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Erik Hammen

Super 8 v. Reg 8 in 2020

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Hi everyone!

Now that many stocks of regular 8mm film are available from places like Film Photography Project and Spectra, I'm thinking about 8mm vs. Super 8 in general.

Granting a slightly larger image size for super 8, it seems like R8 has a lot of advantages:

3. it strikes me that many r8 cameras are very sturdy and, the ones running on clockwork mechanisms seem a lot more reliable than many of the super 8 motorized models, which eventually wear out for one electronic reason or another.

2. shooting at 16fps is a great way to save money and as long as you're not doing sync sound, what's the difference? You also get another stop out of it, correct? You could shoot at 16fps on super 8 but it seems like when you drift away from the 18fps standard it puts a strain on the motor and/or isn't reliable?

I love super 8 - LOVE IT - but what do you all think about the Regular 8 argument? work mechanisms seem a lot more reliable than many of the super 8 motorized models, which eventually wear out for one electronic reason or another.

4. I've heard previously that the stability of the image on (many) of the r8 cameras makes the image size issue even.

5. I've had some super 8 carts jam in my cameras; the old motors couldn't handle the new, thicker film.

I love super 8 - LOVE IT - but what do you all think about the Regular 8 argument?

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Posted (edited)

The Bolex UltraPan8 fromat utilizes the full 16mm width (unslit) of Regular 8 film stock in conjunction with the classic 8mm pulldown, e.g. 

 

Edited by Nicholas Kovats

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Regular 8 is in most cases Double-Eight with the according advantages. There were only a dozen Straight Eight cameras but around 400 Double-Eight.

You have two cameras that take 100 feet of Double-Eight film and three for 50-ft. spools.

The open concept of the older cameras (and projectors) allows you to use an almost endless list of lenses. There are adapters to fit lenses to every mount there was.

Repairability finally seems to be an important aspect. Here Super-8 and Single-8 lose, they are the infamous plastic children of all-metal parents. Exception to some extent: Double-Super 8

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1 hour ago, Nicholas Kovats said:

The Bolex UltraPan8 fromat utilizes the full 16mm width (unslit) of Regular 8 film stock in conjunction with the classic 8mm pulldown, e.g. 

 

Now that's what I call letterbox!

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I have a stash of Kodak 7240 in R8 on 100 spools.

Should you be interested to buy one just use message function of the forum.

Mind the timezones 🙂  It is slow cinéma.

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15 hours ago, Erik Hammen said:

2. shooting at 16fps is a great way to save money and as long as you're not doing sync sound, what's the difference? You also get another stop out of it, correct? You could shoot at 16fps on super 8 but it seems like when you drift away from the 18fps standard it puts a strain on the motor and/or isn't reliable?

 

Why no sync? I mean, the camera won't hold sync for long, but we've had clients do sync sound with R8. We scanned this for a client a few years ago: 

 

15 hours ago, Erik Hammen said:

4. I've heard previously that the stability of the image on (many) of the r8 cameras makes the image size issue even.

 

This is very true. While the frame size might be slightly smaller for R8, the design of the Super 8 system is kind of crap. It was about convenience, not quality. We are regularly blown away by how good old R8 film looks - stable and generally much more crisp than Super 8.

 

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9 hours ago, Uli Meyer said:

Now that's what I call letterbox!

No cropping. That is the actual gate. Same with the WYSIWYG optical viewfinder which also has frame lines for the more modest Cinemascope format if one desires.  

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It is my firm belief that Kodak could sell more Ektachrome in Double-Eight than in 16mm and Super-8 together, if they’d offer it.

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4 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Why no sync? I mean, the camera won't hold sync for long, but we've had clients do sync sound with R8. We scanned this for a client a few years ago: 

Pretty cool! I wonder what their setup was. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Erik Hammen said:

Pretty cool! I wonder what their setup was. 

