I loved reading that shootout. Please tell me you have similar ones about 2K digital vs pristine 35mm print in optimal conditions? hehe
Well, there’s this technical article where they conducted experiments to measure the actual resolving power of 35mm film when it’s projected in a movie theater.
We all know that, when scanned, 35mm easily resolves 2K and usually can make use of 4K scanning (I’ll leave the debate open for 8K, though there’s certainly evidence that 8K scanning can be useful when using high quality 35mm film). But how much of that resolution actually makes it to the screen when thrown across the room by the projector?
According to this experiment, not a lot. They found that in a movie theater, you’re really only getting the equivalent of 685 to 875 lines of resolution up on the screen.
Now, I personally think that seems low. I’ve seen enough 35mm projections (even in this age of digital) to say that I’ve seen film projection that rivals any standard 2 or 4K movie theater. And with film you don’t have the issue of being able to see the pixels or lines of resolution (which I can regularly see clearly in standard 2K theaters… drives me nuts!)
But I’m not an expert or industry professional like the people who conducted these tests, so who knows?