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Correct Exposure for Canon 814 AZ


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#1 Matt Hira

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:43 PM

Hello! As a DSLR filmmaker, I became very curious with the process (and magic) of real film. I just received a Canon 814 Auto Zoom today and two (pricy) cartridges ofmzektachrome 100D. I quickly learned the button batteries for the light meter are no longer produced for environmental reasons. To overcome this, I have a plan but would really like some questions answered. I would hate to ruin a bunch of film just guessing when there are talented people who know exactly what to do.

1. When I switch the EE between manual and auto nothing changes and I can move the C O dial and needle in both modes. Is this normal?

2. When I change the aperture in manual mode, there's no noise or indication that the aperture is changing except the moving needle. If you're physically changing the iris, wouldn't it make a noise or something?

3. Instead of the 1.3 V mercury batteries, I inserted 1.5 V alkalines instead. When I press battery check button for the AAs it reports correctly but doesn't recognize the buttons. Does that mean manual exposure isn't working?

4. To compensate for the over voltage on the light meter, I planned on using a DSLR to gauge the light and set aperture based on it's reading. On Ektachrome 100D would the orrect DSLR setting be ISO: 100 Tv: 1/60 (at 24fps) and see what aperture it spits out and set the super 8 to that?

Sorry these may seem like stupid questions, but I litteraly just got the camera today and have been reading all I can about super 8! Yeah, DSLR rules, but something about super 8 is so awesome! Thanks in advance!
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:09 AM

1. When I switch the EE between manual and auto nothing changes and I can move the C O dial and needle in both modes. Is this normal?

I think on that camera you need to move the exposure dial all the way to the bottom and it kind of clicks into place for the auto mode, otherwise you'll override the auto functions. In manual, it's set wherever the dial is.

2. When I change the aperture in manual mode, there's no noise or indication that the aperture is changing except the moving needle. If you're physically changing the iris, wouldn't it make a noise or something?

The wheel you're turning is actually directly changing the aperture, it's not a motor changing it so you would not expect to hear anything.

3. Instead of the 1.3 V mercury batteries, I inserted 1.5 V alkalines instead. When I press battery check button for the AAs it reports correctly but doesn't recognize the buttons. Does that mean manual exposure isn't working?

You mean on the battery level button? Not sure what's going on there but you need to use this type of battery because meters are sensitive to voltage differences.

http://www.bhphotovi...s=REG&A=details

Also, your meter could no longer be working. Not a major issue if you have an external light meter. Setting the exposure manually is often better so the exposure doesn't "breathe" on you; open and close. You should meter for your subject and set the exposure for that, otherwise the cheap built-in meters will make up their own minds about what you want to shoot.

4. To compensate for the over voltage on the light meter, I planned on using a DSLR to gauge the light and set aperture based on it's reading. On Ektachrome 100D would the correct DSLR setting be ISO: 100 Tv: 1/60 (at 24fps) and see what aperture it spits out and set the super 8 to that?

Download a light meter app for your iPhone that has a cine setting. Frame rate affects aperture setting. Better to buy a real cine light meter but they are really expensive.

Sorry these may seem like stupid questions

Not stupid questions! You'll have to shoot a few rolls before you're comfortable but it's alot of fun and very addicting. For cheapest processing/transfer check with Dwayne's photo in Kansas. There are much better transfer options out there but this one is easy and cheap.
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#3 Matt Hira

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:08 AM

Not stupid questions! You'll have to shoot a few rolls before you're comfortable but it's alot of fun and very addicting. For cheapest processing/transfer check with Dwayne's photo in Kansas. There are much better transfer options out there but this one is easy and cheap.


Thank you so much for being so thorough! I feel really comfortable now shooting my first reel! A light meter app is a really good idea! So I am correct with the light meter settings? At 24fps it's essentially 1/60 and ISOO/ASA is 100?

Thanks again for being so helpful! I'm excited about getting into this awesome hobby! This is an awesome community!!!
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#4 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:22 PM

So I am correct with the light meter settings? At 24fps it's essentially 1/60 and ISOO/ASA is 100?


