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Most under-rated Super 8 camera?


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#1 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:35 PM

Hello Super 8 freaks,

I know I'm just excited because I am expecting it to come in the mail but I feel the Elmo 1012S-XL is the most underrated and under-valued Super 8 camera in existance. Here is why:

- Sharp lens
- 24 fps and Single frame
- Crystal syncable through the Film Group
- Cool looking
- Relatively quiet
- Accepts 200ft or Supermag 400 (if they ever bring them back)
- Can usually find less than $300
- Full Manual Exposure option

If you disagree, feel free to state what you think is the most under-rated and under-valued Super 8 camera AND why.
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#2 andy oliver

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:54 PM

Hi, elmo 1012, hmmm, cannot read 64t for a start!!!!!!!!
Zeiss ms-8, one of the sharpest lenses you'll find on a super 8 camera, will knock that elmo wine bottle bottom into a copt hat:). able to read 64t. As with other proper cameras, such as beaulieu and leicina camera, when the 85 filter is swung out of the optical path, a clear filter takes its place, thus maintaining perfect back focus. film speeds 1, 18 and 24, 9-36 vario sonnar lens, usually sells around the £50.00 mark on ebay. Fairly quiet too, retro 1970s black and silver styling....
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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:14 PM

Hi, elmo 1012, hmmm, cannot read 64t for a start!!!!!!!!
Zeiss ms-8, one of the sharpest lenses you'll find on a super 8 camera, will knock that elmo wine bottle bottom into a copt hat:). able to read 64t. As with other proper cameras, such as beaulieu and leicina camera, when the 85 filter is swung out of the optical path, a clear filter takes its place, thus maintaining perfect back focus. film speeds 1, 18 and 24, 9-36 vario sonnar lens, usually sells around the £50.00 mark on ebay. Fairly quiet too, retro 1970s black and silver styling....


Awesome, thanks for the input...to get some discussion going though, I'll add a little debate to the mix. No doubt that the Zeiss has a good lens. As far as reading 64t that's a non-issue because: 1) not everyone uses 64t since there are other options nowdays. 2) Elmo has full manual override so you can still use 64t with a light meter which is the professional way to go anyway. The film speed options are the same on both of these cameras. Quietness might be pretty close and the Zeiss certainly is cheaper on average.

I think the widowmaker in favor of the Elmo is the ability to crystal sync the camera through the film group. Add to that the possibility of adding a 400' magazine to the Elmo, if you can find one, and you have a killer Super8 rig.

In all fairness, the Zeiss looks pretty indestructable...I'll give it that.
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#4 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:53 PM

To keep the discussion going, I throw in the devil's advocate's gauntlet :) ;)

Why would the Zeiss lens be regarded as so good? I am not a fan of the idea of newer lenses being axiomatically better than older glass, in fact, most top S8 vario lenses are from the early to mid 1970s and not the early 1980s. But that Zeiss lens is ANCIENT!
(and we are not talking SG-1-kinda "ancient" here :P )

Is it regarded so good because it has the Zeiss made in Germany moniker on it? Most Zeiss lenses from the late 1960s to 1970s were awful, as were their mechanical products. It's not that you have Zeiss prime quality comparable to their current offering in that MS-8 camera which incidenally offers nothing convincing (and don't forget, Zeiss is not even manufacturing their own glass right now... there's alot of badge snobbery around with Zeiss).

Wow, that post should stir up some angery debates :lol:

Elmo... yeah, and.. so what. Who cares about Elmo?! You can quartz a Nizo 561 and buy that for less than 250 USD, and it's a better lens, more features, beautiful design, excellent ergonomics, a quite good viewfinder, SMPTE-compliant cartridge notch sensing plus a great intervalometer with T and B functions. Take that, Elmo!
Also: I hated the Elmo projectors when I used them, cantankerous machinery, more for cinema format projection (where Elmo is coming from) and less suitable for the S8 format. Eumig and Bauer are much more adequate in respect to film threading and features. If I transfer that experience onto Elmo cams, I think they are rightly disregarded.


On a serious note: Hi Matthew, good to have you back here after same long absence! I see you lost the beard over shooting your short project!
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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:58 PM

Elmo... yeah, and.. so what. Who cares about Elmo?! You can quartz a Nizo 561 and buy that for less than 250 USD, and it's a better lens...

