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Were to buy a camera


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#1 Jake Smith

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:54 PM

I've found many cameras listed on ebay, and they all have varying degrees of information about them. Is it better to take a chance on a cheap ebay camera or to pay more for one that has been tested and I know works?

 

I assume the camera isn't that complicated, so there isn't THAT MUCH that can be wrong, but obviously it only takes one thing being broken to mess it all up. 

 

What do you all do?


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:25 PM

Link the listings. This is a case-by-case basis.


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#3 Roger Haney

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:34 PM

Fortunately, all of the cameras I have bought off of eBay have worked to some degree. I would check with the seller to see if they have put batteries in and run the motor. A lot of these cameras have had the battery contacts eaten/corroded from leaking batteries. Ask about that. The best cameras are Nikon R8/10, Beaulieus, Canons, Nizos. Other good cameras are Chinon, Bolex, Elmo, Sankyo, Yashica. Dont buy expensive cameras without assurance from the seller that all of the functions work(not necessarily proving it by shooting film). At the very least make sure the motor runs. You can get by with an external light meter; if the internal meter doesnt work. If the lens doesnt have an aperture ring; you need to make sure the auto-iris works.
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#4 Doug Palmer

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 03:37 AM

Ebay is somewhat a gamble I think for S.8 cameras.  There are plenty of things that can be imperfect with the actual film result,  that are not apparent when you first try out the camera. I would always buy from a reputable dealer or private person who has recently used the camera.  Five or ten years ago isn't good enough as things can go wrong with what are in effect antiques now, left in an attic.


Edited by Doug Palmer, 10 August 2018 - 03:41 AM.

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#5 charles pappas

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:34 AM

I recently acquired a very solid Canon 814 Auto-Zoom. I have almost finished running a cartridge of Tri-X though it and all the functions appear to be in order.

 

I will send out and should get the film back from Spectra in two-three weeks and will post here when it goes for sale (and try very hard not to keep it).


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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 01:56 PM

Jake, you can buy cameras from camera technicians. All of them have a number of models wrapped up against dust. We techs know what we do and what you can do with a given model. To be quite frank, I sometimes purchase via ebay but I almost always make contact with the seller, ask questions, deliberate about a deal. The cameras I sell come with a three years warranty, effective since August 1st, 2018. Guess that’s worth something.


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#7 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 02:25 PM

I've had very good results with eBay but also I make sure they look halfway decent and hopefully have at least had battery tested. I even snagged a 814XL-S (worth like ~$500) for $50 with a corroded battery pack. Vinegar and Q-tips cleaned it right up and now I have a solid beast for cheap! I've bought probably 10 cameras off eBay and all have worked (except for the one I intentionally bought broken as a parts camera). I did have to fix one that got the mirror dislodged in shipping but it was an easy fix. I'd say if it's under $50 and a decent camera like mentioned above, definitely buy it, if it's $100... maybe! and over that... up to you.


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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:57 AM

Keep in mind that many of the later-made inexpensive Super 8 cameras had plastic gears that may work at the moment but will undoubtedly fail soon. Some of the older ones are built more like tanks and are worth considering.


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#9 Jake Smith

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:21 PM

Thanks for the help everyone! I found a camera for a price I liked, and I believed everything would be working well. When it arrived the switch that sets exposure is broken! I can kind of fuss with it to change the f stop, but it's annoying. Any advice?


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#10 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:02 AM

Well depending on how much control you really want, most Super 8 cameras will work fine in auto-exposure (if that's what you mean by exposure switch). Perhaps link a photo?


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#11 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:56 AM

Jake, you can buy cameras from camera technicians. All of them have a number of models wrapped up against dust. We techs know what we do and what you can do with a given model. To be quite frank, I sometimes purchase via ebay but I almost always make contact with the seller, ask questions, deliberate about a deal. The cameras I sell come with a three years warranty, effective since August 1st, 2018. Guess that’s worth something.

