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New Kodak Super 8 Camera


Gary Lemson
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Well, its fairly inexpensive to test. Any NEW camera would need to be tested anyway.

 

If it got through one reel that would tell me that it's capable of getting through exactly one reel. That's not something on which I'm willing to gamble thousands of dollars and a client's wedding film. Plus even if I wanted to shoot 2 or 3 reels that's hundreds of dollars in dev/scan at current lab rates. Cinelab isn't even doing SD scans anymore, and PacLab NYC closed so all processing must be mailed out for me. I'll just spend the money on a camera that I know has been fully overhauled and can be serviced at any time. It's a barely a dent in the lifetime RoI of shooting and a great deal of peace of mind.

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If it got through one reel that would tell me that it's capable of getting through exactly one reel. That's not something on which I'm willing to gamble thousands of dollars and a client's wedding film. Plus even if I wanted to shoot 2 or 3 reels that's hundreds of dollars in dev/scan at current lab rates. Cinelab isn't even doing SD scans anymore, and PacLab NYC closed so all processing must be mailed out for me. I'll just spend the money on a camera that I know has been fully overhauled and can be serviced at any time. It's a barely a dent in the lifetime RoI of shooting and a great deal of peace of mind.

Fo sho! If you have the money and you're trying to make a living off of the results, you have no choice... the risks are too high. It's just, a lot of people who shoot super 8, can't afford to spend that kind of money. They'll shoot 3 rolls a year if they're lucky. So the $50 investment on an ebay camera is worth the risk.

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Honestly, I don't understand those of you who have been complaining about this footage. I think you guys are seeing the wrong things.

To me this footage says

- hey, we have now actually got a working camera, not just a box. And this has been done in the complete absence of the giant industry that was used to make the millions of cameras in thousands of models that populated Super 8's past.

 

It would have been so much easier to make a super 8 camera in those days than today, simply because that giant industry had established production lines and evolved solutions to myriad problems and had a supply of dedicated super 8 camera components. This new camera was done without all of that.

 

Yes, the fact is that this camera is going to cost a lot more than a second hand camera. But it will also be fundamentally different to a secondhand camera. It won't be 40 years old. It will have spare parts available. It will easily do things with sound that haven't been readily possible for a long time.

 

Thank you Carl for highlighting that the digital stabilisation was able to be done differently. Yes, it could have been better colour graded too. We did already know both of those things, even those people whose first response to this footage was to release negativity about it.

 

As far as I can tell, this footage wasn't released to the general public, but just to core supporters of the format. People like us, who know how easy it is to correct that kind of digital stuff, but who should also know just how bloody hard it is to get to the point of manufacturing a new camera. Maybe those that released that footage were naive in thinking we could see through that superficial stuff and share in their excitement about having achieved so much.

 

I really found this negativity boring.

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Honestly, I don't understand those of you who have been complaining about this footage. I think you guys are seeing the wrong things.

To me this footage says

- hey, we have now actually got a working camera, not just a box. And this has been done in the complete absence of the giant industry that was used to make the millions of cameras in thousands of models that populated Super 8's past.

 

It would have been so much easier to make a super 8 camera in those days than today, simply because that giant industry had established production lines and evolved solutions to myriad problems and had a supply of dedicated super 8 camera components. This new camera was done without all of that.

 

Yes, the fact is that this camera is going to cost a lot more than a second hand camera. But it will also be fundamentally different to a secondhand camera. It won't be 40 years old. It will have spare parts available. It will easily do things with sound that haven't been readily possible for a long time.

 

Thank you Carl for highlighting that the digital stabilisation was able to be done differently. Yes, it could have been better colour graded too. We did already know both of those things, even those people whose first response to this footage was to release negativity about it.

 

As far as I can tell, this footage wasn't released to the general public, but just to core supporters of the format. People like us, who know how easy it is to correct that kind of digital stuff, but who should also know just how bloody hard it is to get to the point of manufacturing a new camera. Maybe those that released that footage were naive in thinking we could see through that superficial stuff and share in their excitement about having achieved so much.

 

I really found this negativity boring.

But then you could also say after so many years of Kodak know how . is this what you got to show for it ? 50 years .

Kodak could of taken the best of old super 8 camera designs and made one that really stand out .

What would it cost today to make a Beaulieu 4008 or a Leicina special or Nikon r10 . alot .

what put me of this camera is no viewfinder ?

When I shoot or make films no digital comes into play may be only in sound / would like to see really good film stock come back like a 100D . and other Reversal films to choose from .

