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How To Shoot Razor Sharp Super 8: Use Deductive Reasoning Rather Than Nostalgia -- A Newbie Primer

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Santo,

 

Nice of you to take the time to make this explanation. I know FSFT wants to get set up to do these hard drive transfers too. In the mean time I'm still learning the "double system workflow" that I have referenced elsewhere and have not followed through with it. Also for projects with high shooting ratios rank transfers are cheap and frame accurate making it reasonable to conform edits back to the camera original negative.

 

Time and technology will shape these decisions.

 

A while back we talked about sound aesthetics and Godard's "Breathless" on Filmshooting.com. Personally, I'm a fan of warm, mono, rough dub dialogue sound. (I'm not a sound expert). It sounds like your MiniDV locations sound will serve the purpose of place holding, but I wonder about using MiniDV sound in the studio.

It seems like you might get warmer voice tones on a mono Nagra with the same mic.....who knows?

 

Again thanks,

 

Steve

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Guest santo

If I end up having to take the talent to a studio, we will not be recording on miniDV. I'll get some files on cd/dvd rom.

 

Although it is not mono, the unpolished sound feel fits into the projects. Clear, reasonably clean sound is really important, but silky smooth studio sounding sound always seems out of place in a film that isn't super smooth in appearance. Which is the nature of super 8. We have a big problem with this in Canada when it comes to features. All these people record this completely unconvincing "perfect sound" without ambience, to go with a lot of really awful blue gels in the lighting set ups. Really makes a film look cheap and '80's. Just when you think they've wised up, you see another one.

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Guest uoliwils

I am too at the point of adding sound to my short. There's not much dialogue in it, but I want ambient sound to be as real as possible. My thought was to take the actress on location, record say 10-15 mins of ambient sound, then start with all the actual sounds and dialogue. After having recorded everything, I will place dialogue etc. over the ambient sound recorded at the beginning. I am thinking of using a couple mics, maybe two decent condensors placed one close to the actress, the other one 1-1,5 mt away, in order to get some echoes from the walls as well. Everything will be recorded directly on a laptop, using any usb soundcard, a digidesign mbox or any m-audio card will do. It doesn't look too hard to get a decent sound in the end, but I haven't done it yet so I could be wrong.

 

Santo, your workflow looks quite interesting. I always transferred to minidv so far, but I'd like to try some direct to Hard Disk transfer. Is there anyone who offers the same service here in Europe?

 

David

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Has anybody considered having their super 8 film tranferred onto HDV tape and then renting a camera for input onto the computer.

 

I wonder what the file size is like when editing with HDV be it 720p or 1080i, but I guess thats an HDV question?

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"Like all good philosophies, the maximization of super 8's potential for narrative filmmakers as a goal can be summed up in one sentence:

 

Super 8 is the format to choose when you really want your film to look as much as possible like it was shot on film because it accomplishes that better than any other format, but the goal is for it not to look like bad film -- which is what you get unavoidably using the traditional super 8 hobby approach to short filmmaking and the methods and means inherent in that."

 

Santo, I think I see what you mean here, but still think this is an oversimplification. I agree that Super 16 often looks glossy and "overproduced", to borrow a term from the music biz. The problem with Super 8 is that it blows-out when blown-up. David Mullen made a good point above when he said we can get a grainier film look with 16mm by using specific shooting and developing techniques. Shooting 16mm offers more presentation options for the final cut. Personally, I think Super 8 is great for straight to DVD productions that want, as you say, a "film look". That said, Super 8 looks pretty good projected in small screening rooms if post production is carried out with care and added expense.

 

When it comes to narrative work, I think Super 8 is a great format for small self-financed productions that aren't seeking distribution deals. If a production has ambitions to get "picked up", it is probably best to shoot 16mm or even video. That said, Super 8 cutaways, dream sequences, titles, historical retrospectives etc. can be comimentary to a mixed format production.

 

That is how I'm seeing it.

