Magazine article American Cinematographer

Questions & Answers

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Questions & Answers

Article excerpt

(Inquiries are invited relating to cinematographic problems. Address: Q. & A., AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, P.O. Box 2230. Hollywood, Calif. 90028.)

Q I have read with great interest your comments on printer sharpness and would like to suggest that this topic be given more exposure in the future.

I find the improvement in definition overwhelming when comparing any workprint (obtained from either 7252 or 7247) with Kodachrome original.

Are step optical printers better than contact printers? Does printing speed affect resolution? One would believe that high-resolution printing would have been made available at least for the internegative process.

I would appreciate any information you could give me on higher resolution printers (optical?) if available.

A It would take almost a complete textbook to answer your questions in depth. For you to obtain a full understanding of the various factors involved in the characteristics of different types of printing machines, you would have to spend many hours reading all the articles that have appeared in the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and its predecessor publications over the past 60 years. We therefore, can only give you afew guidelines in this column in answer to your questions.

It is risky to generalize about different types of printing machines because it is possible for several specimens of the same type of machine to give different results depending upon individual variations in construction and adjustment. Optical printers are too slow to be economically justifiable except when making a master positive or duplicative negative where the correct image orientation is not obtainable by contact printing. Usually this also entails the use of wet gate printing to obliterate the tiny scratches and abrasions that are not visible in contact printing.

Several laboratories have step contact printers which are also not economically justifiable except where it is necessary to have "rock steady" printing to avoid apparent movement between two or more sequential exposures such as titles over motion picture backgrounds or multiple exposure effects. It is safe to assume that 99% of all Motion Picture printing both 35mm and 16mm is performed on continuous printers. …

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