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What about all those super 8 cameras that are collecting dust instead of being used for something great?


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#1 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:28 PM



[EN]
Hello!
I'm currently working on a research (on my own, unpaid personal project) about the current situation of super8 film cameras. Specifically, I'm trying to know how many super8 film cameras are still out there and if people really use them or not. I've found out that there's a considerable amount of people who own this camera for sentimental reasons (belonged to their parents, special friend, etc.) but they've never tried to use it. That's the "big picture" of my research, but as a part of it I would like to know the approximate amount of people who would be still interested, for example, in buying super8 film cameras, film and/or interested in developing a film (willing to pay what it costs to develop this). Any information you could give me will be highly appreciated! This information would help me create a statistic analysis about how many people are still supporting the use of this format, which is the core of my project.

Thank you very much in advance! :)


[ES]

Hola!
Estoy realizando una investigación (por cuenta propia, sólo por motivación personal) sobre la situación actual de las cámaras de super8; específicamente estoy intentando saber cuántas cámaras todavía quedan actualmente y si las personas las usan, no las usan, etc. Es que me encontré con la pregunta de cómo puede ser que haya tanta gente que me diga "guardo la cámara de super8 de mi padre, madre, tío, etc. por razones sentimentales pero nunca la he intentado usar. Eso es el "big picture" de mi proyecto, pero como parte de él, me gustaría saber cuántas personas aproximadamente aún compran cámaras, películas o bien buscan revelar la película para luego poder proyectarla. Pensé que preguntando en un sitio como este sería un buen inicio. Este dato me ayudaría a crear una estadística de cuánta gente está interesada en seguir apoyando a este formato, lo cual es una parte importante de mi proyecto.

Desde ya muchísimas gracias por el apoyo y quedo a vuestra disposición para cualquier consulta sobre este proyecto! :)

Gabs[/font][/font][/font][/font]
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#2 Matt Stevens

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:01 PM

Many many many own them. Most have no clue how to use them. Most that decide to use them find it is too expensive in the age of digital.

Just yesterday I had a meeting with some people about a project and the cost of processing and scanning was so much higher than they thought, they threw out the idea of using film. Digital is here and it has killed film. :(

The biggest hurdle beyond cost is, "Wait, not even three minutes a roll?"
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#3 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:54 AM

It's really sad to hear this, but it's true. I understand it from a "common user" point of view, because in times like these having to spend so much money in something like film developing isn't really a priority. But, what I don't understand is big production companies that are crying over a price of something that has so much quality in it. They're so used to get the cheapest possible that they limit themselves so much in creativity.

...But... well...that's the beloved legacy of uncle capitalism. Cheap, fast and a lot. No room for the small one.
Thank you for your reply,though :-)
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#4 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:56 AM

...but I must say that I won't give up just yet. There has to be a solution for this problem, at least for part of it. Maybe for the common user... hmm... think, think, think.... :D
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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:18 AM

Why don't you contact the various labs that process S8 and ask them what sort of volume they do? They might at least give you a rough estimate.

I've been skulking around ebay's vintage movie camera listings for a while and the top model S8 cameras still sell regularly, so someone's interested. They can't all be nostalgia collectors. I'm more interested in the older Regular/Double 8 cameras - which I use - and even there certain models (like Bolex) are guaranteed to sell if the bid starts low. Some of that would be collectors for sure, also the removeable lenses seem to be sought after by certain digital shooters, but a percentage must be people wanting to film with them.

If you watch music video shows you're almost guaranteed to see some 8mm footage in there, particularly for more independent bands. My impression lately is that it seems more common than previously, but maybe I'm just looking for it.

From my interactions the use of 8mm also crosses over into the realm of artists and experimental filmmakers who are interested in exploring the particular aesthetic and process.

It's definitely a niche, but I get the sense it's far from dead.
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#6 Geoff Howell

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

Just do it!

To a degree it's only as complicated/expensive as you choose to make it.

If you don't need an expensive camera then just get one of the many perfectly useable models that can be bought for peanuts.

If you don't need an expensive high resolution telecine than just get your hands on an old projector and improvise!

