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2-perf Super8 Anamorphic


Lasse Roedtnes
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However once again I reiterate: this is not about whether to use a viewfinder or not. It's about what one would do in the absence of a viewfinder, and how this can be understood as greatly informing what one does when one does have a viewfinder. In other words it's about learning cinematography, as distinct from what one otherwise does on a day to day basis. To treat the viewfinder as a crutch (as I'm doing) is to then appreciate the viewfinder all that more when one has one.

I understand your point, but you would never use it in practice. The only thing that makes a difference is if the image is exposed and focused properly. "Theory" doesn't work if your film doesn't come out. So you can measure all you want, practice the move all you want. When the actor makes a mistake in their positioning on the best take and you need to make a change, you're never going to know because an inch is sometimes unrecognizable, but it's night and day when looking through the viewfinder.

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Remember, my comments were directed at the notion of Super 8 being a "professional" format. I'm glad you agree that some people like something that doesn't look good and super 8 fits that profile. I agree with that, it's for sure a "look" and if you want that look, go for it! I just feel, a lot of people who own super 8 are stuck with that look, rather then actually WANTING that look. Where in contrast, it's very hard to make S16 look bad with modern color stocks and decent glass.

 

I think you missed the quote marks on "bad". I was suggesting that what you describe as "bad" others might not see in the same way. Personally I like the way that the Super 8 footage looks and yet there is a lot of digital stuff shot on high end cameras that I think looks terrible. I think a lot of people who shoot super 8 want that look because as you suggest there are 16mm cameras available cheaply too. It might also be that Super 8 is more practical in some way too. You say it is hard to make Super 16 look bad but someone could say the same about Super 16 because it doesn't quite have the look of 35mm film. I think all the different film formats have different looks and I like that.

 

I do agree with you that I don't think people should fight to make Super 8 look like 16mm because you can just shoot 16mm for that look with a lot less pain to boot but I think people should just embrace the way it looks.

 

You don't like the way Super 8 looks clearly and I think that's fine but I wouldn't want to suggest that Super 8 was bad in any way.

It's Super 8 and it's the way it should be.

 

Freya

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I kind of disagree. Lately I've seen far too many films at festivals etc, where there is way too much use of shallow depth of field and it makes the movie or short or whatever look odd. If you look at more mainstream movies it's usually the case that it isn't as overdone. It tends to have the opposite effect of that intended.

Well, now you're just talking about inexperienced filmmakers playing with toys. My point is that shallower depth of field is harder to get with small aperture cameras. So unless you want every shot of your film to look flat and uninteresting, you have to figure out methods of building depth into your shots.

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Well, now you're just talking about inexperienced filmmakers playing with toys. My point is that shallower depth of field is harder to get with small aperture cameras. So unless you want every shot of your film to look flat and uninteresting, you have to figure out methods of building depth into your shots.

 

 

Yes of course but I think it's a good thing to have depth in some of the shots as well as the shallow depth of field.

It's worth that bit of extra work to figure it out.

 

Freya

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Weren't you recently advocating for offline edits from video tap footage? I don't see how this is different. Also, sync sound is a useful feature to have built-in for something like this, aimed at a certain market. Anyone can buy a Pro 8 camera with optical viewfinder.

I was referring to high-resolution imagers, not completely worthless standard definition imagers which share nothing in common with the filmed image. The whole point is to generate an image from the camera that looks similar to what was captured on film, not just a reference. Also... there isn't a single "silent" super 8 camera made. So recording sound on a quiet set in a professional environment requires quite a lot of furni pads over the camera or looping the entire film's dialog.

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You don't like the way Super 8 looks clearly and I think that's fine but I wouldn't want to suggest that Super 8 was bad in any way.

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.

 

It's Super 8 and it's the way it should be.

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

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. Also... there isn't a single "silent" super 8 camera made. So recording sound on a quiet set in a professional environment requires quite a lot of furni pads over the camera or looping the entire film's dialog.

