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Gary Lemson

New Kodak Super 8 Camera

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it's wonderfully (and delusionally) romantic as is the idea of K-40 making a comeback for the new Kodak camera. That ship sailed two decades ago, and I am astonished people are still romanticizing about this. 7203 is so superior to 7268 in Super 8 productions, it's not even funny, even if you're after "the Kodachrome look" which also BTW relates to the historic eras and colour palette in the real world, not just the stock.

I would highly agree that K40 coming back is a delusional idea, and personally find E6 and V3 films to be way better. However the cry for K40's return or a new reversal film has been a pretty loud cry aimed at Kodak since E100D went away. Therefor I'm giving 60/40 odds that this promo may be a reality next year. Kodak tried to sweep it under the rug as a typo, but I find it unlikely.

kodak_2016_packaging_prototype_02.jpg

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I don't equate the education sector with Californian/NYC-style film schools or colleges out to teach professional filmmaking.

What's the point of going to school if the skills you learn have no relevance in the real world? Working with Super 8 maybe great for "experimental artists", but if you're going to school for experimenting, you are wasting money. You can experiment with a $100 camera investment and a good book to teach you the basics. What makes programs like the one I teach at AND the film schools around the globe so vital, is the access to professional equipment and the teaching of how to work in a professional environment. If those aren't important, join a film club and make experimental art films that nobody will see whilst you work making $10.00 hr. Most of us go to school to get the education necessary to make real money. Ya ain't gonna learn that with a fully automatic super 8 camera.

 

One-Price-Packages are also not "a consumer thing" per se. I got these with ARRI in Munich shooting 35.

One price, but also "hands off" from the consumers point of view. You don't sit down with the colorist to make your footage look good. You don't get a print to project either. Kodak has turned super 8 into a video cassette. Shipping the film to Kodak is like sending a video tape out to be ingested into an editing system since today, nobody has decks anymore.

 

Also... most labs package film, processing and transfer. The difference is, you the filmmaker, controls the entire process from start to finish. With the super 8 program, the consumer only can select what film they use.

 

For you or me having grown up with cine-film, phoning up suppliers, comparing lab costs through printed price lists, driving hundreds of kilometers with film cans, and ordering film cement by postcards, this may all be difficult to understand, but S8 is now simply unsellable at scale if you don't offer the cartridge from one POS, then return it with freepost and get back a dev'd negative (which may actually well become optional) and a 1080p or 2k scan which is solely downloadable and shareable from the cloud. I frankly don't even think there will be much provision for supplying/including/shipping HDD/SSD drives with the reel's content from some partnered lab, given the complex logistics and security/interface challenges – it's simply too convoluted and unwieldy to do this. A 2.5 minute-long reel at 2k is entirely feasible to manage online.

Umm... yea, welcome to a hands-off consumer system. Offer the entire package, someone will bite. However, I personally don't believe it will drive up sales of the format to the level Kodak probably assumes it will. People who are already shooting super 8 will benefit, but that number is very small. In fact, I don't personally know a single person who shoots super 8 outside of projects I'm personally involved with. I know people who own super 8 prints, but none of them have ever contemplated using the format for acquisition. By contrast, my Super 16 package is constantly being borrowed by random filmmakers. In the last 30 day's, it's been on 5 shoots outside of my own and I've shot with it two days. Yet my 3 super 8 camera's, sit idle because nobody cares.

 

Whatever Kodak does with the format, it will still be subpar over the long term. Super 16mm is a far superior format in every way outside of the physical camera size. It's twice the resolution, it's more stable, it's practically silent, there are better and more available lenses made for the format and as I've said many times, cost per minute of finished material is about equal to super 8, minus the cost of equipment which of course is more expensive.

 

In my eyes, if you plan on making movies on film, you want a format that's large enough and moves fast enough that working with it by hand (editing a finished product) and projecting it, still looks acceptable. Real film nuts, want to project they have no interest in digital nonsense.

 

I've never had a problem finding film online or locally. I've never had a problem shipping film to other labs. I've never had a problem with quality from labs either. The film workflow in the US is pretty good, though I will admit, rather slow.

 

To pick up the base case and business rationale I touched on earlier here, as far as I know, Kodak is producing this camera to provide the overall market for the format with a functioning Super 8 camera, beyond the risks of buying ill-maintained second hand cameras which's crappy output tarnishes the medium's aesthetic, reputation, and potential. The absence of reliably functioning gear is the biggest thread to the format since the battle for commercial viability through sales numbers, which had been the threat to the format throughout the 1990s and 2000s. So, the new camera functions as a pre-requisite vehicle to allow Kodak to sell Super 8 film in a vertically integrated way, providing film stock, development, scan, and distribution in a one-stop/one-price solution. This is what Kodak itself has always been about, after all, not just for S8. This may look like going back to 1960s "consumer" models, but as I have argued, these labels no longer work for the people producing material on media at different scales and reaches nowadays.

For a price... You can get a Super 16 K3 brand new from Russia for $250 bux shipped to the US. Spinning mirror reflex Super 16 camera that sure, is wind up, but man far better image quality even with the stock lens. If Kodak was making a super tiny hand-held super 8 camera like the little one's from the 70's and 80's for $99 bux, then I get it. But for $499 - $799, you can get one heck of a REAL camera shooting a REAL format, where the finished product isn't a novelty.

 

I guess to wrap up this post... I personally have never liked super 8. The mere essence of the format is the lowest-quality possible, that's why it exists. I personally don't live my life by working with the lowest quality anything. When I shoot film, I shoot S16 or better. When I shoot digital I shoot 1080p or better. When I work with audio, I use high quality mic's and 24/192 converters. In my mind, there is no reason to waste time unless the results are going to be decent. Maybe that's why I don't produce a lot of product myself, I want to work with the best. In the best terms, Super 8 is a novelty film format in the year 2017. People who use it, shoot with it for novelty value, not for creating a product that will forward their career as filmmakers. You aren't going to put some super 8 snips on your demo reel. You may however put some clips from your K3 on there or any other 16mm camera because it withstands the test of time FAR better. Furthermore, I have yet to see anyone truly make a great product with the super 8 medium. I've heard of stuff, I've even caught glimpses of "test" material, but not a final product to watch. Everything online is "test" material and in my book, when all you do is run around playing with cameras, you are simply wasting time and money. Once you've shot your friends, family and maybe some ducks, the novelty has worn off. The camera will sit on shelf or in a bag or in an attic, it won't be used. This is my "beef" with the format and where Kodak is going. They SHOULD have made a low-cost Super 16 camera, that would have been a HUGE market.

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:huh: - I am not sure what your argument is in this post or what you are arguing for, or in fact, about at all. You clearly haven't read my post in full, or comprehended it, or really only read the lines you are quoting from. So I conclude this now because you are three steps away from descending into incoherent ranting, and I respect you too much to want you see do that for no reasons worth it. This forum has been more nuanced about Super 8 as a distinct format already a decade ago, so please necrophile a thread from that era if you need to ventilate.

