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2-perf Super8 Anamorphic


Lasse Roedtnes
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There aren't only 50 cameras witout the Kodak pressure plate issues. There are loads of single eight cameras out there on the second hand market for those who are worried about that. There is also the frame master add-on that has been kicking about for the past decade.

 

16mm has 50 years of development but for some magic reason Super8 never benefitted from any of those changes according to this post. Funny that given they are both take the same film stocks just cut down to different sizes! However for super8 it's a different rule and it remains unchanged for 50 years according to this post.

 

That's a point I was trying to make when the Logmar guys were still developing their camera. Some guys here thought adding registration pin and an more traditional pressure plate would somewhat magically improve the image quality. Of course when first sample shot was released, all could see it looks the same as the best super 8 videos we've already seen. Because the quality of a film motion picture all comes down to filmstock and lens. What really is the super 8 look ? An ultra cropped 35mm film with a 1960-70's zoom lens.

I think the picture instability we observe in super 8 does not come from the films sprocket holes or cameras but from our digital era. Films always looked to me rock steady when projected the "old way", via a film projector, but it's when we transfer it digitally that problems show.

 

Ohh and Single 8 is not Super 8. They are two entirely different formats, only comparable by width.

 

As explained above, They ARE the same format. Only the cartridge design differs.

Edited by Tom Chabbat
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Pro8 made EXR available including 50D.

Yes, a speciality lab, a specialty format.

 

Well they use exactly the same film stock, same projectors etc. Only the way it is packaged is different.

I guess I have no idea what format you're talking about.

 

8mm is a 16mm camera format, spooled on 50 foot reels that you run through the camera twice. The perf is twice the size, the frame is much smaller. Standard eight cameras were mostly wind up and even though companies experimented with sound on film, it never took off like Super 8's magnetic sound on film. Yes, the stock numbers were the same, but the format itself, specification wise, is nothing like super 8.

 

 

The point I was making is that all through this thread you have ttalked about the shortcomings of Super 8 but havn't held 16mm to the same standard of scrutiny.

16mm cameras are larger, heavier and more than 2x the cost of super 8. I don't know why 16mm dropped the magnetic sound format in the early 80's, but they did. So modern 16mm cameras never really had the provision, the CP16 maybe being the last of that generation. So super 8 was the only format with magnetic sound for quite a while, which was a big leg up on 16mm. Umm, those are the only real negative/detractors for 16mm and today it doesn't matter because used S16mm cameras are practically free compared to what they were new. So yea, you have to carry around a heavier camera, but holy crap do you get a better image for that extra weight and cost.

 

Now 16mm benefited greatly from improvements in film stock but Super8 stayed the same for 50 years. Yet Super8 uses the same stock just in a smaller gauge so surely it has benefited too? A lot of the developments in 16mm have been parraleled by those in Super8 but whenever you talk about this stuff only the 16mm developments happened.

Lets go over the changes made to super 8 since its inception. We're talking mass produced changes, not one-off specialty add-on products or film stocks sold by a single vendor.

 

- Magnetic sound 1973?

- 200ft cartridge 1980?

- Mirrored shutter (on some cameras) late 70's?

- Crystal motor lock (on some cameras) early 80's?

- Negative film stocks 2004

- Max 8 2009? (a stretch to put on this list because it was never massed produced this way)

- Independent gate (Logmar) 2013-2014?

 

I mean those are really the only big changes to the format itself. I maybe missing something, but I can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

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16mm cameras are larger, heavier and more than 2x the cost of super 8. I don't know why 16mm dropped the magnetic sound format in the early 80's, but they did. So modern 16mm cameras never really had the provision, the CP16 maybe being the last of that generation. So super 8 was the only format with magnetic sound for quite a while, which was a big leg up on 16mm. Umm, those are the only real negative/detractors for 16mm and today it doesn't matter because used S16mm cameras are practically free compared to what they were new. So yea, you have to carry around a heavier camera, but holy crap do you get a better image for that extra weight and cost.