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Yes, the fact is that this camera is going to cost a lot more than a second hand camera. But it will also be fundamentally different to a secondhand camera. It won't be 40 years old. It will have spare parts available. It will easily do things with sound that haven't been readily possible for a long time.

Umm.. You can buy 10 of the same second hand camera for ONE of the Kodak cameras and cannibalize those 10 for the next 100 years.

 

The new Kodak camera is ALL ELECTRONIC. Just an FYI, the great thing about film cameras is they're all MECHANICAL, insert motor on the input shaft and the movement does the work. This new Kodak camera is controlled by a processor and software. It doesn't even have an optical viewfinder! With all that complexity, there's bound to be a problem much sooner then a 40 year old, all-mechanical camera that simply needs some lubrication every 10 years to keep running.

 

When Kodak sells out of the new camera and stops making them (I assume it will be a limited production run), once their 7 year federally mandated support period is over, that will be the end of it. When one breaks, who is going to support it?

 

I really found this negativity boring.

Sometimes the truth is boring. New... in most cases, isn't "better"... It's just "different".

 

In this case, there is nothing "different" or "better" with the output from this new camera. The video is 100% public, it's on youtube and facebook, random people are seeing it. So far nobody is impressed.

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If the Kodak camera costs $500-700 it's more than worth it. After all, having a Beaulieu 4008 ZM serviced costs easily about 300 (more than $300 USD). For the price I'd get sync audio, very good registration, C-Mount, exposure meter that actually works and sort of a viewfinder system that works with glasses.

 

I'll quite probably buy it. Should work well with the Angenieux f1.2 zoom lens I have.

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If the Kodak camera costs $500-700 it's more than worth it. After all, having a Beaulieu 4008 ZM serviced costs easily about 300 (more than $300 USD). For the price I'd get sync audio, very good registration, C-Mount, exposure meter that actually works and sort of a viewfinder system that works with glasses.

 

I'll quite probably buy it. Should work well with the Angenieux f1.2 zoom lens I have.

I agree, every camera out there is a total gamble at this point. In the last 1-3 years I spent $200 on a Nizo with a bad meter. Another friend spend $800 on a Canon 1014 xls that didn't work. Yet another friend of mine spent $400 on a Nizo 801 to try the format, camera was faulty, so wasted hundreds more on film and processing... then spent a few more hundred getting it fixed and that didn't work. I think the price is right, since you can easily spend that much on the format and end up with nothing.

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I agree, every camera out there is a total gamble at this point. In the last 1-3 years I spent $200 on a Nizo with a bad meter. Another friend spend $800 on a Canon 1014 xls that didn't work. Yet another friend of mine spent $400 on a Nizo 801 to try the format, camera was faulty, so wasted hundreds more on film and processing... then spent a few more hundred getting it fixed and that didn't work. I think the price is right, since you can easily spend that much on the format and end up with nothing.

The prices are absurd for what are in essence marketfinds. Many of the store-like sellers give it a polish and at at best a quick motor test without film. A know of one seller on eBay.de who writes roaring descriptions and in the last sentence mention a dysfunctional aperture or something like that. I.e for example selling Bauer 715xl at Euro 200 with a broken belt which should be worth $20 because of the batteryclip :) Not to start about Beaulieu or others. Apparently people find themselves stuck with a doorstop because they didn't read the text fully.

 

Routine sellers mentioning not having tested the thing because they wouldn't know how must be considered fraudulent sellers.

 

BTW starting out on a project without testing the gear and without proper exercises in advance is plain stupid.

Edited by Andries Molenaar
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BTW starting out on a project without testing the gear and without proper exercises in advance is plain stupid.

And it doesn't matter what the equipment is! When I purchase anything, I test it thoroughly before putting it into service. If that's new piece for my home theater or a new camera, lens, mic, doesn't matter... everything is fully tested before using it.

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In the following diagram, the perf marked B is the perf used by the claw in Super8 cameras to position the frame marked A.

So to get a good register on scans of Super8 film would require that a scanner use perf B for registration of frame A.

 

In a larger format, such as 16mm, the vertical jitter that would otherwise result by not using the camera's claw perf would be a lot smaller so it's not as necessary to attend to such details. But with Super8, being a smaller format, it requires more attention to such details (if we want to remove the jitter otherwise caused by using the incorrect perf).

 

Most scanners can't do this yet, but it would be a good thing if and when they can. Until then, image based stabilisation will remain the perfectly acceptable alternative.