 

What's the point of going to school if the skills you learn have no relevance in the real world? Working with Super 8 maybe great for "experimental artists", but if you're going to school for experimenting, you are wasting money. You can experiment with a $100 camera investment and a good book to teach you the basics. What makes programs like the one I teach at AND the film schools around the globe so vital, is the access to professional equipment and the teaching of how to work in a professional environment. If those aren't important, join a film club and make experimental art films that nobody will see whilst you work making $10.00 hr. Most of us go to school to get the education necessary to make real money. Ya ain't gonna learn that with a fully automatic super 8 camera.

 

 

Your argument goes totally beside the point I made.

- thank you for killing theoretical mathematics and quantum physics – life in your world of education would still be based in caves due to the lack of greater fools.

- rant about film schools teaching cinematography better than non-film schools… ehm, yeah, that's obvious. No one at an arts university is teaching pointless theory-less experimentation, though. Don't be disrespectful to pedagogy and didactics in other educational fields far away from film schools you apparently have not been professionally exposed to. Re-read my post to understand how Super 8 is an option for people to do some extra-curricular activities to understand aesthetics of media production to laterally support their core education (which will make them more money than unionized DoPs make, I discovered to my shock)

- I am sorry you seem to think my post was an underhand threat to the raison d'être of film schools. It wasn't by parsecs! You totally missed the point. Also: don't waste our time because you bias your reading due to the threat film schools experience today, to some part because graduates don't make real money once they leave. And I say this as someone who is an autodidact on 8/16/35, privately owning professional gear mostly inaccessible to film school students this side of the Atlantic, and doing this without intend to make money because I am, by definition, an cinephile amateur :lol: .

 

One price, but also "hands off" from the consumers point of view. You don't sit down with the colorist to make your footage look good. You don't get a print to project either. Kodak has turned super 8 into a video cassette. Shipping the film to Kodak is like sending a video tape out to be ingested into an editing system since today, nobody has decks anymore.

 

Ehm, not the example I used with ARRI, but you are trying to make the point, I presume, that… well, I am not sure what your point is. Super 8 as a reversal-based medium was "in its precursor essence" a video cassette tape system… press button stupid. It was designed to work as a consumer model. Now, you can work with Super 8 in identical workflows as you would for Super 16 or Super 35, with lab techs taking you serious. You can also go for a one-light scan, and do coloration and post effects at home on Mac or Wintel at costs so low George Lucas could have only dreamt of when his SGI server farm rendered his 1 minute of Star Wars for 12 hours over night. You have far more options for cine-film at low costs than ever before. The point Kodak is attempting to make with that camera is not about that at all. As I wrote. Please re-read my post.


Also... most labs package film, processing and transfer. The difference is, you the filmmaker, controls the entire process from start to finish. With the super 8 program, the consumer only can select what film they use.

 

You mean to say that with the hypothetical Super 8 package we speculate Kodak will launch, Kodak intends to offer to potential interessees in Super 8 the option of not going through a self-curated film stock/dev/trans/proc/post chain that is now the default way for shooting S8 negative anyway, but instead, as I said, potentially offer a one-stop solution to new customer groups who are interested in S8 but don't want to delve so deeply into the matter for their first foray into it.

 

I think more choice is good in a market, and if people engage with S8 through one-stop fixed-price packages they are familiar with from other media they work with, to discover Super 8, and then maybe move into more professionally nuanced post chains using that format to keep it alive, well, I think that's a good thing, too. It's not that Kodak is shutting down all S8 labs, monopolizes sales (given it holds a patented monopoly on the format), and kills today's entire S8 ecosystem over night. Geee… what's your gripe, Tyler?


Umm... yea, welcome to a hands-off consumer system. Offer the entire package, someone will bite. However, I personally don't believe it will drive up sales of the format to the level Kodak probably assumes it will. People who are already shooting super 8 will benefit, but that number is very small. In fact, I don't personally know a single person who shoots super 8 outside of projects I'm personally involved with. I know people who own super 8 prints, but none of them have ever contemplated using the format for acquisition. By contrast, my Super 16 package is constantly being borrowed by random filmmakers. In the last 30 day's, it's been on 5 shoots outside of my own and I've shot with it two days. Yet my 3 super 8 camera's, sit idle because nobody cares.

 

I already said the entire consumer/professional binary dichotomy no longer works for the generation this potential Kodak S8 system is geared towards. I made the points, you decided not to engage with them. I leave it with you as I don't care to convince you at all cost. 2016 has showcased this is often pointless.

 

Will it drive up sales? After intro for sure. Long-term? Who knows. We discussed the death of S8 so often, it's like "Apple is doomed" memes in the ICT sector. It lasts as long as it's viable and of interest for a manufacturer, which may be Kodak or the patent holder after Rochester is truly dead. Remember all those "Yellow Giant" haters in "Smallformat" magazine who were cheering for Fuji and its unwavering eternal support for Single 8, that far superior format only for those distinct aesthetes really interested in the best possible narrow gauge medium of the world… yeah… how did this end for the Lossau editorialists?!

 

I don't think you can logically make an argument wherein a brand-new Super 8 camera will result in the death of a format currently suffering from new adopters being faced with ill-maintained often-broken un-repairable consumer cameras half a century old who won't be willing – after that experience – to shell out hundreds of dollars for a freshly CLA'd Super 8 production camera to experience the format's full potential.

 

Also: the plural of your anecdotes is not data.


Whatever Kodak does with the format, it will still be subpar over the long term. Super 16mm is a far superior format in every way outside of the physical camera size. It's twice the resolution, it's more stable, it's practically silent, there are better and more available lenses made for the format and as I've said many times, cost per minute of finished material is about equal to super 8, minus the cost of equipment which of course is more expensive.

 

Again, I am unclear what your argument is all about… will it be subpar only over the long term. But not in the short term? Will it be superpar in the short term? And in comparison to what? We have a fully professional post-chain available in locations around the planet for S8 already. A simpler less-barriered customer-facing option is what Kodak wants to pursue in addition to that, to attract new people to the format. Do I think that's ballsy? Yes. Was it unexpected from Kodak to me? Absolutely! Will it work out for Kodak? I think it's 50:50 in my book! Is it better than not doing anything and simply let the format wither away. Absofreckinglutely!

 

As far as 16mm being superior format to S8… ehmm… thanks for stating the blatantly obvious. "35mm is a far superior format to 16"… yeah… for me, it's also cheaper if I choose suppliers wisely, than 16, so I shoot a lot on 35 now over 16, but I still shoot 16 and 8, too. I mean… a professional DoP chooses the format based on the aesthetic s/he wants for the film.

Formats have aesthetic values inherent to them, and image acquisition form factors is also matter. Otherwise, everyone would just shoot 65mm.

 

What does that have to do with Kodak's new Super 8 camera? Please tell me, because I haven't a clue! Your business or teaching will not be threatened by this Kodak camera, given that no one rents your S8 gear anyway. So you have no personal or industry stake to motivate all this upset posting.

 

If you want to relive the image resolution warfare from the early days of digital transfers of cine-film, go to page 198 of the Super 8 forum here and relive the glory or arguments long made and today utterly pointless. ;)


In my eyes, if you plan on making movies on film, you want a format that's large enough and moves fast enough that working with it by hand (editing a finished product) and projecting it, still looks acceptable. Real film nuts, want to project they have no interest in digital nonsense.

