Magazine article American Cinematographer

Tape-to-Film Transfer in Scandinavia

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Tape-to-Film Transfer in Scandinavia

Article excerpt

A significant and courageous step forward results in a highly advanced installation of facilities for the transfer of video tape signals to film

Until about two years ago activity in the field of telerecording had been almost at a complete standstill. The only equipment available was black-and-white and somewhat dated. The television engineers worked in the opposite direction; i.e., to find sophisticated methods for transfering color pictures into television signals. No one really knew the extent to which a first-class telerecording installation could be put to use or, more important, how much of a financial risk would be involved with the massive investment that such a system implies.

The rapid growing of the videomarket outside the television companies, of course, worried us a little, so in 1975, instead of fighting against it, AB Film-Teknik, as the first Scandinavian film laboratory, decided to undertake the massive investment of a video-department.

AB Film-Teknik, known for its daylight printing, has maintained a leading position amongst Scandinavian laboratories for many years, and with over 30 years experience in film and 10 years in sound, we branched into video in the beginning of 1976 with the emphasis on tape-to-film transfer. Our main equipment consists of two Ampex 2000 B VTR's, a Rank Cintel Mk III telecine with colorgrade and Vert. Appert. Corr. and a Teledyne CTR 3 Color Telefilm Recorder. We have also cassette duplication facilities for U-matic and VCR and we have just installed a VPX Super-8 scanner to be able to transfer Super-8 film to tape or 16mm film.

The most delicate part of our investment was to find the telerecording equipment, since the supply of standard equipment is very limited and most companies in the business have built their own equipment. In choosing the telefilm equipment the transfer quality, of course, was the most important factor, but we also knew that the operational reliability of the electronics and the mechanics must rank high. We investigated the market by studying samples from different companies and we also visited some laboratories in the U.S. During the trip to America we saw the prototype of a new triniscope recorder at Kodak Park in Rochester. The concept of that equipment seemed to meet most of our requirements. The manufacture and sale of the equipment was taken care of by Teledyne Camera Systems, so we contacted them for further information. We then discovered that the production model looked even better than the prototype.

It was a very logical assembly and it had a fast pulldown camera with a well proven reliability. Further factors in Teledyne's favour were that the separation of the three colors through dichroic mirrors and filters is extremely good and matches the spectral sensitivity of most color films and that the high luminosity permits the use of low sensitive, fine-grain films.

So the Teledyne CTR-3 was purchased and installation took place in February 1976. As it was the first equipment to leave the assembly line, the personnel at Film-Teknik were fortunate in having both an installation engineer and one of the designers from Teledyne with them for the first four weeks to carry out extensive tests.

Well, now to our experiences gained after one year of telerecording. The first and remaining impression is that the results were well up to our expectations. Color saturation is very good, flesh tones are well reproduced and sharpness and resolution extremely good, especially in close-ups. …

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