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Jeremy Day

Super Duper 8, Wide 8, Max 8 Extra Area Location

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I recently had a couple of my Canon 814 XL-S cameras converted to Super Duper 8. I've been reading about it for some time.

 

When you file down the left side of the gate, this exposes the area of film on the opposite side of the perforations (where the sound strip would have been). When you are looking through the viewfinder, the extra area attained through widening the gate is on the right side of the viewfinder.

 

Why? I know it is a simple answer. But intuitively, it feels confusing. I have yet to shoot Super Duper 8. My experience is based on reading about people's experience with this format. But I have seen multiple instances of posters stating that the extra area is on the right side of the viewfinder, but you file the left side of the gate.

 

Please help my poor little confused brain.

 

Thanks.

 

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Because the image flips on it's way to the film from the lens. Hold a camera lens against some white paper and notice that what it projects onto the paper is inverted. So, if you expanded the left side of the gate, you expanded the right side of the upright image.

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Because the image flips on it's way to the film from the lens. Hold a camera lens against some white paper and notice that what it projects onto the paper is inverted. So, if you expanded the left side of the gate, you expanded the right side of the upright image.

 

Does this affect what is viewed in the viewfinder at all? I assume it doesn't because the image is split before reaching the gate area. If that assumption is correct, then that would mean one isn't seeing the extra amount that the film is recording, which if correct, is not a good thing.

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Does this affect what is viewed in the viewfinder at all? I assume it doesn't because the image is split before reaching the gate area. If that assumption is correct, then that would mean one isn't seeing the extra amount that the film is recording, which if correct, is not a good thing.

 

The extra area is masked by the VF mask. On Nizos you can get at the VF mask pretty easy to widen it. Remove and dissassemble the diopter at back of camera - the mask is a thin metal plate.

 

One quickly gets used to knowing how much extra image is there - a quick pan a bit to the right when framing can help. You can put someone off to the right a bit more than you normally would in a two-shot.....but yeah, overall it's not a good thing.

 

These days I'm all jazzed over 4:3 anyway....or 1.36 in Super8.

 

Mitch

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Small detail: Regular 8 is 1.36 (0.177"/0.130"). Super 8 is 1.44 (0.228"/0.158").

 

 

These days I'm all jazzed over 4:3 anyway....or 1.36 in Super8.

 

Mitch

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I guess this thread is probably dead, but in case there's anyone out there...

 

I just bought a Canon 814 Auto Zoom Electronic and would like to widen the gate. Do you know if there's anyone who provides this service? Or how hard it would be to do it myself?

 

Thank you!

 

Eoin

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Argh......Super Duper...what an idiotic name. This widening of the gate was referred to as Super 8B (for Breitwand or Widescreen) by the actual inventor of this format, doing this in Switzerland. So, Super 8W or Super 8 WideGate might be a better term. Just my thoughts on this. The adjustment of the viewfinder mask can be done on some other Super 8mm cameras. Personally, I would just use anamorphic lenses, but there is advantage of more of the zoom range, the macrofocus range, etc on cameras where the gate has been filed out. For anyone wanting to do this themselves....I suggest removing a gate from some old junker non working camera and attempt that first. Fine files are available from various tool sources, and for polishing you can get an ultra fine grit sandpaper in the 2000 grade and fine range (works awesome on polishing engine crankshaft journals), or a jeweler's rouge, for the final polishing so as not to scratch the film surface. Anyhow, if it were truly so super duper, it would be much wider somehow. But, then, that's why I like using the KOWA 16H for a true CinemaScope type image, despite the shortcomings. One last caveat: IF you are not tech savvy the consider having the work done by someone competent as you certainly don't want to ruin your camera. Should you ruin the gate, you could always just buy a junker version of the same camera or camera series where the gate would be the same one, and replace it. A good case for buying a backup junker for parts off eBay or elsewhere should such a need for any parts ever arise.

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