I've never had a problem finding film online or locally. I've never had a problem shipping film to other labs. I've never had a problem with quality from labs either. The film workflow in the US is pretty good, though I will admit, rather slow.

 

Again, what's the point you are making here in respect to a new S8 camera? It's not that Kodak says: "Here's Super 8, a brand new format that will replace all cine-film formats that have come before. It'll even have an Alexa for breakfast".

 

This is so common-sense, it's like saying "washing your hands keeps bacteria at bay". Given that Kodak will likely partner with established labs in the US and EU (probably Andec after they took over ARRI's lab), the only thing the purely hypothetical one-stop solution Kodak may offer on the back of launching a new Super 8 camera is to channel even more customers hitherto avoiding the format because of the built-in resistance they (!) perceive (not you or I, we are not the core demo they may target) to established industry firms. Kodak is not going to build a new Lausanne-style processing lab for sure.


For a price... You can get a Super 16 K3 brand new from Russia for $250 bux shipped to the US. Spinning mirror reflex Super 16 camera that sure, is wind up, but man far better image quality even with the stock lens. If Kodak was making a super tiny hand-held super 8 camera like the little one's from the 70's and 80's for $99 bux, then I get it. But for $499 - $799, you can get one heck of a REAL camera shooting a REAL format, where the finished product isn't a novelty.

 

Okay… stupid Kodak, how can they not see that, too!? They should just buy Krasnogorsk, drain that novelty swamp of a half-a-century-old tiny-hands novelty format, and finally again do something REAL, a bigly change to make REAL FILM GREAT AGAIN.

 

Tyler, are you okay?


I guess to wrap up this post... I personally have never liked super 8. The mere essence of the format is the lowest-quality possible, that's why it exists. I personally don't live my life by working with the lowest quality anything. When I shoot film, I shoot S16 or better. When I shoot digital I shoot 1080p or better. When I work with audio, I use high quality mic's and 24/192 converters. In my mind, there is no reason to waste time unless the results are going to be decent. Maybe that's why I don't produce a lot of product myself, I want to work with the best. In the best terms, Super 8 is a novelty film format in the year 2017. People who use it, shoot with it for novelty value, not for creating a product that will forward their career as filmmakers. [<snip> for the rest of the same]

 

Aahh, now you are telling…. :rolleyes: – that was like soooo not subliminally obvious through your posts in this thread... :lol:

 

Okay, you don't like S8. Fair enough. Who cares? What does your personal preference have to do with the new Kodak Super 8 camera, its tech, potential ecosystem, and launch timeline we are discussing here?

 

I don't like Lamborghinis. I don't go to a Lamborghini forum to post that I think the Lamborghini Veneno looks like the automotive manifest of a venereal disease, that the 400 GT Monza is the last real Lambo, and that for the price of a Veneno, I can buy a F-150, an M2 and an Octavia Estate to get some real work done that gets me real money after having passed real driving school, when the point of the Veneno is to be an investment vehicle to be driven into a sealed storage garage, or on tracks by Gulf twens – – – which brings us back to your socio-economic comment about the new Kodak camera getting mostly interest at Cinegear from "rich guys looking for a new toy" - I've heard a lot over the years, but never that that's an ethical problem or doom-speller for a film format to be respected or a new camera to be launched. After all, after Cannibal Holocaust, Deep Throat and Baise moi, how could Munich, Grenoble and Gottschalk have gone ahead with their Aaton 35-II, Arriflex 416 and Millennium, really :blink: :wacko: . #sarcasm

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In fact, I don't personally know a single person who shoots super 8 outside of projects I'm personally involved with. I know people who own super 8 prints, but none of them have ever contemplated using the format for acquisition. By contrast, my Super 16 package is constantly being borrowed by random filmmakers. In the last 30 day's, it's been on 5 shoots outside of my own and I've shot with it two days. Yet my 3 super 8 camera's, sit idle because nobody cares.

 

While we're talking about anecdata, I can say for certain that a lot of people are shooting Super 8 professionally. We regularly transfer newly shot S8 for independent filmmakers, musicians, fashion photographers, wedding photographers, as well as artists and people shooting home movies. Typically we're transferring at least 400' and in some cases we get 1600-2000' of film for a single job. In S8 terms, that's substantial - 2000' is 100 minutes of footage.

 

Back of the napkin, I'd say we do 3000' per week of S8, on average, not including people who are bringing in collections of old home movies. I'm just talking about newly shot film. Many (but not all) of those clients are from the LA and NY markets.

 

And we're just one small transfer house.

 

-perry

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Back to the new super-8 camera -- today Tommy Madsen posted on Facebook Super 8mm page the following comment to a thread on the GK pressure plate (bolding by me):

 

"GK Film holds a still valid patent on this so unless you want a world of legal pain I wouldn't go down that alley as I'm sure they would defend their patent (why else have one)

Instead of trying to fix it from the cartridge point of view I would look at purchasing a camera that employs techniques for registering the cartridge jitter.
The Logmar S8 did this by not using the cartridge at all but it was a nightmare to load as you had to Thread the camera.
The new upcoming Kodak camera has a much better more ingenious design than the Logmar S8 in terms of registration which uses the cartridge "as is" but even still creates an image on par or in some cases slightly better than the Logmar S8.
That's the camera I would wait for."

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While we're talking about anecdata, I can say for certain that a lot of people are shooting Super 8 professionally. We regularly transfer newly shot S8 for independent filmmakers, musicians, fashion photographers, wedding photographers, as well as artists and people shooting home movies. Typically we're transferring at least 400' and in some cases we get 1600-2000' of film for a single job. In S8 terms, that's substantial - 2000' is 100 minutes of footage.

 

Back of the napkin, I'd say we do 3000' per week of S8, on average, not including people who are bringing in collections of old home movies. I'm just talking about newly shot film. Many (but not all) of those clients are from the LA and NY markets.

 

And we're just one small transfer house.

Sure, used for the "retro" look and art-house appeal.

 

Then you think, my S16 camera alone shoots around 10,000 feet a month easily.

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The new upcoming Kodak camera has a much better more ingenious design than the Logmar S8 in terms of registration which uses the cartridge "as is" but even still creates an image on par or in some cases slightly better than the Logmar S8.

 

That's the camera I would wait for."

Without pulling the film out from the cartridges plastic backplate, there isn't any way to solve the problem.

 

The only "solution" is to make an all-new cartridge with a higher quality backplate.

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Sure, used for the "retro" look and art-house appeal.

 

Not always. Dismissing "art" film as less relevant is something that doesn't do anyone any good. And that's the sense I get from what I can understand of your argument. The point here is that all films are used for a "look" whether you think of it that way or not. Whether it's super 8, 16, 35mm, is beside the point. There are a lot of people shooting S8 for a look, and a lot shooting it because they like it (the format).

 

Then you think, my S16 camera alone shoots around 10,000 feet a month easily.

 

 

That's great. As I said, anecdata.

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You clearly haven't read my post in full, or comprehended it, or really only read the lines you are quoting from.

It's very hard to translate your posts at 1am in the morning. I'm not an english major and no matter how many times I read your sentences, it only makes for greater confusion.

