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super8 colour neg processing


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#1 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 09:09 AM

There is no neg lab in australia that currently offers super8 neg processing. Just how difficult would it be for a lab set up for 16mm and 35mm to offer super8 neg processing. Same chemicals. And its not an issue of sprockets. I believe it is something to do with ajusting tension ... but I don't know how much of an obstacle that is. Could it at least be attempted on a 16mm machine? I wonder if it is an issue of the film breaking during processing.
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 09:37 AM

There is no neg lab in australia that currently offers super8 neg processing. Just how difficult would it be for a lab set up for 16mm and 35mm to offer super8 neg processing. Same chemicals. And its not an issue of sprockets. I believe it is something to do with ajusting tension ... but I don't know how much of an obstacle that is. Could it at least be attempted on a 16mm machine? I wonder if it is an issue of the film breaking during processing.


The machine used would need to be "tendency" drive, using soft touch tires. Any rollers would need to be properly undercut for 8mm film. Unless the machine is purpose-built for 8mm, a film twist could easily occur on rollers wider than the film. Likewise, tensions need to be carefully controlled so as to not break the film or splices.
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#3 Dominic Case

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 05:44 PM

John is right about needing tendency drive machines (ie not sprocket drive). But even tendency drive machines have a number of guiding rollers that are cut to 35mm and 16mm: these would need to be changed. Also, the tendency drive rollers have a dimple structure to support the film, and 8mm film would not be properly supported unless the dimples were a lot smaller.There would be a strong risk of twists, scratches and other misfortunes.

Unfortunately, I don't believe there is enough super-8 negative work in Australia to make it a viable proposition for any of the commercial laboratories to set up a dedicated machine with completely different rollers, tension settings, replenisher rates etc. It's one of the penalties of being a relatively small population relatively far away from other populations. But someone with a passion and a spare processing machine may always prove me wrong!
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