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Author Topic: New to Super 8- Equipment Questions and Advice Sought
Chris Punzi
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: Manassas, VA 20110
Registered: Jul 2011


 - posted July 20, 2011 07:13 AM      Profile for Chris Punzi   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Punzi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello all, this is kind of a story with questions, sorry for the novella [Smile]

I saw the movie Super 8... What an amazing film! It has inspired me to get head over heels into Super 8 movie making. My grandpa gave me his old camera, an instamatic m6, a long time ago, and I want to start using it. Unfortunately, it seems as though the film advance gear won't turn, at least when there's no film in it. Has anybody had experience with the m6? Are parts available somewhere?

Since I was not confident in the operation of the m6, I picked up a lot of super 8 stuff for $20 on craigslist. Probably the coolest Bell & Howell collection ever: Model 311 camera (and working Movie Light), Model 346a Projector, and the screen that came with them in it's original box, all with the manuals and a Bell & Howell pamphlet on making movies! I am so excited to start shooting. I've ordered an Alkaline PX-14 replacement battery from Ebay for the 311 camera, and I ordered "Super 8 Film & Processing Pro8-13" from www.pro8mm.com

Now for some more questions: The film I ordered is ASA 200 Tungsten Balanced Color Negative... Is this going to give me reasonable results with the 311? I read somewhere that I may need to use the filter Key to move the filter out of the way when using a higher ASA, and that Tungsten balanced is what you should use with these 60's cameras.

The 346a is a super 8 projector, will it work with standard 8mm film too? I found some vintage cartoons and stuff at an antique store that are in the 8mm format and I want to pick them up if they will play. I have searched online for hours but have not found a definitive answer. if the sprocket holes are bigger on standard 8, seems like it oughtta work, no?

Thank you so much for your time! I am really looking forward to embracing this <expensive> hobby.

--------------------
-Chris

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5451
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 21, 2011 03:21 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Now for some more questions: The film I ordered is ASA 200 Tungsten Balanced Color Negative..
This is negative stock.... you cannot project this in your projector. This stock is intended for telecine only and show with video (TV).

You need to order reversal stock, such as Ektachrome 100D (color), Plus-x (B/W), or if you are with pro8mm just mention a reversal color film and you will get what you should need.

good luck,

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

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted July 21, 2011 03:40 AM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bad news about your Kodak M6 as well, I'm afraid: the later M models' gears are known to break due to brittle plastic. Give the Bell & Howell camera a try with one of the above mentioned films. Chances are good that the film advance works as the camera is spring wound, the big question is the automatic exposure. Don't forget that all the cameras are between 25 and 45 years old so you might need some patience till you find a well working one.
A Super 8 projector can only work with Super 8 films. You are right that the sprocket holes are bigger with Standard 8 but the problem is that the distance between the holes is different. So for Standard 8 you will need a Standard 8 projector or a so called dual gauge projector.
I have to admit that from what I could see on the internet your Bell & Howell camera and projector are looking really cool! So good luck with it.

--------------------
Alex

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3207
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted July 21, 2011 05:11 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Chris. I used to use a little Kodak 30+ years ago on family holidays and it took some stunning results which still look amazing today. It does sound as though you cine camera may be feeling a little sick, its often better to cut to the chase and find a replacement for one than try to find parts which is near impossible today. The Eumig, Sankyo Super 8 cine cameras all give nice results and at a low purchase cost so might be worth looking for one of this type. Ektachrome 100D film stock is what you will need for Super 8 film making these days as already mentioned.

Super 8mm film making is not necessarily expensive if you work to a script and this is where you will in fact save money in the long run. Filming without a script you will indeed run off more film as you will have no framework to shoot to. Planning is the name of the game with cine film making and it will be money in the bank for you. I’ve often filmed with young film makers over the years having once been a young film maker myself in the early 70’s and it’s a fascinating process getting a film together and watching the end results.

Good luck with all your endeavours. [Smile]

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 21, 2011 07:22 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chris....you are getting into a fascinating hobby...I'm from Manassas as well. Don't shoot super 8 anymore..but sure collect a lot of films and such. I have a couple of dual 8 projectors ..sound eumigs you might try. I'm running a film series tonight(Thurs. July 21) at the Bull Run Regional Library ..show starts at 7pm.... and then again next Thurs. the 28th. I may have time to drop by the house between work and library and pick up one of those machines ....
At any rate..good luck with the film endeavors.

