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Author Topic: Super 8 optical sound website! (coming soon)
Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 02, 2011 01:12 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It may be a number of months before this actually gets posted on the internet, but I am building a website for Super 8. It won't be like the 8mm orum or other super 8 forums, as it will be a Film lovers site dedicated to this specific niche of Super 8.

It will chronicle the history of all the different optical super 8's out there with an expanding (as there are always optical sound super 8's that are popping up all the time), and how they were marketed and the machines ect.

It may be a few months until it's up, but it will be up, mark my word, (and my name isn't even Mark! yuk nyuk yuk!)

coming soon!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Brian Hendel
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 902
From: New York, New York
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 02, 2011 05:25 PM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking forward to seeing it, Osi. I still only have one optical feature (Island of Dr. Moreau) but I'd like to pick up a few more eventually...

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 02, 2011 09:21 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is there a dramatic difference in quality between mag tracks and optical?

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 02, 2011 10:59 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, mag tracks are usually superior quality, with a much wider frequency response and much better signal-to-noise ratio. And, of course, there are two mag tracks so many films are in stereo, or can be re=recorded in stereo from DVD. A re-recorded stereo mag track using good quality stripe is almost as good as VHS hi-fi sound. Optical is more like AM radio.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted April 03, 2011 03:44 AM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi - sent you a PM regarding Sunstrand printers.

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"We'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth".

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Mark Williams
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 846
From: West Sussex
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 03, 2011 04:44 AM      Profile for Mark Williams   Email Mark Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi,this proposed site sounds like a great idea!

I,ve owned a few optical prints over the years mostly courtesy of Derann and the collectors circut but probably one of the best quality in terms of picture+sound was The Golden Seal.

I,ve owned the follwing prints in the past

PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID-SAM PECKINPAH
A FISH CALLED WANDA-JOHN CLEESE
THE LADY IN RED-GENE WILDER
CLARA'S HEART-WHOOPI GOLDBERG
THE BURGLARS-OMAR SHARIF
HOOPER-BURT REYNOLDS-JAPANESE SUB TITLES!!
THE GOLDEN SEAL-STEVE RAILSBACK
FAMILY PLOT-ALFRED HITCHCOCK
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL-LEE MARVIN
CITY HEAT-CLINT EASTWOOD/BURT REYNOLDS
OVER THE TOP-SYLVESTER STALLONE
MEMORIES OF ME-BILLY CRYSTAL
CRACKERS-SEAN PENN

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 03, 2011 08:16 AM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Paul. You're explanation is crystal clear. So, my next question is why would 8mm optical be necessary if the standard was mag track? I've never seen an optical unit on stores' shelves or in catalogs. I know some of the real higher-end units accomodated both, but again, why the need and why would labs even bother with a product in such low demand?

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted April 03, 2011 08:53 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a general rule the magnetic track is better than the optical track, which can suffer from pops in the soundtrack. Being that it is printed on the film, sound quality is suceptible to the damage of dirt ...

... and, being printed on the film, some optical soundtracks can fade, sometimes before the image can fade, (depending on the film stock used and printing process), which causes a lowering of sound issued from the soundtrack.

Some of the early soundtracks were rather quiet, but by the 80's the sound quality had improved quiter a bit.

On some super 8 opticals, they actually included TWO language tracks for different countries. I remember seeing on this very site YEARS ago, a screenshot of a print of Star trek 4: The Voyage Home" which included both an english track and Japanese track, one on either side of the film!

