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Quarz 1x8C-2 and Chinon XL-555 newbie questions (long post)


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#1 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 06:37 PM

Hi folks -

First time poster here. I have recently become completely obsessed with Super 8 filmmaking. I'm a film scholar (theory-head, that is) who wants to be able to play with film production on the cheap, and Super 8 seems to be the way to go. I recently purchased a Quarz 1x8C-2 camera from the Ukraine as well as a super-cheap Chinon XL-555, and I have a couple questions. I have some photography experience, so I can take reasonably simple jargon.

Concerning the Quarz:

1: The built-in lightmeter on the camera appears to be broken; I've heard this is a common problem. With fresh batteries installed, the meter just stays near the 1.x mark and does not move, though it floats from side to side if the camera is tilted :) I installed Wein-cell batteries (air-ed out), and have tried resetting the meter by turning the dial to manual and back (as suggested on another site). Is there any way to fix the meter, and/or would it be worth it? Or, could something else be the problem?

2: I don't fully understand how the +/- correction on the camera is related to film speed and aperture. Could someone explain this to me? Is the +/- correction only used in auto mode?

Concerning the Chinon:

1: The focus-ring is broken; it works, but if it is pulled backward (toward me), it seems to go off-track, and just spins freely and does not seem to put the camera out of focus. When applying forward-pressure, it works fine. Any solution?

2: There is a small, recessed button on the top of the camera body, near the front (lens-side). I have no idea what it does. Is it an aperture lock? An internal filter switch?

3: What does the backlight control button do?

About Super 8 in general (super-newbie question):

What is the best practice for handling film cartridges? Can a cart be switched between cameras midway through (e.g. in order to use one cartridge to test two cameras)? What is the best way to store cartridges if I have to wait a few days to drop them off at the developer?
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#2 Tim Hawkins

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:45 AM

Hi Patrick,
I've got a Quarz that someone gave to me - it's in pristine condition, runs like clockwork (in fact it is clockwork!) and it has exactly the same lightmeter issues - I've heard they're pretty poor when they do work so it's probably best just to use a handheld meter. I'm not sure about the +/- correction - I'll have to have a look at my camera to see what you mean.
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#3 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for the feedback, Tim. I presumed I'd just have to use a handheld meter, but was concerned because I've heard mixed things about how well they work with Super 8; I've heard a lot of people say that it' better just to rely on the internal meters due to light-loss inside the camera that's difficult to account for, etc.

Well, looks like I got a bit of shopping to do (as if the season didn't yield enough).
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#4 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 12:00 PM

Hello, Patrick!

I'm no expert but I have the same Quarz and according to the manual for the Bauer 360 (which has the same +/- dial) that if you put in a cartridge and, say, dial it back one increment, it will dial it back 1/3 stop for everything you shoot. I need to look at my Quarz again, but I believe it goes to +2/-2, correct?

Whether that includes manual exposure or just auto, I need to look at the book again.

Kevin
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#5 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 12:23 PM

Kevin - Yes, the dial does go from +2/-2, so that must be it. I've heard the same dial, though, is how one sets the film speed for the camera (the Quarz does not register film speed automatically), which is where I'm getting confused... I suppose if one was setting aperture manually, the correction would not be required, so is this dial just used in auto mode to compensate for different film speeds / lighting conditions?

Thanks for your help!
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#6 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 01:28 PM

Are you referring to the film's ASA? That would be the notch-reading meter in the camera. If you look in the film cartridge chamber, look up and to the right of the film gate near where the top of the film cartridge would be. There should be a little button that can be depressed. Depending on whether you put 40 or 160 film in a notch would press that button in or leave it out. That's how the camera would know which film is in the camera. Some cameras had more than one notch-sensing pin but the single 40/160 notch pin was the most common. So if you put in 64T for example, it would misread it, I believe in the case of the Quarz it misreads it and thinks it is 40 and your film would overexpose by 2/3 stop. Conversely, if it misreads it as 160 it will underexpose by 1 1/3 stop.

This is where the +/- dial comes in handy on cameraas that have it. Also, I've only shot 2 rolls on my Quarz (and I used an external light meter on both) but I believe that the particular battery that it uses is no longer made but an adapter is sold for it. Regardless, if the wrong voltage is put in it would also cause you to improperly expose your film. The cameras I do most of my shooting on derive their light meter power from the main batteries so I can't tell you much about this.

Does this help at all? If any of my info is wrong here I welcome corrections.

Kevin
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#7 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 03:34 PM

I did a bit more research, and I think I've got it. From what I understand, though, the Quarz doesn't read ASA via the notch, but defaults to a non-standard speed (100?); when shooting in auto mode, using the internal meter, one has to "dial in" the film's ASA with correction dial, as you described.