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Chris Punzi
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: Manassas, VA 20110
Registered: Jul 2011


 - posted July 21, 2011 07:50 AM      Profile for Chris Punzi   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Punzi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the replies guys!

quote:
This is negative stock.... you cannot project this in your projector. This stock is intended for telecine only and show with video (TV).

You need to order reversal stock, such as Ektachrome 100D (color), Plus-x (B/W), or if you are with pro8mm just mention a reversal color film and you will get what you should need.

Okay, I'm going to try and change my order today to pro8mm's Super 8/85 ASA 100 Daylight Reversal E-6, hopefully they haven't shipped my order yet! If they have though, and I'm stuck with the color negative, what do I do with it? It won't project at all? Would I be able to get it transferred to digital format at costco or some photo place? Thanks!

The M6 is kind of sentimental to me, my grandfather was a real camera nut in his day and he gave me pretty much his whole collection a few years back, and I had always intended on locating film and shooting it. And now that I've decided to go with super 8, the only super 8 camera he gave me doesn't work [Frown] . Ah well, the B&H 311 winds well and I can see the gear spinning, so I think it'll be good. Hopefully the change in light meter battery voltage won't affect the exposure too much *fingers crossed*. Is there any way to compensate this? Like if I let the 3V alkaline battery discharge until it's around 2.7? Or just not use the "optonic eye" filter at all?

quote:
Chris....you are getting into a fascinating hobby...I'm from Manassas as well. Don't shoot super 8 anymore..but sure collect a lot of films and such. I have a couple of dual 8 projectors ..sound eumigs you might try. I'm running a film series tonight(Thurs. July 21) at the Bull Run Regional Library ..show starts at 7pm.... and then again next Thurs. the 28th. I may have time to drop by the house between work and library and pick up one of those machines ....
At any rate..good luck with the film endeavors.

Thanks for the offer Gary! I think I'm probably just going to stick with the B&H 346a, at least as long as it still runs. Seems to be with these projectors you just buy another one when they break. The first one I bought was an Instamatic M95, and it was DOA (reels wouldn't turn, probably the same gear broke as on my m6 XD). What exactly are these film series you run?

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-Chris

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted July 21, 2011 08:38 AM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I'm stuck with the color negative, what do I do with it? It won't project at all? Would I be able to get it transferred to digital format at costco or some photo place?
It would project ofcourse but you'll see the negative colours (looks so weird that you wouldn't even recognize faces); transferring you get done at a place you trust - I usually get it done (if I get it done) by the ones who sold the film and processed it for me.
quote:
Hopefully the change in light meter battery voltage won't affect the exposure too much *fingers crossed*. Is there any way to compensate this? Like if I let the 3V alkaline battery discharge until it's around 2.7? Or just not use the "optonic eye" filter at all?
Alkaline batteries' voltage drops with use; the new one will come with well over 3 V and the exposure might be wrong. If you use part of its charge you will have the 2.7 V only for a limited period. One solution is to use Wein Cells - you will need two on top of each other. Their drawback is that they react with air and have hence a limited life time; but you can close the air holes with tape when they are not in use and you don't have to buy new ones every few months then.
You don't have the possibility to set the aperture manually with your camera, so you will need the batteries to operate automatic exposure.

--------------------
Alex

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 22, 2011 06:50 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well...it's unusual for someone to turn down a free working eumig 810D sound projector...but ok. I did bring one with me last night in case you showed up.
As far as the film series...in this four week (very Thurs. in July) I'm running what I call Mystery in the Clouds..... four murder mysteries centered around aviation....and accompanying shorts that go along with the aviation theme. We wrap up this coming Thursday with Sky Dragon...(the last of the long running Charlie Chan series) and Dizzy Pilots (Three Stooges)

Hope to see you there.

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Chris Punzi
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: Manassas, VA 20110
Registered: Jul 2011


 - posted July 22, 2011 07:48 AM      Profile for Chris Punzi   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Punzi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Alkaline batteries' voltage drops with use; the new one will come with well over 3 V and the exposure might be wrong. If you use part of its charge you will have the 2.7 V only for a limited period. One solution is to use Wein Cells - you will need two on top of each other. Their drawback is that they react with air and have hence a limited life time; but you can close the air holes with tape when they are not in use and you don't have to buy new ones every few months then.
You don't have the possibility to set the aperture manually with your camera, so you will need the batteries to operate automatic exposure.

