Film Stocks : Originals and Copies

Definitiions by Dr. Film


A 16mm print made from a negative which was itself made from a 16mm print. Image quality almost always inferior to original prints of the same title, sound quality may be inferior as well.


A 16mm print made from a negative which was made from a 35mm release print. Quality is dependent on the source material and the lab doing the work. It can range from worse than dupe to better than original.


A print made from another print with no negative. Generally higher contrast than the original and of higher quality than a dupe.


A 16mm print made from a negative made from a 35mm fine grain print or 35mm neg (interneg).

Print down:

A 16mm print made from a negative 35mm neg. Sharpest most detailed image you can get on 16mm.

Reduction reversal:

A 16mm print made from a 35mm print with no negative. Often contrasty, but better than straight reversals or dupes.


Color Reversal Inter-negative


Has become a generic term for anything that isn't IB Tech, and will/has turned red.

IB Tech:

Two or three strip dye transfer process used in 16mm films through 1972 (Bright Blue soundtrack through the 1940's switching to silver/gray soundtrack there after). Color neither fades nor turns.


Most long term stable of the non IB stocks, though not officially billed as "low Fade"


Another stock that has long term staying power, not billed as "Low Fade"

Low Fade:

Any color film stock that was designed to hold its color better than the original Eastman stock.


Early (1970's) Kodak Low Fade stock. Most SP stock prints have begun to turn red.


Thus far proving to be only Kodak true low fade stock, introduced in the early 1980's (very briefly, there was LP stock chronologically between SP and LPP, superior to SP, inferior to LPP)


A reversal stock, occasionally used by legitimate releasing companies. Colors tend to be on the brown side, but is not know to fade or turn.

TV print:

Generally, a 16mm print made by the releasing company for commercial television broadcast. More specifically; a Black and white TV print will usually appear to have less contrast than an theatrical 16mm print. Movies originally filmed in scope will (except for Woody Allen's "Manhattan") be flat, ie; panned and scanned. Often there will be a splice every 10-15 minutes where the commercial breaks were to go, occasionally there will be plastic leader (slugs) where the commercials were to go. In the case of newer films, objectionable scenes or dialogue may be cut or covered (with tape). In the case of older films, musical numbers may be missing due to rights problems. Beware of "racial" sanitizing. Often TV stations themselves will cut out portions of films that are not politically correct for their viewing public.

Re-recorded track:

Reductions and dupe suffer not only from image loss, but poor sound reproduction as well. Some labs will separate the sound from the image and make a fresh track. This ensures that the sound quality will be as good as (and in some cases better than) the original.

Sections, Units, cores, reels:

IB Technicolor prints and all print-downs from 35mm are produced in sections, generally 10 minutes long, that match the length of a theatrical negative reel (1000 feet). Units refer to the original number of reels a 16mm print was issued on. ie; Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs came from the lab on three cores, which means it was produced in three units, designed for 1600' reels. Units can range from 10 minutes to 40 minutes. Generally movies less than 78 minutes will be printed in two units, 78 to 105 in three, 105 - 150 in four and 150 - 190 in five. Cores are the plastic hubs that labs spool printed film onto (often called Lab cores). Reels are the plastic or metal reels the film is physically transferred to for projection. A split reel is a reel designed to hold film that is still on cores (for projection or spooling onto reels).

Odd Reels:

When you see an ad for odd reels (either for sale or wanted) it generally refers to the original unit, not a physical reel.