Jump to content


Photo

New to film and super8. What to buy?


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:21 AM

Being new to Super 8 I have some questions for anyone who can answer.
I've been going through the forum a bit trying to get a handle on what stocks are good and what Super 8 cameras are decent.
I've shot exclusively digital for a couple of years and even as a kid never shot super 8 except on one occasion.
I'm basically looking to see what film stocks look most vibrant with tight (minimal?) grain and what stocks are good for indoor/outdoor.
Can I just use one stock and correct with gels?
What's a good, solid super8 camera (preferably used)?
All answers are appreciated.
  • 0

#2 Mitch Perkins

Mitch Perkins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 03 September 2007 - 09:19 AM

Can I just use one stock and correct with gels?
What's a good, solid super8 camera (preferably used)?
All answers are appreciated.


64T will give you that retro feel, the punchy colours and rich blacks of reversal. 200/500T looks more modern, state of the art.

Canon 814XLS is IMHO the most useful all round camera, (and I don't even own one!), but the little Nikon Superzoom 8's produce the sharpest images I've seen, even wide open with a wrench...and a WA attachment! The Nikons are also easy to mod - shutter can be removed w/out disabling pulldown, and I've carved a section out of the right side panel to access the main drive, which I can "drag" (with my finger) down to 4 or 5 fps in low light.

Whatever camera you decide on, rest assured, it will be used. ~:?)

Mitch
  • 0

#3 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 September 2007 - 01:26 PM

Mitch

Thanks for the great advice. I'll be messing around with Super8 for a while then
move to 16mm at some point.
I'm just trying to get more familiar with film stock instead of having knowledge
of just miniDV and HD.
My goal is to be more well rounded in both formats.
Thanks, again.
  • 0

#4 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:25 PM

I know Im somewhat of a fanboy, but I prefer Vision2 500t stock. I tried hard wih 64t but it always looked thin to me and it was too hard for me to get enough light for it indoors. I think 500t is very versatile. Others will disagree, Im sure. A lot of people now are jumping on the Fuji Velvia 50 bandwagon. I havent personally shot with it, but Ive seen examples of it. It looks cool, but is VERY saturated.

Here is the best resource I have found for comparing stocks shot with the same camera:

http://www.westsider....com/clips.html

This fellow used to post on here and maybe still does...I dont know. Hope it helps.
  • 0

#5 Mitch Perkins

Mitch Perkins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:34 PM

I tried hard wih 64t but it always looked thin to me and it was too hard for me to get enough light for it indoors.


Have you tried recently? The labs seemed to need a tweak period to get it just right. The stuff I've shot is anything but thin...I believe the cameras over-expose this stock on auto-exp, which is just one of many reasons never to use auto-exp. ~:?)

But yeah, indoors you need those old eye-bursting 650W lights, or a bright window near the subject. The negs are more versatile in every way - I'll bet you could even make 'em look like reversal with the right CC.

Mitch
  • 0

#6 Bjarne Eldhuset

Bjarne Eldhuset
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Student

Posted 03 September 2007 - 03:52 PM

Ok, I tried to put together links to as many available super 8 film stock examples as possible.

As mentioned above, Charles Doran's great site has a lot of great examples:
http://www.westsider....com/clips.html
http://www.westsider...com/clips2.html
http://www.westsider...n_article_5.pdf

Overview over Kodak's available stocks:
http://www.kodak.com...o....14.4&lc=en

Astbury Films have some great stock examples:
http://web.mac.com/j.....R8 DEMOS.html

Black and white stocks sold by Kahl:
http://www.kahlfilm...._and_white.html

Color stock sold by Kahl:
http://www.kahlfilm....ezp_colour.html

Wittner Kinotechnik:
http://www.wittner-k...mm/s8_filmm.php

Super8camera.com has a nice list of available stocks:
http://www.super8cam...m/filmstock.php

Should we add the Cinevia stock? :-)
http://www.cinevia.eu/

Pro8mm's reversal films:
http://pro8mm.com/Me...tegory_Code=CCF

Pro8mm's negative films:
http://pro8mm.com/Me...ategory_Code=PF

Spectra Film & Video:
http://www.spectrafi...o.com/Film.html

Hm, please add more to the list, if you have some!

Bjarne Eldhuset.
  • 0

#7 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 03 September 2007 - 06:50 PM

I'm basically looking to see what film stocks look most vibrant with tight (minimal?) grain and what stocks are good for indoor/outdoor.


Since preferences are so personal and depending on the specific project, you should plan on trying as many stocks as you can afford. Personally I wouldn't hesitate to start with what is most readily available. If there's a local outlet that sells 64T try it. I just shot some the other week and I like the results a lot (I know some don't like it). Mind you, we had to light the poop out of the indoor stuff to get a decent F-stop but them's the breaks. efinitely try the negative stocks, understanding it will cost more as you need to transfer it to see it. Great thing about reversal when you are learning is you can simply project it.

You want vibrant colours and tight grain? Definitely try the Fuji. I shot one test roll and guess what I got? Vibrant colour and right grain.

Don't hesitate to use the Tungsten stocks outside as they are easy to CC. Daylight stock inside is tough as the Blue filter absorbs too much light.

Have fun.
Rick
  • 0

#8 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:30 PM

I know Im somewhat of a fanboy, but I prefer Vision2 500t stock. I tried hard wih 64t but it always looked thin to me and it was too hard for me to get enough light for it indoors. I think 500t is very versatile. Others will disagree, Im sure. A lot of people now are jumping on the Fuji Velvia 50 bandwagon. I havent personally shot with it, but Ive seen examples of it. It looks cool, but is VERY saturated.

Here is the best resource I have found for comparing stocks shot with the same camera:

http://www.westsider....com/clips.html

This fellow used to post on here and maybe still does...I dont know. Hope it helps.


