Jump to content


Photo

Enjoying shooting Super 8, want to go higher end...


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 alex mitchell

alex mitchell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:41 AM

So I started shooting Super 8 a few months ago and I'm really enjoying it. I hand develop my own B&W, I transfer it in town on a Workprinter XP telecine in town, and it looks great. That said, I'd like to have a few more professional features on my camera. For starters, I'd like slow motion and crystal sync, and the lens has to be able to open up to f1.4 and be automatic and manual whenever I need it to be. The last thing I'd need is for the lens to be completely unobstructed, because I have a Redrock Micro follow focus that I really like. The setup looks kinda like this so far.
2.jpg
IMG_0620.jpg

Anyway, I have a feeling that I'd like to go the Beaulieu route, but the stock cameras all have those handles that protrude from the bottom, and I need the camera flush with the baseplate so that the follow focus attaches properly. The Nikon R-10 and the Canon 814 and 1014 XL-S cameras are out because of this too. The only models I've narrowed it down to so far are the Leicia Special and Pro8's Classic 8 camera. Let's just say for now that price is no object and leave it at that. Which camera is right for me?

P.S. I know that the Leicina only does 25 FPS and that is kind of a problem for me. Anyway to mod this?
  • 0

#2 Alan Brown

Alan Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Student
  • London

Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:41 PM

I can't answer your question but could you elaborate more on why the follow focus system is unsuitable for a 1014XL-S! Do you know if it could be modified or adapted in some way?
  • 0

#3 Alessandro Machi

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

Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:32 PM

I can't answer your question but could you elaborate more on why the follow focus system is unsuitable for a 1014XL-S! Do you know if it could be modified or adapted in some way?


The handle of the Canon does not retract high enough.
  • 0

#4 alex mitchell

alex mitchell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 December 2007 - 03:03 PM

I can't answer your question but could you elaborate more on why the follow focus system is unsuitable for a 1014XL-S! Do you know if it could be modified or adapted in some way?


The handle on the XL-S 1014 rests beside the lens when you've got it mounted on a plate, which means that the gear attachment wouldn't fit. I don't really want to try my hand at modifying the camera, just in case I break it.

Edited by alex mitchell, 16 December 2007 - 03:07 PM.

  • 0

#5 Alan Brown

Alan Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Student
  • London

Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:31 PM

Damn, thats a shame. My cinematography tutor only three weeks ago demonstrated how to attach and use a follow focus system to an Arriflex SRII. The smooth and precise control the device gives over focusing is amazing. I never knew such things existed for Super 8.
  • 0

#6 Glenn Brady

Glenn Brady
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 327 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:53 PM

Level 8mm make a 15mm rod support system for Beaulieu 4008 series cameras (see http://level8mm.com/index.html). I'm sure a follow focus could be fit to the camera using this system.
  • 0

#7 alex mitchell

alex mitchell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 December 2007 - 08:56 PM

Level 8mm make a 15mm rod support system for Beaulieu 4008 series cameras (see http://level8mm.com/index.html). I'm sure a follow focus could be fit to the camera using this system.


Intriguing! Perhaps now I might go look for a 4008. Anyone know if Du-All Camera is a reliable dealer?
  • 0

#8 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 18 December 2007 - 03:45 PM

Nice FF rig, and good to see someone putting some effort into S8 shooting.

Check this out for a quality-based overview of leading Super 8 cameras.

P.S. I know that the Leicina only does 25 FPS and that is kind of a problem for me. Anyway to mod this?


Why exactly would that be a problem?

Lighting frequencies, repros, transfers, projections?!?

The Leitz Leicina would otherwise be quite your thing...

I'd like slow motion and crystal sync, and the lens has to be able to open up to f1.4 and be automatic and manual whenever I need it to be.


Crystal sync is always a post-job, and can be done to all leading marques. "Slow motion" can mean alot: What exact intervalometer requirements do you have?

The f/1.4 requirement is a problem as far as S8-format leading lenses are concerenced (see my Top 30 list linked above). All top lenses have f/1.8. (remember: super-wide-open XL lenses are not a hallmark of quality by default)

What automatic exposure needs do you have?

What about running noises, interchangeable lenses, sepmag, your cinematographic content?

More info on that might help us.

