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All but giving up Super 8


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#1 Scot McPhie

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 06:03 AM

I've decided I'm going to all but get out of Super 8 - Kodak's apathy toward fixing the cart problem has convinced me of it's uselessness for serious work - so hence I'm giving it away to cocerntrate on 16mm.

I've just put my crystal synched 4008 on eBay -- I'll probably shoot a bit of 64t with a nice Chinon I've got - but I'm going to get rid of everything else over the next few weeks.

It's a shame because I was planning to do another feature late next year on Super 8 - it'll either be video or 16mm now -- hopefully 16 - but it would have suited Super 8 really well - but what can you do - I got really badly burnt by the faulty carts last time and even though Kodak admitted to the problem then they now seem to be denying it - despite being given numerous samples etc.

Scot
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 09:14 AM

I've decided I'm going to all but get out of Super 8 - Kodak's apathy toward fixing the cart problem has convinced me of it's uselessness for serious work - so hence I'm giving it away to cocerntrate on 16mm.

I've just put my crystal synched 4008 on eBay -- I'll probably shoot a bit of 64t with a nice Chinon I've got - but I'm going to get rid of everything else over the next few weeks.

It's a shame because I was planning to do another feature late next year on Super 8 - it'll either be video or 16mm now -- hopefully 16 - but it would have suited Super 8 really well - but what can you do - I got really badly burnt by the faulty carts last time and even though Kodak admitted to the problem then they now seem to be denying it - despite being given numerous samples etc.

Scot

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The problems you are encountering may be entirely different than those of a few years ago. Current internal testing by our QC and manufacturing folks in France is not finding a problem. That's why samples are needed for evaluation.

If you have a cartridge that sticks or jams, return it for evaluation (don't run the film through). If a cartridge doesn't sound right, such that you think the film is jittering, stop and return it. At the very least, provide samples of film showing the jitter you are seeing.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:33 AM

Hi,

I had a cart jam up on me the first (and last!) time I shot super-8, last year. It fed through OK but didn't take up properly, leaving the film floating about inside. Is this what we're talking about?

Phil
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:46 AM

Hi,

I had a cart jam up on me the first (and last!) time I shot super-8, last year. It fed through OK but didn't take up properly, leaving the film floating about inside. Is this what we're talking about?

Phil

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If this happens, return the cartridge for evaluation.
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#5 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:53 PM

Maybe your jitter problem is on Ebay now? My take on the whole jitter problem is that it has to be a camera issue. If it was a cart issue, I would have experienced it at some point too, but I haven't. I've seen it on other peoples footage, but NEVER on mine. My guess is that i'm either extremely lucky, or it's because my cameras are new old stock In fact, the only jitters I've ever had were on 16mm at 64fps with my R16.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:08 PM

Maybe your jitter problem is on Ebay now? My take on the whole jitter problem is that it has to be a camera issue. If it was a cart issue, I would have experienced it at some point too, but I haven't. I've seen it on other peoples footage, but NEVER on mine. My guess is that i'm either extremely lucky, or it's because my cameras are new old stock In fact, the only jitters I've ever had were on 16mm at 64fps with my R16.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Reading user comments on the Internet groups, I also find a few users have many more problems than others. It may be due to camera differences, or it may just be that some users have higher expectations of performance from a product that was designed as a mass-produced consumer format.

Jitter and jamming issues require samples to evaluate, because there often is a complex interaction between the camera and cartridge. EITHER could be the cause of the problem, or perhaps both could be. This is especially the case with Super-8, since the cartridge is very involved in transporting the film and in providing the backing plate.

Again, if you have a cartridge jam or the camera transport sound different than normal, stop and return it for evaluation before you try to run the film all the way through. If you have processed film showing the jitter, please provide it for evaluation and perforation measurement.
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#7 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:18 PM

Hi John,
How important is the takeup tension applied to the spool by the camera in ensuring even advance of the film? Was there a specification for it? All super8 cameras use a slipping clutch to allow for the varying diameter of the take up spool and if this relied on grease that had maybe dried up after 30 years, could that be causing too much tension and steadiness problems? I know this happens in Bolex R8 cameras which have a similar sort of hairpin-bend dynamic brake to stop the film being dragged through by the take up drive.

Mark
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:31 PM

Hi John,
How important is the takeup tension applied to the spool by the camera in ensuring even advance of the film? Was there a specification for it? All super8 cameras use a slipping clutch to allow for the varying diameter of the take up spool and if this relied on grease that had maybe dried up after 30 years, could that be causing too much tension and steadiness problems? I know this happens in Bolex R8 cameras which have a similar sort of hairpin-bend dynamic brake to stop the film being dragged through by the take up drive.

Mark

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Good point! :) It's very important, and the camera drive torque and speed ratio is specifically mentioned in the SMPTE Standard.

