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David W Scott

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  1. Mitch, how tough is it to get into the front of the lens assembly on a Nikon Super Zoom? I inherited a camera that needs some cleaning out... Good thing for your body disassembly guide on the Wiki. Dave
  2. I enjoy them both, and I think you will find many of the same participants in both. I do find the depth of conversation seems to go a bit deeper (technically speaking) on filmshooting. Maybe it's the nature of the questions being asked, or the feeling of having a safe place to explore the stuff?
  3. I picked up a Silma S111 projector that runs nicely after a clean and lube. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to thread the thing. Anyone have any help, or a manual? Dave
  4. I just wanted to share the exciting news that my new short film "POSTERING" has gotten into the Toronto Urban Film Festival. It's a festival for one-minute silent films, and the films will play on the TTC subway television screens. "POSTERING" is scheduled to play on Tuesday, September 11, so keep your eyes open underground if you're in Toronto. We need your vote for the film! The Toronto Urban Film Festival has an online component. You can watch the films, and vote for your favourite one. Please go to the website and vote for "POSTERING"! http://www.torontourbanfilmfestival.com/vote.php "POSTERING" is about 1/3 of the way down the list of films. Thank you in advance for helping our film! Spread the word, and let me know how you like the film. Here's more info about the film: SYNOPSIS "Poster" - it's a verb, a noun, and a hot topic in Toronto. This film explores postering and the many forms it takes in this city. Free speech isn't always pretty, but postering has been upheld by the Supreme Court as an important form of self expression. You can learn a lot about every neighbourhood in Toronto by looking at the posters that are displayed - or how quickly they get torn down. "Postering" is a quick look at some of these images, issues and debates. BEHIND THE SCENES "POSTERING" was shot on a variety of media -- Super 8 (Plus-X black & white shot on an AGFA Movexoom 10), 24P video (DVX-100), 35mm stills and DSLR stills. Super 8 was transferred by Frame Discreet, who did a fantastic job. The film was edited at 24P on Final Cut Pro, and had a 3:2 pulldown added for the 30i submission to the festival. The festival required a silent film, but a soundtrack has been composed for a version of the film with sound. A longer version (3 to 5 minutes) is also being prepared, and I will shoot more Plus-X and Ektachrome 64T for that cut. Thanks for your support!
  5. Here's a good general usage guide for all Super 8 cameras: Super 8 manual As for loading the film, there is a hinged door on the right hand side of the camera. You unlatch it by sliding the big square catch towards the back of the camera (the latch has an arrow on it in this photo.)
  6. Definitely shoot some tests. As for the VISION2 200T, I have never seen a bad roll. It's a beautiful film. If you want to use the internal meter, get an 18% gray card from your local photo shop. They are cheap, and the only way to meter consistently with the internal meter. You hold the card under exactly the same light (i.e. position) as the subject, and meter on the card. Lock your exposure, and you are good to go. I most use an external meter. Here's some thoughts: Use an incident (not reflected) meter. It replaces the gray card, and reduces worrying about the tonality of your subject. If you hold the meter under the same light as your subject, and aim the white dome at your camera lens, you will get an accurate reading that will correctly expose 18% grey under those conditions. You can adjust your exposure from there for creative reasons, but your baseline exposure will be accurate and consistent. Save money by buying a used one, but buy it from a camera store or somewhere you can test it against "known good" meters. You are buying the one piece of equipment that you MUST trust to be accurate, so I wouldn't bother with a fifty year old eBay special that may be very inaccurate. Go for a digital meter. They are quick to read, and make f-stop calculations simple. I am happy with my Sekonic Digilite-F, bought used. Look for a model that has a "cine" mode -- in Cine mode, my meter assumes a 1/48 shutter speed (which is correct for 90% of movie cameras) and then lets you adjust your FPS up and down. Very handy for slow-mo work, with no confusion. Be aware that Super 8 cameras will use prismatic ("beam splitter") finders (instead of a rotating mirror finder like an Arriflex.) As such, the finder will cause light loss. How much light loss varies by camera. That is something you want to test for with a new camera. Make a series of bracketed exposures (taking notes) to decide how the film exposures match up to your light readings. You will probably find you need at least a 1/2 stop more on your lens than the external meter tells you, because of the light being robbed by the reflex finder. To conduct camera and exposure tests, shoot reversal colour or black & white. Reversal can be projected directly to evaluate exposure, and it saves you the expense (and subjectivity) or a video transfer. Plus, it's a lot cheaper to shoot a roll of Tri-X and project it, then to shoot a roll of VISION2 and have it processed and transferred or printed.
  7. I have seen samples from FSFT that are very good, but I have also been impressed by what Justin delivers at Frame Discreet. Two thoughts -- NO transfer ever looks as good as projection. Period. -- You really need to sit in with your transfer, unless you and the transfer house already have a relationship and have worked together in the past to establish a baseline look for your material. On my first $500/hr supervised transfer, I didn't like the look at first. But by working with the telecine operator, telling him what I liked and was looking for, he created a look that I LOVED. There is so much control over the look of the footage, you have very little chance that the telecine operator will "just know" what look you wanted. I would talk with Justin again -- transfer another reel, with you supervising. If you still don't like it, fine, move on to another facility. But you will pay at least 10 times as much for similar results.
