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Canon Zoom 8 stuck in single frame mode


Patrick Cooper

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I have a regular 8mm movie camera - the Canon Zoom 8 (purchased via eBay.) Ive wound it up but no matter what frame rate I select, it seems to be stuck in single frame mode. 

At 1:29 in this video, it's pointed out that the silver switch directly  below the threaded cable release socket is the single frame lever. And supposedly, the switch below that is the shutter release.

But on my copy of the camera, the top silver switch (below the cable release socket) seems to be a run / lock switch. The top position allows film to be exposed and the bottom position is clearly for locking (no film can be exposed with the switched pulled down.) Though each time I push the shutter release below that switch, it sounds like the camera is firing a single shot (ie single frame mode.) Holding the switch down for a few seconds makes no difference. I also screwed in a cable release and that activates single frame shooting also. 

I just can't seem to work out how to use the regular frame rates with this camera. The main reason why I bought the Canon Zoom 8 was because of the 64 fps capacity. Though obviously, I wouldn't run it at that speed with no film inside. 

 

 

 

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Ive worked out the problem. Looks like that top switch isn't a run / lock switch. I assumed it was because when it's set to the bottom  position, nothing happens when I press the shutter release. Though after some more experimenting, I left that switch in the bottom position and decided to press the shutter release in the opposite direction to what I was pushing it before (down instead of up.) Now the camera purrs like a kitten. All good.

I'll have to search for an online manual to work how to set the asa / frame rate for the light meter. And grab a battery too at some point. I admit Ive no idea about the state of regular 8 film production these days. 

 

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BTW: There are at least three slightly different springwound models and one battery-operated made between 1959 and 1962  which one do you own?

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/camera.html?s=cine&s2=8mmcam
 

At least the manual of the battery operated model is available for free on the internet. It might be close enough to your model:

https://archive.org/details/central-manuals-camcorder_canon_EEE_Motor_Zoom_8.pdf/

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Posted (edited)

I believe the camera is this one (just like in the video that I linked above.)

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/cine255.html

And I see from those online stores that regular 8mm film is insanely expensive! I think I would be shooting very little of it with those prices. Then again, the run times would likely be more than double that of 16mm so I guess that's a plus.

Out of curiosity, would it be straight forward to work out the exposure time for each of the filming speeds that this camera offers? I am particularly interested in the exposure duration for 64fps. I admit I mainly bought the camera for the 64fps frame rate. Ive changed my mind about hunting down a battery for the internal light meter. Due to the age of the camera, there's a fair chance that the meter may not be accurate anymore. I'll use a separate meter for light readings. 

 

 

 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
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For 64fps, the exposure duration would clearly be higher than 1/100th but not that much higher. 

I did have an old copy of one of the American Cinematography Manuals with a section on frame rates and adjusting your exposure but I haven't see that book around for a long time.

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Posted (edited)

The shutter speeds are proportional. From that table, at 64pps it would be a quarter of the speed at 16, so 1/140th. Also from the table, the shutter angle is evidently 165 degrees, so working back, the shutterspeed is the usual formula s = 1/((360/165)r), where s is the shutter speed and r the frame rate.

 

Edited by Mark Dunn
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

 

I believe the camera is this one (just like in the video that I linked above.)

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/cine255.html

 

The video features the „zoom 8-2“ (=the second springwound model), while the link to Canon‘s museum leads to the page about the first model.

269263BF-9401-4A39-BB68-2F251349D0F0.jpeg

Edited by Joerg Polzfusz
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8 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

Out of curiosity, would it be straight forward to work out the exposure time for each of the filming speeds that this camera offers?

Simply look into the manual that I have linked above. 😉

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Thanks again for the link to the manual. It's very difficult for me to read the exposure durations for the individual running speeds in the online manual because I can't currently use my reading glasses. Ive returned from surgery on my nose (removing a cancer) and there is so much blood and stuff on my nose and severe swelling nearby (under my right eye.) 

I can read the text on this forum okay (with a little difficulty) but those exposure durations in the manual are a little too small for me.

Mark, thanks. My maths isn't the greatest.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Joerg Polzfusz said:

The video features the „zoom 8-2“ (=the second springwound model), while the link to Canon‘s museum leads to the page about the first model.

269263BF-9401-4A39-BB68-2F251349D0F0.jpeg

The light meter above the lens on the camera in the video has a greater resemblance to my camera and the one I linked to in the Canon Museum. The light meter on the Zoom 8-2 model in the picture in the Museum looks quite different to my eyes. Then again, that part of the camera is in shadow in that picture  so it is hard to make it out. 

Though I guess mine must be the first model in that series because I don't see a "2" or any other number in the model name on my camera. 

 

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