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Options for Super8 negatives after development


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#1 Matt Stevens

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:29 PM

Hello to all. Thanks to many who helped me with Super8 questions. My eBay purchased Canon 814 junker crapped out in the cold, but a tip top Nikon R10 is on the way to me and I cannot wait to use it (I will have the gate expanded).

Scanning Reversal Super8 is easy. There are so many who can do it (and quite a few who can do it well) one's head can spin. However, if shooting on Vision3 200 or 500t negative stock, well, the options are few and look to be insanely expensive. Prohibitively so.

But I know jack compared to many of you, so can I have some advice on what my options are?

What I want is to avoid interlaced transfers. There is one short I am planning that I do want to be able to show theatrically (as in a 16mm or 35mm print) and it will be a mix of 1080p HD (likely Canon 7D) and Super8. Clearly I need to have frame by frame and not interlaced footage.

What are my options? To get a good HD scan what am I going to have to spend? Is it just too expensive to bother? I looked at Pro8mm and choked when I read their rates. Do I look into printing from the negative so that I can then go with one of the numerous places able to transfer reversal, or is that going to cost a bundle?

I was blown away by what I saw at Cinelicious.tv's site, but have not heard back yet. I just saw CineLab advertised here and will email them.

The few places I checked here in NYC either did interlaced (low end) or were so expensive that they even said I "could not afford" them.

I should mention... For material that is meant for the internet, I don't mind an interlaced transfer of negative stock and will be doing some tests in the coming weeks.

Thanks much.

Edited by Matt Stevens, 27 January 2011 - 08:32 PM.

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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:08 PM

Get a 1080P upscalled transfer to ProResHQ or DNxHD from us at Cinelab or Paul and you won't be disappointed. Technically it is PsF 23.98 but no interlacing artifacts and I know this because certain work that I have shot has passed QC at a few places :rolleyes: best price to performance for S8mm or Max8mm....

-Rob-
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#3 Paul Korver

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 04:53 PM

Hi Matt,
Glad you liked our stuff. "The Journey" clip was transferred on our Spirit. If you're looking for the best price then as Rob said an uprez is the way to go. We have both an uprez system from an URSA as well as a true HD scan from the Spirit for pristine quality which costs more. The Spirit was recently used for Jackass 3D theatrical release and the latest Weezer video. I think Katie responded to your inquiry today.

-Paul
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#4 Matt Stevens

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:08 PM

Thanks, gents. I do want to stay in the HD world. It would be a shame to shoot on Super8 with a widened gate and only have an SD image to work with. I've long been unsatisfied with SD content upscaled to HD for broadcast so I wouldn't want to do that to my own work. Not to mention, the DP I am working with would loudly object. :blink:

However, the cost of going with the insanely awesome Spirit Datacine would be far outside of my budget unless it was just for the footage I was certain to use in my locked down cut. Therefore, I would need to scan SD for editing and then when I have my cut, somehow splice out the footage I need and prepare it for transfer via the Spirit. That would make economical sense.

Steep learning curve for a newbie. Shooting simple HD is sure as heck less expensive, but in the end, feels lifeless to me. Nothing can compare to the look and feel of reel celluloid. I just have to make this all fit within my limited budget.
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#5 John Woods

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:01 PM

He doesn't have a fancy Spirit to work with but this guy has a good eye and his rates are quite reasonable, especially for small amounts: http://www.framedisc...mmtransfers.htm
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 07:20 AM

You can create an edl from your lab reels. Set a specific timecode for each reel starting with the hole punch and the post house should be able to scan selects from that. If you are shooting a small amount of film, it might be cheaper to do a single pass scan to all footage in HD or data, rather than do a offling>edit>online route, because you'll be paying for one transfer rather than two. Honestly, say 1200' of super 8 color neg, flat pass scan with no grading, straight to hard drive........ you might get for well under five hundred. And that'll be all you will spend on scanning. Don't know if it is up and running yet, but Spectra has a Spirit now.

Edited by Chris Burke, 30 January 2011 - 07:21 AM.

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#7 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:31 AM

www.ochoypico.com in Spain. One of the best I've seen and very pricey.
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 06:17 PM

Reviving my old thread. No doubt that Cinelicious does killer work. Mind blowing, really, but I might not be able to afford them. I absolutely must stay in the HD world.

Pro8mm will do specials once in a while and when they do, their prices are competitive, but I would love to know some specifics on why they have such a bad rep. I might the owner last week at his seminar in NYC and he seemed pleasant enough.

lightpress.tv/super-8mm/ seems like a decent place. Examples look good and I have never heard anything bad about them. Their standby rate seems pretty good and what we need.

We are going to shoot a short at the end of March, early April that will likely require 6 to 8 rolls of 500T. Camera used will be a Nikon R10, gate is not widened. Project will be edited in CS5 on a PC, not a Mac.

So we are now shopping around, very seriously, because this project will happen. We are all very excited about it.
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#9 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:59 PM

Coming fresh from being exposed to a short Super8 project who went to Pro8 for budget reasons, I can tell you that everything went quite well. Do they have the best machine available? No, but you get a well tested pipeline and a one-stop shop.

