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Author Topic: Kodak's new super 8 camera
Bill Phelps
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: USA
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 - posted February 05, 2017 05:29 PM      Profile for Bill Phelps     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is it suppose to be aimed at someone specifically?

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Andrew Woodcock
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From: Manchester Uk
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 - posted February 05, 2017 05:42 PM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
I think Graham makes a highly valid point as things are currently being marketed.

It is looking entirely for a brand new customer base, basing its philosophy entirely on the current popularity of all things retro and analogue being "trendy" or "Cool" as they like to keep telling us!

As said, in my opinion, this camera to that audience, would serve as nothing more than a flash in the pan.

If they cover all possible avenues to provide a range of Film products and possibly cameras / projectors to serve for everybody's needs, I think the whole venture would capture the imagination of a far wider audience and as a result, would stand a far greater chance of a loyal Customer base and longevity.

This of course, is assuming they do nothing rash like chopping and changing their product range too frequently nor pulling the plug on niche products that may very well have a smaller but extremely loyal consumer following.

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Claus Harding
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From: Washington DC
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 - posted February 05, 2017 05:43 PM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Let's review a couple of things:

The sound stripe technology, to the best of my knowledge, was canned because of the chemicals involved and the attendant environmental restrictions. Secondly, likely also because the sound format was coming at the end of the "golden age" of Super-8 and Kodak's striping gear was wearing out. New equipment was not likely at that point, with video eating into the Super-8 profits.

The new camera is a PRODUCTION-type camera....not a "shoot and show on a projector" camera. That is a different market and crowd, a crowd that in a lot of cases have never had (nor has any desire) to own or use a projector. It's for those who love film (Super-8 in particular) and the look and quality of film as used in either home videos or independent production.

It's apples and oranges to compare the two groups. We collect films and fiddle with projectors, and some of us shoot. This is for shooting, first and foremost. We should be grateful that Super-8 as a shooting format stays alive in 2017 in this way instead of slamming it for "not being what it was then."

Claus.

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"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted February 05, 2017 05:50 PM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
The "environmental" restrictions were very convenient for Kodak when they were scrapping a huge proportion of striped film.

The love of real film, is the only reason why anyone chooses to use it in this era. That can be Spielberg or the average Joe.

To market a Super 8mm product only as a "professional"
product, is seriously limiting its appeal given the obvious limitations yet undeniable charm no doubt, of the product.

If you've read all I have been saying, I'm not asking for it to be ONLY the way it was, just to give some consideration to the users who want it back as it was to use as it was, and still is being used by a minority.

To say we all should be grateful for whatever we are dealt, doesn't necessarily cut it for me.
Using it for digital scanning purposes, could initiate a whole host of changes to a product we are calling Super 8mm but may well be unrecognizable in the future.

Maybe in the future, used only as a medium to be scanned digitally, it could be made sprocketless or at least have modified sprocket holes, Then what?

Would we still be happy to say Super 8mm still exists in 2022?

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Graham Sinden
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From: Kent, UK
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 - posted February 05, 2017 07:02 PM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The thing is... for the average man on the street who wants that filmic look it could be easier just shooting in digital and using software to make it look like film. Its a lot cheaper. Theres so much you could do on computers these days.

But also the average man wouldnt spend £2000 on a camera either. What about the pro's. Well they would probably use hi-end digital HD cams and any pro film users would use 16mm not Super 8.

Graham S

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David Michael Leugers
Expert Film Handler

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From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted February 05, 2017 09:38 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a production camera it would do very well with wedding photographers shooting S-8mm for that niche market. Wedding films shot on S-8mm can be incredibly beautiful, unique and shot on a medium that will outlast all marriages... truly archival. If they make one with a 200ft cartridge I don't think I could resist scraping up the money somehow. I am just happy Kodak is keeping S-8mm alive and can't wait to get my hands on the new Ektachrome reversal when it comes out.

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Live Free or Die

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted February 05, 2017 09:40 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In terms of who the camera is aimed at, I expect the most important group is the people who are already buying the majority of Super 8 cartridges! Perhaps Kodak are finding that the sale of negative stocks is holding up well, and they feel that this camera and the Max-8 gate will boost them. But I think we're all a bit premature in trying to reach conclusions, in advance of knowing the full details of the camera's specifications. Seeing an instruction manual would be very enlightening.