 

Lets go over the changes made to super 8 since its inception. We're talking mass produced changes, not one-off specialty add-on products or film stocks sold by a single vendor.

 

- Magnetic sound 1973?

- 200ft cartridge 1980?

- Mirrored shutter (on some cameras) late 70's?

- Crystal motor lock (on some cameras) early 80's?

- Negative film stocks 2004

- Max 8 2009? (a stretch to put on this list because it was never massed produced this way)

- Independent gate (Logmar) 2013-2014?

 

I mean those are really the only big changes to the format itself. I maybe missing something, but I can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

 

As I say Kodak made negative stocks available before 2004. Vision 2 arrived in 2002 and there was 200T available before that.

However we are now on Vision 3. So Super 8 has experienced the same improvements in film technology that 16mm and 35mm have. Super 8 cameras are usually considerably more than 2x the cost of a Super 8 camera. I just bought a Eumig Mini 5 for £5. I would expect a 16mm camera to be at least £50 for a 100ft camera, maybe more. Also a Super 8 film cart is typically much cheaper than a 100ft 16mm spool. So you have multiple cost savings.

 

There have actually been loads of other improvements along the way in super 8. Multiple frame rates. Time lapse. In camera dissolves and various other more obscure features.

 

I actually agree with you Tyler that 16mm film might be nicer and more practical for a lot of things. Presently anything including sync sound for starters. However I disagree with you that it looks bad or a lot of the other attacks you have made on it. There are instances where Super 8 might be quite handy. It's very portable. It's cheap and easy to power etc etc. I don't actually see why it has to be either/or in the way you have suggested. There are lots of movies like "Natural Born Killers" that have used Super 8 as an effect. There is also the possibility to intercut Super 8 and 16mm as they can use the same basic filmstocks. This could allow you to make use of Super8 where it is useful, or cheap and practical in some way. Perhaps with a Eumig Nautica or something.

 

I note that in spite of all the bad things you have had to say about how terrible Super8 looks you still havn't had much to say about the look of the example I posted. You had more to say about the filmmakers behind the camera. Is that because it doesn't actually look all that bad after all?

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I guess I have no idea what format you're talking about.

 

8mm is a 16mm camera format, spooled on 50 foot reels that you run through the camera twice. The perf is twice the size, the frame is much smaller. Standard eight cameras were mostly wind up and even though companies experimented with sound on film, it never took off like Super 8's magnetic sound on film. Yes, the stock numbers were the same, but the format itself, specification wise, is nothing like super 8.

 

 

Yes, that's standard 8. Single 8 was the Fuji version of Super8 and used Super8 film in a very different cartridge design and didn't suffer as much from some of the issues in Super8. Only the cartridges were different, not the film stock.

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That's a point I was trying to make when the Logmar guys were still developing their camera. Some guys here thought adding registration pin and an more traditional pressure plate would somewhat magically improve the image quality. Of course when first sample shot was released, all could see it looks the same as the best super 8 videos we've already seen. Because the quality of a film motion picture all comes down to filmstock and lens. What really is the super 8 look ? An ultra cropped 35mm film with a 1960-70's zoom lens.

I think the picture instability we observe in super 8 does not come from the films sprocket holes or cameras but from our digital era. Films always looked to me rock steady when projected the "old way", via a film projector, but it's when we transfer it digitally that problems show.

 

 

As explained above, They ARE the same format. Only the cartridge design differs.

 

Yes, the instability in film shot on the Logmar has literally nothing to do with the Logmar, but the way the film is/was being scanned. The same film exposed on any other Super8 camera, and run through the same scanner would exhibit exactly the same instability. Because the instability is in the scanner and arises from incorrect assumptions made in the design of the scanner.

 

And yes, the pin-rego wasn't designed to magically correct for such scanners. The Logmar pin-rego was designed to an independant public standard for pin-registration.