 

At this point in time there aren't any Super8 cameras being made at all! It will be interesting to see if the new Kodak camera is silent enough as it is also crystal.

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

 

This is also the description of 16mm.

 

I do agree with you that if your goal is to produce a commercially viable film to sell to a distributor you would be better shooting on 16mm but you would be even better off shooting 2perf or something of that nature.

 

I just disagree with your describing Super 8 as bad.

It even has significant advantages and could be quite practical in certain situations.

 

Freya

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Was the description, in 1922.

 

As was Super8 in 1964.

 

The use of a home movie format during World War 2 altered how 16mm was to be understood. It was used as a documentary format during the war for it's ease of use over 35mm and this was subsequently appreciated for television news acquisition. It wasn't the fundamentals of the 16mm film format that changed through this, but people's attitude to such which changed. However one can imagine some old 35mm professional filmmakers looking down their professional noses at 16mm.

 

Super8 failed to be taken up by television in quite the same way because, for one thing, the telecines of the day were inadequate for transfers of Super8. This wouldn't be understood for another thirty years. Archive Super8 transferred on a modern scanner looks infinitely better than anything done with Supe8 or 16mm with telecines of the 60s and 70s.

 

But that all said, it is not necessary for Super8 to follow 16mm in this way. It does not need to become a professional format. BUT by exactly same token it doesn't need to remain a home movie format. The whole concept of home movies was just an invention of Kodak - to sell more film. 16mm was originally marketed in that way, and the tradition extended to 8mm and Super8. But just like 16mm one can use Super8 in any way one likes, the least interesting (but not irrelevant) being home movies at one end, and professional uses at the other (such as title sequences, weddings, music video, etc).

 

Tyler Purcell's comments echo all the usual rubbish that Super8 filmmakers have been hearing ad nauseum for the last 50 years. It's nothing new. But the fight against such casual dismissism hasbeen evolving and continues to evolve in various different ways. It is what is done with Super8 that is far more interesting than any of the tired old "non-professional" arguments that are churned out year after year, and decade after decade.

 

Basically: who cares if it's not a professional format?

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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I actually can remember when people were still snobby about 16mm and it was considered major marks against your movie when trying to sell it to a distributor if it wasn't 35mm because it couldn't be contact printed. Now that isn't the same issue anymore.

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I understand your point, but you would never use it in practice. The only thing that makes a difference is if the image is exposed and focused properly. "Theory" doesn't work if your film doesn't come out. So you can measure all you want, practice the move all you want. When the actor makes a mistake in their positioning on the best take and you need to make a change, you're never going to know because an inch is sometimes unrecognizable, but it's night and day when looking through the viewfinder.

 

I've shot some film without a viewfinder - just to see what it looks like. In other words: in practice! And the only difference between those shots and those I'd do with a viewfinder was fine tuning. Little more. And in many ways the shots were really interesting. The absence of the fine tuning gave them a rather nice edge. But that's beside the point.

 

For this is not an argument in favour of abandoning a viewfinder. To continue rolling out arguments as to why a viewfinder is necessary completely misses the point being made. The point being made is that by learning how to shoot without a viewfinder you will come to understand the larger space in which you are working, and how that informs what you will do with a viewfinder.

 

C

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Interestingly, it took a few well-designed cameras to make 16mm viable as a professional format. As the documentary I posted earlier shows.

 

I won't bite Tyler's most recent troll bait, but it is a little bit presumptuous to write off an entire format for its resolution capabilities. Users of this forum have proven that Super 8 can look really really good, even in instances when it's compared to 16mm (of which there are many poorly done examples).

Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich
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I don't understand why most people here are so attached to the "professional" word. As if what you make only counts if you get paid for it. I don't mind using an "amateur" format or "amateur" cameras. If they can get me cool pictures, that's all I'm asking for.

