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Need a super 8 camera, $500 budget, what should I get?

Anthony Sneed

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I have a budget of roughly $500. I'm trying to get a good solid super 8 camera and each one I look at, I come and do research (mostly here) and people are saying they are having problems with them, so I'm a bit weary of just buying any old one off eBay.


Does anyone have any good recommendations on where I should start? Old home movie's is the look I'm going for so I don't necessarily need it to be state of the art.



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I would either buy a Canon 814 AZ and have pro8mm rebuild it. You can usually get a good one on ebay for under $100 and get a complete rebuild from them for $500.


Or buy one of their pro814s for 700.


Refurbed is definitely your best bet for immediate and long term reliability.


I would stay away from Rhonda cam as its only capable of 18fps. Look for 24fps.


You can also have spectra rebuild you one ti spec.

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Russian Quarz 1x8S-2 camera.

Small size, small weight.

mechanical, spring motor.

Zoom lens.

manual and auto aperture control ( ask battery ).

Without batttery work mechanical aperture control.

High light viewfinder.

Cheap and high quality camera.


The technical details on my web pages.




As of my opinion, Quarz 1x8S-2 better from Canon 814.


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Pro8's horrific reputation is well known here. Anyone who wishes to do business with them is playing with fire.


I know someone who had their Canon 1014 XL-S' gate widened. The problem was, it wasn't done correctly and so the film was being scratched as it was run. Pro8 refused to fix it.


Contact Tom at http://filmmaker8.com/Home.html


He likely has a variety of cameras in stock. I bought a Canon 1014 XL-S from him and it's a keeper. He's extremely customer service oriented.


You can also try Spectra.

Edited by Matt Stevens
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That sounds great. What do you think about a

beaulieu 6008? Someone offered me one on the forum looks like a good camera


Careful with the Beaulieu cameras. They are some of the best cameras every made, but also some of the most fragile and maintenance needy machines. Also, if you decide to go the Beaulieu route, I'd stick more with the 4008 or 2008 series of cameras. I bit more simple and easy to work with.

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DO NOT buy from Pro8. You can get a tip top Nikon R10 or Canon 1014 XL-S at your price range from any number of trusted dealers.


Pro8mm definitely has issues from time to time. I too have had problems with them. But, more often than not, they are dependable and easy to work with. At least, that has been my experience. I have been shooting with a Pro814 for about 6 months now and it's fantastic. I also have a 1014 XL-S that I love. However, it needs a once-over by someone. It doesn't like to play with Spectra's Velvia 50D carts. It immediately says "END". It's probably a take-up-torque issue.

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Right now here's what's on my radar:


Beaulieu 6008 Pro camera with Angenieux F1.2 / T1.4 6-80mm with LCU, 16x9 markings on the ground glass, 24 quartz module and carrying case. originally purchased serviced by Bkorn Andersson. (Also offered one without the LCU as well)



Beaulieu 4008 or 5008







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If you invest in a Super 8 camera, you should make sure that it is a camera that can be repaired.


The tech that Spectra refers customers to, reviews some of the better Super 8 brand here:



I really like my Nikon R10.

Also Bolex and Eumig(another quality brand) Super 8 cameras can still be repaired by Bolex in Switzerland.

www.bolex.ch 16mm and Super 16 Bolex equipments, 8mm and Super 8 repair service

Edited by Richard Hadfield
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That Beaulieu on ebay is "broken". You can see that the backing of the cartridge port has come loose and exposed some of the circuitry and covered over the take-up gear. It probably just needs to be moved back into place, but it's not in the right spot for some unknown reason.


If you want to avoid Pro8mm, I would definitely go with Willard. Good reputation and appears to be good work. The prices are right too. His "what cameras to buy" pages very informative.


Duall I'm sure is good, but very pricey.


There is NO reason to spend $1000 on a Super 8 camera these days. You should definitely be able to do it closer to $500. If anything, but two very good Super 8 cameras for $500 each in case one breaks when you need it most. 30+ year-old technology tends to do that. :)


I'd find a decent Canon or Nizo on ebay and have it refurbed.

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I see Dual is selling Canon 814 AZs for $450 completely "refurbed". Sounds like a decent deal to me. They swear to stand behind them.


Reburbed or not, I would get an external 85 filter and not use the internal one. Basically, always keep it in tungsten mode whether inside or out with tungsten or daylight film. Just make sure you take the filter on and off.

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Expensive for a Super. I wouldn't go above $100 for one personally. There are a lot of them out there much cheaper.

If you're really just looking for an old home movie look, just buy a cheap old home movie camera. That's how people got that look in the first place. Stick to slow films. Velvia 50, Vision3 50 should work in almost anything. Tri-X 200 will work in almost anything. The Velvia and Tri-X can be projected.


Roll the dice on a cheap cheap camera, and shoot a test roll of Tri-X. If you've got access to a projector, the test roll will cost about $35, with developing.

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