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Most Over Rated Super-8 Camera


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#1 John Adolfi

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 08:52 PM

Have not owned more than a half dozen camera's to have an opinion worth sharing, so I'm counting on you all.
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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 09:59 PM

I would say that the two most overrated Super 8 cameras are the Beaulieu 4008 and the Leicina Special.

The Beaulieu is overrated because: 1) It is WAY overpriced 2) It is not a quiet camera 3) You play like heck trying to get a battery pack for this if yours fails.

The Lecina Special is overrated because: 1) It also is WAY too expensive 2) It is WAY too loud 3) It doesn't shoot at 24fps 4) It's not crystal syncable through the film group.
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#3 Nate Downes

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:48 PM

The Lecina Special is overrated because: 1) It also is WAY too expensive 2) It is WAY too loud 3) It doesn't shoot at 24fps 4) It's not crystal syncable through the film group.

I just want one as I own a few Leica M lenses already...
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:30 AM

On the other hand, some people have been able to rely on their 4008 to do niche camera work and even stock footage shooting.
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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:43 AM

On the other hand, some people have been able to rely on their 4008 to do niche camera work and even stock footage shooting.


I don't think anyone would go as far as to say this isn't a good camera...it truly is. I just think that many Super8 shooters act like the 4008 is the beginning and the end of S8 shooting which it isn't. I think it's just became sortof an iconic camera to mention for newbies to strive for. If I had the $700+ for a nice 4008 package plus the $500 to sync it, I would just buy a CP16R package and shoot 16mm. The higher Beaulieus (6008+) are even more insane. I laughed when I saw someone selling a 7008 Cine-8 Beaulieu with widescreen markings on eBay for like $2,500+. For that, you could shoot 35mm on a Konvas.
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#6 Jim Carlile

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 02:31 AM

Overrated?

Hmmm.... the Nizo 6080, to start with. It's temperamental, hard to fix, a lot of bad ones got sent out there when Nizo went bust in the early 80s, it's a little flimsy, doesn't always inspire confidence the way it handles-- it's missing a certain solidity that you find in the big Canons and the Beaulieus.

Oh, and its metal body somehow makes silent and black-and white cartridges sound really noisy. You can definitely hear the difference between them and the better designed sound cartridges.

But... it does look great....
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#7 andy oliver

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:36 AM

has to be any of the nizo 4 digit series range, ie 4080, 6080, poor design, using that damm rubber band to drive the mech. Canon 814 and 1014xls, over-rated on the optical side, mechanically superb. Another gribe, the canon ds-8 camera, mechinally ok, but that lens is utter garbage..

Mathew, yeh i saw thay ebay seller too, hoping to get $2500 for his 16-9 7008s, perhaps he saw the activity on ebay a few months previous when a 7008pro with 6-90 sold for around £1300.00
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#8 Nick Norton

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:30 PM

I just want one as I own a few Leica M lenses already...



with a nice lens on that guy... i want the camera just for looks.
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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:38 AM

Optically and in respect to ergonomics and because of the general praise they receive, I find the Canon 1014XL-S and 814XLS a little bit overrated. Someone referred to them once as the Panaflex of Super 8, and that is just grotesque. It isn't even the Aaton or Arriflex of Super 8... more like the Canon of Super 8, frankly: for the better and for the worst.
That they are considered by many the non plus ultra for this format has been a mystery to me, particularly as the ownership of a 814XL-S hasn't won me over, too... and from all the S8 cams in our pool, the Canon's pictures were the must visibly murky with certain f-stops.
I am going to get this Canon 814XL-S sold now... :mellow:

Also: Beaulieu 5008-series - the body, that is, and not at all the Schneider 13x6mm which is outstanding and I finally got in my claws upon yippee :D.
The Beaulieu 5008 disappoints in many ways, especially as it broke many of Beaulieu's core contributions to the format. The move to the commag system was never properly absorbed by that company, and only with last Beaulieu 9008 Quartz-Pro model did they come back were they left their market leadership with the 4008-series.
Anyway, I wrote about the 5008 in the "worst camera" thread ad nauseum, so just read my troubles with it there ;)

Finally: Nikon R10, because of the terrible ergonomics and design and that Nikon halo that is a bit like the Leica halo in photography. But above all: whenever I hear anyone again continuing to nurtue that "register pin" myth, or double register pin, or even two double register pins, as Jürgen accidentally wrote in his great S8 camera book, I WILL GO BERSERK!

A good new week to you all,

-Michael
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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:44 AM

I would also like to say that - off-topic - I find Double Super 8 and to some extent Single 8 a bit overrated, esp. in respect to some folks' ideas that it's "by nature" a superior format to Super 8. I always found that claim a bit shallow and too generalising, as it usually centred around the camera-incorporated pressure plate... my Single 8 shootings over the years (just checked on old footage half a year ago) were anything but rock-steady, with a CLA'd Fujica using RT-25.
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#11 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:05 PM

My favorite is the leicina special, always had good results with the zoom and the 10mm. But it's pricy and no one to service out there.

I liked every canon I had.

Nizos are cool for the features but their glass never impressed me, even the Pro was way softer than the Leicina, and it's Schneiderglass on both.

I never liked the beaulieu 4008, only cool thing to me is slowmotion at 70fps but not very steady on my model.

My conclusion is that the 4008 is the most overrated S8 Camera. I just don't see the point of having that guillotine shutter when you end up with less light than through a prism.

I just want one as I own a few Leica M lenses already...


