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Nikon x8 Super Zoom Shutterless Mod - Pictures?

Max Durayappah-Harrison

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Hello all,


I was recently lucky enough to acquire a Canon 1014xl-s from my father-in-law (he'd had it since 1981 and only used it once!) and have shot a couple of cartridges on it, which came out great. I'm a bit of a tinkerer though and on having such a good experience with the Canon I decided I'd like a less valuable model that I can afford to be a little more aggressively investigative with. In light of this, last week I bought a Nikon 8x Super Zoom.


As I got the Nikon very cheap, I've decided I might like to do the shutterless modification on it that is described on the Super 8 wiki. I'm hoping this will give me a more tactile appreciation for the internal workings of a Super 8 camera, add an interesting feature I can experiment with, and generally satisfy my occasionally calamitous interest in taking things apart and (90% of the time) putting them back together again.


In respect to this, I was wondering if anyone who has done the mod would be willing to temporally reverse engineer it, post pictures and also a fuller description (a lot to ask, I know). What confuses me in particular about the wiki description is that it seems to split the operation in two (the repair section also mentions shutter removal), which has left me unsure if both are necessary or if using either one has the same effect. In addition, the line “access the main drive gear, and "brake" it with your finger as you shoot>> 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0fps” is not entirely clear to me. The combination of the word "finger" with "drive gear" fills my mind with images of gushing blood. Any elaboration on that would be appreciated.


Thank you for any insight you might be able to provide. This forum has proved an invaluable source of information during these initial fumblings I’m making into the Super 8 format.


Wiki entry:



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To be honest I'm not entirely sure how you'd meter for it. I guess it's something to experiment with on a test roll, setting the exposure to auto and then switching to manual to perhaps increase the f-stop? Regarding your question about wedding receptions, I found this written on the Filmshooting forum:


"I use it to shoot weddings on Tri-X for a local production company. In low-light situations where I would otherwise be unable to capture any usable image at all, the shutterless comes through. The bride's white dress, *in effect* flashes her face, removing darkness from around the eyes - very important in this case. There are still blacks in the image".

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Shutterless means exposure is permanent. Even while the film is transported. When it is running is remains in front of the gate or is yanked past it. Which causes still images with streaks from the highlights. With 18 fps the total exposure per frame is almost 1/18. Use a meter to find the aperture :)

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So on that same logic, 1/24th at 24fps...I assume. I wonder if I dare to try this at my next wedding... It seems like it would really only give me one extra stop. Still not exactly allowing me to shoot at receptions...

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  • 2 weeks later...

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