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Super 8 Basics in 2016


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#1 JamesMatthew

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 08:30 PM

Hello all!

Hoping to find some advice here. Newbie with filmmaking.

I just picked up a Canon 512 XL and some brand new Kodak TRI-X 7266 rolls that i ordered from B&H. The camera looks and feels outstanding in overall condition/operation.

A few things confuse me in my early research, one of them being the filter use in relation to film in relation to lighting. I've attached the film specs and the camera instructions.. (for some reason this forum is rotating the image. just click on it and it will open straight )

I would assume that this "new" style of film can be used in either daylight or artificial light, but how do i go about choosing to enable/disable the filter? What's the approach here? 

I would like to do both outdoor and indoor lighting. I would also like to be filming fire at night outside and also if possible some heavily candlelit scenes inside in an otherwise dark room at night.

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Edited by JamesMatthew, 03 August 2016 - 08:38 PM.

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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:25 PM

Welcome to the forum!

The film you have is Tri-X black and white reversal which is 200 ISO/ASA. This is a non-color stock, so things like tungsten vs daylight mean pretty much nothing. As a side note, reversal film like what you have is designed for projecting, which is great for someone just starting out, saves you from having to do a video transfer to see your footage.

Color film is balanced for either tungsten or daylight, which is why most cameras have a little slide switch on the side that filter properly. The super 8 cartridge itself has identifying notches built in, which trigger switches inside the camera itself to determine things like daylight vs tungsten automatically. This is what the manual is discussing in the second picture you posted.

I'm pretty sure the camera automatically takes care of ISO/ASA and exposure for sure. All you need to do is throw the cartridge in and go shoot.

That particular stock isn't going to be sensitive enough for shooting subjects around a camp fire unfortunately, it really does need bright sunlight to shoot with because it has such a shallow latitude. It will have no problem capturing the fire itself, but if you wish to see anyone or anything around the fire, the drop off will probably be too much.

Here is some technical stuff on that particular stock that you may learn some things from: http://motion.kodak....ta/H-1-7266.pdf
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:28 PM

That film stock being black and white, it is not going to matter that much. B&W film is more sensitive to blue daylight, hence the difference in ISO as apposed to artificial tungsten light. I don't remember, but there may be a little notch cut out of the cartridge on the side that goes into the camera.  If there is no notch, leave it alone all is as it should be. If there is a notch, there should be a standard quarter 20 thread on the top of the camera. Often cameras come with a key that thread into this hole, depressing a lever that will dissenguage the internal filter. This is what you want to do and leave as a default from now on. The camera is over thirty years old and most likely the internal filter is made out of gelatin, which means it is probably quite degraded by now. You want to remove it from the optical path. 


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#4 JamesMatthew

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:45 PM

Thank you guys for your help.

I will go ahead and disable the filter since it's so easy, so as to avoid the age degradation having any effect on the image. I only have plans to shoot in black and white. But in the future, if i were to choose color, is there such as thing as hardware filters to insert into the path somewhere? So that i could be using a new/better condition one?

 

I do like the idea of being to watch the footage after just processing has taken place, but it's also seeming like a bit of a waste of time and money to have to then send back the same rolls to the company for the scanning/telecline.

 

I'm not quite familiar enough with the cartridges to say whether or not there is a notch, and i looked in the film compartment in the camera for something that gets triggered but i didn't see anything. I could be missing it though. 

 

As for shooting in low light, i picked out this camera for the purpose of getting abstract low light footage. The lens has a larger aperture than most super 8 cameras. I completely don't expect crisp clear results or even intelligible images. But i do want to try getting direct shots of fire and other flame type things. It doesn't matter much how clear it is. I'm just hoping the flames will be bright and the surrounding areas will be dark! :)


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#5 JamesMatthew

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 12:13 PM

As for the 512 XL's particular auto exposure system, i have a question about setting manual...
I've seen that on some cameras there is a "lock" function for when the camera has already automatically set the best exposure and don't want the iris to change during a shot. On the 512 XL there is no "lock" but there is manual adjustment which obviously stays in place. Would I be correct in assuming I can first have the camera auto adjust, then read the meter in the viewfinder, then pull the manual switch/pot out to manual mode and adjust until the indicator in viewfinder is at the same spot? Then i simply do a shot and the iris won't adjust?
I would like to do shots with light as the actual subject, so when it goes dark i wouldn't want the exposure to change and defeat the purpose.
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