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Losing my patience with Kodak...


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#1 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:04 PM

Guys, I'm really starting to lose it here, why does EVERY SINGLE CARTRIDGE I film with get, at some point or another, stuck? At first I didn't even notice, but now I've had that problem so often, with so many cartridges, that I can perfectly hear the barely noticeable sound in my camera. I can't even put in a fresh cartridge without moving the film forward a few inches, because I KNOW that at the beginning it ALWAYS gets stuck, probably because it is a bit bent, I assume because of being around the guide rollers inside the cartridge. Hope you understand what I mean. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is, that I've shot quite a few cartidges, all of them E64t, and all of them got stuck at some point or another. Just like that. Even while I was shooting I suddenly heard a pitch change in the sound of the camera and noticed that the cartridge had gotten stuck. I mean... come on, is it so hard to get working cartridges out there? It was possible in 1965, WHY THE fu** IS IT NOT fu**ING POSSIBLE IN TWO THOUSAND fu**ING EIGHT??? CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME? If this goes on, I have little more option than to consider using video, I don't want to risk loosing a shot just because some GOD-fu**ING-DAMN RETARDS AT KODAK ARE TO fu**ING MENTALLY DEFICIENT TO MAKE WORKING SUPER8 CARTRIDGES.

Ok, got that out of my system....
PS: ...damn autmatic censorship...

Edited by Alessandro Malfatti, 31 August 2008 - 01:04 PM.

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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:23 PM

Welcome to the club.

Am I right in assuming that this does only concern E-64!?!
IF NOT, then please state the other film stocks where you have this problem. Thanks!
IF SO, please confirm you have these problems only with E-64 again.

If the latter, do you know the batch number of these E-64 cartridges, printed on the packaging? If you could double-check and post that info, alot help would be done!

Background: Kodak botched up (and inofficially recognised so) batch 309 with major transportation issues coming out of their new film manufacturing plant. This series should by now have left or been sold out in the retail channels, but it might still be found in some markets. There were some issues with batch 310, but the current 311 batch sold in Switzerland is without problems at all so far, so I hear from my brother who is following this closely as he is shooting a project on E-64 right now!

Best wishes,

-Michael
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#3 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:48 PM

Well phooey, I kept the boxes just for this reason, and it is batch 311 which is giving me these headaches. Eight Cartridges, all of them got stuck, all of them batch 311. And yes, all of them E64t.
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#4 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 02:37 AM

Woaw.. 311, that's not good... might be more persistent than anticipated... many thanks for the flag-up. Do you have a Kodak rep to point this out to locally, or where do you buy your carts from, so that this salespoint (esp. when it's a specialised seller like Spectra, Wittner etc.) can take this to Kodak. It's about the amount of complaints and issue-raiser, in the end, to ride the point home to Kodak.

What a shame that no one from Rochester found it appropriate to even slightly take up the presence and interest the late John Pytlack had here on this forum. :angry:
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#5 andy oliver

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:07 PM

aww, batch 311 causing problems. I've experianced batch 309 causing jitter in my 814xls and beaulieu 7008, but these being sound cameras, i guess have a more powerful motor to stop jamming. I am aware of batch 309 jamming in a canon 514xl ( silent ) and another silent camera ( sorry cannot remember ). Also trying to lap dissolve in my 1014xls, batch 309 would jam. However all is now ok with batch 311, lap dissolves perform perfectly, no jitter at all. My understanding is batch '311' onwards is now lubricated and should not cause no more transport issues!!!
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#6 andy oliver

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:18 PM

aww, batch 311 causing problems. I've experianced batch 309 causing jitter in my 814xls and beaulieu 7008, but these being sound cameras, i guess have a more powerful motor to stop jamming. I am aware of batch 309 jamming in a canon 514xl ( silent ). Also trying to lap dissolve in my 1014xls, batch 309 would jam. However all is now ok with batch 311, lap dissolves perform perfectly, no jitter at all. My understanding is batch '311' onwards is now lubricated and should not cause no more transport issues!!! You need to contact kodak to raise your issues.. Amazing, we had k40, pretty much jitter free ( except the 3/2004 batch ) for years and no problem, kill off k/c, shift the plant to Rochester= nothing but problems. Appears then the only stuff thats pretty much jitter free then is Wittner 100d.....
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#7 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 05:06 PM

