Anyone Doing Super 8 Movies?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Alex Hawley, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    This is all I need - being intrigued by another genre of photography. But here goes anyway:

    Anyone doing Super 8 movies? If so, how about a quick discussion on pros/cons, cameras & equipment, resources for learning.

    It looks like fun and a challenge.
     
  2. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    You'll find a lot of good info at cinematography.com, they have a Super 8 section there. I've also found there is a huge amount of info all over the 'net, as long as you have some specific bit of info you want to find out about it's easy to search for it with good results.
    I've been shooting Super 8 & Single 8 (Fuji's version of Super 8) for a year or so. I've been trying all sorts of film stock from Kodachrome to B&W, colour reversal & colour neg. Results are generally pleasing although the biggest problem I've seen is image jumping. Not sure if that's a camera issue or film cartridge.
    You're lucky if you're in the USA as there are plenty of places you can deal with for stock, processing & telecine if you require that.
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Thanks Goldie. What's being used for sound recording these days?
     
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I only do silent stuff, I don't think anyone uses Super 8 for sound anymore.
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The last Super 8 I shot was in 1972, I still have my Canon movie camera.
     
  6. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Well, I shot my first roll of super-8 just a few weeks ago...
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=YaE0Rt7vsnM
    Shot with a Nikon Super-Zoom 8 I bought at a garage sale a few years ago, only just got around to it. Here in Australia, a cartridge of film is $24, plus $35 for processing, plus $20 for telecine, plus postage tossed in here and there. So you're looking at about $80-$100, Australian, for 3 minutes of footage. I'll do it again, and have another roll half finished, but the cost is inhibitive on my budget.
     
  7. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    I have a Super8 camera (Braun Nizo) but I've not done anything with it in anger yet... It does have a purpose - I intend to record some film when I do my photographic rail trip across Europe/Russia, however said trip is currently on indefinite credit-crunch related hold.


    The one thing that will make me use it more in the meantime is if I can find an 8mm film processing tank. Super8 processing is outrageously expensive, and I'm not minded to 'experiment' at current prices. I might try the old 'smash the cartridge with a hammer, stuff the film in an ordinary tank, and hope' approach to processing for the timebeing...
     
  8. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I have a Canon super-8 camera, and I shot a few B/W rolls, several years ago, while on a weekend road trip around New Mexico. I also have a projector; seeing fresh-from-the-lab film projected on the silver screen is a real treat. I need to get a few more rolls and get out with it again.

    Part of the technique of super-8 that's different from shooting video is that I am conscious of the 3 minute length to each cartridge; meaning that scenes are much crisper, more intentionally thought out than with video, where you just "hose the crowd down." I'm also aware of the possibility of montage with super-8, which is an assemblage of short, concise scenes that interrelate to tell a story. And all without sound. Challenging but fun, for sure.

    ~Joe
     
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  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been doing a bit with a Beaulieu 4008. Super-8 sound film is no longer made, so if you want to do live sound, you need to record it separately and sync it. I haven't gotten that far yet, but there are some sites with good info about recording sound, like http://www.super8sync.com/English/home_e.html .

    Filmshooting.com is kind of the APUG of Super-8, with lots of info about small gauge film making, but in fact, a lot of the new interest in Super-8 is connected to the possibilities made available through telecine and digital editing. You can still do it the old fashioned way, though, and there are people who do. Also look at www.onsuper8.org for lots of info and links to other Super-8 sites.

    Here's a site with some info on processing your own Super-8-- http://www.city-net.com/~fodder/hand/index.html

    There's more out there. I've got my Lomo film tank, but haven't processed my own yet. Reversal chemistry I can manage, but loading the thing looks like a challenge.
     
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  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I have an old Revere88 camera, projector and the family movies. I always thought it would be neat to get into this at some point. Sean, could we get a new forum up and running for film movies and gear and processing and such? Or is this better for other sites?
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    We've thought of setting up a cine forum. I think when the issue has come up in the past, we've decided that it's pretty much a hybrid topic once you scratch the surface, and there are a few other really good forums for this.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi alex

    for a little while i was having fun shooting
    8mm, not super 8 .. if you go the double run
    ( shoot it one way, then the 2nd side and when i gets processed
    they slit the 16mm film down the middle and splice it together )
    prepfilm sells ( or used to sell ) the film. if you shoot color, and have
    a walmart or sams club near you, it is cheep as dirt to have it processed.
    it is a ton of fun shooting moving pictures, instead of stills, but
    i had the hardest time remembering to treat the film like CHROME film,
    instead of negative film. needlesstosay, i shot a lot of over or underexposed
    frames :smile:
    maybe you won't have that trouble, since you shoot a lot of polaroid :smile:
    i agree with ic-racer, the bolex cameras are pretty amazing!
    and you can get a bh8 (or an h8 /h8 rex!) for not too much money, and d (or is it c) mount
    lenses are not too expensive either :smile:

    a couple more links
    http://home.pacbell.net/mnyberg/super8mm/8mm/basics.htm
    http://lavender.fortunecity.com/lavender/569/

    martin baumgarten is another person
    who processes film + fun stuff like that ... his website seems like it is down
    but i think he is still around in plattsburgh photo services ...

    good luck!

    john
     
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  15. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Oof... Not arguing that you should set up a cine forum (I agree there are other places) but the idea that it's a 'hybrid' topic seems nuts. When I do get down to using my Nizo properly it'll be film, developed chemically, hopefully by me, edited with a knife and tape, to be viewed using a projector against a wall.