 

Super 8 as a reversal-based medium was "in its precursor essence" a video cassette tape system… press button stupid. It was designed to work as a consumer model. Now, you can work with Super 8 in identical workflows as you would for Super 16 or Super 35, with lab techs taking you serious.

Ahh, see this is the confusion. I'm trying to stick to the topic of Kodak's closed-door model vs other alternatives. Kodak's model will be less expensive then the current model available. It will also probably be higher quality, using scanners instead of telecine machines. The current model for Super 8 is pretty expensive and at least out here, the shops don't treat it with the same care as 16 or 35.

 

SO yes, the steps are the same, but the level of control the user is involved with, is reduced under the Kodak model.

 

potentially offer a one-stop solution to new customer groups who are interested in S8 but don't want to delve so deeply into the matter for their first foray into it.

This already exists... Kodak isn't doing anything unique. Most smaller labs offer a film + process + transfer price. So anyone who wants to dive into Super 8, can do so already without Kodak's involvement.

 

All Kodak brings to the table are new films, marketing and perhaps putting Super 8 cartridges back at retail camera stores, rather then speciality shops.

 

It's not that Kodak is shutting down all S8 labs, monopolizes sales (given it holds a patented monopoly on the format), and kills today's entire S8 ecosystem over night. Geee… what's your gripe, Tyler?

Actually, I think that's exactly what will happen and I think it's their intention. The pricing for Super 8 is out of control right now, labs are charging exorbitant amounts of money and Kodak wants to reign that in. The problem is, Kodak is putting all the eggs in their basket and that's scary.

 

I already said the entire consumer/professional binary dichotomy no longer works for the generation this potential Kodak S8 system is geared towards. I made the points, you decided not to engage with them. I leave it with you as I don't care to convince you at all cost. 2016 has showcased this is often pointless.

But it does and here is why... Kodak can't survive off manufacturing and processing a million feet of film per year. They'd be out of business. So Kodak either needs to sell 10x the amount of Super 8 film they currently sell, or they're in trouble.

 

By contrast, 16mm and 35mm sell hundreds of millions of feet per year. These and the larger 65mm and 70mm formats, are the reason Kodak stays in business.

 

When you go to the movie theaters and see something shot on film, when you watch TV and see something shot on film, when you watch older movies at home and see something shot on film, you are 99.95% of the time seeing 16, 35, 65/70. You may randomly catch an insert shot on a Music video shot on super 8. You may catch a commercial with a home-movie shot, made with super 8 equipment. You may even see an opening credit sequence for a television show shot on super 8.

 

Unfortunately there just isn't enough feet of super 8 shot to make it anything else but a novelty format. If people all of a sudden started shooting features with it, the footage count would increase tremendously, but there would need to be A LOT of film shot to make it worth while for Kodak.

 

So yes, the dichotomy I discussed very much exists today. My concern is that Kodak reduces the prices enough that other labs can't compete anymore and close down. My concern is that people buy this new Super 8 camera, not knowing what it's all about and dislike the finished results. My concern is that their investment doesn't pay off and eventually they close down the labs they bought recently. I'm only thinking long-term and I'm scared about the future with so much money invested in a format that will never make Kodak the money they need to survive.

 

Is it better than not doing anything and simply let the format wither away.

Not in my eyes. Kodak should have kept producing the Kodachrome chemicals and that should have been the format. It was mail-in, it was positive/projectable and it looked VERY retro. To me, the death of Kodachrome was the death of the format.

 

As far as 16mm being superior format to S8… ehmm… thanks for stating the blatantly obvious. "35mm is a far superior format to 16"… yeah… for me, it's also cheaper if I choose suppliers wisely, than 16, so I shoot a lot on 35 now over 16, but I still shoot 16 and 8, too. I mean… a professional DoP chooses the format based on the aesthetic s/he wants for the film.

 

Formats have aesthetic values inherent to them, and image acquisition form factors is also matter. Otherwise, everyone would just shoot 65mm.

There is a level of "acceptable quality" in the industry. Since I actually have to deliver content for archival (QC) and distributors on a regular basis, I've been told the spec countless times. If the QC software fails your product due to noise level, you have to do something about it. Well, if you shot on super 8 and that's your only deliverable option, you're in trouble. The amount of loopholes you've gotta go through will blow your mind, it's just insane. In fact, most distributors won't even take Super 16 anymore (BBC being the most recognizable of those), they feel it's too noisy for modern audiences. I have a feeling more and more distributors will follow suit and Super 16 will eventually turn into Super 8. Again... this is what separates the "consumer" from the "professional" formats. It doesn't matter who makes the rules, if you're constantly having to fight them, you will eventually not bother on the next show and shoot in a different format.

 

9 times out of 10, the reason people use narrow gauge formats is due to cost savings. When you're shooting an 80+ minute product @ 10:1 ratio, you're burning through roughly 28,000ft of film on super 16, but more like 58,000ft with 3 perf 35mm and 90,000ft on 4 perf 35mm. Even if film and equipment price between 16 and 35 was identical, 35mm is exorbitantly more money to process AND transfer. I prep budgets on a monthly basis for people shooting film and the raw stock/processing/transfer difference between Super 16 and 3 perf 35mm is around $40,000 USD. You can cut $10k off that with short ends, but even $30k is a lot and you still have to rent a 3 perf camera because they're still too much money to own. So no, 35mm is more expensive then 16mm no matter how you tweak the numbers, no matter what format (2 perf, 3 perf, 4 perf) you use, it's ALWAYS going to be more money.

 

With super 8, ya can't get short ends to help reduce cost. Stock and processing is around $45 per 2.5 minute cartridge. So that's $193 dollars for 11 minutes (400ft 16mm equivalent). Even with NEW stock from Kodak ($125/roll) you're still only looking at $173 for 11 minutes processed. Transfer is generally the same price for both formats as well. So you can see right away, there is NO financial benefit to super 8.

 

What does that have to do with Kodak's new Super 8 camera? Please tell me, because I haven't a clue!

Why invest in something that ISN'T going to solve the glaring problems with the format? Cost vs performance. There are MILLIONS of perfectly good super 8 cameras that work great. You can nab them on ebay for peanuts and they will all give you that "retro" look.

 

I equate Super 8 to video formats like Hi8. No matter how good the camera is, no matter how good you lens is, no matter how clean your heads are, no matter how good the tape stock is, the format still has the same look. So having a "special" camera defeats the purpose entirely.

 

So why put in all the effort and spend all the money? Kodak hopes it will promote film to a new audience, but will it? Will young people who buy Kodak's camera and use their processing, actually become filmmakers using bigger formats in the future where Kodak actually makes their money? Or are people who shoot super 8, only use it for the "retro" look and could care less about using the other formats? I sadly think MOST people who shoot super 8 are doing it for the look. So it's a HUGE risk for Kodak and the industry for that matter. Kodak is notorious for taking risks and failing. If they fail this time around, they may kill film off entirely. All they NEEDED to do was support pre-existing labs and lower the price on stock to more competitive levels. They had no reason to make a new camera that does nothing for the format.

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Without pulling the film out from the cartridges plastic backplate, there isn't any way to solve the problem.

 

The only "solution" is to make an all-new cartridge with a higher quality backplate.

 

Well, that comes from the mechanical engineer of the Logmar S-8 camera....