I do have the correct batteries for the camera (the Wein-cell replacement for the now-unavailable PX625 mercury cells)... I'm pretty sure the meter's just plain broken.

Do you have much success using an external light meter? From what I've read, there seems to be some debate about how well external meters work with S8, which is why I was concerned about the Quarz's internal meter...

Thanks again.

Edited by Patrick Wallace, 21 December 2007 - 03:38 PM.

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#8 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:22 PM

Concerning the Quarz:
1: The built-in lightmeter on the camera appears to be broken;


You buy of camera, made at 1990..1992, that's why the contacts at battery holder can be lost.
Will need set of new 625 batteries , clean of contacts and check of light meter again.
But, i must underline, the light meter will work with loaded spring of motor.
The matter is that, Quarz have light track with dividing prism and part of light from lens go to viewfinder.
That's why, you see of picture on viewfinder without winking.
But, the TTL sensor take light from special part of shutter disk.
That's why, the shutter disk must set on fixed position and loaded spring will set of shutter disk on fixed position at stop mode.


From other side, the camera can work at manual mode,without battery.
You can see handle with mark M...A
A- auto mode of setting of aperture
M - manual mode of apperture setting. You can see indicator at viewfinder and indicator will show you
position of aperture.


Concerning the Quarz:
2: I don't fully understand how the +/- correction on the camera is related to film speed and aperture. Could someone explain this to me? Is the +/- correction only used in auto mode?


The camera build for film of 50 ASA ( Svema B&W reversal OCHE-50ASA film or Svema color reversal CO-50D film ).
If you will use of film with other speed, you will need set of correction of speed.
That's why, the camera have handle with +2 ....-2 stops correction.

Position 0 = 50 ASA
position -1 = 100ASA
-2 = 200 ASA
+ 1 = 25 ASA
+ 2 = 12 ASA
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#9 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:37 PM

I use a regular photo light meter and I've had good results. Mind you, this was only on cameras like the Quarz that require seperate batteries for the light meter. Otherwise I use the internal light meter on most cameras.

You can use the external light meter by doing some simple math as long as you know the shutter angle of the camera. If the camera has a 180 degree shutter, I believe it's (been a while since I used it):

360 (degrees) divided by 180 (your shutter angle) times 24 (or whatever fps your shooting at) = 48 (which means 1/48th of a second). Then you plug that number and your ASA into the light meter (mine is an old dial-type Director) and you should be good to go. It's been a while since I shot on my Quarz. I hope this helps!

Kevin
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#10 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:46 PM

Thank very much for your reply Olex!

I have seen your website before, and have found it very helpful. I understand the +/- correction on the camera now.

I tried cleaning the battery contacts for the light meter & testing it again with fresh batteries, but it still does not work, so I shall just have to buy an external meter. I like the look and feel of camera very much, and don't want it to go to waste.
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#11 Patrick Wallace

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:52 PM

Kevin -

Once again, thanks. I was discouraged by a couple of other folks who take issue with using external meters with S8, & it's encouraging to hear that the external meter works adequately. Between your and Olex's responses, I think my Quarz questions are answered & I'm excited to take the camera out and shoot some film.
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#12 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:58 PM

Glad I could help! Just make sure you double check the shutter angle of the Quarz. I think it's 180 but I was mostly using that as an example for the math. Good luck in your Super 8 adventures!

Kevin
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#13 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 09:48 AM

I tried cleaning the battery contacts for the light meter & testing it again with fresh batteries, but it still does not work, so I shall just have to buy an external meter. I like the look and feel of camera very much, and don't want it to go to waste.


Yes, I think, the external modern digital light meter can be good choose.
As for me, need take to pieces of body of camera and check and clean of contacts of speed selector.
The camera load of speed of shooting to light meter by switch.
The other problme can be on jammed of indicator.
If the camera dropped and part of viewfinder moved, the indicator of light meter can be jammed.
90 % of all problems with light meter was on contacrts with battery.
Other problme, rare to much.

I think, you can have question about C-mount screw of front side of camera.
If you unscrew of zoom optical block you will see c-mount screew and will ask about use of C-mount lenses with Quarz.
I can disappoint you.
Quarz have original design of zoom lens, and zoom lens consist from two parts :
prime lens set inside of body of camera and have C-mount outside screw and additional front zoom components with c-mount screw.
If you unscrew of front component, you can have cine camera with wide angle free-focus prime lens ( near 12.5 mm ). You can control of aperture, but, focus will set on infinity only.
If you attach of any other lens , this optical system not will work.

If you will have idea of upgrade of Quarz camera, i can recommed to attach of any optical attachment ( wide angle, tele, anamorphic ) on front side of zoom componet or on front side of main prime lens.
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