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which super 8 film stock? Help!


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#1 jack king

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:17 PM

Hi there

Just wondering if anyone could help me...

I've got a gaF super 8 (sc/102) - just come into one today.

I'm taking it on holiday in a few weeks and wondered which stocks you might recommend, seems there are so many to choose from.

Just want to know which are the best 2 daylight stocks for super 8,
and then which are the best 2 tungsten stocks.
I'm thinking one of the daylight stocks I want to get in black and white.

If it helps I'm in Japan so i'd like to get some nice shots of tokyo at night, and shoot kyoto in BW by day etc.

The camera has no manual adjustment settings really.

Cheers :)))
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:07 PM

Hi there
Cheers :)))

The best Super 8 stock was always Kodachrome 40.

Are you wanting these for direct viewing, like traditional "home movies" or are you going to go the transfer to video route.

What speeds of film will your old GAF accept? Does the light meter even work?

For scanning, many folks will use one of the colour negative films.

For direct viewing if you can't snag some of the world limited remaining supply of Kodachrome, there is one Ektachrome stock still made. in B&W you have a choice of Plus-x and Tri-X assuming your meter will work with those speeds.
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#3 Steve Phipps

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:37 AM

Hi Jack,

Instead of splitting your film purchase between daylight/tungsten-balanced stocks, you could also purchase just one type and then use either an 80-series or 85-series filter to balance, depending. You can get the filters in varying "strengths", of course. It's just another option. And in any case, if you don't have color-balancing filters, you may find that you stumble onto a fantastic subject but don't have any more of the appropriate film-stock, given the conditions. The only color-stock I used to shoot was K40, and to shoot that in daylight, I would just screw on an 85B. Never any problems or complaints. Many cameras have that filter internally.

I'm not sure there is a tungsten/daylight issue for black-and-white film, of the kind you seem to hint. You won't need a filter to balance the stock, but you adjust the ASA. Or, I have been doing it wrong for years. The only time I shot Tri-X with a filter was when I added a Red-25, for contrast. Plus-X got a stop faster a couple of years ago, by the way.

One thing I would definitely suggest is that you shoot a test cartridge as soon as possible. I'd definitely want to see that before I left on vacation with a new camera! Make sure that your camera is working before buying/shooting a bulk of film. You're looking for things like a correct exposure meter, stable film speed, and so on. If you have no way to make a manual adjustment to exposure, you might want to do something like making a very simple gray-scale chart, white-to-black, in discreet shades of gray, and then shooting that indoors and out/low-light and bright. If your meter is off, hopefully you can make some estimate about how far off the meter is. Of course, if the camera allows no manual options, you may be entirely out-of-luck. But still, a gray-scale might tell you how far the camera's meter is off, and if you can work with it.

Good luck!
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#4 jack king

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:24 PM

Hi guys

Thanks so much for the fast responses... :)

Charles - thanks for that. I have no idea what speeds of film the camera takes. It doesn't say. There is an eye built into the cam and supposedly this does all the exposure work for me. Apparently it works, but i've yet to test it. I'm definitely going to go to the transfer to video route.

I can't find the kodachrome 40 - so i'm assuming i'll just have to go with the ektachrome. Will this do the job all round then?

Steve - Cheers for the filter tips - the cam does actually have an orange filter positioned behind the lens - i think it's a filter; you can see it as an orangey ball in the viewfinder. Is this to adjust the lens to shooting during the day if i've got tungsten? (in other words the same job as your 85b?)

I'm a bit worried that there is no way of adjusting things manually. Right, need to get on with ordering stock asap so i can fit in a tester. Apparently the camera works fine. Isn't a popular one though, can't find much on it at all. Must be ancient...

Cheers again. Get back to me asap if you can :)
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#5 Steve Phipps

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 12:52 AM

Hi Jack,

the cam does actually have an orange filter positioned behind the lens - i think it's a filter; you can see it as an orangey ball in the viewfinder. Is this to adjust the lens to shooting during the day if i've got tungsten? (in other words the same job as your 85b?)