Well, with a super 8 camera you have to take into account two factors: the size of the opening of the shutter, and the amount of light lost by the viewfinder system. Your 60th of a second may be correct for 24fps with a 150 degree shutter (I haven't done the maths, but it sounds correct) however you haven't taken the light loss of the viewfinder system into account. You need to do this because super 8 cameras (with the exception of Beaulieu models, and the Licina Special (I believe)) don't have a mirrored shutter. If you consider an SLR (or DSLR) for the moment, these cameras do have mirrors to send the incoming light to the viewfinder. This mirror gets out of the way when you take a photograph. That is why the viewfinder 'blinks' when you take a shot. With most motion picture cameras, there is a mirror on the shutter. This way, every time the shutter is closed, the incoming light is sent to the viewfinder. When the shutter is open, no light gets to the viewfinder. Thus, when you film with most motion picutre cameras, the viewfinder also 'blinks' at the frame rate you are shooting at. With a super 8 camera, instead of a mirrored shutter, they use a beam splitter that sends some of the light to the viewfinder, and some to the film. There is no blinking. Because the incoming light is split, you need to take this light loss into account. how much is lost? You have to do a test to find out. So, I recommend that you do a carefully bracketed exposure test as your first roll of ektachrome. When you get this back, you will be able to watch it on a projector to determine which setting gave the best result. Personally, I prefer to pretend that the camera has a 180 degree shutter and make the exposure corrections required with the asa (rather than modifying the effective shutter speed). This way, if you determine that you need to correct the exposure by 1 stop in total to compensate for the shutter opening and the viewfinder, all you do is halve the asa of the film you are using, then set the light meter to the frame rate you are shooting at. This way you can use the FPS setting on the light meter instead of having to use the shutter speed setting. Or if your meter doesn't have an FPS setting, then you simply have to double the fps rate to find the shutter speed setting you should use. No calculations required in the field.
Of course, the camera's internal light meter if working takes these factors into account.
cheers,
richard
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#5 Matt Hira

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:52 PM

So, I recommend that you do a carefully bracketed exposure test as your first roll of ektachrome.


That is very interesting information! Thank you very much! I confirmed the shutter angle on my camera is 155. I also read that the viewfinder eats up a third of an f-stop. Would a correct exposure test be to film at both 1/3 and a full stop under what the meter indicates at 100 ISO and 1/60 shutter speed? Once I get the footage back, then I'll adjust the Asa to give an F Stop that I can directly transfer to the camera.

Does that sound like a good plan? Thanks again for all the help!

Edited by Matt Hira, 23 August 2012 - 09:53 PM.

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#6 Mike Bonello

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:30 PM

Found this thread today, figured I could add some info for you. Not sure where you are with your tests, but a problem with the 100D and the 814 AutoZoom is that the cartridge is notched in such a way (actually, not notched, to be accurate) that the built in 85b filter is kicked into place, which you don't want, and you cannot disengage it without breaking the switch (which actually won't disengage the filter, you'll just break the switch). All super-8 cameras have a built-in 85b filter, because it used to be the case that all the color film for super-8 was tungsten balanced, but since Kodak has eliminated their tungsten balanced reversal stock, the 100D poses some tricky problems to deal with, namely that, in daylight, you need to shoot with the camera set in the tungsten position. When you shoot in the daylight position, there's an orange filter in place. Not all camera models have this problem, but the 814 AutoZoom does. (the 814 xl-s does not.) To solve it, you need to cut a notch in the cartridge to prevent the filter from being kicked in. With the camera on its side (light meter battery compartment cover side down) and the film compartment open, there is a small peg in the upper right hand corner of the film compartment, which gets pushed in when you insert the cartridge and kicks that filter into place. You can cut a notch in the film cartridge to allow that peg to stay in the "out" position, which will allow you to shoot that daylight balanced film outside while keeping the camera filter in the tungsten position. You could use a dremel tool.
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#7 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

Mike, doesn't screwing in the filter cancel on the top of the 814AZ get rid of the built in filter? No matter what kind of notched or un-notched cartridge you are using? Or am I mistaken?
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#8 Zac Fettig

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:59 AM

4. To compensate for the over voltage on the light meter, I planned on using a DSLR to gauge the light and set aperture based on it's reading. On Ektachrome 100D would the orrect DSLR setting be ISO: 100 Tv: 1/60 (at 24fps) and see what aperture it spits out and set the super 8 to that?


This is a really good idea. It doesn't replace a light meter, in an ideal world. If you can, BUY A METER! If not, this will work, and probably better than a smartphone app. 1/60 should be close enough as makes no real difference. ~1/57.6 sec/frame, assuming 150 degree shutter (1/(24 FPS * 360 degrees/150 degrees)). Some models of the 814 (like the AZ Electronic) have a variable shutter. It'll be a lot slower setting up than a meter.

But even if you have a meter, take the DSLR with you. It will give you a better idea of visualizing what the camera will see. I used this on a shoot, and we mirrored what the camera would see. I was really worried, since we were shooting at night in near pitch black with Tri-X. However, the film didn't quite match the DSLR for response, so keep this in mind.

Also, keep in mind that your 814's lens can go to f1.4. If you have an SLR lens that does that, I'm jealous. On my shoot, we used an old M42 mount 50mm f2.0 lens with an adapter.

