With the likes of RED, Canon, Sony, and IMHO most interestingly- Digital Bolex, all shooting for images of the highest quality, I figured I’d take a trip down the lo-fidelity highways. And experiment with a format of a more “vintage” persuasion.
I found this little prize at a local thrift store, Out of the Closet, and since I’d never owned an 8mm camera, I felt compelled to pick it up. Little did I know; I was at the same time acquiring the means to a new addiction… 8mm film. I’m going to call it a “Healthy addiction” for the time being, because it recently jump started a little side project of mine, and in a way changed it. By the end of this week I’ll be posting a short film that peeks into the world of said project. However, below you will find a look into an effect that I use in the short, which of course I’ll be illustrating the methods used to achieve.
Basically, this is just a macro shot of 8mm film being pulled, while being illuminated by a medium powered light source, but the resulting effect is kind of cool, and in my opinion, gives a kind of creepy vibe. I used a nikkor 50mm ai lens attached to a very cheap macro tube like this, but really any macro tube-set that gives you enough distance from lens to sensor (in this case the max 55mm of extension offered by the set) will work.
Here is the setup that I used to pull it off-
I’m sure you’ll find a more inspired way to do it, but with the limited means available at the time, I feel that this was an adequate solution. Though in the vein of full disclosure, I did end up making a take-up reel that I mounted to the little green pole, which helped for smoother, more controlled pulls of the film. As interesting a result that this method yields; James Miller (who is doing some very interesting things with the new 5d mk iii) has come up with a much “truer” way to get your 8mm film into digital form, which can be found here; results posted below.
I fell in love with James’ 5D transfers, so I recently ordered the same Eumig projector that he uses to project the images to his camera’s full-frame sensor; in hopes that I can tinker and achieve the same results with my crop-sensor (APS-C) 550D (which would also work for other crop-sensor cameras) . Assuming I do this, and as soon as it is done; a tutorial will most definitely be posted (along with the results, naturally).