A smoke detector for the darkroom

A smoke detector for the darkroom

Many amateur lab workers have their darkroom in the basement or in the attic, but at least in places that are otherwise rarely used. In addition, there is often a lot of electrical equipment in a small-format-film-suitable darkroom, such as a heat plate, heated bain-marie, film dryer, sunlamp, lighting – and other things like e.g. an exhaust air system, a water lifting system, a radio or a water boiler.

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Zwei Schmalfilmabende in Dresden

Zwei Schmalfilmabende in Dresden

Halbzeit bei den Schmalfilmtagen in Dresden. Ich war mit einem Film im Found-Footage-Wettbewerb am Donnerstagabend vertreten und lies mir auch das Programm am Freitag nicht entgehen.

Wie immer waren die Beiträge bunt gemischt. Es gab “echte” Filmprojektionen in Super8 und 16mm, viele Filme wurden aber als digitale Fassung gezeigt.

Donnerstagabend

Auszug aus dem Festivalprogramm

Zur Eröffnung am ersten Abend gab es Amateurfilm in seiner reinsten Form: private Urlaubs-/Reisefilme eines Herrn Eisenhuth, ehem. Kapitän zur See, die sich in ihrer selbstironischen Machart von den üblichen Flohmarktfunden dieser Art abheben. Eine kleine Auswahl der Filme wurde im Original mit Super8-Projektor vorgeführt. In der Festival-Lounge gab es Abtastungen der übrigen Filme zu sehen.

Sehr interessant fand ich das darauffolgende Programm mit Filmen des amerikanischen Avantgarde-Filmers Stan Vanderbeek. Es wurden 16mm-Filmkopien projeziert, die eigens von der Film-maker’s Cooperative zur Verfügung gestellt und aus USA eingeflogen wurden.

Auszug aus dem Festivalprogramm

Hauptprogramm am ersten Abend war der Found-Footage-Wettbewerb. Hier gewann der bereits mehrfach preisgekrönte Film THE HOUSES WE WERE von Arianna Lodeserto sowohl den Publikums- als auch den Jury-Preis.


“In sensiblen Bildern nähert sich der Film dem Anliegen, ein historisches Phänomen auf seine Gegenwärtigkeit zu befragen. Der Film legt in einer überzeugenden Montage die Schicksale derer frei, die im offiziellen Diskurs fortwährend vergessen werden”, so die Jury am Donnerstag abend.

Den Abschluss am Donnerstagabend bildeten 4 Filme aus dem Köln-Kuba-Projekt der Kunsthochschule für Medien in Köln. Leider lief nur der letzte davon als 16mm-Kopie.

Auszug aus dem Festivalprogramm

Freitagabend

Der Freitagabend begann mit sperrigen Experimentalfilmen von Dore.O

Auszug aus dem Festivalprogramm

Der anschliessende Live-Vertonungswettbewerb bot deutlich leichter konsumierbare Filmkost. Stumme Heimfilme aus alter Defa-Produktion wurden in unterschiedlichsten Stilen vertont und zum Teil auch mit Geräuschen untermalt.

Die Gruppe “Bamd” – eine der beiden Siegergruppen

Den Abschluss in der Motorenhalle bildete dann ein Programm mit vier Filmen der tschechischen FIlmgruppe “Bullshit” aus den 80er/90er Jahren.

Im Programm angekündigt als Underground handelt es sich aber bei diesen Filmen vielmehr um Surealistischen Film in der Tradition eines Jan Svankmeier , mit dem die Filmgruppe “Bullshit” den Vergleich nicht zu scheuen braucht.

Nach Mitternacht ging es dann noch einen Häuserblock weiter in den Keller des Riesa Efau zur Trash-Film-Nacht mit “Perlen” auf 16mm.

Den Höhepunkt bildete ein Pferderennen als Installation mit 3 Normal-8-Projektoren. Dieser Animationsfilm wurde von Jan Nordsieck, einem der Mitorganisatoren des Festivals angefertigt

Noch das ganze Wochenende,

stehen bei den Dresdner Schmalfilmtagen neben dem Internationalen Wettbewerb am Samstagabend verschiedene Filmprogramme und mehrere Workshops auf dem Programm.

Es lohnt sich!

