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#1 Chris Lees

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 04:41 PM

Hi all,

I'm not new to the world of video cameras or filming, I mainly film motorsport events, rallies in particular and have been the official 'videographer' for a championship for a couple of years now, I normally use a Panasonic SD60 but I've just purchased an old Sankyo Super CM400 Super 8 camera to mess around with and I'm starting to feel slightly out of my depth so I have a couple of questions:

1. Having had a browse on the Kodak site Ive seen there are maybe 4 or 5 different types of film, but I'm not really sure of the difference you would find between them and where is the best/cheapest place to purchase them from online,

2. I'd like to transfer the film to digital in a format where I could easily import the video into my editing software (cyberlink 8), a quick google showed me there are lots of services for transfer but what would people most highly recommend? or would it be easier/ more cost effective to do it myself? if so, how?


also may be relevant to note that I'm from the UK,

many thanks,

Chris :)

http://www.cplmotorsportvids.co.uk
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#2 Adam Hunt

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:03 AM

Hi Chris.

The films that Kodak makes in Super 8 are:

Tri-X: This is a black and white film. It is usually processed as a reversal film but can also be processed as a negative film (although it's not terribly common).

Ektachrome: This is a colour-reversal film. (negative/reversal explained below).

Vision3 films: These are colour-negative films. There are two speeds available: 200 and 500. The number indicates the speed of the films or ASA or ISO. The higher the number the more sensitive the film and the less light it needs. For instance the Ektachrome is 100ASA which is easier to use in bright sunlight, but you would be better off using 500 speed vision3 in low-light conditions. The high-speed films are more sensitive in low-light but trade-off some sharpness and add some grain to achieve that.

The difference between reversal films and negative films is that reversal processing turns the original piece of film into a positive image which can be projected with a super8 projector. Negative films on the other hand produce a negative image which is of better quality but can't be projected and is intended for transfer to video (although reversal films can easily be transferred to video as well).

Some cheaper consumer super8 cameras may have problems with the newer vision3 negative stocks because they are somewhat thicker. And you really need to use a light-meter with them rather than the autoexposure built into the camera.

To start out I would recommend getting a roll or two of either Tri-X (if you want black and white) or Ektachrome (if you want colour) and trying it out. You just basically pop the cartridge in the camera and go. Once you are are used to the general use of super8 you can move on to the vision3 negative films.

You can watch Tri-X or Ektachrome in a super8 projector, which really is the best-looking way to see it. Then you can get that same film transferred to video. I don't know what options are available where you are because all super-8 transfer is done by independent places and the availability, quality and price will vary widely depending on your location. One thing to watch is to avoid small operations like 'home movies to DVD' or anything that mentions 'home movies'. They use something called a film-chain method. Basically they just projected it onto a screen and point a video camera at the screen. It makes an image, but it's no-where near as good as the various 'frame by frame' methods that more professional operations use.

You can do the 'film chain' method yourself if you have a super8 projector, a screen, and a video camera. But it can be frustrating and the image quality wont be great. Also you will only be able to transfer reversal films this way (the ektachrome or tri-x) and not the negative films.

If you want to get a good job done I would recommend mailing your film to Frame Discreet here in Toronto. It would be better if you could find a place like them in the UK, but I can't really help you in that respect since I only know what is available in Canada.
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#3 kevin jackman

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:35 PM

I started with video and moved to film. You really do get what you pay for. I transfer to vudei these days but have to admit that Ektachrome exposed correctly looks amazing through a projector. be carefull, projectors can ruin your film. Depending on what you want to do, you will likely prefer negative if you shoot for video and shooting at 30fps can make an even more gorgeous and image.
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