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THE NEW 8MM WAVE!


Michael Ryan
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Hello All,

 

OK, so I haven't thought about regular 8mm for a very long time. And if you thought that Super-8

was dead....I thought regular 8mm was frozen along with Cro-magnon man.

 

Now, out of the blue, all I see and read about is regular 8mm. It's almost every where. My dentist was

talking about it and this is a guy that believes the world begins and ends with an '07 BMW.

 

What's the deal? Why is this super old format turning us on and turning our heads?

 

I just picked up a Yashica 8T with 3 primes and a YashicaScope anamorphic lens (this was made for this

regular 8 camera). An anamorphic lens that was actually MADE for a home use camera!! How cool is that?

I'll let you guys know later.

 

Just wanted to hear yours thoughts on the big wave which looks a lot like regular 8mm.

 

Mike

Cold in Toronto

 

Read SUPER 8 TODAY www.super8today.com

 

Check out Chantal Kreviazuk's new album GHOST STORIES and her new short film PRETTY BROKEN

which was partly shot on Super-8

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Regular 8 is something of a cottage industry. Kodak pulled the plug on it years ago. Every foot I have ever shot has come from John Schwind. He buy 16mm film, reperfs it, and packs in those cute little tins. As long as there is 16mm film, there can be reg8mm film.

 

The image is a bit smaller, but the camera has a real pressure plate so that is a trade off. Give a little, take a little.

 

I think the real advantage that Reg8 has over Super 8 is that Reg8 cameras work more like real movie cameras. You have to thread the film yourself. And, as most of the decent cameras are manual, you have to learn what an f-stop is and get a lightmeter. I went from my bolex to a K3 and didn't miss a beat.

 

The real downside to regular 8 is that they are almost all spring wound. So every 20 seconds or so you have to wind it up again. Also, there are some really crappy 8mm cameras out there that offer little to no control over the image. You really need to stick with better cameras. (You can still get a decent bolex for 20 or 30 bucks, so why bother with the $5 stuff anyway.)

 

Joe

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Guest Glenn Brady

I own and use two late series Bolex H8 RX cameras, and, while I?m unaware of a great resurgence in the format, I do find the results achieved with these cameras very good, considering the small frame size. Virtually all mechanical, with no electronics to go out of kilter, these cameras, unlike a lot of Super 8 cameras, will always be repairable and, in my own view, always worth repairing. Since they share the same chassis as the H16 RX series cameras, the H8 RX cameras can be fitted with many of the same accessories, including electric motors, intervalometers, matte boxes, and various grips. The availability of such accessories, combined with the camera?s unlimited backwind capability, variable shutter, wide range of speeds, pressure plate, and capacity to accept 100-foot rolls make the Bolex H8 RX camera superior to almost all Super 8 cameras. The H8 RX is heavy, but that?s an advantage insofar as it helps hand-held stability. Although prototype DS8 cameras built to a standard as robust as that of quality 16mm cameras exist ? the Arriflex DS8 and Beaulieu Professional come to mind ? only the Pathé BTL Reflex DS8 camera and Canon DS8 camera approach the build-quality of the Bolex H8 RX among small format cameras actually produced.

 

The weakness of the H8 RX is the exceedingly small and dim reflex viewfinder image. Already pretty bad on the 16mm Bolex cameras, it?s really challenging on the 8mm. If ever there was a camera in need of an integrated video tap (or light magnification technology), this is it (even if it contradicts my stated preference for no electronics). Currently available reflex taps for this camera of which I?m aware are very large and would appear to subject the eyepiece assembly to too much stress. Wouldn?t it be possible to design a compact ?video viewfinder? that could be swapped for the easily removed original viewfinder?

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Thanks guys,

 

Glenn, have you ever had any of your 8mm telecined to miniDV? If so what were the results?

 

If anyone else has had experience with 8mm and telecine results, let me know.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

Today it's just a little warmer in Toronto

 

 

Read SUPER 8 TODAY magazine. www.super8today.com

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Guest Glenn Brady

Hi, Mike

 

I have had some home movies from the 1960s transferred to DVD for distribution to family members and found the copies no worse than the original, which was well worn from being run through a cheap projector those forty years ago. I do not know what equipment the fellow who made the transfers used. Since my education in filmmaking occurred long before the development of the technology you mention, all the transfers I've done personally have been film-to-film (and I had a lot of fun with a Jaakko Kurhi K103 optical printer I owned many years ago).

 

Keep warm.

 

Glenn

Edited by Glenn Brady
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The weakness of the H8 RX is the exceedingly small and dim reflex viewfinder image. Already pretty bad on the 16mm Bolex cameras, it?s really challenging on the 8mm. If ever there was a camera in need of an integrated video tap (or light magnification technology), this is it

 

Sounds like a job for Bernie O'Doherty. His "Laser Brighten" is supposed to double the brightness of your viewfinder/ground glass. Prices aren't crazy either. The web site says $175 for 16mm cams, so your H8 should be comparable.

 

Laser Brighten

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Can someone give me some links to decent Regular 8 sites, please.