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Let's just hope Kodak know what they're doing, financially. I too think they might be taking a risk - and is it worth it? Some of the posts on this thead have been very enjoyable and genuinely humorous to read. There's some good value writing here, even if the grammar at times might not be perfect.

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Tyler,

I am sorry you can only read ciny.com at 1am in the morning. I am very sorry, English is only my fourth language, and I suck at it, especially while traveling and being under time pressure for other stuff. My language skills deteriorate under such circumstance. Your efforts are all the more appreciated.

I can follow the rationale for your perspective on Super 8, on Kodak, and its supposed market influence. These views are not new to me, but I simply haven't heard them put forward on this forum so sternly since, well, 2006/7 and the great Santo debates. However, the world of image acquisition, post chains, user demographics, and Kodak's power post-chapter 11, has changed enormously since then. Santo was right in the end, his critics were wrong.

You say you want Kodak to have retained K-40 and its one-stop-solution model, which was as closed-door as possible compared to other lab-based analog post chains for 8, 16 and 35. Yet you also criticize Kodak's supposedly new "closed-door", "less expensive", "higher quality" "model" that could be introduced alongside with its new Super 8 camera. Apart from the intrinsic contradiction of your arguments, I fail to see why an in-house, less expensive, higher quality alternative by Kodak would be worth critizising, economically or artistically, unless you wish to see the death of the S8 format. And that wouldn't help cine-film either.

Actually, I can't get my head around how you can say "higher quality for less cost" is bad, unless that specific product would kinda destroy the planet in the wake of itself from some weird side effect. Or unless it threatens your personal business and income? Well, I personally doubt the "Kodak Neomatic 2017" will be a Blofeldian tool of anthropogenic destruction. And I don't think it will put you out of business.

I also doubt Kodak has the intention of monopolizing Super 8 post shooting, given that its processing/scanning is likely done with Andec in "cool" Berlin, and other partner(s) in the US and other geographies. Giving additional confidence to the format with a new camera, plus sharing revenue with lab partners seems like a win-win for all industry players involved. Kodak post-chapter 11 has no financial prowress to open a brand-new purpose-built lab of its own. It's reliant on working with lab partners around the world. And they won't be pushed over by the "Yellow Giant", simply because capitalistically, Kodak is now a "Yellow Minion". And given that even ARRI closed its venerable lab and Andec took it over, I think I can rest my case for market forces and current powers to influence.

 

Likewise, if ARRI, Aaton, and smaller boutique camera manufacturers like Ikonoskop exited the 16mm camera market (and 35 too), I think your idea that au lieu of a new Super 8 camera, Kodak should have built a new 16mm camera says more about your sole focus on 16 than you applying your solid understanding of engineering (which you have) to realistically assess the absurd costs and barriers to built an all-new 16mm camera competitive with the deliverables of a Xterà, 416 etc.

And given that you can buy a new Krasnogorsk for cheap as chips, as you say yourself, why would Kodak want to enter such a competitive market? It couldn't compete downwards on price, nor compete upwards on quality. For S8, the market is actually more virginal, as there's nothing there other than 40-years-old S8 cameras, which – unless you invest in a "top-of-the-market" CLA'd production camera – are more often than not unrepairably broken when bought "fifth-hand" off eBay. As we know first hand here from newbie posters, it's THIS frustrating first experience of S8 rather than "oh, that's über-grainy as poop and has no aesthetic purpose whatsoevaah, I better choose 16mm, shoot 35mm or go back to my 5D Mark x" that kills interest in the format. And Kodak is addressing this problem head-on with a camera package that under-25s will intuitively understand and operate with success.

To keep the format going, unlike for 16 and 35 and its comparatively healthy camera and maintenance market, a new S8 camera is a meaningful act of support. To finance the Logmar group to built this camera makes also sense: it's not that Kodak has an in-house R&D division with platoons of white-coated Eastmanian boffins pondering about the next big thing. This isn't some General Motors corporate fantasy world of the 1950s anymore in which today's R&D can occur. But then again, you know this from your own experience in research and development, despite your retirement from it a few years ago.

All Kodak brings to the table are new films, marketing and perhaps putting Super 8 cartridges back at retail camera stores, rather then speciality shops.

 

I am sad that new film stocks and focused marketing for cine-film can't get you excited anymore.

 

No one cares about brick-and-mortar retail anymore. Retail camera stores? Again, do you still live in 1995? I would want to travel back in time to the 1990s, too, as 2016 sucks. But seriously now: a coop with Impossible to show off S8 is probably all that is in the cards, and why would that be bad? Look at Leica: their Leica Sofort is jumping on the instant photo revival bandwagon. It's not that we have now film stock of the quality Polaroid or Fujifilm once offered. But the medium as supported by Impossible keeps the various formats alive. And the new aesthetic distinction it offers that in its uniqueness cannot be fully replicated using digital methods, has earned it a considerable following among young people of all walks of life. If I talk to under-25s, they find Impossible film stock more exciting to use than megapixel-war digicams! Will it last in the long-term? Gee… nothing is forever (except Star Wars) but those analog formats already exist way beyond their last reasonable lifeline, and are still commercially viable at niche scales. That's pretty "holy grail" as far as business is concerned. LPs now outperform CDs in sales. It's a weird world. Go figure :) .

 

But it does and here is why... Kodak can't survive off manufacturing and processing a million feet of film per year. They'd be out of business. So Kodak either needs to sell 10x the amount of Super 8 film they currently sell, or they're in trouble.

By contrast, 16mm and 35mm sell hundreds of millions of feet per year. These and the larger 65mm and 70mm formats, are the reason Kodak stays in business.

 

This is mutually contradictory. I think you can see this yourself.


Not in my eyes. Kodak should have kept producing the Kodachrome chemicals and that should have been the format. It was mail-in, it was positive/projectable and it looked VERY retro. To me, the death of Kodachrome was the death of the format.

 

Keeping 7268 alive was not an option at all. And yet, despite the much-lamented death of it, Super 8 saw higher adoption rates since its removal from Kodak's Consumer division and alignment with its Professional Motion Imaging division following the death of 7268, as the late John Pytlak said in this very forum here.

What I think Kodak intends to do is indeed replicate the Kodachrome model, but instead of getting a reversal reel for projection back, you shoot on 7203 (which works with all S8 camera EI pin systems, a major overall engineering aspect!) and get a scanned 1080p or 2k digital file back in the cloud (plus your neg). Welcome to 2017 industry standards, not 1967 Neiman Marcus nostalgia.

And that is just what Kodak wants to offer. You can still buy film stocks directly from labs, use their packages, get positive prints, or scans with colorist time booked in, and blow it up to 70mm if your heart desires. The potentially new Kodak one-stop solution does not disable or prevent the other existing ones. It's a different market segment Kodak wants to serve, one where I see new users having a higher chance of having a positive and effortless first exposure to Super 8. I see the logic to it, you don't. C'est la vie!

To conclude:

You still consider S8 merely in outdated aspects of performance (measured by you in resolution comparison to 16/35/65) and cost. No one I know shoots S8 because it's cheaper than 16. Only mathematically challenged people would choose S8 over 16 or 35, because shooting S8 is in a trivially-lower cost range. People choose S8 for aesthetic reasons, now more than ever.

