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Cheap / simple speed checker?


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#1 David W Scott

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:50 AM

Is there a simple and cheap method to check the running speed on Super 8 cameras?

I believe Clive mentioned that his Tobin Speed Checker is out of production... and also would cost actual money.

I could film a clock (with a second hand) but that requires burning film, and getting a frame-accurate transfer.

I would like to be able to quickly assess second-hand Super 8 cameras without too much hassle or expenditure. I don't need accuracy to the third decimal point. I'd like to know whether a camera set to 24FPS is "a little fast" or a "little slow".

Perhaps there is a computer utililty? A computer monitor at 60 or 70hz should refresh often enough to provide a reasonable checking tool... (i.e. use a dental mirror to look through the camera gate with the camera aimed at a 24FPS pattern.)

Any other ideas?

Dave
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:01 PM

A loaded camera does not necessarily run at the same speed as an empty camera, so your idea of checking an empty gate is not valid. Your best bet is to use some film you can afford to sacrifice to the test (i.e. old stock), shoot a timed length (30 seconds will suffice) and count the frames. You don't have to send the film away for nice processing, just throw it into a bucket of D-76 for 5 minutes (in the dark of course) and you will get enough of an image to tell you what you need to know.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:54 PM

A loaded camera does not necessarily run at the same speed as an empty camera, so your idea of checking an empty gate is not valid. Your best bet is to use some film you can afford to sacrifice to the test (i.e. old stock), shoot a timed length (30 seconds will suffice) and count the frames. You don't have to send the film away for nice processing, just throw it into a bucket of D-76 for 5 minutes (in the dark of course) and you will get enough of an image to tell you what you need to know.


Except that this doesn't help when one is actually shooting footage on location and wants to notate what the camera filming speed probably was, information that could prove useful if one wants to try and match the filming speed with the film transfer to video speed, which in essence would make the counter a poor man's crystal sync enabler.
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