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Talk to me about Super8


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#1 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:36 PM

Hey all, while shooting in Tahoe, CA, I finally realised that video doesn't work so great for use in snowy conditions, and the cameras are too delicate if dropped or exposed to a temperature that is too low. Here are my questions regarding S8:

What is the difference between normal 8mm and Super8?

How long does on 50 foot cartridge last at 24fps?

On average, how much grain is visible?

What is the average cost of development?

Where is the best place to get cartridges for less then $20 a piece?

Has anyone tried to scan Super8 with a flatbed scanner?

Will I be able to see the exposure/f-stop and focus in the viewfinder?

Whats the difference between color negative and color reversal?

What is the lo-down on ASA?


I was looking around eBay and found this , what are your thoughts on it?

Thanks for any help,
Dory

Edited by Dory Breaux CDBProductions, 05 February 2007 - 06:41 PM.

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#2 Matthew Buick

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:06 PM

Super 8 has larger frame area, and therefore more quality.

2 mins 50 secs.

Depends on the film, though you'l have to live with a bit.

About $25.00.

I don't think that's possible, they cost about $25.00.

No way, don't do it.

You'l be able to see focus, don't know about the rest, depends upon the cam.

Reversal is classic Super 8, neg is the kind they use in hollywood movies.

Lower the ASA the sharper the image, but lower the light sensitivity, vice versa.



That cam's good, but waaaay overpriced, should be a ble to get it for about $50.00.

Sorry I couldn't be more consise, very tired.
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#3 ryan_bennett

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:12 PM

Super 8 has larger frame area, and therefore more quality


Not true. Regular 8mm is 25ft of film, you shoot, you flip it over and shoot the other side and gets split and spliced into 50 feet. It's essentially 16mm film wiht more perfs. Regular 8mm advantage is that the cameras have a far better pressure plate, super 8 doesn't. Also you can easily do double exposures, etc. with regular 8mm that the cart won't allow. SUper 8 is just easier to load, you just pop it in and good to go and the frame is slightly larger because of the position of the perfs.

2 minutes and 46 seconds is the run time at 24fps and around 3 minutes 20 at 18fps. WHY DOES EVERYONE WORRY ABOUT GRAIN? Just buy a test roll and see if you like the grain or not DON"T BE AFRAID OF GRAIN. I hate hate hate clean super sharp video. Grain is natural.

Cost of development depends on what lab you go to. I go to www.cinelab.com because they're local and only $10 for blakc and white. Direct from kodak you can get a cart of plus -x for around $11. People have used a flatbed scanner but it's not worth while just get it telecine. Most cameras you can see the f-stop etc. Color negative is just that, a negative, like the stuff you put into a 35mm camera that you have toget processed and then a print made from it. Reversal you can project directly.
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#4 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

Gotta correct you with the frame area, it IS larger, the perfs are about half the size of 16mm perfs, the image is a little wider. If what you said were true, there wouldn't be a difference between Regular 8mm and Double Super 8.
Did you mean average film/cartridge length maybe?

Edited by Alessandro Malfatti, 05 February 2007 - 08:17 PM.

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#5 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:45 PM

About how many minutes will 1000 feet be at 24fps?
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#6 Joseph Winchester

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:53 PM

Super 8 cartridges only come in 50 foot rolls, so 1000' at once is not possible.

If you had 20 cartridges of 50' each, that would be 1000', which equals about 56 minutes at 24fps.
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#7 ryan_bennett

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 10:26 PM

Gotta correct you with the frame area, it IS larger, the perfs are about half the size of 16mm perfs, the image is a little wider. If what you said were true, there wouldn't be a difference between Regular 8mm and Double Super 8.
Did you mean average film/cartridge length maybe?


Is this directed to me? If so maybe I wasn't clear but this is true but this is what I typed: the frame is slightly larger because of the position of the perfs.

