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rewinding carts?


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#1 Liam Dale

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 07:15 PM

Hey all,

Wondering if you can rewind super-8 cartridges to do multiple exposures?
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:23 AM

Hey all,

Wondering if you can rewind super-8 cartridges to do multiple exposures?


Super-8 cartridges at most can backwind around 180 frames, perhaps slightly more.

Single-8 can rewind the entire cartridge. Checkout Single-8.com and see if they can assist you with getting the right camera.

For certain kind of situations you could built two sets next to each other and by doing long time exposures you can actually shoot the first scene in single frame, shut off the lights to the first set, zoom into the second set, turn on a different set of lights, expose that, then repeat the process for each frame.

In essence you are doing multiple exposures, but you don't have to deal with rewinding the film.
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#3 Liam Dale

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:21 PM

Thank you. I've never opened a cart before, what prevents the film from being rewound completely?
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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 03:21 AM

The supply and takeup spools are coaxial and there is a single driving spindle, as you can see. It cannot be made to rotate backwards without breaking a ratchet inside the cartridge.
If you tape over the spindle to prevent the camera turning it, there is enough space inside the cart for about 3 feet of film to bunch up. It can then be rewound with a backwinder, which is basically a box with a sprocket wheel, and then re-exposed. This trick only really works near the start of a cartridge when there is enough space for the film.
As Alessandro says, you can only get unlimited backwind if you can drive the takeup and supply spools separately, as in Single-8.
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#5 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 05:09 PM

The supply and takeup spools are coaxial and there is a single driving spindle, as you can see. It cannot be made to rotate backwards without breaking a ratchet inside the cartridge.


There is no Supply Spool per se; there is no co-axle and there is no ratchet! The Supply "Coil" of Film just sits there, and nicely unwinds as the Sprocket Arm pulls the Film down. The Take-up Spool winds up the Film being pushed down from the Film Gate. Thus, to run backwards the Supply Coil would not get wound back up, and would quickly clog up.

Liam, if Fuji's Single-8 uses the same Sprocket Holes as Super8, then this is what you need for your situation. Single-8's reverse feature is nice, but is also more expensive than Super8 Carts. When I get a Webcam, I'll post pictures of what the Super8 Cartridge looks like inside.
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#6 Liam Dale

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:39 PM

Terry, that would be great. Would it be possible to shoot a cart, open and remove the film, wind it back up and place the newly rolled film back in the cart for a second run. Would probably be more work than it's worth, I guess.
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#7 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 11:28 PM

Now that I think of it, there is a way you can rewind a S8 Cart without opening it. All you would have to do is cut a small hole (about 1 Square Centimetre) in the center of the Front Side. You would then grab the END of the Filmstrip with tweezers or needle pliers, and turn it counter-clockwise as the Clutch on the back would be turned clockwise. (You could also do this in two stages by first pulling the Film out through the Film Gate opening, and then winding it in by turning the tweezers. This two stage approach would probably be easier.) This of course would have to be done in the dark -- perhaps a really tiny amount of distant light would be safe. When done, you would cover over the hole with black electrical tape.

Just to explain the inside of the Cartridge, the Film "End" just sits unattached at the center of the Supply Coil. When operating, the whole Supply Coil turns as the Film gets pulled down by the Sprocket Arm. There are two plastic moulds (which form the outer dimensions of a Reel) which hold both the Supply and Take-up Coils of Film in place as they turn. The center of the Take-up Film Coil is attached to a Spool (connected to the external Clutch) which winds up the Take-up Film as it comes down. There is no physical problem with turning the Clutch backwards in order to rewind the Cart. However, you would desire to have the Pressure Plate (in the Film Gate opening) pushed back so that the Film can pass through easily. Otherwise, the Plate could scratch the Film if it's not pushed back. I'd suggest using a rectangular strip of tin metal (like a tuna can lid) cut about 1 centimetre wide by about 4 cm long to push in the Pressure Plate. You would bend it in the shape of a square 'U' -- with the open space being about a cm wide so that 8mm film can pass through. You would then slip the metal U behind the Film and in front of the Plate. Use Tape to cover over any sharp edges which could scratch the Film. The bottom of the U would push in the Plate. You could Tape it to the Cart to hold it in place, or you could use a second person to push it in for you. This all might sound a bit tricky, but you don't want to risk scratching the Film. Having taken apart an old Cart, I can state that this would work for rewinding it.
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#8 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 04:31 AM

There is no Supply Spool per se; there is no co-axle and there is no ratchet! The Supply "Coil" of Film just sits there, and nicely unwinds as the Sprocket Arm pulls the Film down. The Take-up Spool winds up the Film being pushed down from the Film Gate. Thus, to run backwards the Supply Coil would not get wound back up, and would quickly clog up.

