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rewinding carts?


Liam Dale
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Hey all,

 

Wondering if you can rewind super-8 cartridges to do multiple exposures?

 

Super-8 cartridges at most can backwind around 180 frames, perhaps slightly more.

 

Single-8 can rewind the entire cartridge. Checkout Single-8.com and see if they can assist you with getting the right camera.

 

For certain kind of situations you could built two sets next to each other and by doing long time exposures you can actually shoot the first scene in single frame, shut off the lights to the first set, zoom into the second set, turn on a different set of lights, expose that, then repeat the process for each frame.

 

In essence you are doing multiple exposures, but you don't have to deal with rewinding the film.

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The supply and takeup spools are coaxial and there is a single driving spindle, as you can see. It cannot be made to rotate backwards without breaking a ratchet inside the cartridge.

If you tape over the spindle to prevent the camera turning it, there is enough space inside the cart for about 3 feet of film to bunch up. It can then be rewound with a backwinder, which is basically a box with a sprocket wheel, and then re-exposed. This trick only really works near the start of a cartridge when there is enough space for the film.

As Alessandro says, you can only get unlimited backwind if you can drive the takeup and supply spools separately, as in Single-8.

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The supply and takeup spools are coaxial and there is a single driving spindle, as you can see. It cannot be made to rotate backwards without breaking a ratchet inside the cartridge.

There is no Supply Spool per se; there is no co-axle and there is no ratchet! The Supply "Coil" of Film just sits there, and nicely unwinds as the Sprocket Arm pulls the Film down. The Take-up Spool winds up the Film being pushed down from the Film Gate. Thus, to run backwards the Supply Coil would not get wound back up, and would quickly clog up.

 

Liam, if Fuji's Single-8 uses the same Sprocket Holes as Super8, then this is what you need for your situation. Single-8's reverse feature is nice, but is also more expensive than Super8 Carts. When I get a Webcam, I'll post pictures of what the Super8 Cartridge looks like inside.

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Terry, that would be great. Would it be possible to shoot a cart, open and remove the film, wind it back up and place the newly rolled film back in the cart for a second run. Would probably be more work than it's worth, I guess.

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Now that I think of it, there is a way you can rewind a S8 Cart without opening it. All you would have to do is cut a small hole (about 1 Square Centimetre) in the center of the Front Side. You would then grab the END of the Filmstrip with tweezers or needle pliers, and turn it counter-clockwise as the Clutch on the back would be turned clockwise. (You could also do this in two stages by first pulling the Film out through the Film Gate opening, and then winding it in by turning the tweezers. This two stage approach would probably be easier.) This of course would have to be done in the dark -- perhaps a really tiny amount of distant light would be safe. When done, you would cover over the hole with black electrical tape.

 

Just to explain the inside of the Cartridge, the Film "End" just sits unattached at the center of the Supply Coil. When operating, the whole Supply Coil turns as the Film gets pulled down by the Sprocket Arm. There are two plastic moulds (which form the outer dimensions of a Reel) which hold both the Supply and Take-up Coils of Film in place as they turn. The center of the Take-up Film Coil is attached to a Spool (connected to the external Clutch) which winds up the Take-up Film as it comes down. There is no physical problem with turning the Clutch backwards in order to rewind the Cart. However, you would desire to have the Pressure Plate (in the Film Gate opening) pushed back so that the Film can pass through easily. Otherwise, the Plate could scratch the Film if it's not pushed back. I'd suggest using a rectangular strip of tin metal (like a tuna can lid) cut about 1 centimetre wide by about 4 cm long to push in the Pressure Plate. You would bend it in the shape of a square 'U' -- with the open space being about a cm wide so that 8mm film can pass through. You would then slip the metal U behind the Film and in front of the Plate. Use Tape to cover over any sharp edges which could scratch the Film. The bottom of the U would push in the Plate. You could Tape it to the Cart to hold it in place, or you could use a second person to push it in for you. This all might sound a bit tricky, but you don't want to risk scratching the Film. Having taken apart an old Cart, I can state that this would work for rewinding it.

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There is no Supply Spool per se; there is no co-axle and there is no ratchet! The Supply "Coil" of Film just sits there, and nicely unwinds as the Sprocket Arm pulls the Film down. The Take-up Spool winds up the Film being pushed down from the Film Gate. Thus, to run backwards the Supply Coil would not get wound back up, and would quickly clog up.

 

Liam, if Fuji's Single-8 uses the same Sprocket Holes as Super8, then this is what you need for your situation. Single-8's reverse feature is nice, but is also more expensive than Super8 Carts. When I get a Webcam, I'll post pictures of what the Super8 Cartridge looks like inside.

 

Here's one. http://www.super8.nl/images/s8_systeem.gif

That's what I call coaxial.

The ratchet is there to keep the takeup spool tight.

You could backwind in the way you describe- if you could cut a hole in the cartridge without damaging the film or introducing bits of plastic- or you could just buy a backwinder. They turn up on ebay-here's one, the same make as mine. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Craven-Super8-Backwi...1QQcmdZViewItem

Don't forget to tape the drive spindle first. Or you could just push the film back with a toothpick.

