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Image stability


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#1 John Adolfi

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:48 PM

So what have we learned about super-8 image stability?

1.) Use a Kodak cartridge with a metal inserted pressure plate.

2.) Use a Leicina Camera... any other candidates?

3.) Use a double super 8 camera with a built in metal pressure plate.

4.) Use single 8 shot with a Fuji ZC1000 with a built in metal pressure plate

5.) Use imaging stabilization software

6.) Shoot 16mm with pin registration


Any thoughts?
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:18 AM

The jury is still out about the metal pressure plate. Some people report improvements, others say the stock cartridge works better. It seems to be camera and film lot dependent - try it on yours and see. I've had good luck with the stock cartridge on my S8 cameras (Bauer S715XL, S207XL and Nikon R8). Of course DS8 will give you better consistency, and 16mm better still (as the tolerances aren't as critical). If your only criterion of photographic quality is a super stable image you'd be better off with video any day - but of course no one in his right mind would use a video camera when the RED camera is only 8 years from availability :P

Oh, where was I? Oh, yeah, Super 8. It's an amateur format from over 40 years ago. Don't worry about getting the last 0.01% of quality out of it, any more than Lindsey Lohan would fret about putting a 1963 Beetle in a NASCAR race.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 23 July 2007 - 09:23 AM.

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#3 John Adolfi

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:17 PM

The jury is still out about the metal pressure plate. Some people report improvements, others say the stock cartridge works better. It seems to be camera and film lot dependent - try it on yours and see. I've had good luck with the stock cartridge on my S8 cameras (Bauer S715XL, S207XL and Nikon R8). Of course DS8 will give you better consistency, and 16mm better still (as the tolerances aren't as critical). If your only criterion of photographic quality is a super stable image you'd be better off with video any day - but of course no one in his right mind would use a video camera when the RED camera is only 8 years from availability :P

Oh, where was I? Oh, yeah, Super 8. It's an amateur format from over 40 years ago. Don't worry about getting the last 0.01% of quality out of it, any more than Lindsey Lohan would fret about putting a 1963 Beetle in a NASCAR race.



Robert,

It seems that many are already sweating over people like Santos and others wanting to eeek out that .01 additional quality. See previous posts on this forum.
I believe that if less stable footage is desired, then fine. But I like super-8 and I like stable images. What's my crime?

Edited by John Adolfi, 27 July 2007 - 05:20 PM.

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#4 Terry Mester

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:58 PM

The problem of Super8 image stability isn't inherent in the Super8 Cartridge -- it's the quality of the Camera! Metal wears out with use because of friction. Regular lubrication of a Camera's Gears would reduce this wear and tear. If the Camera's Sprocket Arm is jittery, then the Film advance will be jittery. The S8 (and S16) Camera would be twice as stable if there were two Arms pulling down the Film, and it would wear out more slowly. Also, are you using 24 f/s or 18 f/s? The faster the film is moving, the less stable it will be, and the faster the Camera will wear out. What is needed is a new limited production of top quality S8 Cameras -- with two Sprocket Arms and two separate Motors to run the Clutch and Film Gate. Such a Camera would provide super stability, and its timing would be fantastic even without crystal syncing.
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:20 PM

Robert,

It seems that many are already sweating over people like Santos and others wanting to eeek out that .01 additional quality. See previous posts on this forum.
I believe that if less stable footage is desired, then fine. But I like super-8 and I like stable images. What's my crime?


It's entirely appropriate and worthwhile to get the best performance out of the gear you've got, and good Super 8 looks great - that's why people still use it. I think I saw some color S8 footage in the flashback scenes of the new Lindsay Lohan movie. And Trevor M. / Santo's "Poe" film demonstrates that PlusX in Super 8 can look pretty sharp.

But chasing after the final .01% seems to me as guilding the lily. Super 8 is what it is, a low-cost, antique home movie format, with all that entails. Work to its strengths, its characteristic look, its ease of use. As for designing a special camera, you'd be better off finding a Bolex DS8 and saving those brain cells for more profitable use.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 27 July 2007 - 11:22 PM.

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