Super 8 Users

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Macmaniac, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    Hi all

    So I have gotten to playing with film cameras, and I bought a Super 8 camera.

    Its been really fun to play around with, and I am very curious if we have any other Super 8 users on the forums.

    I am looking for tips on what aperture I should use without having a meter handy because at the moment I am shooting all auto on it.

    Also any tips on filming sports? I want to shoot some brief highlights of football and lacrosse with it, I am guessing I will have to use 24fps to make it look ok vs 18 fps.

    Thanks for the info!~
  2. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level

    I was interested why you chose for a film camera and not a digital camera. What's the motivation.

    Cause how are you going to edit it (this all sounds "blaming" but I'm really wondering). Where are you going to display it (you have a special projector for that?). Is it for yourself?
  3. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    I had a super8 for a while but found that no one develops the film anymore to cut with it, and whilst i had all the splicers, projectors and even dark room equipment i had no dark room and no one was able to help me. Might be a UK thing but it was gutting as some of it was half decent footage.

    Your best bet would be to keep the cash and try and get some experience as a sit in on Arri based projects or similar.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've not used super-8 for many years. But I still remember doing splices with cement on the interframe black lines.

    About exposure. If you don't own a meter, you likely do own a SLR or point and shoot camera. THose cameras will have meters. Set the ISO on the still camera to match the film speed and set the shutters to match the shutter speed on the super-8 camera. The SLR will then select an f-stop. Transfer that to the movie camera.

    I used to use my older film based 35mm SLR as a light meter for my meter-less medium format cameras. Works Well enough until I finally got a a couple real light meters. I still use the meters for critical work or with studio lights. But SLRs (or a P&S that allows manual settings) make good enough meters

    You can get away with using automatic setting on a still camera but it looks bad on movie film because you do NOT want those seting changing while you are doing a shot. I just have to lock down the exposure and focus and can't leave them on auto while the film is moving.

    You don't need a dark room. They make changing bags. This is a black zipper bag with two sleves where you can get your arms and hands into the bag. Your hands and the film are in darkness but you work in a room with the lights on. The bags are good for transfering film to processing reels. Then the reels are loaded into a daylight tank and then the tank is removed from the bag and all farther work continues in light. The tank has a lightt trap so you can pour chemical in and out in the well let kitchen.

    One advantage of super-8 now is that the cameras are so cheap, almost free. You can use them in a location where you would not risk a $1,000 HD camera. I know someone who threw a few 8mm cameras off a tall building to record the view while falling. He set them to a high speed to set a slow motion effect. He said most of the film survived. Wrap the camera in duct tape. Same with use near water. Some really old film camera use a wind-up motor and dont even have batteries. These will work in the rain, surf and so on. places you'd never take an expensive video camera. I've seen 8mm camera sell for $10. And a camera that sold new in the 70's for $1,500 sell for $100 at a local camera swapmeet.

    Even 16mm equipment sells for way cheap now. Not cheap enough to trow off a building but very affordable.
  5. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    I do 16mm and don't have much trouble finding labs in the US. You have to mail it nowadays, but there are good labs that still process 16mm and Super8.
  6. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    I've used a bit of Super 8mm, you can get it developed at Widescreen Centre in London. It's a mail in system.

    They can also put the projection onto DV tape for digitizing yourself.

    It's interesting, but expensive and a bit of a novelty really.

    I'd like to have tried 16mm.
  7. Macmaniac thread starter macrumors 68040


    Thanks for the suggestions, I am still very much a film novice. I am using Super 8 for a documentary I am doing at my school. A lot of the film I am getting from the archives is Super 8, and I wanted to re-create the look of the modern campus with Super 8 film.

    I am shooting with Ektachrome 64T, which of course requires me to have a lot of light.

    I do have a Canon Digital Rebel but it does not have ISO 64 which is a small pain, because I cannot use that to meter. I did some quick calculations, at 18fps I will have a shutter speed of 43.2, and at 24fps 57.6.

    Thanks for telling me about not allowing the camera to change f-stop automatically. I never do this when I am shooting digital, but as you can see I am still playing with film.

    In your experience is Vision 2 or Vision 3 worth the investment?

    I am having the film developed in Canada, and my school has a Super 8 projector which I will setup in a dark room with a either a Panasonic DVX 100 with Synchro Scan or with a Sony HDV camera to do transfers.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    The film that inspired me to do this is:

    I got a high quality transfer from the original and it looks amazing.

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