--

If you want to go for a Beaulieu ? and Glenn's post makes your objections to the baseplate less imperative ? I strongly suggest to focus on the 4008-series (md. ZM II or ZM IV and either a non-servo'd Schneider 11x6mm, Schneider 13x6mm or a decent prime lens, but not the Schneider 6-70 from the ZM IV.
Alternatively, you can always remove the handle of a 4008-model, if required. The 4008-series with CLA job offers more production camera values than the Pro8mm Classic model offered by Phil.
(see this thread here)
  • 0

#9 Jean Beaudoin

Jean Beaudoin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Montréal

Posted 18 December 2007 - 08:31 PM

Michael
I followed your advise on the top 30 Super 8 cameras list and I can tell you this:
I made a test with 1 single roll of 64T: first I shot a color chart, an aligment chart and a zoom
chart with a Beaulieu f1.9 8-64 lens. Then I repeated the same with my Nizo Pro along with some exterior
shots with the built-in 85 daylight filter. I processed the roll and projected it:
The difference between the Nizo and the 1.9 8-64 Beaulieu was....like 5th position versus 15th position !!!! :blink:
Your tests were right, I then sold that Beaulieu for another 4008 Beaulieu this one with the f1.8 6-66 Schneider
lens and did some tests again... I must admit that lens is superior to the Nizo. Also the
gillotine shutter and super bright and wide viewfinder are awsome. :o
Still, the noise factor, automatic B exposure, German made Nizo has an edge over the french
Beaulieu for me. :rolleyes: They both have their plus, you just need both for different uses... ;)
  • 0

#10 Alessandro Machi

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

Posted 18 December 2007 - 08:35 PM

Jean, so what you are saying is the Nizo Pro is significantly better than the 8-64 lens, but the 6-66 lens is significantly better than the Nizo Pro. There can only be so much of a quality difference no?

What part of the f-stop scale were you testing these lenses at?
  • 0

#11 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 18 December 2007 - 10:41 PM

Intriguing! Perhaps now I might go look for a 4008. Anyone know if Du-All Camera is a reliable dealer?

Yes, they're reliable and shoot straight. The cameras sold there are well tested and their modifications are very good. They did my 16mm K3 mods to Super 16 and even widened the viewfinder (something I had been told couldn't be done.)

However if you're looking for camera repair or modifications consider Bernie O'Doherty at Super 16 Inc. as well. He is his own little company and has been modifying 35mm, 16mm & 8mm cameras for almost 40 years so he knows his stuff and is generally a little less expensive and not always as backed up with work.

He has a proprietary process of brightening a viewfinder that really is amazing.

http://www.super16inc.com/
  • 0

#12 Jean Beaudoin

Jean Beaudoin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Montréal

Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:11 AM

Jean, so what you are saying is the Nizo Pro is significantly better than the 8-64 lens, but the 6-66 lens is significantly better than the Nizo Pro. There can only be so much of a quality difference no?

What part of the f-stop scale were you testing these lenses at?


The Nizo Pro with the 7-80 is indeed significantly better than the 8-64 BUT the 6-66 is SLIGHTLY better than the 7-80 (my appreciation)
In both cases with a 1k tungsten spot at 2 meters was f5.6. Also tested with half shutter and 2 stops overexposed for compensation.
Outdoors between f2.8 and 11. I must say that the real time slow-motion 24 to 70 fps of the Beaulieu is AMAZING :o Almost no
change in exposure with the automatic iris. They are just fantastic cameras ;)
  • 0

#13 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:36 AM

Jean,

thank you very much for taking up the interest in my posted Top 30 Super 8 camera list and double-checking its results.

That is exactly why we did it in the first place: to seek-out technology, check-it out and test it under as good as possible circumstances available to us. The idea was to inspire people to think twice about which camera they choose for which situation of shooting, and also promote people to get the maximum out of Super 8, which is very much undervalued in many respects.

To go into greater detail, esp. re. your points why for example the Nizo pro, although not as good lens-wise, still holds some edges over better lens'd cameras like the 4008 (autom.B, ergonomics etc., as you said) the list is accompanied by a series of articles about the top cameras that I am finishing right now, the first four are being published in Super 8 Today, but the full series will be available for download (free, obviously, but without pictures as in the magazine) from my website as soon as it is possible for me to wrap that text up.
Should have been 25 DEC 2007, but will probably become 13 JAN 2008. I will post it all here.

Thanks for double-checking and actually agreeing with our optical results from the list. I still stand by that as well; the Schneider 11x6 on a 4008 is unbeatably good (unless you go into prime lens territory like the cinegon 10mm on the leicina, but the list was about vario lenses, not the one and only Super 8 -calculated prime that the cinegon is).

We are constantly double-checking those results with new tests done while we are shooting regular film projects with Super 8, and I will post any amendments if we think they should occur. My brother just purchased a Porst 1500 (aka Bauer S 715) so we will double-check those with the Bauer original camera just for fun, to see if they are truly identical apart from the body colour and name plates.