 

8mm Film Format Metadirectory

 

SmallFormat magazine

 

Filmshooting

 

These aren't dedicated solely to Regular 8 -- but have great info about it, alongside Super 8, 16, 9.5, etc.

 

Remember that when you are looking for information, Regular 8 can also be called:

- 8mm (no other descriptor was needed originally, because it predated Kodak's Super 8 or Fuji's Single 8)

- Double 8 (refers to the fact that you flip the roll of film over half-way through). (Not to be confused with DS8, or Double Super 8.)

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Can someone give me some links to decent Regular 8 sites, please.

 

I've got a very basic Standard8 site with some links on regarding film stock etc, but been so busy filming haven't had time to add very much. There is a new Standard 8 site coming called Classic8 so watch out for that.

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The Beaulieu MR 8 is a really sweet little camera.Looks like a baby R 16.You can find some high end regular 8 cameras out there for really cheap,so if you're looking for a film toy to play with and not have to invest alot of $$ in hardware,the higher end R8's are usually cheaper than their S8 couterparts.

 

Someone mentioned that R8 would be suitable for expanding the image (and therefore the gate) and coming up with yet another subformat..."ultra 8"??

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Someone mentioned that R8 would be suitable for expanding the image (and therefore the gate) and coming up with yet another subformat..."ultra 8"??

 

Hello Marty,

 

I'm not sure if you were thinking about my original post. The lens I bought (an anamorphic

YashicaScope) has a 1.5 compression ratio. I believe that this give it an aspect ratio that

would fit well on a 16x9 widescreen TV.

 

This would be different than an Ultra 8 camera. I almost bought a Kodak K-100 that was adapted to Ultra 16, but I couldn't find a place that would transfer it.

 

Mike

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...Every foot I have ever shot has come from John Schwind. He buy 16mm film, reperfs it...

 

Actually only some old dude in England is reperfing 16mm to 8mm. John buys it in large quantity from Kodak on long rolls with already 8mm perforations. Reperfing is very critical if having the image hopping up and down on projection is to be avoided.

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Hello Clive,

 

Clive, if you are still out there, I have a question for you.

 

When you are having regular 8 film telecined I would take it that the image quality would be the same

as a Super-8 image that was telecined?

 

You would only notice a difference if the image was projected onto a screen because the Super-8 is larger?

Is this a true statement?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

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Guest Glenn Brady
MarkB, you know your Standard 8 site, (http://www.standard8.org/), at the top of the page there's a row of pictures, what is that cool camera on the far right (the one with the mag on the top).

 

Thanks very much,

Matthew Buick.

 

 

The camera appears to be an Elmo C-300 Tri-Filmatic. Of this amazing instrument, Martin Baumgarten writes:

 

The TRI-FILMATIC actually accepts 4 different magazines encompassing what is basically the 8mm and Super 8mm formats in their various versions (FUJI's Single-8 silent magazine, KODAK's Super 8mm silent Cartridge, Kodak & others' 25ft Double 8mm Film Spool, and sometime later they introduced the Double Super 8mm 100ft Magazine with its own built in drive motors for the camera. Along with the Double Super 8mm Magazine, you needed the optional longer viewfinder tube, and there also is a larger top body carrying handle, and also a custom pistol grip to hold this massive camera more comfortably. It actually isn't much larger than carrying around a Bolex H-8 camera in use. The viewfinder had markings for the Regular 8mm format, and the camera has the following features: electric remote release capability, F-Stop scale in the viewfinder for auto and manual exposure, 9mm - 36mm zoom lens F/1.8, mounting ports for the movie light bracket, the Elmo Deluxe Fader Device (which uses opposing Polarizing filters), and/or the Elmo 3-D Filmmaking Attachment, the running speeds are Single Frame, 18fps & 24fps, there is a small battery meter which shows the power level of both the motor batteries and the light meter batteries. The zoom is powered or manual, and the camera can run in reverse mode; for either double exposure or lap dissolves (using either an aperture fadeout or the Elmo Fader Device), or for filming in reverse. The reverse mode operates ONLY with the FUJI SIngle-8, Double 8mm, and the Double Super 8mm magazine backs. The motor drive and power zoom power pack of 4-Double AA 1.5 volt batteries, is rapidly interchangeable.....for warming the batteries and/or for exchanging it for a fresh one (if you bought an optional second or third extra battery packs!). The system is similar to that of the Agfa Movexoom Super 8mm and the Leicina Double 8mm and several others using a similar small two-piece battery container that has to be screwed apart by the retaining screw. The builtin #85 Daylight conversion filter is moveable via a small chromed removable knob on the operational side (Right) of the camera. The viewfinder tube has diopter correction for eyesight and it's also lockable. The trigger is under a flipup cover to prevent accidental exposure, and also has a cable release port there for remote use. both cameras can be powered by a remote power pack...but this is for the drive motor system only....the meter battery cell is still required to operate the light meter, for BOTH automatic and manual modes. Focusing is via a 45º split-image rangefinder in the reflex system, and minimum focus is approximately 3.75 feet(1.2m) The magazines change quite rapdily, with the exception of the Super 8mm one...in which you first have to open the back of it in order to grab the two release tabs....guess they figured if you're changing backs...you're probably done filming. The camera really is a marvel of engineering! Unfortunately the idea never caught on and these cameras nearly bankrupt Elmo.

