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Why I like to shoot super-8 over 16mm.


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#1 John Adolfi

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 05:58 AM

I'll start: #1 Light portable cameras which can be nice if shooting travelogues.
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#2 David W Scott

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:17 AM

All the advantages of 16mm magazines, without the need to hire a clapper/loader :P

Reflex viewing and electric motors on cameras that cost less than $500.

"Home movie" status makes it easier to cross borders, and you can stuff twenty or thirty rolls of film in your carry-on luggage. (Uh, I guess that's now subject to whether you are allowed luggage on planes anymore?!)

Candid shots of people are easier to take, especially on the street, because you look like a tourist.

Good quality "alternative" processing and transfer services available.

For many cameras, you can do your own clean-lube-adjust. If you break the camera, it is affordable to replace it.
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#3 John Adolfi

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:29 AM

#2 The cartridge acts as a film magazine. You can in midstream change from one emulsion to another in seconds. Reloading takes about the same, seconds. No worry of light leakage. No hassle of reloading your film in a light tight bag. Less chance of a light leak.

Edited by John Adolfi, 12 September 2006 - 09:30 AM.

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#4 David W Scott

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

Also, Super 8 has the cheapest per-roll price for beautiful Kodak Vision2 neg stocks.

(Per-roll price directly impacts a format's accesibility for new filmmakers -- moreso than per-foot or per-minute prices.)
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#5 dr_gonzo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:31 AM

Also, Super 8 has the cheapest per-roll price for beautiful Kodak Vision2 neg stocks.

(Per-roll price directly impacts a format's accesibility for new filmmakers -- moreso than per-foot or per-minute prices.)



Super 8 is great for all those reasons, but if you were shooting a narrative film and were shooting on a set with a decent sized crew would you make the same choice??
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#6 dr_gonzo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:57 AM

Also, Super 8 has the cheapest per-roll price for beautiful Kodak Vision2 neg stocks.

(Per-roll price directly impacts a format's accesibility for new filmmakers -- moreso than per-foot or per-minute prices.)

this is also misleading considering the size of a super 8 cartridge. Last time I bought it was roughly 14 bucks for a 50 ft cartridge of vision two neg. To buy a 100ft roll of 16mm vision two its about 19 bucks. So your not really saving any cash by virtue of shooting super 8.
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#7 John Adolfi

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:12 PM

Last I checked Kodak sells 100 ft. of Vision 16mm for $36
But my comment is not meant to get us off track here.
Another reason (#3) I like super8 over 16mm is the quickness in setting up a shot.
Run and gun seems easier.
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#8 dr_gonzo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:21 PM

Last I checked Kodak sells 100 ft. of Vision 16mm for $36
But my comment is not meant to get us off track here.
Another reason (#3) I like super8 over 16mm is the quickness in setting up a shot.
Run and gun seems easier.



I went and bought my film stock at Kodak on 31st street in NYC a couple of weeks ago and Im positive that the 100ft roll was far cheaper than that. You can also scam them into thinking that you are a college student and get a 30% discount!!!

Super 8 run and gun is easier...but easier does not always make a better film!
With S16mm you have much more resolution, and much better lenses to shoot on. I love the look of Super 8...but it has its uses and limits.

Plus recording live sound with super 8 is a bit of a pain compared to the quieter 16mm cameras.
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#9 David W Scott

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:24 PM

Super 8 is great for all those reasons, but if you were shooting a narrative film and were shooting on a set with a decent sized crew would you make the same choice??


Honestly, no. Super 8 to me is primarily a personal format. I use it to:

- keep my chops up
- have the pleasure of capturing home and travel movies
- use in documentaries when I am seeking a certain kind of texture

Super 8 is not the easiest beast to shoot dialog with. I'd much rather rent an AATON, or even an NPR. That doesn't mean I am ruling out shooting drama on Super 8. I just don't think it would be a film with a good-sized crew etc.
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#10 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:33 PM

Camera Features: If you want the amount of features like one of my Nizo's in 16mm, get ready to shell out some big money... single frame, intervolometer, disolves, time exposure... shutterless to 45 degree shutter, frame rates 1fpm to 54 fps. When you mix all this with portability and compactness, the creative element just can't be matched by 16mm.
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#11 David W Scott

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:42 PM

Last I checked Kodak sells 100 ft. of Vision 16mm for $36
But my comment is not meant to get us off track here.
Another reason (#3) I like super8 over 16mm is the quickness in setting up a shot.
Run and gun seems easier.