 

There are no projectors or scanners (of which I know) that actually exploit this standard. The only one close to doing so (of which I know) is a custom optical printer (which can second as a scanner) that I've been building myself - precisely to exploit the pin-rego of the camera.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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Lets go over the changes made to super 8 since its inception. We're talking mass produced changes, not one-off specialty add-on products or film stocks sold by a single vendor.

 

- Magnetic sound 1973?

- 200ft cartridge 1980?

- Mirrored shutter (on some cameras) late 70's?

- Crystal motor lock (on some cameras) early 80's?

- Negative film stocks 2004

- Max 8 2009? (a stretch to put on this list because it was never massed produced this way)

- Independent gate (Logmar) 2013-2014?

 

Mirror shutter has been available on super 8 camera since the very beginning with the Beaulieu S2008 in 1965.

Same thing with "independent" gate as you call it, since Fuji Single 8 system was too introduced shortly after Super 8 in 1965 (and Pathé made Double Super 8 cameras in the same period).

Crystal motor lock came as early as 1971 when the folks of Super 8 Sound began adding crystal modules to existing cameras. You can read their story there. This document is very interesting because it shows how even in the 70's there was a push to make Super 8 more "serious".

Edited by Tom Chabbat
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Ohh I don't hate super 8! I just grinds my gears when people even consider it a "professional" format.

 

Ok, so

Is 15/70 better? Yes

Is 5/65 better? Yes

Is 4/35 better? Yes

Is 3/35 better? Yes

Is 2/35 better? Yes

Is S16 better? Yes

Is 16 better? Yes

 

So logically, wouldn't super 8 be the lowest motion picture film format made? It's just logic.

 

Then you add the other issues like camera noise, cartridge pressure plate issues, low run-time, etc.. I mean, the "benefit" of a small camera goes away super fast in the grand scheme of things.

 

 

Yep, a non-professional, consumer format designed for shooting home movies. ;)

 

I shoot Super 8 at weddings and that's how I make my living. I might not be in Hollywood but am I not 'professional?' In my experience the people who sit around and argue about what is 'professional' do so because they aren't actually out working. If you don't have anything constructive to say about Super 8 then get out of the Super 8 forum. Or if a mod is reading please just ban this troll. People like this ruin forum discussions because they always have something acidic to say and always have to have the last word. STFU!

Edited by Mark Sperry
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And yes, the pin-rego wasn't designed to magically correct for such scanners.

 

Carl, I don't know if you remember the debate, but people here, including the guys from Logmar, believed it would not only improve registration but the whole image quality ! They were all certain that the combined pressure plate and registration pin would deliver a better sharpness to their image. In my opinion it partly explains Logmar's demise, as people were expecting too much for a camera, forgetting, as I said, that image quality is a function of the lens and film stock combination only.

Edited by Tom Chabbat
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Carl, I don't know if you remember the debate, but people here, including the guys from Logmar, believed it would not only improve registration but the whole image quality ! They were all certain that the combined pressure plate and registration pin would deliver a better sharpness to their image. In my opinion it partly explains Logmar's demise, as people were expecting too much for a camera, forgetting, as I said, that image quality is a function of the lens and film stock combination only.

 

I've been involved in the Logmar debate for a long time. I was one of it's loudest advocates, from when it was first proposed. And I put my money where my mouth is.

 

The camera does improve registration. And this does improve image quality - or at least that particular aspect of an image that registration improves - to do with a particular sense of time and space. But of course you need a matching projector/scanner to exploit this.

 

But apart from that, a combined pressure plate and pin-rego would provide for a sharper result. The film is prevented from moving during exposure where it otherwise might have a certain amount of slip. A fine point I might say, but attention to details like this don't hurt.

 

This is, of course, according to traditional aesthetics (of which I'm not adverse, and very often am completely enamoured).

 

I find the camera is really interesting and useful. But then I've never had any fairy land expectations around the camera in the first place.

 

Or to put it another way, my big criticism of the camera, is that it doesn't make a very good cup of coffee.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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But apart from that, a combined pressure plate and pin-rego would provide for a sharper result.

 

Well I don't want to do this debate again, but from the footage we've all seen online, Logmar's results aren't sharper than other beautiful examples found here, and that should speak for itself.

