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Author Topic: Standard-8 Loading Time Question
Richard Bignell
Posts: 11
From: Kent, England
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted September 23, 2014 02:28 AM      Profile for Richard Bignell     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can I ask you knowledgeable chaps a quick question about filming in Standard-8, as this was a format I never used.

When you filmed using Standard-8 and you got to the end of the first run of film, how long did it take to change the film over so that you could resume shooting? With a Super-8 cartridge, you probably could do it within 5-10 seconds. How does that compare?

One other question. What was a normal UK price for a roll of Standard-8 and Super-8 film back in 1965/66?

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

Posts: 2392
From: France
Registered: Oct 2004

 - posted September 23, 2014 03:34 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's quite fast. The more you do it, the faster you get. For your early attempts, lock yourself in a dark room (bathroom, closet...) wait for a while so your eyes get accustomed to darkness and proceed.
After doing this a few times, you'll get used to the procedure. Then you can use a thick sweater on set as a charging bag without the need of locking yourself up in a dark room. Slip the camera inside the sweater, roll up the bottom and neck so no light can get through, slip your hands through the sleeves and do the film flip.

The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted September 23, 2014 03:52 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It was not necessary to rush home to change-over the film in a darkroom, extra film was included over the nominal 25ft to allow for fogging on the change-over or initial loading and removal. Loading/removal was not recommended in bright sunlight, but in a secluded area.

Most processors removed the excess and only sent back your 50ft on a spool, but some returned the whole run. This is probably why Jean-Marc suggests using a darkroom, this way users could cram more film onto their roll.

Prices in 1966 for Kodachrome were: Standard 8 25ft spool = £1.9.7. and for Super 8 cartridge = £1.13.6. These prices included processing.


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Paul Mason
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Registered: Nov 2013

 - posted September 23, 2014 04:24 AM      Profile for Paul Mason     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A darkroom is unnecessary for the reasons given by Maurice. Any cine movie camera spool loading should not be rushed to avoid mistakes, so 30 seconds to 1 minute should be expected, getting quicker with practice. If you need a quick changeover it is better to carry a second similar camera already loaded to carry on filming.


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Thomas Dafnides
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 247
From: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Registered: Dec 2009

 - posted September 23, 2014 07:02 PM      Profile for Thomas Dafnides     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bell & Howell came out with a camera system in 63 or 64 where you loaded double 8 roll film in a dedicated camera cartridge then simply flipped the cartridge after the first 25'.
Regular double 8 roll film could be flipped and loaded in under 2-3 minutes, preferably in low light to minimize the evitable fogging that was cut out by the processing lab.
One of the main advantages of Super 8 was the almost instantaneous reloading, which was invaluable in filming live events.

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Richard Bignell
Posts: 11
From: Kent, England
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted September 24, 2014 12:01 PM      Profile for Richard Bignell     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you gents! Your answers have been most helpful.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted September 24, 2014 12:15 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was not aware of that Bell and Howell cassette system for standard 8 roll film that Thomas mentioned, but it sounds like a great idea.
Personally, I never found loading Double 8 camera film any great hardship, all it took was a couple of minutes at the most. In fact IMO standard 8 roll film is a vastly superior method to the tatty Kodak plastic Super 8 cartridge. The Fuji Single 8 cassette was of course the best method of all.

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