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AGFA ST8.D Orthochromatic Sound Film


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#1 Jack Honeycutt

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

Folks....

I play around with vintage optical sound cameras & equipment like the Auricon for example.

I was reading a AGFA data sheet on a B&W film stock they sell that I *believe* is used to record optical sound. It is sold in 35mm & 16mm. Here is the data sheet:

http://www.agfa.com/...pdf/st8d_en.pdf

This film is not used to record images other than sound is it? In other words, I could not use it to film to say, film my family & friends. Right?

Has anyone played around with this film stock?

Thanks in advance.

jack
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#2 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 11:42 AM

I didn't reply thinking that someone more knowledegable would.

But it's been done. I think most (all ?) of a French feature in the 90's was shot on this stock.

I *don't* think it's an easy proposition. I'm sure the EI is single digit.

If you want midtones, forget it.

An extreme approach.

-Sam
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#3 Jack Honeycutt

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 12:05 PM

I didn't reply thinking that someone more knowledegable would.
But it's been done. I think most (all ?) of a French feature in the 90's was shot on this stock.
I *don't* think it's an easy proposition. I'm sure the EI is single digit.
If you want midtones, forget it.
An extreme approach.
-Sam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks Sam. I'll keep digging for more info about it. I appreciate the feedback.

jack
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#4 L K Keerthi Basu

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 12:20 PM

Dear Jack,

First of all the main problem in exposing the sound negative is the differ in the perforation pitch, they are not curved pitch. They are very high contrast films so their stright line portion is very steap, from this we are understood that the exposure is very critical. We need lot of lights to expose this so daylight is the good source due to the very very fine grain emulsion.
Since it is a orthocromatic emulsion we loose the RED color images as black. I have exposed ST 8D and 2378E of Kodak. These films are very useful in title making, I think that they are better then B/W print films in sharpe.
These films are made for the SOUND recording so they are desinged only for this purpose. When we have to experiment we can do ,but we have to sacrifice some usual image formation. A different image is produced.

L.K.Keerthi basu

Edited by l.k.keerthibasu, 21 May 2005 - 12:25 PM.

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#5 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:55 PM

I'll try and think of or find out the name of the film I'm thinking of. S16 blowup to 35 IIRC.

I know people who have run 7363 through Bolexes. I'd think an Aaton wd tolerate the pitch diference pretty well...

-Sam

Edited by SamWells, 21 May 2005 - 09:56 PM.

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#6 Robert Hughes

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 12:53 AM

I've shot image with Agfa ST8 ortho sound film, which is the predecessor to ST8-D. I expose it for around ASA 12 and develop it as negative with D76 (it should therefore process as reversal around ASA 25).

Being orthochromatic stock, it is completely insensitive to red - stop signs and US flag stripes are black. It comes out rather contrasty, with very dense highlight areas in negative (as you'd expect for optical sound film). Also, the lack of antihalation in the film causes loss of detail in the highlights, which gives you a dreamy, fog filter effect. And the grain is completely unnoticable.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 22 May 2005 - 12:56 AM.

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#7 Jack Honeycutt

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 07:35 AM

I've shot image with Agfa ST8 ortho sound film, which is the predecessor to ST8-D. I expose it for around ASA 12 and develop it as negative with D76 (it should therefore process as reversal around ASA 25).

Being orthochromatic stock, it is completely insensitive to red - stop signs and US flag stripes are black. It comes out rather contrasty, with very dense highlight areas in negative (as you'd expect for optical sound film). Also, the lack of antihalation in the film causes loss of detail in the highlights, which gives you a dreamy, fog filter effect. And the grain is completely unnoticable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Robert....

Thanks for the good feedback.

Are you saying that if I wanted to shoot it & process it as a reversal stock I use the ASA of 25, outside, with no filter?

I'll see what my local film lab says about D76 processing (I use Forde in Seattle Washington). I had not thought about it until I read the post by L.K. Keerthi basu, but it appears that Kodak has an equivalent optical sound stock; perhaps 2378E?? I will look into it. The Agfa ST8-D is only available in 2,000ft (624 M) lengths which is much more than I need to experement with.

I wonder if I can do any home processing? I don't know anything about D76 processing. That is new to me.

jack
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#8 Jack Honeycutt

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 07:37 AM

I'll try and think of or find out the name of the film I'm thinking of. S16 blowup to 35 IIRC.

I know people who have run 7363 through Bolexes. I'd think an Aaton wd tolerate the pitch diference pretty well...

-Sam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks Sam. I would like to see what this looks like.

jack
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#9 L K Keerthi Basu

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 09:25 AM

I wonder if I can do any home processing? I don't know anything about D76 processing. That is new to me.

jack


Dear Jack,

First take different exposure test and developing tests if you are going to try this in home processing. Just shoot some with your Still camera it is a best way to practice i think. Developing with D76 is a good Idea and develop it for different time so you can achive its actual density. Actually when you develop this with D97 you get a very contrasty image.

L.K.Keerthibasu
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#10 Michael Carter

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 08:38 PM

Hi,

7363 has been tried and found great to use for line work in animaiton. It should be just as great as a sound print film if processed for maximum resolution and contrast, ie hot and fast. I thought that it sould clean up sound recordings made with a Auricon. The white areas would be clear and the black aread totally black thus clean sound. For pictures, however, I wish you could see my films. They look so nice projected. Now, neg could be made to look just as contrasty.