I am glad that our efforts were of some help for someone. After all, this is what this place is all about, and what Super 8 as a format needs ? apart from great filmmaking, of course ;) .
(will be shooting towards the end of the year again, with cartridges loads going to ANDEC soon :) )
  • 0

#14 Joe Uman

Joe Uman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Other
  • HIBERNIA

Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for double-checking and actually agreeing with our optical results from the list. I still stand by that as well; the Schneider 11x6 on a 4008 is unbeatably good (unless you go into prime lens territory like the cinegon 10mm on the leicina, but the list was about vario lenses, not the one and only Super 8 -calculated prime that the cinegon is).




The cinegon isn't the only prime lens calculated for super 8, both the century 2.5mm & 3.5mm lenses were made specifically for S8mm format as well as the Fujinon 5.5mm.



FUJINON 5.5MM

Posted Image


CENTURY 3.5MM



Posted Image
  • 0

#15 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:35 PM

Joe,

I shall stand corrected regarding the two Century primes (I can see a 'S-8' engraved marking on your photo) whose quite extreme wide angle would allow "Clockwork Orange"-inspired cinematography for S8 (more so than with the Schneider UW set-ups classically used to emulate such photography). With what mounts where these two lenses sold? Do you have a data sheet at hand for those two, or any info regarding the number optical elements and groupings?

As far as the Fujinon is concerned: I thought that this lens range was intended for usage on CCD-calculated videocameras and were also accordingly coated to compensate to ease colour reproduction? Please correct me.
  • 0

#16 Joe Uman

Joe Uman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Other
  • HIBERNIA

Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:49 PM

Joe,

I shall stand corrected regarding the two Century primes (I can see a 'S-8' engraved marking on your photo) whose quite extreme wide angle would allow "Clockwork Orange"-inspired cinematography for S8 (more so than with the Schneider UW set-ups classically used to emulate such photography). With what mounts where these two lenses sold? Do you have a data sheet at hand for those two, or any info regarding the number optical elements and groupings?

As far as the Fujinon is concerned: I thought that this lens range was intended for usage on CCD-calculated videocameras and were also accordingly coated to compensate to ease colour reproduction? Please correct me.



The century lenses are both c-mount. No data sheet, but there was a 16mm version of the 3.5mm Super Wide made called the Extreme, it's a similar looking lens but has a different set of front elements to the super 8 version.

Posted Image

The Fujinon 5.5mm lens was made specifically for the Fujica ZC1000 c-mount single 8 camera and was sold with it along side the Fujinon zoom.
  • 0

#17 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:12 PM

The century lenses are both c-mount. No data sheet, but there was a 16mm version of the 3.5mm Super Wide made called the Extreme, it's a similar looking lens but has a different set of front elements to the super 8 version.


I just went through my papers and found the Century model in a sales list from Ritter (ex-Beaulieu DE). It was advertised for usage with Normal 16 only (on the Beaulieu R 16 & 2016). That denoted exclusivity must have been one of those occassional Ritter mishaps. Anyway, that classification lead me to the incorrect assumption that it was calculated for 16mm rather then the Super 8 format. The 'S-8' <-> 'Extreme' distinction makes this comprehensive for me. Thank you very much, Joe.


The Fujinon 5.5mm lens was made specifically for the Fujica ZC1000 c-mount single 8 camera and was sold with it along side the Fujinon zoom.


Hmm, now this might come across as pickiness, but to be exact, Super 8 is not Single 8, in many respects.

Although the frame measurements are nearly identical (there are actually variances in the camera and projection frame patented measurements between the two formats, mostly for legal reasons, I assume), the critical focus calculations for the optimal flange focal distance settings have apparently to be more precise in Single 8 than in Super 8 and cannot as easily be compensated in collimation (as e.g. possible when exactly calibrating a C-Mount lens to a Beaulieu camera). This has to do with the lower pressure plate variances possible in Single 8 cameras and the more critical play in the used filmtype's emulsion layer depth. This is also what many Single 8 users I met contribute when debating the optical and visual superiority of Single 8 over Super 8 gear. I once had to endure a debate about that during a festival which took over an 1 hour. As I am not an optical engineer, I was happy to focus on the food at hand until that tiresomely minute discussion was over, but since then, I truly differentiate between Single 8 and Super 8 on far more aspects that just pressure plate and cartridge design.

Do you have any information about the relation between the EBC family of Fujinon lenses manufactured for 1/3"-CCD videocameras and the singular SW-5.5mm offered as accessory for the ZC1000 (nearly bought one 2 years ago... but Single 8 film supply is just too patchy and expensive here in Europe, and I dislike the polyester-based camera reversal films ? just as Estar and Kodak MFX wasn't really the future of Super 8...)?

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Your efforts are highly appreciated, Joe.
  • 0

#18 Joe Uman

Joe Uman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Other
  • HIBERNIA

Posted 21 December 2007 - 06:48 AM

Hmm, now this might come across as pickiness, but to be exact, Super 8 is not Single 8, in many respects.