As it stands I can go out and buy film with processing for under £25, which considering how niche this format has become, sounds perfectly reasonable to me!
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#7 Harrison Bradley

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:47 PM

I personally collect 16mm and super 8 films and I got into shooting super 8 as I wanted to shoot film and it was cheaper then shooting 16mm. I currently own a Quarz super 8 camera but started with a cheaper Elmo 1000S. The started filming this year with the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day, I was new to the shooting and the camera was on auto exposure so the actual launch is just an orange glow against black for the most part. I haven't paid for any telecline service, as I collect films I just bought an Elmo 1200HD projector for my films. I would shoot more often, but $30 for 3 1/2 minutes is a little restrictive. Still it's always fun to capture the world on an analog format in this digital world.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 03:50 AM

What I find ironic is that what would make super-8 filmmaking more affordable would be to be able to scan the footage directly into a computer, yet that could eventually make film transfer houses obsolete.
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#9 Geoff Howell

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:45 AM

I personally collect 16mm and super 8 films and I got into shooting super 8 as I wanted to shoot film and it was cheaper then shooting 16mm. I currently own a Quarz super 8 camera but started with a cheaper Elmo 1000S. The started filming this year with the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day, I was new to the shooting and the camera was on auto exposure so the actual launch is just an orange glow against black for the most part. I haven't paid for any telecline service, as I collect films I just bought an Elmo 1200HD projector for my films. I would shoot more often, but $30 for 3 1/2 minutes is a little restrictive. Still it's always fun to capture the world on an analog format in this digital world.


About five or six years ago I bought a box full of random 8mm footage from ebay. Apparently it came from the estate of an ex cameraman from National Geographic; this as it turns out was probably bullshit as the footage it's self seemed very ammeter to my eye. Anyway, long story short all the footage was useless apart from one reel where the guy had filmed the fatal launch of the Challenger shuttle!

Getty Images offered to add the footage to their collection but wanted me to pay for a very high end very expensive telecine <_<
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#10 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 03:03 AM

About five or six years ago I bought a box full of random 8mm footage from ebay. Apparently it came from the estate of an ex cameraman from National Geographic; this as it turns out was probably bullshit as the footage it's self seemed very ammeter to my eye. Anyway, long story short all the footage was useless apart from one reel where the guy had filmed the fatal launch of the Challenger shuttle!

Getty Images offered to add the footage to their collection but wanted me to pay for a very high end very expensive telecine Posted Image



Not to start a copyright diversion but be glad you didn't spend a lot of money on it. Owning a bearer, original or not, doesn't allow publishing, certainly not for money. You don't have publishing right unless you acquired these rights through a legal route. I.e. bought these from the owner or his inheriters. Or wait until they fall into public domain.
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#11 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:07 AM

Why don't you contact the various labs that process S8 and ask them what sort of volume they do? They might at least give you a rough estimate.

I've been skulking around ebay's vintage movie camera listings for a while and the top model S8 cameras still sell regularly, so someone's interested. They can't all be nostalgia collectors. I'm more interested in the older Regular/Double 8 cameras - which I use - and even there certain models (like Bolex) are guaranteed to sell if the bid starts low. Some of that would be collectors for sure, also the removeable lenses seem to be sought after by certain digital shooters, but a percentage must be people wanting to film with them.

If you watch music video shows you're almost guaranteed to see some 8mm footage in there, particularly for more independent bands. My impression lately is that it seems more common than previously, but maybe I'm just looking for it.

From my interactions the use of 8mm also crosses over into the realm of artists and experimental filmmakers who are interested in exploring the particular aesthetic and process.

It's definitely a niche, but I get the sense it's far from dead.


Hi Dom!

thank you for your reply. I've tried to contact some labs and they all told me (well, most of all) that why would they help me if I was probably making a research to create a competition for them. The rest just didn't reply to my email :-( I understand them a bit, but I think it's also somehow paranoid to think that everybody could be your commercial enemy...but what do I know, right? :-)

About the Ebay site listings, I also thought about searching there as well, but I have no way to put numbers of buyers/sellers of just super 8 cameras, since most of these shops (maybe I'm a lousy searcher...) sell other types of camera as well, so if I want to make my research "credible" I would need to find numbers for just super 8 cameras.....sigh... why do I get these kind of ideas... :P Nevertheless, any suggestion o how to search on Ebay will be highly appreciated! :D

Cheers and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
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#12 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:08 AM

Why don't you contact the various labs that process S8 and ask them what sort of volume they do? They might at least give you a rough estimate.

