8 Basic Super 8 Film Shooting Tips
1. Batteries: Most Super 8 film cameras run on AA batteries. Some also require light meter batteries (Px13) available at Pro8mm.com. Always use fresh batteries. Remove batteries when you store your camera.
2. Focus: Most Super 8 film cameras do not auto focus, so you have to learn manual focusing. Make sure your diopter lens is set correctly for your eye. Check your focus by using the footage distance numbers on the lens. Set the camera to infinity (sideways 8) and look at something very far away. Adjust the diopter until the image is in focus to your eye.
3. Transport: Make sure the film is transporting through the camera. When you pull the trigger, the camera may sound like it’s running, even when the film is not. Most cameras offer a film transport check that tells you the film is running and when it is finished.
4. Brush Your Camera Gate: Use a child’s toothbrush to gently clean the camera gate to avoid hair in your images. A couple of swipes before each roll is all it takes to save some clean memories.
5. Light: Photography is painting with light, so make sure there is enough light to take pictures with. If you’re new to Super 8, start your experience outdoors with plenty of natural light to work with.
6. Movie Film: Super 8 is movie film, so some of the best images are going to be of things that move. Look for action and movement when filming.
7. The 5 second rule: A good shot lasts about 5 seconds long. This means you have approximately 40 good shots on your roll of film. When you pull the trigger, count to 5 so you know you’re not over or under shooting each shot.
8. Tell a Story: The best movies go beyond the image to tell a story. Start with an opening shot, capture action, try close-up and wide shots, and don’t forget a good ending!
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