Hey! There's a challenge for someone with a lot of time on thier hands! Could someone locate that screenshot. I know I had to have seen it about five years ago!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted April 03, 2011 12:56 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Brad,
Lets go back to the 1920's. The first cinema sound system was Vitaphone which used a sound -on-disc system where the disc player was mechanically coupled to the projector. This was quickly followed by the RCA Photophone system which photographed the sound waveform right on th edge of the film. By 1930 optical sound on film had become the standard method of producing sound films. In the late 1930's the first 9.5mm and 16mm home movie projectors were introduced with optical sound capability, and Pathe, Kodak, and others quickly started film libraries where people could rent optical sound films. So optical sound became the standard for projecting professional sound films in the home.
Forward to the 1950's you will find that both 9.5mm and 16 mm projectors were becoming available with both magnetic and optical sound capability. Magnetic recording was introduced so that 9.5mm and 16mm amateur movie makers could record their own commentary and music on their personal home movie films. Optical sound was still the standard for 9.5mm and 16mm printed professional sound films.
Now along comes the 8mm boom of the mid 1950's. 8mm projector owners were screaming for sound, so the first systems went back to synchronized sound ssystem, now with a magnetic tape recorder mechanically/electrically coupled to an 8mm film projector. Bolex,Eumig, and others produced these tape synchronizers for their projectors of the day. Meanwhile Fairchild in the USA developed the first optical sound -on - film 8mm camera, and Toei in Japan developed the first 8mm optical sound film projector. However, great strides were also being made at this time in the technology of magnetic striping and recording . The professional cinema had already found out that magnetic recording/playback of striped 35mm film vastly improved the sound fidelity compared with optical sound. So the first widescreen CinemaScope films and 70mm Todd-Ao all used multiple magnetic striped tracks for stereo surround sound. Manufacturers of 8mm equipment had also now come to the same conclusion, and started to produce 8mm magnetic sound machines for recording and playback of personal home movies. Film distributor's, such as Castle in the USA, quickly saw the potential for augmenting their existing 8mm silent film catalogue with 8mm magnetic sound films.
Then in 1962 Eastman Kodak brings out super 8mm, which was designed from the outset to accomodate a magnetic sound track on one side of the film, along with a second much thinner 'balance' track on the other side of the film to ensure correct focus and wind up of the film. This was the start of the boom era in super 8mm sound prints from all the major studios - and it was magnetic sound right from the getgo.
But by 1970 the quality of optical sound on super 8mm film had developed to the point where it now became feasible to make mono optical sound prints. Optical sound prints are much cheaper to produce than magnetic sound prints, and there is no magnetic head wear in the projector to worry about. So for airlines showing S8 movies on long haul flights, super 8mm optical sound was cheaper and more reliable than magntic sound. So optical sound prints of current film releases were made specifically for the airlines. By 1980 8mm projector manufacturers seemed to think that optical sound prints would eventually overtake magnetic sound prints, so they started adding the optical sound feature on their high end magnetic sound machines. But it never happened - something called video had come along!

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted April 03, 2011 04:12 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The actual title for the site will be "Optical Allusions" and the "glossary" for the site will have these pages to the site ...

History of Optical Super 8

On this page you will find as complete of a history as you could like about this wonder-ful chapter in film history! You will also find a technical aspect section concerning sound output and such, as well as how these prints were manufactured in the first place

Optical Library ...

Here, you will find an ever expanding list of the titles that were avaialble on optical sound super 8. You may be quite surprised!

Welcome to the Machine ..

Here you will find a compre-hensive as possible list of Super 8 machines that were made with optical super 8 sound capability!

Reviews ...

On this page, I have listed all the reviews that I have done thus far, of Optical Super 8, feature titles in my own collection. Enjoy!

Optic "Nerve"

This will be a page where you can write in and give your own personal stories concerning Optical Sound Super 8

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 03, 2011 06:30 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
So, my next question is why would 8mm optical be necessary if the standard was mag track?
Brad, for mass production it is easy to produce optical prints because picture and sound can be made in one hit (remember optical sound is also printed like picture).

For Magnetic sound you have to record the sound after film/picture is printed. There were a lot of cases that sound was recorded not synced so films must be re-recorded.

cheers,

--------------------
Winbert

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted April 04, 2011 10:21 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
THis is an area for John Whittle to reply to, as he is quite the specialist in film as I remember.