 

Steve

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Super 8 is the format to choose when you really want your film to look as much as possible like it was shot on film because it accomplishes that better than any other format, but the goal is for it not to look like bad film -- which is what you get unavoidably using the traditional super 8 hobby approach to short filmmaking and the methods and means inherent in that.

 

Well, you set yourself up for a real conundrum if by "bad film" you mean "soft & grainy" -- because Super-8, by its very nature, is the softest and grainiest motion picture format there is!

 

So unless you are able to embrace it, justify that look, rather than fight against it, you are really using the wrong tool for the job. Which is why I bring up budget; it only makes sense to make this much effort to make Super-8 look closer to 16mm in terms of technical image quality IF you're still saving money and you have a filmmaking system that is not more bothersome than 16mm. Otherwise, it seems like a technical exercise for its own sake, without much practical application. Now I don't know one way or the other how much you're saving over 16mm, so maybe this is all worth it.

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Guest santo

You can use any format to make bad film. All you have to use are crappy lenses, poor film stock, and sub-par transfers. Here's a still you did which I thought was pretty funny using that exact formula with an Angenieux 12-120 (their worst zoom, probably), Ektachrome VNK reversal, and a cheap telecine job in the "thoughts on achieving "communist propoganda" look" thread elsewhere on this site:

 

maoskitchen1.jpg

 

You used the crappy old 1970's zoom + bad reversal film + cheap telecine formula to good use to create the bad film look. This is what I mean by bad film.

 

Hold it right there! :) Just think about it for a second. This is exactly the formula that is the core of the super 8 hobby approach! :lol: There it's soft 1970's (consumer grade) zoom + Kodachrome 40 + miniDV camera aimed at a mirror box/or at best a cheap DV transfer

 

So you duplicated the super 8 hobby approach to trying to degrade the potential of 16mm to create the bad film look!

 

Meanwhile, I am doing absolutely nothing more than promoting the standard approach one would use to shoot good looking 16mm towards shooting super 8! The formula being: quality lenses + professional film stock + a minimum digibeta transfer... :blink:

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Meanwhile, I am doing absolutely nothing more than promoting the standard approach one would use to shoot good looking 16mm towards shooting super 8! The formula being: quality lenses + professional film stock + a minimum digibeta transfer... :blink:

 

There's nothing wrong with that approach at all, unless you are spending an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money just to raise the quality of Super-8 when it would be simpler and just as cheap to shoot in 16mm.

 

Like I said, I don't know what the budget numbers are working out to be in your case, but if you're really getting 16mm quality out of Super-8 for less money, it sounds good to me. If you're getting sub-16mm quality for the same price as 16mm, it seems pointless.

 

You just have to ask yourself if image quality is your highest concern, reducing graininess and improving sharpness, if that's your definition of "good film", is Super-8 the right format to be concentrating all this effort in? If you're saving a lot of money by doing so, then it makes sense.

 

Just seems to me that if the your very definition of "bad film" is something soft & grainy, then you'd probably want to avoid Super-8 -- unless you are a masochist. I can't imagine someone saying "I hate soft & grainy images, that's why I shoot Super-8!"

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Like I said, I don't know what the budget numbers are working out to be in your case, but if you're really getting 16mm quality out of Super-8 for less money, it sounds good to me. If you're getting sub-16mm quality for the same price as 16mm, it seems pointless.

 

That is a nice communist propaganda image! Well done!

 

For me this is also the key issue when making small gauge format choices. The cost differences are hard to measure and it depends on what kind of *life* the filmmaker wants for the film. Santo's approach might make sense for a straight to DVD production that seeks a gritty look. If you calculate the costs based on list prices between 8 and 16 I think you will find stock and processing are about 1/3 cheaper. Saving a third is worth it for me with my student projects which will be straight to DVD. But who pays list prices for film in the industry?

 

Steve

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Like I said, I don't know what the budget numbers are working out to be in your case, but if you're really getting 16mm quality out of Super-8 for less money, it sounds good to me. If you're getting sub-16mm quality for the same price as 16mm, it seems pointless.

