Jump to content


Photo

Looking to purchase Super 8 Camera, any advice?


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Ashley Sturm

Ashley Sturm

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Other
  • Oregon

Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:16 PM

Hi, I'm a photographer wanting to experiment with older film and movie cameras. I've been doing some research on super 8 movie cameras and am very intrigued. It started when I stumbled across a listing for a Keystone k612 Super 8 being sold on Craigslist for pretty cheap ($20) and it I started to think that could be a very cool medium to explore, classic video footage!

So, I'm wondering if those of you who are more seasoned veterans of Super 8s could give me some tips on brands, instructional books, anything to get me started. What should I look for when buying, which brands would you advise to stay away from? I've seen a lot of Bell & Howell and Argus on Ebay, but haven't seen them mentioned in these threads as anything special.

Just wanting to make an educated purchase and know where to go from there. Thanks!

Ashley Sturm
www.ashleysturmphotography.com

  • 0

#2 Ashley Sturm

Ashley Sturm

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Other
  • Oregon

Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:27 PM

Also, what should expect for cost of film and processing?

Edited by Ashley Sturm, 24 August 2008 - 11:27 PM.

  • 0

#3 Rafael Rivera

Rafael Rivera
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Director
  • San Jose, CA

Posted 25 August 2008 - 01:28 AM

For my first S8 I bought a Beaulieu 4008 ZMII and I use it in manual mode. Have been very happy with it.

For film and such here're some rough prices:
- Negative film ~ $15/cart
- Processing ~ $15/cart
- Transfers ~ $20/cart and up
  • 0

#4 stephenbyron

stephenbyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 25 August 2008 - 08:26 AM

For a first camera, I wouldnt recommend spending too much money. The beaulieu is going to run you at least $400.
I would suggest starting with a Canon 310xl and tri-x B&W film. This camera can be found fairly cheap on ebay usually under $30. The exposure system is fully automatic and it has a 1.0 lens, which makes it one of the most versatile cameras in its price range. The only draw back is you have to measure for focus....no focusing through the lens.
Prices are pretty close to whats listed above, maybe a little cheaper if you go
Kodak - film
Paclab- Processing
Cinelab- transferring

As far as books and manuals,
You can find alot of free downloads for camera manuals online
check here for 310xl manual http://www.myoldcame...om/Manuals.html

I've never seen a book on super 8 film but this one is a very good introduction into filming in general

http://www.amazon.co...ef=cm_lmf_tit_4

Good luck and have fun.
Film looks soooo much better.
  • 0

#5 Ashley Sturm

Ashley Sturm

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Other
  • Oregon

Posted 25 August 2008 - 12:30 PM

What about a Beaulieu S2008 Super 8 Movie Camera, I found a model listed under 10, says they, "have no way of powering this camera therefore no way of testing. The camera viewing optics look to need cleaning. The body shows use with scratches and scuffs. unable to open the battery compartment. Camera sold AS IS for Parts or Repair."
Lens is 1 inch Wollensak...

?worth purchasing?
  • 0

#6 greg ocallaghan

greg ocallaghan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Student

Posted 25 August 2008 - 05:47 PM

What about a Beaulieu S2008 Super 8 Movie Camera, I found a model listed under 10, says they, "have no way of powering this camera therefore no way of testing. The camera viewing optics look to need cleaning. The body shows use with scratches and scuffs. unable to open the battery compartment. Camera sold AS IS for Parts or Repair."
Lens is 1 inch Wollensak...

?worth purchasing?



Beaulieu's are very mechanical camera's. Buying cheap ones is like throwing away money. Good Beaulieu's will cost you more than the average S8 camera.

When I started shooting S8 I got a Canon 310XL for ?25. I didn't use it since it supposedly couldn't read E64T properly. So after that I found a bargain, a Canon 814 Electronic in mint condition for ?40. You can just pop a cartridge in it, focus on your object and shoot! The results are really good! All Canon cameras are built like tanks. Fixed zoom lenses, solid bodies, rectangular shapes. Really good for getting into S8, while still giving a lot of control. You can set your exposure manually, you have a variable shutter, and you can shoot at different speeds. I still love my 814E...