However, there is something of a theme running through the endorsements of industry professionals on the Kodak site, which makes me think there could possibly be an agenda with regard to encouraging more use of film in educational contexts. Here one such example:

Stephen Lighthill, ASC - AFI Conservatory
"As a cinematography educator, I know our next generations of filmmakers need opportunities to shoot on film. Now, the most accessible film format, Super 8, will be available to more filmmakers through Kodak's latest camera and film initiatives. I applaud all of Kodak's efforts to keep the film in filmmaking."

[ February 06, 2017, 05:13 AM: Message edited by: Adrian Winchester ]

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Adrian Winchester

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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 - posted February 05, 2017 09:50 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think this has basically nothing to do with the Kodak S8 cameras we remember from years ago. Those were consumer cameras and often entry level ones at that.

This is more oriented towards a professional user: somebody who might want to use super-8 film, but doesn't want to waste expensive time and risk his reputation because a 40 year old camera he picked up on E-bay went on the fritz at the worst possible moment.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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John Clancy
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From: Cornwall
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 - posted February 06, 2017 05:04 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, I can't believe anyone on this forum would have anything negative to say about this amazing development from Kodak.

With regards to pre-stripe film, it was 60% of total production that was canned due to quality control. It is therefore unlikely magnetic stripe will be resurrected for this venture, particularly when they've gone to all the trouble of getting sync' sound sorted out within the camera so thoroughly.

This project is aimed mainly at a new market. Pre-orders for the camera early on was about 3000 units so I'd be pleased to get an update on that. And I feel sure that anyone purchasing the camera is going to want to shoot a few rolls of film immediately. This is going to mean thousands of people shooting thousands of 50ft reels. The potential here is incredible and it's a wonderful - if limited - resurrection of a film gauge that was all but dead and buried. I'm hopeful of being able to shoot Super 8 again using my beloved Canon 814 and get it processed easily and potentially cheaper than is currently possible. I realize it's a business venture and therefore designed to make money, but nevertheless I feel we should all be congratulating Kodak and thanking them for taking the risk.

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British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Maurice Leakey
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 - posted February 06, 2017 05:15 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If Super 8 reversal colour film from Kodak is to be introduced it means I can get out my Zenit Quarz with its box-load of accessories which I bought from the Wide-Screen Centre in London.
http://zenitquarzcameras.blogspot.co.uk/

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Maurice

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted February 06, 2017 05:55 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Referring back to John's comments there above, my only issue IS the fact that these products are no doubt most definitely aimed directly at a brand new market as you highlight yourself.

So far, none of the video spiel I have seen on this project makes any reference to the people that made these type of products world famous products in the first place!

there was even a song made about them back them!

One aspect of the whole attraction of film and analogue resurgence in general, is that it is a physical and tactile medium in use. You can actually get hold of these things and see what's on them. Using them on a projector is all part of this very same appeal to view these things in their ACTUAL glory.

To then simply defer all developed prints back down to pixels again, simply eradicates and eliminates this aspect of its appeal and completely removes its whole "raison d'etra".

I find this current marketing approach by Kodak both insensitive and inconsiderate of a company which most here and elsewhere would admit, has played a huge part in their lives over the years and helped make the company what it was in the first instance.

Synced digital sound is fine and a perfect modern day alternative to Mag stripe, but I do feel it should be able to be utilized on film viewing equipment as well as digital, otherwise it defeats the object really.

If they sort this aspect out for film users wanting to view their films as film lovers do, then i for one, would be entirely satisfied so long as reversal stock stays around for many more years and doesn't continually get discontinued or superseded like so many other Kodak products have done over the years.

3000 units globally to a company this size, isn't very many in reality, so again, perhaps even more thought and diversity of product range and sophistication may be needed to guarantee the projects success.

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted February 06, 2017 07:30 AM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Andrew - there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding here. Have you gained the impression that Kodak don't actually return the film? They certainly will return it, so there's no problem projecting it, so long as it's not negative stock, and isn't filmed with a view to seeing all the Max-8 frame.

