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Re: Eclair Cameras: Ultra 16


Has anyone had their camera modified to Ultra 16? I'd like to find a good technician, and have an estimate of the cost. If Bernie O. can modify my camera I could have the viewfinder brightened at the same time.

I have a cameflex with a 16mm gate and it seems like it would be very easy to have it modified to Ultra16. It would be nice to have a normal 16 gate and an Ultra 16 gate. I mostly transfer my film to video, so the printing issue doesn't bother me. Also, I'd like to use digital intermediates in the future.

Most modern telecines like the Spirit can resize the image to any frame ratio.

Ian Turpen

From: Karl  <klkim@comcast.net>
Reply-To: EclairACL@topica.com
To: EclairACL@topica.com
Subject: Re: Eclair Cameras: anamorphic adapter- widescreen
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 12:36:30 -0500

Yes, all true about Ultra 16.  However, in my area (New York City) many
transfer facilities can handle Ultra16.  Your camera and mags should be
modified by a qualified technician, like Bernie O, it isn't a DIY project.

Vic, following is a thread from another Topica list.
Matt, try this link:

I've managed to put together as much information as I could find on
Ultra16, including information from Oliver Glaser, who helped me with
understanding Ultra16 (many thanks go to Oliver Glaser).

The big reason for going with Ultra16 is price - plain and simple. It
costs maybe $40 to have a gate filed down, but $2000 to have a camera
"upgraded" to Super16 (and then you have to buy the super expensive
Super16 lenses!). Ultra16 uses the same Regular16 lenses as before.
Nothing special about it. Just make sure you've gotten the tiny metal
burrs off the gate after they've been filed, or you will scratch your
Ultra16 area! (coincidentally, your Regular 16mm area will remain
unscratched). I took mine to a machine shop who grinded the edges for
$30 US.

And you only lose about 3% of the film area compared to what Super16
records, when it comes to blowing up to 35mm. That's not very much at
all (especially when comparing a blowup of Regular16 to Super16, where
you lose something like 40% of your film area). Oliver Glaser said he
recently cut a feature movie together with an Arri Super16 camera (his
"A" camera) and two Eclair NPR Ultra16's (his "B" and "C" cameras) - He
said there was virtually no difference.

Pretty much all you have to do is file the gate 0.7mm on both sides,
this extends the width for the Ultra16 format, but doesn't affect
Regular16 - you still get the regular 16 picture. Filing it out 0.7mm on
both sides will put the new picture area in between the perfs on the
sides (and coincidentally, covers the perf holes), but that's ok, that's
what we want. Since it's between the perfs and an extra 1.4mm wide, the
frame area we now call Ultra16 is now a 1.85:1 ratio. The regular 16mm
areas (the top and bottom) can be used if you need them, but if you are
shooting only for Ultra16 - which you will probably be blowing up, then
you won't be using the 4:3 16mm top and bottom edges, much like the
"extra" top and bottom areas of Standard 35mm.

The cool part is the regular old 16mm lenses are Perfect for this. Since
you aren't doing anything special to the lens, vignetting on the corners
may have happened if you were using the entire image area (7.5mm x
11.8mm), But you are Not! The perf areas lack the recordable medium
(holes in film). This means you must go with the R16mm or the U16mm
frames. Just as a suggestion, look at the front of your lens, now
picture a 4:3 area on it. If the lens doesn't vignette with R16, then
picture a 1.85:1 area... Do you get the point? Basically, vignetting
probably won't happen, unless it's already happening on your Regular
16mm lens. (that's why Peter said the 2.35:1 ratio would probably work
with the 6mm lens, while the 1.85:1 probably would not - it's already
vignetting on Regular 16mm)

You can also think of it like 35mm, if a lens vignettes while shooting
standard 35mm, you may keep on shooting while saying to yourself "The
vignetting doesn't show up in the final 1.85:1 image - which is the
release I'm going for, I'm not going to worry about it." And that, my
friend, is the same as Ultra16...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vic Alexander" <vic@releasing.net>
To: <EclairACL@topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 11:06 AM
Subject: Re: Eclair Cameras: anamorphic adapter- widescreen

Hi, Hans

Tell me something about Ultra. I don't remember what it is anymore.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hans Hansson" <hansfilm@algonet.se>
To: <EclairACL@topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 7:40 AM
Subject: Re: Eclair Cameras: anamorphic adapter- widescreen

What about a re-examination of Ultra16?
A smaller negative, but no additional optical elements.
Forget Ultra-16.
It´s not a standard format for 16 mm production, like Normal-16 or Super-16. The extended picture use the area between the perforation and there is a big
risk for scratches and marks from sprocket wheels and the pull down clew.
An other problem with Ultra-16 is the lack of film gates for printers and
telecine equipment.

Hans Hansson. FSF

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