Recently I bought a Beaulieu 4008 ZMII though. Why? Because of a lot of things. First, I wanted interchangeable lenses. You can get adapters for the c-mount and use SLR lenses on the Beaulieu. Imagine using a 200mm lens with the Beaulieu, that's like having an 800mm on a still 35mm camera! Second, the lens it comes with is really nice (The Schneider f/1.8 6-66mm that is...). Sometimes the Beaulieu is sold with other lenses, you want the Schneider though. Third, it shoots up to 70fps, giving really nice slow motions.

So it depends, the learning curve is definitely steeper on Beaulieus, and you'll waste a couple of cartridges experimenting with them in the beginning if you're new to S8. The Canon's are much more straightforward to use, you'll be shooting nice footage quicker...
  • 0

#7 Raul C Palma

Raul C Palma
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Other

Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:30 PM

A little cheap camera could be the Minolta 401 or 601 these cameras are compact, manual and auto exposure, and both models have time lapse capabilities which I think is a cool feature to play around with. You can find these cameras on e-bay fairly cheap. These are not the best super 8 just starting point?

I do agree if you are able to get your hands on a Canon 518, 814 Electronic or 1014 Electronic you will get a great starting camera.

If you search this forum you will find a ton of information on the top S8 cameras my personal favorites are:

Nikon R10 ? great glass
Canon 1014 XLS
Beaulieu 4002 ZMII

In regards to books I think that a great starting point would be:

Independent Film Making by Lipton, Lenny

You can pick this up from an Amazon seller for about $3.00 USD.

And the best way to learn is to shoot, shoot and shoot?of course take lots of notes?.

Good luck and enjoy.
  • 0

#8 Kevin Olmsted

Kevin Olmsted
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Producer

Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:03 AM

I'm an amatuer Super 8 enthusiast. I prefer silent Bauer cameras for their overall good portability, ergonomics, durability and better-than-average lenses. One could expect to pay at least $100 for a decent model.

You seemed to indicate you want a decent camera at a decent price to 'test the waters' of Super 8 filmmaking. After all, it may not be your cup of tea, so you wouldn't want it to be a huge waste of money. In that case a Bauer, Canon 814 & 1014 and especially Beaulieus might not be right for you as a first-time camera unless you know your going to be serious about it.

I don't think that Canon 814's, 1014's or just about any Beaulieu are good 'starter' cameras. In the world of Super 8, I would say those models represent some of the highest-end of Super 8 cameras along with a select few Nizos and Bauers. I doubt any of those will run you any less that $250-300. Some can climb past $700.

I agree that the Canon 310 is a good starter. You might even be able to grab a Canon 512 or 514 at a respectable price. Older Bauers (the "C" models) can also be had at good prices on ebay. I suggest looking at super8wiki.com for a good list of cameras and their features. Also super8arena.com and super8camera-shop.com are both European sellers of CLA'd Super 8 cameras and that can also give you good price/features comparison. I've bought from both of them with no problems. Their prices are a bit higher than average eBay prices, but offer a different quality of camera.

If your fishing on eBay for a starter be aware of the the more low-end consumer models: Sears, JC Penny, Bell + Howell, Argus, Bentley, Kodak, AGFA, Eumig (the Viennettes are nice) and Technicolor are some. These are the cameras that might be below your 'starter' level as they lack a lot of features you, as an experienced photographer, might want. Mind you, though, none of those cameras are awful. They do their job, nothing more.

