Standard 8 vs Super 8

#1 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:47 pm

There is a discussion going on in another forum regarding the image quality of the two gauges, and I would agree from what few home movies I have seen, that Standard 8 was superior to Super 8. Someone said that maybe this was down to the lenses, as Standard 8 cameras never had a zoom lens. On a visit to York in 1975 I picked up a Standard 8 camera for £11. I don't remember the name, it was very heavy and had a zoom lens of no more than 3x magnification. I bought it so that I could try my hand at single shot trickery. The camera had a fault, if it was wound up too much the single shot facility slipped resulting in several frames being taken. I only shot the one roll and either sold it or gave it away some years later. I remember thinking the colour rendition was better too, maybe the inbuilt orange filter was of a different shade.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#2 by Mats Abelli , Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:59 pm

A standard 8mm film is exposed in a high quality gate manufactured by the camera factory. A Super 8 mm is exposed in a cheap gate in the cartridge. Semi proffesional Super 8 cameras had the same construction as standard 8 a where used with film on reels.


 
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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#3 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:02 pm

Its something that has been discussed regularly in the old movie mags, remember the "gauge war". Super 8 should be better, it has
a bigger picture area for a start, although a lot of s/8 cameras were let down with the zoom lens, which resulted in light loss
and contrast. The older std 8mm cameras had a fixed lens or like the Bolex, a revolving turret that could give the user a choice of focal lengths, but each lens was a prime lens that allowed more light through than a zoom would have. The same is true of projector lenses now, I prefer a prime lens, it gives across the frame sharpness, which is important, rather than softening at the edges and an overall focus must be found as with a lot of zoom lenses. Just take a look at some of the wartime footage shot on 8mm, the colours glow,
the image sharp, almost alive in fact. The single 8 cartridge was a better design over the s/8



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#4 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:26 pm

Mats made a good point about the gate, on std 8mm, it used a 16mm gate, on super 8, it was plastic, the cartridge design was not good,
no rewind, the single 8 being far better.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#5 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:51 pm

Did you see a Standard 8 camera with a zoom lens?, I think the one I had was Japanese. I turned the zoom slightly as I was moving the object in single frame shots. So it zoomed in as the object was moving.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#6 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:02 pm

I have a QUARZ 5 std 8mm camera that has a zoom lens, it came out early '70s I think. I still have the Test Report from Graham Stark
in his own handwriting on this little camera. The others I have are a little super 8 Paul Plus 2;1 zoom and a Braun Nizo s/8, but Iove the
Russian Quarz 5.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#7 by Mats Abelli , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:03 pm

Yes, there where standard 8 cameras with zoom lenses. I believe I have one or two in my collection.


 
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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#8 by Andrew Woodcock , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:04 pm

I get that the Super 8 cartridge was a compromise over Standard 8 and more significantly Single 8 design tech, but I have to say, of the films I created on Super 8mm from a Canon XL sound camera in the late 80's and early 90's I'm extremely satisfied with the results!

I have one I made while visiting Florida a year after marrying my first wife.
23 rolls I shot of Kodak k40 sound stock and a small amount of Agfa Chrome sound film.

The results, when edited and spliced I think are amazing and It's a film I take to my grave.

I loved every part of movie making back then. It was still retro then, everyone around me in Universal and MGM, Busch Gardens etc was shooting using VHS C or 8mm camcorders.

I was sticking to my guns while everyone around me was laughing at me changing cartridges every 3minutes and 18 seconds.

In the words of the late great Malcolm Alison...."Who's Laughing Now!"

The film still looks stunning, VHS or any videotape is landfill already!