I find material aesthetics not playing any role at all in your assessments of cine-film formats totally weird. You are an educator and professional DoP, after all! What's going on?!

What I learned from people like David Mullen ASC here when I joined this forum a decade ago, is that aesthetics is the prevailing line of thought in cinematography, not some technical camera aspect, data sheet set, or feature list.

I think your presumption that Kodak's investment into this S8 project puts at peril the entire holding company, as well as all the other cine-film formats, is not only at odds with your earlier comments on sales figures. I also think that this shows a lack of understanding about Kodak's current corporate holding form, its capitalization, its ways and means, and the way management goes about product development today. I am sorry, but this is the equivalent of armchair management by people "longing for the ways it used to be", which we can unfortunately also now see in debates about politics, like "why can't we just get a better deal with China or Brussels. We just say we are not happy and they will fall over", leaving tsunamis of socio-economic system complexities unconsidered. Kodak isn't betting its future on a Super 8 camera, I can assure you that! In fact, the delays to it had me concerned about the launch happening at all. Kodak will rather pull the plug than support a bottomless R&D pit. But it seems insiders say the project is still all on track. And THAT was supposed to be the topic of this thread, by the way :)

I am pretty certain should this S8 camera make it to market despite the challenges its development obviously seems to face right now, it won't kill off Kodak, or Andec, or 35mm; just as Kodak dropping this project now won't magically resuscitate Super 16, a format that on my side of the Atlantic is as dead as a parrot – "deader" than Super 8 has ever been.

And with that reply, I will have to leave this conversation with you. I have spent in total 2.5 hours of my lifetime talking to you in this thread, and I think your position won't change a bit as a result of it. I am sorry for the hardship deciphering my ramblings has caused you. If I am incomprehensive to you, then that's all the more reason for me to stay solely on-topic in this thread, and not invest time in off-topic chatter. I admin this sub-forum, so I should probably stick to Tim's guidelines more than anyone else. I also fear your off-topic post getting two down votes even before I was notified by mail of its existence says a lot.

Thank you for your time, Tyler, though. It's genuinely appreciated and I wish you well.

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Actually, I think that's exactly what will happen and I think it's their intention. The pricing for Super 8 is out of control right now, labs are charging exorbitant amounts of money and Kodak wants to reign that in. The problem is, Kodak is putting all the eggs in their basket and that's scary.

 

I don't think kodak is looking to "reign (sic) anything in." I think they're doing what any business would do - seeing and exploiting a market opportunity. That said, Processing costs are not the problem with S8, in terms of economics. Let's break this down:

 

There are 3 labs I can think of that will process S8 Neg in the US: Cinelab, Spectra, Pro8mm (I don't think Dwaynes does neg). Only one of those labs is "exorbitant" in its pricing.

 

Cinelab: $18/roll

Spectra: $17/roll

Pro8mm: $20/roll

 

The cost of raw film stock is about $24 if you buy it from Kodak and ask nicely for a discount (student or otherwise). The cost of a scan is roughly the same.

 

So for Kodak to make this viable, they're going to have to do high quality scans, and they're going to have to do it for under the current low price of about $65 if you send it around yourself (assuming you're sending film from lab to lab relatively cheaply, such as Priority Mail rather than FedEx or another Express service). Given that Pro8mm, which is the defacto standard most people base pricing on, charges $98 for a film/process/2k package, my guess is that Kodak will come in somewhere around $65-$75, in order to make it competitive and still make a profit.

 

I don't actually think what Kodak is doing is going to have much of an effect on most labs, all of which do other gauges as well as offering a variety of post production services. It's in Kodak's best interest to keep local labs in business, to make it easier for people to get into film, quite the opposite of what you're suggesting is their motive.

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Prepaid processing for Kodachrome was just over $3 until 2004. If I remember 1 roll with processing and mailing was $13.50. Right now 1 roll of S8 from Kodak is $25.96 and at least $17 for processing. So your talking $30 more per cartridge today... not to mention the costs of scanning which weren't required with Kodachrome. I don't it's merely the price of silver that is responsible for a 200% increase per roll. Yet Super 8 has persisted and gained popularity even though it's gotten more difficult and expensive to work with. I don't think they should have a problem bringing film/lab costs down a little. Everything they're doing makes perfect sense to me right now.

 

Even the idea of growing new film makers in larger formats makes sense. A good portion of S8 users that i'm aware of are not just pointing and shooting on auto pilot. Many become masters of the modality and learn to shoot larger formats as well. Take me for example, I'd be willing to bet that my style of S8 shooting goes much more in depth than basic 35mm shooting. 35mm commercial shoots stick to basic mechanics and strict rules. Any interesting concept I've seen represented commercially in 35mm over the last 10 years had already been done in the S8 art scene. Once the S8 cart or 35mm spool has been loaded, your working with the same emulsions, physics and dynamics. Good Super 8 cameras have much more mechanical ability than most 35mm cameras. If you ask me, 35mm has taken more lessons from Super 8 film in recent years.

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Prepaid processing for Kodachrome was just over $3 until 2004. If I remember 1 roll with processing and mailing was $13.50. Right now 1 roll of S8 from Kodak is $25.96 and at least $17 for processing. So your talking $30 more per cartridge today... not to mention the costs of scanning which weren't required with Kodachrome. I don't it's merely the price of silver that is responsible for a 200% increase per roll. Yet Super 8 has persisted and gained popularity even though it's gotten more difficult and expensive to work with. I don't think they should have a problem bringing film/lab costs down a little. Everything they're doing makes perfect sense to me right now.

 

To be clear, I'm not saying it's not more expensive than it used to be. (20 years ago I was paying about $12 to have 100' of 16mm processed. those days are long gone)

 

but that price increase has (only a) little to do with the price of silver, it's econ 101: supply and demand. There simply isn't the kind of demand for Super 8 that there used to be, when it was artists/filmmakers AND the home movie shooting masses buying the stuff. Kodak isn't making it in the quantities they used to, so the price goes up because it costs more to make.

 

Now the S8 market just a small percentage of that old market, and the vast majority of the old customers will never come back because, well, why would they? I shoot my home movies on film, but that's because I want them to last. I also shoot a lot on my iPhone because it's in my pocket all day long and the video looks pretty damned good in good lighting.

 

My point above is that while the market for S8 has shrunk dramatically in the past 25 years, it isn't as small as Tyler seems to be suggesting, and it's not limited to a(s) tiny (a) niche (as it once was). Case in point: we just recently scanned to 4k the S8 film for an upcoming feature. I think there's a lot of room for growth, and adding more labs and Kodak's backing (assuming they don't do what they do best and screw it up), should only help that market to grow.

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

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Well, that comes from the mechanical engineer of the Logmar S-8 camera....

Just a brief post :)

 

The plate of the cartridge is not really a pressure plate. It is the rear half of an air-channel forming pair of the camera-plate and cartridge-plate. The film flies through free of contact... As recently discussed on the forum elsewhere.

 

Only Nikon (or who more) had small ramps at the edge of the frame in the cameragate to force the film to the rear which is in conjuction with the superior optics why the R10, R8 and Super-Zoom produce far sharper images. The further much misunderstood stop-pins worked along to keep the film still while the shutter was open :) Nikon had the engineers who really understood what was at play in the Super-8 cartridge design and didn't need secretive space-grade materials to create a camera-gate-part.

