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Super 8 VistaVision?


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#1 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:18 AM

I was just pondering this and id be interested to see what people think.

If anyone isnt familiar with VistVision its a wide screen format that has a 1.85 frame in the camera (I think) and the film runs horizontally. It captures a lot more surface area per frame and ends up looking very nice and sharp. Paramount started this system and many great films were made using it like Vertigo. I just saw this projected in 70mm last week and it looked brilliant.

So MAX8 widens the gate horizontally but I was wondering, what if a gate was to be widened vertically? The exposed area of a cartridge is plenty wide enough to allow a 2.39 frame. If the gate could match that width and the camera was used filming sideways, could it be possible?

First I know that not all cameras could work for this. You'd pretty much need to remove the gate and it would be like exposing three normal frames at a time. The other issue would be somehow modifying the viewfinder. And lastly all of this gate business would also need to be true for the telecine machine too.

If this could work, it would look like techniscope but it would be exposed film running horizontally. Since Super 8 is small we should call this wide screen format MicroScope:-P
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#2 Joerg Polzfusz

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:58 AM

I doubt that this is possible as I can't think of any camera that would allow enlarging the gate wide enough. Not to mention that the camera then would have to transport frames that are two perforation holes wide (instead of one hole per frame as before the modification).


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#3 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:11 AM

It would probably be three perfs across.
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#4 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

Ernie,

 

Are you aware of the UltraPan8 3.1 Double Super 8 format?

 

It is a spherical film format with a native aspect ratio of 3.1 which is wider than both Cinemascope and Cinerama. The cameras are modified hybrids consisting of Bolex H8 (DS8 mod) and H16 cameras. The machined gate's dimensions are as follows, i.e. 

 

UP8 3.1 (Double Super 8) AR = 1:3.1, FRAME = 13.00mm x 4.22mm; AREA = 54.86 square mm

 

Note that the frame width is wider than Super 16 and technically requires re-centering of the lens mount. It utilizes the full 16mm width of Double Super 8 film with the classic Super 8 pulldown.

 

I originally announced the camera system here, i.e. http://www.cinematog...showtopic=57048. Here is an uploaded example of the format. The lens mount was not re-centered and I utilized a Zeiss Tevidon 10mm C-Mount lens,  i.e. 

 

By the way the UK Widescreen Association originally interlocked 3x Super 8 projectors many decades ago to simulate classic Cinerama. 

 

Cheers!

 

Nicholas - Toronto

facebook.com/UltraPan8WidescreenFilm

 

 


Edited by Nicholas Kovats, 06 September 2013 - 12:33 PM.

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#5 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:29 PM

Nicholas, I never saw your original announcement post or I would have flipped out then. But holy crap, man! That's amazing! So ridiculously beautiful. I want one.
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#6 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

Thank you kindly, Josh.

 

It can be hard to keep up considering the volume of info streaming by in today's world. There is also a second "smaller" variation which is actually the original format called UltraPan8 2.8. Same principal as UP8 3.1 but it uses the larger perforations of Regular 8 film, i.e. 

 

Jean-Louis Seguin (Montreal, Canada) has built 10x UP8 2.8 and 2x UP8 3.1 Bolex cameras to date.  He can be contacted directly at bolextech@gmail.com. The re-manufacturing/adaptation/conversion costs are quite modest relative to typical custom work. He can be contacted directly at bolextech@gmail.com.  Various owners have reduced their costs by supplying their own Bolex H8, H16 or DS8 cameras.

 

Don't hesitate to contact me if you need farther assistance, i.e. nkovats@gmail.com.

 

Cheers!

 

 

Nicholas, I never saw your original announcement post or I would have flipped out then. But holy crap, man! That's amazing! So ridiculously beautiful. I want one.


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#7 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:39 PM

That's so great. I was going to ask about a regular 8 version also. And I love your overscanned footage as well. It's so cool to see it like that.

 

So just for ridiculousness's sake, have you ever put an anamorphic lens on that UP8 3.1 camera? That'd just be nuts.


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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:42 PM

Surely this all comes under the general heading of "just shoot 16".


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#9 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:42 AM

Thank you kindly, Josh.

 

It can be hard to keep up considering the volume of info streaming by in today's world. There is also a second "smaller" variation which is actually the original format called UltraPan8 2.8. Same principal as UP8 3.1 but it uses the larger perforations of Regular 8 film, i.e. 

 

Jean-Louis Seguin (Montreal, Canada) has built 10x UP8 2.8 and 2x UP8 3.1 Bolex cameras to date.  He can be contacted directly at bolextech@gmail.com. The re-manufacturing/adaptation/conversion costs are quite modest relative to typical custom work. He can be contacted directly at bolextech@gmail.com.  Various owners have reduced their costs by supplying their own Bolex H8, H16 or DS8 cameras.

 

Don't hesitate to contact me if you need farther assistance, i.e. nkovats@gmail.com.

 

Cheers!

 

 

Awesome! I wasn't aware of this. Nice work!


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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

Surely this all comes under the general heading of "just shoot 16".

 

Well, UP8 is pretty much the best of both worlds.  It's a 16mm camera using Regular 8mm film.  But, gives you the huge/wide aspect ratio.  I've definitely thought about picking one up.  It's too bad Double 8 film and UP8 scanning is so hard to find.