I wouldn't use Stillfotolenses on the special, unless they're longer than the maximum of the zoomlens. You would certainly end up with less resolution on the tiny S8 frame than with the stocklens. Even with the 10mm prime I don't get much sharper results, it's just more compact with a prime and you can ad an anamorphot.
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#12 Nate Downes

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:40 AM

I wouldn't use Stillfotolenses on the special, unless they're longer than the maximum of the zoomlens. You would certainly end up with less resolution on the tiny S8 frame than with the stocklens. Even with the 10mm prime I don't get much sharper results, it's just more compact with a prime and you can ad an anamorphot.

Not for daily use, just to have it. I am quite happy with my two Chinons tyvm.
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#13 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:38 PM

Judging by the ebay market these days there are a number of camera's that are WAAAAAY over rated. I'm stunned by the numbers that sellers think they can get for their cameras. who is dumb enough to pay $800 for a 30 year old camera that the seller doesn't even know if it works properly or not? Come on! There is no super 8 camera in the world worth more than $500 at the very most.

Anyway I think the 5008s is over rated for the following reasons.

1) Hard to see focus through the lens, making any racking nearly impossible if you are operating yourself in an on the fly situation.
2) I have seen a few of these and it seems that the gears in the zoom lens going and fungus / mildew deep in the lens are both common problems.
3) Louder than hell.
4) Pull down problems with different film stocks.
5) terrible triggering system.

The values in the 5008s are:
1) c mount, for me this is huge, and makes it a real camera rather than a toy.
2) mine has a great battery, very robust!
3) adjustable zoom speed motor on the lens (only matters when the gears and glass are in good shape)
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#14 Will Montgomery

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:18 PM

The Beaulieu is overrated because: 1) It is WAY overpriced 2) It is not a quiet camera 3) You play like heck trying to get a battery pack for this if yours fails.

I have to agree with this. As has been said, the 4008 is a GREAT camera, but in addition to the reasons above I'd add that it's simply awkward in use. Manually adjusting the aperture isn't easy and the auto zoom is also not well placed and stiff if you do it manually.

Do French people have really small hands? (just kidding!!) that handle on the 4008 just feels strange.

The main reason it's the most overrated is because of how much hype there is around this camera... even if it is the best one, it's still overly hyped as THE camera to own when there are plenty of good alternatives (unless you need the manual asa adjustment which is perhaps the part that isn't overrated.)
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#15 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:53 PM

Do French people have really small hands? (just kidding!!) that handle on the 4008 just feels strange.

For sure! That is the most bizarre grip I've ever seen...what were they thinking?

The main reason it's the most overrated is because of how much hype there is around this camera... even if it is the best one, it's still overly hyped as THE camera to own when there are plenty of good alternatives

All I hear when I look at most Super 8 forums and shooter blogs is how great this camera is. It is less than desirable for sync sound shooting, let me tell you. Out of all overrated cameras that I've seen, only the Canon 1014XL-S is louder.

(unless you need the manual asa adjustment which is perhaps the part that isn't overrated.)

If you like to use auto-exposure, this feature is killer. Beaulieu really set this camera apart with that feature. Too bad they didn't quiet the motor down and give this camera a better handle and then maybe it'd be worth the hype.
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#16 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:43 PM

I'm stunned by the numbers that sellers think they can get for their cameras. who is dumb enough to pay $800 for a 30 year old camera that the seller doesn't even know if it works properly or not? Come on! There is no super 8 camera in the world worth more than $500 at the very most.


Yeah, and buyers are getting distrustfull when you try to sell a camera at a reasonable price. I tried to sell a complete mint nizo 800 for 100$. I proposed to send footage shot with it and to perform tests for speed accurancy etc. No one bought it. Now I'm happy that I didn't sell it, I kind of like the way it looks in my collection.
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#17 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

Yeah, and buyers are getting distrustfull when you try to sell a camera at a reasonable price. I tried to sell a complete mint nizo 800 for 100$.


About a week ago, I would have bought it in a New York minute.
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#18 Nate Downes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:01 AM

About a week ago, I would have bought it in a New York minute.

And to think a year ago I put up my Chinon 200/12... glad the buyer for it backed out.
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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:59 PM

If you like to use auto-exposure, this feature is killer. Beaulieu really set this camera apart with that feature.

I actually just use it as a built in meter and manually adjust the exposure to keep it from "breathing" and I feel better at compensating for back lighting and such. For this, I do like the 4008; it's a little easier to set the exposure manually than on some cameras.
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#20 David Leugers

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:30 PM

I would also like to say that - off-topic - I find Double Super 8 and to some extent Single 8 a bit overrated, esp. in respect to some folks' ideas that it's "by nature" a superior format to Super 8. I always found that claim a bit shallow and too generalising, as it usually centred around the camera-incorporated pressure plate... my Single 8 shootings over the years (just checked on old footage half a year ago) were anything but rock-steady, with a CLA'd Fujica using RT-25.


Doesn't sound like you actually owned or shot film with a DS-8mm camera. If not, too bad. Although you have to put up with the size and weight, the results can be impressive. Once I finally owned a DS-8mm camera (Canon DS8) I started selling off my S-8mm cameras. I have since acquired a beautiful Bolex H16 Rex-4 converted to DS-8mm with a hard front single lens mount. After seeing the results I got with this camera using an Ang 8-64 "C" mount zoom, I sold off all my S-8mm cameras. I still like S-8mm and I am not a snob about it, but for me the proof is on the screen. And the robustness of the cameras are a huge plus to me. I felt sickened every time I had a S-8mm camera die on me.

The Canon 1014XLS in my experience is over rated. All I ever heard about this camera was how perfect it was. Mine was much noisier than I expected and its registration, frame rate, and image quality sub par to my Elmo 1012 SXL.
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