 

A new design isn't really needed. Just use Single-8, plenty camera but film supply is a bit sparse although Retro8 has a new perforator set-up which should supply plenty of S-8 material.

Edited by Andries Molenaar

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Two things to reflect. Why build a register pin Super-8 camera, film out of cartridge or not, when the majority of users shoot freehanded? Even the LOGMAR family hardly ever presented their camera on a tripod. Second, the point of a film look is complete hipster crap. They fall into the convenience trap, an old selling argument of the industry, and thus remain out of real film making, not a whiff different from the ordinary souvenir snapshot tourist. Art house? Give me a breake! I’ve had enough of them, entering my shop on Güterstrasse, pointer finger high in the air bursting: Es geht um Kunst. It’s about art.

 

An artist knows that she/he won’t achieve anything without labour. It all begins with physical work. When one masters that, later on, she/he can pass to handcraft. Work stays integral with everything one does, and only on top of it all there might be art. I can’t see art coming on the ground that threading up film to a camera is deemed tedious or inconvenient. The Idle Class

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Two things to reflect. Why build a register pin Super-8 camera, film out of cartridge or not, when the majority of users shoot freehanded? Even the LOGMAR family hardly ever presented their camera on a tripod. ..... The Idle Class

Not to start about having lenses collimated because of some mystique reason while people even in this age of 20 Euro per minute shoot as if they are hosing the garden. Possibly that is an attenpt at art too :)

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Prepaid processing for Kodachrome was just over $3 until 2004. If I remember 1 roll with processing and mailing was $13.50.

Exactly my point... $13.50 is a reasonable price for a format that doesn't deliver the quality of the current pricing structure.

 

 

Right now 1 roll of S8 from Kodak is $25.96 and at least $17 for processing. So your talking $30 more per cartridge today... not to mention the costs of scanning which weren't required with Kodachrome.

Exactly... As I pointed out above, Super 8 today is actually MORE EXPENSIVE to work with then Super 16 per finished minute of footage.

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Second, the point of a film look is complete hipster crap. They fall into the convenience trap, an old selling argument of the industry, and thus remain out of real film making, not a whiff different from the ordinary souvenir snapshot tourist.

HA, yea I agree. If you're shooting on Super 8, you are doing it for convenience. Real filmmakers find the money to shoot on more respectable formats.

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My point above is that while the market for S8 has shrunk dramatically in the past 25 years, it isn't as small as Tyler seems to be suggesting, and it's not limited to a(s) tiny (a) niche (as it once was). Case in point: we just recently scanned to 4k the S8 film for an upcoming feature. I think there's a lot of room for growth, and adding more labs and Kodak's backing (assuming they don't do what they do best and screw it up), should only help that market to grow.

When you look at the over all film market, how many NEW feet of film are sold, how many NEW feet of film are processed and transferred, etc... The Super 8 market is the smallest by a HUGE margin. There is more Super 16 purchased, shot and processed on ONE feature film per year, then there is for all Super 8 projects.

 

Super 8 was the polar opposite of a niche market when I was a kid, everyone has a film camera and they used'em on a regular basis. Heck, I could walk into my local CVS and buy not only Kodachrome and Ektachrome, but also sound film in both formats. That's 4 different choices at ANY local drug store, right next to the video tapes.

 

It's true that Super 8 market kinda died and has been reinvented thanks to modern stocks and better scanners. Yet it's nowhere near the market it USE to be.

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Real filmmakers find the money to shoot on more respectable formats.

 

Good one. Don’t real filmmakers also make their film? A friend of mine fleered at me some time ago, you and your mould-made films. I used to process in spiral reels by hand.

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I can follow the rationale for your perspective on Super 8, on Kodak, and its supposed market influence. These views are not new to me, but I simply haven't heard them put forward on this forum so sternly since, well, 2006/7 and the great Santo debates. However, the world of image acquisition, post chains, user demographics, and Kodak's power post-chapter 11, has changed enormously since then. Santo was right in the end, his critics were wrong.

I spent a while reading through Santo's posts, but the net result is the physical format itself limits the quality. Only one-off cameras like the Logmar (50 made) and high-end digital scanners, can truly make a decent image out of the format. Yes, Santo's comments (like mine) are extremely valid, but in the end it's still a very flawed format. So no matter what add-on's you use, metal backplate, better glass, lower ISO stocks, high-end scans, the format's "issues" shine through. So arguing about the "quality" of super 8 is silly, you can dress the pig in sheep's clothing, but it's still a pig.

 

You say you want Kodak to have retained K-40 and its one-stop-solution model, which was as closed-door as possible compared to other lab-based analog post chains for 8, 16 and 35. Yet you also criticize Kodak's supposedly new "closed-door", "less expensive", "higher quality" "model" that could be introduced alongside with its new Super 8 camera.

You argue that people want to use super 8 for the esthetic value right? But Super 8 in it's essence is a Kodachrome format using a film projector for presentation. It has been this way since it first hit the market in 1965 until it's demise in the late 90's. So when people shoot modern stocks with Super 8 and make them digital, they look nothing like the "classic" look of Super 8.

 

I'm completely ok with a one-stop Kodachrome model. I'm not ok with a completely closed MODERN STOCK format because as I just pointed out, anyone who shoots on super 8 today, couldn't possibly be looking for any artistic esthetic since modern negative stocks look nothing like Kodachrome. So people shooting modern negative, are most likely going to need a more professional workflow.

 

Actually, I can't get my head around how you can say "higher quality for less cost" is bad

When working professionally with film, you need to have a direct connection to your lab. You need to be on the horn with them the moment it's processed to insure there are no problems. Lab reports are very critical to working with film because you don't know if a camera had a problem until it's through the soup. So again, since people can't be using modern super 8 negative for esthetic reasons, since it looks nothing like the format of the past, they must be using it for more commercial/professional reasons. As Perry pointed out, he works with a lot of professional people and they need a professional lab to discuss things with during production. You can't just "send your film" away and hope it comes out.

 

The Kodachrome model is for consumers, it's for people shooting home movies (which is who the format was initially designed for) and it works great. Nobody took it seriously (until now evidently) and it was inexpensive, so it didn't matter if nothing came out. When you're spending 16mm money on a smaller, less quality format, with less professional support, it's even more critical to have a lab report insuring density is up to snuff.

 

Kodak's one lab model is great for home movie shooting consumers, but not for professionals. This has been my whole argument from the beginning. It by the way, fits the topic 100%.

 

I also doubt Kodak has the intention of monopolizing Super 8 post shooting,

My fear has nothing to do with monopolizing. It has to do with failure and what happens if they buy all the good labs and eventually can't afford to run them anymore.

 

Likewise, if ARRI, Aaton, and smaller boutique camera manufacturers like Ikonoskop exited the 16mm camera market (and 35 too), I think your idea that au lieu of a new Super 8 camera, Kodak should have built a new 16mm camera says more about your sole focus on 16 than you applying your solid understanding of engineering (which you have) to realistically assess the absurd costs and barriers to built an all-new 16mm camera competitive with the deliverables of a Xterà, 416 etc.

