Super 8 Troubles

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    • #93427
      AvatarBird
      Member

      So I’ve been getting into super 8 film. I’m a bit new to the medium though, and I just recently got back my first processed roll. It came out looking like this:

      The film I shot was an old Kodachrome 40 cartridge… I realize that these are out of production and that it’s best to just stay away from it, but I didn’t know that until I’d already bought it and I decided to shoot on it since I’d heard of places that would still process it in black and white. I then sent it to Film Rescue International. The camera I shot it on was a Bell & Howell XL Filmosonic sound camera (not sure if this is necessarily important but I’m including it anyway). I’m wondering why the film turned out this way… I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if the problem is with the film itself. As far as I know there are no problems with the camera, I’d just recently sent it in to a professional to have it fixed and it was working fine. In the future I’m going to buy film exclusively from Kodak’s website, that seems like the smartest thing to do. I’m just wondering if there was some mistake I made that resulted in the film looking like this.

    • #215473
      AvatarBird
      Member

      ..

    • #215485
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      There are several possibilities which explain your problem: the film stock is probably very old and degraded, perhaps stored in a box up in someone’s attic; or the film is very seriously underexposed; or it was incorrectly developed; or a combination of all three.

      There’s some very good information at http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=48841 which might be helpful. Also, see if you can find anything about Guy Madden, a Canadian feature film maker who shoots almost exclusively in Super-8mm. There may be useful information there.

    • #215493
      CharlesBennettCharlesBennett
      Participant

      The film looks fogged. Has it by any chance gone through an airport x-ray scanner?

    • #215497
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      You’re jumping ahead of your ability – you move to black and white as an artistic decision once you master the camera – too expensive to waste. Like the others, I suspect the film was well outside it’s date, but the storage could also have been a problem – it also seems to be contaminated. The muck and debris in the gate suggest either the film was dirty, or the camera is. I think you need to clean the camera very carefully. I can just make out skiing type cablecars, so assume it was shot on a nice day – so did you underexpose or did you meter it properly and then the dark is just chemical decay. Did the processing company comment on it – I would have thought they would have made some sort of comment.

      The other snag is that your camera is potentially knackered too – the metering could be way out, the sprockets worn and being honest, it was a really, really basic camera when new. A batch of film will be valued higher than the camera – sorry!

    • #215495
      AvatarBird
      Member

      I’m not sure of the details how it was processed…. I sent it to Film Rescue International and just let them do their thing. I also sent in two rolls of Kodachrome II, both of which came back without any images. I’d assume this is because I probably accidentally exposed them while loading them into the camera…

    • #215496
      AvatarBird
      Member

      Thanks! I bought the film on Ebay, and while it was unopened and seemed to be in good condition, I’m not sure how it was stored. And it’s all pretty old, I think the newest one was from 1980. I’m just hoping this is a problem of bad film and not a bad camera…

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