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Damian Tyler

Thanks to all the super 8 buffs

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Not a question this, just a general thank you to all the posters on the super 8 forum for the info I've got from the different posts. I've just got back the processed film from the first cartiridge of Tri X I've shot with my new Nizo s800. I chose the camera based on the discussions I've read on the forum, and exposed the film the same way. I shot it all on automatic exposure with the camera set to tungsten, so the daylight filter wasn't engaged. I theory I think this should make it about 1/3 stop overexposed (?). Anyway, it's turned out really well. I've only got one shot that didn't work - an interior with a black dog, bright light and shade - where the contrast was just too much, but that's my fault not the camera or the film. Otherwise as I say it's all really nice.

I shot Tri X for the test roll as I'm intending to project my super 8 material, and the price of Ektachrome put me off using it for a first film, but I'll try it next. Also, I shot the Tri X at 24 fps. This was partly because it's the 'professional' speed, and partly because it's what I'm used to on digital, but the extra 50 seconds per cartridge I'd get at 18 fps looks appealing. Any views on the merits of 18 fps would be recieved with interest. As I say, I'm intending to project my super 8 and if I do get it scanned that's really of secondary importance, so I'm not too bothered about NLE problems.

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Many here may not agree, but I feel there really isn't any need to shoot Super 8mm film at 24fps over the 'normal' rate of 18fps.  The quality increase is so minor that it's not really necessary for anything but the most demanding imaging.  18fps is gentler on the film during projection as well.  Even in digital transfer, the difference between 18fps and 24fps isn't that significant to ever get me to shoot at 24fps.  And I have seen and also shot many films in full 2x Anamorphic CinemaScope at 18fps and they are sharp, steady, and just look great even when projected onto a 24ft, and 32ft projection screens.

With the higher cost of Super 8mm film these days, that extra 50 seconds at 18fps is wonderful to have. It gives you more running time from these small cartridges, as well as lowers the overall cost of any project.  I'm saddened that the cost of the 'new' EKTACHROME 100D is so expensive, but then all film costs have jumped up significantly in recent years.  I've been in analog based photography all my life, so I will continue to shoot film when I can.  However, I think I'd have a harder time coming into the film world just looking at the cost of everything.  With some films, processing, shipping costs, and transfer, it can cost nearly $100 for one cartridge of Super 8mm which is insane.   This is another reason I advocate for every Super 8mm film enthusiast to do as much of their own work as possible:  processing and transfers.  Unless you're working on a 'serious' professional grade project or one that you're being paid for, there is no need to have to pay the high costs that are being charged by some labs.  I fully appreciate the operating costs of the available labs which tend to be in expensive areas where taxes to exist are high.  Since these days, most films are shipped to a lab anyhow, there's no reason a lab can't move to a lower cost part of the country and pass on these lower costs to their customers, but that's another topic.

   So, go ahead and shoot your Super 8mm films at 18fps and have a blast.  The cameras and film were initially designed around this standard to yield excellent results and they will still deliver such results when used carefully. I do shoot some moving scenes at 24fps since it smooths out the bumps and motion when projected at 18fps, but the film is still intended to be shown at 18fps since the rest of it is shot that way.  Operating at low cost in Super 8mm doesn't mean lack of quality.  The 8mm formats have always been so often a DIY film making experience.  Lastly, I do hope Double Super 8mm or Super 8mm in bulk form will be made so it can be purchased and loaded at a much lower cost per cartridge by others as well as do it yourselfers.

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Agreed with Martin. I shoot a LOT of Super 8 these days and ALWAYS use 18fps. I've shot around ~150 rolls since I started shooting a few years back and literally have shot like 4 at 24fps. I get it all scanned at 2K and all that other jazz but I've always enjoyed the extra ~50s one gets from 18fps and have hardly ever noticed the difference. I think it's worth the sacrifice. One of my favorite cameras is my Nizo 801 Macro, similar to yours! Super sharp. Remember to take out the stupid light meter batteries and retape the flat side to preserve them or else they'll die in a couple months on their own. Good luck shooting!

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I also agree with Martin. If your just shooting home movies, or other scenic films, etc 18fps is ideal. I project only and feel 24fps is a waste of film, considering how high prices are these days. I am some what frustrated with the price of the new Ektachrome. I bought one roll last year and it looked pretty good. Although I felt it was a bit dark in some scenes compared to the old Ektachrome. Tri-X is my favorited film. Much sharper than Ektachrome, and has great latitude. Although I have found a ND X4 filter is a must with Tri-X when filming outdoors. This past New Year's Eve I shot a roll of Tri-X indoors, with a vintage movie light bar, consisting of 4 bright halogen bulbs. The results were stunning! Anyways I can highly recommend 18fps over 24fps. 

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Thanks guys. I'll try 18 fps on my upcoming venture into Ektachrome. And I'll take out the light meter batteries when I'm not using the camera!

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