If you look at it on vimeo, he details the full setup in the description

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

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3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

If you look at it on vimeo, he details the full setup in the description

I see! It can be tricky using that system, you never can be sure about drift. Looks great, though. Pro8 put up a video, a long time ago now, as a sync sound test for their logmar camera. Just a young woman talking, in color. It looked magical. I wish it was still available. (the camera AND the video)

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15 hours ago, Simon Wyss said:

It is my firm belief that Kodak could sell more Ektachrome in Double-Eight than in 16mm and Super-8 together, if they’d offer it.

It shouldn't be too difficult to manufacturer R-8 or DS-8 from the 16mm bare strips they have as in between product. If they still have the perforators 🙂 Spools are easier to produce or handle than S8 cartridges I would think.

Their sales data from the past may have indicated that there is no viable consumer market for these.  So somebody else has too take the risk. Unfortunately the small producers will triple the cost per foot.

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I have been experimenting with the UltraPan8 format for about a year now, taking baby steps. The real issue is procuring  color stock in decent amounts. Hopefully that situation is getting better. This is a test I shot for a little zombie movie I am slowly making, 50D re-perfed Kodak stock, stabilized in post: 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Webster C said:

I have been experimenting with the UltraPan8 format for about a year now, taking baby steps. The real issue is procuring  color stock in decent amounts. Hopefully that situation is getting better. This is a test I shot for a little zombie movie I am slowly making, 50D re-perfed Kodak stock, stabilized in post: 

 

 

Hah, great fun! Thank you for sharing.

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:31 PM, Simon Wyss said:

It is my firm belief that Kodak could sell more Ektachrome in Double-Eight than in 16mm and Super-8 together, if they’d offer it.

would the sync sound Leicina camera project help with the situation? how large of a customer base they would need to be interested in offering new stocks in the D8 format?

the availability of stock is very critical for the D8 format I think. As I know the only easily available emulsion at the moment is the Fomapan b/w reversal. 

But maybe someone else could do the perforating work to standard 16mm color negative stock even if Kodak is not interested? could ORWO or FOMA do this type of work? I asked from ORWO about their perforating services a couple of years ago and the minimum orders were pretty reasonable sounding. I think it was couple of thousand euros minimum which would be pretty reasonable if one would get for example 7203 in Dual8 format, there would be lots of people purchasing it I'm sure 🙂  I'm not sure if ORWO has perforating tools for D8 but at least the Foma has because they are doing their own D8 stock as well.

The D8 color negative could be developed in standard 16mm lab machine in any lab. one could slit the film at home with one of those Lomo tools, even I have one of them even when I don't shoot D8 at the moment. So the perforating work is the only challenge there is. 

Maybe if the Leicina project materializes this year, then a batch of stock could be arranged as well to support the camera?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

would the sync sound Leicina camera project help with the situation? how large of a customer base they would need to be interested in offering new stocks in the D8 format?

the availability of stock is very critical for the D8 format I think. As I know the only easily available emulsion at the moment is the Fomapan b/w reversal. 

But maybe someone else could do the perforating work to standard 16mm color negative stock even if Kodak is not interested? could ORWO or FOMA do this type of work? I asked from ORWO about their perforating services a couple of years ago and the minimum orders were pretty reasonable sounding. I think it was couple of thousand euros minimum which would be pretty reasonable if one would get for example 7203 in Dual8 format, there would be lots of people purchasing it I'm sure 🙂  I'm not sure if ORWO has perforating tools for D8 but at least the Foma has because they are doing their own D8 stock as well.

The D8 color negative could be developed in standard 16mm lab machine in any lab. one could slit the film at home with one of those Lomo tools, even I have one of them even when I don't shoot D8 at the moment. So the perforating work is the only challenge there is. 

Maybe if the Leicina project materializes this year, then a batch of stock could be arranged as well to support the camera?

An american guy had a batch Kodak color film perforated by Wittner.  Cost a ton. Then shipping out and back.  Short rolls are available from his website. Costing considerable.  