I'm considering calling Kodak in the US, there's no point in calling the Mexican branch, or at least Dwayne's.
Honestly, I'm not even considering any other filmstock right now, I'm quite happy with the results of E64t, and I used it without compensating for the reading at 40ASA. If I didn't want an automatic light meter and iris, I'd probably film with 16mm. But anyway, I'll continue to continue, and I'll film on for a while, maybe I was unlucky with these cartridges, after all I carried them around for a long time in the heat (being optimistic here). I'll let you know about my results...
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#8 andy oliver

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 05:13 PM

Hi, yeh, go straight to kodak, Dwayne's is only a seller of 64t. What camera are you using?? Keep us posted, i've grown to like 64t, more retro looking over 100d and more accurate on the skin colours...
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#9 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:58 PM

Guys, I'm really starting to lose it here, why does EVERY SINGLE CARTRIDGE I film with get, at some point or another, stuck? At first I didn't even notice, but now I've had that problem so often, with so many cartridges, that I can perfectly hear the barely noticeable sound in my camera. I can't even put in a fresh cartridge without moving the film forward a few inches, because I KNOW that at the beginning it ALWAYS gets stuck, probably because it is a bit bent, I assume because of being around the guide rollers inside the cartridge. Hope you understand what I mean. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is, that I've shot quite a few cartidges, all of them E64t, and all of them got stuck at some point or another. Just like that. Even while I was shooting I suddenly heard a pitch change in the sound of the camera and noticed that the cartridge had gotten stuck. I mean... come on, is it so hard to get working cartridges out there? It was possible in 1965, WHY THE fu** IS IT NOT fu**ING POSSIBLE IN TWO THOUSAND fu**ING EIGHT??? CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME? If this goes on, I have little more option than to consider using video, I don't want to risk loosing a shot just because some GOD-fu**ING-DAMN RETARDS AT KODAK ARE TO fu**ING MENTALLY DEFICIENT TO MAKE WORKING SUPER8 CARTRIDGES.

Ok, got that out of my system....
PS: ...damn autmatic censorship...


you probably don't want to hear this, but to me it sounds like a camera issue. I would say that your camera just isn't up to running 64t anymore. As you know, its slightly thicker than black and white or kodachrome. this difference makes 64t more demanding for your camera.
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#10 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:09 PM

Well, I've sent Dwayne's a message now, you're right, they only sell E64t, but I've asked them to forward my complaint to Kodak, in the hopes that it will mean more to Kodak coming from Dwayne's than from me. For some odd reason I doubt the consumer service Kodak delivers to Super8 users.
Btw. I use a Nizo 156 macro, which I bought from a trusty guy who also repairs cameras, so I do believe it was checked out before being sold, if it weren't I'd probably think it's the camera, but since I've also noticed that every time the film gets stuck it feels kind of hard to pull forward an inch or two, like it's sticking somewhere. Then again, I could try that one suggestion of carefully hitting on the cartridge a little. What I have been doing on the last few carts was forwarding the film by hand until I passed the two points where it was bent somewhat (to give you an idea, at that point if I didn't press it down you could see it rising above the pressure plate. Maybe that's the result of a lot of heat acting on the film threaded around those little guide rollers or something? Believing that carrying the film around in my backpack all day at 100ºF or more might have hurt it, but then again, I didn't carry around all cartridges. You guys may enlighten me, if any of this sounds plausible.

Just saw your post there Richard... you're right, I don't want to hear that. If anyone could confirm or dismiss that claim (please please don't confirm it, where the hell am I going to get the cash for another camera, and with a project coming up?)

Edited by Alessandro Malfatti, 01 September 2008 - 07:11 PM.

