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Samuel Berger

Kodak's New Super 8 Camera Update

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Too many cooks. Kodak said they were listening to input from filmmakers. That's the mistake that created a camel, which is nothing but a horse designed by a committee, and then broke its back.

 

$3000 for a Super 8 camera? How many Coppolas are there to buy this?

 

When they said it was around $750 that sounded doable. Now they'd better absolutely stun everyone or this will be the nail in the coffin.

What people seem to be missing is that Kodak has said that that three grand price tag is for the initial run.

 

Also, people are throwing away the same amount, if not more, for Pro8mm's Beaulieu refurbs, how would this be any different?

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What people seem to be missing is that Kodak has said that that three grand price tag is for the initial run.

 

Also, people are throwing away the same amount, if not more, for Pro8mm's Beaulieu refurbs, how would this be any different?

 

That's terrible marketing, intentionally punishing first adopters. It also makes very little sense. A Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4K is $2995 (unless you're buying mine, which I'm selling for $2000), and has incredibly complex electronics. The Kodak Super 8 camera has some complex electronics but not much more than a Wolverine Data 8mm transfer unit, which retails for $300. The $3000 price tag does not compute.

 

People throw money away for Pro8mm due to lack of information, and out of fear. They can easily get their Beaulieus serviced by Bjorn Andersson. I don't really know any regular people spending that kind of money on Pro8mm cameras, except for someone like Oliver Stone. When the movie "Super 8" came out, they didn't use a real Super 8 camera for the movie within the movie. I imagine they saw how much Pro8mm was charging and rented a 16mm camera instead.

 

People who are serious about Super 8 do not do business with Pro8mm.

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What people seem to be missing is that Kodak has said that that three grand price tag is for the initial run.

 

Also, people are throwing away the same amount, if not more, for Pro8mm's Beaulieu refurbs, how would this be any different?

Assuming that er are buyers for multiple runs is very optimistic.

As with the Logmar, I would expect a market of only a few hundred pieces.

 

At a far better price, you can have late models of top super-8 cameras which have far better features and fantastic optics Several models can be serviced quite well.

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What people seem to be missing is that Kodak has said that that three grand price tag is for the initial run.

Right, but that assumes they're going to make more than one run and I doubt that will happen. Kodak has bet the farm on Super 8 and people who actually shoot film, don't really care much about that format unless they want one or two "retro" shots in their production.

 

Also, people are throwing away the same amount, if not more, for Pro8mm's Beaulieu refurbs, how would this be any different?

Sure, but they have many options and at least their cameras have viewfinders. Nobody who made the Kodak camera even thought about using it outdoors in broad daylight. So here you are with a 3k camera, with a screen that can't be seen when shooting in the sun, which is pretty much the only way you'll be shooting super 8 because 500T does kinda look like a big blob of moving noise on super 8.

 

Also, the Beaulieu will last forever... and the Kodak camera, well... probably not. It's all software driven evidently, so can you imagine what it'll be like 10 - 20 years after it's discontinued?

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It was complete insanity for Kodak to do away with first Kodachrome and then Ektachrome. Kodachrome in particular, WAS Kodak. It's like Microsoft doing away with Windows. The decision had the same logic as Burger King focusing on chicken strips. "Burger King! It's all about the chicken!"

 

It is perfectly fine for a new camera to come out but I do wish it was a camera that made more sense. The camera is missing an optical viewfinder. I see there's a tripod hole, which is good, and unexpected seeing the way they are promoting the camera as a hand-held "artistic" tool.

 

I certainly wish Kodak would release projectors. If they weren't wasting money on LCD flip-out finders maybe they could. I wonder how long the boot-up time on those screens are. And why they believe it's okay to not have way of seeing through the lens without electricity.

 

But most of all they should put aside all those lies about Kodachrome and just bring it back.

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Yeah I agree. I probably won't be buying any more film stock until I've figured out how I can buy reversal and get it processed, and get this old 16mm projector someone gave me up and running. Bring back Kodachrome! There's been a lot of lies told over environment. It wears thin and people develop a 'care factor zero'.

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I've been sayin, making a new projector makes more sense than a new camera does at this point. because it could apply to anyone with old film they want to watch. Something reliable and easy to use, without the fear of burning up or chewing up family memories. The fear I would say has kept most of those reels unseen for 50 plus years, Releasing it with a new reversal Super 8 film only doubles the fun.

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I've been sayin, making a new projector makes more sense than a new camera does at this point. because it could apply to anyone with old film they want to watch. Something reliable and easy to use, without the fear of burning up or chewing up family memories. The fear I would say has kept most of those reels unseen for 50 plus years, Releasing it with a new reversal Super 8 film only doubles the fun.

But a new super-8 projector for 500 to 1000 dollars ? It doesn't make any sense when there are still tons of 1980s projectors around. They mostly work OK after a little maintenance. Typically I sell them for under 50 dollars. Not to mention the tons of viewers, kind to film, for under 35 dollars ! All this stuff was little used at that time, because video was arriving...

