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vertical shift on XLS 814


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#1 Linda Kallerus

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 10:11 AM

Starting a feature soon with the Canon 814XL-S and we did a test day this week to check our crystal sync and other things. The crystal sync box we are using comes from the Film Group. We had the footage transferred to mini DV and DVD and everything looks HOT except for this weird vertical shift that keeps happening. It looks like a classic registration issue and first I thought it was the transfer but apparently it's there in the projection aswell. The image basically "bounces" up and down. A friend told me that you can get a pressure plate for this camera, but I would have to have it shipped from Europe (I'm in NYC) and wouldn't get it in time for shooting. Is this a problem known to anyone else? I would love any feedback I can get!
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#2 A.Oliver

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 01:55 PM

Hi, very rare for a canon to give problems, whose filmstock are you using, kodaks, Pro8 or another repackaged stock?. If the stock fresh or outdated?

Edited by A.Oliver, 19 August 2006 - 01:56 PM.

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#3 S8 Booster

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 02:45 PM

? tested more carts = same result?
? what kind of film stock/material/manufacturer?
? taken up the loop?
? cleaned the gate according to manual?
? fresh proper (no rechargeable!) batteries?

this camera is generally very stable and the pressure plate may not be good for it - can jam due to extremely tight tolerances.
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#4 Peter Tripodi

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 03:04 PM

except for this weird vertical shift that keeps happening.


Is the problem intermittent? Could that cartridge not have been seated properly? I would think (I could be wrong) that the sync mod affects the pull down claw action to achieve sync. Did the camera work OK before the sync mod? Have you contacted The Film Group to see if others have experienced any problems?

Questions, questions, question.

Hope you figure it out before the shoot. Good luck!.
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#5 Linda Kallerus

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:40 PM

We ran 11 cartridges thr the camera. The problem is very inconsistent. It seems worse when the sync is playing but is there without it aswell. I called the film group and of course they told me they never have any problems with it. Found out about taking up the loop today which I will certainly do. We're shooting kodak tri-x and plus-x and we got it from kodak. Batteries are a good point I was going to make a point of putting a fresh 9 volt in the sync box every day but will do the same with the camera even if my levels look good. Does anyone think this could be a transfer issue? Pac lab wouldn't let me look at the footage projected but they said it was there aswell as in the transfer. they also thought it was operator error which is not the case, it's there in static mounted shots and handheld. Thinking about creating a small wedge under the cartridge. Thanks for all the feedback!
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#6 Steve Wallace

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 09:54 PM

We ran 11 cartridges thr the camera. The problem is very inconsistent. It seems worse when the sync is playing but is there without it aswell. I called the film group and of course they told me they never have any problems with it. Found out about taking up the loop today which I will certainly do. We're shooting kodak tri-x and plus-x and we got it from kodak. Batteries are a good point I was going to make a point of putting a fresh 9 volt in the sync box every day but will do the same with the camera even if my levels look good. Does anyone think this could be a transfer issue? Pac lab wouldn't let me look at the footage projected but they said it was there aswell as in the transfer. they also thought it was operator error which is not the case, it's there in static mounted shots and handheld. Thinking about creating a small wedge under the cartridge. Thanks for all the feedback!

What is trick to taking up the loop with a super 8 cart? Do you wind or backwind the cart a couple times? Please explain further, I just got some footage back with the same problem. It was tri-x, and I have shot other batches and they were all fine. Camera was a Nautica, 24fps.

It was a friends wedding, and 4 out of 6 carts did this. Lame huh,... I stablized it in Apple Shake, but it still looks like the footage jumps out of focus for a brief second, where as the footage used to jump in the "gate" and go out of focus before stablization.

Edited by steve wallace, 19 August 2006 - 09:59 PM.

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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 09:59 PM

I don't agree with doing any tests that basically require that the result to be no problems because there won't be time to redo the test.

Congratulations on planning a feature in Super-8 but you should consider spending additional time doing tests AND getting a back up camera.


While crystal sync is tempting and in no way am I against it, it's just as important to have a back up camera and to see if it's plausible to sync your footage later on whether the camera has crystal sync or not. I also would have done a registration test BEFORE spending additional money getting the crystal sync mod.

Why crystal sync a camera that already may have registration issues?
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#8 Steve Wallace

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:04 PM

But what is the trick to taking up the loop in the super 8 cart?
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 01:30 AM

But what is the trick to taking up the loop in the super 8 cart?