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#11 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:29 PM

Well, I've sent Dwayne's a message now, you're right, they only sell E64t, but I've asked them to forward my complaint to Kodak, in the hopes that it will mean more to Kodak coming from Dwayne's than from me. For some odd reason I doubt the consumer service Kodak delivers to Super8 users.
Btw. I use a Nizo 156 macro, which I bought from a trusty guy who also repairs cameras, so I do believe it was checked out before being sold, if it weren't I'd probably think it's the camera, but since I've also noticed that every time the film gets stuck it feels kind of hard to pull forward an inch or two, like it's sticking somewhere. Then again, I could try that one suggestion of carefully hitting on the cartridge a little. What I have been doing on the last few carts was forwarding the film by hand until I passed the two points where it was bent somewhat (to give you an idea, at that point if I didn't press it down you could see it rising above the pressure plate. Maybe that's the result of a lot of heat acting on the film threaded around those little guide rollers or something? Believing that carrying the film around in my backpack all day at 100ºF or more might have hurt it, but then again, I didn't carry around all cartridges. You guys may enlighten me, if any of this sounds plausible.

Just saw your post there Richard... you're right, I don't want to hear that. If anyone could confirm or dismiss that claim (please please don't confirm it, where the hell am I going to get the cash for another camera, and with a project coming up?)


The thing is alessandro, thousands of people are using 64t and not having this problem. A major issue with the super 8 system is the reliance on the tension of a slip clutch inside the camera that turns the take up core. This core turning device has the same force applied to it by the camera motor no matter what the diameter of film on the take up core. This means it has the same force applied to it regardless of the revolution speed required. As such, the force required has to be just enough to take up loose film, without being enough to pull film harder than it is being pushed down by the camera claw. The claw has to be the only thing that actually advances the film. The slip clutch that is connected to the core is like that on the take up side of a projector. You can stop the rotation of the take up spool of a projector without stopping the projector. Again, its a slip clutch that makes this possible. And like with a camera, if the clutch isn't tight enough, the film won't take up, and if its too tight, you have the film being pulled through the projector and the projector loops dropping etc. Most often what goes on with film jams inside a super 8 camera is the take up core not having enough force applied to it to turn and thus the film just loosly fills up the inside of the take up side of the cartridge until no more can fit in. Sometimes the core will wind, but not smoothly such that you get a wonky wind. A wonky wind takes up too much width and starts to rub on the inside of the cartirdge causing increased friction etc. This eventually gets to be too much for the claw to keep pushing film down and again you have a jam. Its a bugger of a system. Much better is the single 8 system ... but that is a debate for 1965!
I am afraid you should try another camera and save that one perhaps for black and white ...
good luck,
richard
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#12 Richard Baines

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:37 PM

I once had a little stickiness with a cart from an earlier batch of 64T in my 814XL-S at 24fps, and a cart of Wittner 100D I used got stuck 1ft from the end of the roll recently, but other than that I've never had any sticking problems with Super 8 at all.

I mostly use Kodachrome 40 and Ektachrome 64T, and have shot quite a lot of cartridges this year so far. Batch 311 has run fantastically smooth for me, and I would trust Kodak stocks way more than any other repackaged 3rd party material.

I definately think it sounds like the camera, considering everyone else seems to be having success with this batch of film then I'd definately want to point the finger first at a 30 year old camera.
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#13 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 07:48 AM

I'm sorry to hear of your problem, but I have to admit that I've never had any problem with Super8 cartridges (Plus-x/Tri-X/E64T/E100D).

I shot with a Canon 814 AZ-E that was in the family (so I know it has never been serviced) and with a Canon 1014 XL-S which I bought early this year without knowing it's condition.

Thus, I think that your problem is more related to your camera than to the cartridges "alone". Maybe a simple oil work would do the job.
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#14 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:59 PM

Well isn't that motherfu**ing christmas for me, today really is the god-fu**ing-damn day for me huh. fu**.
Ok so let me get this straight, the takeup in the camera is turning steadily and it is pretty tough to stop with a finger. BUT when I've checked a film, especially I remember the first cartridge, I noticed that the emulsion had been scratched away by the claw, so it wasn't pulled forward AT ALL. As far as I'm getting it, the takup should have pulled the film forward, right? Now, shouldn't this mean, that the film is so stuck, that even the takeup can't pull it along. Or am I wrong?
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#15 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:19 PM

Ok so let me get this straight, the takeup in the camera is turning steadily and it is pretty tough to stop with a finger. BUT when I've checked a film, especially I remember the first cartridge, I noticed that the emulsion had been scratched away by the claw, so it wasn't pulled forward AT ALL. As far as I'm getting it, the takup should have pulled the film forward, right? Now, shouldn't this mean, that the film is so stuck, that even the takeup can't pull it along. Or am I wrong?


