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#1 andres victorero

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 08:29 AM

Hi everyone. I´m thinking to purchase the andec presure plate:

http://www.andecfilm...bildstand_e.htm

My question if someone works with this gadget and I want to know if is a good investment.

thanks a lot
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#2 santo

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 10:21 AM

Yes it does work. How effective it is does vary from camera to camera.

Over a year ago, I got really tired of hearing speculation on this thing. There wasn't a single example that anybody had posted on the net. One kook on another board claims he tested it with his various cameras, and that it improved steadiness, then denied it did, then started chopping one of them up for some reason. It was ridiculous, because at the time I was frustrated having worked through maybe a half-dozen cameras and finding real hit and miss registration.

So I decided to simply post an ad for a "used" plate on the popular filmshooting.com board. I mean, a lot of these things had seemed to be sold at that point. If it didn't make any difference, somebody would be willing to sell me their's and take only a slight loss, right? But nobody would.

I ordered one directly from the manufacturer, GK films, that was priced lower than retailers like Andec -- don't know if that's the case still, but if you do a search on google or yahoo you may be able to locate the website by typing in "precission pressure plate" or something like that. Find one that says "GK" on the site.

Anyways, I tested it with a variety of cameras. Worked only so-so on my Nizo S800 which probably needed servicing anyways, and absolutely terrific on the Ziess Moviflex GS8 -- those images on that latter camera were really solid and a marked improvement than without it. I put up some clips on the filmshooting site show what I had gotten.

Not long after I decided to buy a Leicina Special. Not interested in being a camera collector, I sold off most all my other cameras except for a sound Nizo and bought the Special. Having a unique narrow film gate, it produces steadier images than any other super 8 camera since it appears to use the same principle as the Precision Pressure Plate does, only it's built into the design of the camera's gate. As an experiment, I tried the plate anyways, and it actually made the images less steady. I also posted a clip of those results at that website. Since I was completely sold on the Leicina Special as a terrific camera which was -- and is -- all I need in the format, it seemed pointless having an expensive slver of metal hanging around and sold it on Ebay and bought some more extras for the Special with the money.

Anyways, that's the story. It does work pretty well. You won't get pin-registered stability out of super 8 with one, but you will end up with pretty much what you can expect from a Leicina Special that's in good shape or a non-pin registered 16mm cam like a Bolex or something. If nothing else, there will be no more of that annoying focus breathing at any noticeable level that can be shot destroying in super 8. A little movement of the frame-line can be fixed with a deshaker program in post if it happens, but there is nothing you can do with focus breathing.

I'd love to share some links to those clips as I posted them, but the ftp serve on that site has been down for months. I don't use the site anymore. I did drop by there last afternoon/night and found this pretty nice film shot with a pressure plate and a Canon. He explains he used a pressure plate. The shooter was smart and shot outdoors with the Canon and when indoors used about 4000 watts of Halogens and 500 speed film to keep his f-stop small and his images sharp -- the weak point of Canon home movie cameras being the softness you get if you don't keep the f-stop at a 4 or above. Do that and you get some pretty decent imagery.

http://www.filmshoot...pic.php?t=11719

Edited by santo, 24 October 2005 - 10:24 AM.

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#3 andres victorero

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 11:59 AM

thanks a lot for the great answer. I just have bought a Leicina Special, so i´ll forget of the pressure plate, Am I in the correct way?


;)

Edited by andres victorero, 24 October 2005 - 12:01 PM.

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#4 Christian Appelt

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 01:41 PM

More reading & test results:

test results are in (cinematography.com)

stabilizing the super 8 gate (cinematography.com)
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#5 santo

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 03:38 PM

thanks a lot for the great answer. I just have bought a Leicina Special, so i´ll forget of the pressure plate, Am I in the correct way?
;)


I don't want to put down the creator of the plate, because it obviously does work to a certain degree, but as I said it is unneeded in the Leicina Special because it is simply using the same principle as the camera does: less space between the gate and the cart's own plastic "pressure plate" so that the film slides flat and steady. On other cameras, yes, I would use it. I outlined my and another member, Sparky's, findings elsewhere about a year ago here on the Leicina's gate along with an illustration if anybody wanted to do a search for it.