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MarkB, you know your Standard 8 site, (http://www.standard8.org/), at the top of the page there's a row of pictures, what is that cool camera on the far right (the one with the mag on the top).

 

Thanks very much,

Matthew Buick.

 

It's an Elmo 8-TL6 comes with a detachable 100ft magazine. Unfortunately mine died so i don't have it anymore. :-(

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...When you are having regular 8 film telecined I would take it that the image quality would be the same

as a Super-8 image that was telecined?...

 

Well, no, only the correct projection area is normally telecined. The 8mm standard projection aperture of .129 x .172" is slightly smaller than the super-8 projected area of .158 x .211" though the difference is not really very great.

 

There might actually be more difference because of the stock being used. Most 8mm was shot on real daylight balance film which had finer grain, with tungsten only used for indoor filming, while all super-8 was normally tungsten balance and not as grainless.

 

I suppose someone with a rinky-dink setup might adjust the magnification for 8mm and throw away more of the super-8 picture.

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Hello Clive (or anyone else that can answer),

 

I'm not so much talking about old film, but shooting the new stocks.

 

Would it be a true statement that if you shot a roll of new 100D film and it was exposed correctly and

shot with a good Super 8 and good regular 8 camera, than the image quality should be about the same

for both? (not projected, but telecined).

 

Mike

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Hello Clive (or anyone else that can answer),

 

I'm not so much talking about old film, but shooting the new stocks.

 

Would it be a true statement that if you shot a roll of new 100D film and it was exposed correctly and

shot with a good Super 8 and good regular 8 camera, than the image quality should be about the same

for both? (not projected, but telecined).

 

Mike

 

I've been working on a short film recently, all shot on 100D regular 8, with a slight over exposure there is hardly any grain and the colours really rock, better than any Kodachrome i would say!

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I've been working on a short film recently, all shot on 100D regular 8, with a slight over exposure there is hardly any grain and the colours really rock, better than any Kodachrome i would say!

 

 

Hello Mark,

 

Is there anything you can tell us about the film? What kind of camera are you shooting with? What's it about? Anywhere that we can see it?

 

 

Mike

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As mentioned above, but in metric, the super 8 projector aperture is 5.36mm across; the standard 8, 4.37mm . All other variables being equal, your lens will have to resolve exactly twice as many lp/mm to match the quality of super 8. It's really no contest.

How on earth did you come up with "exactly twice as many?" The difference is only 22%.

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The horizontal difference is 22%. The difference in total area is about 50%.

 

I followed the formula used to determine the resolving power of the entire system, in relationship to the resolving power of the components. The formula is 1/R = 1/r2 + 1/r3 + 1/r4 +etc.

R is the resolving power of the entire system, and each lower case r is each component.

In this case r1 is the film and r2 is the lens. Let's assume everything else is perfect, equal and constant.

 

So, suppose we shot with a lens which resolves 200 lp/mm, and a film which resolves 100 lp/mm, both being top quality. Applying the above formula the best we can achieve is 67 lp/mm. Multiplying that by the width of super 8 (5.37mm) we get 359 lp total.

 

Now the standard 8 frame is 4.37mm and if we divide 359 by that(359/4.37), we get 82. That's 82 lp/mm our standard 8 system will need to resolve in order to equal super 8 resolved at 67 lp/mm. Since we're using the same film, that only leaves the lens which can improve total performance. That leaves us with this: 1/82 = 1/100 + 1/r2, where r2 is the lens resolution. It turns out r2 = 410!

 

As it turns out, the lens will have to resolve even more than twice, as we step down the quality of our system components. It's really impossible to make up for lack real estate.

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Cool formula. I like this argument. I hate maths, but maths don't lie. People observe and interpert. Data gets filtered. That's why they say statistics lie... And what happens if I'm colour blind or inebriated? The formula calculation isn't over with film, it extends to the telecine or film chain process. I would add some extra (lower case r's) to get the final value of R. Some extra variables:

 

r4=projector system

r5=video standard

r6=camcorder CCD

r7=recording media format

r8=computer hardware

r9=software CODEC's

r10=optical system {r10i + r10ii + r10iii + r10iv} (expensive new & recycled & junk glass)

r11=projection media (screen, inkjet paper, frosted glass, aerial image, etc..)

 

Then what happens? The client wants everything done in HDV, then outputs the finale onto Youtube and mobile (cell) phones.

 

 

Gianni B)

 

 

The horizontal difference is 22%. The difference in total area is about 50%.

 

I followed the formula used to determine the resolving power of the entire system, in relationship to the resolving power of the components. The formula is 1/R = 1/r2 + 1/r3 + 1/r4 +etc.

R is the resolving power of the entire system, and each lower case r is each component.

In this case r1 is the film and r2 is the lens. Let's assume everything else is perfect, equal and constant.

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