 

>perhaps a really tiny amount of distant light would be safe

NO level of light is safe for panchromatic film. If you can see it, so can the film.

 

>There is no physical problem with turning the Clutch backwards in order to rewind the Cart.

Not once you've broken the ratchet. You then run the risk of a film jam and skinching of the loose roll.

Perhaps the cartridge you're using already has a broken ratchet.

 

If you've actually backwound and shot double exposures this way, fine. Post the footage and we can see how it turned out. Then I'll post mine, shot 30 years ago, with a taped spindle and a backwinder and no messing about.

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The ratchet is there to keep the takeup spool tight.

You could backwind in the way you describe- if you could cut a hole in the cartridge without damaging the film or introducing bits of plastic- or you could just buy a backwinder.

If you want to call that little plastic arm a Ratchet, I suppose you can. It's too weak to prevent the Clutch from being turned backwards, and afterwards it will still turn forwards. When I post the pictures, you'll be able to see the Cartridge inside for yourself. It would be easier to cut a larger hole, and just turn the whole Film Coil with your finger. It depends on how much rewinding he wants to do. Is he thinking of 10 or 20 feet? It would be much easier to just use a DS8 Camera or Fuji's Straight8 for double exposure work. If a Lab had a S8 Contact Printer, then you could duplicate separate filmstrips onto one.

You're right about bits of plastic -- a sharp razor-type knife may limit this.

 

NO level of light is safe for panchromatic film. If you can see it, so can the film.

I know. You would need a barrier on the table to prevent any distant light from hitting the film on the table. If no light hits the film, then you're safe. That's why I said a "really tiny amount" -- just for seeing other objects in the room -- not to see the film.

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Or you could just tape the spindle and use a backwinder. And not fog, scratch, skinch or knife the film.

Or have it jam because: 1) you've got sweat from your fingers on the edge of the supply reel; 2) the takeup spool is loose because you've broken the ratchet.

Or mistime the effect because you've guessed the amount of film you pushed back instead of counting the number of frames with the knob on the backwinder.

Harry Garlick solved this problem 40 years ago. You don't need to fiddle about.

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Or you could just tape the spindle and use a backwinder. And not fog, scratch, skinch or knife the film.

Or have it jam because: 1) you've got sweat from your fingers on the edge of the supply reel; 2) the takeup spool is loose because you've broken the ratchet.

Or mistime the effect because you've guessed the amount of film you pushed back instead of counting the number of frames with the knob on the backwinder.

Harry Garlick solved this problem 40 years ago. You don't need to fiddle about.

You're right about the potential problems which is why I would first recommend using Fuji's Single-8 for major rewinding. You said that this rewind device only works for about 3 feet. What if Liam wants to rewind more than 3 feet?

Also, are you sure that your device works at the beginning of a Cartridge? I can't see how that device would work until about 5 to 10 feet of film has gone through because there would be no room in the Supply Chamber to push the film back into. It would jam up right away if the Supply Chamber is almost full.

 

I've thought about that ratchet / arm, and I cannot see any other purpose for it except to prevent the Takeup Spool from accidentally unwinding on a new Cart before it's loaded in a Camera. The ratchet arm enables Kodak to wrap a bare minimum of Film around the Spool without it coming loose. Otherwise, the Film would naturally unwind. However, that ratchet serves no purpose for the Cart's operation in a Camera. The Clutch on the Camera will not turn at all once it's shut off.

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This isn't something I've just thought up- the Craven Backwinder has been around for years. Here are some pictures. http://www.mondofoto.com/encyclopedia/encyclopedia-68.html

 

I'm quite sure it works, beginning, middle or end, as no doubt are its thousands of users over the decades, and your inability to see how doesn't stop it working. Obviously there's more room when some of the film has run, but then, if it hadn't run, there'd be nothing to backwind, would there? It makes its own space. There are limitations, but part of the fun of Super-8, surely, is working within them.

 

The OP asked about backwinding Super-8. Telling him he needs to use Single-8 is about as helpful as the chap who, when asked for directions, said 'Well, i wouldn't start from here'.

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This isn't something I've just thought up- the Craven Backwinder has been around for years.

Do you have enough experience with this Backwinder to say that it won't cause kinks or wrinkles in the Film, nor damage the Sprocket Holes? The more Film you force back into the Supply Chamber, the greater the possibility of causing kinks, and the more force required to push it back which could warp the Sprocket Holes.

 

With the aid of Infrared Light & Goggles to see what you're doing, the rewind technique I propose is reasonably easy, and without problems of kinking and warping. My Website has a section with Links to businesses who sell Infrared Filters and Goggles / Monoculars.

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There's no reasoning with you, is there? Someone asks for advice. First you suggest he buys a new camera. Then you tell him to spend- how much?- on infra-red lights and goggles, for heaven's sake- then he has to cut a hole in his cartridges. Or he could buy a second-hand backwinder for a few pounds.