Prices are not set in stone, anywhere.

Test a roll for yourself.

Spectra are about to turn on a new machine as well.

If you have any camera questions, let me know. I just spent an enormous amount of time in researching them for a big Super8 project that isn't happening now. Lots of time spent on sound concerns.
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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:13 AM

Testing a single roll with any of those places is not in the cards because of the minimum cost to their rates. I can see that Pro8mm and Cinelicious are capable of delivering outstanding quality. No doubt about it.

But it's all in what can one get for what price and make it affordable.

It would be nice of one of the companies that does HD scans of 8mm could deliver 1.66:1 pillar boxed instead of just 1.33:1 or 1.78:1. Framing and protecting for 1.66:1 would be a heck of a lot easier than 1.78:1 with Super8.

As far as Super8 cameras and filming, my Nikon R10 is fairly straight forward an has a good manual, but I am only confused as far as the Shutter on the thing, which appears to be manual only. What to set it at is a little bit perplexing.
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#11 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:05 AM

Testing for unknowns with 30 year old cameras and small format film is pretty important, esp. if you haven't had it serviced, which is always a bad idea. You might get lucky though.

If you can't afford even Pro8's "special" package deals then you might need to rethink the whole thing. I doubt you will find HD prices under those including everything. They have some impressive pricing on big packages too.

You can have it framed and delivered any way you want I believe, but why? Just keep a common top or keep in mind that you don't have the full frame you are seeing. Its really not a big deal after you do it once. You can usually sit in on the transfer and watch over that part of it if needed.

You probably just want to keep the R10 shutter open all the way, which is 160 degrees. It is not an "XL" camera that lets you go to 220.

For what it's worth, I feel like Super8 should be approached differently than if you are shooting S16, 35 or digital. Trying to precisely control it goes against what it really is, and its a frustrating battle that needs not be fought.
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#12 Matt Stevens

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:11 PM

I think we misunderstand each other. I have tested the camera plenty. No doubt that it works fine and produces nice images. The processing was done locally and the transfer locally via 3CCD camera capture. For the reversal stock it looked fine via that cheap method. For the negative stock it had to be inverted and of course, colors were way off. But that's because of the transfer method. What are now certain of is that the Nikon R10 performs admirably. I got very lucky with the purchase price.

What I was referring to in my prior post was spending hundreds of dollars on a single roll to send to Pro8mm or some other country to see what they can do.

Pro8mm ran a special not long ago that would have been affordable and slightly less expensive than what lightpress offers on their standby service. They had 6 rolls of their 200T with processing and 1080 transfer for $225. If I can get pricing like that (or close to it) for their 500T stock, then this is in the cards.

I'm in NYC so I won't be able to sit in on any transfer performed at Pro8mm, Cinelicious or lightpress. :( How I wish there was a NYC alternative. But nobody out here can handle Super8 negatives properly. Tri-X reversal and Ektachrome 100D? You bet. But not 200 and 500T stocks.
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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:46 PM

Spirits are coming down very fast in cost. Unfortunately Super 8 gates for them are not.

Without DaVinci you can find 2k Spirits in the low 100k range.

So just hold off on that house and pick yourself up a Spirit and another 50k or so for the Super 8 gate.
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#14 Paul Korver

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:33 PM

I'm in NYC so I won't be able to sit in on any transfer performed at Pro8mm, Cinelicious or lightpress. :( How I wish there was a NYC alternative. But nobody out here can handle Super8 negatives properly. Tri-X reversal and Ektachrome 100D? You bet. But not 200 and 500T stocks.



Hey Matt,
Just wanted to throw out there that we do "supervised" sessions with people all the time that are in other states and around the globe. We call it "ColorCast LIVE" and it's a FREE service... See we do give some things away for free :) More info here: http://cinelicious.t...colorcast-live. That "The Journey" clip you liked so much was actually supervised the entire time by the filmmaker in Australia. It's not going to look as good as sitting in front of our Sony BVM-L231 23" w/65" Plasma but in 3 years of doing ColorCast LIVE sessions we've never heard a complaint that what the client got back on their hard drive didn't match what they were looking at online... and hey... it's free.

-Paul
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#15 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:00 AM

Sorry for being late to this thread, but I have been up to my neck in work setting up verything in our new location. We needed more space for more employees, more equipment and all the huge piles of orders we receive! The last few months have been crazy...

Enough offtopic rant, lets get back ontopic then!

If you find the pricing from some companies as being too expensive, you could always look at sending your films to us for transfer. This is the latest negative transfer we did that I know I can find online (widened gate Beaulieu camera):

We have special offer for new 8mm films (we mostly transfer old 8mm films), you can find prices and everything on this webpage, please read the requirements (prepare for telecine, and such): http://www.uppsalabi...glish/?page=999

Also, please note that if you write a high value for the shipment you will probably be charges with import fees when your footage comes in to EU (thia happends all the time to one guy in the US who keeps on declaring high values for his shipments to us...).
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#16 Matt Stevens

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

Kent, I will check your site out.

Paul, I read about that a couple of months ago. it's very cool. Modern communication is just like Star Trek at this point.

I'm still planning out my project.
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