Although the frame measurements are nearly identical (there are actually variances in the camera and projection frame patented measurements between the two formats, mostly for legal reasons, I assume), the critical focus calculations for the optimal flange focal distance settings have apparently to be more precise in Single 8 than in Super 8 and cannot as easily be compensated in collimation (as e.g. possible when exactly calibrating a C-Mount lens to a Beaulieu camera). This has to do with the lower pressure plate variances possible in Single 8 cameras and the more critical play in the used filmtype's emulsion layer depth. This is also what many Single 8 users I met contribute when debating the optical and visual superiority of Single 8 over Super 8 gear. I once had to endure a debate about that during a festival which took over an 1 hour. As I am not an optical engineer, I was happy to focus on the food at hand until that tiresomely minute discussion was over, but since then, I truly differentiate between Single 8 and Super 8 on far more aspects that just pressure plate and cartridge design.

Do you have any information about the relation between the EBC family of Fujinon lenses manufactured for 1/3"-CCD videocameras and the singular SW-5.5mm offered as accessory for the ZC1000 (nearly bought one 2 years ago... but Single 8 film supply is just too patchy and expensive here in Europe, and I dislike the polyester-based camera reversal films – just as Estar and Kodak MFX wasn't really the future of Super 8...)?

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Your efforts are highly appreciated, Joe.


It is a c-mount lens and can be adjusted like a c-mount lens.

All I can say is that I had the 5.5mm Fujinon collimated to my Mekel cine 8 with no problems. The lens can be adjusted just like other c-mount lenses. The same goes for the ZC1000, no problems collimatng C-mount lenses. The only cameras I've ever experienced collimation problems using c-mount lenses are the latter day beaulieus, 6008/7008, there's something quirky about their spacings.

The zoom lens for the ZC1000 is an EBC lens too., along with the 5.5mm. With the ZC1000 I bought in the 90's, both lenses came in the manufaturers box.

Edited by Joe Uman, 21 December 2007 - 06:52 AM.

  • 0

#19 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 21 December 2007 - 07:39 AM

It is a c-mount lens and can be adjusted like a c-mount lens.


Of course, but my point wasn't about the collimation procedure itself but the original calculation in construction or more precisely the calculatory tolerances allowed or required to accommodate the existing differences between Super 8 and Single 8. Remember that my original argument was about the Schneider Cinegon 1:1.8 / 10mm being the only Super-8-calculated prime, which you corrected by reminding me of the 'S8'-versions from Century Optics. Nevertheless, the Fujinon lenses offered for the Fujica ZC1000 were originarily calculated for Single 8 (which is a difference ? I warned you that I made an "anal" argumentation here ;) :) )

The only cameras I've ever experienced collimation problems using c-mount lenses are the latter day beaulieus, 6008/7008, there's something quirky about their spacings.


What specific C-Mount lenses were you trying to collimate onto your Beaulieu 6/7/9008-series body?
This problem is very likely related to the circumstance that Beaulieu compromised the C-Mount thread it used in order to accommodate its outer-ring Beaulieu Bayonet Mount. All the default lenses for the Beaulieu 6/7/9008-series came fitted with that ill-conveived Beaulieu Bayonet Mount in order to enhance interchangeability of Beaulieu Reglo-Zoom -fitted system between different camera bodies. The preceeding Beaulieu Reglomatic (its lenses were C-Mount) did not allow full interchangeability as the electric contacts could not be properly aligned from camera body to camera body.
The Beaulieu Bayonet Mount was already fiddly with the inferior Schneider 6-70mm (when compared to previous Schneider lenses), but was truly awful for the Angénieux 15x6mm ? to put such a heavyweight onto a plastic-ringed Mount was really bold. Hence, Ritter in DE offered a "Objektivplattenverstärkung" (a reinforced lens mount plating within the camera body) late in the 1990s for 980,- DM (which was alot then!), but that was already towards the end of the company's lifetime and I am not sure how many cameras were actually fitted with one.

With the ZC1000 I bought in the 90's, both lenses came in the manufaturers box.


Wow, very good! May I ask how much you roughly paid for this set? If that is sensitive data for you, please feel free to PM me via this board. I would really like to know. Thanks!
  • 0

#20 Joe Uman

Joe Uman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Other
  • HIBERNIA

Posted 21 December 2007 - 01:04 PM

Wow, very good! May I ask how much you roughly paid for this set? If that is sensitive data for you, please feel free to PM me via this board. I would really like to know. Thanks!



It was around £1000 in the early 90's.
  • 0


Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Opal

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

CineLab

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio