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Super-8 Cartridges being improved.


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 08:57 AM

Spectra Film & Video has added a step to their Super-8 film loading sequence that seems to make the film purr. There are lubricating strategies employed by Kodak when they make their super-8 cartridges that may not be possible for others who also load film to emulate, however Spectra Film & Video now offers their own version of a lubricated film cartridge that seems to work effortlessly.

I tested a Super-8 Velvia cartridge that has the cartridge "innovation". I used a Super-8 camera that had a weak motor and was in need of lubrication for the motor. This particular Super-8 camera actually bogs down at lower film speeds even when no film is in the camera! For my test I shot time-exposure single frame with this weakened camera all night long on a cold, windy night, a bad scenario for a film like Velvia which tends to stiffen up as the weather cools down. When combined with a noisy screetchy camera that is in need of lubrication, the deck is definitely stacked that the cartridge would run all the way through.

To my pleasant surprise the Velvia Super-8 film ran completely through the camera while in the single frame 30 second per image time-exposure mode. After the Velvis film was processed and transfered to video, no noticeable film scratches were evident.

Helpful hint to those who like shooting night time time-lapse time-exposure. Overcast cloudy nights produce less contrasty images, add the moon on a cloudy night and one decreases the overall film contrast even more.
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#2 Terry Mester

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:35 AM

Thanks for the info and all your effort. I didn't know where to get these Velvia Cartridges. I'll look Spectra up on the net. How would you say Spectra's new Cartridge compares to the Pro8mm Cartridge?
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:51 AM

Thanks for the info and all your effort. I didn't know where to get these Velvia Cartridges. I'll look Spectra up on the net. How would you say Spectra's new Cartridge compares to the Pro8mm Cartridge?


http://www.Spectrafilmandvideo.com/

I don't know anything about current Pro-8mm cartridges, including how they load their cartridges or what super-8 cartridges they use, or if they dabble in outdated, recanned, short end films. If one were to assume that both Pro-8mm and Spectra get their cartridges from the same place then Spectra's might be better since they have developed some method for making the film travel through the cartridge with less friction. At this point in time I would surmise that Spectra has developed the best cartridge loading protocol for Fuji Velvia. Additionally, Spectra's Kodak Ektachrome 100D Super-8 loaded film is probably as good as it gets for film that has not been loaded by Kodak themselves.
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#4 Victor Mejia

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 08:49 PM

The carts are silicone coated--inside and out, so the film runs very smoothly. Moreover, it dramatically reduces the risk of scratches, dents, etc., on the film. It's helped make the film more consistent, cleaner. They really do a great job over at Spectra.

Edited by Victor Mejia, 23 January 2007 - 08:50 PM.

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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 02:53 AM

http://www.Spectrafilmandvideo.com/

I don't know anything about current Pro-8mm cartridges, including how they load their cartridges or what super-8 cartridges they use



As far as I know there is only one source for Super8 cartridges (empty or filled) and it is in Rochester, NY. :D

-Rob-
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:22 PM

The carts are silicone coated--inside and out, so the film runs very smoothly. Moreover, it dramatically reduces the risk of scratches, dents, etc., on the film. It's helped make the film more consistent, cleaner. They really do a great job over at Spectra.

I recently took apart an old Ektachrome Cartridge that came with a used Camera, and there wasn't silicone inside. Does this silicone in Spectra's Carts stick to the Film itself, and how would the developing Lab clean the silicone off of the Film? Does a Lab have to do something special to develop these Silicone Carts?
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#7 Mike Crane

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:32 PM

The carts only have a VERY thin layer of this material applied to the cartridge. None of it sticks to the film. The roll I shot sounded very smooth in my old camera and came out perfectly after processing. No special lab proceedures are required.

kodak has also coated the interior of their carts with a very thin lubricant. You can see it smear a bit when you rub your finger on some interior cartridge parts. But, perhaps older carts become dry with time.
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#8 Terry Mester

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:10 AM

I've figured out why the non-Kodak Super8 Cartridges have had problems with the Film being "too tight". There needs to be "slack" in the Film between the Take-Up Spool (turned by the Motor) and the corner guide Pin. The Take-Up Spool must not be pulling the Film through the Gate -- the Sprocket needs to push the Film through. When a new Cartridge is first started, it will take a fraction of a second for the Sprocket to grab the first Sprocket Hole. If there is no slack of Film between the Spool and Pin, the Film will be pulled tight, and will remain tight for the whole 50 Feet of Film. If anyone knows the technicians at Spectra or Pro8mm, please E-Mail them this Post. Please let us know if you will be contacting Spectra or Pro8mm.
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