 

What I sense here is always a will to "bash" super 8, wether from guys like Tyler who thinks it's not professional enough, or by Logmar advocates implying Kodak's engineers would market a flawed system.

 

Reality is, Super 8 was a popular format. But to some here, "popular" is a bad word, as bad as "amateur" or "enthusiast". Because it's cheap, it must be ugly. Because it was intended for everyone, it can't be used for anything worth the attention, for real, serious, beautiful work.

 

I'm glad most artists don't listen to them, don't wait for someone to tell them what is a professional camera or not to use them, aren't afraid to use the same means most people have to tell stories for the people.

Edited by Tom Chabbat
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Well I don't want to do this debate again, but from the footage what we've all seen online, Logmar's results aren't sharper than other beautiful examples found here, and that should speak for itself.

 

What I sense here is always a will to "bash" super 8, wether from guys like Tyler who think's it's not professional enough, or by Logmar advocates implying Kodaks engineers would market a flawed system.

 

Reality is, Super 8 was a popular format. But to some here, "popular" is a bad word, as bad as "amateur" or "enthusiast". Because it's cheap, it must be ugly. Because it was intended for everyone, it can't be used for anything worth the attention, for real, serious, beautiful work.

 

I'm glad most artists don't listen to them, don't wait for someone to tell them what is a professional camera or not to use them, aren't afraid to use the same means most people have to tell stories for the people.

 

Oh sure - it's very true. You can't, on the face of it, necessarily pick the difference. But it doesn't really matter. The purpose of the pressure plate and pin-registration is to provide for recoverable registration, rather than a sharper image as such. If it has a sharper image, that is really just as a by-product.

 

So it is certainly debatable whether that sharpness would be significant. And the tiny (or not so tiny) vertical misregistrations that go on in normal projection/scanning could easily wipe out any appreciation of that sharpness.

 

But I'm not really that interested in what is normally done with film, be it Super8, 16mm or any other format. In fact I couldn't think of anything worse to occupy my time. I'm far more interested in experimentation and innovation. But I pursue that in a number of different ways - one from a purely technical level, with traditional aesthetics as a benchmark, and on another front, reworking that towards alternative aesthetics.

 

There's something quite perverse, which I enjoy very much, about torturing Super8 with high tech concepts. To wheel out some death ray machine, on a forklift, and point it at the film emulsion, and fire. So to speak.

 

----

 

Now, although I'm an advocate of the Logmar I have never blamed Kodak for the scanner issue. Indeed I'm the one who has been arguing the loudest, all along, the entire time, that it was never Kodak and the film stock. But equally, it was never the Logmar.

 

It was a flaw in the design of modern scanners. This has since been corrected - in scanners - even if they continue to think (or suggest) they are correcting for some flaw in the film stock.

 

----

 

Yes, I'm an advocate for creative use of film, be it done for professional reasons, or any other reason.

 

C

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I'm an advocate for creative use of film, be it done for professional reasons, or any other reason.

 

 

Some professionals think it necessary to reverse this equation. They will advocate professional use of film, where it becomes creativity that will be considered optional. When challenged they will resort to quips such as "oh that's just arty types playing around with toys", as if any other camera, large or small, wasn't a toy.

 

Big boys with big toys.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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The bulk of the documentation done during the war was done on 16mm,

"Bulk" would be more then 50% correct? Well, I urge you to visit the US Library of Congress where most of that film is located and try to acquire 16mm prints from them. I've been there and I've seen the collection. It's 35mm.

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"Bulk" would be more then 50% correct? Well, I urge you to visit the US Library of Congress where most of that film is located and try to acquire 16mm prints from them. I've been there and I've seen the collection. It's 35mm.

 

Thanks Tyler - I'm sure you are right about the library of Congress and what they have available to the public through prints.

 

And indeed it may very well be that I am completely wrong here, and that there was far more 35mm film exposed during the war (by which I mean in the war, on the ground, by the military) than there was 16mm.