    Much like the rest of my E6 shooting.

    What's hybrid about that?!
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that Super-8 can be 100% analog, and I'm doing it that way so far, but if you look at the other forums that discuss Super-8, you'll see that the main reason that people are taking up Super-8 at all is because of the possibilities of combining the look of film with the convenience of digital editing and digital sound sync. Particularly with the new Vision 2 color neg stocks, it's just too expensive for many independent film makers to shoot color neg, print dailies, edit the dailies using equipment they'll probably have to rent, sync them with the neg, and edit the neg for the final print, and for some formats, like Pro8 widescreen, which is a modified Super-8 format, I don't know that its even possible to go from neg to print without Telecine in between. Of course one can shoot reversal film, and that's what I've been shooting, but it's considered something of a beginner's medium, in part because you can't keep the film clean if you're always editing and projecting the original, and also because neg has more latitude as we all know.

    We could try to have an all analogue cine forum, but I think it's just going to take too much policing to keep it that way, because as soon as the question is opened, and new participants join the forum, the big questions are about the interaction between film and digital. On the other hand, there's no resistance to all analogue film making on forums like filmshooting.com or to questions about film processing, splicing and projection, so it's probably best to leave the better part of this discussion to the forums where it's already going well.
     
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Movie making requires team work and I am a loner so I never got around to do any movies. I bought a Canon 1024XL-S at a garage sale in 1989 for $110, shot a roll, never saw it as I never got a projector. I recently sold the camera for $350.
     
  18. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    This isn't technical so much as aesthetic but I think it may be of help for those who want to explore Super-8 further...

    Check out the works of Guy Maddin - a true original and artist from my home city of Winnipeg. His latest release is out on DVD now and it's called My Winnipeg. But his earlier works -- Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Careful, and The Saddest Music in the World among the best examples -- have a weird beauty about them and have a patched-together hand-made quality that goes well with Super-8.

    His 'look' and techniques could be a good inspiration for anyone here.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    By the way, for those who are curious about E-6 stocks for Super-8, here are a couple of frame grabs. The first is Ektachrome E-100D, cut down and respooled for Super-8, available in the U.S. from John Schwind (who generally has good prices on Super-8 film). The second is Velvia 50D, cut down and respooled for Super-8 from Spectra Film and Video. I should have used a warming filter for the Velvia in the shadows there, but the film is very saturated and fine grained. I'm not a Velvia fan in larger formats, but for Super-8 for projection it's excellent.
     

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  20. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    That's what I would do I think. There's that legendary Tri-X appeal.

    The hybrid process seems the most logical at this point. One could go back and splice the film later after the getting a satisfactory digital edit, but like David said, I think it would be hard to keep the master clean and pristine.

    What's the spiel on cameras? Seems like the high-end Canons are favored. What about the Super 8 Bolexes? How did they fair?
     
  21. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    It seems to me that I have some Kodachrome in this format. I'd have to look and see how old it is. Let me know if you are interested, Alex.
     
  22. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Thanks for the offer Diane. I'm in the early exploratory phase right now and haven't committed myself to doing it. I'll keep you in mind though. Thanks!
     
  23. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The Bolex H8s modified for Super 8 have the advantage of the larger image, without the disadvantages of the plastic cartridge. They need "Double Super 8" film, though.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I am looking to get into 8mm. My work has several Nizos in right now. We just sold a Heliomatic 8 Focovario, and we have four others with fixed lenses. We got 12 cameras to sell on consignment, and we have already sold eight of them, including a Dekko, two Zeisses (one straight 8 and one super 8), and a Fairchild in addition to the Nizos. I don't know if I should snap up one of the remaining Nizos, however, given that they are straight 8 and not super 8. I would actually prefer to shoot straight 8, since I really find the older cameras to be much more fun, but I have to research film and processing availability first. I would like to shoot Plus-X, Tri-X, 64T, 500T, and Fuji F64D (if it is available in 8mm). The only straight 8 film Freestyle has is Foma 100R.
     
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  25. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I have to disagree with a cine forum being hybrid in nature. If film needs to be scanned to share it then thats no different to scanning a print to share in the APUG Gallery.

    If some footage is very basically edited digitally then thats no different to cropping or resizing for the APUG gallery.

    Lets face it, the film industry needs people burning film and the amount of tri-x passing through a super8 per minute is shocking :D:D:D

    Add the Cine forum or at least start a social group with forums enabled. (I need the excuse to get my nizo out of the box!!)
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    An analogue cine social group sounds like a good idea. I'll start it.