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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #1
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New Super 8mm Film Camera: Retroternative Imaging

This should be right up your alley, you guys:

http://www.retrothing.com/2007/01/a_new_super_8_m.html

"The A-Cam DS8 will offer... interchangeable C-Mount lenses (the camera ships with a wide-angle f/1.5 9mm Kinoptic lens), parallel viewfinder, 100 ft film capacity, and microprocessor-synchronized frame rates between 6 and 37.5 frames per second. The camera weighs a mere 1.5 kg complete with lens, batteries and film. Double Super 8 (DS8) is a hybrid format that uses 16mm wide film to capture Super 8 sized frames."

$1,300 USD deposit toward a final cost of just under $5,500 USD.

Main site: http://www.ikonoskop.se/acam/index.asp (current 16mm version)
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #2
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If you have to shoot 16mm film, why not just use a 16mm camera?

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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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Wow, good fun. I hope they get enough orders. DS8 has always been a 'better' version of super 8, for all the reasons they listed. But finding a DS8 camera is much harder than finding a Super 8 camera that's in great shape.

The advantage that DS8 has over 16 though, is almost entirely cost per footage ratio. Since the ds8 camera is not significantly cheaper than the S16 version, I'd have to weigh how much film I'd be likely to shoot with it. I'd probably opt for the 16mm version, to get the slightly better D.O.F. But it IS an interresting marketing approach.

Last edited by Richard Alvarez; February 6th, 2007 at 04:44 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #4
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Two reasons:

1. It's more than double the shooting time on the same film.

2. It's that particular granular look that Super 8 has.

My Super 8 days are long gone, but my hat is off to anyone shooting it currently.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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Great find, Chris. Most of my early films were shot in super-8.

Who even developes super-8 anymore? Used to be you could go down to K-mart to do it.

Ah, the memories....
The Super-16 looks neat too.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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Does it do 24p?

Just kidding. :D
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
Who even developes super-8 anymore?
Pro8mm and Spectra Film & Video (both in Burbank) do in-house processing and telecine, and they sell camera packages and film. There are a few smaller houses around here that do 8 as well, but their names espcape me.

I think it was Pro8 that did all the Super8 work for Rob Richardson on Natural Born Killers.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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Oh yeah, you can still buy the film, get it processed. They discontinued Kodachrome 40... too bad. BUT on the plus side, now you can shoot negative stock. It's not a 'dead' format, but it has it's particulary uses. Oddly enough, I've notice a number of Wedding Videographers, offering super 8 packages too. It has a particular 'look' that is really neat. And, quite frankly, I just finished transferring some REGULAR 8 footage that was shot in 1957, and the color and images are AMAZING, while I have video shot on vhs in 1982 that has slowly disintigrated into snow... So yeah, film is film.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #9
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I was impressed with www.pro8mm.com but if my DP my feature with one of their cameras and film, and we were frugal about it, the costs still would've been (including telecine to minidv) over $12,000, and I'm not sure that included the camera.

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Old February 8th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #10
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Funny you say that, because all this talk of 8mm/16mm made me a little teary-eyed about not shooting film anymore.

Until I remembered just how expensive it really is, even for a tiny shooting ratio with "cheap" film stocks.

Also, the instant gratification of video, and general overall ease of use, makes it hard for me to think I'd ever go back to film - even with a big budget.

But super 8 does have a certain something about it, doesn't it? Glad it's not a dead format...

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Old February 8th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #11
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8mm reminds me of home movies (on film, of course); in some ways, old 8mm consumer cameras were the precursor of our new camcorders, like the Sony HC7, etc.

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Old February 8th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #12
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The cost to shoot film, even small format, is a funny thing. There's no question it's much higher per 'minute' - heck, even 'frame', then video. But in the context of a budget, it can be an odd thing.

IF you were doing a short-short. Something under five minutes, or even a short commercial, say 30-60 seconds. Then the cost for even a high shooting ratio is doable, provided you employ real film 'discipline' in planning your shoots, storyboarding, camera rehearsal before rolling stock, etc.

At the other end of the spectrum, on feature length films the cost of filmstock is a drop in the bucket compared to all of the other items on the budget, so burning through film is of small concern.

Shooting video has freed us from the concern of stock costs, certainly, but at what expense? Hours of footage to wade through for editing? Enormous numbers of takes. (And the increased ammount of time on each take.) So it's a bit of a mixed blessing. It certainly allows ANYONE to acquire hours and hours and hours of footage, to turn into ninety minutes of something called "A MOVIE".

But while I decry the lack of discipline and focus for narrative production, I would celebrate the freedom video gives you for documentary production. When you are hoping to catch just the right moment, being able to keep rolling has been a HUGE boost to the doc movement.

I just think it would benefit most new 'filmmakers' to actually roll a little film some time. In fact, I'd love to give a Super 8 camera to a DV shooter, with a single roll of film in it and say... "Here's three minutes of film. Give me back a thirty second story." Considering how much can go into a thirty second spot, and given a shooting ratio of roughly six to one... at a cost of, say Twenty to Thirty dollars for total film/processing??? Yeah, I'd love to see them go through the discipline of PRE production and shooting.

And isn't that what all the various video challenges REALLY are? Putting you under the gun to write and shoot something in a weekend/day or whatever, with a limited number of hours or themes. What those contests are really designed to do, is to force you to be focused and disciplined... in order to be creative. "Raising the stakes" in order to bring out the best.

That's the sort of feeling you get, whenever you roll the camera and hear the film running through it, in my experience.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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What's ironic is Lucas saving $1 million on film stock, etc., with Star Wars 2 and 3, an average for most bigger budget productions, probably represents only 1% or less of the overall cost. For a low-budget indie, even with a $100,000 budget, shooting film could represent many times that 1% of the budget number.

That's why, in my opinion, shooting HD vs. film on a $100,000 movie will allow the filmmaker to hire more well-known actors, more crew, etc.

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Old February 10th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
This should be right up your alley, you guys:

http://www.retrothing.com/2007/01/a_new_super_8_m.html

[i]"The A-Cam DS8 will offer... interchangeable C-Mount lenses (the camera ships with a wide-angle f/1.5 9mm Kinoptic lens), parallel viewfinder . . ."
It's sexy, but my lust was preempted by the "parallel viewfinder" bit -- what we used to call a parallax viewfinder. Did that with an old Bell & Howell Filmo many years ago. Not being able to see your footage instantly -- well, OK, that's in the nature of film. Not knowing if your framing is off -- I don't think I'm that nostalgic!
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Old February 17th, 2007, 05:32 AM   #15
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Parallax Viewing Issue

Since these really intresting cameras accept c-mount lenses the fact that they aren't reflex isn't an issue if you know a little about c-mount lens history. Back in the fifties SOM Berthiot made a few lines of c-mount lenses that had a Dog Leg viewfinder that attached to a zoom lens that could could fit all c-mount cameras. Their main market target was Bolex which hadn't yet come out with their prism reflex system. They originally to cost as much as a brand new Cadillac in 1955. There were enough made (and made well) that you can find these all the time on ebay for less than $300 bucks. I used to have one and regret ever selling it along with my non-reflex Bolex, which according to is serial number was one of the last made before the reflex switch.
The best model is the SOM Berthiot 17-85/2 Pan Cinor. In fact if you search ebay right now you'll find one for cheap, I might even bid.

So the non-reflex nature of these cameras for the determined DP could be fix, sort of.
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