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-   -   Super8 questions... (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/20107-super8-questions.html)

Dustin Waits January 20th, 2004 01:17 PM

Super8 questions...
Sorry, I know I'm on the wrong forum for this.

I just bought a super8 camera on ebay for $5. I know nothing about film but I figured I could try to learn. I have a few questions about it....

1. Is there a web site that shows how to develope super8 film at home?

2. When it comes to buying a projector to view my film, is an 8mm projector and a super8 projector the same? Or do I need to buy one that says super8?

3. Here is a pic of the camera I bought. Anybody ever seen or used this? Is it decent?



Frank Ladner January 20th, 2004 03:18 PM

Dustin: Congratulations on the new camera!
You can still purchase the Super 8 cartridges from various sources. I know B&H still sells it, and you can purchase a mailer along with it, which basically pays for the processing. (After you're finished shooting it, you put the cartridge back in the mailer and send it off to be developed - that's my understanding.)
Kodachrome 40 seems to be the popular film. You can get it at B&H for $11.49 / cartridge. (That's for 50 feet, which I think is 2.5 minutes if shot at 24 fps.)

For more details:

On the projectors, if they can handle both formats, they usually say they're 'dual' or something. I was given an old Gaf projector and it has a switch for 8mm vs Super8.

Do a search on google.com and you'll find that there are a lot of guys out there shooting on Super 8.

For example:

For developing the film yourself, check out:

Marco Leavitt January 20th, 2004 03:55 PM

Have you ever tried sinking sound to Super 8? I'm pretty interested in this myself, and am curious as to how well it would work.

Mike Tesh January 20th, 2004 03:55 PM

Another great forum with a lot of information is at http://www.filmshooting.com

Helen Bach January 20th, 2004 05:31 PM

I love Super 8. Nowadays I get it transferred to DV, so we aren't completely off topic.

Synching sound:
If you are finishing on video it is easy. There are some crystal-controlled cameras, but that isn't always necessary. I used to have a crystal Beaulieu 7008 - a very temperamental camera.

Most of the cameras I've tested come to within 0.1% to 0.5% of their nominal speed. To synch, you can use a head and tail slate (or other mark) and adjust the audio to fit in an NLE. If you are finishing on film, the usual way is to record camera pulse track on the audio recorder and resolve the two in post. You can also do this if you are finishing on video, but I never bother with a pulse track if I am finishing on video.


Frank Ladner January 20th, 2004 08:40 PM

Marco: I believe Helen explained that a lot better than I could have. That was really informational to me, too.


Scot McPhie January 20th, 2004 08:40 PM

I've just finished a feature on Super 8 called In My Image which has jsut come out on DVD (see www.mango-a-gogo.com ) I used a Beaulieu 4008ZMII which we had crystal synched at The Film Group in the USA.

I've never tried it but I can't see how the top and tail slating would work because it assumes that the variance in the camera's motor is constant and I don't think it would be - perhaps I'm wrong - anyone?

There's a good article about sound synching methods on my site at http://www.mango-a-gogo.com/inmyimage/imaglink.htm#martin


Marco Leavitt January 20th, 2004 08:59 PM

Helen, how do you get it transferred to DV? This is just what I was thinking of doing, or maybe transferring it to HD.

Scott, those stills look great. Can you tell me more about the equipment you used (camera, lenses, film stock)?

Helen Bach January 21st, 2004 11:51 AM

Scot wondered: I've never tried it but I can't see how the top and tail slating would work because it assumes that the variance in the camera's motor is constant and I don't think it would be - perhaps I'm wrong - anyone?

It does work. Most decent Super 8 cameras have Darlington amplifiers to control the motor speed - they are not uncontrolled. I've also used the technique for 16 mm when shooting at speeds other than crystal speeds. I like to use 16.7 fps (it is 50/3) or thereabouts in very low light and my camera doesn't have that as a crystal speed. (Some Super 8 cameras, notably Nizo, have it as a controlled speed by the way.)

On one occasion the assistant editor transferred the required takes from the DigiBeta TK tapes without the slates. We were able to adjust the audio speed without having to go back and re-transfer.

My speed tests were carried out by hooking up a pulse-per-frame generator to the camera. The pulse was recorded using an ADC accurate to 5 ppm in time. I usually ran the camera for two minutes, then took samples from various times. The variation in speed was often undetectable.

Having made the tests I was happy to use the best cameras without using a pulse track. I didn't assume that the variation would be insignificant - I tested it first.

Transferring to DV:
I used to do it myself with a simple 'film chain' - a projector and camera side-by-side with the projector's speed adjusted to remove all flicker and ambient light used to control contrast. I used a blue-green Lee filter when transferring neg film, but off-hand I can't remember which one. Nowadays it gets sent to Pro-8.


Dave Largent January 21st, 2004 02:26 PM

Who's making new Super8 cameras these days?

Marco Leavitt January 21st, 2004 02:29 PM

Uh, what's Pro-8?

Tim Brown January 21st, 2004 02:55 PM

check out film processing info from them at

Brandt Wilson January 22nd, 2004 09:29 AM

Another point...

Wallmart apparently sends out 50' S8 cartridges for processing at a cost of $4.88 a pop. One week turnaround.

Much cheaper than sending it to Dwaynes yourself.

Marco Leavitt January 22nd, 2004 09:45 AM

How much does it cost for the DV transfer? Based on the fact that Pro8mm doen's list prices, I gather it must be a lot.

Dave Largent January 22nd, 2004 12:00 PM

Where can I find out more about the Walmart
Didn't see anything at Walmart's site, but
perhaps I missed it.

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