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You should all know about this camera.


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:00 PM

I was going to secretly bid on this camera but instead I want to share my knowledge so that anyone hungry enough to really want this camera can know about it before the close of the auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...bayphotohosting

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#2 Jim Carlile

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:17 PM

That's a nice little rarity. You know though that it's a 40/160 camera only-- I don't think it has a filter pin.

BTW, I've yet to see a later sound Elmo that didn't fire up right away after years of non-use. They are great cameras all of them and they always seem to work right out of the box....
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:47 AM

That's a nice little rarity. You know though that it's a 40/160 camera only-- I don't think it has a filter pin.

BTW, I've yet to see a later sound Elmo that didn't fire up right away after years of non-use. They are great cameras all of them and they always seem to work right out of the box....


This particular camera has a manual exposure override on it, so that does help a bit. I have this camera model already and I seem to recall that it is a bit intermittent both in turning on and off and the manual exposure wheel seems to slide every now and then.
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#4 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:09 PM

Wow, nice one! That's what I call "MISB"...
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:41 PM

Wow, nice one! That's what I call "MISB"...



I guess you mean "mint in sealed box". (I had to google MISB).

The camera has a built in 4.4 mm lens. The front lens element "pops away" sort of like a Delorean car to reveal the inner 4.4 mm lens. 17 total bids on the auction. I hope the person who won the auction will put the camera to good use. probably its ideal use is for shooting big objects up close, like a car or building, or doing forced perspective.

It only shoots 18 FPS but in wide angle mode one has more flexibility in terms of transfer speed. In other words if it is absolutely critical to transfer at 24 FPS because the wide angle is so wide you might be able to get away with it even though the footage was shot at 18 FPS.
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 08:09 AM

I guess you mean "mint in sealed box". (I had to google MISB).


Yes indeed :) !

The camera has a built in 4.4 mm lens. The front lens element "pops away" sort of like a Delorean car to reveal the inner 4.4 mm lens. 17 total bids on the auction. I hope the person who won the auction will put the camera to good use. probably its ideal use is for shooting big objects up close, like a car or building, or doing forced perspective.


I have never come across that camera before, and it sounds like a very interesting construction. The lens is ingenious! You mentioned you owned one: what was the ownership experience like? Optical quality, usability, and so on? And why did you sell it (or did it die)?

It only shoots 18 FPS but in wide angle mode one has more flexibility in terms of transfer speed. In other words if it is absolutely critical to transfer at 24 FPS because the wide angle is so wide you might be able to get away with it even though the footage was shot at 18 FPS.


Ah, I understand what you mean. Clever... that would, I think, however only work with some scenic set-up. I am not sure that intense actor interaction would work. But one might get away with landscapes, even heavy car traffic, and still-standing people, even when they talk into the camera and no sync is required (as in: silent movies mouth gesturing)
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 07:17 PM

I misused the camera once. I mistakenly thought it would focus down to the front element of the lens so I did an experimental short of super up close shots of flowers. Not only were a quarter of the shots soft, there was a hair in the image that stayed there the whole time.

I do have other shoots planned however. I'm just going to stick to shooting large objects. It should work really well in that application. I an presuming it will put out a better image than a Eumig camera with the wide angle PMA attached since the elmo superwide has the wide angle lens already built in.

I already own a couple of these cameras so I'm glad it went presumeably went to somebody who really wanted it, I was not the seller by the way.
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#8 gary szunyog

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 08:54 PM

It looked so fresh, I bid, but dropped out at $128.
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#9 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:59 AM

I hope the person who won the auction will put the camera to good use.

That would be me - and yes, I hope so too. :) I ended up paying way too much for this one, but it's something I've been hunting for for ages... Carpe diem, I guess. Thanks for the tip, Alessandro!

probably its ideal use is for shooting big objects up close, like a car or building, or doing forced perspective.

Wide angle has a distinctive look that's not usually associated with Super 8, which makes it all the more interesting. Also, 4.6 mm is not that "super-wide"; the angle of view is equivalent to something like a 28 mm lens on a 35 mm still camera. Of course, it's very wide for Super 8, but you can still shoot people at this focal length without distorting them totally out of shape. See some creative examples in David's early work.

