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Newb Canon 814 User Looking for Film Stock Advice


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#1 Jon Wood

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:25 PM

Hi. I'm new to film, so sorry in advance for some basic questions. I just bought a Canon 814 AZ which I'll be doing some test shooting with in the near future. If all goes well, I'm hoping to shoot a short film in a couple of months.

As part of my test, I was planning on getting several different types of film, and shooting them all in several different lighting conditions. Basically, I'm trying to figure out which films I like better for which lighting situations. I want to be able film in bright outdoor light, low outdoor, inside a car, and inside a dark music venue - so basically every possible lighting condition. I'd like to be able to use as few types of film as possible. I was planning on trying the Ektachrome 100D, Velvia Reversal 50D, Color Negative Vision3 500T, and the Color Reversal 7280 Ektachrome 64T. My plan was to test six identical different lightning conditions for each types of film in order to figure out which film I want to each for each situation. Okay, so here are my questions.

1) Can you hot swap Super 8 tape? So can I film for thirty seconds, switch out the cartridge, film for another thirty seconds, and then switch back to the first cartridge? If so, do you need to do anything special to stop the partially exposed film from getting exposed during the swtich? Do you lose a few frames during the switch?

2) The manual says that the 814 will accept tungsten 25-250 and daylight 16-160. I plan on using the auto exposure and the built in light meter. Will the 500T work? - I saw the post about breaking off the tab - not sure what this means. For the other films, is there anything special I should try to get them looking there best in the different lighting situations? Should I not even bother trying to test the 500T in daylight? And vice-versa, should I not bother to test the 50D in a dark venue?

I know these are very broad questions. I'd love to be able to get these four cartridges back and have some good reference points so that I can shoot this project and not end up with a dozen rolls of junk. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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#2 Max Smith

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 03:55 AM

I actually did a similar exercise recently. I came away extremely impressed with Vision 3 500T - and extremely unimpressed with E64T.

1) You can hot swap - you'll lose some frames (worst case about 2 seconds), and the film remaining counter will stop working. If you have a light tight box and a film changing tent/bag - you can of course avoid that loss.

2) Due to my doubts regarding a similar question I used a light meter when exposing. I would imagine the camera is going to get it wrong. If you don't have a cine light meter - but do have a DSLR - you can always use that as a light meter. One thought - the 500T holds over-exposure of a stop very well - if it does expose it as 250T - it's still going to look very good.

Good luck.

PS - Real names only on this board.
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#3 Nick PerronSiegel

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 06:04 PM

You can use the meter w/ auto-exposure to get a reflected light reading, but make sure you switch and set the iris manually or your exposure will be fluctuating (depending on the subject) during the shot. If I remember correctly, the aperture is controlled by a thumbwheel on the body and not the lens, which makes it pretty unituitive. There are black and orange hashes on the wheel to choose manual or auto exposure. The camera should be able to read all of the stock's ISOs upon insertion of the cartridge, but I'm not sure about the 500t. Having some nd filters will certainly help for anything outside. Because of factors innate to S8mm, like the lens is not of the highest quality and the stock's grain on viewing won't resolve anything too sharply, and the gate is tiny so depth of field is gigantic, I've found medium shots and tighter to be the most effective and beautiful.

Good luck.
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#4 Jon Wood

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:30 PM

So where should I set the meter on the 814 from 'C' to 'O' for the different light settings? Any ideas on how that matches up?

I actually did a similar exercise recently. I came away extremely impressed with Vision 3 500T - and extremely unimpressed with E64T.

1) You can hot swap - you'll lose some frames (worst case about 2 seconds), and the film remaining counter will stop working. If you have a light tight box and a film changing tent/bag - you can of course avoid that loss.

2) Due to my doubts regarding a similar question I used a light meter when exposing. I would imagine the camera is going to get it wrong. If you don't have a cine light meter - but do have a DSLR - you can always use that as a light meter. One thought - the 500T holds over-exposure of a stop very well - if it does expose it as 250T - it's still going to look very good.

Good luck.

PS - Real names only on this board.


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#5 Jon Wood

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:43 PM

What i mean is, how do I transfer the light reading from my dlsr into the right exposure settings for the different film speeds in the 814?

I actually did a similar exercise recently. I came away extremely impressed with Vision 3 500T - and extremely unimpressed with E64T.

1) You can hot swap - you'll lose some frames (worst case about 2 seconds), and the film remaining counter will stop working. If you have a light tight box and a film changing tent/bag - you can of course avoid that loss.

2) Due to my doubts regarding a similar question I used a light meter when exposing. I would imagine the camera is going to get it wrong. If you don't have a cine light meter - but do have a DSLR - you can always use that as a light meter. One thought - the 500T holds over-exposure of a stop very well - if it does expose it as 250T - it's still going to look very good.

Good luck.

PS - Real names only on this board.


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#6 Max Smith

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:01 AM

What i mean is, how do I transfer the light reading from my dlsr into the right exposure settings for the different film speeds in the 814?


Set to the ISO on the DLSR to the film stock you are exposing and 85 filter setting - i.e. either ISO 500 or ISO 320 with 500T (or as close as you can get). Set the DSLR to TV mode (shutter time priority) - and set the shutter speed (assuming 24fps) to 1/60 (outdoor) or 1/40 (indoor) based on the indoor/outdoor setting on the 814.