Liam, if Fuji's Single-8 uses the same Sprocket Holes as Super8, then this is what you need for your situation. Single-8's reverse feature is nice, but is also more expensive than Super8 Carts. When I get a Webcam, I'll post pictures of what the Super8 Cartridge looks like inside.


Here's one. http://www.super8.nl.../s8_systeem.gif
That's what I call coaxial.
The ratchet is there to keep the takeup spool tight.
You could backwind in the way you describe- if you could cut a hole in the cartridge without damaging the film or introducing bits of plastic- or you could just buy a backwinder. They turn up on ebay-here's one, the same make as mine. http://cgi.ebay.co.u...1QQcmdZViewItem
Don't forget to tape the drive spindle first. Or you could just push the film back with a toothpick.

>perhaps a really tiny amount of distant light would be safe
NO level of light is safe for panchromatic film. If you can see it, so can the film.

>There is no physical problem with turning the Clutch backwards in order to rewind the Cart.
Not once you've broken the ratchet. You then run the risk of a film jam and skinching of the loose roll.
Perhaps the cartridge you're using already has a broken ratchet.

If you've actually backwound and shot double exposures this way, fine. Post the footage and we can see how it turned out. Then I'll post mine, shot 30 years ago, with a taped spindle and a backwinder and no messing about.
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#9 Terry Mester

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 08:09 PM

The ratchet is there to keep the takeup spool tight.
You could backwind in the way you describe- if you could cut a hole in the cartridge without damaging the film or introducing bits of plastic- or you could just buy a backwinder.


If you want to call that little plastic arm a Ratchet, I suppose you can. It's too weak to prevent the Clutch from being turned backwards, and afterwards it will still turn forwards. When I post the pictures, you'll be able to see the Cartridge inside for yourself. It would be easier to cut a larger hole, and just turn the whole Film Coil with your finger. It depends on how much rewinding he wants to do. Is he thinking of 10 or 20 feet? It would be much easier to just use a DS8 Camera or Fuji's Straight8 for double exposure work. If a Lab had a S8 Contact Printer, then you could duplicate separate filmstrips onto one.
You're right about bits of plastic -- a sharp razor-type knife may limit this.

NO level of light is safe for panchromatic film. If you can see it, so can the film.


I know. You would need a barrier on the table to prevent any distant light from hitting the film on the table. If no light hits the film, then you're safe. That's why I said a "really tiny amount" -- just for seeing other objects in the room -- not to see the film.
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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 05:11 PM

Or you could just tape the spindle and use a backwinder. And not fog, scratch, skinch or knife the film.
Or have it jam because: 1) you've got sweat from your fingers on the edge of the supply reel; 2) the takeup spool is loose because you've broken the ratchet.
Or mistime the effect because you've guessed the amount of film you pushed back instead of counting the number of frames with the knob on the backwinder.
Harry Garlick solved this problem 40 years ago. You don't need to fiddle about.
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#11 Terry Mester

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:53 PM

Or you could just tape the spindle and use a backwinder. And not fog, scratch, skinch or knife the film.
Or have it jam because: 1) you've got sweat from your fingers on the edge of the supply reel; 2) the takeup spool is loose because you've broken the ratchet.
Or mistime the effect because you've guessed the amount of film you pushed back instead of counting the number of frames with the knob on the backwinder.
Harry Garlick solved this problem 40 years ago. You don't need to fiddle about.


You're right about the potential problems which is why I would first recommend using Fuji's Single-8 for major rewinding. You said that this rewind device only works for about 3 feet. What if Liam wants to rewind more than 3 feet?
Also, are you sure that your device works at the beginning of a Cartridge? I can't see how that device would work until about 5 to 10 feet of film has gone through because there would be no room in the Supply Chamber to push the film back into. It would jam up right away if the Supply Chamber is almost full.

