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David Scott

questions about a few things

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I know I said "positive copy" but I just meant a copy with no splices. I'm shooting on new ektachrome and tri-x.

Sorry for the delayed reply. Reversal print stock is no longer made, and there never was an internegative stock in Super-8, so you've probably had it unless you build your own contact printer and use camera film.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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There were a variety of Super 8mm cameras made that offer lap dissolve. While I like my SANKYO XL620 the lap dissolve in this camera uses an automatically fading aperture which only closes down about 5-Stops, then closes completely when the camera stops prior to the backwinding function. So, in bright light, you can still see image ghosting of the previous image. NIZO even added a cable release socket to the top of their later silent cameras so you can have a rock steady dissolve if the camera is on a tripod; great for making people and things disappear and reappear etc.


But NIZO, NIKON, YASHICA, CANON and some others use a variable shutter for their dissolve function which is superior to the aperture dissolve method. CHINON made some good cameras that also offer dissolve. Now, I know many of you feel that in-camera dissolve or superimposition isn't needed since you prefer to digitize your films and do everything in software in post-processing. However, there are still many of us that prefer to project film (as well as having them transferred) and having this feature is really nice.


The BEAULIEU 4008zm2 & up models have a double-exposure, super-imposition, dissolve feature but it is only via a manually done film rewind, versus the ease of push button auto-dissolve. If someone wanted to take the extra time to tape over the cartridge core, film and fade out with a non-dissolve camera, then remove the cartridge in a film-changing bag and rewind the film either manually or using one of the devices that were made for that such as the CRAVEN Film Rewinder or EWA Film Rewinder, then put the cartridge back into the camera and film again....it's quite doable. But this works best for slow methodical type work, such as fancy Title making and other special effects done in the studio, versus quick location filming. The YASHICA LD4/6/8 series all have a variable shutter fadeout auto-dissolve function which works quite well; and these cameras can often be purchase quite cheaply, as can some of the CHINON ones that offered this feature (their last few sound cameras such as the 30RXLS and 60RXLS both have an auto-dissolve feature that when using sound film will also cross fade the audio being recorded (if recording live audio).


Lastly, since this topic comes up at times in various postings:

While Single-System Sound in Super 8mm is nearly extinct, aside from those cache pockets of frozen stored film that quite a few filmers still own.....despite the contrary I read here at times, the audio quality is quite good on Super 8mm film sound stripe. It was so good that ELMO, SANKYO, NORIS, HEURTIER and NIZO offered STEREO sound projectors. Their Demo film that came along with the projectors showed how nice the stereo sound could be, and these were at 18 frames per second. My own films that have either 2-Track or Stereo sound, sound just as clean as a decent cassette tape, which can be very good. I have seen Super 8mm films that were filmed and had the audio DBX encoded as well as Quadra-phonic sound, along with full CinemaScope anamorphic images! And they were so awesome they would blow your socks off! So, as with anything, it all boils down to how careful you are in filming, technique, technical attention, and for sound, how well you are recording it.....either back then or now on Sound Film, or via your own recording method for live sound capture. Use cheap mics, don't pay attention to extraneous noise etc, and you'll get lousy results. For sharp Super 8mm images, even the fixed focus single lens waterhouse stop made camera by Haiking in Hong Kong and sold under the GAF, HALINA, WARDS, PORST, REVUE and other names, will produce sharp steady images....believe it or not! Despite their technical limitations notwithstanding, since NIZOs etc, they are not.


I find it quite nice to have a camera or two that I can use just for those times I want to be able to do a dissolve for whatever reason. The cost is certainly affordable these days for many Super 8mm cameras, so there's no reason for someone not to own a few for various reasons, even a small one for travel filming.

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Joining this late, sorry. Regarding sound striping, Alberto Vangelisti in Italy does it. A friend of mine had some commercially-produced silent super 8 films striped a while ago. Turned out really well (and my friend also did a good job of adding the sound tracks). Price was reasonable but most cost effective if you do a fair amount at once. I think it was something like 50 euros for up to 300 metres. Producing a projectable sound super 8 film from scratch would be labour-intensive and time-consuming, but it's nice to know you still could if you wanted to.

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