My point is why bother. Nobody should be making a NEW film camera today, it's silly. If you WERE going to spend the money, why not do it to a format that actually has some quality to it.

 

Kodak is not making the new camera for people who already shoot super 8. They are making the new camera for people who don't currently shoot super 8, to get them excited about film. When they shoot with the camera and (my assumption is) the results aren't up to the quality they expect, the camera will just sit on a shelf as a novelty item.

 

If Kodak had invested in making a new MOS 16mm camera (100ft daylight spools), a format that looks WAY better then Super 8, where you can make MORE mistakes, where you can run a higher ISO stock to shoot in more natural lighting without the crazy image noise, then people may have been more receptive. Especially as I've pointed out many times, S16 stock, processing and transfer is less expensive per finished minute of material.

 

Again, this is all just a "concern" about Kodak's concept, which is 100% on topic.

 

As a side note... Remember digital bolex? They sold lots of them, but it was just a toy for retro folks and it wasn't high quality. The company folded this year because once all those people who wanted something cool to play with bought the camera, there was nobody else left to buy. Serious filmmakers didn't want to risk it because the feature set wasn't there and amateurs/hobbyists didn't want to spend the exorbitant amount of money.

 

And given that you can buy a new Krasnogorsk for cheap as chips, as you say yourself, why would Kodak want to enter such a competitive market?

Wait... you can get a Beaulieu 9008 for around the same price as Kodak's new camera. Why would you ever want that Kodak plastic brick when you could have the Beaulieu? Again, ANYONE entering such a saturated market, full of low-cost product, is insane. Kodak only did it to generate BUZZ, that's it.

 

For S8, the market is actually more virginal, as there's nothing there other than 40-years-old S8 cameras.

I have three of them and they all work great. None have ever been taken apart, but all three I used on a recent production and using the last batch of Agfa Reversal we could find, looked super retro with the crappy glass, shitty cartridge plastic back plate, poor automatic exposure and reversal look. The director was trying to match material shot in the 80's and it got very close, but it needed to be degraded and colored.

 

My Bolex EBM I bought from a yard sale. I've shot a few thousand feet through it and the stuff looks great. Not a SINGLE problem, which is quite amazing. My Aaton LTR was from Ebay, but I saw it before I bought it. It's been on dozens of projects including two features since my purchase and it looks flawless, so do the almost 30 year old Gen I optar illumina primes and Zeiss 12-120 zoom.

 

So I personally haven't experienced the poor 40 year old cameras. Like anything, if you research and know anything about cameras, you can find great deals and probably something that works acceptably for $35 - $50 USD in the world of Super 8.

 

And Kodak is addressing this problem head-on with a camera package that under-25s will intuitively understand and operate with success.

Will it? My engineering experience says no way. The Kodak camera is far too complex. One splash of water, one drop onto the sidewalk, one freezing night, you can kiss it all good bye. The ol' mechanical cameras of the past, are pretty robust. Not talking about the 80's plastic one's, talking about the metal one's from the 70's and prior. Where the manufacturer sold tens of thousands, making revisions every once in a while.

 

Again, 100% on topic... There is a very low likelihood this new Kodak camera will outlast a 40 year old camera. They won't sell enough of them to warrant constant updates and changes, plus the cost to support them is going to be astronomical.

 

No one cares about brick-and-mortar retail anymore. Retail camera stores? Again, do you still live in 1995?

Currently, film is only sold directly from Kodak in the US. You have to send them a PO, wait a few days for it to be approved and then drive over to Kodak's shipping center to grab it, OR wait for it to show up via post.

 

If Kodak wants super 8 to take off, they will need to sell it in other places for discount rates. My comment about retail establishments was including online vendors. Though we still have good ol' camera stores in the US.

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If I talk to under-25s, they find Impossible film stock more exciting to use than megapixel-war digicams!

Talk is cheap. If you gave all of those under 25's two rolls of film and a free camera. They'd shoot the sky, the ground, a tree, a building and their feet. After those two rolls were gone, they'd probably forget about processing them and forget about the camera.

 

As you pointed out, I teach filmmaking to adults and youth. What I've learned is that there is absolutely some excitement building in the youth, especially millennial's. Yet, I personally haven't seen it grow in the same way you're thinking it would. With instant cameras and 35mm SLR's, yes... it's growing. With motion picture cameras, I haven't seen it yet. But my example of buying a $25 ebay camera and shooting two rolls of nothing, to never process it and forget where the camera is, that's a very typical situation for that age bracket AND unfortunately the format. When you have little to nothing invested in something, you will treat with little to no value.

 

Will it last in the long-term? Gee… nothing is forever.

Kodak has been around for well over 100 years. The professional formats we currently use; 16mm, 35mm and 65/70mm have been around for almost the same amount of time. Mechanical cameras like the Bolex and single switch, motor operated projectors, will literally last for our lifetime and probably three or four generations. The only real deciding factor for their failure is mistreatment, rather then simply failing sitting on a shelf.

 

My goal is to keep companies like Kodak in business and healthy. My goal is to present film in the highest quality possible, which attracts people to the format.

 

When young filmmakers watch a well photographed film print, they're wowed. I know... I've done it. When they see their own work projected on film, they're inspired. They aren't inspired when it doesn't look good, they turn off right away. I know... I've tested this. They're so use to iphones looking great, if you give them something that looks worse then their phone, they simply turn off. You have to show them something extraordinary to stay on board, to keep Kodak and the film world alive because they ARE the next generation. If you turn them off with formats like Super 8 that look worse then their iphone (in most cases), they won't care. They will simply give up because we are growing a culture of people who are looking for the easiest way out. Shooting on film is a nuisance to them, but worth it for that beautiful image. This is why I don't teach anyone with super 8 cameras. It's why I work with fine grain stocks. It's why I project everything, not just digitize it. It's why our classes also work with 35mm, because quality means A LOT.

 

Today, many of the filmmakers who grew up shooting film are still alive. In the next 50 years, most of us will be gone and solving that problem now, is the most important thing in my mind.

 

I find material aesthetics not playing any role at all in your assessments of cine-film formats totally weird. You are an educator and professional DoP, after all! What's going on?!

What I learned from people like David Mullen ASC here when I joined this forum a decade ago, is that aesthetics is the prevailing line of thought in cinematography, not some technical camera aspect, data sheet set, or feature list.

It's not weird at all... once you digitize film, it no longer retains the aesthetic. I can take any raw digital cinema camera source and mimic the film aesthetic through using softer glass and post processes. Heck, there are even plugins that look more like "classic" super 8 then shooting real super 8.

 

Film is a photochemical process and if you aren't projecting a photochemically made print, you've lost it's TRUE aesthetic.

 

This is why I'm very upset about Kodachrome and Ektachrome disappearing, they were the true aesthetic of the super 8 format. Shooting modern super 8 stocks and scanning them, defeats the purpose of shooting film in the first place... outside of Perry's example of holding onto family memories for longer then a hard drive. Yet, by saying that, he actually proves my case that Super 8 is still and always will be a consumer format. Designed for snap shots of life, rather then professional productions.

 

 

 

Sorry for the long post guys... I just wanted to clear some things up.

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