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Diminishing "value" of Super 8


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#1 David Cunningham

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

Sadly, it looks like Kodak is continuing to push Super 8 to extinction.  

 

Between their previous and now more recent price increases on Super 8 film and the drastically reduced costs of very good transfer to HD or even 2K, there seems to be little cost advantage left for using Super 8 vs 16mm.

 

http://motion.kodak....ff050114_EI.pdf

 

At $24/roll (and that's wholesale prices, so I'm sure it will be more retail) plus $20 processing (I'm rounding up to counter the wholesale vs retail film cost) we are talking nearly $45/roll for film and process.  Give an average HD transfer for $20 per roll and we are up to $65 per roll.

 

Now say $42/roll for 16mm and $20 more to process.  That's $62/roll for film and process of 16mm.  Then, a decent transfer of that 100ft roll is about $25.  So, your 16mm cost is $87 vs $65 for Super 8.

 

So, between the superior image of 16mm and in most cases far superior (and prolific) scanning options for 16mm, other than the "Super 8 look".... why shoot Super 8 anymore?  And of course, in my opinion, the "Super 8 look" died with E100D and Velvia50D.

 

 


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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

I used to love Super 8 but I realize the time has come to move on. I was very excited to hear about the Logmar that was coming out soon and had a budget to purchase it but then I thought about the financials (and the camera still isnt ready for purchase) and it seems less worthwhile than 16mm.

 

Your post is dead on right.


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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 01:28 PM

I came to that conclusion about 4 years ago because high quality HD transfer costs were the same for me between 8, 16 & 35.

 

I will say however that while the costs advantages of Super 8 are small, the convenience factor is fairly high. I recently lugged my Scoopic to Mexico City and never took it out because I had my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with me. I later wish I had taken a small Super 8 camera that would have been much lighter. Scoopic is about the smallest and lightest motorized 16mm camera but it is still a beast compared to Super 8.


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#4 Heikki Repo

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 01:35 PM

I think there is still a certain special look that can be only achieved with super-8. Modern negative stocks work with it really well.

 

However, I do agree that super-8 isn't that economical choice anymore. Modern super16 cameras can be bought for very low prices and the price difference between Kodak Vision3 16mm and super-8 isn't that big anymore -- not to mention that if one buys remaining Fuji film it's already cheaper to buy than super-8 (26 Euros for 15 meters of super-8, 73 Euros for 122 meters of 16mm).

 

Nonetheless, I myself am still keeping my super-8 cameras. One never knows when one needs them for some special look uses (and I just love the small weight of Beaulieu 4008 ZM). Also, if I had the time, I could buy some cheaper bulk and refill used cartridges. That way one cartridge would cost only about 12 Euros which isn't a bad price (ORWO UN54, Wittnerchrome 200D, ..). Not to mention that we don't know yet what kind of film FilmFerrania will bring to market later.

 

As for Logmar, just some days ago it was revealed that it will be able to use 60 meter daylight loads in the same camera. That is a big plus. It means one can buy those cheap stocks (http://wittner-kinot...mm/s8_meter.php) and shoot some 10 minute long takes if one wishes AND one isn't dependant on Kodak cartridges anymore. :)


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#5 andy oliver

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 03:52 PM

Yes i saw the price increase last week and couldn't agree more with David's post. My gut feeling is 2015 will see the end of super 8 from Kodak and Wittner filling the gap. Super 8 died for me when they killed kodachrome, much preferred 64t over 100d, so 100d no great loss.


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#6 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 04:36 PM

As far as Wittner goes, how will the cost impact shooters in the States? We would have to import it. Would it really see a cost benefit over 16 at that point?


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#7 David Cunningham

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

That's the first time I've ever heard anyone say they liked 64T over 100D. Can you expand on that comment?
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:39 PM

This is sad. of course since Willard Engineering has effectively stolen my camera, I may not be able to shoot anymore Super8. I have a fridge FULL of it and want to shoot, but... 

 

The loss of Ektachrome has been critical. These prices will only exacerbate the situation. 


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#9 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:15 PM

This just blows. It was $15 for a roll of negative just a few years ago, now it's $18.88 soon to be $23.60. The $5 increase wouldn't stop me from shooting S8 all together, but doesn't look good for it's survival. I'm debating about ordering up 60 carts worth of all 4 stocks before May 1st. Then see where things are at the end of that.


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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:53 PM

Assuming it takes a few months or even a year for Pro8mm to up their prices it will end up being cheaper to just buy their prepaid processing film than even buying wholesale through Kodak as I do now.
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#11 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 02:08 AM

Cheer up. When in USA find John Schwind who supplies a number of Regular-8 Normal-8 cine filmtypes and is also strong on Super-8 cartridge supplies like Kodak Vision, Tri-X. Also good source for Aviphot 200D.

http://www.internati...filmbroker.com/

 

Use Dwayne's for E6 processing and you are back at prices from the 90-ies.


