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This model now obsolete? and another newbie question


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#1 Gabriel Kellett

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:09 PM

Hello everyone, I'm a fledging director currently working on my first short, which will have one scene shot on Super 8.

I have a friend who is lending me an Argus 802, but on looking up its specifications here I see that under 'film speed' it says "auto for 25/40 ASA only (tungsten/daylight)". Apologies if this is a really stupid question, but does this mean that it won't take Ektachrome 100D (which is the stock I'd be using) and is therefore basically obsolete? I'm hoping I can also get a Braun Nizo (don't know exact model yet) off someone else, should I pin my hopes on that instead?

Also, I'm planning to shoot a test reel in different light conditions and so on; this will be mostly in daylight, but probably a little indoors as well. Do you think the inbuilt filters on either of those cameras would work OK for moving from daylight to tungsten, or will I need an external filter?

Many thanks for your help,

Gabriel
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#2 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 03:59 PM

This very early 1960s ARGUS 802 does not have manual exposure control. So, it's very limited, without doing some modification so the AutoExposure Light Meter will read ISO/ASA 100 correctly (which may not be easily doable, and would also be dependant on the metering circuitry working correctly prior to modification). The ONLY way you can use this camera as is, with EKTACHROME 100 Daylight is to shoot with it in lower light levels where the exposure would be correct, with the lens aperture FULLY OPEN and the FILTER set for TUNGSTEN (or out of the lens path...since EK100D is Daylight balanced and that filter was intended for Tungsten Color films which back in the day when it was made, was KODACHROME-IIA. To know what that would be, you'd have to meter separately and get an exposure reading close to 1/36th Second Shutter exposure at F/1.8. Since those parameters of exposure would most likely be very early or late in the day, or in deep shade, or on a very dark and gloomy overcast day..........it leaves you with very little options for using it.

So, my recommendation (and that of everyone else here more than likely) would be to locate another camera to use. You can find all kinds of bargains on eBay. Also there in the UK, you've got so many Carboot Sales going on every weekend...so hunt around...and bring fresh Double A batteries to try out whichever ones you find. That notwithstanding, borrow a better camera if possible. But I'm all for the buy one for yourself option. CHINON made so many cameras, under their own name, and also under store brand names such as GAF, REVUE, PORST, BOOTS, SEARS, WARDS, FOCAL and others. They usually sell for very cheap, yet are respectable cameras. The GAF ST-xxx series are very good, with the ST-101, ST-111, ST-111E, ST-602, ST-802 being very good.....the latter two versions also run at 24fps (if that's important to your needs). I have seen these sell on eBay well under $50, and even as low as $5 sometimes. It's a gamble since very often the seller claims ignorance....but I have purchased several over the years and have always coaxed them to life for use. Even if the meters don't work, these Chinon made cameras often have Manual Exposure setting.....independant of electrical power; very important feature.

Anyhow, good luck and hope you sort something out!
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#3 Gabriel Kellett

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:00 AM

Thanks Martin, that pretty much confirms what I suspected, that it would at least be an impractical combination. Nevertheless, since the scene I'm shooting would be very early in the day, in a location with a fair bit of shade, and the weather here has been unseasonably (?) gloomy lately, I may still shoot a test roll with the Argus and see how it turns out. Therefore, I have a couple of other follow-up questions:

1) Is there any particular (reasonably inexpensive if possible) light meter you would recommend for this purpose?

2) The filter switch on this camera is labelled 'in' and 'out' - presumably 'in' means it's set for tungsten?

Many thanks again :)
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