Meter with you DSLR the scene you want to photograph (half press the shutter button) - it should give you an f/stop setting that it thinks is right. You might need to put a fast lense on the DSLR to give it the range to get the exposure right (a f/1.4 50mm should do the trick).

There is an exposure dial on the Super 8 camera that should move a small needle in the viewfinder - set that to the exposure setting you are getting from the DSLR - i.e. f/2.8 or f/4.0, etc.

Again ... err on the side of 1 stop of over exposure.

That's it.

Max.
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#7 Jon Wood

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 08:03 PM

Why does the shutter speed change depending on whether the CCA filter is engaged in the 814? Thanks for the help, by the way, this is extremely useful.

set the shutter speed (assuming 24fps) to 1/60 (outdoor) or 1/40 (indoor) based on the indoor/outdoor setting on the 814.


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#8 Max Smith

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:39 PM

Why does the shutter speed change depending on whether the CCA filter is engaged in the 814? Thanks for the help, by the way, this is extremely useful.


If you have a dig through (page 22-24)
http://www.apecity.c...nd_1014xl-s.pdf

Basically the shutter has two modes - daylight (150 degree) and indoor (220 degrees) - the daylight mode lets less light through to the film (a faster shutter time), the indoor mode lets more light onto the film by leaving the shutter open for longer. The side effect of the longer shutter is slightly more blurry images.

This is entirely independant of the CCA switch (page 26).

So on the 814 - you pick: film speed (18 or 24 fps), shutter speed (angle), CCA engaged or not, and set the f/stop (page 30) according to what you DSLR is telling you the exposure is.

With 500T at f/1.4 and a 220 degree shutter you can shoot on a well lit city street at night (with a bit of underexposure).
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#9 Jon Wood

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 12:54 AM

The 814 Auto Zoom which I have doesn't have that feature - I think that's only on the 814 XL-S

Basically the shutter has two modes - daylight (150 degree) and indoor (220 degrees) - the daylight mode lets less light through to the film (a faster shutter time), the indoor mode lets more light onto the film by leaving the shutter open for longer.


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#10 Max Smith

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 01:52 AM

The 814 Auto Zoom which I have doesn't have that feature - I think that's only on the 814 XL-S


Right you are: Autozoom has a 150 degree shutter (so 1/60th of a second at 24fps).

For some reason I thought you had an XL-S.
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#11 Jim Carlile

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:44 AM

Try V200T with that camera rather than 500T, unless it's very low light, in which case you'll be open all the way anyway and need it.

If you cut a filter notch in the 500T cartridge you can use that film in the camera normally. It will read at ASA 250, which is OK. Otherwise without a notch it will read at ASA 160-- don't ask why, too complicated to explain-- at 160 it will be a little too overexposed unless it's a really low light situation.

Edited by Jim Carlile, 16 September 2009 - 02:45 AM.

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#12 Jon Wood

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 12:19 PM

Could you explain how to cut a filter notch in the 500T cartridge? I've seen several people talk about it, but no explanation on how to do it correctly. The lowest light setting I'll have is inside a dark music venue with lots of colorful lights on stage. I'm interested to see how that turns out.

Try V200T with that camera rather than 500T, unless it's very low light, in which case you'll be open all the way anyway and need it.

If you cut a filter notch in the 500T cartridge you can use that film in the camera normally. It will read at ASA 250, which is OK. Otherwise without a notch it will read at ASA 160-- don't ask why, too complicated to explain-- at 160 it will be a little too overexposed unless it's a really low light situation.


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#13 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 10:45 PM

Could you explain how to cut a filter notch in the 500T cartridge? I've seen several people talk about it, but no explanation on how to do it correctly. The lowest light setting I'll have is inside a dark music venue with lots of colorful lights on stage. I'm interested to see how that turns out.

if you look at
http://super8wiki.co...dge_Notch_Ruler you will see an explanation of what the notches in the cartridge mean and an explanation of how your camera will interpret a given cartridge.
My understanding is the negative film cartridges are not notched as they expect you to just use an external meter. You can nocth them yourself if the camera is capable of detecting the speed. Some cameras have a little metal "staircase" sensor that comes out further the longer the notch is.
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#14 Jim Carlile

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:55 PM

The reason why Kodak doesn't filter-notch their negative S8 films is because they want the camera's meter to set up a deliberate one-stop overexposure. They feel it transfers better, and they also figure that users prefer an external 85 filter for daylight use. So their way of doing it gives them a two-fer.

That's fine for V200-- but the problem is that for 500, few S8 cameras will read this high. Kodak notches this V500 cartridge not at ASA 500 but at a lower indice, and then relies upon the notchless cartridge to kick it down to ASA 250, which is one stop below 500.

On cameras that only read to ASA 250, or worse, ASA 160, what happens is that the meter will only read at its maximum ASA when confronted with this bigger speed-notch size. So, you get that handicap, combined with the automatic kick down to an even lower ASA caused by the notchless cartridge, and you're talking trouble for ASA 500. In most cameras it will end up getting read at ASA 160, or possibly even ASA 100, if the meter only goes up to ASA 160.

An exception here would be if you have a really low light filming situation. In this case your aperture is already all the way open to the max and you still need more sensitivity. So, no matter how ASA 500 is read by the camera, that added boost at the max aperture will give you a more decent low-light result.

None of this is brain surgery, and the fun is in the experimentation and the testing.
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