Here is just a bit of what SMPTE 159.1-2001 says:

4 Take-up core drive
4.1 The direction of rotation for the core shall be
clockwise when viewed from the core side of the
cartridge.
4.2 Af ter disengagement of any core antibackup
device, the cartridge shall operate with
a nominal torque of 0.85 ounce-force inch with
a permissible range of 0.5 ozf×in to 1.5 ozf×in
(6.0 ´ 10-3 newton meters with a permissible
range of 3.5 ´ 10-3 N×m to 10.6 ´ 10-3 N×m) as
applied to the cartridge (see annex A.2)....
Annex A (informative)
Additional data
A.1 In designing the camera driver, consideration should be
given to the fact that tooth-on-tooth engagement of the core
lug on the camera driver pin is a possibility.
A.2 It is recommended that the core be tendency driven (by
some form of slip-drive mechanism) with a drive ratio of at
least one turn of the core for every fifteen strokes of the
pull-down claw.


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#9 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:36 PM

But no actual spec of a torque figure?
Is it possible to get a copy of the super8 spec SMPTE document?

Mark


Good point!  It's very important, and the camera drive torque and speed ratio is specifically mentioned in the SMPTE Standard, that was developed in the 1960's.

Here is just a bit of what SMPTE 159.1-2001 says:

Annex A (informative)
Additional data
A.1 In designing the camera driver, consideration should be
given to the fact that tooth-on-tooth engagement of the core
lug on the camera driver pin is a possibility.
A.2 It is recommended that the core be tendency driven (by
some form of slip-drive mechanism) with a drive ratio of at
least one turn of the core for every fifteen strokes of the
pull-down claw.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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#10 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:38 PM

But no actual spec of a torque figure?
Is it possible to get a copy of the super8 spec SMPTE document?

Mark

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SMPTE Standards are copyrighted, so you need to purchase a copy here:

http://www.smpte.org...tore/standards/
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#11 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:50 PM

John, I just had a look through a list of SMPTE standards and there seem to be many for 8mm type S. There seem to be many with titles like "16-mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S, (1-3)" and the same for 35mm. Do you know what thats about?

Mark
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#12 A.Oliver

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 01:52 PM

Maybe your jitter problem is on Ebay now? My take on the whole jitter problem is that it has to be a camera issue. If it was a cart issue, I would have experienced it at some point too, but I haven't. I've seen it on other peoples footage, but NEVER on mine. My guess is that i'm either extremely lucky, or it's because my cameras are new old stock In fact, the only jitters I've ever had were on 16mm at 64fps with my R16.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Excellent point, about the jitter now on ebay!. I own a beaulieu 4008 and 7008 ( dont use the 4008 now ). i have noticed that the beaulieu gates are rough as old boots, not smooth like the leicina and canon cams i have. Will a rough gate cause jitter, it surely cannot allow for smooth film transit. Recently used the same batch of k40 thru the leicina special and beaulieu 7008, the 7008 images are very jumpy compared to the special, so much so the 7008 is off for another service/checking, 6 months and ten film after its last service. I do wonder if this jitter thing is to do with the camera in some way or form. Yes there was that dodgy batch of cartridges, i wonder if indeed poor kodak have been taking the blame for our dodgy cameras. Andy
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#13 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 02:29 PM

Hi Andy,
My B2008 has a dull looking gate, not plated like many, or smooth like the coated Leicina, but is polished where it counts- on the rails that the film runs against. It had black spots on those when I first got it and I had to be quite firm with a wooden tooth pick and isopropanol to remove these deposits- in fact I'm not sure if they were emulsion build ups or oxidation of the aluminium gate, but they are smoothed away now! I now always check the gate of new cameras under a microscope and burnish it if necessary with a tooth pick to make sure its spotless. I'm sure it could cause problems if it isn't, and thats apart from scratching! Could you check the feel of the take up drive dog of your B7008 before you send it for servicing- is it stiffer than your other cameras?

Mark

Recently used the same batch of k40 thru the leicina special and beaulieu 7008, the 7008 images are very jumpy compared to the special, so much so the 7008 is off for another service/checking, 6 months and ten film after its last service. I do wonder if this jitter thing is to do with the camera in some way or form. Yes there was that dodgy batch of cartridges, i wonder if indeed poor kodak have been taking the blame for our dodgy cameras. Andy

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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 02:46 PM

I would suggest that filmmakers learn how to advance the super-8 film cartridge spindle a couple of turns and see if the film moves smoothly or not. Until I hear otherwise, this could be an excellent way to know before you shoot if a film cartridge has binding issues or not.

The spindle needs to turn so that the film travels south. If the film cartridge spindle turns smoothly, that is a very good sign, in my opinon. If the film cartridge spindle is hard to turn, it's possible the cartridge may end up jittering.