Cost-effective digitalization of Super 8 frames

Cost-effective digitalization of Super 8 frames

Various special lenses for 35 mm reflex cameras were offered “at the time” to photograph Super 8 individual images.

With these special macro lenses, the format-filling reproduction of Super 8- and/or 16 mm individual images on 35 mm film was possible. The connection is made via T2 thread adapters to the different camera mounts.

The Rondo Copy-Tube-8 is often offered on the internet
With this product from Fuji, Super 8 and 16mm individual images can be photographed using different long extension tubes and interchangeable film masks. Without a mask and with the 16mm extension tube, two Super 8 frames can be photographed including their sprocket holes (“Open Gate”)

I like to use individual images from Super 8 movies for handouts or movie covers. For editing on the computer with the usual image or layout programs, the analog 35 mm negative or slide is of course suboptimal.

However, when using these lenses on digital cameras with interchangeable lens mounts, there is the following problem: Only with expensive cameras with a full-format sensor, which corresponds in size to the 35 mm format, the film frame is completely captured. For all other digital cameras, only a cut-out magnification of the individual film image is possible with these lenses.

Also, these lenses are quite slow and require strong daylight for reasonably short exposure times.

I was therefore looking for a way to digitally photograph film frames or film strips with a sufficient quality for these purposes, or to be able to publish them on the Internet in a quick and easy way.

As a diehard analog photographer and filmmaker, I don’t own a “decent” digital camera. For a double-digit euro amount, I got the camera body of a slightly older digital SLR camera. In my case, this was a Nikon D100 — Nikon because my T2 adapter is intended for Nikon bayonet.

As a reproduction lens, I use a Hama slide duplicator with zoom magnification option, also available cheaply on the Internet. This duplicator was originally intended to make partial enlargements of 35 mm slides or negatives.

 

The slide mount with a matte glass screen is removed because it is in the way when inserting longer film strips.

An old Meopta enlarger serves as a repro tripod. For this, there used to be a special “repro arm” as accessory, which was screwed on instead of the magnifying head and to which the camera is attached.

The repro mount for Meopta enlargers — bought 20 years ago at “Foto Brenner”

 

As a light desk, I use a new but cheap model from “Dörr”.

Due to the magnifying factor of the duplicator together with the crop factor of the digital camera sensor, in theory, approximately format-filling images of Super 8 individual images are now possible.

Theoretically, because my “trial” setup shows a rather noticeable hot spot as of a zoom factor of about 1.6.

So I leave it with photographed film strips with an magnification to up to three Super 8 single images. It is precisely this series of individual frames in connection with the visible film perforation and possibly edge marks that also express the special aesthetics of the small format film in the still image. This representation seems, in a way, “authentic.”

Resolution is sufficient for publication on the Internet or for use for Handouts/Covers. For good enlargements in photo size, this combination of devices is not quite good enough. Here are a few more examples:

 

3D printed Super 8 cartridge opener

3D printed Super 8 cartridge opener

I opened my first cartridge in daylight with a saw…

Everybody developing Super 8 films on their own sooner or later faces the task of opening the Super 8 cartridge to get the film into the development tank. The latter goes with some practice, the Lomo tank and a turntable in less than 30 seconds. When opening cartridges, opinions differ: Some break the ratchet inside the cartridge by a counterclockwise 360° turn and then pull the film out of the cartridge. Others, (to which I belong) open the cartridge and take the film wind out all over, and load it into the Lomo reel.

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From Lomokino to Super 8: Rediscovering Celluloid

From Lomokino to Super 8: Rediscovering Celluloid

My celluloid adventure started in June 2013. After years of filming with DV and DSLR cameras, I was tempted to try something completely different. One day I came across the interesting Lomokino crank camera for 35 mm film. Filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul had previously shot with it the stunning experimental film Ashes – the result inspired me and encouraged me to try it myself.

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„Sheep“, sharper, sharpest: Test of the new Kodak Ektachrome 100D/7294

„Sheep“, sharper, sharpest: Test of the new Kodak Ektachrome 100D/7294

Ektachrome is back! Since October 2018, the eagerly awaited Super 8 color reversal material has finally hit the market. You can already read in many film tests that the new emulsion provides wonderfully fine-grained pictures and in particular realistically reproduces skin tones. But how do different cameras behave with the new film?

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