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New to Super 8

Brian Foxx

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I'm new to the forum, but I have made several student films before... I have a question, I want to try and experiment with a Super 8 camera. I don't have any idea what are the best Super 8's out there, but I would like something with an alright zoom, cheap (under $70), and that records good audio... Does anybody know of any cameras in that description?



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No Super8 cams are capable of audio anymore since sound film isnt made or processed. You will have to record audio separately.


My favorite camera was always the Elmo 1012S-XL. It has 24 fps option (which you want for sound and cinema look), nice zoom, 1 fps option, and is fairly quiet if you find one in good shape. They are far cheaper, generally, than the other "great" Super 8 cams like the Beaulieu 4008/5008/6008/etc or Leicina Special, or even the Canon 1014.


That is my recommendation on the cheap. Won't find better bang for your buck for S8.

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Another option is this one, the Elmo 612. It is the same as the 1012s-xl except it doesnt have the long zoom. Awesome camera for the price and the red-headed stepchild so its cheaper.


I would grab this ASAP if I were you.




Good luck

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Talking price about super 8 cameras is a little tricky. Sure, some cameras are well known and always fetch hundreds of dollars - certain Canons, Nikons, Beaulieu etc. And there are definitely people out there who will put an outlandish price tag on a not-so-good camera they are trying to sell because they know other super 8's have gone for lots of dough or they're trying to cash in on the cachet of "vintage cool" or something.


However, if you keep your eye out you can still find good cameras for not a whole lot. Most of mine I paid less than $50 for. One Bolex was free. Another late model and very feature-laden Chinon was $10.


Generally, this is what I look for: Good glass (no fungus), manual exposure option, 24 fps, light meter that doesn't require mercury vapor batteries, and clean battery and cartridge compartments. Test it with batteries and make sure it doesn't squeak or grind when operated. Of course, I'm always willing to sacrifice one or two of these options depending on the camera (Unless you're talking fungus. Stay away from fungus). It just depends.


http://super8wiki.com/index.php/Main_Page is a great resource for specific camera info.

Edited by Stewart McLain
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I still have a fondness for Super 8. Not so much because of the price because it is still expensive (film+process+transfer) but the easy loading, in daylight no less. Shooting 16 and 35 is so "scary" because you have to worry about anything and everything. S8 is more like pop in the cartridge and get some footage.

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