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Canon 814 Electronic -- How Do You Open it Up?


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#1 santo

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 08:16 PM

I posted this on another thread, but don't want it to get lost as it's something I'd like to get accomplished, and I believe it would have value to other people who might pick up this very common camera that's a worthwhile "starter" for super 8:

Back to the Canon. Does anybody know how to open up a Canon 814 Electronic? Are there screws under the vinyl on the plastic body?

Not only does it need a few shots of oil and little lithium grease (easy as pie if I can open it up and look at the metal moving parts), but looking through the back of the camera with the film cart door open, one can clearly see specs of black paint or film emusion on the back of the lens that I need to blow off! It's not on the filters as I changed those and double checked -- it's on either the lens or the beam-splitting prism.

I plan on doing a head to head test with this otherwise mint camera against my Leicina Special with the sharpest film stock available to HD transfer and want to give it a fighting chance. Can anybody tell me how to open a Canon 814 electronic for a simple clean and lube job? It could not be that hard if it's reasonably well engineered. Lubing even an Arriflex 16s is easy enough.
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#2 Machado

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 12:24 PM

Though I have not actually tried this yet myself, it appears to me that the top most part of the 814E lifts off and seperates from the camera. There are 4 screws at the rear of the view finder and 2 screws, each located on either side of the autozoom 814 badge. There is also what seems to be a machined nut used for the threaded daylight filter removal trigger up top, my guess is this would be removed aswell. Again I have not tried it, but this molded steel peice certainly has the appearence that it will lift up and away from the camera exposing more clues once its gone...


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#3 santo

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 12:35 PM

thanks. yes i'm probably going to get to this later today or maybe tomorrow. i'll keep your speculations in mind and hopefully you're right. i'll likely take a few webcam images of it while i take it apart and post some pics here.

Canons are a reasonable enough beginner camera for people new to both super 8 and film shooting in general and some of the best models like this can be had pretty cheap. worthwhile, provided you can open it up and put a few drops of oil or grease on the moving metal parts. it's just that pretty much nobody services them, and what few do, want probably about 3 times what a camera like this costs just to open it up and blow out a little dust and put in a few drops of lube like you need in any 30 year old machine! :P
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#4 Machado

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 01:58 PM

I had a further look and removed the rear eye piece plate and realized that the viewing system stays protruded out of the camera, so my theory of simply tilting this thing up and out seems more difficult at the moment. I'm now thinking that the top machined nut must play a more vital role in removing this top piece. I can't find my ring clip pliers so removing it can't be done right now. I also removed the front badge and can confirm that this holds no secrets behind it. It simply pries off and is only held in place with glue.

I can also report that removing the rubber around the bottom of the camera which surrounds the threaded tripod mound reveals screws to separate that whole assembly. once removed, you will be able to remove the plastic cover which surrounds the trigger and which once removed will reveal screws to aid in the removal of the grey plastic molded pieces on each side of the camera. I'm also now guessing that its infact this whole bottom section which will be key to revealing more of the mechanism then the top will.

As for the main controls side of the camera, all the dials look as though they can be easily removed and I'm guessing all badges on buttons such as slow-mo and variable shutter can be removed and will have screws behind them as well (not confirmed yet). But it definitely seems as though its these grey molded plastic assemblies located on each side of the camera, that will separate away the main camera body and part of which are tucked in under each side of the lens macro control ring. Once I find the smallest micro flat head I can find, I will try to remove the handle un-lock switch which is now restricting the removal of the grey plastic molded cover on the zoom control side of the camera..

Sorry If I'm confusing you, but I'm figuring this out as I go along this afternoon.....

Edited by chaching, 19 November 2005 - 02:04 PM.