 

i agree with simon. i also got two cameras on ebay, a bolex D8 and a canon DS8 and both are working BUT...i think it depends on the situation what you want to do. if you are on a serious aproach, then i highly recomend buying from a professional technician (like simon is!! he lives just 30min. from my place and i know him personally and can warmly recomend him. he knows what he is doing)

i also just recently bought a Arri SR2 but this was from a production company who had their cameras maintenanced by arri in munich, germany. this will be used for serious projects like music videos, shorts etc... as i use the other cameras just for hobby easy peasy stuff :)


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#12 Timothy Fransky

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:52 PM

I would ask around the family to start with. Someone is bound to have one in a closet or drawer somewhere. These are usually the consumer grade cameras from the 70s and 80s.

Barring that, get out to yard sales, second hand shops, antique sales, etc. My brother found an Elmo Super 106 for me at a yard sale on his block for $30.
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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 05:19 PM

Grandparents' garage or attic.


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#14 Lee Mannering

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:35 AM

A top tip.

 

Go to used item market and expect you do of which we have many over here. The top tip is always carry 6 AA batteries so if you see a nice clean cine camera you have batteries to see if it runs and the light meter works.

I secured a Sankyo 620 for £10 and tested it at the traders stall a few years ago, came home and put a film thru it and it processed fine.

Good luck.


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#15 Mark Dunn

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 06:52 AM

A top tip.

 

Go to used item market and expect you do of which we have many over here. The top tip is always carry 6 AA batteries so if you see a nice clean cine camera you have batteries to see if it runs and the light meter works.

I secured a Sankyo 620 for £10 and tested it at the traders stall a few years ago, came home and put a film thru it and it processed fine.

Good luck.

I wonder if you couldn't negotiate a lower price if the camera wouldn't run. Take your own batteries and you guarantee the seller his asking price if it runs. If it's unpriced, he may even bump it up.


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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:37 AM

Fortunately, all of the cameras I have bought off of eBay have worked to some degree.

 

Same for me. However, I've had a few that stoped working after a couple of cartridges. You've got to remember that the cheap Super 8 cameras used plastic gears and some are over 40 years old now. Once you start using them they can break just from age. But if you buy them for $10, it's not much of a risk.

 

I have a box of about 20 Canon Autofocus 310xl cameras and I have to go through them every few months to figure out which one has failed that month. I think I have 5 that still work...but they all worked when I bought the over the last 6 years or so.


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#17 Lee Mannering

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:36 AM

Mark.   Another top tip for you when buying a camera.  Always ask the price before flashing your batteries about. 

I would never spend my time looking at anything before I had asked the price.  :blink:


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#18 charles pappas

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 04:19 PM

I am selling the Canon 814 Auto-Exposure i had posted about in this thread earlier. The film from Spectra came back good; zero flubs on the reel. The camera worked well at 12, 18 and 24 fps. The fade-ins and fade- outs worked well also.

 

Auto exposure was fine panning from light to dark or vice-versa and at the different speeds. Zooms functions well. I pinned a cloth tape to a tree at the 48 inch mark and held the end at the film plane mark and set the camera barrel to 4 feet and the image was tack sharp on the 48.  

 

Two negatives: part of the eyecup is torn and there are several small dings on the end of the lens barrel from the 2:00 to 4:00 o'clock positions facing the barrel when the focus is set to 4 feet. The glass looks excellent however and I don't think the dings have any effect on the camera operation or imaging. If I can get the eyecup off a Canon 1014 I will replace it, otherwise the eyecup tear can be glued, taped, replaced by the new owner or ignored. So far I've been unable to unscrew the 1014 eyecup.

 

The AE  mercury battery it came with had life in it according to the battery meter, so I used that for the film test. That battery is about dead now so I will include a pack of six new Duracell 675 "air" batteries which can be used instead (some tape- wrapping around them will probably be needed to keep them tight in their compartment, as per internet PDF I can send to new owner).

 

Also comes with original case and manual and lens cap.

 

$295 shipped to US buyer.

 

 

  

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#19 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 04:59 AM

This is a fleamarket find of $20


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#20 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 06:30 AM

I had a teacher at school who told us in Film & TV that one day he happened to see in the window of a nondescript second hand shop a very expensive, highly sought-after Leica lens in pristine condition that was perfect for his camera. There was no price on it and, voice trembling but trying to look relaxed, he asked what they wanted for it. What are you going to use it for, they asked. "Ooh, I dunno," he said, "I just like the look of it ... might use it as a makeshift magnifying glass for my stamps or something." He got it for $5.


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