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#9 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:05 pm

So the original poster was wrong, though zoom lenses may not have been the norm. Was that Graham Stark the actor?, I know he was into still photography, and very good at it.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#10 by Mats Abelli , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:11 pm

beau801p.jpg - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)Here is a beauty I would like to have in my collection


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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#11 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:22 pm

It was Graham Stark the actor Robert, and copies of his report were available from Technical & Optical if memory serves me right, it was so long ago.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#12 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:24 pm

The point I was making on the non zooms, were the most affordable and common, the little Kodaks that many family films were shot on.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#13 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:40 pm

When you think about it, there's no reason why a standard 8mm cassette couldn't have been made, reversible so that the change over was just a case of turning the cassette around, much like audio cassettes. Super 8 won over, not the best designed cartridge, but ease
of operation, convenience beat better engineering, much as VHS won over Betamax, which were a better, more durable cassette design
than VHS. It isn't always quality that wins.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#14 by Andrew Woodcock , Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:06 am

Worked for me .. see above, no complaints whatsoever, even without a Beaulieu or a Nizo back then!


 
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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#15 by Vidar Olavesen , Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:08 am

Sadly that's true Hugh. If it were, digital would be gone and film still be used. No contest whatsoever. It's the money that talks and it sucks big time that we who'd pay a little more for what we love, still can't have it. I'd rather pay 200,- NOK than the 130,- NOK for "cinema" if I could choose a 35mm viewing.


 
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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#16 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:30 am

I agree Andrew, for straight forward shooting, super 8 was fine, but if you wanted to backwind, that was not an option, so if you
wanted to do any titles or split screen work, that was out of the question, in camera. There was a little gadget made that allowed a few feet to be backwound for a short title, but it was a no go otherewise. Whereas on std 8mm, you could backwind to your hearts content, superimpose, split screen, multi image, as with the single 8 cartridge, a sensible design, no change over at the halfway mark, and
it was estar stock I believe, so any joins had to be tape. I'm not putting the boot into s/8, just putting the facts forward.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#17 by Andrew Woodcock , Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:44 am

It worked for me and my level of creativity Hugh. That's all I can say!

Sure it's no Nick Park, but I'm pleased as I'm sure anyone viewing it would be.
Right time in MY life and at the RIGHT PLACE.

Didn't realize it at the time, but what a beautiful combination those 25 reels of film turned out to be given that already I was a huge Disney fan.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#18 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:59 am

That is good to know Andrew, and as you rightly say, "Who is laughing now", that batch of film is there for at least 100 years good colour,
that takes some beating, imagine all the different formats they'll be transferred to after we're all gone, thanks to a bootlace strip of acetate.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#19 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:41 am

I had one of those Craven Super 8 rewinders, and used it successfully on a few occasions. The problem was having to take the cassette out of the camera you lost a small amount of film, both there and the rewind point, and the camera meter returned to zero, so you had to remember how much footage you had shot. The benefits of Super 8 were the larger picture area, and being able to quickly put in another cartridge in daylight, and of course 50 feet, instead of having to turn the film over in subdued light after 25 feet. I was never entirely happy with Super 8, and sometimes (rarely), you could get a shot where the film went out of focus, I suppose this was down to the gate pressure. Then there was the odd cartridge that jammed. Single 8 would have been better. I believe that Betamax was better than VHS, but that won the day. Betamax tapes could be shown at least a third more times before they started to deteriorate.



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RE: Standard 8 vs Super 8

#20 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:47 am

It was handy slipping in that little cassette, closing the flap and off you went, some people baulked at changing std 8mm halfway,
which could be fiddly, there aren't too many darkrooms on a sunny beach, but before super 8, people managed it. Both gauges have
their strong points and weaknesses, I love them both, images recorded on these little filmstrips will far outlast any electronic recordings.
Like the ancient 9.5, it still has its users, Conventions. Recently, they can boast of a "new" projector, the modernised ELFs by Tony
Reypert, our 8 and 16mm collectors can't argue there, they are the "modern kiddies on the block", it shows though, that with all the wizardry of this technological age, those little bits of film are still there with images recorded donkey's years ago, still people want
to see them ON film.



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