You're entitled to your view regarding it being "insensitive" but I think the majority will simply view as being a different camera for a different era - it's over 30 years since Super 8 cameras were being produced in substantial numbers. The reality is the if Kodak had developed a brand new Super 8 camera of a broadly traditional type, the response from film collectors would have been "That's great, but there's no way that I'll spend that amount of money when I already own a ___________". If people want a top quality camera that represents the best in 1980s technology, they can find them for a fraction of what they cost then.

In view of the issues stated with striping, I'd be astonished if Kodak gave serious consideration to live recording on stripe. However, I certainly wish someone could provide a reasonably priced striping service, as for me the ideal scenario (if I had one of the new cameras) would be to edit the sound digitally, and then transfer it, in sync, to the edited print of the film.

If Ferrania get Super 8 stocks into production, let's see if they feel they have to make every effort to produce a sound version, to meet the level of demand!

Incidentally, the last figure I saw somewhere regarding Kodak orders was 5,000, but no figure can be fully reliable until potential customers can see the price and full specifications.

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Adrian Winchester

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted February 06, 2017 07:41 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
No Adrian, I fully understand they return the actual film to you, though I believe this may well be classed as an additional service to simply sending you the digital transfer from the film by email.

My issue is what then, regarding your sound on the SD card?
So far, it is down to us and us alone seemingly with this venture to find some ingenious method of syncing it if we want to relive the moment the film was captured with sound whilst projecting it.

That surely isn't going to cut it is it for the people who actually want to SEE and hear the film as was made?

The camera itself, doesn't concern me, just what if anything they may provide those that wish to view their finished film using a projector while listening to the sound in sync from the cameras built in SD card?

I won't ever buy this camera because i simply don't like it on any standpoint. But I can make my own live sound if proviso is made to facilitate their own camera set up with an ability to view the finished article with sound in the time honoured manner.

I repeat...

"Synced digital sound is fine and a perfect modern day alternative to Mag stripe, but I do feel it should be able to be utilized on film viewing equipment as well as digital, otherwise it defeats the object really."

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Tom Spielman
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From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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 - posted February 06, 2017 09:01 AM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i understand your point Andrew. Why capture on film in the first place if all you're going to do is convert it to a digital format anyway?

All I can say is that the look of film is largely retained in the conversion to digital. What I think Kodak is hoping to deliver is the best of both worlds, - the look of film with the convenience of distribution provided by digital formats.

I'm certainly not part of Kodak's target market. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on a new camera and actually like working with the old ones. Pro8mm sells rebuilt Super 8 cameras costing hundreds and thousands of dollars. I don't know what kind of volume they do, but I'm guessing their customers are the sorts of people that would buy this camera from Kodak.

It's definitely outside of my area of expertise but I was under the impression that sound cartridges were always a small fraction of Super 8 sales. And I think that in the past "double system sound" was something that buyers of cameras this expensive were often using anyway.

There is a definite gap for anyone wanting to project the traditional way. Loyal though they may be, it seems that Kodak has come to the conclusion that the number of people that want to produce new content on Super 8 AND project it on film projectors is not large enough to support the development of a new projector or to put magnetic stripes on film.

[ February 06, 2017, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: Tom Spielman ]

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Paul Adsett
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 - posted February 06, 2017 09:05 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As I understand it they don't actually mail you a digital copy. They send you a code in an email so that you can retrieve it from 'The Cloud'.
Of course with reversal film they will have to physically mail it back in the traditional manner.

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Dominique De Bast
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 - posted February 06, 2017 10:56 AM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maurice, this is out of topic but I was sad to discover last year that The Widescreen Centre is no longer located in central London. They moved from the Baker street area.

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Dominique

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

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From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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 - posted February 06, 2017 01:22 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a good question Paul if Kodak's intent is to both digitize and return the film, or make one or both optional.

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

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 - posted February 06, 2017 02:39 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kodak returning the film is part of the service; it's hard imagine many people not wanting it back. The scanned 'cloud' version is also an integral part of the service, although I'd like to see a discounted option without this.

