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Why today's films (photographic and cinematographic) don't have the vivid coulorus of the old films?

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by Telecolor 3007, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Telecolor 3007

    Telecolor 3007 I love old stuff

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    Why today's films (photographic and cinematographic) don't have the vivid coulorus of the old films? I'm talking about the image suport.
     

     

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  2. Shominy

    Shominy Lunatic Member

    :lurk:
    I have wondered this too. When I think of the deep color saturation of the 50's and 60's cinema with the deep contrast... well...
     
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  3. Telecolor 3007

    Telecolor 3007 I love old stuff

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    Yes, back then they had very saturated colours. Starting from the '70's and going up to mid '90's they had more natural colours, but they where vivid, not cold.
     
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  4. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

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    Because equipment used to make films has improved.

    And more often, these days, various aspects of the picture (colour saturation, white balance/temperature, etc.) are manipulated to enhance the mood of the film.
     
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  5. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

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  6. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    There is no more Kodachrome and no more film cameras.
     
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  7. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    Funny you should ask...

    Just this morning, I was flipping through channels and came across "Broken Arrow" with James Stewart, from 1950. The colors looked natural and clear, but not like I'd have expected old 3-strip Technicolor to look. Neother did it look like old single-strip color films, many of which have faded due to unstable dye. I had myself convinced it was a single-strip color of some sort that had been digitally manipulated back to normal. But, no...info online suggests it was 3-strip Technicolor - and so does the time frame. Seems like single-strip didn't begin to take over until later in the '50s. Anybody know what I'm talking about?

    BTW, true to Hollywood standards at the time, 40-some Jimmy Stewart's love interest was 16-year-old Debra Paget!

    And, Apache leader Cochise was played by Jeff Chandler, a Jewish guy from Brooklyn. Different times, different standards, eh?
     
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  8. Telecolor 3007

    Telecolor 3007 I love old stuff

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    They still shot some movies of film!
     
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  9. kirk57

    kirk57 Some guy on the Internet Subscriber

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    I’m pretty certain they could achieve that highly saturated look of old using today’s technology, if they so desired. It looks cool, but it doesn’t look real.

    60 years ago they don’t have much choice in the matter.
     
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  10. old_tv_nut

    old_tv_nut See Yourself on Color TV! Subscriber

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    The publicity says "Color by Technicolor," not "In Technicolor." This could be an indication that it was printed by Technicolor 3-strip process but shot on single strip, but I haven't found a reference to that being a definitive indication.
     
  11. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    The last several movies I’ve seen at the theater have had terrible picture quality and cinematography. It would appear that something is lost - whether it’s to blame on art or technology remains a question.
     

     

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  12. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    I don't think that can happen (I could be wrong). The reverse is possible (shot on 3 strip, printed on single - I've seen plenty of prints like that), Wouldn't be any reason I can see for printing a movie shot on single strip using the 3 strip process....seems it would be like unmixing an egg. Happy to be proved wrong.
     
  13. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    I found a reference in
    Technicolor Movies: The History of Dye Transfer Printing
    that refers to the film as "3 strip Technicolor features (dye strip)", so there ya go.

    BTW, if you ever encounter a TV print (16mm) of a 3 strip color film, the giveway is the registration marks on the leader. "YCM" for the primary colors of each strip - yellow, cyan and magenta.
     
  14. old_tv_nut

    old_tv_nut See Yourself on Color TV! Subscriber

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    Quite a few movies were shot on single strip and printed by the three-strip process. Technicolor themselves offered the process to accommodate shooting situations where the three strip camera would have been impractical to use or was considered too expensive. Furthermore, the three strip camera could not accommodate wide-screen formats, but the wide-screen prints could be made by the three-strip process. Technicolor promoted shooting industrial and educational films on single strip 16mm and printing by the dye imbibition process. This was excellent for color permanence, but suffered a bit from the registration tolerances of the printing process.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046247/
     
  15. old_tv_nut

    old_tv_nut See Yourself on Color TV! Subscriber

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    "Terrible picture quality" could mean a lot of things. Could you be more specific?
     
  16. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    The picture just looks bland. Colors are washed, sharpness and contrast diminished, and brightness maxed. It's almost like the life is compressed out of it. Hostiles was a prime example. What a missed opportunity. This average film could have been a few ticks more enjoyable if the cinematography was off the charts. Instead, I felt like the intent was to make me watch an average film in a hazy environment.
     

     

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  17. CoogarXR

    CoogarXR Super Member

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    I used to work for an electronics recycler, and we had a resale shop where we would sell TVs that I had repaired. I was always on the watch for movies that had that colorful "pop" about them. It helped sell TVs, lol. It was hard to find something that was vibrant, yet sharp, and safe to play the whole way through in a public setting. I usually ended up playing Madagascar or some other Pixar-type flick.
     
  18. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Gladiator and The Life of Pi are prime examples of excellence in modern cinematography.
     
  19. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There might not be any more Kodachrome being developed, but there are film cameras being made and sold, Nikon still make one. Fuji still make a medium format rangefinder. It's good, I have one. And Leica. And Linhof. Not to mention any number of Lomo cameras. And thats without getting into things like Holga.

    ARRI for one still, as far as I know, still make and sell 35 mm movie cameras alongside digital versions. A film maker I know here in Hong Kong just shot a short documentry on one.
     
  20. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I know a lot of modern films use a pretty desaturated/grey color palette for effect. It's intentional.

    A good example is the original Lord of the rings trilogy. The Shire is incredibly vibrant color wize, but as they leave the Shire the palette of the film turns dark and somewhat oppressive, symbolizing the evil that has spread throughout Middle Earth, stealing it's vibrancy and life. As the movies go on, more and more color reenters the scenes as Sauron's grip on the world falters. It's really quite spectacularly done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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