This is interesting...I can't speak for sure about which lens is "better" as I haven't shot with either yet. But I do find it interesting that I've seen a great deal of material that has been shot with both of these cameras and the Elmo footage always looks sharper and overall better. I know you can argue about the cinematography but then you have to wonder if the Nizo lens really is that much better. Also, I haven't seen any Nizo 561's less than $250 lately(actually I think there is one on ebay right now for 249.95?). I ordered an Elmo for $200 + shipping.


On a serious note: Hi Matthew, good to have you back here after same long absence! I see you lost the beard over shooting your short project!

Yeah, funny enough is the beard is coming back since I'm about to shoot another short in September. I tend to get lazy with shaving when I do projects.
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#6 andy oliver

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:39 AM

Michael, have you ever exposed image via that 9-36 sonnar? its a great lens, even wide open, its only a short zoom, less elements compared to 10x zooms. As for the elmo 1012, yeh if one is a pro, and has time to use manual exposure every time, no problem, but the 1012 lacks a proper iris ring. Suppose you get a job where you find yourself running and gunning and auto iris is required! As for 200 and 400ft loads, dream on. That 400ft supermag had scratching issues i seem to recall, as for the 200ft kodapak mag, more chance of winning the lottery than seeing that making a comeback.
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#7 andy oliver

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:18 AM

one day i learn how to construct a sentence..

Michael, i meant to say, have you ever seen footage from a 9-36 sonnar?

Edited by andy oliver, 06 June 2008 - 06:19 AM.

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#8 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:04 AM

:D

Nope, I havn't, both the Zeiss and the Elmo are untouched by me and are also both on my list (also published in the FAQ thread here) as gear to check out. As I wrote, I was playing the devil's advocate here to help Matthew generate the heated debate he wanted for this thread. ;)

Actually, I would love to shoot a test film with the Zeiss 4x9mm in line to a Schneider 11x6 or Schneider 12x6 lens for direct comparison, and go through the results on screen and via projection. I am sure that the Zeiss is a good lens, certainly beating all the offerings from a Nizo 561 or so, and possibly the overrated Beaulieu 6-70mm glass. I am unsure about it competing with the multicoated top lenses from the mid-1970s, as Schott's multicoating really made a visible difference then. But then again, the shorter focal range and lesser amount of glass works in Zeiss favour, on the other hand.

To be honest, I am just a bit generally vary in respect to the current "Zeiss über alles" gospels around the industry at the moment, just as I don't like those hymns to Arri - and for good and substantive reasons, but that does not mean, of course, that I don't recognise their excellence. I was just a bit astonished about the hoopla Zeiss-Arri was able to generate when they launched their diopter series for their Master primes... as if they had invented the wheel and nuclear fusion in one go... I mean, it's just diopter lenses... the principle is know to every hobbyists. Just because they intro this into the professional market doesn't mean they have to procclaim their greatness in such a self-congratulatory way :) .

I really wonder, though, why Zeiss abandonned to pursue their film camera operations after just one cam. I guess the focal range of the Zeiss Vario Sonnar wasn't competitive enough to entice the consumer then, or they were just too expensive - which I could well imagine with Zeiss. Maybe you know can help me out there, Andy?
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#9 Mitch Perkins

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:26 AM

Hi Matthew,

1012 was one of my first cameras and did indeed produce super-sharp images, and though auto-exposure is useless even for run and gun situations, (wherein experience, not a light meter, is required), the camera does indeed look to be under-rated...judging from this thread so far...~:?)

Mitch
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#10 andy oliver

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 10:44 AM

Mitch, i kinda disagree, auto is a god send sometimes, say at a wedding, i refer to auto exposure on a leicina special, zeiss ms8, canon 814/1014xls and R10s only, though a canon 514xl is damm good too, shame no 24fps.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the zeiss cameras back in the late 60s early 70s cost an absolute fortune to buy, manual exposure on the ms-8 is awkward, unlike the 1012.

Michael, if i get bored sometime, i'll fire off some 7265 thru a 6-66, 6-80 and 9-36, then compared results, via projection using an elmo gs1200 and schneider f1.1 11-30 lens.
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 11:18 AM

Michael, if i get bored sometime, i'll fire off some 7265 thru a 6-66, 6-80 and 9-36, then compared results, via projection using an elmo gs1200 and schneider f1.1 11-30 lens.


