There's been a small debate online about Ultra 16. Is it better then Regular 16? Super 16? Is it worth it? If you ask any filmmaker who already dabbles or has a Super16 camera, they usually hate the idea. But for those whom can't afford the conversion or equipment, it might make a good compromise in quality versus cost.
The first test is a comparison of Ultra 16 versus Regular16 to see how much more/ less of the frame your getting. The second test (starting at 02:03) compares Ultra16 to Super16. My apologies if the test goes a little fast or if it's a feels bit sloppy. The footage was to test other things as well, such as dynamic range, film stocks, and labs (listed below). It should be noted that there seems to be a descrepancy in what portions of the 16mm negative make up the Ultra16mm frame amonst labs. Cinelab (shown here) displays their 1.78 Ultra 16 footage by allowing some of the perfs on the left side to show. Meanwhile Cinelicious (according to their demo) crops the 1.78 between the perfs- cut down from a 1.85 image. Different websites (Such as wikipedia and marylandfilm.com) also differ slightly on their ultra16 specs.
Personally, regardless how it's cropped- Ultra 16mm isn't that far from super16 in alot of respects (especially if you crop out the perfs and keep the orginal intended 1.85 frame). Super16 is still king, but if you need an HD workflow and you want to save some money, I can't find a major reason not to try Ultra16 (unless Super16 cameras gets comparatively priced- which it may soon be). With fine grain film and good glass, I don't see how anyone could tell much of a difference (Of course some would argue the same for cropping regular 16 ) On to the specs:
First shot (:10-2.03):
Kodak 250D (OLD FILM)
Shot on a beaulieu R16 (Older hand cranked model)
4:3 frame Transfer by Pro8mm.com (Millennium II scanner)
Ultra16 frame done by Cinelab.com (The Rank Cintel turbo 4 scanner)
Second shot(2.03- end)
Shot on a Cp16/A (Yes the dogleg model)
Super16 frame Transfered by processblue.tv (Formerly scanyourfilm) on a Goldeneye scanner
Ultra16 Frame transfered by Cinelab.com (The Rank Cintel Turbo 4 scanner)
On a final note CInelab is on the verge on upgrading their scanning equipment- should be interesting.