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Notch setting for Ektachrome 64


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 11:06 AM

If your camera cannot read all NINE speed notches specified in the SMPTE standard, technically, you have a non-standard camera.  As mentioned, there are ways of compensating.  E64T is a recognized speed and balance combination in the standard.

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That's an interesting way to look at it. It's actually a selling point if one's camera meets such a standard. Too bad Super-8 camera manufacturers never made mention if their cameras were SMPTE compliant or not, and probably no "official list" exists, although one should exist.

The notch situation is perhaps a resolveable issue if one has manual aperture override in their camera. The whole overexposure and underexposure issue has been dissected in confusing ways in the past.

Many times, the internal automatic meter will underexpose an image if the image includes background sky.

In filming situations where the contrast is more even, the 2/3's over exposure may not be bothersome (in my opinion) since reversal films latitude can increase in non contrasty situations.
However, the argument for slight underexposure rather than overexposure is also valid because it means the camera's lower f-stop will help produce a potentially sharper image.

One scenario where this 2/3 overexposure will be a problem is when a performer is in the foreground and lit, and the background is darker. The non-SMPTE compliant camera's automatic metering system will naturally want to overexpose the entire image already, and the additional 2/3's overexposure will pretty much overexpose the performer.
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In my opinion I'd rather Kodak compromise by a 1/3 of a stop and notch the Ektachrome film to closer match the non-standard cameras so they only overexpose by 1/3 of a stop rather than 2/3's of a stop.

Since people who own the SMPTE compliant super-8 camera have more options to match the exposure more closely they probably won't have a problem with the resulting 1/3 underexposure because they will be able to override it if necessary.

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I would like to think that someone at Kodak would select a range of non-SMPTE compliant super-8 cameras to test the Ektatchrome 64 film with. Run a cartridge of Ektachrome 64 through each non-SMPTE compliant Super-8 camera and see if the ideal cartridge notch setting needs to be slightly augmented.

How does this altered notching affect the better Super-8 cameras? The affect will be minimal, and ultimately quite easy to override.
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 12:24 PM

Any super8 work I do is destined for TC and I shoot in manual mode with an external light meter.
My guess is that most people on this forum do the same.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 02:09 PM

Any super8 work I do is destined for TC and I shoot in manual mode with an external light meter.
My guess is that most people on this forum do the same.

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That's a good point Dan.

However the goal of my question is to see if it's possible to not render any Super-8 camera autoexposure function inaccurate when it comes to shooting Super-8 Ektachrome 64.

Since the odds are that the Ektachrome 64 probably won't look quite as spectacular as Kodachrome 40, it would be a shame to negate the potential advantage of Ektachrome's additional ASA sensitivity and additional potential latitude from a segment of the Super-8 cameras that don't have the proper cartridge notch sensors, especially if a simple cartridge notch adjustment will help solve the dilemma.
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#4 Patrick Neary

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 02:27 PM

I would like to think that someone at Kodak would select a range of non-SMPTE compliant super-8 cameras to test the Ektatchrome 64 film with.  Run a cartridge of Ektachrome 64 through each non-SMPTE compliant Super-8 camera and see if the ideal cartridge notch setting needs to be slightly augmented.   

How does this altered notching affect the better Super-8 cameras?  The affect will be minimal, and ultimately quite easy to override.

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Hi Alessandro-

"Inaccurate" is sort of endemic to super8 cameras' light meters...having grown up with super-8, i can safely say that the meters of most super8 cameras i ever used were not very carefully calibrated right out of the box when they were brand new- I can't imaging how off most of them must be 20 years later. I would think if you were truly that worried about 1/3 or 2/3 stops in your exposure, you might start metering manually. I remember as a kid craving a camera with manual exposure so as not to rely on the stinker auto-exposure systems of those little cameras (yes, even the good ones)!

Edited by PatrickNeary, 14 May 2005 - 02:27 PM.

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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 02:57 PM

It would be good to at least know what the nine ASA settings are that the more sophisticated Super-8 cameras can read, and then determine which one the "simpler" Super-8 cameras can read and see if there is a compromise.

My idea is probably pointless if the simpler Super-8 cameras only read 25, 40, 100, and 160 ASA's.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 10:01 PM

It would be good to at least know what the nine ASA settings are that the more sophisticated Super-8 cameras can read, and then determine which one the "simpler" Super-8 cameras can read and see if there is a compromise.

My idea is probably pointless if the simpler Super-8 cameras only read 25, 40, 100, and 160 ASA's.

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Buy a copy of the standard from the SMPTE. Or wait until I get back to the office next week and I'll post the recognized Exposure Indices.
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#7 Bob Last

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 10:42 PM

It would be good to at least know what the nine ASA settings are that the more sophisticated Super-8 cameras can read, and then determine which one the "simpler" Super-8 cameras can read and see if there is a compromise.

My idea is probably pointless if the simpler Super-8 cameras only read 25, 40, 100, and 160 ASA's.

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This is not a bad start:

http://lavender.fort...r8notching.html
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 06:43 AM

[quote name='John_P_Pytlak' date='May 14 2005, 11:01 PM']Buy a copy of the standard from the SMPTE.  Or wait until I get back to the office next week and I'll post the recognized Exposure Indices.

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[/quote]

I got up early to get you the information from my office:
[QUOTE]

Here are the film speeds (EI) recognized by the SMPTE Standard:


Daylight (no filter notch) Tungsten (has filter notch) Dimensions X (inches)

10 16 1.000
16 25 0.900
25 40 0.800
40 64 0.700
64 100 0.600
100 160 0.500
160 250 0.400
250 400 0.300
400 640 0.200

Dimension X is distance to the bottom of the speed notch from the centerline of the central locating slot.

From Standard SMPTE 166-2004
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