Posts Tagged With: Super Duper 8

8 Tips for Shooting Modern Super 8 #8 Framing

#8 Framing:  What You Shoot and What You Show

This is one of several frame set up options for super 8 footage.

This is one of several frame set up options for super 8 footage. This is Max 8 w/matting

Framing has become one of the most debated technical challenges for modern filmmakers because we are in such a great state of change in this area.  For years film at the  theater was done wide,  and television was done square.  We accommodate one for the other whenever a production was done for both.  Now TV is moving into the wide, and eventually everything will be done wide… but not yet.   Super 8 was originally designed as a 4 x 3 image size.  More or less a square,  like TV.   Modern film making is more and more often done with  16 x 9 framing –  rectangles.   Because super 8 was designed to be a square there are only minor issues when transferring super 8 to standard definition video, which is also a square format.  When you look through your camera, you see a certain square frame.   What is on the film is actually a little bit more image.   When you transfer that frame to video you have to leave a little extra so the transfer of films  such as  super 8 or 16mm  to SD  video essentially leaves you with a little less than you had.   Because you had a little more to start with than you thought , these tend to cancel each other out.  This is for the most part a minor inconvenience.   When you transfer something in Super 8 to High  Definition or Theatrical formats, and you want to use the same framing.    You have to zoom into the square enough to fill the rectangle.  This is a radical difference in the framing.  In this situation, you are cutting out a lot of picture.  This affects both the resolution of the material and even  more importantly the composition. When you think of the time you spend with your camera framing up the perfect combination of headroom, interesting subject matter, etc., it is sometimes devastating to see that cropped down to fit in a completely different space.

If you have already shot the footage , one option is to  use the square framing inside the rectangle by matting  the sides.   This has to be a creative decision that  you are  comfortable with.

If your shooting there is an option, which is to film in Super 8 wide-screen.   At Pro8mm, we call our wide screen Super 8 format Max8.   There are other Super 8 widescreen formats such as  Super- Duper 8 or Anamorphic, or even anamorphic Max8 and  anamorphic Super Duper 8.   All of these formats will fill the super8 frame with image out to the edge of the negative.  This will make the master super 8 a rectangle and make the framing for HD much easier with better resolution. The difference between using the entire super 8 negative and the standard negative when framing for HD is a 20% increase in resolution in addition to having correct framing.

If you are going to use standard super 8 framing for HD just keep this in mind while filming, and  know that  the results will be an image that is zoomed in quite a bit.  If you frame for HD while in production, you will be much better off.  Again, you must remember to tell the post facility what you are doing.  There are so many options that only you as producer can decide what is best.  (c) Pro8mm ™ Phil Vigeant 2009

When you scan at Pro8mm, we have a choice  of framing sets ups.  Check out the this link : -Rhonda

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8 Tips For Shooting Modern Super 8 #2 The 85 Filter

Now here is a topic of controversy and conversation…the good old 85 filter.  There are many differences of opinion about the 85 filter.  This is ours  at Pro8mm.   – Rhonda

85 filter

85 filter


#Tip #2      The 85 Filter Situation

In the beginning, all super8 film was Tungsten Balanced, which means that the film will produce true colors under tungsten light.  If you wanted to get correct colors in daylight, you had to use an orange filter called an 85 (sometimes called 85A).  For convenience, every Super 8 camera was built with an internal 85 filter.  The filter was usually in place because most filming was done outside in daylight.  There were some clever ways to take out the filter when you were filming in Tungsten (Interior)  light.  The filter removal system could be activated by the super8 cartridges notch system,  or by a switch, or by sticking something into a place in the camera to take it out or some combination of these things.

Every super 8 camera manufacturer had their own idea as to how this should be done.  Today, you have dozens of super8 film stocks that can be either daylight or tungsten color balanced.  When you film in daylight with daylight film, you do not want to use an 85 filter.  At Pro8mm we   have been taking the internal filters out of super8 cameras for many years now.  When this is done correctly, it can greatly improve the optical performance of a camera.   These inernal filters are often made of plastic which deteriorate over time and can greatly interfere with the quality of the image.  They are also dirt magnets!   Today because you can buy daylight film, it is actually inconvenient to have the internal 85 filter.   Some film manufacturing companies prescribe to the cartridge notch for 85-filter removal   and some do not.  The standards  for dealing with  this 85 thing are a mess,  so it is up to you,  the filmmaker to understand what the 85 filter is and  how your  camera handles this.  You need to make sure  that  you are using the correct film for your filming environment, daylight or tungsten.  Although you can do some amazing color, correction in post,  if you do not get this right you will never achieve the brilliance in color your images can have.   In addition, all this correcting takes time, which cost money.  What make this a little challenging is in most super8 cameras the 85 was placed behind the viewfinder optic where it can not be seen.  If your camera has a switch or you  can toggle between the two settings  for filter in and out , you will not be able to see the effect of having the filter in by looking in the viewfinder.

