Suggestions/Help on getting into film movies
I've been a lurker on APUG for some time learning to use a vintage 35mm camera (and enjoying all of it). The other day I got the thought of shooting some film movies but am having a hard time finding internet resources/forums for a beginner. Can anyone give me some links to where to go OR venture to answer some basic questions;
1. Which vintage film movie camera can you still buy/have film developed for?
2. I do NOT want it transferred to digital
3. Sound is not required
I appreciate any help or pointers!
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Although I haven't used it for a while, I love my Bolex H8. It's a true professional quality camera that takes Double 8mm film, which is available here: http://www.cameraspro.com/filmstock.html
There are also some Double Super 8 cameras to be had, and Foma makes the film. It's available through Freestyle.
Kodak still makes Super 8 films, and there are a lot of cameras for that also.
I would recommend either the Bolex or a Bell & Howell camera.
1: anything that doesn't use double 8 film. double 8 is 50 or 100 foot rolls of 16mm film that are recorded on, the flipped over, and cut apart in processing and spliced to make one strip of 8mm. super 8 is still around. standard 16mm is still around.
no sound? bolex, beaulieu are more pricey, and somewhat nicer 16mm cameras, i believe both have modelsc apable of outputting a sync signal, so you can do sound later.
want a cheap, silent camera? try to find an old soviet K3. should on,y be a couple hundred bucks. spring driven, but are supposed to be really nice.
here, this website discusses cheap russian cameras. http://konvas.org/
Where are you located? I use Bolex Dual-8 Reflex equipment. This is the best way to go as it uses a metal film gate and it is a 'prism' SLR. Film costs with Dual-8 are one-quarter the cost of 16mm. I use reversal B&W film from "International Film, John Schwind" and I get it processed and split at "Prep Film Services." I use glue splices for editing. I project with the Bolex M8 projector.
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I'm in Dubuque and have been looking at antique stores and watching Ebay. I'm looking for specific models/years to keep an eye out for and jump on when I find one. I'm looking to start cheap on the camera end and move up later if I enjoy/get good at it.
Your source on double 8 is incorrect. Kodak still makes double-8mm film, and there are several retailers that sell it, both in color and black and white reversal.
Originally Posted by Discoman
"Panic not my child, the Great Yellow Father has your hand"--Larry Dressler
couple of good sites if you want to try super8
you can buy the film directly from kodak - none of the films support sound i don't think
finding a developer is hard for me - the closest is either seattle or toronto
you can develop it yourself, although i've never tried
i am in the same boat as bruce -
i used to use a bolex h8 ( and at one point a h16 )
prep film is where i got all my film. i used to drop it off
at wally's where it went to fuji labs. i believe prep sends it to fuji as well ...
might be a goodplace to poke around ...
good luck !
Gear is the easy part. If you want to do Super 8 -- as has been mentioned, S8 film and processing are still available and S8 gives a much larger image than 8/8 -- buy and study Lenny Lipton's The Super 8 Book. AFAIK it is the only reasonably complete guide to S8 cameras and projectors. One caveat, it was published in 1975, so says nothing about the last most wonderful S8 equipment.
Don't be seduced by Beaulieu cameras as I was. They're beautiful artifacts and are very capable but they're fragile and maintenance is very expensive. I haven't tried as many S8 cameras as Lipton did, so can't comment on many. Of the few I've used, nothing has shot better than the Canon 310XL within its limitations (18 fps, guess focus, 8.5-25.5 mm). My Beaulieus, with their high ratio Schneider zooms, don't come close. But they and other reasonably capable cameras can do things that are impossible with the 310XL.
Telling a story with film is the hard part. The Super 8 Book isn't much help with that. The most useful book for the absolute beginner I used to be that I've come across is David Cheshire's The Book of Movie Photography. Not quite as strong as Lipton on gear but very good, at least for me, on the logic of assembling shots into scenes and scenes into a larger story.
I once showed a 66 minute epic on collecting fish in Costa Rica to an ichthyology class at the University of Western Ontario. Afterwards one of the students told me he'd just taken a course on film and complimented me on my editing. All thanks to Cheshire, his book taught me how to edit.
Last edited by Dan Fromm; 06-08-2011 at 07:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.