Good point David. I continue to shoot both Super 8 and Super 16mm for personal projects, but because I'm spoiled and only do higher-end transfers, the only cost differences are in the price of stock for me. Processing 16mm negative is $14 for a 100' reel and Super 8 negative costs $13 for 50' (same running time of course.) And on many projects I shoot both and cut them together... the quality difference is pretty big. I can't stop looking at some of the Super 16 footage I've shot, and can't wait to see it in high def in a few years.

 

I've also noticed, as far as the "film look" issue goes, the better the transfer the more "filmy" it can look; bad rank transfers can have hot spots that make it look more video like while a good colorist is capable of evening out the brighter areas.

 

Of course, for a real dirty film look, have your Super 8 transfered by a "DVD Mill" and you can get dust, hot spots and all sorts of artifacts to give it the real home movie look. Of course they usually only handle reversal stock.

 

One big price difference between Super 8 and 16mm is in Kodachrome. Paying $38 for 100' to be processed is painful, but I've tried it and it does give that "Hollywood Home Movie" look like what the stars used in the 50's.

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Guest santo

What we see in this thread is the typical mind set which refuses to acknowledge the obvious. It is this ingrained mindset which continues to prompt the "why not shoot 16 instead?" response.

 

It is accompanied by the assumption that shooting 16mm will include using the basic paradigm of implementing decent lenses, modern film stock, and a transfer to a decent minimal standard format for film festivals.

 

It is also accompanied by the implied belief that it is of no use to apply the same paradigm and steps one would use in 16mm filmmaking to accomplish an acceptable standard to super 8.

 

It is as if super 8 comes part and parcel, without change or development, as a format only suitable for old 1970's consumer grade zooms, poor reversal colour film, and cheap telecine.

 

Luckily, there are a whole slew of companies and businesses who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not a million) in recognition that this view, which David clearly holds, is artificial and outdated. As does Kodak who now officially approaches super 8 as holding a place as "what 16mm used to be".

 

The beauty and texture of film is displayed no more clearly than in projected super 8. That beauty is lost and compromised beyond acceptability when the outdated hobby level model of super 8 is applied to short film projects. The film stock which worked well for projection does not telecine very well, and if you use an old prime you get a lot better images than with a 1970's softy zoom.

 

Using the same approach one uses to produce a good looking 16mm project to super 8 results in a film which looks even more "filmic", and beautiful in that sense, while avoiding the bad film look which cripples super 8 efforts which use the hobby approach. The beauty all those people see in their projected films at home suddenly exists in their video finished projects. This is a revelation.

 

Or the revolution -- seeing as we now have a psuedo-communist film example of "bad film" here.

 

Welcome to reality.

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The paradox is that your standards for image quality are mundanely technical -- i.e. sharp and fine-grained images are the highest goal -- yet you champion a format which is the worst of all film formats for those very qualities that you seem to find so important. THAT'S the paradox.

 

This is also why I see trying to improve Super-8 quality to modern standards to be, at best, an intellectual exercise for highly technically-minded people.

 

Unlike 16mm, which started out as an amateur format in the 1920's but has been used by professionals for at least fifty years, with a lot of modernization of gear to go with it -- Super-16, for example, is only a professional format -- Super-8 barely ever transcended its home movie format history before it went into decline. Otherwise, we'd have Arri making sync-sound quiet Super-8 cameras. The plastic cartridge design is proof enough that this was intended for consumer use.

 

I see nothing wrong with the pursuit of technical excellence, whether for fun or for art-making. I mean, there are experts in pinhole photography who create really sharp images... But it would be silly for a pinhole photographer to start telling every other pinhole photographer that they should start trying to achieve perfect images that rival things shot with lenses rather than settle for the "mindset" that likes fuzzy pinhole photography with a lot of vignetting. It seems just as silly to tell people shooting Super-8 to stop thinking it as a way of creating soft & grainy "nostalgic" images, when that's one thing it is particularly good at doing!

 

But I can't stop you from tilting at windmills. I can just tell you, from my own reading of part journals, that people have been trying to get Super-8 taken seriously as a professional format for over thirty years. There were whole issues of "American Cinematographer" devoted to professional Super-8.