And back to the original poster, go to kodak's site:

Kodak Super 8

This page has a film calculator.
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 10:32 PM

Check out Pro-8mm for good prices. They usually sell 50 foot carts for 30 bucks, including proccessing. They split theirs off of fresh 35mm stock (so I hear) so they have most modern stocks availible in 8mm. I have 5 cartons of 250D, just looking forward to shooting it.

Since your talking about snow (I assume snowboarding, something of that nature) you'd do well to pick up a 100T or a 50D stock, and you will get little grain, if thats what your after. I figure in snow you'll have either direct sun or overcast with lots of bounce, so theoretically either should be sensative enough for your needs.
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#9 Grant Wilkinson

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:39 AM

re: the ebaylink - I'd be very wary - I think that cam might have a familiar problem for those canons where the foam that operates the aperture control degrades (and disintegrates). will definitely need a service. having played a lot with canon AZ's in the past, i'd say spend a little more and look for a canon 814 or 1014 xls, a decent nizo, nikon R10, or lash out and get a beaulieu or a leicina... esp. if you're going to shoot lots of film...
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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:55 AM

Is this directed to me? If so maybe I wasn't clear but this is true but this is what I typed: the frame is slightly larger because of the position of the perfs.


Super-8 perfs ARE quite a bit smaller. I understand they were moved to the frameline to reduce edge fogging- fog at the frameline had a better chance of being hidden by the aperture plate in the projector.
Now I've typed it it makes less sense.
Anyone?
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#11 ryan_bennett

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:07 PM

Either way it's still true, you get a larger image and easy loading but Regular 8 gives you a stable image because of the pressure plate. Depending on what you're doing you one format would be more useful than the other.
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#12 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:27 PM

Not true.


Tis true, the frames on Super 8 are larger, meaning more quality. :)
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#13 Glenn Brady

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:28 PM

Double Super 8 (DS8) cameras like the modified Bolex H8 RX, or Canon DS8, or Pathé DS8/BTL are worth considering, too, since they provide the larger image size of Super 8 and the added image stability made possible by an in-camera pressure plate. DS8 film is sold in 100-foot lengths, doubling the running time of a Super 8 cartridge per side (i.e., five minutes uninterrupted filming when an electric motor is employed). As with regular 8mm, DS8 film is run through the camera twice, giving four times the capacity of a Super 8 cartridge (200-feet versus 50-feet).
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#14 Michael Ryan

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 04:09 PM

Hello Dory,

Welcome to the wild, wild ride that is the world of Super-8 filmmaking.

First off, you MUST check out www.onsuper8.org This is a great site that has loads and loads
of current Super-8 information.

The type of camera you should get really depends on what you want to do with it, but if you are looking
for long film times I would check out Double Super-8 cameras (DS8). Hard to find, but you can get
up to 200 ft of run time on one reel of film. Great black and white films and color 100D film which is very
good.

Also check out SUPER 8 TODAY which is a magazine that has lots of Super-8 articles (www.super8today.com).


Mike
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:19 PM

[QUOTE Dory Breaux] video has pissed me off for the last time

That is one of the most moving statements I have heard in a long time, welcome to the club. ;)
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#16 Terry Mester

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 02:16 AM

What is the difference between normal 8mm and Super8?
How long does one 50 foot cartridge last at 24fps?

What are you filming for? Television or personal use? You don't necessarily need 24f/s. If it's TV, you can film 20 f/s which can be converted to 25 f/s Video using a 2:3 or preferably 2:3:3:2 pulldown. 20 f/s can be converted to 30 f/s Video using a 3 pulldown. If it's personal use, just film at 18 f/s which lasts 3:20 Minutes. For personal use, with "Reversal" Film, you don't need to go to the great expense of Telecine for converting to Video. Telecine cannot give you the quality of the original film, and it's an unnecessary expense for personal use. However, if you use "Negative" Film, then you must use Telecine to convert it to Video. Regular8 uses Regular 16mm Film, and you probably would have to pay a lot to get Regular8 processed. Fuji makes "Single 8mm" for a special Single8 Camera which records Sound. You can look up other Posts to learn more about the Single8 format.
Regarding recording Sound, just Click the Weblink in my Signature below, and you'll find info on recording synchronized Sound with Super8mm Cameras.

