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When does image begin and end?


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#1 Michael Koshkin

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 07:38 AM

Greetings Film Gods,

I apologize for this embarrassingly basic question, but I've had a hard time finding this info elsewhere on the web. I'm sure it exists but perhaps I'm not googling the right thing...

When shooting a super 8 cartridge, when does the image begin and end (as in, how long do you have to squeeze the trigger at the beginning before you're in the usable footage zone? Also, will the image be usable until you hear the change of sound that film is no longer running through the camera? or is there a bit of film at the end that won't be usable?). I remember in my brief 16mm studying there being unusable bits, but perhaps this problem is solved with Super 8 as you never have to expose the beginning or ending of a cart when loading/unloading.

My first few test cartridges will be back from the lab some time next week and I'm doubting that I'll be able to figure this out just by looking at what I got on film.

If it makes a difference, I'm using Tri-X in a Nikon R-10.

Thanks,

Michael Koshkin
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#2 Michael Koshkin

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 07:39 PM

And another related question:

I was getting a slithery sort of sound out of the third cartridge I shot so I popped the cartridge out and then back in, hoping it could fix the threading or whatever it might be making the noise. The sound didn't stop.

How much of the cartridge in this place would that ruin? Just the few frames exposed? or more?

Any ideas about the sound? I only heard it on one of the three cartridges I tried.
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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 07:40 AM

Hello, Michael

You're close to answering yourself. Thanks to the cartridge only about seven frames are dead when the cartridge is exposed to light. The rest like annoying noises during the take are the all well known system deficiencies of "Super-8". Do pound a cartridge one, two times sharply into your palm before you insert it. That releases the windings a little. Better switch to Single-8. Or 35 mm.
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#4 Michael Koshkin

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 12:49 PM

Thanks.

So are you saying that when I start a cartridge that only 1 second into filming and I'm already getting images? And that the image goes all the way until the tape stops?
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#5 Steve Wallace

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 02:58 PM

Thanks.

So are you saying that when I start a cartridge that only 1 second into filming and I'm already getting images? And that the image goes all the way until the tape stops?

I think with some cameras you will see a few flashed frames between takes. Possibly the film is getting up to speed. My Nautica does this. Either way, the first second or so is not really usable. But all my other cameras seem to be fine right from when you press the trigger.
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 12:12 AM

Hello, Michael

You're close to answering yourself. Thanks to the cartridge only about seven frames are dead when the cartridge is exposed to light. The rest like annoying noises during the take are the all well known system deficiencies of "Super-8". Do pound a cartridge one, two times sharply into your palm before you insert it. That releases the windings a little. Better switch to Single-8. Or 35 mm.


Somewhat of a hostile answer. I shot 45 film cartridges over a years time on a super-8 project and didn't have one jam.
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:01 AM

Do pound a cartridge one, two times sharply into your palm before you insert it.

Sounds like what they teach you at boot camp with your M-16.
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#8 Jim Carlile

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 04:03 AM

There's no waste with super 8-- you get it all from the beginning. It starts right away, and yes, that slithery sound is normal, it grinds and rubs it way through the cartridge. The sound cartridges were quiet, but they don't make them any more.
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#9 Mark Dunn

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 11:19 AM

You only lose about 3 or 4 frames at the head and a frame or two before the printed 'exposed' message at the tail. You can confirm this next time by firing off about 8 single frames to start with; you'll get some of them back.
The camera does sound like a bag of spanners when it's running, but most of it is camera noise and quite normal. If you remove the cartridge you only lose the frames in the gate- the light trap is pretty good- but the footage counter resets, so make a note.
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