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Samuel Berger

Wiping Silicone Lubricant onto film gate

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I saw this on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Trident-Grade-Silicone-Snorkel-Spearfishing/dp/B001O75238/

 

I'm considering spraying it on some gun cotton fabric squares and wiping the film gate and channels and the cart's film pressure plate with some of it.

 

I thought I'd ask if anyone has had any results with this method, taught in the old 90's WWW by Martin Baumgarten.

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Not thinking of S8, but some ACs used to wipe their finger into the corner of their nose and use that "nose grease". Free too.

EDIT: on the outside of the nostrel....

Edited by Gregg MacPherson
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Samuel, I get now that it wasn't you. I wonder who it was. I challenge that little poop, whoever they are, to identify themselves and pitch an argument against my post. Otherwise, they should JGFO.

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I've heard a few Super 8 experts recommending silicon wiped on like this.

 

As a technician trained in 16 and 35mm cameras I was taught to avoid silicon spray inside a film camera. Silicon is very hard to remove once applied, and can migrate to areas where you need a certain friction or tension maintained. Pressure plates for example are designed not just to allow the film to slide past while being held flat, but also to exert enough friction to help keep the film stable during the exposure phase, so you don't want them too slippery. Same with take-up clutches, which need the right amount of slipping friction to do their job. Same with feed spindles that should have enough drag that the feed roll stops when filming stops, rather than spinning on for a while and unspooling.

 

But a lot of these issues don't apply to Super 8 - Super 8 cameras don't actually have a pressure plate, just a film channel, and given the mass produced nature of cartridges it probably helps more than hinders to add some lubricity to the film path. So if people of the calibre of Mr Baumgarten recommend it I won't argue. I would advise against it in 16 or 35mm cameras though.

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Not that much of a fervent silicone defender I support the use of 1) nothing, 2) organic lubricants such as Carnauba wax or nose grease, if it has to be, and 3) cameras that allow removal of the film gate for inspection and cleansing. Here is precisely the difference between professional and amateur equipment.

Edited by Simon Wyss

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Dom, what's your take on the nose grease thing? I never did it. But a young AC I knew, well mentored by some older ACs, said this was for real. Circa the 80s, and looking backwards....

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I'm curious as to what would happen to the film during processing if there's silicone globules or carnauba wax spots on the raw stock, and whether it would cause any spots in the exposed image.

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Dom, what's your take on the nose grease thing? I never did it. But a young AC I knew, well mentored by some older ACs, said this was for real. Circa the 80s, and looking backwards....

Yeah lots of older cameramen I've spoken to used the nose grease trick, not sure how much help it was, but it was definitely perceived to help.

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I use the nose grease trick regularly :lol: it is also great for making temporary custom streak filters on location ;) it is also a great way to get those "what the hell is he doing" looks B)

 

I would suspect the silicone residue would be very bad in processing baths and the lab would not like it but don't know for sure. A lab tech would know better about this

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Why might a little grease be necessary in the film gate area? Is it mainly a Super 8 thing? I knew a top solo piper who performed in Scotland who used nose grease on one finger to make it easier to play the rapidly triple-played note.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Fresh films tend to loose gelatine particles ever so tiny sticking to parts of the camera. That is known since long as gelatine build-up. Today’s stocks have hardened gelatine overcoats and most often a very thin wax backing. Lubrication is more important with small gauge stocks where cameras have relatively longer film canals and depend on stronger back pressure for good steadiness. Professional equipment treats the film differently. With positive register lubrication is unnecessary, only a minimum of back pressure is exerted onto the film at the gate. Super-8 involves a unique concept, namely that of a half rigid film canal. There is lateral guidance, vertical positioning by an element before the gate (seen in the direction of film travel, perforation hole –2), but a pressure plate (part of cartridge) set off the film by a dimension G2 specified by ISO 1780. It is the film thickness plus 0,0005" or 0,013 mm minimum and 0,2 mm maximum.

 

Super-8 film cartridges need specific lubrication not only of the film but to their coaxial mechanism as well. Super-8 is a child of cybernetics, of the Cold War, of engineering madness and fooling people. If you want certainty about technical sharpness, stay away from Super-8. A serviced Double-Eight camera with exchangeable lenses will deliver what you expect more reliably.

