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good deals on Super8


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#1 Sam Kim

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:04 AM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...mMakeTrack=true

where do you find your best deals for good, working cameras? so far i've picked up my first super8 at the goodwill. i shot a test roll of whatever. it stops winding the film but is there a way to tell that the roll has rolled out?

i then bought a kodak instamatic and after putting fresh batteries and running it for 5 seconds it went *boing* and stopped working. i'm assuming the spring got loose and bricked the rest. booh. so what now? where? how much?

$400 for an R10? is it even worth it? I want it to practice my cinematography.


and the last question:
are all the lenses a fixed aperture? neither of my two had options to change aperture. so i'm just supposed to shoot 3 stops over the 1.8 lens? nothing brighter than a 4-5.6 split when calculating with my light meter?

one more question... super8 films latitude? if it's reversal is the latitude only 4 stops? not 7-10 like negative?

Edited by Sam Kim, 06 March 2007 - 04:04 AM.

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#2 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:14 AM

Reversal stock of any kind doesn't have 4 stops latitude - more likely 1/2-1 stop either way at most. You really need to be on the money with with exposure. Colour neg has more latitude but not 7-10 stops - more like 2 stops either way to be safe. If you over-expose it'll reduce the grain and give a nice dense negative but overexpose too much and you'll have problems if you're doing a telecine...
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#3 Troy Warr

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 08:06 AM

Hi Sam,

By far the largest marketplace for Super-8 is eBay. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell whether you're going to be getting a working camera or not, but considering that there are precious few options for new cameras, that just comes with the territory. You can get some confidence from the seller's rating and his/her apparent experience with Super-8 equipment. If it's "my dad's old camera that's been in the attic for 30 years, seems to work OK," be wary! Look for a camera that's been used recently, possibly even restored/repaired by a qualified technician. That may be harder to come across, but it at least gives you some indication that you're buying a useful camera.

Most (good) Super-8 cameras do not have a fixed aperture. You might try looking for a stalwart model like most moderately-priced offerings from Nizo, Canon and Nikon. I would recommend spending at least $150-200 to get something worthwhile.

Many old Super-8 in-camera light meters don't work anymore (or use obsolete batteries), so you might also look for a deal on a light meter. I used to use a Sekonic L-398, which you can find on eBay for well under $100.

It sounds like you're confusing latitude with dynamic range - not an uncommon misconception. There's a good Wikipedia article that highlights the difference between the two terms (note the last article under "References," too). Reversal film does have considerably less dynamic range and latitude than negative film. Most commercially available Super-8 stocks are reversal, but there are some great stocks available from companies like Pro8mm that are adapted from larger format negative stocks.

Hope that helps!
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#4 NathanCoombs

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:45 AM

Most commercially available Super-8 stocks are reversal, but there are some great stocks available from companies like Pro8mm that are adapted from larger format negative stocks.


Or make life easy and shoot Kodak's officially released and industry standard Vision2 stocks...
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#5 Sam Kim

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:53 AM

Many old Super-8 in-camera light meters don't work anymore (or use obsolete batteries), so you might also look for a deal on a light meter. I used to use a Sekonic L-398, which you can find on eBay for well under $100.

It sounds like you're confusing latitude with dynamic range - not an uncommon misconception. There's a good Wikipedia article that highlights the difference between the two terms (note the last article under "References," too). Reversal film does have considerably less dynamic range and latitude than negative film. Most commercially available Super-8 stocks are reversal, but there are some great stocks available from companies like Pro8mm that are adapted from larger format negative stocks.

Hope that helps!


Thanks Troy,
I guess your write. I know that there's a difference and I after reading that simple wiki description it clicked.
So, for negative 16mm I've always been taught and calculated, for the latitude, that i could go + or - three stops, depending on your f-stop. as far as reversal I was taught + or - 2. My digital can do that much at least.

I have a very good light meter. it's a Sekonic and it's one of the newer ones. I've used it for 16mm a lot and now i'm learning to use it for digial and for hopefully super8.

So I might strongly consider buying that R10 then. It comes witha projector, custom case, and filters. Seems like a decent deal.

Edited by Sam Kim, 06 March 2007 - 10:55 AM.

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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 12:16 PM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...mMakeTrack=true

where do you find your best deals for good, working cameras? so far i've picked up my first super8 at the goodwill. i shot a test roll of whatever. it stops winding the film but is there a way to tell that the roll has rolled out?

i then bought a kodak instamatic and after putting fresh batteries and running it for 5 seconds it went *boing* and stopped working. i'm assuming the spring got loose and bricked the rest. booh. so what now? where? how much?

$400 for an R10? is it even worth it? I want it to practice my cinematography.
and the last question:
are all the lenses a fixed aperture? neither of my two had options to change aperture. so i'm just supposed to shoot 3 stops over the 1.8 lens? nothing brighter than a 4-5.6 split when calculating with my light meter?

one more question... super8 films latitude? if it's reversal is the latitude only 4 stops? not 7-10 like negative?



I'm pretty surprised by your position. The value of that auction package at 395 dollars is very fair. It comes with a nice camera case, several filters, a cartridge of film, and a Sankyo projector! The point being that if you were to purchase the package, and it worked well for you, and then you resold it in six months, what do you think you could resell it for? You could probably instantly sell it for 300 bucks without blinking.

So are you sort of complaining because you can't afford a 100 dollar investment in a camera package that actually comes with a case to insure the camera has been taken care of? The point is the actual cost is of no relevance since resale should net you 75% of the value.

The real concern is does the camera actually work and will it work reliably for you since shipping everything both ways could end up costing you 50 bucks.
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#7 Sam Kim

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 01:13 PM

I'm pretty surprised by your position. The value of that auction package at 395 dollars is very fair. It comes with a nice camera case, several filters, a cartridge of film, and a Sankyo projector! The point being that if you were to purchase the package, and it worked well for you, and then you resold it in six months, what do you think you could resell it for? You could probably instantly sell it for 300 bucks without blinking.

So are you sort of complaining because you can't afford a 100 dollar investment in a camera package that actually comes with a case to insure the camera has been taken care of? The point is the actual cost is of no relevance since resale should net you 75% of the value.

The real concern is does the camera actually work and will it work reliably for you since shipping everything both ways could end up costing you 50 bucks.



You're RIGHT! I live locally from them. Bay Area, CA. Anyway, good logic and yeah. I'm trying to contact him and see if i can get to test it out.

Can you tell me how you can tell if SUPER8 has rolled out? I bought a roll for my GoodWill camera and it stopped. The cartridge no longer seems like it engages or anything but I really can't tell.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:55 PM

You're RIGHT! I live locally from them. Bay Area, CA. Anyway, good logic and yeah. I'm trying to contact him and see if i can get to test it out.

Can you tell me how you can tell if SUPER8 has rolled out? I bought a roll for my GoodWill camera and it stopped. The cartridge no longer seems like it engages or anything but I really can't tell.


The end of the film cartridge should either have an angular cut if it was loaded by someone other than Kodak or it should have the word exposed imprinted on the film if Kodak loaded the film. You can do a test to see if your film is advancing, take a sharpie marker and make a mark on the film and then shoot a short amount and recheck the film to see if the sharpie mark has disappeared.

Keep in mind that every time you take film out of the camera the footage counter resets to zero thereby making the counter inaccurate for that particular cartridge of film.
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