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#5 A.Oliver

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 02:57 PM

Santo, dont waiste your time, you have the best camera, use the canon as a bookend!!!!!!
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#6 Robert Hughes

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 04:21 PM

A Canon 814E would make a fine second camera, even weighed against a high end Leicina. You just need enough light to get the lens to close down a bit, say f/5.6 or f/8. By then you probably won't be able to tell the difference. It certainly beats shooting DV.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 19 November 2005 - 04:23 PM.

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#7 santo

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 05:48 PM

Santo, dont waiste your time, you have the best camera, use the canon as a bookend!!!!!!


I know, i know. Never in a million years will you be able to take super 8 images that look like this with a Japanazoom home movie camera like a Canon or Nikon or whatever:

Posted Image
Plus-X Super 8 photographed with a Leicina Special with 10mm Macro Cinegon prime lens

I mean, you're lucky to get half the resolving power out of one of those big zooms, so you have no chance even stopped down. Added to the cheap "home movie lens" look those things have.

BUT, I still believe that Canons are worthwhile starter/beginner cameras and it's worthwhile to at least try to open it up and give it a little lubrication like all machines of that vintage probably needed 20 years ago. If you've got one that's still running smooth, you've beaten the odds! Hey, I got this one dirt cheap, so why not experiment with it as a distraction to other more important things I'm working on? I still recommend them for people looking for a first super 8 camera to goof around with.

Hopefully Chaching will have some luck. I'll give it a try probably tomorrow afternoon.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:31 AM

it's just that pretty much nobody services them, and what few do, want probably about 3 times what a camera like this costs just to open it up and blow out a little dust and put in a few drops of lube like you need in any 30 year old machine! :P


You are not the first to post this idiotic notion, nor will you be last.

Just because you can find a camera for 50 bucks doesn't mean you limit the service cost on the camera to 50 bucks.
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#9 santo

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 08:54 AM

How is trying to save $150 - $300 that's charged to blow out a little dust/film emulsion flakes and put in a couple of drops of oil and a couple of tiny swabs of lithium grease an idiotic notion?

The idea that one should spend hundreds of dollars to service a Japanazoom super 8 home movie camera is an idiotic notion. The idea that one should take a shot at a straightforward dusting/oil job that costs virtually nothing on one themselves, so that they can go out and have some fun learning to shoot motion picture film is a pretty sensible idea, I think. The satisfaction of doing it yourself probably weighs in there, and the top Canons are perfectly decent starter/beginner cameras.

Speaking of Canons, it's a shame things weren't different. Probably the best camera that Canon ever put out was the silent 814 xl. The problem with the 814 xl is that it only has 18 fps, which makes it extremely limited and not worth buying because of it.The problem with the sound xls series is that it's got all that obsolete sound recording junk in it that's now unusuable and just adds a bunch of dead weight.

But the biggest tragedy is that Canon never took super 8 as a serious medium used by artists like Beaulieu and Leica did. No doubt because they were entirely focused on the USA home movie market. In Europe there was a whole movement of artists using super 8, documentary production, and use on TV news coverage, too -- which is why the Leicina Special is PAL 25 fps, for example, and many Beaulieus employ that, too. Even Nizos, which are not professional design cameras. I am certain, had Canon and Nikon taken super 8 as a serious medium, we would have seen professional design cameras very worthy of a $300 dollar servicing. Canon obviously could deliver first-class pro grade equipment at the time (the all-time great sc 55mm f1.2 Aspheric lens comes to mind), but never designed a pro-grade super 8 camera with the features required. So today they are left sucking wind with the new movement of negative super 8 films that don't register correctly in their brainless cart reading system, silly controls and gimmicks, and ridiculous mega telephoto zooms designed in the 1970's that aren't close to being really sharp, and which can't even be removed so you can try something better!
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#10 steve hyde

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 02:06 PM

Hi Santo,

I like the look of your image. You are taking advantage of the dream-like quality that overexposing plus-X offers. That's cool. Like you, I also prefer prime lenses, but I feel like I have yet to see any Super8 photographies that really show a significant difference between a good quality Nikon Zoom Super 8 camera like the R -10 that I used for the image below and images from a Beaulieu or Leicina with a prime lens. I'm not saying that there is not a difference - I'm just saying the difference is almost undetectable most of the time.

