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Bell & Howell Director Series


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:59 PM

Hello.

I was thinking of buying an inexpensive Standard 8 in order to practice loading. After trawling through ebay.com I happened upon a lot of the Bell & Howell Directors Series cameras. Are they cameras any good? They look fairly substantial to me.

Best Regards.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:44 PM

Hello.

I was thinking of buying an inexpensive Standard 8 in order to practice loading. After trawling through ebay.com I happened upon a lot of the Bell & Howell Directors Series cameras. Are they cameras any good? They look fairly substantial to me.

Best Regards.


Tell us about your Canon 1014XLS. Have you run a test cart through it yet? If not, it's wise to do it now rather than when a real shoot is upon you.
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#3 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:57 PM

If the weather holds I'll be doing a test shoot on Saturday near Newcastle Castle.

I'll screen it soon.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:07 PM

If the weather holds I'll be doing a test shoot on Saturday near Newcastle Castle.

I'll screen it soon.


Matthew's first super-8 shoot, worthy of internet streaming for sure!
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:13 PM

It isn't really my first. It's my third. And it'll be a documentary, not a narrative film.
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#6 jacob thomas

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:30 PM

was thinking of buying an inexpensive Standard 8 in order to practice loading. After trawling through ebay.com I happened upon a lot of the Bell & Howell Directors Series cameras. Are they cameras any good? They look fairly substantial to me.


It's great to shoot film, I think they call it filmmaking. :unsure:

Don't get sucked into the camera collecting thing... (Sure it's nice to have more than one camera, but if you're anything like me you'll learn more from actually shooting film rather than dreaming about cameras and their features.)

As far as loading goes it's not as hard as you might think, and it varies from camera to camera and mag to mag so I'm not sure how much good it will do you to be practicing on a 8mm camera, if your intention is to learn for 16mm.
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#7 Gianni Raineri

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 02:10 AM

I had a Bell & Howell Zoom Master which I think is similar to the Director... check out the pix on a current ebay uk auction no. 170139558554 (17th august). It's very big and heavy camera. The windup spring motor is really strong on the one I had, pulling way over a minute of film at 16 or 24 fps. The light meter on mine was dead after 45 years, so I converted the aperture control to manual. Afterwards, I wouldn't trust it because the f stop lever was springy and inconsistent. It uses cloth thread, like rubber belts inside, instead of gears to control the aperture. Sorry I binned it because I didn't want to risk loosing a precious roll of film to bad exposure. A roll of film costs substantially more than the cameras! I recommend not spending more than five or ten pounds sterling on user 8mm cameras, unless it's boxed and in very clean and working condition.

For practice loading, the Kodak Brownie 8mm are good, as are any Soviet Any of the Zenit Quarz's 8mm. Somebody's gonna say what about the Bolex's D8L's and H8's? They cost too much compared to the others because collectors love 'em. The Soviet cams are actually great for shooting with their prime lenses. Me thinks any of the latter Canon 8mm are good with their Zooms (Canon Reflex Zoom 8-2, Canon Reflex Zoom 8-3, Canon Motor Zoom 8 EEE, Canon Cine Canonet 8, Canon Cine Zoom 512). The B&H's with prime lenses are good, I especially like the 70dr mini clone look alike 8mm with three lens turrets for shooting.

I try to attend local boot sales in North London and regularly find 8mm cameras in dusty but working order. I can put some up on ebay if you want... I've got a Canonet, a Zoom 8-2, a Zenit Quarz 5 and Quarz M I can put for the boot sale price I got it at (plus postage). I'll put in a roll of KII 8mm for practice...

Gianni B)

Hello.

I was thinking of buying an inexpensive Standard 8 in order to practice loading. After trawling through ebay.com I happened upon a lot of the Bell & Howell Directors Series cameras. Are they cameras any good? They look fairly substantial to me.

Best Regards.


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#8 Gianni Raineri

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 02:21 AM

I wouldn't bid on that B&H camera above, the one I pointed to with it's ebay auction number!

I just had another looksie and it's missing the winding crank handle. That's the other reason I junked mine.

I usally hand over my precious cameras to my seven year old boy and their friends to test both the kids and the cameras.

With that model, the kids somehow always yanked the crank right off while winding it, and was fiddly for me to replace.

It looks like somebody on ebay lost their crank handle.....

Gianni :lol:

Edited by Gianni Raineri, 17 August 2007 - 02:23 AM.

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#9 ryan_bennett

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 10:13 AM

I say just grab a R8 cam and some film and just shoot, hey maybe try some super impositions and double exposures. Will it help you to learn to load? Not really, it's super simple and the R8 cam's that I have you can't check and clean the gate which is really important. It will train you to keep careful loading the film because remember, you load it, shoot, then have to flip the film around and shoot again. I can vouch for the Canon Zoom 8-3, I really liked that camera and shot a music video half on it till it got destroyed and picked up a nice Yashica that was supposed to have backwinding capabilities, but it doesn't seem to actually work so now I'm really tempted to pick up an H8...

Just shoot.
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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Glidecam