Posts Tagged With: onsuper8.org

8 Tips For Shooting Modern Super 8 #5 Airport X-ray

#5  Airport X-ray

fogged film

(sample of 16mm Kodak Vision 320T Color Neg exposed to INVISION CTX-5500 baggage scanner)

Since 911, nothing has caused more grief to the use of film than airport X-ray. This is a great tragedy for film because with a little knowledge it is easily avoidable, and does not have to be the hassle it has become.   For 8 years now, I have taken 500 ASA film on every trip I have  taken.  I always run my film through the walk through X-ray without any special consideration.  I keep it in the original packaging, and I just put the film on the conveyor and let it go through.  That’s right!   If they want to rescan it, I tell them go for it.  On one trip, I clocked 10 scannings of my film.  I have never had a single frame with X-ray damage.  The X-rays do not build up on your film,  although you could, like the example above multiple x-ray hits if you put your film in your luggage.  The X-ray system  in the walk through are nowhere near as powerful as the luggage X-ray system.

What I never do is put my film in my luggage.    The CTX-5000 x-ray machines that are used to check baggage at most commercial aiports is a very powerful device that can fog film.  Not only is it much more powerful than  the machines at airport security check in areas, it may scan a bag several times from several different angles.  This WILL adversely affect your film whether it has been shot on not.   I have asked every customer that I have seen with X-ray damage to his or her film the same question.  Did they put their film through the luggage x-ray?   Without exception every filmmaker with an x-ray problem at one time or another put their film in their luggage.  So it is a simple  matter of carrying your film on the plane and not putting it in checked luggage.  To this point, do not use X-ray bags or lead lined bags and think that your film is safe in your luggage.  All the airport people do is turn up the  intensity of the  X-ray system to identify what is inside.

X-Ray damaged film is easy to diagnose because it has a very distinct stroking of just the blacks in the film.  It does not matter if the film was exposed when it was hit or not exposed. It does not even matter  what the ASA is,  as I have seen fogging even on Plus X black & white 100 ASA.

Because of the danger of x-ray, it is not a good idea to buy super 8 film from questionable sources.  In the film industry there is a lot of film that is resold because it was not used on a production.   This film, commonly called Recan in 16 and 35mm .  When handled by reputable companies, it  can be easily tested and then resold with full integrity.    With Super 8 film there is no way to do this type of testing.  Therefore, if you buy your super 8 from a short ends reseller you are taking a big risk because they cannot test it.  (c) Pro8mm ™ Phil Vigeant, 2009

Did you know that Pro8mm sends you a DO NOT X-RAY sticker when you buy film from us so you can stick it on the outside of the package when you send the film back in for processing?  Private carriers such as Fed-ex and UPS  use there own planes and do not X-ray there packages but it doesn’t hurt to use DO NOT X-RAY stickers .   In remote locations  sometimes these carrier will use commercial airplanes to fly there freight, in which case  your package could be X-Rayed. Check with the carrier and clearly mark the package – Rhonda    www.pro8mm.com

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8 Tips For Shooting Modern Super 8

I decided that instead of giving you all 8 tips at once, I would give you one a day so that hopefully you will keep coming back and read my Super 8 blog!   While some of the tips I am going to give you are “old school” common sense that any film maker working with super 8 or 16mm film  should do/should have done at any time in their shooting career , some have to do directly with the new modern negative film stocks, our Max 8,  16 x 9 super 8 cameras and native 1080 HD scanning.  These tips were written by Phil Vigeant, the owner of Pro8mm.  I look forward to your comments.  – Rhonda

A Few tips can go a long way, by Phil Vigeant, owner and senior colorist at Pro8mm

“Parts of my job as senior colorist at Pro8mm, is that I get to scan about a million feet of super8 film each year.  In doing so I get to see what is happening in the super8 world with some vantage point based on volume.   I look at my work as a two-part job. One, as a creative colorist, trying to get the most information off of the frames for our customers, and second, as an inspector looking for bugs in the over all super8 process.   When I see something that needs improving, I try to see what I can do with the technology at hand to facilitate a positive change.  Internally, I can talk to my employees who are the people most responsible for each area and together we try to attack the issue.  Externally, it is much more difficult.   You have competitive concerns to address, and some companies just do not see these problems as issues the way I might.   In addition, there are things that are totally beyond my control that can play a major roll in great looking super8 footage.   These things are up to the filmmaker.  Each year the technology for scanning film to digital seems to improve, resulting in more things that I can fix.   Native 1080 HD film scanning now provides me with tremendous processing power to do many things that were impossible just a year ago.  There are new things on the horizon as well, which will give us even greater ability to improve an imperfect image.   However, there are a few things that if the filmmaker does not get right, there is very little that can be done to remedy the problem, no matter how much technology you have at hand.

As the years progress the problems seem to change and evolve with each new generation.   For those who grew up with film as the main picture-taking medium some things were learned at every juncture of the photographic process. Things such as focus were so common knowledge of that generation that we often forget that this is knowledge that you have to learn. A colleague of mine who teaches film making here in California said that he has to spend days of the semester going over some of this basic stuff.   Therefore, here is my short list 2009 of the 8 most common areas of concern I see every day in transferring film.  I hope that a few quick tips and expatiation can help you create better images with your super8 camera.” – Phil Vigeant

TIP #1 regarding HAIR IN THE GATE will be posted tomorrow

(c) Pro8mm

Innov8ing Super 8

Innov8ing Super 8

http://www.pro8mm.com

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