Magazine article American Cinematographer

New Products & Services

Magazine article American Cinematographer

New Products & Services

Article excerpt

Kodak Unveils Vision3

The Eastman Kodak Co. recently introduced the first product in a new generation of color motion-picture films, Kodak Vision3 500T 5219/7219. The new stock's capabilities were demonstrated for cinematographers and others at Hollywood's Arclight Cinemas, where Kodak screened 35mm test footage shot by ASC President Daryn Okada and Super 16mm footage photographed by Tim Pike.

Filmed under a variety of lighting conditions cinematographers face on a daily basis, the tests supported Kodak's claims of increased creative flexibility and efficiencies during both production and post, including digital-intermediate (DI) timing. "The new emulsion has a much wider range of latitude in the overexposed areas," says Okada. "I found at least 2 more stops of range in the highlights, which enabled me to record more details. I got a rich range of colors and skin tones without saturation contamination. Also, there was an almost magical reduction in grain without affecting colors."

In addition to recording greater detail in the highlights, the emulsion's proprietary, advanced Dye Layering Technology (DLT) renders finer grain in underexposed areas and produces cleaner film-to-digital transfers. The reduced grain is particularly evident in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows, making 5219/7219 the optimal stock for extreme lighting situations. Its increased latitude and decreased grain gives cinematographers the ability to underexpose it without fearing an increase in noise; this means it can be rated at speeds even higher than the recommended ISO of 500.

Beyond incorporating DLT into the emulsion's green- and red-sensitive layers, the Kodak team "made certain enhancements to the advanced technologies found in the Kodak Vision2 films, such as two electron sensitizers and triple-coated magenta and cyan layers," according to Merrick Distant, Kodak's Vision3 500T project manager. "We also replaced the advanced development accelerators in the most sensitive layers of the Vision2 film with new, advanced development accelerators and more efficient high-activity couplers in the red-sensitive subrecords. The new film also incorporates sub-micron imaging sensors. Initially developed for still photography, these sensors have the unique effect of providing increased discrimination as the light intensity increases with impressive image integrity."

Okada took his test footage through a DI with LaserPacific's senior colorist, Mike Sowa. The cinematographer notes, "This new film is very Dlfriendly. I could isolate backgrounds and make them darker without introducing electronic noise. I chose to overexpose large parts of the frame in some shots, and it was transparent. That gave me a lot of freedom to fine-tune looks."

Vision3 has been designed to intercut seamlessly with the Vision2 product line. "The differences between 5219 and 5218 are difficult to describe," says Okada, "but I'd say 5219 has everything we like about 5218 and a little more punch and clarity of color."

Considering Kodak's dedication to innovation, Distant offers, "We believe the introduction of the Kodak Vision3 platform is a significant breakthrough, but we don't intend to stop here. We will keep listening to our customers and raising the bar."

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