Is there a lot of people here getting paid for their super 8 footage ? The extremely rare times I do get paid for super 8, it's never for having sync sound dialogues with ultra clean and steady pictures. It's for having THE super 8 look, this amateur look I find so terribly cool.

I'm not afraid to say that most times I use super 8, it's for myself. I don't care getting paid or not for it. I do it just because I like it. Humans made art before they invented money, so we don't need money to make art.

Edited by Tom Chabbat
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The terrible problem with the viewfinder on Super8 cameras is also overplayed.

As we have established, Super 8 was famous as a home movie format.

Tons of fottage was shot by people who had little clue as to what they were doing and most of it was in focus.

The small negative helps in this regard of course.

 

At the same time The Bolex is touted in this thread as being wonderful in spite of the fact that most Bolexs out there are not reflex viewing and the format is larger so much easier to get things out of focus.

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Remember, my comments were directed at the notion of Super 8 being a "professional" format. I'm glad you agree that some people like something that doesn't look good and super 8 fits that profile. I agree with that, it's for sure a "look" and if you want that look, go for it! I just feel, a lot of people who own super 8 are stuck with that look, rather then actually WANTING that look. Where in contrast, it's very hard to make S16 look bad with modern color stocks and decent glass.

 

 

I picked up on the flaw here straight away and I'm sure anyone else reading Tyler here would do so as well.

 

For this a complete misreading (intentional or otherwise) of Freya's argument. The term "bad", as employed by Tyler, is to invoke, as Freya argues, a value judgement. And it is against such value judgements that Freya is arguing. Freya puts Tyler's word "bad" in quotes for this very reason - to disagree with Tyler.

 

But Tyler, for some reason, thinks he can unpack Freya's argument by suggesting Freya is actually in agreement with Tyler. As if Freya were using the word "bad" in the exact same way Tyler was using it. But it is completely obvious that Freya is not using the word in the same way. And it becomes rather silly to suggest anything else.

 

C

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I don't understand why most people here are so attached to the "professional" word. As if what you make only counts if you get paid for it. I don't mind using an "amateur" format or "amateur" cameras. If they can get me cool pictures, that's all I'm asking for.

Is there a lot of people here getting paid for their super 8 footage ? The extremely rare times I do get paid for super 8, it's never for having sync sound dialogues with ultra clean and steady pictures. It's for having THE super 8 look, this amateur look I find so terribly cool.

I'm not afraid to say that most times I use super 8, it's for myself. I don't care getting paid or not for it. I do it just because I like it. Humans made art before they invented money, so we don't need money to make art.

 

 

I completely agree with this. The term "professional" is such an abused term. I'd feel sick calling myself a professional, given the way such a term has been abused. I'd rather call myself "amateur" - even when I am being paid for what I do. Because the term "amateur" actually captures more about what I do than whether or not I'm being paid for it. Once upon a time the term "amateur" was a revered position to hold. Professionals would consult amateurs, precisely because the amateur spent an inordinate amount of time investigating the finer details of their chosen discipline. The term "nerd" today might be a suitable substitute for the term "amateur".

 

There is no equation whatsoever between professional and quality. The ongoing conflation of these two things is really quite unfortunate.

 

C

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The use of a home movie format during World War 2 altered how 16mm was to be understood. It was used as a documentary format during the war for it's ease of use over 35mm and this was subsequently appreciated for television news acquisition. It wasn't the fundamentals of the 16mm film format that changed through this, but people's attitude to such which changed. However one can imagine some old 35mm professional filmmakers looking down their professional noses at 16mm.

Most of the decent WWII documentary work was done on 35mm. This is because the material was used directly for news reels in theaters. Also, due to the larger negative, you could push it and still get a decent image. Yes, there was a lot of 16mm being used, the Auricon CT-70 optical sound camera was quite popular for controlled situations with lots of lighting. 16mm delivered good enough quality when lit properly AND longer run times then 35. So the news-gathering outfits, slowly started moving away from 35mm and into 16mm.