You advance about 3 to 6 inches of film by pulling top to bottom where the six frames of film are visible, the result is a big loop of exposed film. Then turn the cartridge spindle in the direction that takes up the film by advancing it towards the bottom of the cartridge and then advance 2-4 more turns of the spindle. Hopefully the film advances rather easily.

Some people then shake the cartridge or tap it. Be careful that the film you just advanced doesn't loosen up before you put it back in the camera. Sometimes you can hear the film that was just advance loosen internally inside the cartridge. Which is why you don't want to do the steps I described above but then not put the cartridge into the camera.
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#10 Steve Wallace

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 10:58 AM

You advance about 3 to 6 inches of film by pulling top to bottom where the six frames of film are visible, the result is a big loop of exposed film. Then turn the cartridge spindle in the direction that takes up the film by advancing it towards the bottom of the cartridge and then advance 2-4 more turns of the spindle. Hopefully the film advances rather easily.

Some people then shake the cartridge or tap it. Be careful that the film you just advanced doesn't loosen up before you put it back in the camera. Sometimes you can hear the film that was just advance loosen internally inside the cartridge. Which is why you don't want to do the steps I described above but then not put the cartridge into the camera.

Interesting, I've never done this before. But then again, I've never had this problem before either. It is exactly as descibed above. And the same stock (tri-x). And i've shot quite a bit of super 8, (I'm teadub, on the filmshooting forum).

How do you know if you film is not advancing properly? It sticks intermitantly?
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:14 AM

Interesting, I've never done this before. But then again, I've never had this problem before either. It is exactly as descibed above. And the same stock (tri-x). And i've shot quite a bit of super 8, (I'm teadub, on the filmshooting forum).

How do you know if your film is not advancing properly? It sticks intermitantly?



Hi teadub! I think the camera will either vibrate more than normal or the camera/cartridge will just sound different than usual.
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#12 Steve Wallace

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 10:42 AM

Hi teadub! I think the camera will either vibrate more than normal or the camera/cartridge will just sound different than usual.

No, I mean how do you know if there it trouble when advancing by hand? If it doesn't move smoothly? The camera was a Nautica, so I can't really hear the film advance. It is somewhat self blimped, all I can hear is the motor.

I just think it is strange the person had the same problem as me, with the same filmstock. I'm wondering if it was a bad batch of cartridges. I shot the footage a few months ago. and it was purchased just before that.

I have used the camera before with Tri-x, and never had this kind of problem. In fact the footage before came out great. Because there is no pressure-plate / gate assembly, could the camera even cause this to happen?
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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 04:04 PM

No, I mean how do you know if there it trouble when advancing by hand? If it doesn't move smoothly? The camera was a Nautica, so I can't really hear the film advance. It is somewhat self blimped, all I can hear is the motor.

I just think it is strange the person had the same problem as me, with the same filmstock. I'm wondering if it was a bad batch of cartridges. I shot the footage a few months ago. and it was purchased just before that.

I have used the camera before with Tri-x, and never had this kind of problem. In fact the footage before came out great. Because there is no pressure-plate / gate assembly, could the camera even cause this to happen?


Excellent question. I found that Kodachrome cartridges that advance rather easily with the advance by hand technique would not bind up or cause jumpy footage.

However, I no longer have reason to believe that this is proves anything nowadays when it comes to other stocks. The Ektachrome 64T would advance smooth as silk yet when the first test rolls came out for filmmakers to try some reported some image jitter.

Overall, I would think that if the film moves smoothly and relatively easily when the film cartridge is manually advanced, the film will probably give better results. But lets keep an out for those black and white film cartridges.
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#14 Linda Kallerus

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:51 PM

Well, I was the one originally posting the porblem and I figured it out. It was a transfer issue after all. Just like I thought. At Paclab they transfer by projecting the film and taping the projection. So if their projector is bad the transfer will be bad. I had it retransfered at Duall and it was steady. AND it looks great. Also their projector only runs 22fps. Duall's as well. Any ideas on a good and cheap transfer place that does a super 8 24fps transfer? Our movie is called Buster, check out the progress at busterfilm.com.
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 09:53 PM

Well, I was the one originally posting the porblem and I figured it out. It was a transfer issue after all. Just like I thought. At Paclab they transfer by projecting the film and taping the projection. So if their projector is bad the transfer will be bad. I had it retransfered at Duall and it was steady. AND it looks great. Also their projector only runs 22fps. Duall's as well. Any ideas on a good and cheap transfer place that does a super 8 24fps transfer? Our movie is called Buster, check out the progress at busterfilm.com.



