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New to Super8 (I've got a few Qs)


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#1 Jason_Streff

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 04:08 PM

I've been doing video production for sometime now, and I have just recently decided to shoot my next short in super8. I've always wanted to shoot on film and this is the most economical way for a poor college student like me to do so.

I recently purchased two super8 cameras on ebay for about $15 combined (very cheap!). They are both Canons (518 and 310XL). When I bought them I didn't realize that there were super 8 cameras that actually shot 24fps. Now I'm beginning to rethink the 18fps cameras I have. I know there's a huge difference between 16 and super8, but I want it to look as much like 16mm as possible. If I do end up shooting with the 18fps cameras, is it going to look really choppy? Also will I have troubles with that frame rate when I transfer it to video for editing? If so, can someone recomend a good cheap camera ($50 or less) that will do 24fps.

My second issue deals with processing. I know that I can send it directly to dwaynes in Kansas for $9 a roll. However, I've heard that you can take it to walmart and just write "K-14 Processing for Super 8 Film" on their little drop-box envelopes and it only cost $4.88 (or something really cheap) per roll. I think they just send it to Dwaynes then. Can anyone confirm or deny this rumor?

My last issue deals with sound. Before I've always ran my mic straight into the XLR jacks on my XL1. However, you don't record the sound onto the film with super8. Will everything sync up fine if I record into a minidisc or ipod?

I know I've asked a bunch of questions, and probably stupid ones at that. I've done a fair amount of research, but I'd like some expert opinions from people who've already gone through the process before. I'd appreciate any help!
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#2 filmo

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:24 PM

I'm going to defer on the fps issue to someone with a lot of experience transferring super 8 for digital NLE. I dont' think 24fps is as important as you think it is, unless you want to blow up your super 8 to 16 using an optical printer.

There are lots of cameras with 24fps; however they tend to be the higher end of each product line.

IThere are a lot of sleeper cameras out there that will produce good results, with the right amount of work. Look at Elmo or Minolta--prices aren't as high as the Canons or Nikons or the European stuff.

As far as Wal-Mart, YES IT IS TRUE. I've had almost 7 rolls processed this summer. I write "Kodachrome process K-14 super 8mm movie film" on the bottom of the envelope in the special instructions box. It costs 4.80 and takes about 7 days. They send it to Dwyane's.

Quality seems no better or worse than when I used to use Kodak premium processing., but some people have reported results.

As far as sound, there have been several posts on how to do this without crystal synch.

Edited by filmo, 22 June 2005 - 05:26 PM.

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#3 Nate Downes

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:43 PM

Also check out the SM and XL series Chinons as well. I own 3 of them, and the picture I get is fantastic, at least as good as the results from a Canon or Nikon.

18fps is aok so long as you're not doing optical blowup I've found.

As for sound, check the archives, lots of solutions on here, including using a minidisc recorder.
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#4 Jason_Streff

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 06:05 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate it. I'll check the archives for my sound questions too.
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#5 Daniel Henriquez Ilic

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 01:31 AM

If you plan to shoot super8 for video finalization, and your camera only run at 18fps, you can ask the colorist (considering film to tape transfer operation in the post-workflow), to transfer your footage at 18 fps. 18fps would be the frame speed of the film actually loaded into the telecine machine while doing the transfer operation). You would get normal speed of the movement onto a 25 fps (PAL) or 30 fps (NTSC NDF) video signal, as the output video board of the telecine machine will replicate some film frames twice in order to map the 18 fps onto the PAL or NTSC video frame rate structure.

Doing the transfer @ 18 fps, you would get normal speed (if you have shot @ 18 fps), but if the camera doesn't have cristal sync... then the image may drift in relation to cristal sync audio.
Not a real problem with short takes, and for long takes, you there are useful tools in audio post-production, like Time Compress / Time Expand that can succesfully help you to post-syncronize the audio your hace recorded through on-field recorder device.

Edited by Daniel Henriquez Ilic, 23 June 2005 - 01:36 AM.

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#6 John Hyde

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:49 AM

If you decide to shoot with one of your cameras at 18fps, I would recommend trying the canon 310. If you got a good one results may be surprising with the Kodak vision 2 films.

I doubt you will find a a camera any better than what you have for under $50.00. I would just use them at 18fps. But, consider testing the negative film if you intend to transfer it to video.
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#7 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:13 PM

Unless I am mistaken, the 310 only has ann EE lock for locking the aperture. Personally I would use the 518. They are sharp reliable cameras with full manual exposure control.

Re: 18 fps, not a problem under most situations, as others have said, but re: sound, be aware that with many film-to-tape transfer set-ups, you cannot transfer at 18 - it must be ramped up to 20 fps to avoid flicker. Maybe there are scanners out there that do true 18fps to video, but look into it first. If shooting sound at 18, and then transferring at 20, good sync is near impossible. I have done it, but mainly in situations where we were re-recording all the dialogue anyway, so it was just a reference, but as an out of sync reference it created a lot of extra work for the sound team.

Regardless of the filming speed, without crystal sync I recommend keeping the takes short and consider a tail slate as well as a head slate to make it easier to measure (and correct) speed aberrations.

Rick
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#8 Kenny Suleimanagich

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 08:35 PM

theres super8 cameras that record sound on film thats magnetically striped. you can get the film at pro8 www.pro8.com
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#9 Nate Downes

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 09:18 PM

noone makes mag film now
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#10 Kenny Suleimanagich

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 02:30 PM

yeah but there is people that stripe film
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:13 PM

Who honestly wants to deal with recording sound onto the Super-8 film? You've got that whole problem of the sound being at a different spot on the film than the image, making cutting a nightmare unless you do it digitally, and then you might as well record separate sound on a better format.
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