 

As we all know, television relied heavily on film until the mid to late 80's, thanks to the single-unit betacam format. It worked better in low light, recorded 30 minutes onto a single reusable tape and one camera could record and be live at the same time. It was a no brainer for broadcast to switch over to video, but there is a solid 40 years of broadcast archives that still exist today thanks to film.

 

So 16mm was "promoted" to being a professional format out of necessity.

 

What wound up making 16mm a "powerful" format was the introduction of higher speed, lower-grain negative stocks and the use of sound track area for picture. The lower cost of 16mm and increased quality, created demand for newer higher-end cameras, mostly for broadcast documentary work and feature films. This kept the format alive along with Kodak/Fuji's continuous development of better/newer stocks, has turned the format into something truly professional. Plus, Super 16 blows up very nicely to 35mm for distribution, something that was a requirement until a few years ago.

 

It's the constant development of the 16mm format and the adoption by professionals, which makes it professional in the long run. Since professional filmmakers weren't forced to use Super 8 like 16mm, we haven't seen the huge paradigm changes in the format. In fact, Super 8 is pretty much the same format it started as in the 60's. Super 8 officially died when Kodak stopped making Kodachrome and the last lab stopped processing it. The death allowed for a revival which is slowly building. Kodak offering modern negative stocks in super 8 form was really the first push. The advent of Max 8 and scanning gates specifically designed for super 8 helped tremendously as well. However, it was the advent of a camera that removes the horrible cartridge pressure plate issues that really helped the format's quality. However, with only 50 cameras in existence (logmar) and most super 8 owners wanting a "projectable" product, very few people are exposed to this modern super 8 format.

 

Kodak's leap into the Super 8 band wagon is really to pump film as a capture medium. It's more of a marketing ploy then anything else and it's very smart. It maybe exactly what the format needs to succeed once more. However, it would take another decade of tweaks to make Super 8 camera anywhere near the quality of a 90's produced Super 16 camera. Then you're still messing with a very small negative which is prone to all the other issues I discussed prior.

 

So no Carl, it's not rubbish, it's just logic. 16mm has an upper hand of ohh... 50 years of development over Super 8.

Also... for clarity, this year there were 2 high-profile world released films shot on Super 16mm and one which shot a complete segment on S16. I don't see this same kind of adoption with Super 8. Until I do, it's just a consumer format with a few people who "claim" excellence, for I have never seen it first-hand.

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I think Super 8 can look really great.

Look at this video and then explain to me why it is "bad"

I think it looks really nice:

 

https://vimeo.com/88975372

 

Yep. Super8 can look great - be it in terms of traditional aesthetics or unconventional ones. There's nothing bad about Super8 at all. It's just complete prejudice that gets in the way. The real trick with Super8, perhaps, is just to leave, on the edit room floor, that it's Super8.

 

C

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Most of the decent WWII documentary work was done on 35mm. This is because the material was used directly for news reels in theaters. Also, due to the larger negative, you could push it and still get a decent image. Yes, there was a lot of 16mm being used, the Auricon CT-70 optical sound camera was quite popular for controlled situations with lots of lighting. 16mm delivered good enough quality when lit properly AND longer run times then 35. So the news-gathering outfits, slowly started moving away from 35mm and into 16mm.

 

As we all know, television relied heavily on film until the mid to late 80's, thanks to the single-unit betacam format. It worked better in low light, recorded 30 minutes onto a single reusable tape and one camera could record and be live at the same time. It was a no brainer for broadcast to switch over to video, but there is a solid 40 years of broadcast archives that still exist today thanks to film.

 

So 16mm was "promoted" to being a professional format out of necessity.