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#11 Carl Looper

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:57 PM

The way I figure it a film camera (and corresponding projector) can just ignore sprocket holes in film altogether and use a stepper motor and capstan drive to advance the film. Virtual sprocket holes (registration marks) would be printed on the film during photography - for subsequent use by the projector. The camera/projector would allow any frame size either vertically (conventional orientation) or horizontally (as in vistavision). The number of steps per frame advance would be programmable. Interchangeable gates would facilitate different sized frame masks. And the design could conceivably handle 35mm, 16mm and 8mm interchangeably. Although I was just imagining 16mm only at the moment.

 

In the pictures below is depicted a single axis double stepper motor design. This is for the projector rather than the camera -  the purpose of which is to facilitate fine tuning on frame positioning during projection. The motor closest to the film advances the frame at frame pitch, while the back motor performs tiny micro-readjustment of the positioning.

 

 

Steps.jpg

 

StepperMotor_02.jpg

 

Projector.jpg

 

Projector2.jpg

 

 

Projector3.jpg

 


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#12 Zac Fettig

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:58 AM

How would you detect virtual sprocket hole in undeveloped film? The common way to do virtual registration is with light, a machine vision camera and edge detection routines. And it still isn't close to as good as a registration pin. You could do this with developed film (i.e. in a projector) but not really possible in camera.


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#13 Zac Fettig

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:24 AM

That's so great. I was going to ask about a regular 8 version also. And I love your overscanned footage as well. It's so cool to see it like that.

 

So just for ridiculousness's sake, have you ever put an anamorphic lens on that UP8 3.1 camera? That'd just be nuts.

 

It'll look like this:

 


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#14 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:47 AM

Hilarious! Thank you for that. 


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#15 Zac Fettig

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:02 AM

You're welcome, Nicholas.


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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:36 AM

 

Well, UP8 is pretty much the best of both worlds.  It's a 16mm camera using Regular 8mm film.  But, gives you the huge/wide aspect ratio.  I've definitely thought about picking one up.  It's too bad Double 8 film and UP8 scanning is so hard to find.

 

Not sure it's really the best of both worlds...first, you have to use Regular 8mm film; good luck getting now. Second, just like 2-perf 35mm vs. 3-perf, with UP8 vs. Super 16mm, if you need 1.85 you're loosing some quality with UP8. Plus you're dealing with a windup Bolex vs. something like an Super 16 SR2 which has crazy advantages.

 

I still think it's a great, fun format to shoot...just not the best of both worlds. Although it can be perfect for some folks I'm sure.

 

Back to the original post, a Vista Vision Super 8 camera wouldn't work due to lens coverage on Super 8 cameras...Max8 is about as much coverage as the lens could do. PLUS, scanning such a negative would prove difficult as well. But very cool concept.


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#17 Carl Looper

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 02:05 AM

How would you detect virtual sprocket hole in undeveloped film? The common way to do virtual registration is with light, a machine vision camera and edge detection routines. And it still isn't close to as good as a registration pin. You could do this with developed film (i.e. in a projector) but not really possible in camera.

 

 

The registration marks are not read during camera operation. They are *recorded* on the film during camera exposure.

 

In the camera the stepper motor just advances the film at whatever pitch one likes ie. x steps per mm per frame. The only reason to write any registration mark at all is just to provide some additional precision during projection.

 

Carl


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#18 David Cunningham

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:48 AM

Yeah, back to the original topic... 

 

Like Will said, you'd be hard pressed to find a Super 8 camera that could cover a "vista vision" super 8 frame.  You'd only be able to use c-mount cameras with Super 16 lenses.  Most Super 8 cameras (even the 1014 XL-S Pro8mm sells) have at least a small vignette in the right corners on "Max 8".  You still end up zooming in on the frame a bit to get 16x9.

 

Check this:

 

 

See the vignette in the upper right?  That's with a re-centered lens too.

 

Probably your only hope with either Max 8 or "vista vision" 8 would be a Beaulieu with a Super 16 lens.


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#19 Chris Burke

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:14 PM

Honestly, I feel the onset of high quality lower cost scanning for Super 8, makes it so widening the gate is a waste of time. Often you end up with a burned  frame anyway. Anamorphic adapters or anamorphic lenses are the best option. I know that can be expensive, but in the same price range as widening your gate. Oversampling via a high quality scan gives you the ability to stabilize in post, yielding a sharper image. Just my 2k


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#20 Carl Looper

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

First I know that not all cameras could work for this. You'd pretty much need to remove the gate and it would be like exposing three normal frames at a time. The other issue would be somehow modifying the viewfinder. And lastly all of this gate business would also need to be true for the telecine machine too.
 

 

Short of building a custom telecine (which would be the better idea) one can transfer on a conventional telecine, but ensuring one samples the film larger than the standard frame area. One can then use stitching software to stitch the relevant frames together.

 

As has been mentioned the lenses on Super8 cameras won't have large enough lens circles. But that's the least of the problems - and that's the easiest to solve: you just use a lens with a larger lens circle, eg. one designed for a 35mm SLR.

 

The main problem will be film transport.

 

I see it easier to build a Vistavision Super8 camera from scratch - but most people think that's either "off topic", a "wet dream" or "too much trouble".

 

C


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