 

Kodachrome yes. Surely it's feasible. Even if Dwaynes is the only lab, it makes sense to bring back wonderful Kodachrome. People will pay for it for sure.

Edited by Doug Palmer

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I used to pick em up projectors all day long at the thrift stores for peanuts... the ones that run, a lot of times won't thread properly. I finally settled on a nice ElmoST-1200 that I put new belts in, been using for a decade. It works, but i still have to help rewind by hand. For the most part, there is no place where someone can take a film projector in for repair. You're talking about a few niche guys around the globe. I would pay $500 for a brand new reliable model.

 

Kodachrome is not coming back as we know it because it can't. The process is too difficult and toxic, which is why it was replaced by E6. There was only one lab in the world was processing it when it died in 05. E6 Ektachrome will allow processing options all over, including at home. Bringing back an E6 has proved difficult enough, but it will happen and that's pretty amazing in itself.

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Kodachrome is not coming back as we know it because it can't. The process is too difficult and toxic, which is why it was replaced by E6.

 

Let's please stop repeating that and start understanding and divulging that it is a lie told to us by them.

 

I agree with you on the projectors. I know only a handful of places and technicians.

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Is there some info somewhere to substantiate that Kodak was lying about this? I've heard the claim that it was toxic, but I've heard that of EVERY single photographic chemical since I first became interested in it in 7th grade, which was a LONG time before kodachrome was discontinued. Since I became re-interested in filmmaking 5-6 months ag, I've read every story I can find about kodachrome, Kodak, super 8 and filmmaking and all recite the toxic story, but I've had the suspicion all this time that the decision to kill kodachrome was probably more financially based and related to Kodak's bankruptcy. Not that the actual reason matters, to be honest, it's perfectly legal for a company to stop making a product whenever they choose.

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I used to pick em up projectors all day long at the thrift stores for peanuts... the ones that run, a lot of times won't thread properly. I finally settled on a nice ElmoST-1200 that I put new belts in, been using for a decade. It works, but i still have to help rewind by hand. For the most part, there is no place where someone can take a film projector in for repair. You're talking about a few niche guys around the globe. I would pay $500 for a brand new reliable model.

 

Kodachrome is not coming back as we know it because it can't. The process is too difficult and toxic, which is why it was replaced by E6. There was only one lab in the world was processing it when it died in 05. E6 Ektachrome will allow processing options all over, including at home. Bringing back an E6 has proved difficult enough, but it will happen and that's pretty amazing in itself.

How many Kodachrome workers had health problems due to the chemicals ?

It sounds to me a very convenient story. It's a complicated process yes, but once set up and running it probably wouldn't cost more than say E6. Remember, Kodachrome processing in those days was quite cheap. And over here in UK we used to pay for it upfront so even cheaper.

Apart from the obvious attraction of seeing a Kodachrome image in one's hands again, and the many younger people who didn't know it too, I would have thought there would be a demand for archiving film footage. Much cheaper than doing black and white separation negatives. It was done of course for printing, but not sure if anyone in the past made archive copies of actual negatives on Kodachrome.

 

A 500$ projector ? I concede yes it would be a good idea. Maybe not many folks would buy it initially, though a ready market for organisations involved in archiving super-8 film. Also film workshops and so on.

Edited by Doug Palmer

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How many Kodachrome workers had health problems due to the chemicals ?

It sounds to me a very convenient story. It's a complicated process yes, but once set up and running it probably wouldn't cost more than say E6. Remember, Kodachrome processing in those days was quite cheap. And over here in UK we used to pay for it upfront so even cheaper.

One wouldn't want anyone's health to suffer unnecessarily. It's only film.

However, that wasn't the reason IIRC- Kodak said that there were some new environmental requirements in the pipeline and that the small sales of Kodachrome didn't justify the expense of meeting them. Rather like the discontinuation of pre-striped film in the 90s- some new regulations were about to affect the stripe adhesive and sales of sound carts had fallen to such a low level- I believe Kodak quoted in the tens of thousands a year, down from tens of millions in Super-8's heyday- that it simply wasn't economic.
BTW Kodachrome was never cheap except in volume. Until the invention of the packaged chemicals and the minilab processor late in the day the process had to be monitored by an analytical chemist. That's why there were only ever a handful of labs in the world. E6 is a very different beast.
I'l assume you're aware of the difference between chromogenic and non-colour coupler integrated emulsions.
Edited by Mark Dunn

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We must see what contributes to filmmaking. Magnetic stripes just worked on commercial prints, mass products. For the home enthusiasts every SEPMAG system was better and cheaper, tape recorders were available before someone began glueing magnetic tape on film. Kodak’s Ektasound system was one of a number of washouts or put more mildly, less successful projects. Fairchild’s Cinephonic died silently.

 

A have renewed my inquiry for a repair manual and spare parts with Kodak.

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