Blow-Ups from Super 8

From: Ken Paul Rosenthal (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 21 2008 - 09:52:44 PST

I have several methods for blowing up/reproducing super 8 frames. Illustrations as follows:

1) Shoot a 35mm still with slide film on an SLR camera, mounted with a duplicon. Lay a mini-strip of several Super 8 frames across the widest area of the gate. Note that you will see the sprocket holes:

2) Place several strips in a slide mount, then have that scanned at a professional photo lab:

3) You can then digitally enlarge a single frame from that professionally scanned strip, but obvoiusly you lose a significant amount of sharpness. The specific frame below is from the middle strip of the image above, third from the bottom. It was enlarged at home in Photoshop from the photo lab scan. Note that the example below was hand-processed, which contributes significantly to the grainularity:

4) Lastly, if your super 8 has been blown up to 16mm on an optical printer, then you can shoot 35mm full-frame still using the duplicon. This is the best method of all in terms of resolution. Check out the 4th button from the left. This is an underwater shot, blown up to super 8 on a printer, then hand-processed as a negative. So again, the image is 'soft'.

Personal preference of what constitutes 'quality' notwithstanding, the sharpness of the original super 8 image, mediated by the number of steps will determine the final image. I prefer a combination of photochemical/digital processes, but will always privilege the former over the latter when possible. Nothing like a duplicon; simple, elegant, and effective.


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