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why there is still no super 8 developing tank


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#1 Gordon C

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:02 AM

I see we have a market in super 8 development by looking at this forum there is plenty of people who shoots super 8. Why there is still no companies makes this tank and sell it for a much lower price?
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#2 Joel Pierre

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:41 PM

Many people still use the Super 8? I fear that this is not the case.

As for development "at home", it will still remain a small minority of fans.

It is not enough only to develop (with chemicals prohibitively expensive), it is also necessary to dry the film free from dust. This requires an installation already substantial.

But it is true that the Chinese could produce low-cost developing tanks (but they are not interested in “the niches market”. What is missing really, it is the reels adapted to these films.
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:46 PM

I would much rather see a prosumer scanner than transfered reversal and neg into your PC. If you really want to process at home, you can still find those S8 Lomo tanks
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 07:09 PM

Why there is still no companies makes this tank and sell it for a much lower price?


Superior Bulk film was there and did that. maybe 20 years ago by now...
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#5 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 10:06 PM

The main companies that made Super 8mm processing tanks are now gone, but the equipment shows up fairly often on eBay. Both Superior Bulk Film Company and ESO-S Pictures who sold a version of the fairly well designed and easy to load "Powell Tank" closed their doors in 1984. The famous rewind tanks, of which the last incarnation of the Morse G-3 was the Doran G-3 ceased production a couple years ago; however these show up on eBay often...just have to double check if they do Super 8mm; those reels have 3 positions. JOBO FotoTecknic in Germany ceased production of the large 50 foot (15m) Spiral Reel processing setup quite a few years ago. They were quite expensive new, and are rare to find anywhere. The Russian made LOMO tanks are quite common and available showing up on eBay monthly. These work well, if you are careful and learn how to load them. The only drawback to the LOMO tanks is that the reels can break easily, the threaded center hub strips out easily with lots of use, and the dimensions of the reel spacing varies from spiral reel. However, I have been able to file down the center hubs until the spacing was correct.

Since the LOMO tanks are affordable, reasonably easy to learn to load for most darkroom techs, and show up often, I would recommend these. Another way to process 8mm movie film is to build a small rack which you would then tray process. Since the film is all immersion processed at the same time, as with spiral reel developing, good consistant results can be gotten. As with cameras, since there is such a vast supply of items out there, it really doesn't make sense to have limited new production runs made of needed items....as the cost could be quite high.

I only use manual processing methods in my custom film lab here, and have been processing movie since 1974. Having used virtually every method there is to soup movie film, I recommend spiral reel processing or rack processing for the most consistant results. The many other methods, if used carefully, can also produce fine results: Rewind Tank, Hose Method, Reel & Trough Method, Separator Strip & Reel & Tray Method (however...hard to find for Super 8mm), Rotating Drum in Trough or Tray Method, and some others which are variations on these.

There's still plenty of interest in shooting and processing Super 8mm and also Regular 8mm motion picture films. For that matter, you can also still shoot on 9.5mm film, which I also process.....and FUJI Single-8.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:05 PM

Interst in film is definitely dwindling. . . all the better for you if you want to get a good deal on a tank on eBay!

Just remember, too, please, not to hijack threads, like the opening of hte new Fuji office in NYC.



Just start a new one! Keep in mind that we are now down to what, four S8 stocks? There is going to be no new equipment made. Use what you have now, make use of the time. If nothing changes, film is going to be completely gone, except for B&W, ten years tops from what the sales figures say. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but I was shocked at what I saw/heard at the ACVL conference. Getting such anti-film statements at the Association of CINEMA AND VIDEO LABORATORIES was sobering.

There are going to be no new S8 scanners.

There are going to be no new S8 stocks (unless Kodak pulls the plug on E100VS and then shoehorns another reversal into its place. Fuji almost discontinued Single 8 in Japan; they are not going to produce new stocks.



This is not meant to dishearten or belittle you, just show you the start reality of what is going on right now. Kodak, Fuji, are each about to lose 2/3 of their production volume. we are gearing up to try to save the few 35mm installations that will be left by continuing to offer low-cost 35mm prints. But the two companies are going to struggle to survive. Kodak is/was doingn better in the US with film sales than Fuji, but Fuji is far better diversified to survive without print stock sales.

It is a very very scary time, and you shouldn't think they owe you anything. They are struggling to survive, keep their jobs. We are all struggling to survive with reduced product selections and increased prices we pass along in the laboratory industry.



Far more concernigng to me: SIXTEEN MM is doing very poorly today. Even if S8 were discontinued, you could order any stock that Kodak makes in 16 (with a 10K foot minimum, you have that, irght? ;-) )in DR8mm or DS8mm perforations. But with 16mm tanking, even THAT is in jeopardy.




If some of the 35mm theatres in the U.S. don't stick with film, we may see the end of ECP (movie prints) in five years. This basically destroys my current livelihood. So again count your blessings and don't expect charity from two companies in dire financial straights. Take a look at a 20 year history of a share of EK. They got kicked off the Dow Jones INdustrial 20 they're doing so poorly! I know some poor Kodak retirees who lost basically all of their retirement money because of the stock tanking.
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#7 Gordon C

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

From show of hands who would buy my product if i were to mass produce my own design of a super 8 tank?
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 04:50 PM

Would it be better in some way than the current options we gave you?


Would it be of a comparable price?
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#9 Gordon C

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:00 PM

Would it be better in some way than the current options we gave you?


Would it be of a comparable price?



I will try to make it cheaper maybe 20 dollars a piece?
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#10 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 07:50 PM

I will try to make it cheaper maybe 20 dollars a piece?

Have you spoken to any plastics manufacturers about your design? How many tens of thousand units would you need to have made to sell them at that price?
Don't mean to be a nocker, but I have taken Lomo spirals in to plastics manufacturers and the difficulties and costs would mean they would be very expensive to make.
But if you have a design, would be interested to see!
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#11 Simon Wyss

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:37 AM

So would I. Planning on processing spirals for film widths above 16 mm, I can only recommend that you make contact with Mr. Alfred Kahl in Germany. He holds the molding tools from JOBO. Ask me for his adress in case of interest as PM.

By the way, what is your full name, please?
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#12 Dean Dodds Ramsey

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:06 PM

The many other methods, if used carefully, can also produce fine results: Rewind Tank, Hose Method, Reel & Trough Method, Separator Strip & Reel & Tray Method (however...hard to find for Super 8mm), Rotating Drum in Trough or Tray Method, and some others which are variations on these.


Hi. Sorry to necropost and to go slightly off topic, but would you mind going into a little more detail about the using carefully part? I'm preparing to do a test of developing some 16mm using the separator strip method, you seem to have experience with this, do you have any tips or warnings you could share?

It's just, there is very little that I can find written about this method, so any information would be helpful.
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