While I acknowledge that syncing the sound to the film is a problem, at least it's a 'good' problem because a camera recording sound represents progress! If more people end up shooting reversal film, maybe we will see one or two people meeting a growing demand for striping. Surly the Super 8 re-recording experts can find a way to transfer SD card sound in sync?

Much as I'd be impressed to see a state of the art new projector with interchangeable normal and Max-8 pressure plates, plus sync sound via the SD card (as well as conventional sound), I don't think many of us can seriously be surprised that this hasn't been been announced! Life's too short to be disappointed by what we're not getting, when there's cause to celebrate clear signs of a Super 8 revival.

I can understand to some extent the "why shoot on film but then digitise" point of view, but if there wasn't a market for this, involving people who appreciate the aesthetic qualities of film, Super 8 might now be obsolete as a shooting medium. The same point could be made in relation to shooting features on 35mm, but if everyone took that view, the deal spearheaded by prominent directors that kept Kodak 35mm stock in production would never have happened. Even if the striking of 35mm prints is on a tiny scale nowadays, high profile features shot on film are a great advertisement for film's qualities, and the fact that the number is rising is a major factor in the current film revival.

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Adrian Winchester

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

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From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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 - posted February 06, 2017 03:11 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There have been people who've successfully synced audio playback from a DVD or CD player to a projector and I'm sure others have done it with audio from a computer.

Having sound on the film itself would make traditional projection far more convenient but you give up part of the film for the sound track that would otherwise be available for the images.

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

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From: Brussels, Belgium
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 - posted February 06, 2017 03:32 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tomn the projectors will anyway not show this part of the picture.

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Dominique

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted February 06, 2017 03:46 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We're repeating ourselves a lot in this thread, with some of the same points coming up a few times. I'd encourage anyone new to it to read all the posts so far, if they have time!

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Adrian Winchester

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Bryan Chernick
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 - posted February 06, 2017 04:55 PM      Profile for Bryan Chernick   Email Bryan Chernick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm surprised there are 5,000 pre-orders for the camera! That's fantastic, there's a great interest in the format. Hopefully most of them don't just run a few carts through it then set it on a shelf. As much as I would like the new camera I just can't justify the cost when I have half a dozen perfectly good working Super 8 cameras. I have no interest is adding sound, my number one interest in Super 8 is projecting it for my family. I'm sure Kodak's target for this camera is a younger generation that has not shot film like many of us have. If this does well for Kodak that's great for all of us. If it's a flop I just hope Kodak still wants to produce film going forward.

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted February 06, 2017 05:17 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I understand Dominique, a projector with a traditionally sized gate will not show the whole image. However, a scan would. I'm just saying that the wide aspect ratio of the new camera is a desirable feature for many that's incompatible with a sound stripe.

Some folks would forgo the wide aspect ration in order to be able to project with sound on a traditional projector, but how big of a market does that really represent?

We can be upset that Kodak isn't going to stripe the film for sound (at least that seems to be the plan), but they didn't arrive at that decision without reason. They are trying to make shooting on film something that will appeal to people today, not recreate something that the market had already almost completely abandoned.

Andrew may well be right that the current analog revival is just a trend that will fade over time. I don't think a sound stripe would prevent that from happening.

I've made this analogy before and I will make it again. Sailing survived the invention of steam ships, diesel engines, gas engines, and nuclear power plants. It did so because it both asks something from the sailor and gives something to the sailor that engines don't. But it still had to adapt and falls into decline when it doesn't. For example, most sailing vessels over a certain size also have engines.

If shooting film is to survive, it has to adapt as well.

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

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From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted February 06, 2017 05:28 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom, I had in mind a post striping as the shape of the new camera doesn't allow sound cartidges. You probably meant pre-srtiped stock in silent catridges as it once existed. By the way, post striping is still available in Germany but it takes time...

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Dominique

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted February 06, 2017 05:50 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually I meant post striping too. If you stripe in post, the stripe would cover part of the image created by the new camera. Unless I'm missing something.

"Max 8" is made possible by using the portion of the film that would normally be occupied by the sound stripe.

I could be mistaken. Super 8 sound is not something I'm an expert in.

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