Talk shop to me about 8mm/super8/Max8 camera’s with interchangeable lens, shooting with anamorphic lenses, recommend lenses and camera bodies.
Stranger questions: Shooting in low light, has anyone ever cut up and stitched together higher iso 35mm (or high iso16mm) negatives to work within an 8mm camera to exceed the current 500 limit?
When shooting anamorphic, what considerations are needed to telecine?
How do you maximize chromatic aberrations?
How do you minimize chromatic aberrations?
At what point in scanning does oversampling ?(past 2k?) become senseless?
Does anyone have a diopter on an 8mm camera?/ how much light will you lose?/worth it?
Has anyone made custom cartridges/camera modifications to extend the spool length?
Feel free to get technical
Big topics here. A few from me for starters. I am going off the top of my head here.
With Super-8, the glass and the transport stability are paramount. The lens needs to wring every bit of sharpness and texture out of that tiny frame, and the transport needs to be rock-steady not to induce microscopic blurring which will again affect sharpness.
These requirements go up a fair amount when you also introduce anamorphic shooting with the resultant bigger image and the extra glass you are now shooting through. This really applies in all film formats.
For Super-8, “The highest quality you can afford” I feel applies here with regard to the camera. You’ll see some top camera choices in the lens chart below.
I can speak to Super-8 cameras with interchangeable lenses. There aren’t many and they tend to be expensive.
The Leicina Special is one.
Beaulieu offers interchangeable lenses as well. Again, top end cameras with a price to match.
One other brand escapes me, but is rarely found these days.
Widely considered to have the best lenses in Super-8 are:
(Borrowed from expert Michael Lehnert on another forum):
Schneider Optivaron 1:1,8 / 6-66mm
on the Beaulieu 4008 ZM II (C-Mount) and Leitz Leicina Special (M-Mount)
- Angénieux f/1,2 | T/1,4-2,1 / 6-80mm (C-Mount) for Beaulieu 4008 and 5008-series
- Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1,8 / 6-70mm on the Bauer A 512
- Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1,8 / 7-80mm on the Nizo professional
- Canon Macro 1:1,4 / 7-56mm on the Canon 814XL-S
I can personally attest to the lenses on the Leicina Special and the Braun Nizo Professional as I own both of those.
Both are top-notch in sharpness, rendering of color and with good UV coating (the special UV treatment on the lens of the Braun Pro was made only for that model as it was Braun’s absolute flagship.)
Years ago I shot a roll with a Beaulieu 4008 and, again, was very impressed.
Front-mounted anamorphs were offered as accessories during the heyday of Super-8.
They had a squeeze factor of 1.5, yielding a Super-8 image with a ratio of 1:2.0
It was felt it was enough, and would also not exceed the resolution abilites of the then Super-8 film stock, compared to a full-on cinema anamorph with a final image of 1:2.35.
They are occationally seen on EBay
These days, people do work with 1.2:35 anamorphs on Super-8, but it involves a bit of a rig to mount this beast in front of your Super-8 lens and it isn’t exactly point-and-shoot either.
Kodak made them; 200ft mags with Kodachrome 40 sound film which mounted on special-model cameras with a door on top to accomodate the magazine. The large Braun Nizo 6080 sound camera had this option along with a handful of other cameras. They went out with the “end” of Super-8 in about 1982, never to come back.
As for homemade….. that would take some ingenuity. Much like the Kodak mag, you’d have to have the “dummy cartridge” at the bottom which would fit in the normal slot and make the camera pull it. Cutting the top off the camera to get the mag in if you don’t have one of the dedicated cameras….I have never heard of anyone trying it, probably for good reason ;-)
Other Stocks in the Camera:
f you can pay for it, you could in theory get a custom run done for you.
I have 20 rolls of Czechoslovakian B/W 100ASA FomaPan (which never came out as Super-8) which an individual had done as a custom order.
If memory serves me right, it was Spectra Films In LA which did the job for him, as they slit, load and sell different formulations in Super-8 already. Keep in mind, you’d have to get a bulk order of stock first. An exotic, but not impossible project.
I had some Super-8 scanned at full 1920-by-1080 and I feel it’s enough. It does get down to grain-resolution in that size scan. It was done on a modified Workprinter setup with each frame being stopped and scanned digitally, the machine running only a few frames per second.
Using a poor-quality lens wide open in a contrasty shot would contribute a good amount. Make sure you project it large so you really can see the flaws :-)
Minimizing them? See the lens/camera recommendations again….
That’s all I can come up with now; others may be able to help out on Max8/Scope compatability issues.
Hope this helps,
Claus, thanks for the excellently detailed response.
