i agree with Elliott. super-8mm was indeed intended for reversal, and there
is no emulsion today that can equal the beauty of the disappeared
kodachrome 40, to take one example.
yet, to my understanding, there is nothing in a s-8mm camera, except the
daylight switchable filter, that is specifically defaulted for reversal
film. the optical gate is not a device but a hole, and the lenses are
high-quality glass not specifically calculated (to my knowledge) for
reversal or negative film.
proof is, with a s-8mm camera with an M-mount like the leicina you can use
lenses not specifically designed for s-8mm, like the Leica-M photographic
lenses, and get excellent results in the telephoto range, or even, with a
special adaptor made in the UK, use PL-mount cinema lenses (also remaining
in the telephoto range because of the math of lens design).
so with a good camera, a good lens (an optivaron, a cinegon prime, ...) in
theory there's nothing stopping you from trying negative film.
this being said, I agree with Jeff that negative film is much more
difficult to scan than reversal. so it's all about finding the right lab to
i was recently directed, through some frameworks posts, to ochoypico.com, a
lab based in madrid (i am myself based in germany). on the website i saw
gorgeous, sharp footage shot with vision 2 200T and 500T on a beaulieu. i
got interested because i am planning to send material for scanning, and
emailed them to ask if this was real or a mix of S-8mm and 16mm footage.
they replied it was no bullshit: indeed all s-8mm footage, with some color
correction and a bit of sharpening at the end of the workflow.
i am presently shooting a bit of kodak vision 50D and plan to send it to
them to see what definition and dynamical range they can reach.
am happy to upload results for everyone to see.
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