You can also use this to see the color effect of the lights you're using, if you're improvising lights. Turn off AWB and set color balance for the film. Useful if say, you want to see what the response of Halogen work lights will be on Tungsten balanced film.

I believe the DP on Black Swan did the same sort of thing. Used a DSLR to double check lighting.

The aperture is electronically controlled. This will cause you to swear more than everything else on the camera combined (very few s8 cameras were built with a manually controllable aperture, this was essentially a home movie format). And no, you won't hear anything. If you press a DOF preview button on an SLR, all you hear is the button pressing. The only way you'll hear anything is if the iris is really messed up.

Also, try the in-camera meter. They tend to do a fairly good job, if you're not using a modern film (like Vision3 500T) never intended for S8. With 100D Ektachrome, you'll get fairly good results going auto on a good camera like an 814, especially outdoors.
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#9 David Cunningham

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:59 AM

Found this thread today, figured I could add some info for you. Not sure where you are with your tests, but a problem with the 100D and the 814 AutoZoom is that the cartridge is notched in such a way (actually, not notched, to be accurate) that the built in 85b filter is kicked into place, which you don't want, and you cannot disengage it without breaking the switch (which actually won't disengage the filter, you'll just break the switch). All super-8 cameras have a built-in 85b filter, because it used to be the case that all the color film for super-8 was tungsten balanced, but since Kodak has eliminated their tungsten balanced reversal stock, the 100D poses some tricky problems to deal with, namely that, in daylight, you need to shoot with the camera set in the tungsten position. When you shoot in the daylight position, there's an orange filter in place. Not all camera models have this problem, but the 814 AutoZoom does. (the 814 xl-s does not.) To solve it, you need to cut a notch in the cartridge to prevent the filter from being kicked in. With the camera on its side (light meter battery compartment cover side down) and the film compartment open, there is a small peg in the upper right hand corner of the film compartment, which gets pushed in when you insert the cartridge and kicks that filter into place. You can cut a notch in the film cartridge to allow that peg to stay in the "out" position, which will allow you to shoot that daylight balanced film outside while keeping the camera filter in the tungsten position. You could use a dremel tool.


Hi Mike,

There being no notch on the cartridge actually kicks the filter OUT, and locks it and the switch out.

Where the 814 really starts to have issues with this is when that system is not working right (usually due to age) so the pin pushes on the cartridge (pushing it out of alignment with the gate) and/or doesn't push the filter out of the way quite all the way.

The really odd thing with the 814 AZ is that the daylight cartridge (no notch) pushes on the pin. The pin forces the switch to Daylight (which moves the filter into position), but then pushes the filter back out of position. It's a very weird way of dealing with the daylight cartridge. It seems to have been designed this way to remind the user to only use the camera outdoors, but still push the filter out of position. Very weird and problematic.

When you notch the cartridge, that now allows you to manually set the indoor/outdoor switch. However, you actually need to set the switch to indoor/tungsten. The reason for this that the filter is removed when set to indoor/tungsten because the camera expects tungsten film when the button is not pushed. But, you have daylight (requiring no filter) so you have to make sure it's set to indoor/tungsten which for us really means NO FILTER.

I like the way Pro8mm deals with this in their rebuilt Pro814. They actually take the whole pin/filter/switch assembly out all together. This prevents issues with the pin pushing on the cart, with confusion over the switch, and with crappy old plastic 85 filters. With this modification, you now manually add or remove the 85 filter on the front of the camera. Professionally, a much better system.
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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:29 AM

Also, try the in-camera meter. They tend to do a fairly good job, if you're not using a modern film (like Vision3 500T) never intended for S8. With 100D Ektachrome, you'll get fairly good results going auto on a good camera like an 814, especially outdoors.


Zac,

I actually find the AZ 814 internal meter to do an amazingly good job of auto exposing the Vision3 series if for no other reason than the latitude of this film allows for a great deal of exposure error. I frequently use the internal meter on my 814 to get a base-line reading, then switch to manual and lock the exposure at about 1/3 to 2/3 higher exposure indoors and on par or 1/3 over outdoors. I think the results are great! Of course, I have had my meter calibrated and do a comparison check with my iPhone app to look for variations. Generally, I just air on the side of very slight over exposure with 500T and very very slight under with 100D.

Dave
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#11 Zac Fettig

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:16 AM

Zac,

I actually find the AZ 814 internal meter to do an amazingly good job of auto exposing the Vision3 series if for no other reason than the latitude of this film allows for a great deal of exposure error. I frequently use the internal meter on my 814 to get a base-line reading, then switch to manual and lock the exposure at about 1/3 to 2/3 higher exposure indoors and on par or 1/3 over outdoors. I think the results are great! Of course, I have had my meter calibrated and do a comparison check with my iPhone app to look for variations. Generally, I just air on the side of very slight over exposure with 500T and very very slight under with 100D.

