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Super8 Film

Real Filmlook for a bargain

    Admitted, whem it comes to price, nothing can beat video. It is incredibly cheap theses days since camcorders now use memory cards as recording medium which can be reused hundreds of times. But they all have the hyperrealistic image quality. This is good for making documentaries where you want to portrait the reality as it is, but not for creative work.  

    Super8 was the medium that started the hobbyist filmmaking in the 70ies and is thought to be dead and gone for long time now - but it isn't ! Shure, there is no company anymore that makes new S8 cams (at leat not that I knew), but you can be grab one on eBay for instantly nothing now (if you are furtunate enough to get one in a perfect shape and technical condition) - or you can by a professional refurbished one.  

    The raw film however has made e tremendous progress in quality, not to compare anymore with the musty character of 70ies S8-Films that everyone associates with it. Modern color negative films are even capable to deliver HD-quality.  

    Although the image size of S8 is as small as the sensors of most video cameras, the filmed footage still looks like film ! This is because film has a completely different dynamic range and color reproduction than video cameras have. So everything you shot with a S8-camera still looks like film - 'cause it is film !  

    The following video shows what quality you can expect with modern raw film materials:  


    This example was shot on a Kodak Vision3 200/500T material with a Canon 1014XL-S camera by Jose Luis Villar, a commercial and fashion fotographer.  

    The raw film for S8-Cams comes in small cartridges, so the handling of the film is easy and very much like with video camera. The recording time however differs significantly. The film in a S8 cartridge is 30m, which is only about 3 minutes of recording time. With ~50€ for a cartridge incl. film development it seems quite costly (compared to video), but compared to other film formats like 16mm or 35mm this must be considered cheap.  

    But using S8 these days gives you a big advantage - your footage will outstand from the masses and thus gain more recognition. This is why a lot of creative filming, i.e. music videos or fashion films are still done on Super8.  

    Although the available raw film materials became less in number by now, one still can get films for almost all purposes. Following is a list of still available raw film stock:  

      Description ASA Typ Comment
      Kodak Ektachrome 100D 100/D Color-Reversal (discontinued, only remainders)
      Kodak Vision3 50T 50/T Color-Negative
      Kodak Vision3 200T 200/T Color-Negative
      Kodak Vision3 500T 500/T Color-Negative
      Wittner Konfekt 100/D Color-Reversal (Fujichrome Velvia 100 Pro)
      Wittner Chrome 200D 200/D Color-Reversal (AGFA Aviphot Chrome 200)
      Kodak Tri-X 7266 100 BW-Reversal
      Wittner B&W 54 125 BW-Reversal (ORWO UN 54)
      Wittner Pan R100 100 BW-Reversal (FOMA Fomapan R100)
      Wittner Konfekt 400 BW-Negative (ORWO N 74 Plus)
      ADOX PAN-X 100 BW-Reversal

    All materials can be purchased from Wittner-Cinetec in Germany.
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