Hope my information is useful!
  • 0

#9 Greg Traw

Greg Traw
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Director

Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:00 PM

I have an idea... Buy an HD or DV camcorder put the "old film" filter over the video and say you're shooting film. :(
  • 0

#10 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:36 PM

I have an idea... Buy an HD or DV camcorder put the "old film" filter over the video and say you're shooting film. :(

Greg, please don't insult the Super 8 medium by saying something like that. I spent, after recovering part of the cost of the camera and excess film, about $1,000 on a 5 minute short on Super 8. If it was as easy as shooting miniDV and putting a "filter" on it, I wouldn't have done that. Truth is, nothing in this world looks even remotely close to Super 8. It is a remarkable medium because of that unique look. It has a look that many describe as "ageless." Filming modern day things with Super 8 is phenominal because it gives your mind this strange paradox between an archaic look with modern visuals. You really have to appreciate Super 8 to want to spend the money and time getting results with it. I happen to be a very avid Super 8 shooter and I'm one of the Super 8 "die-hards" on this site along with (sorry if I forget anyone): Alessandro Malfati, Alessandro Machi, Michael Lehnert, Andy Alderslade, Will Montgomery, Matthew Buick, Nate Downes, Rick Palidwor, Charles Doran, Mitch Perkins, and Scot McPhee are probably about the most avid on here. I doubt they would agree with the "filter" idea either.
  • 0

#11 Jim Exton

Jim Exton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
  • Director

Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:55 AM

I think you should really look out for an Elmo 1012S-XL. These are really good cameras, very quiet, comparable to the more expensive Beaulieus and Canon 1014XLS.

The Beaulieus theoretically need more tender loving care. The Canon fetches premium prices.

Although the Elmo is a bit on the heavy side, it is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.

And you can usually pick them up on Ebay for around $250-$300.
  • 0

#12 Richardson Leao

Richardson Leao
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • Other
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 27 August 2008 - 04:32 AM

I think you should really look out for an Elmo 1012S-XL. These are really good cameras, very quiet, comparable to the more expensive Beaulieus and Canon 1014XLS.

The Beaulieus theoretically need more tender loving care. The Canon fetches premium prices.

Although the Elmo is a bit on the heavy side, it is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.

And you can usually pick them up on Ebay for around $250-$300.


don't forget the canon 814, it has almost everything of the 1014 but it's much lighter. Also, I am very happy with my Nizo S560

I also think that a camera with manual exposure option, a good sharp lens and different fps is a good learning tool, as it opens the way for understanding the principles of other formats (16 or 35). Don't forget to get a cheap lightmeter too.

Edited by Richardson Leao, 27 August 2008 - 04:35 AM.

  • 0

#13 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:02 PM

I think you should really look out for an Elmo 1012S-XL. These are really good cameras, very quiet, comparable to the more expensive Beaulieus and Canon 1014XLS.

The Beaulieus theoretically need more tender loving care. The Canon fetches premium prices.

Although the Elmo is a bit on the heavy side, it is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.

And you can usually pick them up on Ebay for around $250-$300.


I would recommend this as well. I recently shot a short film with this camera. My FedEX tracking tells me I'm *supposed* to received my transfered footage back today and, if I do, I will post a thread showing some screenshots so you can see what this camera can do with Kodak Ektachrome 64T film. I can probably answer most questions you have about the idiosyncrasies of this camera as well. I personally liked the heaviness of the camera since it helped with tripod work and pans, tilts, etc. I would NOT recommend this camera for handheld unless you are the Incredible Hulk. One handing this thing will get tiring real quick. The lens is actually pretty sharp IMHO.
  • 0

#14 Matt Pacini

Matt Pacini
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1246 posts

Posted 28 August 2008 - 06:50 PM

I've shot on almost all of the good high end S8 cameras, (I shot a feature on Super 8, as some of you here know).

In my opinion, the overall best camera, for image quality, features, etc., is the Nikon R-10.

My other top pics are the Bauer 715XL-s, the Canon 1014XL-s, and the Nizo 6080.

The Nizo 6080 is the ONLY quiet S8 camera that's decent.
ALL others (including the other Nizos) are really noisy.