The thing I'm most worried about is the fixed focus. I guess it makes sense when stopped down to f/8 or so, but as the lens opens up to f/1.2, it would really be nice to know where it's actually focused at... Also, I don't think I will be using the built-in 8.6 - 18 mm adapter much, as I'd rather do any tele shots with a focusable camera.

I was going to ask if you've ever shot any tests to find out the actual focusing distance - but judging from your last post, I would guess not? I might have to shoot some myself then...
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:46 PM

That would be me - and yes, I hope so too. :) I ended up paying way too much for this one, but it's something I've been hunting for for ages... Carpe diem, I guess. Thanks for the tip, Alessandro!


Consider it "the gift of the magi". By announcing the auction on a Super-8 forum, it created awareness amongst those who might appreciate the camera most, and with that comes more competitive bidding.
I was thinking of keeping it to myself and probably I could win it with a 60 dollar bid.

Wide angle has a distinctive look that's not usually associated with Super 8, which makes it all the more interesting. Also, 4.6 mm is not that "super-wide"; the angle of view is equivalent to something like a 28 mm lens on a 35 mm still camera. Of course, it's very wide for Super 8, but you can still shoot people at this focal length without distorting them totally out of shape. See some creative examples in David's early work.


A 4mm lens is considered very wide in super-8, so 4.6mm is really not that big of a difference. In my book, anything under 5mm in super-8 can be considered extra wide angle. If one use the "four" factor than a 4.6mm x 4 becomes 18.4mm in 35mm.

The thing I'm most worried about is the fixed focus. I guess it makes sense when stopped down to f/8 or so, but as the lens opens up to f/1.2, it would really be nice to know where it's actually focused at... Also, I don't think I will be using the built-in 8.6 - 18 mm adapter much, as I'd rather do any tele shots with a focusable camera.


In the booklet it gives the following specifications for the 4.6mm lens, "indoor" depth of field is 65 cm (25 inches) to infinity, "shade" depth of field is 25 cm (10 inches) to infinity, daylight is 10 cm (4 inches) to infinity.

I was going to ask if you've ever shot any tests to find out the actual focusing distance - but judging from your last post, I would guess not? I might have to shoot some myself then...


Well, failure has its benefits, no? My mistake was filming very small objects up close such as small flowers with the f-stop wide open (the flowers were small and low to the ground in shade). Two feet away in low light pretty much means you don't have to worry about focus unless you are planning on doing macro shots with the camera. Any easy rule to help with focus is avoid macro shots and the elmo Superwide camera is basically focus free when in the wide angle mode.
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#11 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 04:50 AM

A 4mm lens is considered very wide in super-8, so 4.6mm is really not that big of a difference. In my book, anything under 5mm in super-8 can be considered extra wide angle. If one use the "four" factor than a 4.6mm x 4 becomes 18.4mm in 35mm.

Yeah, the angle is close to a 18 mm lens with 35 mm Academy format - my "28 mm" figure was compared to 35 mm still film. The 28 mm is one of my favourites in still photography and I frequently shoot people with it. (Something I don't do much with my 19 mm lens, which is what I consider super-wide. :))

I'd presume that such a wide lens is a bit more problematic with Super 8, though, as wider shots of people are not as effective due to the lack of resolution... and you'll have to be really careful with closer shots unless you want nasty distortion. So, I do understand your recommendation to shoot buildings and such with this one. Whichever way, this will be a fun experiment.

In the booklet it gives the following specifications for the 4.6mm lens, "indoor" depth of field is 65 cm (25 inches) to infinity, "shade" depth of field is 25 cm (10 inches) to infinity, daylight is 10 cm (4 inches) to infinity.

I was just making some DoF calculations myself and came to the same conclusion... That is, the focus-free lens really is very usable. I didn't realize just how huge the DoF is, even at f/1.2. It seems that shooting thorough tests won't be that necessary after all.

Thanks again; can't wait to get the camera delivered! Let's hope that I'll be able to share some nice results with you guys later.
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:18 PM

I'd presume that such a wide lens is a bit more problematic with Super 8, though, as wider shots of people are not as effective due to the lack of resolution... and you'll have to be really careful with closer shots unless you want nasty distortion. So, I do understand your recommendation to shoot buildings and such with this one. Whichever way, this will be a fun experiment.