If organised it needs to be efficient. I.e. you order a batch from Kodak in Germany, have it sent to Orwo directly who then deliver to you. Hopefully they can fix it on 7,5 metre spools too 🙂   Processing in EU can then be done by www.super8.nl

Edited by Andries Molenaar

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I sent email about this to Filmotec (ORWO), we'll see what they answer. I imagine it could be an issue if the stock already has perforations on it but we'll see. I checked the years old emails about the last conversation I had with them and the minimum order for perforating 35mm was smaller than I though it was so it COULD be possible to do Dual8 vision3 stocks in smaller batches I believe. But we'll see when they answer. 

I think the best approach could be to order the perforating in 400ft rolls and the seller or the end user respools it to camera spools. If the perforating is possible then I imagine the spooling would be easy for Filmotec but we'll see :)

If re-perforating the stock is not possible, then it could be possible to slit larger film format to get unperforated Dual8. Probably this would need to be done to 65mm negative to get usable amount of stock out of it...

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Posted (edited)

Mr Nowill in London can do reperforation of 16mm 2R (two perfs) into R8. No blanks and no 1R.  The perforating is not expensive.

If you would find old stocks you can send them to London.
Shipping is a bit of a put off. Best to have like 2-4 100 feet.

If you have a pile you might thingk about going there personally, deliver it and then go to the British Museum. If it were open. Pick up later.

Edited by Andries Molenaar

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8 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

"would the sync sound Leicina camera project help with the situation? how large of a customer base they would need to be interested in offering new stocks in the D8 format?"

 

What is the "sync sound Leicina camera project"?

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1 hour ago, Nicholas Kovats said:

What is the "sync sound Leicina camera project"?

Simon had an idea of fitting old Leicina 2x8mm cameras with custom made crystal sync electronics if my crystal sync projects will advance enough so that I could build the electronics part. We'll see how it goes but if there would be negative film available then it would make the camera project much easier

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Simon Wyss said:

Dennis Toeppen

Wittner, Germany, has perforating equipment for Double-Eight. It’s a marketing thing apart from a certain financial risk. Funnily, Kodak shows a youngster with a Double-Eight camera in an Ektachrome promo video.

great, he seems to have some of the color neg available in 2x8mm in the US.

http://www.toeppenfilm.com/ordernow.html    there seems to be prices in usd.

 

Maybe we could arrange an European order to get our own batch perforated and save shipping costs if it seems there is lots of interested persons? 

 

Edited by aapo lettinen

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I asked from Filmotec and Foma about the 2x8mm perforating options. 

Like I guessed, it is not possible to re-perforate already perforated film by adding more perforations to the space between perfs.

Filmotec should be able to arrange some perforation services for 8mm but it needs unperforated raw material and is most practical for Super8 as I understood. I also asked if Foma would be interested in making some of their negative stocks in 2x8mm format but there is not enough demand for this type of stocks to make it viable. 

So it seems that either Wittner or Filmotec would be the places who could arrange negative stock batches for 2x8mm and unperforated raw stock would be needed. (probably it would be possible to slit 2x8mm stuff from standard 35mm Vision3 stock I believe but that does not make economically any sense. For black and white stocks it could be and option though if someone would be interested in shooting stuff like Fomapan b/w negative films in 8mm format and there would be enough interest so that a large perforating batch could be ordered).

One thing which came into mind is though that would it be just much more easier to adapt a 2x8mm camera to shoot normal 8mm wide Super8 film? Then one could just take Vision3 negative from one of those flimsy Kodak Super8 cassettes, load it to a spool and shoot with your camera. Stock would be available anywhere and the amount of work would be pretty trivial if the end results would be crisp and stable when getting rid of the plastic cassette system. Maybe Simon could arrange something like this? adapting for example a Bolex H8 to use single width Super8 film.

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Posted (edited)

Just find a pack of money and take the Toeppen scheme. I.e. buy a ton of 16mm unperforated film and have it perforated somewhere in a format you like/need.  Or just use what is available.

And don't use Wittner or Kahl if you want a more favourable meterprice. Thanks to these Mercedes driving people everything in EU is now crazy overpriced. And they are the reason the toeppenfilm costs such a  crazy amount (apart from the three times shipping long distance 🙂 )

If you want a pressure plate on super-8 just get a Fujica single-8 camera. Ready to go in a minute. 

Edited by Andries Molenaar

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