Jump to content


Photo

Transferring super 8


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 kara kanter

kara kanter

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Student

Posted 15 November 2008 - 06:32 PM

I recently shot a stop motion project with fuji 500T 73 stock film. I wanted color and the high speed since I had limited light. I just had it transferred to miniDV and it looks pretty bad. I realize now maybe it wasn't my best choice of formats but I wanted the super 8 'aged' look. However, there is barely any detail and the color has no contrast and is pretty muted. The project was a series of color photographs mixed with props and 3-d objects, I used lot's of color and lot's of different materials for enhanced dimension, however, on the film it looks like there is no separation of color or dimension. The film exposure looks fine, so I'm wondering if I should just reshoot with another format because I'll never get the Super 8 to look good or if it's just my transfer job and I can retransfer and salvage all my hard work.....
  • 0

#2 Jim Carlile

Jim Carlile
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 November 2008 - 02:49 AM

Sounds like a bad transfer, though stop motion can be tricky to do and always requires some experimentation to see what looks right-- maybe the lighting scheme was off.

Try another transfer where you can sit in and twiddle the dials for better results. Super 8 should work, but stop motion is so much effort that maybe 16 would have been easier?
  • 0

#3 Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:36 AM

I recently shot a stop motion project with fuji 500T 73 stock film. I wanted color and the high speed since I had limited light. I just had it transferred to miniDV and it looks pretty bad. I realize now maybe it wasn't my best choice of formats but I wanted the super 8 'aged' look. However, there is barely any detail and the color has no contrast and is pretty muted. The project was a series of color photographs mixed with props and 3-d objects, I used lot's of color and lot's of different materials for enhanced dimension, however, on the film it looks like there is no separation of color or dimension. The film exposure looks fine, so I'm wondering if I should just reshoot with another format because I'll never get the Super 8 to look good or if it's just my transfer job and I can retransfer and salvage all my hard work.....


Hi,

I just shot a short on Kodak 200T stock, similar to the Fuji 500 You used. My film also came out pretty bad, not at all like I expected with the saturated colours and rich contrast typical to Super 8. I had all my processing and telecine done at ToddAo on a Rank machine, transferred to Digibeta, so I think the processing was as good and professional as it could possibly be. On researching further the reason for the thin, washed out colours and excessive grain on my films, I have basically come to the conclusion that using high speed, negative stock in Super 8 is a complete waste of time and money. If anyone would like to correct me on this, I would be very happy to get more information about what I might have done wrong, but the prevailing response to my questions seems to be 'USE REVERSAL FILM..'
I shot on a Nizo Professional, over-exposed and pull-processed half a stop to reduce grain, then got a best-light transfer to Digibeta on a Cintel machine. If that can't make a film look good, I don't know what can. I personally will never use 200, 500 or indeed any negative Super 8 stock again. I recommend you reshoot with reversal film. If you use a Nizo, you can also use the 'AutomB' function to ensure you always expose properly, even in limited light.
  • 0

#4 Art Leal

Art Leal
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:24 AM

Hello Kara:

I also think it may be the transfer. What type of lighting did you use? What type of camera and how were you exposing? Manual or auto?
When you hold up the film by hand to the light can you see the general details of your project?

I recently re-transferred the same Fuji stock that I shot last winter, and was pleased with the results. I used a Bauer C700XL with the aperture wide open. Bear in mind I used a TON of de-graining on this sample, but that's because my method of compression causes a lot of artifacting when I upload. I don't mind the grain, just haven't found the best way to convert it to avoid it looking "lossy".


  • 0

#5 Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:31 AM

Hello Kara:

I also think it may be the transfer. What type of lighting did you use? What type of camera and how were you exposing? Manual or auto?
When you hold up the film by hand to the light can you see the general details of your project?

I recently re-transferred the same Fuji stock that I shot last winter, and was pleased with the results. I used a Bauer C700XL with the aperture wide open. Bear in mind I used a TON of de-graining on this sample, but that's because my method of compression causes a lot of artifacting when I upload. I don't mind the grain, just haven't found the best way to convert it to avoid it looking "lossy".


