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super8 vs 16mm differances


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#1 Dory Breaux

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 08:46 PM

Hey gang, What are the main differances between super8 and 16mm?
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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:03 PM

Hey gang, What are the main differances between super8 and 16mm?


I'm going to take a big leap of faith here and say...8MMs?

Seriously though, if you are talking about regular 16mm, you can have sound on the film, you have increased resolution, less grain usually, and it costs more. than S8.

Also, the cameras tend to be more expensive. I know there are exceptions to the rule such as the K-3 16mm camera is cheaper than the Beaulieu S8 models, or even Leicina Special.

Another difference is that you can have positive prints made of 16mm and you can't, at least in the USA, have positive prints made of S8 anymore. And loading a 16mm magazine is more difficult than loading an S8 cartridge.

These are the only differences I can think of now. Film is largely like wire, the main difference is the thickness(gauge).
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#3 Jonathan Benny

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:23 PM

Hey gang, What are the main differances between super8 and 16mm?


For me, Super8 is a choice to achieve a certain look from the characteristics of the format. 16mm is not chosen for its characteristics as much as for its price-point.

Thats isn't to say that 16mm doesn't have its "look". But from my experience I've found that shooting Super8 has more often been an artistic choice whereas shooting 16mm (super16) has been done out of necessity because of budget constraints.

AJB
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#4 Dory Breaux

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

Sounds like S8 or regular 8 may be the way to go.
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#5 Rik Andino

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 02:02 AM

Hey gang, What are the main differances between super8 and 16mm?


Umm about twice the size... :rolleyes:

Just experiment with both format you'll see alot of differences
As well as alot of similarities.

Good Luck
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#6 Gareth Munden

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:17 AM

Four times the area not twice !!!! Someone needs Maths classes.
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:35 AM

Four times the area not twice !!!! Someone needs Maths classes.


It's actually not four times when you are talking about regular 16mm. This is because 16mm originally had double perfs and has room for a soundtrack.


To clarify, Super 8 frame size is 5.5mm x 4mm (22mm area)

16mm has frame size of 10.26mm x 7.49mm (76.85mm area)

So, about 3.5 times the area. :P
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#8 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:27 AM

Hey gang, What are the main differances between super8 and 16mm?


16mm or super16 - A proffesional format which a great deal of television is shot on, including The OC and Sex in the City. It has a very acceptable grain size for the small screen but is often blown up to 35mm for the big screen too, an example being the recent Squid and the Whale. There is lot of industry support for the format and equipment ranges from cheap to ultra expensive.

Super 8 - a once amateur format which has now been embraced by students and proffesionals for its grainy, soft and retro look and feel. Shooting it can turn out as or more expensive than super 16, however if you avoid telecine route it can be a cheap way to learn how to shoot film. There is only limited industry support for the format, though its better in some places than others. The equipment can vary in price from cheap to expensive. There are far less film stocks available for the format - though still suitably catered for.
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#9 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:35 AM

...Shooting it can turn out as or more expensive than super 16, however if you avoid telecine route it can be a cheap way to learn how to shoot film.


You're in UK right? That explains this statement...otherwise, S8 is considerably cheaper than 16mm, especially for large projects.
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#10 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:45 AM

You're in UK right? That explains this statement...otherwise, S8 is considerably cheaper than 16mm, especially for large projects.


I am in the UK, but I think it applies to much of the rest of Europe to.

However, I've heard to get a decent telecine of super 8 in the US can work out more expensive than the equivelent running time on super 16 - after all super 8 is a specialist non-standard format.

Plus as super 8 equipent is old you may have to spend more in post to clean up scratches etc.
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#11 Pav

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:49 AM

I am in the UK, but I think it applies to much of the rest of Europe to.

However, I've heard to get a decent telecine of super 8 in the US can work out more expensive than the equivelent running time on super 16 - after all super 8 is a specialist non-standard format.

Plus as super 8 equipent is old you may have to spend more in post to clean up scratches etc.


I am in the UK too and shoot Super 16, DVCAM and Super 8. All have their uses, advantages and disadvantages. I think there is no professional support for Super 8 here but, it's not that expensive at least in my experience. You obviously have a smaller crew less time is spent setting up, gear is cheaper, buying film and processing is not really that expensive and can vary from place to place, my only problem is that there is no processing for Super 8 in England. Telecine is not that expensive either again it depends on where you go and the kind of transfer one light or scene by scene grading.

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#12 Chris Durham

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 12:27 PM

As a newby I'm really interested in Super 16 because when I finally get round to making a feature, it will allow me to largely fund myself and retain some independence. (I may have to worry about blow up afterwards, but 16 to video shouldn't be cost prohibitive for festivals). And it seems to be perfectly suitable if you're not shooting something epic or with a lot of effects - The grain of 16mm might clash with the resolution of digital effects for instance, and the aspect ratio, if not the grain, will keep you from making, say, the Deer Hunter on 16 (And I haven't seen anything about anyone ever using anamorphics with Super 16).

Good examples of Super16 are the Devil's Rejects and Hustle and Flow - both have pretty different looks, but demonstrate what the format looks like. "Scrubs" is another example of a TV show that uses it.

I might actually make a short in standard 16 first, since I'll be able to record sound onto the film, which will free me up more to learning about the camera and the format, and not have to worry so much about the hassles of shooting MOS.

Super 8 seems like something good to learn on too. I wonder if I shouldn't consider getting a camera and playing around. Any one got an idea how much I might pick a camera up for? (I haven't seen much in the way of super 8 rentals)
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