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What's wrong with my Super8 footage? Camera or projector issue?


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#1 Matt Stevens

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 07:35 PM

Hi gang. I purchased two Canon 814's off eBay (sorry, it was spur of the moment) and had my first roll of film developed the other day. It was just random stuff of the wife, mostly. I bought a supposedly working projector and took a look.

The footage taken around dusk did not come out. It was way underexposed, no surprise.

Most everything else did come out, but it looks beyond strange. I do not know if it is the camera that caused this (and therefore, something I did) or if the projector is somehow screwed up. I've never seen something like this on film. Video? Yes. Film? No.

Here is a very blurry Zi8 snap of the footage projected on a white wall.

Posted Image

But a better way to see it is in motion. I snagged my Zi8 and shot some footage. This is crap, yes, but the only way I could get it online for you to see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwqtCFm15T4

Any ideas?

Edited by Matt Stevens, 04 December 2010 - 07:37 PM.

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#2 David Leugers

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:29 AM

Matt

I would rule out the projector. It looks to me from what I can tell by the video, that the
problem is likely in the processing of the film. Even if the film stock was outdated, I have
never seen any problem like that, but I have seen similar problems with processing errors.
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#3 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:01 AM

Wow, that is interesting indeed. I think you might have stumbled upon a new look. Almost looks like some kind of rotoscoping (à la Scanner Darkly).

Edited by Antti Näyhä, 05 December 2010 - 04:01 AM.

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#4 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:39 AM

Apart from the telecine (and maybe processing) I find exposure correct. All Canon's 814 can expose corectly all Super8 films.
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#5 Matt Stevens

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 08:35 AM

I'm certainly stumped. I just don't know wtf I am looking at. I'll have to do another test roll and send it to be processed at a different facility. Never have I ever seen this on any film footage before. Never on something that was shot on actual celluloid.

My wife is just shaking her head at me, wishing I hadn't bought the camera or film and just set the $$$ aside for a Canon D60. Yeah, yeah, i know. But I love the look of film and especially that old school grainy look.

Still, you can get close to that digitally these days, so maybe she is right.

Oh, by the way, the film was purchased at B&H Photo about three weeks ago. So it's not outdated. I have four more rolls here.

Edited by Matt Stevens, 05 December 2010 - 08:37 AM.

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#6 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:05 PM

Still, you can get close to that digitally these days, so maybe she is right.


Absolutely NO. If she was true, TV series and commercial films wouldn't be shot on film any more... so there must be a reason why.
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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:40 PM

This looks like solarisation, so I'd go for incomplete bleach or something like that.
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:20 PM

So the lab screwed it up?
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#9 andy oliver

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:07 PM

how was the film stored prior to use?
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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:39 PM

how was the film stored prior to use?

It was bought new from B&H Photo and used within days. It's freezing cold here and was in the foyer, which is a dry and cool pace (about 55 degrees) before being used. Removed from camera after use and given to Pac-Lab in NYC that week.
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#11 Edward Koehler

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:37 AM

It was bought new from B&H Photo and used within days. It's freezing cold here and was in the foyer, which is a dry and cool pace (about 55 degrees) before being used. Removed from camera after use and given to Pac-Lab in NYC that week.


That is definitely a result of the film or processing, not your camera or your projector. The only time I've seen anything like that is when I located a roll of lost film approx. a year after it was exposed, and it had suffered temperature changes. It was heavily solarized in the warm tones and highlights. Any chance the film was subjected to heat after it was exposed? Placed on or near a heater?
You should consult with Pac-Lab. If it's something to do with their processing, then they need to know about it.
But rest assured (and assure your wife) that is not the result of your camera or your projector.
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#12 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 12:13 PM

Seems like a defect in the chemistry or timing of procedures. :(
It looks a bit like poor bleaching as I had this once when experimenting DIY processing and overused the bleachbath . I got the same kind of deposits on areas of a certain density. Looked funny but the film was certainly far from expected. :)
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#13 Mark Dunn

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 12:24 PM

Well the good news is that your camera checks out.
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#14 Matt Stevens

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:27 PM

Yeah, I guess it checks out. Obviously I need to do another test and send it somewhere else. Will have to wait until the weekend though. Just no time to do it during the week.
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#15 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:27 PM

Yeah, I guess it checks out. Obviously I need to do another test and send it somewhere else. Will have to wait until the weekend though. Just no time to do it during the week.



You could also ask the lab... I read/heared here that Pac-Lab is good and certainly would want to know when they are at center of something goging not so well.
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#16 Maurizio Di Cintio

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 04:03 AM

Once I had a problem like this: I consulted the haed technician and he admitted a problem in the chemistry, possibly un-replenished developer. So I second those who suggested to contact the lab. I guess they should give you a refund, but act quickly.
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#17 Matt Stevens

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:46 AM

Yeah, I'll be stopping by there today or tomorrow. Thanks for the advice, everyone. It is appreciated.
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