 

It is only my understanding that it is otherwise, and that understanding is only from historical material I've read over the years, rather than from any more rigourous research I've done myself.

 

By 16mm film usage I mean all usage, be that air surveillance, gun targeting, training films, documentation, propaganda, and so on. Whether this eclipses the 35mm usage is probably a moot point - other than clarifying whether this point is correct or otherwise. And I'm quite convince by what you have to say that it may very well be the case that far more 35mm film was exposed.

 

In any case the far more important point is that it was during the war that 16mm film underwent a change in use, that prepared the ground for how it would be subsequently understood and used.

 

A "turning point" we might say.

 

cheers

 

Carl

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As I say Kodak made negative stocks available before 2004. Vision 2 arrived in 2002 and there was 200T available before that.

According to wikipedia and Kodak's own website, it was 2004. It had to be after 2002 because I remember not shooting something on super 8 in 2002 because I couldn't get negative stocks.

 

There have actually been loads of other improvements along the way in super 8. Multiple frame rates. Time lapse. In camera dissolves and various other more obscure features.

Right, but those aren't really "improvements" in the format, they're just individual features of particular cameras. If you really wanna get down to the nitty gritty, 16mm had ultra high speed cameras, one's that could rewind for double exposure, cameras that were also projectors, I mean the format has been all over the place.

 

I don't actually see why it has to be either/or in the way you have suggested.

It's more like forcing a format to be something it never was intended to be. We all want good quality images, but people (companies) spend so much money trying to make the format better, but it's still the same ol' format no matter what you do. Sure, the combination of modern low-grain stocks, Logmar and decent glass with perfect exposure and excellent digital scan, presented digitally, is very impressive. Then you realize hey.., you can't really use the built in sound because the camera is too loud. Then you realize, hey... the cartridge lasts 2.5 minutes. Then you realize hey... if I need sensitive stocks, the result will be a big blotch of grain. So in the long run, it's a fine line between impressive and home movie quality.

 

I note that in spite of all the bad things you have had to say about how terrible Super8 looks you still havn't had much to say about the look of the example I posted. You had more to say about the filmmakers behind the camera. Is that because it doesn't actually look all that bad after all?

Well, the frame jitter and gate weave was nasty. They clearly used a decent camera, the glass wasn't bad and the crazy high power lights/low grain mean they probably used 50D. So man, if you want a camera that requires a few thousand watts of tungsten in order to look good and frame jitter/gate weave were irrelevant, then go for it! I just think it looks amateurish and again, the logmar test footage looks quite good in comparison. So if you work the format in a perfect situation, it can deliver some decent images. It's just, perfect situations are hard to come by and the larger the camera negative, the less you have to work negative to achieve an acceptable image.

 

As a side note, I'm going to be shooting a short film in Los Angeles at night soon. My choices are Super 8, Super 16 or Super 35. I've been debating S16 or S35 because I have a feeling if I shoot S16, 500T if I slightly underexpose because I have no choice, I won't have enough image to pull from due to the grain. On the other side, if I shoot S35 4 perf, with my own bloody camera, I can probably pull a lot more out of the negative. It's all about having the right tool for the right job and delivering a product that 20 years from now, will still surprise you. It's the methodology I've tried used for my entire filmmaking career.

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No, no.. I know. EXR for Super 8 was not available at your local drug store. It was a "speciality" item sold by ONE place in all of north america.

 

I don't understand why it's so necessary that Super8 conform to the stereotype of Super8, ie. as that which was readily available through your local drug store. It's not as if you could pick up any roll of 16mm you might need, at your local drug store (although I recall in my neighbourhood some 16mm stocks were available). Or perhaps a better analogy is: it's not as if you could pick up a 65mm Panavision camera on your way to the check out.

 

This is what Freya is saying about one rule for one medium, and another rule for another medium. Why do we not dismiss 35mm motion picture film for it's un-availablity at your local drugstore?

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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If it wasn't for people trying to make better tools for a particular film format there would not have been all the innovations that have been done in 16mm.