Michael
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#11 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 09:05 PM

How are you drying long lengths of film when you process at home?
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 11:26 PM

Hey Jack:
Maybe you could find a developer even better for this stock than D-76. I remember from my high school chemistry project that D-23 was very low-contrast and fine-grained for a developer, which would maybe counteract the harsh, contrasty nature of this stock, although there might be a further speed penalty. If you're shooting it as reversal, even a contrasty developer will be fine because the bleach carries away all of the contrasty silver developed by the first D-19 stage and leaves behind the finer grained stuff anyway. If I were you, I'd consider doing negatives first before playing around with reversal. Negatives might not have as fine of grain as reversal, but they have more latitude (which is what you would desperateely need with this film) and more possibilities with the different develpers available for black and white, which number in the HUNDREDS. Go negative and invert on the computer or make prints. You have more information to work and experiment with.

Regards.
~Karl Borowski
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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 12:41 PM

I was recently asking a similar question in another thread (with regard to print stock in camera) apparently panchromatic film came in during the 30's sometime, and films before then were orthochromatic like this one! So the colours might be similar to those in early silent films like "the cabinet of dr caligari" and "nosferatu".

Personally I think that sounds like lots of fun, but then I probably have very strange ideas about cinema.

I assume you are thinking of running this stuff in the Auricon, which is a nice idea! :)
Not only might it improve the sound quality but I bet you could shoot a really interesting film with optical sound and the silent film look. Might be very atmospheric if done right! ;)

love

Freya
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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 12:56 PM

Dear Jack,

  First of all the main problem in exposing the sound negative is the differ in the perforation pitch, they are not curved pitch.  They are very high contrast films so their stright line portion is very steap, from this we are understood that the exposure is very critical.  We need lot of lights to expose this so daylight is the good source due to the very very fine grain emulsion.
 
  L.K.Keerthi basu

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The Agfa PDF list the perforation pitch as being 7605 which is short pitch as used in cameras normally. I'm not sure what you mean by curved pitch tho, so paerhaps you mean there is some other kind of problem??

I'm definitely not a perf expert! ;)

love

Freya
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#15 Sam Wells

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 02:23 PM

The Agfa PDF list the perforation pitch as being 7605 which is short pitch as used in cameras normally.
I'm definitely not a perf expert! ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No but you did the homework, and now that I think of it - makes sense that it would be.

(U can tell I have NOT tried this at home :)

-Sam
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#16 Jack Honeycutt

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 02:36 PM

I was recently asking a similar question in another thread (with regard to print stock in camera) apparently panchromatic film came in during the 30's sometime, and films before then were orthochromatic like this one! So the colours might be similar to those in early silent films like "the cabinet of dr caligari" and "nosferatu".

Personally I think that sounds like lots of fun, but then I probably have very strange ideas about cinema.

I assume you are thinking of running this stuff in the Auricon, which is a nice idea! :)
Not only might it improve the sound quality but I bet you could shoot a really interesting film with optical sound and the silent film look. Might be very atmospheric if done right! ;)

love

Freya

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have sent Agfa email, but nothing yet. I would sure like to play with this stock.

jack
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#17 Robert Hughes

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 11:23 PM

If you have any post production houses or labs in your area that create optical tracks, you might be able to get a short length of optical stock for free. They typically load the 2000' spools and stop around 100' early rather than go off the end of the spool and perhaps miss some of the track. The short ends aren't worth the bother of reusing, sometimes they toss it, or use it as leader.

PS I was running the Agfa ST8 on a B&H Filmo, the perforation pitch was no problem. (I can't run any on my Auricon right now, it's on the workbench awaiting new belts). I've a friend who let his kids shoot silent with the ortho sound film, then laid an optical track on prior to development; he said it worked fine.
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#18 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 02:08 PM

If you have any post production houses or labs in your area that create optical tracks, you might be able to get a short length of optical stock for free. They typically load the 2000' spools and stop around 100' early rather than go off the end of the spool and perhaps miss some of the track. The short ends aren't worth the bother of reusing, sometimes they toss it, or use it as leader.

PS I was running the Agfa ST8 on a B&H Filmo, the perforation pitch was no problem. (I can't run any on my Auricon right now, it's on the workbench awaiting new belts). I've a friend who let his kids shoot silent with the ortho sound film, then laid an optical track on prior to development; he said it worked fine.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


35mm sound recording film is usually perforated KS-1866, so the perforation pitch (distance between perfs) is okay for camera original, but the KS perforation will not fit tightly on a BH registration pin.

16mm sound recording film is usually perforated 1R-2994, just like 16mm camera film.

Kodak makes both a panchromatic sound recording film (2374/3374) and a orthochromatic film (2378/3378).

http://www.kodak.com....4.10.4.4&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com....4.10.4.6&lc=en
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 02:51 PM

I agree with Rob. Since you're on the West Coast, you're in the same neck of the woods as a lot of MP labs. There's no need to get such large lenghts of film, especially if you're just playing around with it now. Of course, if you're dead set on the Agfa product as opposed to Kodak or Fuji's MP offerings, then it'd be harder to find a lab with the same stock. I'm sure that all of their sound track stocks are very similar behaviorally though. It's not like there's Vision 2 technology now used for soundtracks or anything like that.

Regards.
~Karl
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