On average, how much grain is visible?


If you don't want graininess, then you should go with Fuji's Velvia 50D available through Spectra Film & Video -- you can find their Weblink in one of the other Posts. I don't recommend Kodak's Ektachrome 64T, but Ektachrome 100 (not available in S8 from Kodak) is better than E64T -- but it will have more graininess than Velvia.

What is the average cost of development?

Qualex Photofinishing (1-800-315-9901) will likely give the best price for developing. You just drop off your Cartridge at any Wal-Mart -- writing in "Special Instructions" on the Envelope indicating that its a Super8 Cartridge (and the brand). There are no Shipping Fees through Wal-Mart -- unlike other places which use the Mail.

Where is the best place to get cartridges for less then $20 a piece?

Kodak is the cheapest for the Films that they offer. For other Films, see what you can negotiate with Spectra Film -- i.e. Buying Carts without developing included in the Price.

Whats the difference between color negative and color reversal?

"Reversal" Film is simply "Positive" Film for viewing on a Projector. With Positive Film you need to be very accurate when choosing the f/stop (within 1/2 an f/stop) -- Negative Film is much less demanding. It's too bad you didn't come to Super8 two years ago when you could have still obtained beautiful Kodachrome 40 ASA.

What is the lo-down on ASA?

The LOWER the ASA/ISO, the LOWER the graininess and the HIGHER the quality.

I was looking around eBay and found , what are your thoughts on it?

Check out Flea Markets and Second Hand Stores to find Super8 Cameras and Projectors at good prices.
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#17 Brandon Iledan

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 11:56 AM

The LOWER the ASA/ISO, the LOWER the graininess and the HIGHER the quality.


To add to this, ASA values correspond to the size of the silver halide grains that are "exposed" when light hits the emulsion layer. Lower ASA values mean finer grains and sharper images, provided correct focusing and such are used. However, fine-grain stock (<200 ASA) will be less sensitive to light than, say, 400 ASA stock. You will have to compensate somehow, artificial light or whatnot, if you're looking for "correct" exposures. Another thing to take note of is exposure latitude, which is typically higher with faster stocks, giving more contrast.

That is not to say that you can't bend these rules for artistic purposes, but it would be better to know these things in order to exploit them later on.

Since the transition from video to film introduces many new concepts, you would do well to do a lot of your own research. There are endless amounts of literature on the internet and in books and it doesn't matter, at least in the beginning, where your info comes from. Just be voracious in your acquisition of it. Traditional photography books are good resources to help you get acquainted with the behavior of film. I'd actually recommend possibly getting into still photography as well to familiarize yourself with film, but you don't have to really... the aforementioned books would at the very least hit you with the basics of exposure, depth of field, and the rest.

Good luck!

Edited by Brandon Iledan, 07 February 2007 - 11:58 AM.

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#18 ryan_bennett

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 12:24 PM

Tis true, the frames on Super 8 are larger, meaning more quality. :)


No, a slightly larger frame with an unsteady image. I have a feeling you don't know much about the parts of a camera or about intermitten motion or registration. I really don't see big difference in image quality between reg 8 and super 8 except most super 8 cameras have cheap plastic lenses plus those dreaded jittery carts. You need to look at the big picture, not just the bigger picture.
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#19 Matthew Buick

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 03:49 PM

Not all Super 8 Cameras have plastic lenses, you'd be insane to use one of those cameras, and there are ways to combat jittery carts, often a high quality cam will hold the film steady, and there is always that metal pressure plate.
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#20 Terry Mester

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 03:59 PM

... most super 8 cameras have cheap plastic lenses plus those dreaded jittery carts.

I don't think it's fair to blame "cheap plastic lenses" on the Super8 format. With a quality Lens, Super8 looks great!
One problem with the Cartridges is that there is no finite track to guide the film through. I've only used Kodak Cartridges. How would you rate "jitteriness" with Kodak Carts as opposed to Pro8mm or Spectra Carts? Do you find Kodak is better?
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