The dream rig would be a Leitz Leicina Special tricked out some Leica Noctilux-M glass but that’s a tad over budget (quietly wipe tear from my eye)
With regards to the use of the term “projecting” in general: I have no plans on showing the final product on 8mm. I’m aiming for a 35mm print, following mostly in the footsteps of Daniel Henríquez-Ilic’s project http://a9.video2.blip.tv/9340000494642/Onsuper8-HalogenurosHD820.m4v?brs=6244&bri=45.2 Shot entirely on Super 8 using Vision2 100T (Pro8/12), Vision2 200T (Kodak 7217), Vision2 50D (Pro8/01) and Vision2 250D (Pro8/05) – Spirit Datacine 2K telecine (10 bit data) at the world famous Park Road Post, New Zealand – editing, colour grading and cropping – grading for the film-out on Quantel eQ using a Look Up Table and mantaining the LUT for the internet delivery (so this version has similarities with the look of the 35mm print) which was undertaken in Chile – for internet delivery output to H.264 with Rec 709 colourspace
unless anyone has their own (either DIY or not) workflow to suggest. The final delivery is intended for theatrical release be it 16mm or 35, but I assume 35 would be wiser for my super widescreen endeavors. Does the developed film negative have to be projected onto a new filmstock and then that roll is what is scanned during telecine or can the negative be scanned after being developed with the colors being inverted digitally in post. when someone says “project” it can get confusing if you don’t understand the developing process, which I admit, I do not.
Viewfinder: How do most of you achieve low shots/high shots/any shots that involve not being able to squeeze your head against the viewfinder?
The math on how to match up lenses and cameras so as to avoid as much vignetting as possible?
More importantly (since it feels like I may have been be assuming something here) can you even use an anamorphic lens as a primary/main lens or does it have to be loaded in front of a prime or a zoom with some sort of bracket with the main set to focus to infinity? Is focusing a bitch due the (possibly) complicated set up?
Stranger still: is it even possible to have an anamorphic lens rated from a very wide focal range i.e. essentially an anamorphic with macro capabilities? Either way what is the closest focal depth one can achieve with an anamorhpic OR what lens combination makes that possible?
Will shooting anamorphic require serious image stabilization (stadycam) if I intend to be highly mobile (cinema verité/ tripod free style?)
note: I am not concerned about SOUND models since audio will be recorded externally but sites like Pro8mm provide the (very expensive) option of adding a 24fps or 25fps crystal sync to their modified cameras. Is it worth it?
Would it be impossible to switch between anamorphic for some shots and regular for others (i.e. A Nizo with macro functionality for a diverse highly mobile take then the anamorphic rig whatever it may be for a ballroom shot) or would trying to achieve the same aspect ratio when cutting to a “regular” shot be senseless since serious cropping and amplification of grain size and “activity” would make editing betwixt such shots awkward and distracting?
Feel free to post your own examples or impressive ones you find and list specs
Format: Max 8 (Super Duper 8)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Camera: Beaulieu 5008s Multispeed, modified to shoot in the Max 8 format
Fujinon 16mm F/1.4, 1.5 Megapixel Lens (CCTV)
Anamorphot 16/32/1.5x Bolex/Möller Anamorphic Lens
Kodak Vision2 50D (5201) from Pro8mm
Pro8mm, Burbank, CA
Millenium M2, 1080p24 to ProRes 422 Codec
Final Cut Pro 6, ProRes 422 23.976 Timeline
Neat Video Denoise Plugin Via Final Cut Pro 6
Anamorphic De-Squeeze via Adobe After Effects CS3
Sharpening via Adobe Photoshop CS3
I like the peripheral chromatic aberrations, the haze, the punchy crunchy white values and the vibrant color palate.
2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Kodak Ektachrome 100D and is not color corrected.
Beaulieu 4008 ZMII Super 8 film camera with a modified gate and the Century Optics 1.33X anamorphic adaptor in front of the Angenieux 8-64mm manual zoom lens. The film was processed normal and it was over scanned and scanned to Uncompressed High Definition 1920 × 1080,
Full Super 8mm (1.33) frame inside of the HD (1.78) frame.
After Effects and Final Cut for post-production “de-squeezing”.
And the this is the correct example I mentioned about the “following mostly in the footsteps of Daniel Henríquez-Ilic’s project”
This new UltraPan8 format is pretty damn impressive
Hit up the source link back to vimeo for the (exhaustive) full specs and other examples
Anyone have experience with video taps/ video assists? Recommendations/tips? Monitor rig setups?
Well, here’s a link to a page for starters. The little “lipstick cams” have been used by some folks.:
Cool post! We actually just finished our Ouija board horror feature shot entirely on Super 8, screening in Santa Monica next week . Shot it all on a Canon 1014xls, crystal-synced. Used the new Kodak Vision3 200T Neg stock for the whole film…15,000 feet of it. The stock gave us exactly what we needed in terms of creepiness and it had such a wide latitude, even low-light conditions were fine.