 

What wound up making 16mm a "powerful" format was the introduction of higher speed, lower-grain negative stocks and the use of sound track area for picture. The lower cost of 16mm and increased quality, created demand for newer higher-end cameras, mostly for broadcast documentary work and feature films. This kept the format alive along with Kodak/Fuji's continuous development of better/newer stocks, has turned the format into something truly professional. Plus, Super 16 blows up very nicely to 35mm for distribution, something that was a requirement until a few years ago.

 

It's the constant development of the 16mm format and the adoption by professionals, which makes it professional in the long run. Since professional filmmakers weren't forced to use Super 8 like 16mm, we haven't seen the huge paradigm changes in the format. In fact, Super 8 is pretty much the same format it started as in the 60's. Super 8 officially died when Kodak stopped making Kodachrome and the last lab stopped processing it. The death allowed for a revival which is slowly building. Kodak offering modern negative stocks in super 8 form was really the first push. The advent of Max 8 and scanning gates specifically designed for super 8 helped tremendously as well. However, it was the advent of a camera that removes the horrible cartridge pressure plate issues that really helped the format's quality. However, with only 50 cameras in existence (logmar) and most super 8 owners wanting a "projectable" product, very few people are exposed to this modern super 8 format.

 

Kodak's leap into the Super 8 band wagon is really to pump film as a capture medium. It's more of a marketing ploy then anything else and it's very smart. It maybe exactly what the format needs to succeed once more. However, it would take another decade of tweaks to make Super 8 camera anywhere near the quality of a 90's produced Super 16 camera. Then you're still messing with a very small negative which is prone to all the other issues I discussed prior.

 

So no Carl, it's not rubbish, it's just logic. 16mm has an upper hand of ohh... 50 years of development over Super 8.

Also... for clarity, this year there were 2 high-profile world released films shot on Super 16mm and one which shot a complete segment on S16. I don't see this same kind of adoption with Super 8. Until I do, it's just a consumer format with a few people who "claim" excellence, for I have never seen it first-hand.

 

Once again, Tyler is completely blind to the actual arguments being put forward. His focus on the requirements of the professional - while of obvious interest to him as a professional - completely ignore the counter-argument being developed: that the requirements of the professional are next to completely irrelevant in the world of Super8 film making.

 

In the hands of many Super8 filmmakers the format is neither a professional format, nor a home move format. Requiring it to be one or the other is a completely blinded take on Super8.

 

As mentioned before: who cares if it's not a professional format?

 

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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We can also use our eyeballs to look at a scene directly, rather than through a viewfinder (optical or otherwise). Photons are dumb. The signal they carry is far more intelligent..... One walks around a scene and uses one's eyes

 

 

The environment around us is full of intelligence. We feel it, or not, according to our own level of intelligence. Everything we are able to express expands from that point, that condition.

It's the common conceit of the human mind to assume authorship of its own experience. And to experience within narrow self imposed limits. How else to maintain the mirage?

 

The fact that one is able to move around a set and explore directly with only one's eye does not reduce the potential value of the optical viewfinder. When we are at the viewfinder, the stream of photons, the photons that have impacted with the object(s) of our awareness, pass through the lens, bounce off the mirror and impact upon our retina. I call this a relatively direct connection between the object of attention and the awareness of the cinematographer.

 

After 1/50th of a second or so, the same photon stream impacts on the film emulsion. Again a relatively direct connection. These two parallel events, towards the eye and towards the emulsion, quickly oscillating, do in fact synergize. Together they become something more, and the cinematographer, with his cerebral ganglia in extreme proximity, may sense the magic.

With the eye on the view finder, all these connections are quite intimate. Mind connected to the seen object, object connected to the emulsion, light (photons) connected to all, as the connecting element. And the whole? Within that the mind of the cinematographer has the chance to rule over all of this....so I resist all that inhibits that I suppose.

 

If we remove the optical finder, does it matter? What, at best can the cinematographer see? A simulation, an approximation, a guide as to what the optical viewfinder or a piece of film might yield.

 

What reasonable human being could delete the optical viewfinder?

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