Matt Pacini
  • 0

#15 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:18 PM

The Nizo 6080 is the ONLY quiet S8 camera that's decent...
Matt Pacini


Matt, you are making a loaded statement to tempt me to debate you. I think that myself and others here who have shot with the Elmo 1012S-XL would say that it is definitely a "decent" camera and it's quiet. It's not as quiet as the 6080 but it's definitely quiet enough for sync dialog if you use a good super cardioid mic for isolating close sound from far off hiss. I did tight indoor work and I've already reviewed the audio and there is no camera noise at all on the track. I reviewed the film back before I sent it out for transfer and the frames are sharp so the Elmo lens must be pretty sharp. Granted I was using 64t which is a fined grain, slow stock. Honestly, I would rate the Elmo 1012S-XL as an overall superior camera to the Nizo 6080 for a variety of reasons. One of which is the Nizo having the "weak motor" problem which made it ineligible for conversion of the Beaulieu 200 magdrive. Also, the Elmo would hold up much better on a rigorous shoot where camera damage is possible. That camera is stout and could no doubt survive some hits and dings. The Nizo, I wouldn't bet on it. I think the glass on the Elmo is as sharp as the Nizo also. Many think this is blasphemy because some people have the ridiclous notion that "German engineering" is always superior to the "Japanozoom" variety. This is totally wrong and I'm glad most believe it because I pick up great deals on great cameras. I know you don't feel that way since you like the Nikon R-10. Ok, I'll stop now because I'm writing a book.
  • 0

#16 Alessandro Malfatti

Alessandro Malfatti
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts
  • Other
  • Barcelona, Spain

Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:24 PM

It's OT, but I've got to tell you guys, Super8 cameras are way overpriced in the US, I got my Nizo for 25 euros, and I had the possibility of getting a 6080 for 35 and just recently saw a R-10 for 150. You should really double-check where you're going to buy your camera, even if it means getting it all the way from Europe like I did, it might be worth it.
  • 0

#17 Super8Guy

Super8Guy

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Southern California USA

Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:50 PM

Canon 1014XL-S
http://Super8Guy.com
  • 0

#18 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:30 AM

The original poster of this topic said they were a photographer so they would most likely appreciate manual exposure and also be able to discern the difference between adequate sharpness and contrast versus excellent sharpness and contrast.
I have obtained great results with the Canon 1014XLS and the Leicina Special.
With the cost of film stock, development and transfer being what it is, it is a wise move to start with a very good camera.
Make sure it is in perfect condition because repair personnel and spare parts for super8 cameras are rare and therefore expensive.
  • 0

#19 Super8Guy

Super8Guy

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Southern California USA

Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:34 PM

Canon 1014XL-S repair

In Southern California.

Ron - previously at UT Photo.
Now he works at his own shop.
He has repaired my Canon 1014XL-Cameras.
Good work.
He can make it run - often
He can repair the eyepiece dial

1. Ron - in Southern California
c/o Pat Singh Projectors
7712 Oak Park Ave Van Nuys CA 91406
Star 82 ? 818 996-9238 ? Cell 818- 359-0945


Film Stock - Processing - Telecine
Good Work:

Spectra Film & Video
10182 Magnolia Blvd ? North Hollywood CA 91601
Super 8 Film Stock ~ Film Lab ~ Telecine
Tel: 818-762-4545 Fax: 818-762-5454
email: sales@spectrafilmandvideo.com |
site: http://SpectraFilmAndVideo.com/ ~
  • 0

#20 Richard Tuohy

Richard Tuohy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 482 posts
  • Other
  • Daylesford, Australia

Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:09 AM

Ron - previously at UT Photo.
Now he works at his own shop.
He has repaired my Canon 1014XL-Cameras.
Good work.
He can make it run - often
He can repair the eyepiece dial


This is poetry ...
  • 0


Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Technodolly

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

The Slider

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Willys Widgets