 

I'm as much a believer in the importance of improving image quality as anyone, but not as a technical exercise but for artistic expression. That's one reason why I like the 35mm anamorphic format so much. And I learned by shooting Super-8 and trying to make it look as much like 16mm as I could, and I learned by shooting in 16mm and trying to make it look like 35mm. It was a great method of teaching myself, but I also admit it was an exercise.

 

I just feel that one has to look at the whole picture and figure out if you're getting maximum results for minimal effort, rather than minimal results for maximum effort. IF you set for yourself the goal of creating as sharp and grainless images as you possibly can, and it ends up costing about the same to work in either Super-8 or 16mm, then it just makes sense to make life easier for yourself by starting out with the largest negative format that you can afford. That's just sort of a basic rule of photography.

 

Now if you're really saving a lot of money by shooting in Super-8 but achieving near 16mm results, my hat is off to you.

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Santo,

 

How are you conducting your projection tests? What kind of projector? What tape format? Are you getting answer prints?

 

I have to admit, I have not found an ideal projection system for videized Super 8. What kind of projection system do you suggest?

 

Steve

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Guest santo

Well, after a vacation, I come back to see more additions to this thread which continue to display a fundamental lack of understanding from people who should know better. So, I'll state the obvious one last time and move on. We'll start with David.

 

The paradox is that your standards for image quality are mundanely technical -- i.e. sharp and fine-grained images are the highest goal -- yet you champion a format which is the worst of all film formats for those very qualities that you seem to find so important. THAT'S the paradox.

 

The paradox here is the one that you can't see, but one which you have employed yourself. As demonstrated and referenced above, you understand that weak old zoom lenses, low latitude awful colour outdated reversal, and cheap telecine are the way to "bad film", and employed those techniques to make 16mm "bad film" in that commercial. And yet you haven't acknowledged that using those "techniques" are what cripples the ability of super 8 filmmakers who are trying in vain to get good results from their efforts. They have hamstringed themselves from the start, using the same approach unknowingly as a professional filmmaker uses to make their larger gauge work look bad!

 

You're missing the point -- it's flying right over your head -- the sharpest images and finest grained images are not the goal. Not at all. HOWEVER, it is the goal to make the most of what we have in the super 8 image. The goal, David, is to make beautiful FILM IMAGES. To emphasize the characteristics of FILM over video. No format does that better than super 8 as it really gets down to the essential film character. There is a beauty to that which a super 8 filmmaker sees in the projected images at home. They wonder why their short films transfered and edited on video don't have that beauty. This thread has been explaining why that doesn't happen and how it could happen if they simply approach super 8 the same way that any other film gauge is approached in a professional manner.

 

There is no rocket science here. No magic. Only logic. But it presents for so many, even at this point, some kind of incredible barrier in thinking which you obviously share. For some reason, you can't see the point in employing prime lenses, decent film stock, and a minimal level of professional grade video transfer to super 8 projects (ie. NOT DV but digibeta). Instead, you reason it is only something to use when combined with the same "techniques" you yourself used to downgrade 16mm to bad film.

 

This is also why I see trying to improve Super-8 quality to modern standards to be, at best, an intellectual exercise for highly technically-minded people.

 

No, it is a tool for artists and professional filmmakers at this point who want the very affirmative "shot on film" look I describe in my third paragraph above. It is a format which has been used extensively for artists in Europe all the way through and began to make inroads for news TV coverage everywhere, but was hamstringed (Achilles tendon-ed?) by the garbage film stocks available in the '70's.

 

Unlike 16mm, which started out as an amateur format in the 1920's but has been used by professionals for at least fifty years, with a lot of modernization of gear to go with it -- Super-16, for example, is only a professional format -- Super-8 barely ever transcended its home movie format history before it went into decline. Otherwise, we'd have Arri making sync-sound quiet Super-8 cameras. The plastic cartridge design is proof enough that this was intended for consumer use.