Oh okay, thanks for the info Alex! I've tried putting in two px-625a batteries, the same size as the wein cells, and they are two small stacked up to fit in the camera. It originally took a px-14 battery, one of the oddest shaped batts I've ever seen. So I ordered one of these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370419437311&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Hopefully the exposure won't be so bad that the film is unwatchable. The first thing I'm going to shoot is a music video for my band, we'll make it look really lo-fi and we're going to record the track on a reel to reel just to make it as authentic is possible. Also if anybody is following this narrative I was able to get the film changed to the correct kind, the folks at pro8mm know what they're doing.

quote:
Well...it's unusual for someone to turn down a free working eumig 810D sound projector...but ok. I did bring one with me last night in case you showed up.
Oh man that offer was for free?? I'm so used to people charging me lately, I just assumed it was going to cost me the money that I need to buy the pricey Super 8 film. I will definitely take it off your hands, thanks man! I'll come by the film series next Thursday and check out the show, is the deal still on the table?

Sound... Can you play silent film on a sound projector and vice versa? My B&H 346a manual says the picture area of the film "floats in air to prevent film scratching and add lots of life to your prized movies," which makes me think it won't ruin the sound stripe since it's not rubbing up against anything.

Thanks guys! You've all been very helpful.

--------------------
-Chris

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted July 24, 2011 05:03 AM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Sound... Can you play silent film on a sound projector and vice versa?
No problem.

--------------------
Alex

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Chris Punzi
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: Manassas, VA 20110
Registered: Jul 2011


 - posted July 26, 2011 07:45 PM      Profile for Chris Punzi   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Punzi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, so today I shot my first super 8 movie with my Bell and Howell 311. It was intended to be a dine-and-dash chase style video, and for my first time ever directing a video, let alone a super 8 video, it went okay! I have a few concerns, however. There seem to be a few things that weren't clear to me when we filmed, and now I was hoping that maybe you guys could clear them up:

The camera is a hand-crank wind-up job, and shoots 30 feet on a single wind. So we took the manual's advice and rewound the camera when it got to 25'. Here's the thing: the 30' wind only lasts roughly 85 seconds! So it's shooting 24 frames per second right? rather than 18? If I want the video to last more that 2:20 seconds total, do I need to buy a different camera? How can you tell what speed various cameras shoot at? Is there some kind of database?? I had thought they were pretty universal.

Also, the camera is from the sixties, it has a built in daylight filter... I'm just reading somewhere now that I should've been using the filter pin the entire time because the film back in the day was designed only for artificial light. And I was using Pro8mm Super 8/85 ASA 100 Daylight Reversal E-6. Designed for Daylight? I guess so, so you never need the daylight filter built into the camera. Did I just shoot a completely useless reel of film? I'm guessing it'll all be underexposed, we were out in the bright sunlight using the filter...

Man I am pretty frustrated, this film roll is going to cost me 50 dollars minimum after all is said and done and it'll be worthless.

--------------------
-Chris

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted July 27, 2011 06:50 AM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your camera is 18 fps; the age will have got to the spring drive and it just can't make the full 30 feet anymore.
I don't know your camera this well, but it might be that the filter got removed automatically by a pin. If not then your film will have "warm" colours, it doesn't necessarily have to be underexposed.
Before going for a big project you should always test the camera with not important scenes.

--------------------
Alex

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Chris Punzi
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: Manassas, VA 20110
Registered: Jul 2011


 - posted July 27, 2011 07:32 AM      Profile for Chris Punzi   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Punzi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Your camera is 18 fps; the age will have got to the spring drive and it just can't make the full 30 feet anymore.
I don't know your camera this well, but it might be that the filter got removed automatically by a pin. If not then your film will have "warm" colours, it doesn't necessarily have to be underexposed. Before going for a big project you should always test the camera with not important scenes.

It certainly is good to hear that I'll be able to see everything that we shot. What a relief! Hell the warm colors might even look cool!

It wasn't a huge undertaking as far as the making of the film went, it was kind of scripted (outlined) but a lot of the stuff was on the spot. I just didn't want to waste a roll of film on boring stuff.

Anyways, the film amount indicator went down according to where it should have been in the wind. For example, within the first "30 foot wind" it said half the film had been shot. Maybe it's just all inter-connected. So I guess the age could make the spring lose it's wind too quickly, so when I play it back on my projector it might look like slow motion. In which case, I need a new camera. Anybody have a dependable camera they can sell me?

--------------------
-Chris

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