 

Note. The following is a composite image assembled from individual scans with perfs added in where they were otherwise missing in the source. It is for explanatory purposes only.

 

post-48441-0-28781600-1483002834_thumb.jpg

Edited by Carl Looper
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Hey Carl, why can't Super 8 cameras use the same design my Super 16 camera uses with a flat pull down claw. The only thing they need to do is get the film pulled down, so why not make the claw very small and flat, just hitting the bottom of the perf. This way "registration" is controlled by the springs instead of also by the pull down claw.

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Not wanting to interrupt the meandering FUD-style "trolling" of Tyler ;) , but here's something I stumbled upon while travelling over the holiday period; something that will cement his views that the "Kodak Neomatic Model 2016 2017" will be Kodak's and cine-film-in-general's DOOOOM!™"

 

This is an advertorial column I found in the current issue of "Abenteuer und Reisen 12/2016", a German-speaking glossy travel magazine distributed across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Think "Condé Nast Travel" or "Wanderlust" for the English-language equivalent.

 

It basically iterates what I have been posting earlier in this thread regarding what I think (and so far have had confirmed) the ecosystem around the new Kodak Super 9 camera will be like:

 

<translation>

 

Magic!

 

Film. Good news for nostalgics: Kodak breathes new life into Super 8. Or rather endues the "magic of the analog" with digital comfort: so, one shoots with camera and film, and mails in the negative. Kodak develops and digitizes the strip and puts the scans into the cloud. Download. Done. Price for the camera: prospectively from 400 Euros up.

 

kodak.com

 

<translation ends>

 

So far: no reversal film stock, no projectionist phantasies of print films, no complexity beyond simple cloud-based post-dev file management. And yes, the camera is still on track for release at a price point of US$420+.

 

The now leathered pistol handgrip looks quite functionally arranged with the overhead handgrip. I think the white/black base model I saw in the customer clinics will still be supplemented with a higher-priced yellow/black model; maybe shipped with a different lens?

 

With Kodak now moving publicising about the new camera away or beyond the core target group subscribed to news through the Kodak Collection™ and The Super 8 Collective™ newsletters, I would suggest they are still quite buoyant about its wider appeal and prospects. "Abenteuer und Reisen" is certainly not a "Berlin-type" freemaker/hipster or tech-focused or education-focused magazine, but rather staid and "safely adventurous". You would find recommendations for gear from mid-range "Canonikon" to Leica X or T cameras in there. To stumble over the Kodak Super 8 camera in it rather surprised me... a lot.

 

There are of course those here that think that any manager is an incompetent moron in a suit out to destroy or hinder the creative outbursts of freelancing cinematographers around the world, and advertising in such a journal is yet another crystal-clear indication that Kodak will get this all horribly wrong and bring down the format and EVERYTHING ELSE™.

But as usual, the reality beyond the computer screen is quite different.

 

2017 will be an interesting milestone year for Super 8. :wub:

I look forward to shooting with this camera, as much as I am excited shooting on "respectable formats" - to quote Tyler - with, say, an Arriflex 35BL-2, Bolex 16 Pro or Aaton Xterà.

post-27184-0-74373300-1483374535_thumb.jpg

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Hey Carl, why can't Super 8 cameras use the same design my Super 16 camera uses with a flat pull down claw. The only thing they need to do is get the film pulled down, so why not make the claw very small and flat, just hitting the bottom of the perf. This way "registration" is controlled by the springs instead of also by the pull down claw.

 

Hi Tyler,

 

I'm not quite sure what you are describing but the Super8 claw is pulling the film down in the way you have otherwise described. It engages the bottom edge of the perf and pulls the film down (or pushes it down depending on your point of view). The claw action provides for vertical (up/down) registration.

 

The edge guide on the perf side, (and the spring guides on the opposite side) provide for horizontal (sideways) registration.

 

C

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...

With Kodak now moving publicising about the new camera away or beyond the core target group subscribed to news through the Kodak Collection™ and The Super 8 Collective™ newsletters, I would suggest they are still quite buoyant about its wider appeal and prospects. "Abenteuer und Reisen" is certainly not a "Berlin-type" freemaker/hipster or tech-focused or education-focused magazine, but rather staid and "safely adventurous". You would find recommendations for gear from mid-range "Canonikon" to Leica X or T cameras in there. To stumble over the Kodak Super 8 camera in it rather surprised me... a lot.

...