No apologies for shooting 500T are required. It's a terrific stock. I even shot it in daylight for a couple of feet and was surprised that it came out. lol, the f-stop was around f-22 but fortunately the camera went to f45 so I didn't have to contend with the aperture suddenly being closed. However what I shot was relatively non contrasty.

The 500T really comes in handy after the sun has set but there is still some daylight because it will read into crevices and darker foilage really well.
  • 0

#9 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 September 2007 - 08:12 PM

Have you tried recently? The labs seemed to need a tweak period to get it just right. The stuff I've shot is anything but thin...I believe the cameras over-expose this stock on auto-exp, which is just one of many reasons never to use auto-exp. ~:?)


Well, I shot on it about a year ago...is that recent? As far as Auto, I never shot with that...I would die without my handheld light meter and manual exp.

And yes, others will back up that you need serious lighting to use 64t indoors unless you want to be wide open. I use a 1250W photoflood kit and still was only at about 2.8. I usually like to stay around 5.6 if I can control it so I get a bit sharper focus. My footage was a bit soft on it nonetheless. Dont get me wrong, Im sure there are people in here that can get great footage on 64t indoors, but its not really worth it to me when Im already in love with 500t.
  • 0

#10 Mitch Perkins

Mitch Perkins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 03 September 2007 - 10:43 PM

Well, I shot on it about a year ago...is that recent? ... its not really worth it to me when Im already in love with 500t.


Sure 500T is very lovable. The labs have nailed 64T since 1 year ago, so you might want to give it another whirl...outdoors. ~:?)

Mitch
  • 0

#11 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:32 AM

Wow. Great resources for the online stuff you guys. Very much appreciated! :D I'm pretty excited about this as it's fairly new territory for me.
The Northwestern Film Forum here in Seattle has a homemade Tele-cine type machine that I hear is pretty decent.
Looks like it's time to become a member.
  • 0

#12 Douglas Hunter

Douglas Hunter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 356 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:46 PM

Eric, to get tight grain you will need to shoot the slower more fine grained stocks. The Fuji Velvia and the Kodad 100D are the most saturated finest grain stocks available right now. The problem for some folks is that they have less lattitude and are more contrasty. Kodak 7217 is rated at 200 / 125. Its a lower contrast stock with more lattitude. It's colors tend to be more natural but the appearance of color on film has as much to do with art design and lighting as it does with film stock. If grain is a big deal to you, don't shoot anything faster than 200, and learn how to light. Grain is always going to be there in super 8 so shoot slow and control your mid tones.
  • 0

#13 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 04 September 2007 - 10:27 PM

Eric, to get tight grain you will need to shoot the slower more fine grained stocks. The Fuji Velvia and the Kodad 100D are the most saturated finest grain stocks available right now. The problem for some folks is that they have less lattitude and are more contrasty. Kodak 7217 is rated at 200 / 125. Its a lower contrast stock with more lattitude. It's colors tend to be more natural but the appearance of color on film has as much to do with art design and lighting as it does with film stock. If grain is a big deal to you, don't shoot anything faster than 200, and learn how to light. Grain is always going to be there in super 8 so shoot slow and control your mid tones.



Thanks, Doug. More great info. I'm assuming that I can transport my lighting knowledge from all my DV shoots to film
in some respects. In other respects, maybe not.

I've read and re-read Blain Brown's "Cinematography: Theory and Practice" many times now.
A great book that has served me well so far.

But lighting is an art form that takes years if not forever to truly master. I'll be learning until I'm dead and that's fine by me.

Hope this isn't blasphemy posting this in a Super8 forum, but here's a DV clip from a recent short of mine.


View on Vimeo

Thanks again for everyone's help.
  • 0

#14 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 08 September 2007 - 09:28 PM

okay...point taken. No DV in the super8 forum. Just the same. Thanks for everyone's input. :P
  • 0

#15 Mitch Perkins

Mitch Perkins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:00 PM

okay...point taken. No DV in the super8 forum. Just the same. Thanks for everyone's input. :P


Nah, people are probly watching it, saying "cool" and waiting for other people to post "nice clip". ~:?)

I'd watch your DV clip, but very recent browser "issues" coincidentally linked to this site = no flash installed on this computer at least for today.

From a DV point of view, film stocks can give you a lifetime of organic "looks" to explore and shape with light. Then you have all the digital transfer/post magic...

Check the first post and clip linked therein, but not necessarily the subsequent flame war, here -

http://filmshooting....7fe677ed8a5b00b

Mitch
  • 0

#16 Giles Perkins

Giles Perkins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Posted 09 September 2007 - 04:53 AM

Sorry I'm a bit late to the show here;

www.onsuper8.org has a downloadable and regularly updated .pdf of all available Super 8 filmstocks at;

http://homepage.mac....super8/pdf.html

Hope it helps!
  • 0

#17 Toby L Edwards

Toby L Edwards
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Phoenix, Arizona

Posted 10 September 2007 - 08:23 PM

Eric'
The DV clip looks really good. I really like the lighting. Add a little FILM to that and it's going to be way more believable.Hope we see some film clips soon.
Check out www.onsuper8.org There are a few links to full length features shot on super8. Both are well worth the money.
Toby
  • 0

#18 Eric Brown

Eric Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Other

Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:48 PM

Mitch: Cool. Just wanted to make sure I didn't ruffle any feathers.

Giles: Thanks for the list. I am curious about something, though.
Any idea as to where I can buy the Wittner Chrome 100D?
and if so who can process it here?.
Three users gave high ratings in a Super8 today magazine I
just read. (Although that article is over a year old)

Toby: Thanks for the compliment on the clip!
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Tai Audio

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

CineLab

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc