Forty-three years after launching the Super 8 home movie format, Kodak has quietly released Vision3 500T color negative film in Super 8 cartridges. Vision3 is Kodak's newest line of professional motion picture film. Unlike the old Kodachrome and Ektachrome home movie films, Vision3 500T is a state of the art tungsten light balanced film intended for digital transfer rather than projection.
Vision3 500T is a replacement for Kodak's popular Vision2 series. It incorporates Advanced Dye Layering Technology (DLT) to reduce shadow grain and provide higher signal-to-noise ratios when scanning low light scenes. The new film retains the overall look and image structure of its predecessor while offering extended highlight latitude, offering as much as two f-stops of highlight detail to avoid blown-out details.
By adding Vision3 500T to their lineup, Kodak continues their recent trend of positioning Super 8 film as the "gateway drug" for aspiring young filmmakers. Of course, Super 8 also serves as a mainstay for professionals seeking the unique look of 8mm film in modern productions.
I admit to being an incurable retro junkie. With that in mind, it’s worth making Super 8 part of your digital image arsenal. Even though few Super 8 cameras have been manufactured since the early 1980s, Kodak still offers a solid lineup of color and black & white film for as little as $10.59 per 50 foot cartridge (which lasts 2 minutes and 30 seconds). Once you start shooting motion picture film, there’s no turning back — there’s something addictive about the sight of genuine film grain and the way film responds to light.
Cameras are inexpensive and plentiful on eBay. You should expect to pay under $100 for a well-equipped device that can shoot at a “professional” speed of 24 frames per second and offers useful options such as slow-motion and timelapse. In fact, the ability to shoot film at a variety of speeds is one of its strongest benefits.
Once you’ve captured images on film, there’s no need to haul out a clunky old projector. Many companies offer pro-quality film to video transfers, starting at around $20 per reel. You can even purchase excellent video transfer equipment for under $1400. Once your film has been copied to miniDV tape you can manipulate it using all of your favorite video editing software.