You must open up the camera door where you insert the film and look through the camera body.   Put your eye in line with what the film will see.  You must run the camera in order  to see through it.     It also will help if you point the camera at something darker so the exposure system is open, or manually set the camera to keep the  exposure wide open.  Once you find a position where you can see light through the camera body,  flip the switch that goes between the 85 filters in and out. You should see the light turn a darker orange when the filter is in.  However, you are not done. Take the super8 cartridge you are about to use and put it in the camera.  While doing so, look to see if it is flipping a lever in the camera.  Now go back to check your camera and make sure that the position of  the cartridge has not effected the switching.  The other approach is to make sure all your settings are correct and the cartridge has the correct notch for the 85 filters.  A cartridge with a notch for the 85 filters will not remove the filter automaticly.   A cartridge without a notch will automatically remove the filter.  In some cameras, an external switch can override this, but in others, if the notch removes the 85 filter it cannot be returned with the switch.       (c) Pro8mm ™  , by Phil Vigeant, 2009

Cartridge on left is 7219 without 85 filter notch. On right, the notch added by Pro8mm

Cartridge on left is 7219 without 85 filter notch. On right, the notch added by Pro8mm

One thing  you may find interesting in that we repackage the Kodak Vision 3 7219  which we call Pro8/19 ASA 500T with  our  prepaid processing and add the correct notch for the 85 filter.  ($30 stock and processing…add a scan to Pro Ress  that inclues prep and clean for one stop work flows with progressive discount, a  yummy deal!)

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8 Tips For Shooting Modern Super 8 #1 Brush Your Camera Gate

Ugh… there  is a hair  in the camera gate!  Nothing is more aggravating for  us and to you  when we  get absolutely gorgeous footage up on the scanner and there  is a big yucky piece of dirt or hair in the frame.  Just a small effort on your part will make your footage sparkle!  BRUSH YOUR CAMERA GATE! – Rhonda

# 1   Hair in the Gate:

“Because of the nature of film and the way it travels through a camera and exposes each frame, the system will build up debris in the gate.  If  it is  allowed to accumulate,  this  will block some of the image.  The metal gate frames the film with what should be a smooth black border.   Because you are running film over metal, it tends to leaves tiny deposits on the gate as the film passes over it.  This emulsion residue is a gummy substance that is barely visible to the naked eye.  If this is not cleaned  from your camera, from time to time you can have several problems.   First, the gummy glue can trap foreign substances like hair, lint, and dust and hold it firmly, often where the image is taken in a camera.  This  results   in these  ugly black globs  which start around the boarder that blocks some of your image usually on the edges,  but sometimes  big enough to block a lot of picture.   Depending on the size of these foreign obstacles, a hair in the gate can ruin a shot.   In addition, the build up of emulsion can get so bad that your camera can physically scratch the film.   The fix for these problems is very simple.   Go to the store and purchase a child’s toothbrush.  Gently brush a few strokes between every cartridge.   Every, single, cartridge!   It is amazingly simple but incredibly effective.   Do not use compressed air as all that will do is blow dirt around, and  it might blow debris into somewhere you cannot get it out.   In addition, compressed air does not often have the force to move the object because remember, it is stuck in place.    Do not use a Q-tip, as the chance of leaving a fiber of cotton is greater then the good you will do by performing the cleaning.”                                                                                     (c) Pro8mm ™ , by Phil Vigeant 2009

If your camera has never been cleaned,  you might need to do some more extensive work.  Once it is clean, the brush trick is all that should be need to keep you hair free.

Pro8mm includes a free camera gate brush with every rental or purchase.  They are also available for sale  on our website for $5.00  at   A nifty little  tool  that fold up small and has  an attached cover, so you don’t have to worry about loosing it.     Once you use it on your camera, we do not advise using it as a substitute for gum or mints when you  have been on the set all day, or for that matter, the other way around!

Our Tip #2 will be on THE 85 Filter Situation.

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