While most people today have smartphones that have their own cameras, and primarily use those to take photos and videos, there is something special about shooting with film. Film has been around for a very long time, but one of the biggest advancements was the creation of Super 8 film.
The history of Super 8 film is a long one and dates back to 1965 when Kodak introduced the Super 8mm format that would revolutionize the industry and make it much more efficient. While a lot of time has passed since this introduction, many people still swear by Super 8 and use it often. But for someone just getting started in shooting Super 8 film, it can be a little intimidating.
If you are interested in shooting Super 8 film in 2021, you have come to the right place. This article is going to serve as a guide to help you out, and will have you shooting Super 8 film in no time at all.
Get the Right Gear
The first step in the process is to choose the gear you want to use. This includes your camera and your film stock. When it comes to the camera, there are many different options from a number of companies.
You could buy a new semi-modern Super 8 camera from Kodak themselves, but these can be a little expensive and you may find it hard to justify the price as a newcomer. A better option for many will be to find a used option from a few decades ago.
They will likely be more affordable, and despite their age, will be in good condition in most cases as these cameras were well-built in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. A few good brands that made solid cameras that were simple to use and reliable are Canon or Braun Nizo. There are many models and simply choose the one that best lines up with your needs.
Finding one might be difficult, but with enough digging you should certainly be able to locate the right one for you that is in good shape.
For your film stock, the choice you go with depends on how you want your movie, commercial or documentary to look. Each option differs in terms of their contrast, color, saturation and various other characteristics.
Testing each option or checking online to see the difference is a good idea to make sure you find the right one. Whichever film stock you choose, loading the film is very easy and you simply put the cartridge in the camera and can begin shooting quickly.
Also, if you want your photos to find their way onto your computer, you may need some equipment to make this transfer possible. However, it often makes more sense to work with a company that can transfer 8mm film to digital as they can ensure the job is done right and everything looks great, as opposed to doing it yourself.
Learn How They Work
Once you have the gear, it is time to familiarize yourself with how they work. The act of actually shooting is generally quite simple, but each camera has their own intricacies and nuances to discover.
You want to hold the camera as steady as possible, and be aware that Super 8 is generally better for shooting close up shots than very large and detailed shots due to the limitations of the format.
As with other technology, take some time to experiment with the camera and test out some features to gain a better understanding for what works the best and which types of features or techniques you want to avoid.
Be Careful During Your Shoot
When taking photos on digital cameras or phones, you never need to worry. You often have a ton of space, and can easily delete footage or photos whenever you want. However, you need to be more careful when shooting with film.
You need to ration out your film carefully, as you cannot simply overwrite it with something new. Once you shoot something on film, it’s there, so take your time and plan out your shots well. Also, make sure you have enough film for your shoot, as the last thing you want is to run out before you finish. Keep an eye on how much you have left, and do your best to keep track of everything you have shot so nothing gets missed.
Be careful to avoid underexposure, as well, as it can ruin your shots and hurt their quality and clearness in a major way. Also, have enough batteries for all of your gear to keep them functioning for the entirety of your shoot.
We hope this blog post has been able to help you learn and understand how to shoot Super 8 film in 2021.