Yes, for personal/art shooting, the difference between $19 (Canadian) and $50 (Canadian) makes a difference. I am more likely to casually shoot a $19 roll of film. I am even more likely to shoot a $16 roll of Ektachrome -- especially when I can buy single rolls from the local photo store.

I have never "casually" purchased or shot 16mm. It's ordered as needed for specific projects, and never shot whimsically. (My loss perhaps, but it's my $50.)
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#12 dr_gonzo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:43 PM

Camera Features: If you want the amount of features like one of my Nizo's in 16mm, get ready to shell out some big money... single frame, intervolometer, disolves, time exposure... shutterless to 45 degree shutter, frame rates 1fpm to 54 fps. When you mix all this with portability and compactness, the creative element just can't be matched by 16mm.



that is pretty sweet...I just completed a s16 short on an SR which pretty much bankrupter me. I think the spec commercial Ill be shooting in a couple of months will be on super 8. How much did that Nizo run you?
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#13 ken wood

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 02:40 PM

And, while you are at it, which Nizo is it? :ph34r:
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#14 John Adolfi

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 05:35 AM

#4 In camera auto exposure. For the run and gun and the inexperienced, convenient.
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#15 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 09:38 AM

It has a unique look,which to date, cannot really be achieved by electronically manipulating the image.This adds another creative choice in the mix for the cinematographer.Not a replacement for 16mm or any other format, but an addition.
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#16 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 06:32 PM

I like Super 8 over 16 for many reasons:

1) Dont have to worry about magazine changes and risk of exposing the film

2) Here in California, Super 8 is much cheaper than 16 in everything but RANK transfer which still doesnt offset the total savings of S8.

3) Super 8 has a look all its own where 16 looks like "baby 35"

4) I have found that, when comparing S8 cameras to hand cranked 16 cameras, S8 cameras hold sync much better for 24fps. I have a Sankyo Supertronic XL620 and I can actually do sync sound with it. I dont know if its because this was a sound camera initially or what, but it will hold sync for the short scenes I shoot. The hand cranked K-3 will not hold sync very well, in my experience.

5) Super 8 is great for Guerilla shooting, if that's your thing.

6) Many low cost S8 cams have great features available to you for prices that would be unheard of for 16 cameras. My Supertronic has dissolves, fades, intervals, slow, fast, and stop motion, and some other S8 cameras even have backwind capability. Try getting all that in 16 for less than $100.

7) For grindhouse horror, Super 8 cannot be beat. It can instantly give people the chills with most any setting. I think all horror movies should be shot on Super 8.

This is all I can think of now, anyone else have any ideas?
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#17 Eric Maxwell

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 12:48 AM

As someone who likes to endlessly take apart, modify, tinker with, and generally be destructive to his toys, it's a lot easier operating on the sort of cheapo super 8 camera one finds in a thrift shop over a more expensive 16mm. And, if (read: when) the homemade modifications decide to break, tear off the camera, or in my case, catch on fire, it's not a big loss.
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#18 Tomas Stacewicz

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 05:01 AM

Either out of economic reasons or out of eastetic/artistic reasons. To be honest, mostly out of economic reasons.

I can buy a 16mm 100' daylight load of E100D without processing for the same amount that I buy the same stock (E100D) but two cartriges of Super8 + processing. It is a lot cheaper to shoot on Super8 in Europe.

Still, I prefer the Super8-look over (low res) DV any day.
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#19 Tomas Stacewicz

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 05:12 AM

CONT'

Here in Sweden we have a rank-telecine facility using the FlashScan8 http://www.uppsalabi...com/english.php, that takes charges by the meter. This makes Super8 scanning much cheaper (half the price compared to 16mm).

Edited by Tomas Stacewicz, 14 October 2006 - 05:14 AM.

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#20 steve hyde

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 11:00 AM

...for me it is mostly camera size and features, but also the size of the film. With super 8 I can hand process five minutes of footage at a time in a Lomo tank. I came to motion picture cameras from a street photography and wilderness photography background so portability and size have always been a plus for me. With a 10mm Angeniuex on the camera, my Beaulieu 4008 literally fits in a coat pocket. (has a variable shutter, shoots from 2 to 70fps)

I also love the look, but super 8 projected on digital projectors really falls apart fast. (maybe this is where HD could help super 8.) For projection, I think it is best to shoot reversal and project the camera original, or print to 16mm (something I've never done)

...I still think the Ikonoskop A-cam S16 is the small gauge, pocket camera to have... I hope to use one soon.

Steve
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