This all makes sense to me. What happens is that you get a loose winding on the take up side of the cartridge because the core isn't being turned properly. The take up side of the cartridge is only as wide as it needs to house the width of 8mm film wound nicely. If take up isn't working, then after a while the disorganised film (be it just jumbled up, or wound up but wound wonkily) means that their isn't space for more film to go in, or the wonky wind means that the film is rubbing excessively on the inside of the cartridge. This can result in not just excessive friction, but a complete jamming of the interior. In either case, when no more film is being taken up, no more film can be pushed down by the claw. The claw will then either be stopped (and the camera jam) or a sprocket will tear, or the claw will push the film out of the way. In the latter two cases there is always signs of scratching.
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#16 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 07:14 PM

Ok, this all sounds plausible, but every time the film got stuck it worked, after I moved it a little with a finger. And after that it moves without a problem, unless it gets stuck one more before it ends. But I was able to finish filming all cartridges and got no note from the lab about jammed film or nothing. I got all the way to the point where it said "exposed" at the end... It's an intriguing issue, huh?

One thing I don't understand, if the film isn't being wound properly, after the claw loses its grip, shouldn't the takeup, which is still working, wind the film tightly, like when you pull on the end of a reel (which you should never do, of course) to get it to tighten up?

Edited by Alessandro Malfatti, 02 September 2008 - 07:16 PM.

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#17 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:53 AM

I always turn the film cartridge spindle a couple of turns before putting it inside the film chamber. When looking at the film spindle side, I move turn the spindle clockwise a couple of turns. then I keep light pressure on the spindle to make sure the film doesn't unravel inside until just when I put the film cartridge in the camera.

If the Nizo 156 only uses 4 batteries, that could be adding another element of unknowness. Most aging cameras gain more and more resistance along the voltage lines, so if a camera only has 4 batteries instead of six, that can add to the issue.

Also, if you have scratching going on then you may also have gunk in the claw space area. One way to carefully clean this area is with a wooden toothpick. Gently rub the wooden toothpick along the metal, being careful to avoid the claw at all times.

Check and see if you are finding gunk on the end of the wooden toothpick. I also "clean" the actual gate this way as well.
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#18 Jim Carlile

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 01:56 AM

No, don't turn the spindle or anything-- it sounds like you're binding the film inside the cartridge. Kodak has always said just leave it alone. That's especially the case with these third-party cartridges. I haven't looked inside one lately but I strongly suspect they take shortcuts and don't have the same number of cast parts as the older ones.

The take up just 'takes up" the exposed footage-- it doesn't wind it tight on the core. The claw does most of the work. It's not like a tape recorder.
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#19 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 02:16 AM

No, don't turn the spindle or anything-- it sounds like you're binding the film inside the cartridge. Kodak has always said just leave it alone. That's especially the case with these third-party cartridges. I haven't looked inside one lately but I strongly suspect they take shortcuts and don't have the same number of cast parts as the older ones.

The take up just 'takes up" the exposed footage-- it doesn't wind it tight on the core. The claw does most of the work. It's not like a tape recorder.



Just to clarify, this is a different Alessandro, and my technique has worked pretty well over the years.
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#20 Terry Mester

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:05 PM

I always turn the film cartridge spindle a couple of turns before putting it inside the film chamber. When looking at the film spindle side, I move turn the spindle clockwise a couple of turns.


This is the best advice. Before loading the Cartridge, turn the Clutch CLOCKWISE until the Film is pulled down in the Gate opening.

Here are some pages from my Website addressing this problem.
http://www.geocities...aintenance.html
http://www.geocities...ex_s8_cart.html


Here is a previous Thread.
At last, A SOLUTION TO JITTERINESS

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=32243
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