 

Wrong again. The reason super 8 never made that transition until the modern era (and welcome to it, by the way), is because of the garbage film stocks which were the only thing available in the 70's and 80's. In fact, and you are obviously not aware of it, both Arri and Aaton produced super 8 camera protoypes. Why did they abandon them? Very simple: the film stocks were garbage. K40 is garbage. Ektachrome 160 was garbage. Shocked? Surprised? Welcome to reality.

 

It seems just as silly to tell people shooting Super-8 to stop thinking it as a way of creating soft & grainy "nostalgic" images, when that's one thing it is particularly good at doing!

 

Any film gauge can be made to look "nostagic", David. Or used to creat soft and grainy images. Including 16mm (as you did in the example) and 35mm. That is no problem at all. What is silly, David, is saying that nostalgic images is all super 8 is good for. Modern technology has made it possible that need not be the case.

 

I'm as much a believer in the importance of improving image quality as anyone, but not as a technical exercise but for artistic expression.

 

Well then I guess we're on the same page and you just don't know it. After all, that's the main reason to choose super 8 for a project. Because it works artistically for a project.

 

If you goal is to shoot "bad film", then hell any film gauge will do that if you "set it up to fail". Like you did with 16mm in that commercial.

 

Right?

 

Now if you're really saving a lot of money by shooting in Super-8 but achieving near 16mm results, my hat is off to you.

 

I'm pretty sure that absolutely nowhere in this thread have I talked about cost savings. It is not about cost savings. Although it is easy to prove that "the best" super 8 camera costs about 1/10th or maybe 1/20th of "the best" 16mm camera, that still is not the point.

 

In fact, it is an issue more having to do with artistic expression mixed, admittedly, with practicality for short filmmakers.

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Guest santo
Santo,

 

How are you conducting your projection tests? What kind of projector? What tape format? Are you getting answer prints?

 

As usual, I'm sorry to say, Steve, you posts belie that you have read my posts or truly understand what is being discussed here. The only reason I'd watch anything on a projector would to be to make sure I hadn't completely blown an exposure with reversal. Using reversal has one advantage over negative when doing a super 8 project: you can run it through a viewer or projector and see if you need to reshoot something.

 

Obviously I am not using any answer prints for negatives. I would have to ship them to Europe. And what's the point of that? It would cost me more than a cheapo DV telecine here in N.A.. But even that's not worth it. Running the reel over a bright light to make sure I've got a reasonable image has proven enough. Miracles can be worked in transfer and post -- but negative is so incredibly forgiving next to reversal, that no miracles are required. In fact, I'm almost convinced that you could put a chimp behind a larger gauge camera shooting 16 or 35mm negative and aim the camera at the right spot and get lots of useable footage.

 

I have to admit, I have not found an ideal projection system for videized Super 8. What kind of projection system do you suggest?

 

Steve

 

I stick to computer monitor for now. I also watch the material also on a Sony hd wega to make sure it looks good on another source. I mean, I've only use super 8 for short films aimed at festival at this point. If I don't have a pretty good idea what a digibeta or HD tape showing in a film festival should look like with two references like that, I'll never know. I have no control over the set-up of their video projectors.

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Santo, have you shot any 64t yet?? if you think E160 and K40 were garbage, i would like to know your opinion on 64t. To me, 64t is garbage, even my E160 from the mid eighties looks better than my first cartridge of 64t. k40 thru an angenieux 6-80 or leicina 10mm or 6-66 can look very,very nice.

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Guest santo
...video projected Super 8 looks really crude.

 

 

No, it does not. YOURS WILL, MINE WILL NOT. And I'm going to show you why. This is one of the key points of this thread. It is about demonstrating that super 8 does not have to look crude and crappy video projected.

 

Steve, the reason you're having such problem finding worthwhile video projection that looks good is because you're not paying attention to what I'm demonstrating and showing here. I'm going to now spell it out so clearly, so obviously, that absolutely nobody can miss it.

 

You will never, ever get a nice looking super 8 image unless you transfer it to digibeta as a bare minimum.

 

As I have demonstrated above in this thread, transfer to DV destroys the beauty of the super 8 image. It does this many-fold.