I'm assuming that "orangey ball" is not a hideous smudge or mold growth of some kind, so I'll say, Yes, I believe that would indeed be an internal filter.

:o

Presumably, there is some adjustment possible on your camera, to tell it that you are shooting indoors or out. The camera can't know, and that selection would position the filter correctly.

I actually prefer to set my own filter, rather than rely on an internal gel filter of unknown quality. So, even though my Nizo has its own internal 85-filter, I defeat it and then screw on my B&W 85B. And, of course, it isn't just the "quality" of the filter -- "Brand A" versus "Brand X" -- it's that those internal gel filters are 30-odd years old now, and could be rippled or deteriorated with age, and in a way you won't discover until it's too late.

i'm assuming i'll just have to go with the ektachrome. Will this do the job all round then?

Yes, it certainly will. Just remember the color-filtration requirements.
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#6 Adam Garner

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:20 AM

http://super8wiki.co....php/GAF_SC_102

Doesn't look like a terrifically advanced. Only 18fps too.

I'd assume it doesn't meter too many of the modern stocks. You should see if you can find a manual online somewhere if you don't have one. It should tell you what it's capable of metering.

If you can't find it, you can use this : http://super8wiki.co...dge_Notch_Ruler

Definately worth shooting a test reel. Not to totally rain on your parade, but it looks like it's about a $10 camera. Don't expect mind-blowing results as far as image clarity. In my experience the cheaper cameras tend to muddy images with lower-quality lenses.

Still, it'll be fun to shoot. Tokyo!!
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#7 jack king

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:21 AM

Hi again steve

thanks so much :)

Right, i'm sorted. You were right, there is a socket on top of the cam where some kind of screw is supposed to go to retract the filter (something called a movie light plug) although this didn't come with my cam and hence the confusion. i guess I can just use a screw if i can find one to fit. I did try pushing it down with a needle however, and the filter doesn't disappear from the viewfinder - (the orange ball is still there) - but i'm assuming that it shifts away from in front of the lens? If that's the case, then i'll screw it down permanently and get an external filter like you say. If that's not the case and it's not budging because it's bust or something - should I remove it manually by opening up the camera???

Thanks so much again, i've ordered my stock and i'm ready for the off.
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#8 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:52 PM

there is a socket on top of the cam where some kind of screw is supposed to go to retract the filter (something called a movie light plug) although this didn't come with my cam and hence the confusion. i guess I can just use a screw if i can find one to fit.


If I remember that little bit of the 1970's, it should take a 1/4 -20 screw, probably about 1/2 inch or so, but just turn it in gently until you see the filter move.

1/4 -20 should be stocked in any hardware store.

Only Super 8 I have is a SANKYO.
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:42 AM

If you will be transferring your film to video and you're ok with negative stocks, go ahead and try out one of the new Vision 3 500T Super 8 cartridges from Kodak. Your camera probably can't meter it properly but if you're shooting in very low light at night, it will just shoot wide open and you'll have to see what you get. That will give you the most sensitivity you can get with that camera.

Not a scientific approach but based on the camera you're using I'd assume that's ok.
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#10 andy oliver

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:17 PM

if you go the ektachrome 64t route with you gaf camera, the images may be over exposed. Best option is to look for a more advanced camera, super 8 k40 is currently available from wittner, but the expense of shipping from Germany then to the USA for processing will be a bit costly. Is retro enterprises still going? they used to sell super 8 stocks and cameras and were based in Japan..
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#11 jack king

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:11 PM

Thanks again everyone

Much appreciated. Feel I've absorbed some useful info.

One thing that, if anyone ever gets time soon, would be useful to know: is the answer to whether or not i would be better off unscrewing the camera and taking out the internal filter (assuming this is possible), and then using an 85b instead. i'm doubly a little concerned as when i insert the screw where the electric light plug should go - the filter doesn't shift from the viewfinder - and i'm hence unsure if it has shifted from in front of the lens.

thanks again. I'll update this post with a link to the results (assuming it comes out okay) if anyone's interested! Cheers :)
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