I've thought about that ratchet / arm, and I cannot see any other purpose for it except to prevent the Takeup Spool from accidentally unwinding on a new Cart before it's loaded in a Camera. The ratchet arm enables Kodak to wrap a bare minimum of Film around the Spool without it coming loose. Otherwise, the Film would naturally unwind. However, that ratchet serves no purpose for the Cart's operation in a Camera. The Clutch on the Camera will not turn at all once it's shut off.
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#12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 08:25 AM

This isn't something I've just thought up- the Craven Backwinder has been around for years. Here are some pictures. http://www.mondofoto...lopedia-68.html

I'm quite sure it works, beginning, middle or end, as no doubt are its thousands of users over the decades, and your inability to see how doesn't stop it working. Obviously there's more room when some of the film has run, but then, if it hadn't run, there'd be nothing to backwind, would there? It makes its own space. There are limitations, but part of the fun of Super-8, surely, is working within them.

The OP asked about backwinding Super-8. Telling him he needs to use Single-8 is about as helpful as the chap who, when asked for directions, said 'Well, i wouldn't start from here'.
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#13 Terry Mester

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:02 AM

This isn't something I've just thought up- the Craven Backwinder has been around for years.


Do you have enough experience with this Backwinder to say that it won't cause kinks or wrinkles in the Film, nor damage the Sprocket Holes? The more Film you force back into the Supply Chamber, the greater the possibility of causing kinks, and the more force required to push it back which could warp the Sprocket Holes.

With the aid of Infrared Light & Goggles to see what you're doing, the rewind technique I propose is reasonably easy, and without problems of kinking and warping. My Website has a section with Links to businesses who sell Infrared Filters and Goggles / Monoculars.
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#14 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:37 AM

There's no reasoning with you, is there? Someone asks for advice. First you suggest he buys a new camera. Then you tell him to spend- how much?- on infra-red lights and goggles, for heaven's sake- then he has to cut a hole in his cartridges. Or he could buy a second-hand backwinder for a few pounds.

Experience? Once and for all, it's not just me. It's been in use for years. You can't stop it working just by thinking about it. Surely your efforts would be better directed at film problems which haven't been solved, rather than trying to invent outlandish schemes for ones which have.

Post your footage (the whole roll, please, including the scratches and edge fogging) and I'll do likewise. I don't have to prove that backwinders work- you have to prove they don't. Sorry, but I think you need to put up or shut up this time.
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#15 Robert Hughes

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:08 PM

Or just not worry about rewinding Super 8. Do multiple images in post, it's much easier there. Or (if you must do an in-camera effect) use 16mm.
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#16 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:02 PM

But that's really the 'I wouldn't start from here' argument.
One of the joys of Super-8 used to be that you could make a film for the price of the stock. No video transfer, no post-production beyond a viewer and splicer, everything straight out of the box. Making your own superimposed titles, mattes, multiple exposures and so on is part of the fun.
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#17 Terry Mester

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 07:22 PM

There's no reasoning with you, is there? Someone asks for advice. First you suggest he buys a new camera. Then you tell him to spend- how much?- on infra-red lights and goggles, for heaven's sake- then he has to cut a hole in his cartridges. Or he could buy a second-hand backwinder for a few pounds.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Mark, take a deep breath and calm down. ;) :huh: You were the one who said that you cannot rewind more than about 3 feet of Film. As I asked before, what if Liam wants to rewind more than 3 feet? I've simply proposed a technique to rewind (not cram backwards) any amount of Film. I just came up with this idea for Liam, and so I haven't had the opportunity to try it out. Robert's suggestion is definitely easier than rewinding / backwinding. I assume that you can rent Single-8 Cameras.
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#18 Mark Dunn

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:53 AM

I'm through arguing with you. It's a shame, but I guess people who come here for answers will just have to wade through all the nonsense and make up their own minds about which solution is the simpler.
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#19 Terry Mester

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 04:28 PM

Let a Super8 user decide for themself which method of double-exposure they wish to use. I don't know why you're so insistent that they must use the Craven Backwinder. What if they can't find a Backwinder?
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#20 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:25 PM

Hey all,

Wondering if you can rewind super-8 cartridges to do multiple exposures?


The OP asked about backwinding Super-8. Telling him he needs to use Single-8 is about as helpful as the chap who, when asked for directions, said 'Well, i wouldn't start from here'.


I don't think you realize how offensive your answer is. I gave Liam basic information about the limits of backwinding Super-8 AND I mentioned Single-8 as being a better alternative if one wants to backwind more than 180 frames OR wants better registration.
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