 

Jeff Clarke, in case you read this, think of bringing back Ektachrome and a colourless-base black and white reversal film in the Double-Eight format, too. Think of the thousands of Double-Eight cameras and projectors, way more solidly made than plastic Super-8, only waiting for fresh film. All it takes is a perforator, spools, cans, and boxes.

 

post-35633-0-54522900-1506246299_thumb.jpg

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Many good points brought up. For technical clarification, I never said to spray silicone into any Super 8mm camera. I did state that to avoid jamming and sticking especially in hot humid areas, "wipe" the Super 8mm film gate with a soft white cotton flannel cloth that had been sprayed with some silicone spray (the kind not harmful to plastics!) and time allowed for the propellant to first evaporate since it is a solvent. This will help prevent the film from sticking. I have received and continue to receive old and new film here for processing that has never been exposed! And it's due to the film sticking initially; upon critical examination of the film emulsion with a loupe, one can see a small rut or groove in the emulsion from the film claw trying to pull the film down, and once this rut has been made, the film will remain without moving. This can be fixed easily by pulling the film downward an inch as it will free the emulsion that has stuck to the cartridge shell above the film gate and held in place firmly the the Super 8mm builtin pressure plate. I have always achieved very steady Super 8mm footage over the years this way, and mind you, many films I have shot in full CinemaScope using a 2x anamorphic lens......so when that wide footage is projected on a huge screen, you want it to be steady. Actually, we all want our footage to be steady!

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Super-8 film cartridges need specific lubrication not only of the film but to their coaxial mechanism as well. Super-8 is a child of cybernetics, of the Cold War, of engineering madness and fooling people. If you want certainty about technical sharpness, stay away from Super-8. A serviced Double-Eight camera with exchangeable lenses will deliver what you expect more reliably.

 

Why Double when you can go Single? ;-)

 

ZC-1000-Pic-1-OK.jpg

 

 

I think this is pretty good, and it's also what I have. I'll be buying film from Tak and trying out their new Provie.

 

I'm also not sure if by Double you meant Double 8 or Double Super 8. Either way, I can't really think of where you'd find fresh film for D8/DS8.

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I wanted to edit my post but can't. I posted that reply last night when half asleep.

 

It turns out fotoimpex does carry DS8, silly me.

 

I should not be allowed near a keyboard after TylenolPM.

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Samuel, I watched to 4:25 ish....charming as this is, why am I watching, does he do the nose grease just at the end...

Haha, I said in the post to look at 5:15 in the video, he talks about that, no need to watch the whole thing.

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Clearly I was not paying attention. I've watched another video of these charming old chaps a while ago. People trying to learn from these may assume that "this is the way to do it", but the protocols can vary for good reason, and sometimes a minor idiosyncrasy can be confused as something common or generic. For example, perching a change bag on your knees...a fine skill, but completely unnecessary.

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Dom, what's your take on the nose grease thing? I never did it. But a young AC I knew, well mentored by some older ACs, said this was for real. Circa the 80s, and looking backwards....

It is for real. And not just in film.

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None of those carry Double Super 8 of any kind.

B&H has Foma. I've shot that film in Double 8 and 16mm.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/792416-REG/Foma_411802_FOMAPAN_R100_B_W_Reversal.html

 

Also On8Mil has some Kahl

https://www.on8mil.com/product-category/8mm-film-packages/ds8_films/

 

And... Kahl has some Kahl

https://www.kahlfilm.de/content.php?nav=19

 

 

And it's due to the film sticking initially; upon critical examination of the film emulsion with a loupe, one can see a small rut or groove in the emulsion from the film claw trying to pull the film down, and once this rut has been made, the film will remain without moving. This can be fixed easily by pulling the film downward an inch as it will free the emulsion that has stuck to the cartridge shell above the film gate and held in place firmly the the Super 8mm builtin pressure plate.

 

Ya having shot a fair amount of expired Super 8 (mostly Vision2 and old Tri-X 7278), I've learned this trick. The camera gets stuck on the initial pull but once I push the film down some it works just fine once the kink has passed.

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