 

 

 

In the early days of Kodak i understand that they started out targeting an existing but very small market of commercial photographers, but they then made the decision that there was a much bigger market to be tapped - to sell film to everyone - not just the big end of town but also the so called "amateur". Professional photographers became quite pissed off with this idea. They figured if anyone could take a photograph who would need a professional?

 

It is around this time that the term "amateur" changed it's meaning from someone held in high regard due to their love and knowledge of a particular field (such as photography) to someone to be treated as incompetent in the field. Likewise the term "professional" changed it's meaning from not just someone who earned their living from their work, but someone who did such work the "right way".

 

Echoes of this history reverberate to this day. For example, one might hear someone suggest that shooting something in a particular way (eg. in shallow focus) is a "professional" way to do a shot.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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Hi Tyler,

 

I'm not quite sure what you are describing but the Super8 claw is pulling the film down in the way you have otherwise described. It engages the bottom edge of the perf and pulls the film down (or pushes it down depending on your point of view).

Sorry, should have been more specific. The super 8 claws are square and they "fit" the perf almost perfectly. Why not make the claw much smaller then the perf, so all it does is pull down instead of influence registration. That's one of the tricks Aaton used to make their cameras quieter, along with the angle of the claw engaging the perf. Same goes for the modern 35mm film cameras, they all have tapered claws that have an arcing pulldown. Now maybe you can't do it with super 8, but that's why I'm asking. I assume the complexity would be too much, but then again the Aaton movement is very basic.

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2017 will be an interesting milestone year for Super 8. :wub:

2016 was a huge milestone for Kodak. For the first time in years, the demand for 500T stock (their best seller) in both 16mm and 35mm, exceeded the production allotment. All thanks to Kodak's rejuvenated dedication to the professional formats that keep them alive. I personally shot more film in 2016 then I have in more then a decade; super 8, 16mm, super 16 and even a little bit of 35.

 

I look forward to shooting with this camera, as much as I am excited shooting on "respectable formats" - to quote Tyler - with, say, an Arriflex 35BL-2, Bolex 16 Pro or Aaton Xterà.

I bet you are! New toys are always fun, but I'd rather have a Bolex Pro to mess around with. :)

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Sorry, should have been more specific. The super 8 claws are square and they "fit" the perf almost perfectly. Why not make the claw much smaller then the perf, so all it does is pull down instead of influence registration. That's one of the tricks Aaton used to make their cameras quieter, along with the angle of the claw engaging the perf. Same goes for the modern 35mm film cameras, they all have tapered claws that have an arcing pulldown. Now maybe you can't do it with super 8, but that's why I'm asking. I assume the complexity would be too much, but then again the Aaton movement is very basic.

 

Hi Tyler,

 

the claw is not square. It is very much thinner than the perf. It is tapered, and it has an arcing motion.

If the claw were otherwise almost fitting the perf exactly, any sideways variation in film perfing (as exists in reality) would result in the claw hitting the film, rather than entering the perf.

In other words the Super8 claw/perf relationship is designed for pull down only (and providing vertical registration). As it should - as this allows for any sideways variation in the film perfing.

It is the edge guides (not the claw) which provide for sideways registration: a hard edge on one side (the perf side) and a spring edge on the other. The spring edge allows for variation in film width.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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Scanners which otherwise use a perf for both vertical and the horizontal registration are effectively implementing a "square claw" that fits a perf exactly. And that is an error.

 

But it is an error the scanner introduces. It is not an error a camera introduces.

 

Basically, a camera is designed to handle the film mechanically (for obvious reasons) and the mechanical design is such that it allows for variation in the film perfing and the film width, in the way previously described - and in such a way that preserves registration (the ability of a projector to reconstruct the camera). It simply requires a projector to work in the same way as a camera - decoupling the vertical and horizontal registration: where the perfs provide only for vertical rego, and the edge guides provide for horizontal rego.

 

The correction made to scanners in recent times (to use the film edge for horizontal rego, rather than a perf) is a correction to an error in scanner designs - it is not a correction to some assumed error in the camera (or film) design.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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So according to this video Kodak just posted, at about 10:30 he says the "Limited Edition" version of the camera which is coming out first in Spring 2017, will retail for $2000.

 

Ouch...

 

I have been really intrigued and tempted by this camera and compared to a refurbed 1014XL Crystal sync from Pro8mm, it's still cheaper but damn. That's a steep price and removes me from the running. Hopefully the Standard version is still plenty capable and a quarter of the price. They won't get any new adopters if the cost of entry and film is insanely high.

 

I didn't watch the rest of the video so not sure if there were other important details. Have to watch later.

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