The biggest problem is no one that I know besides me does this simple evaluation so when they get their film back jittery they can't even say how smoothly the film moved when they turned the spindle beforehand.
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#15 Scot McPhie

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:14 PM

It's not the camera because we found after a while we could recognise the sound of the weird carts and we'd pull them out and put another in and it would be fine - why would a freshly serviced camera run one cart badly and the next fine? Kodak analysed the film and agreed it wasn't the camera as well. If you've never had this jitter problem good luck to you - I hope your luck continues.

About advancing the film - it would have been good to try it - we did actually on one that jammed altogether and it made no difference - couldn't unjam it -- but anyway I just don't want to take the risk and something this risky. We didn't try it on one that sounded weird but was not jammed.

I agree with John more samples being sent it would be productive - but for me from people's reports the problem still occurs and I don't want to be the one bitten by it again

Scot
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#16 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:20 PM

John Pytlak quoted:

4.2 Af ter disengagement of any core antibackup
device, the cartridge shall operate with
a nominal torque of 0.85 ounce-force inch with
a permissible range of 0.5 ozf×in to 1.5 ozf×in
(6.0 ´ 10-3 newton meters with a permissible
range of 3.5 ´ 10-3 N×m to 10.6 ´ 10-3 N×m) as
applied to the cartridge (see annex A.2)....


Thats wierd- was that there before? So Alex should be able to test his carts to see if they fit the spec, and reject any that require more than 1.5ozf.in- oh but only after removing the ratchet! Sounds quite low considering the film path. But they don't specify the slipping force of the drive- perhaps its a non-issue?

Mark
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#17 sparky

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:36 PM

Hi John,
I'd like to purchase that SMPTE doc and the 159.2-2001 but not if they're just short documents (for that money!) can you give me a hint at what I'd get if I bought them? (how many pages are they?)

Mark
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 11:16 PM

About advancing the film - it would have been good to try it - we did actually on one that jammed altogether and it made no difference - couldn't unjam it -- but anyway I just don't want to take the risk and something this risky. We didn't try it on one that sounded weird but was not jammed.

Scot

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I didn't say advancing the film via the film cartridge spindle would necessarily help the film move smoother or have less jitter when you go to actually shoot the cartridge. I said that advancing the film cartridge spindle BEFORE shooting with the cartridge would have revealed how easy the film was or was not advancing. If the film was advancing smoothly and easily, then I believe the odds are very much in your favor that there would have been littel or no jitttering.

Even if no one told you to try this technique, it takes all of a few seconds to do, and considering that there is no film magazine to check for light leaks, it's really not asking a lot to check the spindle. MOST people don't advance the spindle to check to see if the film is binding, but dang it, it's really not that outrageous to consider doing it, it's about the only thing you can check, so why not check it?

Plus, a little film advancement via the film cartridge spindle helps reduce the chance of getting dust or dirt on your first take shot with that cartridge. Also, didn't you wait until you had shot half of your film before getting any results back, most people would tell you that too is a mistake.

My theory about advancing the film cartridge spindle may or may not be valid (time will tell), it's still a work in progress. It is logical to assume that if the film advances easily when one turns the film cartridge spindle, the odds are probably better the film won't bind. Binding film will most likely lead to jitter.

Why not exhibit some personal frustration at not thinking of advancing the film cartridge spindle rather than blaming Kodak.
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#19 Scot McPhie

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 08:17 AM

We're having the same conversation on 2 boards

I pretty much answered it on the other one - we did tests they came back fine - the film was brand new, the camera was serviced no one had ever heard of jitter, we thought we'd be right - we saw no reason to turn the spindle. Perhaps we should have.

Even if we had though why work in a medium where you have to vet brand new stock first to see if it is okay - I'd rather work in a medium where you don't have to do that - there's enough to worry about when you're making a feature with out having to worry about re-ordering etc.

I blame Kodak because they studied it and concluded it was their fault.

Scot

Edited by Scotness, 14 September 2005 - 08:19 AM.

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#20 santo

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 08:33 AM

At the very least, provide samples of film showing the jitter you are seeing.


John,

I have a roll of jittery film which has been processed. During shooting there was a clicking sound that was audible. I also have a short clip of video tape transfer of the footage showing the frame lines and sprocket hole. As it is the very first bad one out of about 100 carts I had shot with my Leicina Special which normally displays terrific registration (and last, luckily, as I've shot 52 carts in the past few months since without problem). The sample footage shows damage to the sprocket holes which coincides to the shifting frameline -- appearing to indicate that the cart was trying to jam, but the camera pulled it through. Likely, unfortunately for evaluation, some of the damage to the sprockets might also have been added by my projector as it pulled the film through when I intitially tried to watch it. But the timing to the shifting frame line and the stretched sprocket damage certainly appears to be connected and can't be mistaken and naturally had to occur in camera.

Which is the best address to send my roll of film and perhaps a VHS dub of what it looks like? Let me know and I'll mail it off tomorrow. I'm in Toronto, but would be pleased to mail it anywhere.

Edited by santo, 14 September 2005 - 08:39 AM.

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