Art:

Your footage looks great. Can I ask you if you had to crush the blacks heavily in post? My main problem with the Kodak 200T was that in dark sections (for example a timelapse sunrise, while the sky is still dark), instead of getting nice rich blacks, I got in incredible grainy blue-ish tone. I guess this is where the film has been underexposed, and only the biggest grains have reacted to the extremely limited light. Thing is, if I underexpose film, it's because I want it black. It feels almost like the stock is trying to correct what it feels is a mistake somehow..
  • 0

#6 Art Leal

Art Leal
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 26 November 2008 - 10:53 AM

Art:

Your footage looks great. Can I ask you if you had to crush the blacks heavily in post? My main problem with the Kodak 200T was that in dark sections (for example a timelapse sunrise, while the sky is still dark), instead of getting nice rich blacks, I got in incredible grainy blue-ish tone. I guess this is where the film has been underexposed, and only the biggest grains have reacted to the extremely limited light. Thing is, if I underexpose film, it's because I want it black. It feels almost like the stock is trying to correct what it feels is a mistake somehow..


Thanks Matt:

In my setup I go from the camcorder to a video capture card. The capture card has some basic levels controls such as brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. By manipulating the brightness/contrast on the negative image, I find I'm able to vary the black levels (I actually adjust what looks "white" since this is what will be "black" when I put the inversion filter on). So in a sense I guess I'm crushing them a bit, but I tweak it more in post. Using the capture card adjustment I get a less grainy image to adjust once I import it into my NLE. Controlling the blue-ish tones or sometimes red-ish helps by setting the black point on the color control wheel.

I also have had a lot of frustration with the negative stocks and grain, especially if the footage is underdeveloped. Sometimes I see footage I've captured with K-40 and 100D, even 64T at times, and compare it to the negative stocks and wonder why I bother. Yet there are times when I see a beauty in the negatives I can never attain with the reversals. The reason I continue to dabble with negatives is that I can get away with much more adjustments in levels without getting them blown out than I would with the reversals.
  • 0

#7 Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 26 November 2008 - 11:21 AM

Art,

That's exactly it. I chose Vision stock for my last film because I thought it would be a more advanced emulsion, with more latitude for colour correction in post than the old Ekta or reversal films, but I wish I hadn't. I suppose it's my own ignorance to blame, but for sure that'll be the last time I use negative super 8 stocks. In terms of the colour correction at the capture stage, I had a best-light telecine to Digibeta on ToddAO's Rank machine, and even they couldn't get the colours balanced the way I was hoping..
Live and learn I guess.. Thanks for the tips.

Matt
  • 0

#8 Justin Lovell

Justin Lovell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Toronto

Posted 27 November 2008 - 12:39 AM

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

That's some super 8 neg (200T and 500T) I just transferred for Jeff Moneo. Get your exposure right and use a solid camera with a sharp lens and it can look pretty good :)

More samples jammed into the blog (larger images, sorry wasn't able to post the higher res into this post)...
www.framediscreet.blogspot.com

Hope that helps ;)

Edited by Justin Lovell, 27 November 2008 - 12:40 AM.

  • 0

#9 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:00 AM

I recently shot a stop motion project with fuji 500T 73 stock film. I wanted color and the high speed since I had limited light. I just had it transferred to miniDV and it looks pretty bad. I realize now maybe it wasn't my best choice of formats but I wanted the super 8 'aged' look. However, there is barely any detail and the color has no contrast and is pretty muted. The project was a series of color photographs mixed with props and 3-d objects, I used lot's of color and lot's of different materials for enhanced dimension, however, on the film it looks like there is no separation of color or dimension. The film exposure looks fine, so I'm wondering if I should just reshoot with another format because I'll never get the Super 8 to look good or if it's just my transfer job and I can retransfer and salvage all my hard work.....


If there's a way you can post some stills or clips of the footage, I would say that is the best way to help us help you. Also, some technical details as to what lights you used and all that would come in handy. There are too many variables when filming . . .

Did you have some film or video lighting? Perhaps it was a combination of subpar lighting (for the subject matter anyway) and a one light video transfer that it looks the way it does?

Not enough info to make an educated guess.
  • 0


Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Opal

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Technodolly

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Glidecam

CineTape

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider