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New in the super 8 world - Some questions

Super 8; Newbie; Nizo 561 macro; focal lenght; Kodachrome 40; ASA;

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#1 Antonio Barral

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:55 AM

Hi there! First of all, I hope my questions aren't too stupid, but I'm a complete newbie in the super 8 world and I've got plenty of doubts.  :unsure:

 

I've recently bought through ebay a Braun Nizo 561 macro (which is in full working order) for a nice price (at least is what I think, compared with the prices of other ones...), which included the ultrawide lens, a Skylight-filter and a close-up lens (which purpose I don't know). In addition, I got 1,35 V wein cells for the photometer and some 2004 expired Kodachrome 40 cartridges (I know it is not processed anymore, at least in colour, but it was almost free and I wanted something cheap for starting and testing the camera). 

 

Before that, I had already done some research, with the help of Google  and this forum, about the ASA, the film, the process, how the camera works... and I also found the manual and read it. All that solved many problems I faced, but I'm still not sure about some.

 

 1) The focal lenght. A very general and probably very stupid question: What it is exactly used for? When do I have to change it?

 

2) The ASA. Ok, I understand the theorical meaning, but I do not know how can I control it. For example, Kodachrome 40 is ASA 40 for tungsten light and ASA 25 for daylight. So, does the camera automatically find out the requiered ASA and do whatever is needed? Or do I need to change manually anything (e.g. the exposure, the filter...) in order to get fine images?

 

3) Filters. The manual states that super 8 film is balanced for tungsten, and for filming in dayligt you should only turn the filter switch to the "sun" symbol... I'm not sure if it is still true today for every type of film... I also got a skyligt filter (1A E49), and I'd like to know if it must be used when there is too much light or if it is enough with the built-in filter. 

 

Sorry for being so ignorant and quite chaotic, I hope anyone can help me!  :rolleyes: Thanks in advance!

 

 


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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:39 AM

first. let me ask if you have any back ground in photography at all? Whether it be digital or film, doesn't matter. Many of the same principles of photography apply to all formats. the manual you read was written several decades ago and much has changed. The camera itself has not changed, but rather the film and of course post production and delivery. Short answers to your questions, which all can be added to:

 

Focal length - Simply put, how wide or how telephoto the image is in the viewfinder. The lower the number, 7mm is wide. The higher, 25mm is long or tele.

 

ASA - How sensitive to light the emulsion is. It is true that most film used is tungsten based, so there for, in order to use tungsten film outdoors and 85 filter (orange) must be used. I would not use it in your case or at all these days. Why?, you have black and white film now that Kodachrome color processing is dead. Secondly; the internal filter is most likely faded and worn, which will degrade the image, don't use it. When you shoot modern stock of today, it is all tungsten or black and white, so use an external 85 filter in front of the lens. better quality. film carts are notched by ASA, so a special little mechanical sensor can read what the speed is. Now it gets a little confusing. Some cameras are notched to only two ASA speeds, so in theory, can not read all of the film speeds, like 500t. Remember that the film of today has changed, not the camera, so with modern film stocks, it doesn't matter. They all  have enormous exposure latitude (Vision 3) or are metered correctly like Tri-X. Some carts engage or disengage the internal 85 filter. I would disengage and leave it that way. the light bulb setting. Leave the sky light filter on as protection. Any of the daylight reversal film is all metered correctly by the camera.


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#3 Antonio Barral

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:04 AM

Thanks a lot for answering so soon! Anyway, I realiced I have to learn too many things (although I have some experience in filming with digital), so the next few days I'll be devoted to reading some books about super 8 I found, instead of overwhelming the forum with my dumb questions...  :rolleyes:


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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:41 AM

Like I said, the same basic principles that you use with digital apply to film as well. So you already know some stuff. Biggest differences are, with super 8 you don't have the instant feedback and sync sound is a bit more challenging.


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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

When you shoot modern stock of today, it is all tungsten or black and white,

 

Not quite the case anymore. Kodak's last colour reversal film available in super 8 was Ektachrome 100D which was balanced for daylight. So need for an 85 filter at all for that stock....if you can still get your hands on it as it was recently discontinued by Kodak.


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:01 PM

Don't forget the newly released Vision3 50D (daylight) super 8 cart.  Best Super 8 film on the market ever.  If you can get the stability and registration down pat, and good optics, you might fake someone into thinking it's 16mm.

 

 

Not quite the case anymore. Kodak's last colour reversal film available in super 8 was Ektachrome 100D which was balanced for daylight. So need for an 85 filter at all for that stock....if you can still get your hands on it as it was recently discontinued by Kodak.


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#7 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:41 PM

Don't forget the newly released Vision3 50D (daylight) super 8 cart.  Best Super 8 film on the market ever. 

 

Woops, I forgot about the negative stocks.

 

Strangely, I can't find an 'edit' function on this forum anymore. I was meant to type "So no need for an 85 filter at all for that stock" in my previous post.


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#8 Antonio Barral

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:59 AM

O yeah! The 50D! Actually, I was thinking about trying this new film stock... Anyway, I'll need and 80A filter for indoor filming...


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#9 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:48 AM

O yeah! The 50D! Actually, I was thinking about trying this new film stock... Anyway, I'll need and 80A filter for indoor filming...

 

Unless you have some serious lighting, using 50D indoors won't work.  It will become basically a 33 ASA stock indoors.  You'd basically need the sun.  :)

 

You'd be better of using the 200T and slightly over exposing with bright lighting than trying to get enough light for 50D indoors with an 80A.  Always aim for over rather than under with Super 8 otherwise you will get a serious bump in grain.


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#10 Antonio Barral

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

Wrth knowing it! But, as my camera recognizes only until 160 ASA, how would react with a 200 ASA film? Exposing it as a 160 one?


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#11 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:14 PM

Wrth knowing it! But, as my camera recognizes only until 160 ASA, how would react with a 200 ASA film? Exposing it as a 160 one?

 

That would probably be perfect, actually.  Basically a half stop over.  I'd dare someone to notice the difference between Vision3 200T exposed correctly at 200 and about a 1/2 stop over at 160.  In fact, even 500T would look fine.  You'd probably just get a bump in shadow detail and a very slight blow out in very bright highlights.  Besides, our old Super 8 cameras were probably only accurate within 1/3-1/2 stop even when they were new, never mind now that they are 30+ years old.


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#12 Antonio Barral

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:19 PM

Nice! That was my only concern with those high ASA films! :) So just to be sure, no filter and no exposure variation? On automatic exposure it should be fine (for 200T and 500T)? Thanks again!


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#13 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

Nice! That was my only concern with those high ASA films! :) So just to be sure, no filter and no exposure variation? On automatic exposure it should be fine (for 200T and 500T)? Thanks again!

 

If shooting 200T, don't worry at all.  You're going to like the results.

 

If shooting 500T, try to avoid large variations in lighting.  (Really, this holds true for 200T too).  You meter will do an average of all the light through the view finder.  So, you very bright highlights may get blown out.  If you keep your footage evenly lit and focus more on shadow highlights than bright ones, you'll have NO issues.

 

The best way to know for sure it test.


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#14 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:39 PM

One last note, your Nizo has manual exposure too.  My best advice is to get a good light meter and manually set and lock your exposure.  That will get you more consistent results.  Your Nizo light meter will average all the light coming in, so bright areas in your view will darken your primary subject if it's not as bright.  A spot or incident meter will help you avoid this issue.


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#15 Antonio Barral

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:32 AM

Mmmm... actually, I have to do lots of tests... Mainly, cause I don't even know if the camera and the photometer work properly.  But first of all, I have to get the money, for an student in Spain this is a quite expensive passion (in fact I'm desperated to find some expired film) ... :rolleyes:  Anyway, thanks a lot for all the information, this has helped me more than you can imagine!

 

Regarding the exposure issue, I've always felt quite insecure about the manual exposure control, cause I have realized how much does the photometer lectures (in the automatic mode) vary when moving along a place... So maybe when I film something homogeneously lit, I'll try to set manually the exposure. 

 

Thanks again!  :D


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#16 Matt Stevens

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:29 AM

When shooting 500t I found it to be extremely important to use a tripod and when exposing, zoom all the way in on whatever it was in the frame I wanted to be properly exposed. I took my reading there and manually set for 1/2 a stop over.

 

My short film Miscommunications was shot almost entirely on Kodak Vision3 500t. The exteriors were shot on a single roll of Ektachrome 100D. 

 

By the way, one of the seven rolls of 500t was from Pro8m and naturally, that was the only roll that came out like poop. I despise Pro8. 

 


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#17 Antonio Barral

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:29 AM

Wow, I never thought my camera would be compatible with those films! In fact, they look pretty good! But is there any reversal colour stock available? Cause the costs of processing negative stock are quite higher...


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#18 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

But is there any reversal colour stock available?

 

There is...or should I say there was. Ektachrome 100D was the last super 8 colour reversal stock made by Kodak and it has recently been discontinued. However, there is still some new stock available...you might have to look hard for it though. Only about a month ago, I was able to order some from Kodak. All over the world, people are buying up stock so get in fast while you can before it's gone for good.


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#19 Heikki Repo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

Wow, I never thought my camera would be compatible with those films! In fact, they look pretty good! But is there any reversal colour stock available? Cause the costs of processing negative stock are quite higher...

 

Wittner Cine Tech (http://www.wittner-kinotechnik.de) sells Ektachrome 100D (they have rather large quantity of it left) and they also are soon going to introduce Velvia 100 and Agfa Aviphot 200D to super-8, both reversal stocks.


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#20 David Cunningham

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:59 PM

FYI, E100D is still available from B&H Photo:

 

http://www.bhphotovi...100D_Super.html

 

As of this posting, they still have 595 rolls in stock!


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