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some super 8 ?'s


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#1 Zamir Merali

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 05:44 PM

hello guys

I recently obtained a super 8 camera thats is pretty good condition. I have some questions so i can get started. The camera is fully automatic with no way to change film speed or exposure. Is there a way that I could cheat the auto exposure system and control it manually?

Secondly i am going to be ordering film from kodak and I was wondering if i should go for the most expensive type availabe (colour negative) or just settle for colour reversal? Is there a huge difference because I would like to get some good quality images from this camera?

One last question, if i sent my exposed cartridges to a lab like niagra custom lab would it come back as a positive print or a negative print. I am going to use this camera to shoot some short films and practive shooting film before I make the jump to 16mm. Thanks alot guys
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#2 Ronney Ross

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:41 PM

Hey Zamir,
Congrats on getting a new camera.
I will try to answer your questions as best as I can.
I recently obtained a super 8 camera thats is pretty good condition. I have some questions so i can get started. The camera is fully automatic with no way to change film speed or exposure. Is there a way that I could cheat the auto exposure system and control it manually?

In the case of your camera, if the camera is fully auto then your stuck with the settings given. I have a XL(existing light) camera that I dont use that's like this got off ebay for like 5 bucks the only thing it allows is a limited type zoom but no option to control exposure.

Secondly i am going to be ordering film from kodak and I was wondering if i should go for the most expensive type availabe (colour negative) or just settle for colour reversal? Is there a huge difference because I would like to get some good quality images from this camera?

Only you can answer that question, the most expensive does guarantee a good image. The thing you have to consider is once you shoot these short how do you plan on viewing them. Shooting reversal you have the option or benefit of being able to view on a projector with the added cost of telecine which sort of answers your third question. The only feasible option with shooting negative film stock in super 8 is going to force you to have to telecine your film to video. I asked a question about this once but I think the only company that offers Super 8 prints is out the states so unless your near or don't mind wasting money your better off shooting reversal and projecting your film eventhough option 2(telecine can be done reasonable.) Movielab.com shows a price of $75.00 for telecine(not sure if this option is available for S8)

ps last I checked kodak had 64T and V2 stocks at the same price.
Hope this helps
Ronney Ross
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#3 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:53 PM

If you are shooting with an auto only camera stick wtih camera stocks that the camera is most likley to understand (the camera detects the speed when you insert the cartridge.) You haven't mentioned the camera you have but I guarantee it will read the Tri- reversal black and white properly. It will likely mis-red the Plus X. It will likely mis-read the 64T.

Re: the negatives, it will mis-red them, but should expose the 200 within an acceptable range. Avoid the 500 negative as it will expose way off.

Niagara custom lab will return a negative. (You must be in Toronto-ara). Check photoplays.ca or framediscreet for negative transfer to tape.

Rick
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 05:55 PM

Just out of interest, what model of camera is this ?
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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 09:40 PM

Firstly, I'm curious as to why you purchased a fully automatic camera if you are interested in using manual exposure? I take it you got a good bargain with your camera and you have stated that it is in good condition. However, with a lot of super 8 camera gear being sold for low prices these days, it is possible to obtain a versatile camera model with full manual control for next to nothing. Once at a flea market, I bought a Chinon camera with full manual exposure control, single frame, macro, power / manual zoom and slow motion for $15.

"Shooting reversal you have the option or benefit of being able to view on a projector with the added cost of telecine."

Telecine is not essential if you are shooting reversal. If you choose to go the reversal route, you may well decide to use projection as the only means of viewing your films. Or you could choose to transfer them as well. With negative film, however, you must either telecine them or get a reversal print from them. Most people telecine negative film and I only know of one lab that can make reversal prints from super 8 negative and that is Andec in Europe.

"the most expensive does guarantee a good image."

That is certainly true of film stocks but the most expensive films will not necessarily give the best image quality. For example, Kodachrome 40, while we had it, was the cheapest super 8 film stock and yet had finer grain than Ektachrome 64T, Vision 200T and Vision 500T. However, I do know that the 200T is remarkably fine grained for it's speed but wouldnt be quite in the same league as a 40asa reversal film. On the other hand, 200T has superior exposure latitude over the contrasty Kodachome stock.

"if i sent my exposed cartridges to a lab like niagra custom lab would it come back as a positive print or a negative print."

That depends on the type of film that you exposed - whether it was reversal or negative in the first place. If it was a reversal film and the lab in question only handles negative films then they would likely return the exposed film to you unprocessed. If you exposed a negative film and the lab only handles reversal film, then they would return the exposed film to you unprocessed. If you expose reversal film and the lab processes reversal, then you will receive a reversal film. If you expose negative film and the lab processes negative film, then you will receive a negative film.

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 04 November 2006 - 09:43 PM.

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#6 Zamir Merali

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:11 PM

Thanks alot for answering these questions. I think im going to get a few reversal cartridges and a few black and whites to makes some short films on.


Firstly, I'm curious as to why you purchased a fully automatic camera if you are interested in using manual exposure?


The reason why I got this camera is because someone I knew had it in their attic and didnt mind giving to me for free. I've been shooting digital for a while now but ive been reading alot about film and since the oppurtinity presented itself i jumped at it and took the camera. I just want to try shooting some film and get my workflow down packed before i try anything else... like 16mm.
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#7 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 06:01 AM

Receiving a camera as a gift is always nice! Well done. If you are considering getting onto 16mm later down the track, I strongly recommend getting a manual exposure super 8 camera at some point. Getting a 35mm still film slr is also a good way to get aquainted with photography concepts such as exposure and depth of field and will make the transition to 16mm cine work easier. A 1970s slr like a Canon AE1, Pentax K1000 or Olympus Om2 are good models for learning the basics of film photography which will also apply to 16mm.
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#8 Grant Wilkinson

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 06:18 AM

as an aside, and something I picked from earlier threads on this here fab forum, get yourself a copy of 'Independent Filmmaking' by Lenny Lipton. really helpful stuff for super 8... think it was last updated in 1983 - bit like most of the cameras we're using ;)

I got mine through amazon well cheap.

bon chance!
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#9 Glenn Brady

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 10:17 AM

Lenny Lipton's INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING is a very valuable resource. I would also recommend Lipton's THE SUPER 8 BOOK, published in 1975. As its title indicates, this volume is devoted entirely to the Super 8 format. Its contents include a description of the format, cameras, sound, processing and striping, editing, prints, and projection. For a beginning filmmaker especially, it's 308 pages of useful information.
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#10 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 01:14 PM

If you are stuck shooting with an auto only camera, you should avoid extremes of light and dark - take a close look at the background and if there are any extreme bright areas, like windows, re-frame to eliminate them as much as possible, and you shoot tight (closer than you might have orignially thought) as it will ensure your main subject dominates the frame and the auto reading is more likely to be acceptable. Shooting auto only is not the end of the world if you take it into account when framing.

Rick
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#11 alfredoparra

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:07 PM

I hope you read this because your camera is going to be off a few f stops! kodak changed the slots on the film cartridges, today you need to use a manual camera because automatics are no good! if you go to there site theres a list of all the cameras that dont work with the new stocks! there is a way around it though, you can file the slot on the new film cartridge using an old kodachrome cartridge just line it up mark and file or you can find someone on line that can readjust the camera, I would buy a Beaulieu 4008 and call it a day! oh and you should use cheap film for test shots! most super 8 cameras have built in gels and I bet your footage will come out looking crappy! they have to be removed due to age in most cases! I just removed mine and modified the gate for wide screen and 16x9 framing. Good luck! if you buy a beaulieu I can make it wide screen format for $75.00
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