Edited by Andries Molenaar, 10 April 2014 - 02:09 AM.

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#12 Heikki Repo

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:03 AM

On some other forums some seem to be wondering if this is Kodak's first step to kill off super-8. Apparently Kodak has done some big prices hikes just before stopping production of same products.


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#13 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

There's been a conversation on the AMIA-L about this, and to sum up one post, there are two ways to look at the price hike, either:

 

1) Kodak is trying to kill off the format

 

2) Kodak is trying to save the format

 

I tend to think it's #2. If they wanted to stop making Super 8, they'd just stop. They have the power to do that. But film is making them a profit (even if it's not *that* much), and they can't afford to lose the cash flow that it brings in. The volume of customers buying film has dropped, obviously. So basic supply and demand dictates that the price will need to go up in order for them to cover their costs and still make a profit. Couple that with the fact that they're set up to make massive runs of film, not short batches, and the only way they can continue operating is to charge more.

 

Is it painful to the customer? Yeah. But it's probably necessary for the survival of the format.


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 11 April 2014 - 08:29 AM.

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#14 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

It would be bad timing since we're finally about to see the first new S8 camera in 30 years. However 16 and 35mm just had a hike at the beginning of the year (100ft 16mm is up to $40USD from $36) so S8 may just be following suit. Since Super 8 is using the same emulsions as 16/35/65mm, they really don't have anything to loose by keeping it around in quantities that people are using, One thing that does make me nervous is that they also have a new CEO and he looks like a corporate tool... So I went ahead and stocked up of 50 rolls of negative and 10 B&W this morning to avoid the hike and buy time. Worse case, Ferrania is intent on getting into the S8 business and looks like they will have a 100ASA color reversal film to start.


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#15 David Cunningham

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:33 PM

It would be bad timing since we're finally about to see the first new S8 camera in 30 years. However 16 and 35mm just had a hike at the beginning of the year (100ft 16mm is up to $40USD from $36) so S8 may just be following suit. Since Super 8 is using the same emulsions as 16/35/65mm, they really don't have anything to loose by keeping it around in quantities that people are using, One thing that does make me nervous is that they also have a new CEO and he looks like a corporate tool... So I went ahead and stocked up of 50 rolls of negative and 10 B&W this morning to avoid the hike and buy time. Worse case, Ferrania is intent on getting into the S8 business and looks like they will have a 100ASA color reversal film to start.

 

The price hike at the beginning of the year also applied to Super 8... it was 10% across the board.  Super 8 went from $16 to $18 per roll at that time.  Now it's jumping from $18 to $23.  Yipes!  16mm and 35mm are staying put... for now.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kodak just out-sourced their Super 8 all together to Pro8mm.  At this point it's cheaper to buy 1000ft of 35mm and cut it down to Super 8 carts.  That's how Pro8mm makes theirs... at least for the oddball stocks like 250D.


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#16 Matt Stevens

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:23 PM

I had planned on purchasing the new Super8 camera, but now I am not so sure. Spending thousands of dollars on a format that may be doomed within months or a year or two is not very smart. 


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#17 Jeremy Cavanagh

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:39 PM


 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kodak just out-sourced their Super 8 all together to Pro8mm.  At this point it's cheaper to buy 1000ft of 35mm and cut it down to Super 8 carts.  That's how Pro8mm makes theirs... at least for the oddball stocks like 250D.

How much do new carts cost, doesn't Kodak hold the license for these?

 

Where do people such as Pro8mm, Wittner, Ortho et al get their perforators from?


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#18 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:18 PM

How much do new carts cost, doesn't Kodak hold the license for these?

 

Where do people such as Pro8mm, Wittner, Ortho et al get their perforators from?

Kodak sells empty carts to these places.

 

 

I had planned on purchasing the new Super8 camera, but now I am not so sure. Spending thousands of dollars on a format that may be doomed within months or a year or two is not very smart. 

 

 

Same here. I've been really excited to get that camera and start marketing projects. but now i'm afraid to spend $3K on something just so Kodak can pull the plug at a moments notice like they do with all the products they discontinue.


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#19 David Cunningham

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:12 PM

There are others that produce empty and easily refillable carts.
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#20 Matt Stevens

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:15 PM

There are others that produce empty and easily refillable carts.

 

That may be true, but it's a royal pain. Adding complexity and work into the equation is enough to force many people into going all digital. Should i just buy a Digital Bolex? Other cameras are coming out thi year as well. I WANT BADLY to continue shooting Super8 and snag the Logmar, but I cannot take a multi-thousand dollar risk. I would urge the team behind that camera to contact Kodak and try to work out a partnership to ensure some longevity. It would be greatly reassuring to all of us. 


Edited by Matt Stevens, 13 April 2014 - 01:16 PM.

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