I've been skulking around ebay's vintage movie camera listings for a while and the top model S8 cameras still sell regularly, so someone's interested. They can't all be nostalgia collectors. I'm more interested in the older Regular/Double 8 cameras - which I use - and even there certain models (like Bolex) are guaranteed to sell if the bid starts low. Some of that would be collectors for sure, also the removeable lenses seem to be sought after by certain digital shooters, but a percentage must be people wanting to film with them.

If you watch music video shows you're almost guaranteed to see some 8mm footage in there, particularly for more independent bands. My impression lately is that it seems more common than previously, but maybe I'm just looking for it.

From my interactions the use of 8mm also crosses over into the realm of artists and experimental filmmakers who are interested in exploring the particular aesthetic and process.

It's definitely a niche, but I get the sense it's far from dead.


Hi Dom!

thank you for your reply. I've tried to contact some labs and they all told me (well, most of all) that why would they help me if I was probably making a research to create a competition for them. The rest just didn't reply to my email :-( I understand them a bit, but I think it's also somehow paranoid to think that everybody could be your commercial enemy...but what do I know, right? :-)

About the Ebay site listings, I also thought about searching there as well, but I have no way to put numbers of buyers/sellers of just super 8 cameras, since most of these shops (maybe I'm a lousy searcher...) sell other types of camera as well, so if I want to make my research "credible" I would need to find numbers for just super 8 cameras.....sigh... why do I get these kind of ideas... :P Nevertheless, any suggestion o how to search on Ebay will be highly appreciated! :D

Cheers and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
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#13 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:13 AM

Hi people!

Thank you all for your input! I will try to keep everything in mind. But really... no idea where to get this information, no?... :-( If anyone hears anything about it please let me know! :D
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#14 James Zeun

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:35 PM

I dug out my dads old Chinon some years ago and still use it. However it suffers with under exposure with the new 64T film.

James
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#15 Paul Bartok

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:52 PM

I dug out my dads old Chinon some years ago and still use it. However it suffers with under exposure with the new 64T film.

James


Which Chinon model is it I own one aswell?
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#16 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:01 AM

I dug out my dads old Chinon some years ago and still use it. However it suffers with under exposure with the new 64T film.

James


There is no 64T film produced for Super8. Anyway if a camera underexposes, it does for all the range and not for just one ASA. Maybe what you mean is that your camera cannot read some films.
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#17 James Zeun

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:01 PM

http://super8wiki.co..._in_old_cameras

I understand Ektachrome 64T has been replaced with 100D? I think that's the name. My Chinon suffers with the problem described in the above link. Only two ISO speeds. Films fine outside, but not good indoors.
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#18 Gabriella Chihan

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:13 AM

...and what would you say it's the best difficulty in constantly filming with a S8 camera? Price? Too hard to find someone who can fix broken cameras? For me is the option B. I have so many of them but it's really expensive (or you can't really find someone who can do it) to fix the camera... :-(
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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

Really expensive? I have a collection of Canon AF310xl cameras (6 now I think) that I paid no more than $20 each, several only $9.95 for. If one stops working I just pick up another, although none of them have stopped working but one has a ton of sand in it from the beach. I hand them out to kids and let them go to town on vacation. Only get about 10% useful footage but that footage is usually really cool.

The cheap cameras are plentiful and give the normal handheld amateur type footage that our parents and grandparents got.

I also have several Beaulieu 4008s that did cost a lot and had them serviced for almost as much as they cost but are beautiful cameras that deliver amazing results. Even these cameras which I probably have $800 a piece invested in deliver footage that more people think is beautiful than my $700 HD camcorder.

I do miss sound cartridges however. I've only shot a few Kodachrome sound rolls a few years ago and LOVED the crappy sound from them.
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#20 Matt Stevens

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

The Beaulieu 5008s costs less than $150 on average (sometimes half that) and is a superb camera that reads all stocks.

It is certainly cheaper to buy a camera than have one serviced. That's clear. But that is why I have purchased half a dozen cameras in the last 18 months.

Cheap super8's are out there. Good, cheap ones.
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