 

Experience? Once and for all, it's not just me. It's been in use for years. You can't stop it working just by thinking about it. Surely your efforts would be better directed at film problems which haven't been solved, rather than trying to invent outlandish schemes for ones which have.

 

Post your footage (the whole roll, please, including the scratches and edge fogging) and I'll do likewise. I don't have to prove that backwinders work- you have to prove they don't. Sorry, but I think you need to put up or shut up this time.

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But that's really the 'I wouldn't start from here' argument.

One of the joys of Super-8 used to be that you could make a film for the price of the stock. No video transfer, no post-production beyond a viewer and splicer, everything straight out of the box. Making your own superimposed titles, mattes, multiple exposures and so on is part of the fun.

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There's no reasoning with you, is there? Someone asks for advice. First you suggest he buys a new camera. Then you tell him to spend- how much?- on infra-red lights and goggles, for heaven's sake- then he has to cut a hole in his cartridges. Or he could buy a second-hand backwinder for a few pounds.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Mark, take a deep breath and calm down. ;) :huh: You were the one who said that you cannot rewind more than about 3 feet of Film. As I asked before, what if Liam wants to rewind more than 3 feet? I've simply proposed a technique to rewind (not cram backwards) any amount of Film. I just came up with this idea for Liam, and so I haven't had the opportunity to try it out. Robert's suggestion is definitely easier than rewinding / backwinding. I assume that you can rent Single-8 Cameras.

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Hey all,

 

Wondering if you can rewind super-8 cartridges to do multiple exposures?

 

The OP asked about backwinding Super-8. Telling him he needs to use Single-8 is about as helpful as the chap who, when asked for directions, said 'Well, i wouldn't start from here'.

 

I don't think you realize how offensive your answer is. I gave Liam basic information about the limits of backwinding Super-8 AND I mentioned Single-8 as being a better alternative if one wants to backwind more than 180 frames OR wants better registration.

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Sorry, I wasn't referring to you but to you-know-who. But the OP WAS asking about Super-8. On the day I first posted there was a backwinder listed on ebay, as I pointed out.

Cutting open a cartridge is hardly a 'method'. Backwinders are built for the job.

I was just trying to be helpful.

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Sorry, I wasn't referring to you but to you-know-who. But the OP WAS asking about Super-8. On the day I first posted there was a backwinder listed on ebay, as I pointed out.

Cutting open a cartridge is hardly a 'method'. Backwinders are built for the job.

I was just trying to be helpful.

 

lol, you-know-who, that's a name I never see on a forum but would probably get noticed.

 

I only brought it up because I was the first to answer and suggest single-8 as an additional option.

 

EWA also made a super-8 backwinder.

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Hello to all of you super 8 junkies out there.

Just a little word on rewinding carts experience.

With super 8 I guess it all depends on the cassette itself and I am

starting to believe that those Ektachrome 64T are somehow

thicker emulsion and cheaper produced therefore more difficult to rewind

and that those Vision 200T and 500T beeing thinner are easier to rewind

but also desing for a more professional use. I just shot a roll

of Ekta 64T fresh from Kodak Canada Montreal with my Nizo Pro

completely serviced in May 2007 thus in perfect working order

and a dissolve shot at 24fps after at least 20 secs of pre-roll

just jammed the cassette. Had to stop shooting and all. I processed the

film myself and then...I could'nt get those first 20 secs out of the

cassette for processing, they were jammed in there but I did not know

until I finished processing realising I was missing 6 feet or so ....

I openned the cartridge ( I process by pulling out the film from

the cartridge until it stops completely) and realised the mess.

I did a lot of cross fades with Tri-X without any problem and

so with Vision 2. Maybe a bad batch of Ekta ? I will do more tests

for the sake of it.

If you want to finish on video with super 8 maybe a dissolve

or a fade in/out should be done on Avid or FCP.

Of course exposing a cross dissolve on film is a thrill.

Good luck !

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That's unlucky. I used to be able to backwind 200 frames or so and never had a jam- I even did a four-way split-screen once. That's three lots of rewinding. But that was K40, of course.

Alessandro, sorry for not paying attention. Being British of course I went for the Craven backwinder. It was cheaper and, being a light-trapped box which completely enclosed the cartridge, it seemed a better bet than the Ewa which was open at the back. One always suspected that the Ewa might leak light.

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That's unlucky. I used to be able to backwind 200 frames or so and never had a jam- I even did a four-way split-screen once. That's three lots of rewinding. But that was K40, of course.

Alessandro, sorry for not paying attention. Being British of course I went for the Craven backwinder. It was cheaper and, being a light-trapped box which completely enclosed the cartridge, it seemed a better bet than the Ewa which was open at the back. One always suspected that the Ewa might leak light.

 

Backwinding to me seemed to have a weirdness about it. Even if you got the backwiinding correct, it seems to me one would want to dissolve out of a backwound double exposed shot otherwise the effect would be jarring.

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