... but from what I understand, the image and the optical are done on two seperate run throughs in the film lab. Could someone correct if I'm wrong?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
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 - posted April 04, 2011 11:23 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, optical sound come with (negative) film. So when the negative is printed, the sound is also printed at the same time.

You can read that here: Sound on Film

cheers,

--------------------
Winbert

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted April 04, 2011 01:25 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't, I might have to differ on that, even though that link probably knows better than myself.

The reason why I would differ is that I have noted that at times, the optical track on a super 8 optical, will be quite faded (from rich darkblue/black to a light purple or pink), while the actual image captured on that very same print will have perfect color. Now, that perfect color would be gone if there was an overall fade I would assume.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 04, 2011 07:35 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmmmm. Good point, Watson. Why would fade only affect one area of a print and not the other if both are printed optically?

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 04, 2011 11:28 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Hmmmmm. Good point, Watson. Why would fade only affect one area of a print and not the other if both are printed optically?
Watson.....Watson....calling Mr Watson....where are you? pick up line three Mr Watson.... [Razz]

--------------------
Winbert

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
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 - posted April 05, 2011 08:51 AM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good show, old boy - Good show!

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 05, 2011 10:29 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bloody marvelous!

(Hey, I'm almost getting a desire to start a "Holmes on Super 8" series of posts, unless someone beats me to it!)

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Dan Lail
Film God

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From: Loganville, Georgia, USA
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 - posted April 08, 2011 11:13 PM      Profile for Dan Lail   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Lail   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
.. and, being printed on the film, some optical soundtracks can fade, sometimes before the image can fade, (depending on the film stock used and printing process), which causes a lowering of sound issued from the soundtrack.
Osi, do you have documentation to back this degradation statement up? I have never heard of this.

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David Kilderry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 963
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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 - posted April 13, 2011 06:57 PM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The main reason we see optical Super 8 prints today is mainly because of the airlines.

Other than cost the other reasons they shose this format was that there was a chance that magnetic tracks could be wiped due possible close proximity to the strong magnetic fields in aircraft equipment and the adding of mag tracks makes the film take up more space on a reel.

Space restrictions limited the length of the film to what could fit on one large reel. More optical film could fit than mag.

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Cheshire, U.K.
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 - posted April 14, 2011 02:48 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking forward to it Osi!

I remember many years back hiring a 200ft optical version of Walt Disney Home Movies "The Prince and the Dragon" from Sleeping Beauty.

I still wonder why Disney bothered with these optical versions given the potential demand from the home user?

Paul, interseting that projector manufacturers saw potential in the future of optical super 8, given that magnetic was so well establised. Why do you think that was?

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 14, 2011 01:03 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
David ... I thjink that it was overall lower costs to produce a super 8 optical track. It's one step, (basically), while with magnetic sound, the sound has to be magnetic striped, and then recorded at a different facility. All the process could be easily done in one stop. This isn't to say that in thier heyday, many film labs did all thier work right in house, but often you'd get the actual print made here, striped there and perhaps back to the film distributor to get the sound recorded.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 14, 2011 01:07 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
David ... I thjink that it was overall lower costs to produce a super 8 optical track. It's one step, (basically), while with magnetic sound, the sound has to be magnetic striped, and then recorded at a different facility. All the process could be easily done in one stop. This isn't to say that in thier heyday, many film labs did all thier work right in house, but often you'd get the actual print made here, striped there and perhaps back to the film distributor to get the sound recorded.

Dan ...

A few of my optical Super 8's suffer from this. The image quality is completely unfaded, while the soundtrack has turned light pink and has dropped very low in sound output. On a few of my prints, I have had to resort to using the soundtrack from a VHS or DVD and syncing it to the screen. Very troublesome.

Rob ...

I look forward to it too. It might be little longer than I expected, with working on getting the music video done and other projects.

WANTED ... ATTENTION!

Anybody have a "cache" of screenshots of assorted super 8 projectors, especially those with optical sound playback?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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