Dave


I meant that in my experience, Vision3 500T tends to strobe a bit with my 814 AZE on Auto exposure. Any other film, like Ektachrome 100D, no problem.
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#12 christos polychronopoulos

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 06:36 AM

Hi Mike,

There being no notch on the cartridge actually kicks the filter OUT, and locks it and the switch out.

Where the 814 really starts to have issues with this is when that system is not working right (usually due to age) so the pin pushes on the cartridge (pushing it out of alignment with the gate) and/or doesn't push the filter out of the way quite all the way.

The really odd thing with the 814 AZ is that the daylight cartridge (no notch) pushes on the pin. The pin forces the switch to Daylight (which moves the filter into position), but then pushes the filter back out of position. It's a very weird way of dealing with the daylight cartridge. It seems to have been designed this way to remind the user to only use the camera outdoors, but still push the filter out of position. Very weird and problematic.

When you notch the cartridge, that now allows you to manually set the indoor/outdoor switch. However, you actually need to set the switch to indoor/tungsten. The reason for this that the filter is removed when set to indoor/tungsten because the camera expects tungsten film when the button is not pushed. But, you have daylight (requiring no filter) so you have to make sure it's set to indoor/tungsten which for us really means NO FILTER.

I like the way Pro8mm deals with this in their rebuilt Pro814. They actually take the whole pin/filter/switch assembly out all together. This prevents issues with the pin pushing on the cart, with confusion over the switch, and with crappy old plastic 85 filters. With this modification, you now manually add or remove the 85 filter on the front of the camera. Professionally, a much better system.

 

Hi David, 

thanks for all the info, i have an 814 AZ electronic back home in Greece that i haven´t used since 2002 (with kodachrome 40) and was trying really hard to remember how the filter annulation thing worked. You see i want to shoot some ektachome 100D there this summer and was trying to figure out if i need to travel with a canon 518 that i have here in Spain or not (of course id prefer not to and work my 814) .

i got a little lost when you mentioned that the ektachrome would push the filter in and then back out..

So, what is the situation? on a proper functioning 814 , inserting the 100D cartridge is the filter disengaged ? if not, can i still disengage it manually using the switch?

It would be really helpful if you could help me out with this since i dont have the camera in my hands and when i will , well, it will be too late! :) 

Many thanks

Christos


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#13 David Cunningham

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:18 AM

 

Hi David, 

thanks for all the info, i have an 814 AZ electronic back home in Greece that i haven´t used since 2002 (with kodachrome 40) and was trying really hard to remember how the filter annulation thing worked. You see i want to shoot some ektachome 100D there this summer and was trying to figure out if i need to travel with a canon 518 that i have here in Spain or not (of course id prefer not to and work my 814) .

i got a little lost when you mentioned that the ektachrome would push the filter in and then back out..

So, what is the situation? on a proper functioning 814 , inserting the 100D cartridge is the filter disengaged ? if not, can i still disengage it manually using the switch?

It would be really helpful if you could help me out with this since i dont have the camera in my hands and when i will , well, it will be too late! :)

Many thanks

Christos

 

Hi Christos,

 

I am not personally familiar with the 814AZE.  I only use the 814 AZ.  In the case of the AZ, the daylight cart pushes on a pin next to the gate in the compartment because there is no notch in the cart for that pin.  This causes the daylight/tungsten switch to move  to the "daylight" position and lock there so you cannot move it.  Normally, when the switch is in that position, it means the filter is in place.  However, when a daylight cart is in the camera, it's just informational... telling you that a daylight cart is in the camera and the filter has been removed.  It's a very odd setup.

 

So, again.  When you put a daylight cart in the camera, it pushes on the daylight pin.  That pin does 3 things.  It moves the switch to the sun symbol (daylight) position, locks the switch from moving, AND moves the 85 filter out of the way.

 

Also note that the 814 AZ will technically not correctly expose 100D.  It will meter it as 160 film, under exposing it by about a half stop.  But, in the grand scheme, this is not horrible as you never want to over expose 100D and a half stop only reduces your highlight detail a bit.

 

I believe the AZE will correctly expose 100D as 100.

 

The AZE will remove the filter when you install a 100D cart.  I'm just not sure what the switch will do.  But, either way, it should work correctly assuming the camera itself is in good order.  It looks like AZE models don't have separate 1.3V EE batteries either, which is nice.

 

Dave


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