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Got a Nikon Zoom 8 (Regular 8) Camera


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#1 Kenneth Wajda

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 06:49 PM

Anyone familiar with this camera?

It's a Nikon Zoom 8 Regular 8mm movie camera from 1959.

Posted Image

It's in mint condition, the glass is perfect, the viewfinder bright (with a split-prism) and an SLR sytem, the manual exposure works--I'm not even going to try to find the mercury battery for it. I am going to do a test but has anyone any experience comparing frames from a high quality regular 8mm camera (or even like a Bolex B8 or P1) to Super 8 for quality? I was thinking maybe the 8mm is even steadier of an image than Super 8.

Or maybe I just love old film equipment. I got it for $10 and it's sweet! And quiet, too!!

And I was told by John Schwind that the 25' length 8mm rolls actually have 30' to cover the leader film, so if you're careful and can change in near darkness, you can shoot longer, too.

Thanks,
Andrew

P.S. I also picked up a Fujica Z2 Single 8 because I am crazy! That will be a long-distance test but I am so curious. And it looks so cool and the camera has so much control.

Edited by AndrewKent, 04 August 2008 - 06:52 PM.

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#2 Kenneth Wajda

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 06:56 PM

It's not in place of my Super 8's. I have a Beaulieu 2008 with an 8-64 Angenieux and a couple of 814 and 104 XL-S's, so it's not for lack of cameras. Just curious about different formats.
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#3 Art Leal

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:26 PM

P.S. I also picked up a Fujica Z2 Single 8 because I am crazy! That will be a long-distance test but I am so curious. And it looks so cool and the camera has so much control.



I lost my marbles a short time ago as well. I picked up two regular 8mm cameras solely because I thought there was still an abundance of Kodachrome regular 8 out there. Dwayne's has them listed on their order form...so after I ordered it, they emailed me telling me that it's been discontinued and "filled" my order with standard 8 Cine Chrome 100D, without bothering to ask me first. Not a problem, I already have the cameras so I'll try it.

As far as the cameras, the first I purchased was a Kodak Zoom 8. I loaded some old Kodachrome film I had and took some test shots. After winding the crank it would give me about 30 seconds of run time before I needed to recrank.

The more curious of the two is the Canon Reflex 8-3 model. Strange design but kinda retro looking.
More on this model can be found here:

http://www.canon.com...;page=1956-1970

I haven't tested this one since I'm waiting for the manual from Craigs Camera to get to me first. This one uses two PX13 cells. When I opened the compartment, there were two old mercury PX13's in there, and guess what...I tested them with my voltmeter and they still had life!

It was interesting hand loading the film then flipping the spools over. Always wondered what that was like. I will be getting them developed soon so I'm just as curious as to what they'll look like.

My dad had a Regular 8 back until 1969, then once he got a Super 8, that was the last we ever saw or heard from the Regular 8 stuff.

The cost for each camera was about $25 each.

With all of this I can now safely say I've gone mad...I took the plunge and did something I've always feared...delve into 16mm...so I'm getting an Arri 16S. I figured if I'm going to hand load film, why stop at regular 8?

Wish me luck! I still think I'm in over my head!
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#4 Kenneth Wajda

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:58 PM

The beauty of the Nikon is it has a battery driven motor, so there's no winding. No running out of steam at :30. And it uses four ordinary AA batteries.

And since it has the manual exposure, I can use a handheld meter (which I always do anyway) and just set it myself. These Nikons appear to be readily available on the "e" site for $10 or so.

I will be curious to hear what you think of the 8mm film when it gets back from the lab.

Best of luck. And with the Arri, too. (I had one of those and loved it, but the need for big batteries and the fact it makes a bunch of noise is keeping me from getting another one. I picked up a Bolex H16 and a Bell&Howell 70DR and am going to try them out--they are both spring wound, but not too loud, thankfully.)

Andrew

Edited by AndrewKent, 04 August 2008 - 11:00 PM.

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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:57 AM

There is of course a difference in frame size but the biggest difference (besides loading) might be speed settings. Many older regular 8 cameras have 16fps as their standard. Keep an eye out for ones (like a Canon Ciné Canonette 8) that have a "slow motion" 24 fps setting and you could shoot at that speed if you were looking for slightly better quality especially in shots with motion. However you would need to transfer it at a higher-end telecine house and indicate the frame rate when sending it to them.

Since super 8's quality has improved so much (especially the available transfer systems) I look at regular 8 as the new super 8 for the retro home movie look and generally do inexpensive transfers to keep it looking "retro" which means shooting at 16 or 18 fps.
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#6 Art Leal

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:07 AM

Many older regular 8 cameras have 16fps as their standard.



This is correct on the Canon. I noticed a 16 and 24 fps but no 18.

Thanks Will
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#7 Kenneth Wajda

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:21 AM

The Nikon-Zoom 8 was introduced in 1963 and I read somewhere that the standard from 16fps to 18fps happened in 1959, so I think it is an 18fps camera.

Interesting take on R8, Will. May I ask what cameras and stocks you typically use?

Andrew
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