I posted some info about the production here: I Am ZoZo: the Super8 Ouija movie
Lab: Alpha Cine contact: Heather
1080p scanning and color correction by: Lightpress contact: Eric Rosen
It was scary not having dailies, but the lab rushed the processing so we at least knew we had image.
Director Scott Di Lalla even built his own camera shoulder mount to keep things lively but steady.
Fascinating post, made me feel very nostalgic. I’ve had a roll of Ektachrome 40 sitting in my refrigerator for years but have not run film through my old 612SXL Elmo in years. I have no experience with anamorphic Super 8, always dreamed of playing with that and a Super 8 flatbed editing machine after reading about those toys in American Super 8 magazines. But I came in on the tail-end of the Super 8 era in England and struggled to put my first films together with whatever tools we could get our hands on in the early- to mid-1980s.
I restored one 18-minute opus below: 4:3 aspect ratio, Ektachrome 40, edited with Wurker tape splices on a Goko stereo pic-sync machine, telecined a few years ago with little-to-no color correction at Yale Laboratories. All sync-sound is original, dual stripe, with weird squeaky projector noise, I remixed music from original sources in Final Cut Studio, and cleaned up the front and end titles, but otherwise it’s pretty much as I made it, circa 1983:
Or, for a short trailer and a couple of images click here. It’s a monster movie. Just posting here to show you what kids were doing with the format back in the day. It was a great learning tool.
Good luck with your project, RH. Beautiful cameras, Claus!
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Kodak Ektachrome 100D
Final Cut Pro
STRAIGHT8 2012 ENTRY. ESSENTIAL INFO:
UPDATE: We posted a little teaser for our Ouija board horror feature, I Am ZoZo, shot entirely on Vision3 200T Super 8mm negative stock.
I realize this is about shooting anamorphic with Super 8 but I wanted to let you 8mm freaks know that my nerdy buddies and I are working on an affordable 2K transfer system for Reg and Super 8. The technology is getting cheaper which makes it more reasonable on the consumers end. I want to see every 8mm shooter like myself transferring their own negative and reversal stock in their office… or that creepy little room in the basement of your moms house! Anyway… be on the lookout. We’re calling the device the N3XUS for now… that’ll probably change. Here’s one little clip I shot of my family and friends. Enjoy!
Thanks R.H for the reference to UltraPan8.
Prior to the development of UP8 I had sketched out a designed for an anamorphic adapter for my Kowa 2x compression 16mm projector optic, i.e.
These projector lenses were originally intended for CinemaScope 16mm prints with an aspect ratio = 2.4:1. We ran a test setup with a Beaulieu 4008 + Angenieux 8-64mm zoom + stepup ring + Kowa 2x anamorphic lens. Due to the more squarish Super 8 camera aperture the resultant aspect ratio was closer to 2:55:1. Note the anamorphic skew, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrvQCV2kfn4
All this tends to be a problematic setup:
1. One must focus both prime and anamorphic lenses.
2. One must keep the x-axis horizontal. If not you end up with a skewed horizon.
3. The mismatch optically between prime lens + air space + anamorphic.
4. Not conducive to handheld shooting on the fly.
UltraPan8 is a native optically centered format with an aspect ratio wider than CinemaScope (2.4:1).
It uses 2 perf Regular 8mm film stock which is essentially standard 16mm film with double the amount of perforations. The full 16mm width of R8mm is used in conjunction with the classic Regular 8 pulldown (1/2 that of 16mm). It also capitalizes on the fact that both Regular 8mm and 16mm share identical perf dimension pitch not withstanding. The following overscanned clip illustrates the UP8 aspect ratio, perforations and frame line. It actually extends right into the perfs, i.e.
1. Run time is doubled relative to 16mm film magazines.
2. There is no need to re-center a standard 16mm optic as they provide for full coverage of the UP8 frame utilzing the best part of the lenses – the center.
3. UP8 is a 113% and 395 increase in imaging area relative to Regular 8 and Super 8 film respectively.
4. The hybrid UP8 Bolex cameras provide very good registration relative to general Super 8 gates and cartridges.
5. The hybrid UP8 Bolex camera viewfinder is native UP8 with a Cinemascope mask. This is a first in small format ultrawide filmmaking.
A native UP8 projector was located in the UK and is presently being tweeked for the few film festival purists. But UP8 is generally intended as a analog/digital hybrid ultrawide format. A test UP8 DCP file has been projected 40ft wide in a professional theater and apparently the results were impressive.
The current digital scans are overscanned 2080 × 870 pixel x 24 (bit depth) sequential jpegs. 24 bit depth refers to the three 8 bit RGB channels.
Oops. That should read
“3. UP8 is a 113% and 39% increase in imaging area relative to Regular 8 and Super 8 film respectively”
Here is my latest widescreen UltraPan8 sketch “Can Cruiser Red”. Brilliant fall colours, red cruiser bike, red jacket. And one very happy new owner. Is Ektachrome 100D the new Kodachrome? :)