THAT would be awesome, but we both know that we lead busy lifestyles, so time is rare for this. But the set-up sounds exactly as I would do it, just substitute Elmo GS1200 with my Bauer T600 - same projection lens, though, of course!
Keep me posted! I can see an article taking shape; you should write about that experiment!!

Cheers,

-Michael
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#12 andy oliver

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:03 PM

THAT would be awesome, but we both know that we lead busy lifestyles, so time is rare for this. But the set-up sounds exactly as I would do it, just substitute Elmo GS1200 with my Bauer T600 - same projection lens, though, of course!
Keep me posted! I can see an article taking shape; you should write about that experiment!!

Cheers,

-Michael


Well, i could always use my t502 or t610 instead :P , great that you still use a projector...
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#13 Mitch Perkins

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:16 PM

Mitch, i kinda disagree, auto is a god send sometimes, say at a wedding, i refer to auto exposure on a leicina special, zeiss ms8, canon 814/1014xls and R10s only, though a canon 514xl is damm good too, shame no 24fps.


Black bride in a white dress on a bright day, even? I shoot S8 almost exclusively at weddings these days - I like the exposure to remain consistent during pans, or if not, do an iris pull. In fact an iris pull to white (extreme over-exposure) can be a nice touch...conversely, it is not accepted procedure to stick the lens in the bride's face to take a reading.

Let me re-phrase, though: the use of auto-exposure is questionable at best ~as a substitute for experience~ on run and gun shoots.

Mitch

Edited by Mitch Perkins, 06 June 2008 - 01:20 PM.

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#14 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 02:16 PM

Suppose you get a job where you find yourself running and gunning and auto iris is required! As for 200 and 400ft loads, dream on. That 400ft supermag had scratching issues i seem to recall, as for the 200ft kodapak mag, more chance of winning the lottery than seeing that making a comeback.


As for the run-and-gun issue, I may give you that point. I think that any serious Super8 Cinematographer should have more than 1 camera in their arsenal. But to be honest with you, even if the Elmo 1012S-XL I'm getting OR the Sankyo 620-XL (another WAY underrated camera but no syncing option :( ) I have had auto exposure readings for 64t, I don't think I would use it. First, I'm not a huge fan of 64t. I have shot footage that has some awesome color rendition but for indoors it is hard to generate enough light to shoot at an aperature that keeps it sharp. I had a three light 1250W tungsten kit in a small room and still could only shoot at about 1.4 which turned out quite soft. It was a shame because the colors were so nice on that footage.

As far as the mega-film load issue, don't be so hasty. Sure the Supermag 400 is a bust now and the Kodak 60m isn't coming back. BUT a very viable option nowdays is the Beaulieu SD8/200 magazine which can fit on non-Beaulieu 9008 Quarz cameras with modification. I had heard (perhaps it was Michael way back when) that a Nizo isn't strong enough to power this...too bad for them. But the film loads can be bought from this obscure Germany-Dutch-whatever site that I found. They actually had a good range of stocks for it INCLUDING 40t. I'm on a hunt to track down a Beaulieu SD8/200 and I'll tinker to get it to work with my Elmo.
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#15 andy oliver

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

Black bride in a white dress on a bright day, even? I shoot S8 almost exclusively at weddings these days - I like the exposure to remain consistent during pans, or if not, do an iris pull. In fact an iris pull to white (extreme over-exposure) can be a nice touch...conversely, it is not accepted procedure to stick the lens in the bride's face to take a reading.

Let me re-phrase, though: the use of auto-exposure is questionable at best ~as a substitute for experience~ on run and gun shoots.

Mitch


Mitch, which super 8 cams do you use??

I guess i'm slighlty lazy when it comes to super 8, for standard, ds-8 and 16mm i am 100% manual, and ride the iris, yeh i use manual on super 8, but i am rather lazy!!

As for 64t, a hated the stock at 1st, but there was little option, 100d was hard to find, along with 50d suffering jitter, i found the 6-80 lens and 64t a great combination, now i'm b/w and 100d for super 8, k25 and k40 in the ds-8, 8mm and 16mm formats...
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#16 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:11 PM

Yep, Andy, still loving the projected picture: Bauer T600 stereosound, Eumig S940 microprocessor, Bauer T82 - beautiful machinery.