 

1) First, beacause it throws away most of the colour information, that's lost. Never to return.

 

2) All kinds of compression and video artifacts are introduced and undermine the film look that's the main reason to shoot super 8.

 

3) Third, it drops 3/4 or 75% or the variation of tone and shading because it is an 8 bit instead of a 10 bit system. As I demonstrated with the knife still, that makes your image all soft. So what happens then? Why number

 

4) In the transfer (and probably even later in post) artificial sharpening must occur to try and compensate for this loss of sharpness. This introduces even more video noise and artifacts. In fact, it makes super 8 look like garbage.

 

Now, here it is really graphic. A picture is worth a thousand words. No special computer monitor is required here. I'm going to introduce one more image from a short I've referenced on here before, and a familiar image that you, Steve, have given permission to me to use to make my demonstrations.

 

First, here is your image, Steve, shot on plus-x with a Japanese home movie camera in Plus-X and transfered to DV:

 

a6na.jpg

 

Now here is the closest thing I could find in my short to that. This is shot on plus-x, too, with a Leicina Special, prime lens, transfered to uncompressed 10-bit on hardrive (eventual destination digibeta). Once again I note that this is standard def just like your still, and NOT HD.

 

outdoor2ew.jpg

 

 

 

Now why is my image going to look about a million times better than your image will when projected on video? I'm going to show you why. Here it is. Clear as anybody could make it:

 

10bitvsdv1vu.jpg

 

Go ahead and duplicate the results I'm showing here. Anybody can. There's no card tricks or smoke and mirrors.

 

When somebody tries to tell you that DV is good enough for super 8 transfers, they clearly have no goddamn idea what they're talking about.

 

This is why Super 8 has been considered an amatuer format, is an amatuer format, and will likely always be an amatuer format. It is a format that offers an amatuer look. That is why I like to shoot it because I'm an amatuer filmmaker.

 

Steve

 

Wrong. Super 8 has been a professional format from the day garbage K40 was yanked. Kodak considers it a professional format and moved it in with all the rest of their professional films. They make it, afterall.

 

One of the dumbest things I ever read on webboards are people who claim that any camera is professional. It just has to be used in a professional manner and with professional intent. Bullshit. Professional cameras are professional by DESIGN. Film stocks are what is professional or amateur based on intended use by the user, and by emulsion.

 

I guess the other really stupid things I see that's related are people making claims that size of film gauge determines professional use. Hahahhahahahaha -- so, the only professional still films are therefore large and medium format? 35mm can never be considered professional because the images are soft and grainy next to large and medium format. Now how stupid is that comment when you put it into context?

 

I REST MY CASE.

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What we see in this thread is the typical mind set which refuses to acknowledge the obvious.

 

Well, after a vacation, I come back to see more additions to this thread which continue to display a fundamental lack of understanding from people who should know better.

You're missing the point -- it's flying right over your head

Shocked? Surprised? Welcome to reality.

 

As usual, I'm sorry to say, Steve, you posts belie that you have read my posts or truly understand what is being discussed here.

 

What I can't figure out is what the hell gives you the right to speak to people in this abrupt, rude and dismissive manner.

 

You've asserted that shooting and transferring Super 8 using 'Professional' equipment yields better results. Well, guess what? No argument there. We're all well aware of the benefits of using superior lenses and TK formats.

 

The question that was asked of you was: Given the extra effort and expense you are going to in order to improve your results from Super 8, would it not be simpler to shoot Super 16 instead?

 

If you can't answer politely then please don't answer at all.

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Hello Santo,

 

I know you feel passionate about your filmmaking, and that is a good thing...a very good thing.

 

However, you need to do so in a civil manner. I'm quoting for this forum's guidelines:

 

"You may not use profanity in usernames, posts, signatures or anything else on this website. It is unprofessional and offensive and will not be tolerated. We have word filters in place for the most vulgar terms. Circumventing those word filters will result in punitive action."

 

This forum is not like Filmshooting.com or as I like to call it "I love to rant shooting.com" Many professionals don't go to the other site because it is rude and offensive. Let's try to be civil to one another.

