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Canon 814 Autozoom First Movie - KODAK EKTACHROME 100D

Canon 814 Autozoom Test 100D

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#1 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:05 AM

Hi everybody, first post here.

My name is Juan Carlos and I love film!

I bought my first Super 8 camera at the tender age of 43 (never too late, huh?) and I shot my first Ektachrome 100D a couple months ago.

The movie is mostly dark and I'd like to find out why with your precious help.

When the reel and the DVD with the movie came back from the lab (Blue Cine Tech, UK) it had a note from the technician that says like this:


There appears to be a significant problem with the lightmeter on this camera, whenever it is pointed towards something bright the aperture seems to stop down far too much, making the image really dark. Possibly it is something else, but the metering and aperture seems really far too erratic throughout.


You can view the full movie here:

http://youtu.be/azu2hgzlxKo

I shot the movie without any ND filter since it was a very bright sunny day, and the exposure needle was always at the end of the scale (iris almost close), which at the moment made me think it was quite a problem.

In the last part of the movie I was at home with very low artificial light and a blue filter: The result is all black.

The camera manual says to use a ND filter in case of excessive light and use additional light in case of low ambient light.

The camera is in almost mint conditions, with barely visible signs of use, very strange for a 40+ years old camera.

My question is this: Is the lack of use of ND filters the reason why the images are dark?

I'd like to use the camera for wedding films and I have to know if it's the case for buying another camera.

I'll be posting this thread on other forums, so pleas excuse if you will find it elsewhere.

Thanks for your help!

Regards.


Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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  • CanonAZ814Super8Manual_Page_16.jpg

Edited by Juan Carlos Montero Tudose, 01 December 2012 - 07:08 AM.

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#2 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

Hi Juan Carlos! I'm new to this forum too.

I have to ask what Canon camera model is it?
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#3 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

Hey Bill,

as per topic title, it's a Canon 814 Autozoom.

Best regards.



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#4 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:12 AM

D'oh! - Just read the title of the post again...

...I never encountered this issue with my old Canon 814.

This must be a miss-metering or a possible repair job though? It seems very erratic in the footage.
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#5 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

There was so much light that day that the needle was almost in the red zone.

Also, I forgot to mention, the exposure was set to "Auto".


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:18 PM

There definitely appears to be something wrong with the meter on that camera. I've never seen an Auto Zoom 814 do anything like that. You can actually see the iris jumping open and closed, in some cases all the way. Even in the brightest of lighting conditions the AZ 814 should not stop all the way down with 100D.

Unfortunately, I think there is something wrong with this camera. You did have 2 fresh 1.35v light meter batteries in it, correct? If you put 1.5V batteries in, that may have at least exaggerated the problem. But, it would not cause the fast opening and closing like that.

Dave
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#7 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Dave,

thanks for the reply.

I have two generic 625A Button cell batteries, that I suppose are 1.35V.

I also randomly used a polarizer filter as a substitute for a ND, but still the meter stayed most of the time in or near the "C" red zone.


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#8 David Cunningham

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

Hi,

Technically those are the wrong batteries. The extra voltage will cause your meter to run incorrectly and I believe under expose.

You need 1.35v batteries like these:

http://www.bhphotovi...v_Zinc_Air.html

However, I still think there is something wrong with the meter/iris mechanism because of the odd opening and closing. That shouldn't have anything to do with the batteries.

Dave
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#9 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

I just bought two MR625 / MRB625 WeinCell 1.35V and will try with the next cartridge.

Any other insight is welcome. :)



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#10 Ian Payne

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

Maybe you could take the meter reading of the subject and switch it to manual.
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#11 David Cunningham

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:56 PM

Doing it manually would of course "solve" the problem. But... I find the internal meter, when working correctly, is very accurate in this camera, especially for negative films.
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#12 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:48 PM

Ian, thanks for the reply.

I have downloaded this app:

https://itunes.apple...13393?l=en&mt=8

Once I figure out how to translate the reading for my Canon, I'll have a second "eye" to refer to...

Right now I'm considering a second camera to buy, hoping to get a good one.


Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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#13 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

Today we had a very bright and sunny day in MIlan and I tried the camera, not really shooting, with an old Kodachrome 40 (way less sensitive compared to Ektachrome 110D).

I looked at the meter and it was jumping a lot while going from ground to sky and it kept moving even after positioning the framing.


I'm waiting for the right batteries to arrive and I'm also looking at a XL model as a spare...


I'll keep you updated, though...





Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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--------------------
Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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#14 Steve Williams

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

Hey Jaun,

Like you I'm new to the super 8 world. I've found a lot of help through this forum.... I've only shot about 10 rolls of S8 in my life, so I sadly cant offer much advice. I do prefer to shoot on manual though with these cameras (814AZ, I own two). I usually meter my subject, set, and film...

The main reason I'm chiming in is because I'll be heading to Catania, Italy next week to visit my inlaws. I'll be filming my wife's cousin's wedding on super 8. I'm supper excited (no pun intended) to get some beautiful Italian backdrop to work with.

best of luck in the future of film

Steve
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#15 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:16 AM

Hey Steve, thanks for chiming in!

You have 9 films of more experience than me...:)

I'm convinced that manual exposure is the best bet for me, so I have bought this app: https://itunes.apple...13393?l=en&mt=8

Only thing is that you only can set the aperture (aperture priority) and the meter tells you the shutter speed.

I have to figure out what's the speed of my camera or I have to buy a meter with shutter priority (since I cannot change the shutter speed in the camera) so I can get the correct aperture value.

It's good to hear that you'll be in Sicily soon, though it's not the best season, you'll get some great food though.

If you go here www.unmatrimoniodafavola.tv you'll see some weddings I did this year.

Have fun with your wedding and thank for your advice!

Take care.



Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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#16 David Cunningham

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

Hi Juan,

If you are looking to shoot with an iPhone light meter, you should set the meter's shutter speed as 1/60th if you are shooting at 24 FPS. That will be very close to your actual shutter speed. Note that you have a slightly smaller shutter angle and loose about 2/3 of a stop because of your "reflex" prism system. So, especially if you are shooting 100D reversal (which you never want to over expose but can get away with some under exposure) you should probably set your camera manually somewhere between the stop that the meter suggests and about 1/2 stop more open.

So, if you are outside in bright conditions using 100D without any shadows (or care to get shadow highlights) set your camera manually to what the meter says. This will slightly under expose your film, but it's safer than over. If you want to get some shadow highlights and aren't as worried about blowing out the bright highlights, set the camera about 1/2 stop more open. For example, if your meter suggests f8, set the camera to half way between 8 and 5.6. (Note that on the 814 AZ 5.6 is the dot between 8 and 4.)

Dave
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#17 David Cunningham

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

Hi Juan,

If you are looking to shoot with an iPhone light meter, you should set the meter's shutter speed as 1/60th if you are shooting at 24 FPS. That will be very close to your actual shutter speed. Note that you have a slightly smaller shutter angle and loose about 2/3 of a stop because of your "reflex" prism system. So, especially if you are shooting 100D reversal (which you never want to over expose but can get away with some under exposure) you should probably set your camera manually somewhere between the stop that the meter suggests and about 1/2 stop more open.

So, if you are outside in bright conditions using 100D without any shadows (or care to get shadow highlights) set your camera manually to what the meter says. This will slightly under expose your film, but it's safer than over. If you want to get some shadow highlights and aren't as worried about blowing out the bright highlights, set the camera about 1/2 stop more open. For example, if your meter suggests f8, set the camera to half way between 8 and 5.6. (Note that on the 814 AZ 5.6 is the dot between 8 and 4.)

Dave




FYI, the one I usually use with my iPhone is literally called "Light Meter".
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#18 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:40 PM

Wow!

Thanks Dave!

That's better than a crash course in "Manually expose you fav S8 camera"...

:D



Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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#19 Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:17 AM

UPDATE

I just received the new batteries for the Electric Eye (MR625 / MRB625 WeinCell 1.35V) and did some metering as a test and a comparison between the two types (the "old" ones being a no brand-no voltage type).

So...

To make a long story short, the "old" batteries meter about 4 f/stops MORE than the WeinCell 1.35V.

I'm adding some pics, but to describe with some data, here a chart:

Scene 1 -- NoBrand: f/13 || WeinCell f/6.3

Scene 2 -- NoBrand: f/16 || WeinCell f/8


Posted Image




Posted Image


Posted Image

Posted Image





The scenes were metered with a loaded Kodachrome 40 cartridge.

Seems to me those "old" batteries were making the EE behave very weird.

That's it for now; any comments are very welcome.



Juan Carlos Montero Tudose

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#20 David Cunningham

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

Hi Juan,

Yeah, looks about right from my experience with 1.5v batteries in my 814AZ.

Only, note that the difference between f8 and f16 is only 2 stops.

Also, scene one looks to me more like f7 vs just over f11, just under 2 stops.

Was your reading steady now?

Definitely looks like your 1.5v batteries were causing severe under exposure, especially for 100D.

Dave
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