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Were to buy a camera


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#1 Jake Smith

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:54 PM

I've found many cameras listed on ebay, and they all have varying degrees of information about them. Is it better to take a chance on a cheap ebay camera or to pay more for one that has been tested and I know works?

 

I assume the camera isn't that complicated, so there isn't THAT MUCH that can be wrong, but obviously it only takes one thing being broken to mess it all up. 

 

What do you all do?


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:25 PM

Link the listings. This is a case-by-case basis.


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#3 Roger Haney

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:34 PM

Fortunately, all of the cameras I have bought off of eBay have worked to some degree. I would check with the seller to see if they have put batteries in and run the motor. A lot of these cameras have had the battery contacts eaten/corroded from leaking batteries. Ask about that. The best cameras are Nikon R8/10, Beaulieus, Canons, Nizos. Other good cameras are Chinon, Bolex, Elmo, Sankyo, Yashica. Dont buy expensive cameras without assurance from the seller that all of the functions work(not necessarily proving it by shooting film). At the very least make sure the motor runs. You can get by with an external light meter; if the internal meter doesnt work. If the lens doesnt have an aperture ring; you need to make sure the auto-iris works.
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#4 Doug Palmer

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 03:37 AM

Ebay is somewhat a gamble I think for S.8 cameras.  There are plenty of things that can be imperfect with the actual film result,  that are not apparent when you first try out the camera. I would always buy from a reputable dealer or private person who has recently used the camera.  Five or ten years ago isn't good enough as things can go wrong with what are in effect antiques now, left in an attic.


Edited by Doug Palmer, 10 August 2018 - 03:41 AM.

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#5 charles pappas

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:34 AM

I recently acquired a very solid Canon 814 Auto-Zoom. I have almost finished running a cartridge of Tri-X though it and all the functions appear to be in order.

 

I will send out and should get the film back from Spectra in two-three weeks and will post here when it goes for sale (and try very hard not to keep it).


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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 01:56 PM

Jake, you can buy cameras from camera technicians. All of them have a number of models wrapped up against dust. We techs know what we do and what you can do with a given model. To be quite frank, I sometimes purchase via ebay but I almost always make contact with the seller, ask questions, deliberate about a deal. The cameras I sell come with a three years warranty, effective since August 1st, 2018. Guess that’s worth something.


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#7 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 02:25 PM

I've had very good results with eBay but also I make sure they look halfway decent and hopefully have at least had battery tested. I even snagged a 814XL-S (worth like ~$500) for $50 with a corroded battery pack. Vinegar and Q-tips cleaned it right up and now I have a solid beast for cheap! I've bought probably 10 cameras off eBay and all have worked (except for the one I intentionally bought broken as a parts camera). I did have to fix one that got the mirror dislodged in shipping but it was an easy fix. I'd say if it's under $50 and a decent camera like mentioned above, definitely buy it, if it's $100... maybe! and over that... up to you.


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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:57 AM

Keep in mind that many of the later-made inexpensive Super 8 cameras had plastic gears that may work at the moment but will undoubtedly fail soon. Some of the older ones are built more like tanks and are worth considering.


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#9 Jake Smith

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:21 PM

Thanks for the help everyone! I found a camera for a price I liked, and I believed everything would be working well. When it arrived the switch that sets exposure is broken! I can kind of fuss with it to change the f stop, but it's annoying. Any advice?


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#10 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:02 AM

Well depending on how much control you really want, most Super 8 cameras will work fine in auto-exposure (if that's what you mean by exposure switch). Perhaps link a photo?


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#11 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:56 AM

Jake, you can buy cameras from camera technicians. All of them have a number of models wrapped up against dust. We techs know what we do and what you can do with a given model. To be quite frank, I sometimes purchase via ebay but I almost always make contact with the seller, ask questions, deliberate about a deal. The cameras I sell come with a three years warranty, effective since August 1st, 2018. Guess that’s worth something.

 

i agree with simon. i also got two cameras on ebay, a bolex D8 and a canon DS8 and both are working BUT...i think it depends on the situation what you want to do. if you are on a serious aproach, then i highly recomend buying from a professional technician (like simon is!! he lives just 30min. from my place and i know him personally and can warmly recomend him. he knows what he is doing)

i also just recently bought a Arri SR2 but this was from a production company who had their cameras maintenanced by arri in munich, germany. this will be used for serious projects like music videos, shorts etc... as i use the other cameras just for hobby easy peasy stuff :)


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#12 Timothy Fransky

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:52 PM

I would ask around the family to start with. Someone is bound to have one in a closet or drawer somewhere. These are usually the consumer grade cameras from the 70s and 80s.

Barring that, get out to yard sales, second hand shops, antique sales, etc. My brother found an Elmo Super 106 for me at a yard sale on his block for $30.
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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 05:19 PM

Grandparents' garage or attic.


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