 

Thank you

 

Mike

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Well.....go for it. I'm sincerely interested to see what you come up with.

 

 

I'm in the editing suite today. Here is a 3mb 2:30 minute roll that I intentionally overdeveloped in D76 for half and hour without agitation for a halation effect. This is from My Beaulieu 4008 test reel. This particualr shot was made with an Angenieux 5.9mm prime lens on a roll of 7265.

 

D76.mov

 

 

Steve

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I am looking at doing a short project in Super 8, I am looking into the 10bit uncompressed for the color information since I will be doing a lot of green screen. I am a broadcast video proffesional and I am ready to make a move into film. Super 8 is a way for me to get my feet wet. This post has inspired me..too much talking and not enough shooting! For what it is worth Santo's still is sharper but Steve's still has better contrast(highlights, showdows, etc) but that is my personnel preference.

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For what it is worth Santo's still is sharper but Steve's still has better contrast(highlights, showdows, etc) but that is my personnel preference.

All we can see is a blurry picture (camera shake, defocussed, motion blur in foreground?) and an example of bad flare (unsufficient shade?). One could even draw the conclusion that old zooms are more resistant to flare than prime lenses.

 

Have seen the discussion about 35mm vs. medium format in still photgraphy over and over. It always boils down to "use the right tool fo the task". It is much easier and more straightforward to get the quality one expects from the larger format if you use the larger format in the first place. The same level of effort put into the larger format will always yield a result which is head and shoulders over the smaller.

 

Stefan

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Wrong. Super 8 has been a professional format from the day garbage K40 was yanked. Kodak considers it a professional format and moved it in with all the rest of their professional films. They make it, afterall.

 

 

So by dumping k40 ( which wasn't kodak finest kodachrome offering) and releasing a grainer E6 emulsion, which happens to come from the 35mm professional still market, this now means super 8 is now a pro format. I suppose its now easier to get that super 8 look, saturated colours, grainy as possible, and easy processing. Until i try wittner 100d or the fuji 50 ( when released) at present the super 8 projected image has never looked so poor as with this new 64t filmstock. Yes i even prefer the old E160.

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Super 8 has its place as a small movie format, and with sufficient, proper lighting, good cameras & lenses and modern stocks you get an image which is quite acceptable to most audiences and has a lot of built-in character. Personally i believe the new E64T and Vision 2 stocks will significantly alter audience's perceptions of what the format is capable of. K40 Kodachrome looks like old home movies; V2-200 looks like modern film; I'd guess Pro8's 50D cartidges will further S8's reputation for shooters needing sharp resolution. Even E64T can look good with proper filtering & lighting, see the recent results on www.filmshooting.com .

 

The big plus for the Super 8 solo camera shooter is its diminutive size. I shoot man-on-the-street materials and since the camera isn't much bigger than a DV camcorder most people don't pay any mind. If I tried that with an SR3 or CP16 and tripod people notice; the police would be on my case immediately, asking for my permit.

 

IMO, the biggest single issue for Super8 is the post-production work flow; if you're intending for cinema projection you're SOL, it's too expensive; might as well shoot S16 or even 35mm and get a better picture. But if video is the destination or S8 is used as an effect in a feature, OK. Enough good S8 telecine machines and destination formats are around that you have your pick of the lot.

 

Shoot S8 silent, use a lot of light, stop down your lens, don't plan for sync, and you'll be fine.

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After reading and reading this post I believe that it is an award winner.

I'm adding the prices of film as a way to guage cost for film size. I called Kodak yersterday and here is what they gave me:

 

Super 8

64T $14.00

200T $15.15

500T $15.15

PlusX $10.59

TriX $10.59

 

16mm

50D and 200T and 500T $36.48 for 100' $141.92 for 400 ft.

 

35mm

50D, 200T and 500T $70.30 for 100' $254.00 for 400' and $623.70 for 1000'

 

So 16mm is 240% or 2.4 X's more expensive than super-8

35mm is 924% or 9 1/4 X's more expensive than super-8

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