Posted Image


The above image was made with a Nikon R-10, 7266 plus x film, transfered best light rank: CinePost, Atlanta GA.

Edit:....I thought I was in your "Prime Lens advantage" thread. Apologies for if I went off topic.

Edited by steve hyde, 20 November 2005 - 02:15 PM.

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#11 santo

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 02:17 PM

Soft. At best half the detail of my still. Look at the clothing and foliage. :lol: Anybody can put those two images on their computer and go back and forth and compare. There is no comparison. Yours looks like it was taken with, well, what it was taken with: a Japanese home movie camera from the 1970's.

Welcome to reality.

Nice try, though.

EDIT: I'll give it credit, though. It looks better than any Canon home movie camera image I've seen. The Nikon R 10 remains the only Japanese super 8 camera I still would like to own.
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#12 steve hyde

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 07:37 PM

Soft. At best half the detail of my still. Look at the clothing and foliage. :lol: Anybody can put those two images on their computer and go back and forth and compare. There is no comparison. Yours looks like it was taken with, well, what it was taken with: a Japanese home movie camera from the 1970's.

Welcome to reality.

Nice try, though.

EDIT: I'll give it credit, though. It looks better than any Canon home movie camera image I've seen. The Nikon R 10 remains the only Japanese super 8 camera I still would like to own.


....My point is not that they are not different - my point is that they are more the same than they are different.
In other words - you are splitting hairs here. And you are making a big deal out of difference that is insignificantl.

Good luck with your project. It looks interesting.

Steve
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#13 santo

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 08:08 PM

You sound like Alex!

Haven't worked on that Canon yet. Will soon, though.
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 08:31 PM

How is trying to save $150 - $300 that's charged to blow out a little dust/film emulsion flakes and put in a couple of drops of oil and a couple of tiny swabs of lithium grease an idiotic notion?


Here's why. If you don't do it right, your choices are to either throw the camera away, or put it back together and resell it on ebay to some unsuspecting sucker.

Either way, if you don't do it right, it's a lose lose for the Super-8 camera quantities that slowly shrink month by month.

The idea that one should spend hundreds of dollars to service a Japanazoom super 8 home movie camera is an idiotic notion. i


$100 - $150.00 fifty dollars to service a camera is a perfectly reasonable amount to spend. Instead of celebrating the fact that a Super-8 camera that when new cost around $500 to $700 dollars can now be had so cheaply that even with the proper servicing still costs well below the new price, people adopt the lame idea that whatever little they spend on a camera somehow dictates that they MUST spend even LESS to service it.

You continue to bash Japanese products, it's rather an odd agenda to have hung your hat on.
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#15 santo

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 09:00 AM

You continue to bash Japanese products, it's rather an odd agenda to have hung your hat on.


I continue to use and enjoy both an Olympus OM2n and a variety of old Asahi products. I think they're great. I would highly recommend the Super Takumars for use as cine prime lenses in small gauge, as they were specifically designed to be as sharp as possible in the centre of the lens, at the expense of the outer area which would not be employed at all in small gauge shooting. As has been documented extensively in magazines from the era, and in more current testing by the more reasonably trustworthy internet "lens test nuts", they are a lot sharper in the centre than Nikons or Canon lenses of the time period -- though overall one might argue pretty convincingly the Canons and Nikons are overall better lenses because of uneven quality of the Takumars from centre to edges with a noticible drop-off. The Super Taks are as sharp as the best Zeiss and Leica contemporaries in the centre (the Zeiss and Leica being much more uniform in performance edge to edge, and much more expensive because of it), and as that is all we use in small gauge, that's all that really counts. An M42 adapter has always been the best accessory investment for small gauge filmmaking.
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