As an aside, there is an interesting article here from the new edition of SMALL FORMAT MAGAZINE with the artist James P. Graham shooting a very cool UK government funded art project with Beaulieus and Leicinas on Stromboli. In the article he also discussed the superior stability of the images from the Leicina. There is even another article in that magazine about the person who devised the gate against Kodak's specs/recommendation.

http://www.atollmedi...mg/preview2.jpg

Keep in mind that Kodak and the SMPTE (have I got those initials right? Probably not.) standard for super 8's design meant maximimum compatibility so some extra clearance was required for the film because not all manufacturers operate at the level of Leitz (if any). It's just far too expensive. In fact, in the typical super 8 camera, the cart's "pressure plate" doesn't exert any pressure on the film. And that's were you get the infamous super 8 focus breathing from -- the film is moving backwards and forwards too freely. But as the exact precision of manufacture required was not an issue for the most expensive super 8 camera built at the time, each gate could be precision machined before Teflon coating was applied to exact specs. With the current Precision Pressure Plate, the manufacturer builds each by hand and it is carefully chrome plated to an exact thickness.

Edited by santo, 24 October 2005 - 03:41 PM.

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#6 jukka sillanpaa

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 03:08 PM

I did drop by there last afternoon/night and found this pretty nice film shot with a pressure plate and a Canon. He explains he used a pressure plate. The shooter was smart and shot outdoors with the Canon and when indoors used about 4000 watts of Halogens and 500 speed film to keep his f-stop small and his images sharp -- the weak point of Canon home movie cameras being the softness you get if you don't keep the f-stop at a 4 or above.



Hi Santo, you're talking about my short film project named "Al Dente". You are right about to use more light to get sharper images, but note: we get only f2.8 indoor, not 4. The secret was we used 150 degree shutter angle, not 220 (XL) one (with it f-stop was 5.6), Canon 1014 XL-S has these both options, with 220 degree shutter angle you won't get as sharp images because of motion blur. Registration with pressure plate and Vision2 stock with my Canon 1014 XL-S is rock steady, I cannot find any differences comparing for example 16 mm cameras (also pin registerd older Arri and my Kinor 2M). Here is a 2 minute silent example (raw edited/letterboxed mpg1 file) of same project:

http://www.sorb-i-to...LENT_TEASER.MPG
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#7 santo

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:12 PM

It looks better in motion. With all that space cropped top and bottom, it would be easy to use something like Virtualdub's deshaker if there were problems, too. As far as I'm concerned the biggest advantage of the pressure plate is the elimination of focus breathing.

Seeing how that thread on that site has gone now that I look at it, I am surprised at the difference in sharpness that the famous (infamous?) eyeball has and how much detail is there compared to your stills. It's a hell of a lot sharper, that's for sure.

Looking at your interior shots, they are considerably softer than I thought the first time I looked at them. But that's probably all the smoke in the room when you did them? It's not really realistic to judge them as a sharpness indicator, I guess.

I like this exterior one, though. Posted Image

Edited by santo, 27 October 2005 - 04:17 PM.

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#8 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 02:42 AM

jukka, while your footage looks fantastic it's *not* rock steady. it's steady enough to look "dead", which is what counts i guess, but if you look at details near the edges you can see that they weave around as they always do in super 8.

/matt
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#9 jukka sillanpaa

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:45 PM

jukka, while your footage looks fantastic it's *not* rock steady. it's steady enough to look "dead", which is what counts i guess, but if you look at details near the edges you can see that they weave around as they always do in super 8.

/matt


OK, that's right, but for my eyes quality is just enough. Anyway I have just watched some old Finnish 35 mm movies (60's and 70's, Jörn Donner's one) from one Finnish TV-channel this week and they weave much more than our Super 8 material. And they put 500 x more money for their projects than we did to this one.

I don't really care much about that thing, the story is the most important for us anyway. And talking about genre (italian western stylish parody) the look is 100%:ly what we wanted and we got it. Our another short film we are just working is shot with DS8 Fomapan with more unsteady image (who said DS8 is the most steady 8 mm format in the world!) , but I don't care either, because that look just fit the movie also perfectly. I'll put examples to my server also from that project when we'll receive films back from Kent Kumpula. For us the look of filmstock is more important than the 100% steadiness, look we are shooting with old 8 mm equipment, that's a fact. If I want total steady image, I'll shoot with my Panasonic DVX100A same time losing that great feeling Super 8 footage always has with all its "negative things/problems".
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#10 santo

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 02:27 PM

It's that "dead" look that matters, I think, too -- or whatever word describes the effect of when a viewer is not distracted by a bouncing and weaving frame that's too "alive" and takes them out of the world you're trying to create while you watch the film. A touch of movement is not so bad, actually, and I'm not worrying about ironing out the final flaws at all in the current things I'm working on.