 

For example, we would not have had optical viewfinders for 16mm. One can imagine some old 35mm filmmaker saying "you can put an optical viewfinder on a 16mm camera but it won't change how crappy it looks - why bother - it's a home movie format - why try to make it otherwise?"

 

So why is it ok to innovate with tools for 16mm, but not Super8? It's as if childhood memories of Super8 are far more important. Which is perfectly fine of course, but it's not a rule for everyone.

 

C

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This is what Freya is saying about one rule for one medium, and another rule for another medium. Why do we not dismiss 35mm motion picture film for it's un-availablity at your local drugstore?

Well... I mean, the whole point of Super 8 was to buy stock at your local drug store and when done, give it back to them so they can ship it to the lab for processing. I remember as a kid LOVING our local drug store and being able to pick what stocks I wanted to use for the next shoot. Then the excitement of going back to get the film and I'd always unspool a bunch into my lap on the drive home. I did the same thing few weeks ago when I started shooting Super 8 again, I just couldn't help myself! Once I saw an image, I had a sigh of relief! :)

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For example, we would not have had optical viewfinders for 16mm. One can imagine some old 35mm filmmaker saying "you can put an optical viewfinder on a 16mm camera but it won't change how crappy it looks - why bother - it's a home movie format - why try to make it otherwise?"

I think they had no choice to update the format. It was the best quality for the price and with the whole world pushing towards television and broadcasters needing portable equipment to capture programs, it was a no brainer for manufacturers to make products that broadcasters would buy. It's a demand and supply theory and because Super 8 never reached that status, it never had the same innovation.

 

In a lot of ways, 16mm went through more innovation in less time then 35mm.

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My understanding of this current moment in time is that film is undergoing a reappraisal (has been for a number of years). It is providing us with something that is being re-understood as different from video - not necessarily any better or worse but different.

 

Now there are technical ways of discussing this difference, but such is simply towards how this difference might be better exploited - it doesn't change the difference we currently see - we see it anyway regardless of how we might theorise it and subsequently exploit it.

 

And it is in this context that Super8 works - whether shot on a state of the art camera, or a 3D printed one knocked up over night in a garage, or on a vintage '65 camera, or on the upcoming Kodak camera.

 

It is because Super8 is film. It has a particular beauty - whether you are able to describe that in so many words or not. It has that magic (an entirely appropriate term) which can disarm you. More so when projected than transferred, but with attention to details much of it can transfer.

 

And as many Super8 filmmakers have discovered, the beauty and magic are not in any way diminished by any of the so called faults. Super8 works despite all the so called faults. Or for many, the faults (so called) are not faults at all but features. For they also have a beauty.

 

Whatever tools you use the important thing is to exploit what those tools can do. There's no need to get involved in all the little technical innovations. I do but I know it's completely unnecessary. I'd just as soon as pick up one of my Canons and run out the door and expose film on that, as pick up the Logmar and carefully check I've done everything correctly on that. It's all about one's particular take on these things.

 

Whether you are into all the technical details, or just wanting something you can rely on in a more gung ho fashion, Super8 provides a lot

 

Because it's film.

 

C

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I think they had no choice to update the format. It was the best quality for the price and with the whole world pushing towards television and broadcasters needing portable equipment to capture programs, it was a no brainer for manufacturers to make products that broadcasters would buy. It's a demand and supply theory and because Super 8 never reached that status, it never had the same innovation.

 

In a lot of ways, 16mm went through more innovation in less time then 35mm.

 

 

But we're talking about the innovations which have occurred with Super8 - not the ones that didn't (or have yet to).

 

But we're to dismiss the ones that have occurred because ... why?

 

Er, um, ... because Super8 shouldn't be like that. It should be like, ... um, er ... a home movie format. Like it was when I was a teenager. Cause that was great fun back then.

 

Yes it was. Infinitely so. And I'll be giving my 12 year old daughter a Kodak Super8 camera for that very reason.