  8. In New York, you have Pac Lab and DuArt . I haven't used either, so I can't comment on them. You could also go a little further afield. I have used CineLab in Massachusetts and they have a good reputation and good prices. As for workflow, I recommend that you get a good HD telecine to 50i (which won't have any interlacing, so really it will look like 25P.) When your completed 50i video is transferred to film, they will simply deinterlace, slow it down 4% and correct the audio pitch -- so your 24fps Super 8 footage will be fine. There is no need to do an optical blow-up from Super 8 to 35. An HD transfer will capture 99% of the Super 8 look, and save you money and headaches when it comes time to do your film-out.
  9. I used to see those Bolexes at garage sales quite often. I would laugh at them, because they looked like a teen-tiny television studio camera, with the square lens hood and top-mounted "mag". Now I wish I bought them for the $10 asking price!
  10. I wouldn't recommend the 310XL. The low-light shooting ability (f/1.0) is a handy trick, but the lens is soft. Plus, it is only 18 fps, doesn't have an interval timer, won't meter most stocks correctly, and doesn't have manual exposure. It does have Macro, but is very limited -- the viewfinder doesn't let you see the focus, so you have to measure the camera-to-subject distance using the attached handstrap as a tape measure.
  11. Why not shoot some Super 8 instead? Rather than bland, low resolution video with washed-out colours, you get a lovely film look with a number of aesthetic choices to explore: -- Bright, poppy colours and high contrast from reversal stocks like Ektachrome 64T (available directly from Kodak), Fuji Velvia or Kodak E100D (available from a custom loader like Spectra Film & Video). -- Lovely modern colours and great lattitude from Kodak's Vision2 200T or 500T stocks (available directly from Kodak). -- In the telecine (i.e. film-to-video transfer) you will have a lot of control, and can modify the look a thousand different ways. Decent Super 8 cameras offer the ability to shoot in ways that might be perfectly appropriate for flashback sequences -- off speed, like shooting 9 fps and then transferring to HD at 9 fps to get a dreamy quality. Or shoot slowmo -- many cameras offer slowmo between 32 and 60 fps. You could also modify a camera to shoot shutterless -- which gives a very dreamlike effect. Even if you simply shoot clean 24 fps Super 8 with a modern Vision 2 stock, Super 8 will give you a distinct texture and unique quality. It won't simply look like bad video. The other benefit to shooting Super 8 is that it will cut into 24p HD easily, because you can shoot 24 fps and have it transferred direct to harddrive in the video or HD format of your choice.
  12. The DVX audio section is very solid. I recorded location sound for a feature on it. Sounded great, no issues. I wouldn't use wireless to transmit your only location sound. It's not high enough fidelity, and you can get dropouts that will haunt you later. Better to put up with even a single XLR cable to your DVX. If you are hell-bent on recording dual-system sound, then use a good cheap portable recorder. You can often get really good deals on rental DAT machines. (Look into your local film co-op. Mine has DAT for $18/day, Nagra (analog) for $14/day, MiniDisc for $5/day.) Or you can buy your own: Marantz portable recorder with XLR inputs No matter what you use to record, sync shouldn't be an issue. None of the solutions listed above will have any audio drift, including the PD150. You simply need to be able to align picture and sound at the start of every take (hint: use an old-fashioned slate with a clapper). Even the Nagra, which is analog and doesn't have the benefits of digital timing, should be crystal-synched to deliver perfectly consistent recordings. Remember, it doesn't matter what frame rate, or sampling rate, or tape speed you record sound at. None of it will affect sync. The only key to maintaining sync is to ensure that the audio recording runs at the SAME speed, from beginning to end of every recording.
  13. I've only shot Tri-x with it so far, and projected it (sorry, no transfers.) The lens was nice and sharp. (I have heard others compliment the lens on the Movexoom 10 and 6, that's the main reason I was interested in buying one.) The exposure meter was very accurate, and manual exposure was simple. Shooting 9 fps, I could get a lovely low-light image (of course you need a variable-speed projector to achieve "normal" playback of any action.) The electronic controls are crisp and sturdily constructed. The only real drawback is that it doesn't automatically meter all the various stocks. You need to take your reading and compensate, or use a handheld meter.
  14. When I was looking to buy a AGFA Movexoom 10, I thought it was a handsome camera. Once I bought one and handled it... I think it's the best looking camera I've ever used! :D It's funny to say (as a pacifist) but this camera feels "weapons grade". The pistol grip feels quite -- pistolish. The black matte finish, the heavy metal construction, the metal knurled lens... And the modern electronic controls. This camera is now 30 years old, and feels like it was designed and built last year. Aside from the newest Beaulieus, this has to be the most "non-retro" Super 8 cam out there.
  15. IIRC, the Kodak's had a plastic drive gear that would simply disintegrate over time. I also inherited a Sears that was similarly "drive challenged." :(
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