Your footage is nicely shot and certainly dead enough for anybody. What's that Leone book? SOMETHING ABOUT DEATH? I think that's what it's called. :) Actually I know exactly what it's and am a Spaghetti Western collector, so I took an extra interest in your project. Let me know if you ever have a DVD available of it. I'd be glad to Paypal you.

re: Double Super 8

I've never seen any Double Super 8 that's all that dead displayed anywhere, quite frankly. I've seen probably half a dozen clips over the past couple of years and all of them were as "alive" as a typical super 8 film. I thought it was pretty silly about all that hype with the Double Super 8 guys awhile back on the other site and elsewhere. They got an A for enthusiasm, but it was clear to me that the two guys had probably never shot any of it and they've got this big hype show with a couple of websites and whatnot and they couldn't even post a clip or anything. All they could do was quote a bunch of sources, trying to make a case for people to buy the cameras and invest in some multi-tenthousand dollar order from Kodak. Very cool cameras for double super 8, though. The Canon DS8 is almost enough to make me revert back to Canons if I could actually buy some current generation film stocks for it. ;) Almost...

Edited by santo, 28 October 2005 - 02:28 PM.

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#11 James Grahame

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 11:49 PM

It's that "dead" look that matters, I think, too -- or whatever word describes the effect of when a viewer is not distracted by a bouncing and weaving frame that's too "alive" and takes them out of the world you're trying to create while you watch the film. A touch of movement is not so bad, actually

Interesting conclusion; I concur.

I watched a few film tests (35) this evening and found myself thinking that they looked dangerously close to video - rock steady and (in most) a complete lack of noticeable weave. That's one thing I like about indie productions -- the footage tends to breath a little. It's often the giveaway of a well loved camera nearing the end of its useful lifespan, making it affordable for a less-than-well-funded production.
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#12 Justin Lovell

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 01:13 PM

Interesting conclusion; I concur.

I watched a few film tests (35) this evening and found myself thinking that they looked dangerously close to video - rock steady and (in most) a complete lack of noticeable weave. That's one thing I like about indie productions -- the footage tends to breath a little. It's often the giveaway of a well loved camera nearing the end of its useful lifespan, making it affordable for a less-than-well-funded production.



Have you any comparisons of the canon 1014 with the neg stock without the pressure plate?

In my experience, the gate in the canon provides a very stable image without the pressure plate (shooting neg stock), and I'm not sure if it would be worth purchasing it. I've also read rumor of some negative results from using the plate with the 1014xls, as well as santos mentioned with the leicna.

I guess you found the normal performance of the 1014xls to be unsatisfactory with negative stocks, or did you 'buy into' the pressure plate without any real comparisons?

curious.
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#13 santo

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 02:18 PM

as well as santos mentioned with the leicna.


The name is Santo.
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#14 Justin Lovell

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 02:47 PM

The name is Santo.



Funny i've made that mistake in the past before. My appologies M'lord, won't happen again.
heh
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#15 santo

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 03:09 PM

That Lord Conrad guy's really fake, but he seems to be easily outsmarting all the mentally retarded members of that forum -- at my "expense". I was a little ticked at first, but now I think he's hilarious in spite of that.
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#16 Justin Lovell

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 04:10 PM

That Lord Conrad guy's really fake, but he seems to be easily outsmarting all the mentally retarded members of that forum -- at my "expense". I was a little ticked at first, but now I think he's hilarious in spite of that.

I get a kick out of how serious everyone is taking him.

It's like the 'new kid' that comes to an elementary school. Do you pick on him, or do you become friends with him?

I think he's making that choice for us.
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#17 James Grahame

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 11:46 PM

Have you any comparisons of the canon 1014 with the neg stock without the pressure plate?

I just shot some 200T with my 1014 and no pressure plate, actually. There's so much disinformation floating around that I decided to find things out the hard way and put my equipment through a few trials by fire. Besides, in the end it boils down to how each individual camera responds -- some might not pull as strongly as others, or the film gate might be slightly misaligned. I'd rather know what teases the best footage out of my gear, then I don't have to think about it again until something breaks.

Will try to remember to post some examples. I'll wait to see what Captain Howdy's friend thinks of the Debenham transfer. Seems like a good low cost way to get my recent shoots Ranked.
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#18 Justin Lovell

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 08:57 AM

I just shot some 200T with my 1014 and no pressure plate, actually. There's so much disinformation floating around that I decided to find things out the hard way and put my equipment through a few trials by fire. Besides, in the end it boils down to how each individual camera responds -- some might not pull as strongly as others, or the film gate might be slightly misaligned. I'd rather know what teases the best footage out of my gear, then I don't have to think about it again until something breaks.

Will try to remember to post some examples. I'll wait to see what Captain Howdy's friend thinks of the Debenham transfer. Seems like a good low cost way to get my recent shoots Ranked.



Reflex, haven't seen you around in a while. It's getting a little ridiculous on filmshooting.com lately. Reminds me of the changeover that occured as WWF started to become a big time soap opera with WWE...

Will be good to see how your tests come out.
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