 

There's no way I'd give her the Logmar. That's my toy :)

 

C

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Well I don't want to do this debate again, but from the footage we've all seen online, Logmar's results aren't sharper than other beautiful examples found here, and that should speak for itself.

 

 

Id like to address this particular point. In general I completely agree with this. But we're limited somewhat by the delivery channel - the web - which reduces our potential ability to see if it really is any sharper than material shot on other cameras. It may very well be that it isn't, and if a web delivery channel is one's main exhibition format then it probably doesn't matter whether one shoots on the Logmar vs any other reasonable Super8 camera.

 

But I'm readdressing this because the interest I've always had in the Logmar is in terms of how Super8 might be shot for film presentation - rather than web delivery. In particular I'm very much into 16mm and 35mm presentation, where a film is screened using a projector in a cinema - be it large cinema or a small one, be it the local Town Hall, or the local drinking hole. Be it a backyard converted into a cinema, or some appropriate park hired out for the evening. I start from this assumption and work back to how it might be put together. It is the film screening that becomes the work. The film, the projector, the camera, the lab - all these things are simply means to this end: a screening. Or an installation if you like. Or rather: a performance. The film itself (the physical material running through a projector) is really no more than just a prop. What is being performed is what one sees (and hears) on the screen, in the context one has built around it (a cinema and an audience).

 

Now it is from looking at film in such a context (a cinema) that I've become accustomed to the particular nature of the film image and all the various things that go into producing that image. There is a wealth of interesting details and effects that are so completely magical - even when you know how it's all done (or thinks one knows).

 

Now it is out of theorising this magic that I've developed certain ideas about how Super8 can be exploited - not just in terms of conventional tools (such as a camera) but how it might be enhanced or altered through additional tools, such as digital intermediate systems, or analog intermediate machines. Or both.

 

Now it was with digital intermediate systems I was experimenting a number of years ago. The idea I had in mind was to scan Super8 at a sufficiently high definition that allowed the application of algorithms known as "super-resolution". And this work hasn't stopped. It exploits time to integrate details otherwise distributed in time. But during this work I realised that a far more important attribute of film - in the case of Super8 film - was it's colour or depth. The focus on resolution had been leaving this aspect of Super8 film by the wayside. The magic in Super8 film wasn't in it's resolution (of course), but in it's colour, or depth - which is a feature it otherwise shares with 16mm, 35mm or any other film format.

 

The interesting thing is that this required an increase in scanner resolution to properly appreciate in a transfer. Increasing the bit depth doesn't really help because the depth is not encoded in any single pixel but in the distribution of pixels and the difference between them. But increasing the scanner resolution helps this depth - it increases the number of values interfering with each other. It doesn't necessarily make the image any sharper. it just increases the power of the film's colour/depth - and this is quite an extraordinary effect - because it's something you just can't get from video. But you can get it from material shot on film and transferred to video.

 

Now as I increased the resolution of a film scan in search of better depth (better colour), I noticed that I could also tease out fainter signals in the image, that did represent an increase in resolution, ie. from what was otherwise hidden in the data. What was starting to prove a limit (of sorts) was the lens ... and any other sources of blur ... such as might occur in tiny gate slippage.

 

That's when the Logmar was being proposed.

 

In other words my interest in any solution to gate slippage is not in relation to what meets the eye but what a forensic system might be able to extract and amplify. So even if the gate slippage was producing incredibly tiny softness, so as to be ignored, the negation of such would still be of help in the forensics of the system I've been building. It would mean the system could go that much deeper and bring to the surface whatever fainter signal was lurking there.

 

As yet, I don't really know if there is any difference at all. I'm only assuming from the physics that it would be. Other than that my main interest in pin-rego is simply using it for what it was designed to be used - as an obvious way of removing inter-frame vertical jitter.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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My understanding of this current moment in time is that film is undergoing a reappraisal (has been for a number of years). It is providing us with something that is being re-understood as different from video - not necessarily any better or worse but different.

Betacam SP looks different then the Alexa, but nobody shoots in that anymore.

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