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Santo let me get this straight


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#1 John Adolfi

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:44 PM

Beaulieu 6008, 7008 or the Lencina Special. Use expensive quality prime lenses if possible, when shooting color use Kodak's 200T.
Have I left any film or equipment out?
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#2 Samuel Berger

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 06:22 AM

Beaulieu 6008, 7008 or the Lencina Special. Use expensive quality prime lenses if possible, when shooting color use Kodak's 200T.
Have I left any film or equipment out?


You forgot the slot cars, and use Kodachrome 40 instead of that 200T thing.
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#3 A.Oliver

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:59 AM

You must use k40, Santo loves the stock, its the best film ever made reckons Santo :D . Back to reality, angenieux 6-80 correctly adjusted to a beaulieu is a stunning zoom lens. I would agree, leicina special, then 7008 with 6-80 zoom, i found no advantage of using zeiss primes on my 7008 last year.
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#4 santo

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:21 PM

Beaulieu 6008, 7008 or the Lencina Special. Use expensive quality prime lenses if possible, when shooting color use Kodak's 200T.
Have I left any film or equipment out?


Well, if you want a serious answer, you left a lot out.

I advocate the same approach anybody would take shooting any other format, rather than crippling super 8 and restricting its use to consumer-grade zoom 1970's zoom lenses, poor reversal film, cheap telecine. Which is exactly the formula a pro uses to create the "bad film" look, but ironically the three variables the ill-informed amateur shooter who is mired in nostalgia and misinformed also uses, struggling against themselves, trying to get a good image, spending often thousands of dollars on home telecine devices.

Here's the Golden Rules Formula for getting top results from super 8 (it is actually only common sense):

A) USE A REAL CAMERA That means one that uses prime lenses and, as an accessory, the best of the zooms of the era, or the option of far superior modern zooms. But you use primes whenever possible. Any of the real Beaulieus will do just nicely. 2008, 3008, 4008, 5008, 6008, 7008, 9008. Or a Leicina Special. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars. Not at all. My current "entertainment" project involves a Beaulieu 3008 I bought for 90 euros in good working shape on ebay.de. The "normal" prime I'm fitting to it is an old Zeiss Tevidon 10mm f2 I bought for $120 US also on ebay.de. I may pick up a wider c-mount prime or just use a Century Optics wide angle screw on adapter I already have which cost $80 new and has given terrific results. I intend to keep the final cost near $500 after a lube job, attention to filters (maybe), and lens collimation. The fact is, though, that any old decent c-mount prime lens will destroy the ridiculous Japanese mega-zoom home movie cameras of the 1970's, which was all about marketing. So, no, expensive prime lenses not needed. Decent quality prime lenses certainly needed, and that's $100 - 300 bucks, tops. Even with the Leicina Special's Cinegon. Although if you want and can afford it, spend more. Obviously this is the big advantage of super 8 over 16mm -- the best equipment costs thousands less both in purchase price and upkeep costs. Unless wind-up cameras are your thing, I guess.

B ) USE REAL FILM This is luckily very rapidly becoming impossible not to do so. Soon, super 8 shooters will have no choice but to use real film because K40 will be gone completely and horrible Ektachrome 125 is no more. There is no restriction in using only V2 200t. There's all kinds of great films out there. Modern motion picture stocks. Negative and reversal. Frankly, any of Kodak's current super 8 line-up available from them is excellent. And, my God, look at all that Pro8 offers these days. Or those companies in Germany. Most of the Fujis, too, are readily available. This is all part of the amazing transformation that the death of Kodachrome has brought us -- all quality good film, for only a little more money. Now we can have pretty much anything our hearts desire. It is easy to recreate the "bad film" look if that's what you're aiming for from any film stock. It is pretty much impossible to get bad film to look like good film. And that's because, and this is common sense again, it was never designed to be reproduced.

C) USE REAL TELECINE A crucial part of the equation that seems lost on many super 8 shooters, even now. When you figure it out, I mean really sit down and figure it out, home telecine, often costing thousands of dollars in equipment and/or countless hours of tinkering, all you get are substandard results. Negative film does not home projector telecine worth a crap. And consider this: there is a reason why DV is not a standard for telecine of film projects. It destroys the very exagerated qualities of beautiful film we rightly should shoot super 8 for in the first place. How many professional projects transfer film to DV? None. They all use 2k, HD, digibeta. Luckily, with the new direct to hard drive transfer options now readily available in a competitive business environment (5 competitors and counting in the US alone), the beauty of film can now be preserved in a proper digibeta quality or better transfer with a real telecine machine. It makes all the difference in the world. All for an extra $100 bucks or two over miniDV, your film remains beautiful and pretty much looking like it does when it is projected because you avoided the DV meat grinder.

So, you left things out. In the end, the extra costs are actually quite small. If someone's aims are producing a few short narrative films, then the extra costs are pretty much neglible in the big picture of things. You really are fooling yourself not following these three principles. If you're shooting non-narrative stuff for pleasure and are spending all the money that super 8 costs over video, either you are a nostalgia nut/hobbyist and don't really care about top results and are just looking for some time to kill and these principles are lost on you, or you are a serious home shooter who wants the best results from your efforts and investment, and then you'll eventually realize that this little added expense is well worth it. In fact you'll see it is worth every damn cent once you try and compare what you get with your old Japanazoom/K40/DIY telecine vs. Real Camera/Real Film/Real Telecine. And, if you miss the "bad film" look, that's only a few strokes on you keyboard in the editing programme to downgrade.
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