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Super8 first-timer, need some help.


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#1 Benny Hardin

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:32 AM

Hello everyone :)

I am about to shoot my first short and a music video with my newly purchased super8 camera. It's a Nizo 6080. Since i really dont have much experience with super8 i was wondering if there are any DO's and DONT's i should remember and keep in mind.

I am considering a "test run" and spend like 1 or 2 rolls of film to test the camera with diffrent lights in diffrent locations.. however, since at least some of you seem to have a lot of experience with super8 i thought maybe i should take to oppertunity and ask about some things i've been wondering about.

1. How many of you use the internal lightmeter as oppose to an external one?

2. At the moment i have 10 rolls of Kodak vision2 200T, does anyone of you have any experience with this one? Did you notice any conditions when this stock was extra good/bad?

3. now for the big one: Is there anyone who can simplify all this stuff about exposure, aperture, light, shutter speed, F/stops etc? However, i do want to point out that I am not a total newbie in this matter.. I do know what the terms are and what they represent etc. -- however, what i cant seem to get heads or tails from is the part when you get all this numbers and reading and make something useful out of them.. that's the area where i need some pointers? (..anything - webpages? personal experiences? what ever can help me..)

i hope i made myself clear about that last question cause i found it a bit hard to explain my dilemma. Anyhow, thanks in advance :)

cheers,

Edited by Benny Hardin, 02 March 2007 - 11:35 AM.

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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:20 PM

I never use the internal light meter.

On two different shoots I have see super 8 camera operators who were very confident with their internal meters have the meters go out on them while shooting and they could not tell that this had happened.

Even if you've shot hundreds of rolls using the internal light meter, these cameras are all old and there is always the chance that the light meter will crap out on you when you need it most.

Sorry, but I didn't understand what you were asking about in the last part of your post.
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#3 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 09:13 PM

[/quote]
Is there anyone who can simplify all this stuff about exposure, aperture, light, shutter speed, F/stops etc? However, i do want to point out that I am not a total newbie in this matter.. I do know what the terms are and what they represent etc. -- however, what i cant seem to get heads or tails from is the part when you get all this numbers and reading and make something useful out of them.. that's the area where i need some pointers?
[/quote]

I think what you're talking about here is getting the right amount of light to the film. The basics can be confusing, but it's really not that hard. I have found some of the best explanations for these factors in old Kodak basic still photography books from the '50s to the 70's ("advanced" home movie books from the 50's and 60's would be good too). You can find these books (and many like them) at your local library or in used bookstores for next to nothing. They'll point you in the right direction to getting useful settings out of all those numbers. You'll get it. Enjoy your Nizo, and shoot lots of tests before you get going on your project, it will save you disappointment later.
Enjoy!
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#4 Benny Hardin

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 10:34 PM

thanks for the replies :)

Douglas Hunter,
you have a very good point -- I dont want the internal lightmeter to go out when shooting.. so an external lightmeters sounds pretty darn good! i'll see what i can find over here in Sweden..

1. Any suggestion as to what kind of a lightmeter i should aim for at this early stage of shooting super8?

Bruce Taylor,
You are right, that is what i am looking for and i did find a nice book at the local library today when looking around for Super8 books.. it was from arounf -76 or -78 something and looked very good.. gonna go down their this weekend and get it :D

again, thanks for the input :)

cheers,

Edited by Benny Hardin, 02 March 2007 - 10:35 PM.

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#5 Terry Mester

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:13 PM

Hi Benny, the HTTP Links below will help you.

INFO FOR SUPER8 NEWBIES
You can find useful info on Super8mm by clicking the Threads linked below. If you would like to record Sound with your filming, log onto the Website www.geocities.com/filmanddigitalinfo which provides info on recording synchronous Sound. Good luck to you.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20597
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20645
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20939
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20634
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#6 Benny Hardin

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 12:51 AM

Terry Mester,
I will take a look at those links and threads and see what i can find, thanks a lot :)



I also found this page over at Kodak's webpage which helped me a bit..
http://www.kodak.com...af9/index.shtml
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#7 David W Scott

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:01 AM

Definitely shoot some tests.

As for the VISION2 200T, I have never seen a bad roll. It's a beautiful film.

If you want to use the internal meter, get an 18% gray card from your local photo shop. They are cheap, and the only way to meter consistently with the internal meter. You hold the card under exactly the same light (i.e. position) as the subject, and meter on the card. Lock your exposure, and you are good to go.

I most use an external meter. Here's some thoughts:

Use an incident (not reflected) meter. It replaces the gray card, and reduces worrying about the tonality of your subject. If you hold the meter under the same light as your subject, and aim the white dome at your camera lens, you will get an accurate reading that will correctly expose 18% grey under those conditions. You can adjust your exposure from there for creative reasons, but your baseline exposure will be accurate and consistent.

Save money by buying a used one, but buy it from a camera store or somewhere you can test it against "known good" meters. You are buying the one piece of equipment that you MUST trust to be accurate, so I wouldn't bother with a fifty year old eBay special that may be very inaccurate.

Go for a digital meter. They are quick to read, and make f-stop calculations simple. I am happy with my Sekonic Digilite-F, bought used. Look for a model that has a "cine" mode -- in Cine mode, my meter assumes a 1/48 shutter speed (which is correct for 90% of movie cameras) and then lets you adjust your FPS up and down. Very handy for slow-mo work, with no confusion.

Be aware that Super 8 cameras will use prismatic ("beam splitter") finders (instead of a rotating mirror finder like an Arriflex.) As such, the finder will cause light loss. How much light loss varies by camera. That is something you want to test for with a new camera. Make a series of bracketed exposures (taking notes) to decide how the film exposures match up to your light readings. You will probably find you need at least a 1/2 stop more on your lens than the external meter tells you, because of the light being robbed by the reflex finder. To conduct camera and exposure tests, shoot reversal colour or black & white. Reversal can be projected directly to evaluate exposure, and it saves you the expense (and subjectivity) or a video transfer. Plus, it's a lot cheaper to shoot a roll of Tri-X and project it, then to shoot a roll of VISION2 and have it processed and transferred or printed.

Edited by David W Scott, 03 March 2007 - 10:02 AM.

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#8 Benny Hardin

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 06:28 PM

David W Scott,
first of all, thanks a lot for that useable post! :) if i ever had any questions left to ask, you seem to have answered them all :))

Indeed, the Vision2 200T seem to be a very good stock and i look forward to shooting with it :D i will do some tests using my NIZO camera this coming week.. test some diffrent lights in diffrent settings.. see what comes out :) .. a lightmeter and a greycard seem to be a good investment and i'll look deeper in to that as well :)

again, thanks :)

cheers,
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