It may have been the actual take-up film reel itself. Sometimes the reels are slightly warped just enough that they "grab" the film momentarily just before the film settles onto the take up reel due to the reel wobbilying side to side. Sometimes a transfer place may have already done most of the transfer and they get near the end and then the problem happens for the first time and it can be a nightmare if they don't recall when it first started happening and it requires they do the whole job over.
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#16 Steve Wallace

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 12:21 PM

It may have been the actual take-up film reel itself. Sometimes the reels are slightly warped just enough that they "grab" the film momentarily just before the film settles onto the take up reel due to the reel wobbilying side to side. Sometimes a transfer place may have already done most of the transfer and they get near the end and then the problem happens for the first time and it can be a nightmare if they don't recall when it first started happening and it requires they do the whole job over.


Hmmmm, I projected my footage myself and noticed the same jumpyness. I am just wondering if it is the camera or the carts. It did not happen on all the footage. And if I'm not mistaken it happened towords the begining of the roles. (but the splices are clean).

Can this be a transport or shutter issue (like not being perfactly in synch, please note there is no open shutter light effects though)? Or just a couple bad carts?
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#17 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:08 PM

Hmmmm, I projected my footage myself and noticed the same jumpyness. I am just wondering if it is the camera or the carts. It did not happen on all the footage. And if I'm not mistaken it happened towords the begining of the roles. (but the splices are clean).

Can this be a transport or shutter issue (like not being perfactly in synch, please note there is no open shutter light effects though)? Or just a couple bad carts?



One technique that may or may not be helpful is to retransfer one roll of the jittery film, probably on a rank cintel but zoom the image out to show the actual sprocket holes of the film. Then review the roll on your DVD copy frame by frame to see if the jitter is being induced by the camera, poor sprocket hole alignment or the result could be nebulous and you don't get any closer to the truth.

Also, Spectra Film & Video seems to have a very steady rank cintel transfer set-up and I would also consider sending them a roll or two as well.
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#18 Sean McHenry

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

You might want to check out Super 8 Today. They just ran a great article on the folks that make the Sniper series Film Chains. They do, from what I hear, frame for frame transfers in less than real time. http://www.moviestuff.tv/

No experience with any of these transfer houses but I have been thinking of buying one of these units as I would love to do good quality 3-chip frame for frame transfers, and sell that service to others in my area.

Sean McHenry
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#19 Justin Lovell

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:58 AM

You might want to check out Super 8 Today. They just ran a great article on the folks that make the Sniper series Film Chains. They do, from what I hear, frame for frame transfers in less than real time. http://www.moviestuff.tv/

No experience with any of these transfer houses but I have been thinking of buying one of these units as I would love to do good quality 3-chip frame for frame transfers, and sell that service to others in my area.

Sean McHenry


I purchased a Workprinter XP from Roger a couple years ago and used a SONY DSR 570 to do the super duper 8 anamorphic transfer. Worked fantastic on my film STUNTMAN (should be an article in an upcoming super 8 today & Small Format). Much much better than the results I'd been used to getting from a local 'film chain' transfer method.

Since then, I've upgraded to a DV8 SNIPER PRO and a 16mm SNIPER PRO. I've made a few modifications (with the help of Roger @ Moviestuff) and have found it possible to also telecine color & black and white NEG.

It has made it much more affordable for me to work with 16mm.

Very cool units when combined with a blackmagic 8/10bit card and a good analog color corrector. (though when capturing upcompressed you can do a lot of your color correction in post).
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#20 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 10:53 AM

I purchased a Workprinter XP from Roger a couple years ago and used a SONY DSR 570 to do the super duper 8 anamorphic transfer. Worked fantastic on my film STUNTMAN (should be an article in an upcoming super 8 today & Small Format). Much much better than the results I'd been used to getting from a local 'film chain' transfer method.

Since then, I've upgraded to a DV8 SNIPER PRO and a 16mm SNIPER PRO. I've made a few modifications (with the help of Roger @ Moviestuff) and have found it possible to also telecine color & black and white NEG.

It has made it much more affordable for me to work with 16mm.

Very cool units when combined with a blackmagic 8/10bit card and a good analog color corrector. (though when capturing upcompressed you can do a lot of your color correction in post).


What kind of prices are you talking about for all of these pieces?
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