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Super 8 Pressure Plate


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On 9/11/2020 at 8:19 PM, Martin Baumgarten said:

These GK Super 8 pressure plates are rare as not that many were made.  After reviewing all the initial testing done on them, as well as my own tests, I find that it's not really worth it.  IF you wipe the film gate prior to each cartridge load with some soft cotton flannel that has been moistened with either Movie Film Cleaner with lubricant, or a good quality Silicone spray (one that doesn't harm plastic, and wait several minutes until the propellant has evaporated prior to wiping the gate.  I keep one in a small zip lock bag in my camera bag so that I can always do this)....then the film will glide right through the gate easily.  

- - - -  The KODAK made Super 8mm film is already lubricated  inside the cartridge, however this helps, especially on humid days.  Note, the pressure plate built into the cartridge is very strong....and from a pure technical standpoint, isn't the same as a pressure plate in a conventional spool loading movie camera.    It rests against two raised dimple areas on either side of the Super 8mm film gate, otherwise it would actually be too much pressure against the film!  Once against these raised areas, it creates a 'channel' through which Super 8mm film passes through.  Thinner based film might have a little bit of play, and thicker based films will run tighter (thus the lubrication of the gate and film helps).  

- - - -  Adding this smooth metal film pressure plate to the cartridge still really only rests against those two raised dimples on either side of the gate....it doesn't really press any more against the film itself.  The smooth polished metal surface helps the film glide over it's surface...but the cartridge already has a smooth plastic pressure plate, and the film lubricant on the film itself in the cartridge does the same thing.  I have also wiped that plastic pressure plate, and this has helped in hot humid summer weather, when film emulsion swells upon opening the foil pack, as the humid air comes contact with the film and swells the emulsion a bit.  This can cause film jamming or sticking, as many have experienced with Super 8 cartridges at times.   Wiping the gate, and even that pressure pad has eliminated any sticking for me over decades of use.  Of course...sometimes during the manufacturing process of the Super 8 cartridges when film is loaded, there can be the rare event where the film is too tight on the stationary hub and won't rotate easily causing a jam, or some other anomaly.  These can be cleared up via cartridge opening and reloading in a darkroom (best done by someone that can do this of course....but certainly no need to throw film out....not at what it costs these days!).

IF you persist and eventually locate the GK Super 8 Pressure Plate, just be diligent to remove it each time you finish a cartridge, as you could lose it easily if you don't  when sending it to a lab for processing.  Good luck, hope this helps.

Thank you very much for that incredibly informative post, it was really helpful!

I do find that they are kinda rare and expensive at the same time, but I REALLY do like to try one out, therefore that is why I am asking here if anyone might've had one?

I was really hoping to borrow it so I can trial it myself before committing to purchasing one. Unlike your experience, mine with a Beaulieu 6008S and Kodak Vision3 cartridges has resulted in pretty unstable footage. The shakiness and microjitters interfere in resolving detail properly (or sharpness), so I wanted to try and rectify that.

Anyone might have one? Or yourself Martin by any chance?? :) 

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