced in the mid 80's (I wonder if it was the original print). The sound was also awesome, not sure if was digital sound (perhaps they are using the mag sound from the 80s). You could tell whoever owns this facility will not be putting more money into it.

Later in the week, I also visited an IMAX theatre in a multiplex, this location was not a retrofit as it was also an IMAX purpose built cinema at the multiplex, this theatre of course was a 15/70 in the past but had just recently changed over to digital, what I saw was god-awful, the movie was Star Trek Into the Darkness and I was actually able to see the digital projectors correcting something about half way through the movie on the left side of the screen.

Now, the last I heard, the Ontario Place IMAX up in Canada (now closed) upgraded their IMAX 15/70 projectors in 2011.

Are we still seeing some purpose built IMAX theatres upgrade like they did at the Cinesphere?

I know Dark Knight Rises got a few projector installs, but I guess that was for special event.

Is 15/70 now pretty much done?

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10701
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 06-07-2013 02:38 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know an end date for 15/70, but I imagine it's going to be coming pretty soon. As film manufacturing and printing labs shut down it's going to choke off the supply of new prints.

The current dual 2K projection scheme is definitely a serious downgrade from 15/70 (provided the material being shown in 15/70 was shot that way rather than blown up from a 2K digital intermediate). The only plus I see with current IMAX digital systems is brighter 3D projection. That's it.

There's a fair amount of hype rumbling about the laser projection system IMAX is supposed to transition into using. It's supposedly going to be 4K. I don't know if it will be a dual or single projection system. It might provide a noticeable improvement above the current IMAX digital systems. But I doubt it will show the level of detail 15/70 can show.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-07-2013 04:22 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doesn't the dome version ("Omnimax") still require 15/70? Or is there a [dlp] system for the dome screens now?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 06-07-2013 06:04 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is no digital solution from IMAX for the OMNIMAX theaters yet. Actually, there isn't even a digital solution for the big flat screen 15/70 IMAX locations yet, although a 4K solution with laser light sources has indeed been announced some time back.

I guess, for a dome, 4K even isn't really sufficient. If you're running an OMNIMAX venue, you better hold on to your old prints I guess. If you're running motion pictures too (I don't know who wants to see that on a dome, but it is happening...), you might be out of luck.

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Brian Shull
Film Handler

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From: Buhler, KS USA
Registered: Dec 2007

 - posted 06-07-2013 09:06 PM      Profile for Brian Shull   Email Brian Shull   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually we developed a single digital projection dome system to replace 15/70 film systems. Two are already installed.

It works well and is a direct replacement for 15/70.

Hollywood films play fine on the systems and incorporates an immerse feeling into the flick.

There are digital dome solutions out there.


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Jeffry L. Johnson
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 06-08-2013 11:42 AM      Profile for Jeffry L. Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Jeffry L. Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last I read in LF Examiner, IMAX 4k projectors with laser illumination for dome screen have a projected commercial rollout in the second half of 2015. Flat screens in second half of 2014.

I have not heard a timeframe for conversion or installation at my OMNIMAX (IMAX Dome) location.

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Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 377
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011

 - posted 06-12-2013 01:55 AM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brian could you elaborate more on your single projector solution? What is it based on? Thanks man.

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Brian Shull
Film Handler

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From: Buhler, KS USA
Registered: Dec 2007

 - posted 06-13-2013 10:25 PM      Profile for Brian Shull   Email Brian Shull   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The system is a barco 32B 4K with a lens we designed for this purpose. We are capable of throwing light 180 deg left to right.

It is a replacement image of what the IMAX system projected except with the advantages that digital offers (even light, very stable).

I see you are from Kansas, stop in at the Cosmosphere and check it out.


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Brad Miller

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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-14-2013 12:30 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
So a 4K presentation is equal to 15/70, eh?

Not buying it.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12207
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 06-14-2013 06:06 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Remember Brad, even in film, people have 15/70 alternative "solutions" like 8/70. While they were cheaper...and big screen systems, they were not 15/70. 4K is 35mm 1.85 resolution, not even CinemaScope, let alone 5/70 and forget about 15/70.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 06-14-2013 07:03 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
4K might be equivalent to 35mm 1.85 according to some theoretical comparisons, but subjectively in practice I'd doubt it in most situations. OK, a hand-made, step contact-printed showprint on premium print stock might be, but most the mass-produced release prints that tended to show up in theatres during the final decade of the film era were grainy (due to being high-speed printed and then push-processed in near-boiling chemistry to save time and money), with a colour balance that varied from reel to reel, and with a load of other defects which would mean that with all other comparable factors being equal, there would be far more detail, dynamic range and colour space in a 4K DCP than in your typical bogstandard print.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12207
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 06-14-2013 05:40 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you are going to compare an industry that so wanted film gone that it, just about, drug the prints through mud before delivering them to the theatres to a DCP that hasn't been compressed...well, then yeah but that is a bullshit comparison. Heck, the 35mm print (not supposed to be in this discussion anyway due to the forum we are in) is derived off of a 2K DI not for quality sake but ease...the studios really couldn't care about the 35mm film prints in the end...I think everyone gets that. But note, there was no intrinsic reason it HAD to be that way...the industry used to crank out pretty darn good prints. The quality degrade was one of choice, not requirement.

What I was comparing was that 4K is in no way a substitute for 15/70 and to drive the point home...4K is only the resolution of 35mm 1.85 and is therefore clearly NOT 15/70 in quality (by most any measure). Color, contrast ratio...etc. again remain with the 15/70 system. Last I checked, nobody was really complaining about image movement in 15/70 either.

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Cameron Glendinning
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: West Ryde, Sydney, NSW Australia
Registered: Dec 2005

 - posted 06-16-2013 06:29 AM      Profile for Cameron Glendinning   Email Cameron Glendinning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the answer to this question actually belongs to the film distributors, for some 15/70mm has already ended but most are still willing and promising to supply prints into the future.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004

 - posted 06-20-2013 03:17 PM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It will still be around by the end of the year, Hobbit 2 is getting a 15/70 release and the third part is also getting one in June. I personally don't think it will go much past Christmas of '14. Which isn't good for myself and a few other posters here.

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Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted 06-20-2013 10:14 PM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Geoff Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Kurt Zupin
and the third part is also getting one in June.
The Hobbit: Episode III got pushed to December 2014. That gives them more time to add more minutes and extra frames per second.

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