Perhaps forced perspective shots could be interesting. Pan over from a building that is not too far away and suddenly there is a person standing 3 feet from the camera that suddenly fills the frame. Shots like that can be very impactful.


Thanks again; can't wait to get the camera delivered! Let's hope that I'll be able to share some nice results with you guys later.


Yeah, I am itching to get more use out of my superwide.
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#13 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 09:10 PM

Hi , heres the super wide baby.

http://home.pacbell..../super8_26.html
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#14 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:40 AM

OK, the Elmo arrived a couple of days ago in excellent condition. Haven't shot any actual film with it yet, though.

I already broke... erm, made a minor modification to the camera: I removed the fixed bolt that holds the swiveling front element in place, and replaced it with a removable one. This enables me to completely remove the front element instead of just turning it away, which makes the camera much easier to handle in some situations.

I must say I'm a bit put off by the amount of barrel distortion in the wide-angle lens. The geometry is nearly perfect when the front element is attached, so it seems to me that the lens combination was optimized (at least distortion-wise) for normal and telephoto shooting - which, of course, is not what I bought this camera for. Oh well.

Some examples below. Apologies for the image quality - I took these on a cell phone through the viewfinder, so please don't take them as indication of anything except the barrel distortion.

elmo1.jpg

elmo2.jpg

Other than that, the camera feels great, and I just love the Cokin A compatible filter holder. I don't suppose they make cheap, detachable general-purpose add-on lenses for correcting barrel distortion? ;)
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:03 AM

OK, the Elmo arrived a couple of days ago in excellent condition. Haven't shot any actual film with it yet, though.

I already broke... erm, made a minor modification to the camera: I removed the fixed bolt that holds the swiveling front element in place, and replaced it with a removable one. This enables me to completely remove the front element instead of just turning it away, which makes the camera much easier to handle in some situations.

I must say I'm a bit put off by the amount of barrel distortion in the wide-angle lens. The geometry is nearly perfect when the front element is attached, so it seems to me that the lens combination was optimized (at least distortion-wise) for normal and telephoto shooting - which, of course, is not what I bought this camera for. Oh well.

Some examples below. Apologies for the image quality - I took these on a cell phone through the viewfinder, so please don't take them as indication of anything except the barrel distortion.

elmo1.jpg


In the picture above, how come the wooden lattice located just behind the red column is curving in the opposite direction? I'm also wondering if a higher f-stop will create straighter vertical lines?

elmo2.jpg

Other than that, the camera feels great, and I just love the Cokin A compatible filter holder. I don't suppose they make cheap, detachable general-purpose add-on lenses for correcting barrel distortion? ;)

I would guess if there is something it probably will decrease the wide angle view of the lens, but that's just a guess.

Did you "break" er modify the lens on purpose or by accident?
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#16 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:21 AM

Did you "break" er modify the lens on purpose or by accident?

On purpose. Now I can carry the camera around in my bag instantaneously ready for some "capture-the-moment" wide-angle shooting (= the front element completely detached).

I found that switching into wide-angle mode was a bit of a hassle with the original fixed bolt: 1) turn away the filter holder, 2) turn away the front element and 3) replace and re-align the filter holder. The camera is also less clumsy to shoot with without the front element.

Edited by Antti Näyhä, 19 February 2008 - 04:24 AM.

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#17 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:35 AM

I tried to replace "less clumsy" with "a bit less obtrusive" in the above post, but I screwed up and it seems that you can only edit a post once. The Elmo is quite comfortable to shoot with, with or without modifications, and "clumsy" was obviously a poor word for what I was trying to say.
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:59 AM

I tried to replace "less clumsy" with "a bit less obtrusive" in the above post, but I screwed up and it seems that you can only edit a post once. The Elmo is quite comfortable to shoot with, with or without modifications, and "clumsy" was obviously a poor word for what I was trying to say.



The way the lens ejects is pretty cool. I suppose it could be mistaken for a weapon.

Well, another auction and this superwide went for more money and I didn't even bid on it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...A:IT&ih=009
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