In fact, I even got weak and bought the Super 8 prints of "Star Wars" and "The Empire strikes back", obviously the original version. It looks astonishingly good on a home screen, let alone a proper screening room. Never regretted those 80 Euros!


BUT a very viable option nowdays is the Beaulieu SD8/200 magazine which can fit on non-Beaulieu 9008 Quarz cameras with modification. I had heard (perhaps it was Michael way back when) that a Nizo isn't strong enough to power this...too bad for them. But the film loads can be bought from this obscure Germany-Dutch-whatever site that I found. They actually had a good range of stocks for it INCLUDING 40t. I'm on a hunt to track down a Beaulieu SD8/200 and I'll tinker to get it to work with my Elmo.


That was indeed me. Ritter, the German Beaulieu distributor, wanted to adopt the Beaulieu SD8/60 (which they developed for S8 independently of Beaulieu France, BTW) first to the Beaulieu 6/7/9008-series, which worked; and then to all other cameras offering the 60m-option: Nizo first, then various Japanese models - following the market share or marques in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.
The Nizo adaptation failed due to the power and electric power supply from the camera not being strong enough. With Ritter's demise shortly afterwards, any further attempts to adapt the SD8/60 to other models, like the Elmo, were stopped in the tracks

I am really looking forward to seeing if the SD8/60 could be adapted to the Elmo. Good be a real blaster.
As far as 60m film stocks are concerned, I guess you are referring to Wittner Cinetec, aren't you?
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#17 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

As far as 60m film stocks are concerned, I guess you are referring to Wittner Cinetec, aren't you?


Yeah, that was it.
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#18 Jim Carlile

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 12:36 AM

Nice thing about the Elmo 612s and 1012s is that the manual exposure dial is mechanically coupled to the aperture, meaning that if the meter breaks, the camera can still be used. That's rare.

I think the sound Elmos are underrated yes, good lenses and they always seem to work no matter where they've been or for how long. Good starter cameras at the very least and there are many of them around.

Put a big lens hood on that Elmo and it's HUGE !!!

Edited by Jim Carlile, 07 June 2008 - 12:37 AM.

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#19 Mitch Perkins

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

Mitch, which super 8 cams do you use??


Nikon Superzoom 8 w/exp dial soldered to the iris armature, side panel cutaway to "finger-drag" the motor for super-slow film transport in extreme low light. The little lens is razor sharp wide open.

Just shot a wedding yesterday using 64T, Tri-x, and 500T, all of which ran like butter - no jams or jitter (which I can hear when it happens, kind of a "galloping" noise). I love the Superzoom 8's cuz they're cheap, small, bullet-proof and simple, (and therefore easy to fix if anything does go wrong).

I'm at a place now where if I did have anything "high-end", I'd probably just sell it to buy cymbals ~:?) I need 'em soon, cuz we start recording tomorrow...

www.myspace.com/mitchsperkins

Mitch
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#20 Gerard Furber

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 05:47 PM

It's got to be the Sankyo CME 1100 for me as it has so many features which are almost unique in the world of Super 8.

1. It's one of the few Super 8 cameras where you can actually make sure your meter isn't "off" and can adjust it back if it is. Plus being able to adjust it means you can shoot literally any stock on auto.

2. On default it reads 40, 160, 400 tungsten with 25, 100 and 250 daylight (on auto- puts filter out and shoots at correct daylight speed with daylight films) so can do 500T and the Pro8 250D stocks (and the motor is robust enough to pull them through!!!)

3. Auto fades in/out and you can vary the speed of the fade.

4. Rangefinder focussing system which is activated by a separate trigger, leaving the viewfinder clear.

5. Astonishing range of f: stops- 32 to 1.8.

6. Massive 10x optical zoom lens (6.5 - 65mm)

7. Special 54fps button separate from the 18/24/36 dial

8. Made of metal and built like a tank but very quiet motor

9. Despite being a 70's camera, doesn't have any wierd lightmeter batteries.

It's a pity they're so rare and hard to find. Not really your carry-everywhere camera (I still prefer the Quarz for that), but definitely one for a big project. Very under-rated as they're great but never get a mention anywhere.
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