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Kodak M-6 Camera- What film should I use?


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#1 Andrew Webster

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:20 PM

I recently bought a Kodak M-6 Camera, it takes 8mm cartridges, does anyone have any recommended film for outdoor color shooting? Where can I get it?

Will this camera self-meter?

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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 01:46 PM

I recently bought a Kodak M-6 Camera, it takes 8mm cartridges, does anyone have any recommended film for outdoor color shooting? Where can I get it?


Try to check the camera out, those have a bit of a reputation for the gears to get broken over the years.

The were designed to use Kodachrome 40 - now rare and only processable until the end of this year. the modern reeversal film is ektachrome 100, which will require a ND filter on the lens. You should be able to get the ektachrome from Kodak, or dealers like "international Film"

Edited by Charles MacDonald, 17 July 2010 - 01:46 PM.

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#3 Andrew Webster

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:20 AM

Try to check the camera out, those have a bit of a reputation for the gears to get broken over the years.

The were designed to use Kodachrome 40 - now rare and only processable until the end of this year. the modern reeversal film is ektachrome 100, which will require a ND filter on the lens. You should be able to get the ektachrome from Kodak, or dealers like "international Film"

Thanks for the info, will the Ektachrome 100 come already packed in the cartridges? In other words if I get the Ektachrome 100 from http://www.myoldcamera.com/Film.html, will it fit right into the M-6 camera? Also, do you think I will be able to find an ND filter that will fit an M6? or do I have rig it to fit?
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#4 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:51 PM

to find an nd filter that will fit, you simply need to know the filter thread size of the lens. It can be easiest to take the camera in to a photography shop to test filter sizes. Yes, the 100d comes in a cartridge ready to simply pop inside the camera. You would need a one and 1/3rd stop n.d. That might be called a '.4' I don't think that camera has a filter switch (does it?). If not, it probably has a filter key or filter screw. This will need to be inserted (or impovised if you don't have the original item).
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#5 Jim Carlile

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:34 AM

The M6 is part of the Kodak M2-M4 series, so it should be OK to use-- those cameras have the old gear material but with far fewer and larger teeth, so they aren't prone to the same cheese-gear syndrome as the M22's, etc. That means it should meter the same as the M4, which can read ASA 40T/25D and 100T/64D films.

This same question came up a few months ago with 100D, and although there are several ways you can tweak it around, the best way is to insert the cartridge and also insert the metal key on top of the camera.

The cartridge will set the meter to ASA 64 without the internal 85 filter-- which is the SMPTE protocol for daylight cartridges-- and the key will further retract a metal shield, which fully opens up the meter's light path to match an ASA 100 setting.

BTW, the early 1964 M-series cameras were designed to use a planned ASA 100 'high-speed' film, which never materialized in the end.
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#6 Andrew Webster

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:40 AM

The M6 is part of the Kodak M2-M4 series, so it should be OK to use-- those cameras have the old gear material but with far fewer and larger teeth, so they aren't prone to the same cheese-gear syndrome as the M22's, etc. That means it should meter the same as the M4, which can read ASA 40T/25D and 100T/64D films.

This same question came up a few months ago with 100D, and although there are several ways you can tweak it around, the best way is to insert the cartridge and also insert the metal key on top of the camera.

The cartridge will set the meter to ASA 64 without the internal 85 filter-- which is the SMPTE protocol for daylight cartridges-- and the key will further retract a metal shield, which fully opens up the meter's light path to match an ASA 100 setting.

BTW, the early 1964 M-series cameras were designed to use a planned ASA 100 'high-speed' film, which never materialized in the end.


What is the metal key? Does it come with the film? or is it part of the camera?
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#7 Jim Carlile

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:59 AM

There's a metal key that fits into a slot at the top of the camera-- it looks kind of like a big lift-off tab on a soft drink can. The idea is that it's normally used for shooting tungsten film indoors, like Kodachrome, where you don't need the internal filter. Later cameras had a slide switch to do this-- the early ones had a key.

What's happening is that when you take the key out, you're set for outdoor filming with an 85 correction filter; put it in and you can use the same film indoors without the filter.

So inserting the key pulls out the internal 85 filter, and at the same time it also sets the exposure meter to the indoor filter-less ASA rating, which would be either 40 or 100 in those cameras. It does this by retracting a little metal shield inside, which is not retracted by the notchless daylight cartridge alone.

What you're basically doing is tricking these cameras to meter at ASA 100 without the internal 85 filter in the way, when they were designed to only do this at ASA 64, which would be the normal "daylight" film speed for that odd speed-notch size. If you don't insert the key then what will happen is that the E100D daylight cartridge will set the meter to ASA 64.

If you don't have the key, then you can push a small screwdriver into the slot to toggle it back and forth.

BTW, those early Kodaks are unusual in their design. This method works only with the M4 and M6. The M2 has no meter-- it's manual exposure all the way.

Edited by Jim Carlile, 22 July 2010 - 03:00 AM.

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#8 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:24 AM

BTW, those early Kodaks are unusual in their design. This method works only with the M4 and M6. The M2 has no meter-- it's manual exposure all the way.


Kodak's Apparatus division had very inventive engineers. They were always trying to design Cameras that were good enough to keep the users happy, while still being inexpensive to make, and standing up to the normal consumers lack of care.

The result was that most Kodak Cameras (Still and movie) are "different" from the ones made by their competitors.

Out of High School, I sold Cameras for a couple of years and was always slightly relived when a customer bought a Kodak, as I could expect to get photofinishing buisness and few complaits from them. Someone who bought even a simple 35mm camera would be less likly to be happy with their results. (The Olympus Trip 35 being an exception as a easy to use rugged camera)

Almost any part in a Kodak Camera does at least three functions, but most of the Cameras will happily sit in a drawer for 20 Years and still take pictures as good as new. (This does not apply to those plastic gears of course) I have Kodak Still Cameras from the 1940's that still work fine.
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#9 Andrew Webster

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:45 AM

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Here is the right side view of the same camera I have, there is a 1.25" long slot on top, behind the lens, and to the right of the center line (just above the Kodak logo). there is no metal key in it. There is the knob, on the right side, just in front of where the film cartridge would end when inserted, it has two settings. I do not know what this does, but it is right in front of where the shutter mechanism is located inside the film cartridge space. Could this knob be the filter mechanism? or is the slot on top the keyslot you were referring to? I don't think a screwdriver will fit into the slot.
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