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New Kodak Super 8 Camera


Gary Lemson
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According to the Kodak CES video stream the price of the limited edition Kodak camera that'll be available this Spring is going to be $2000 USD. Standard edition pricing and other details are going to be announced later.

 

EDIT: Nick was a bit faster than me! :)

Edited by Heikki Repo
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Yeah, that's about 4x what I was expecting the price to be. It's a crystal sync super 8 camera, so that's great, but they also mentioned only 4 film speeds, 18, 24, 25, and 36. So no time lapse or long exposure, even though the hardware should be capable of it. Also it also seems like they may have removed the on-board camera microphone, (they seemed to make a point of saying that you could record to the sd card if you plugged in an external mic). Not a huge deal, but still. Definitely going to need to see some more footage and find out a lot more details. I was planning on pre-ordering at $500, but I can't really see spending $2000 on a super 8 camera. Still love it though, and I love the efforts Kodak is making.

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$2000 is is a realistic price

That's the equivalent of about $650 in 1980, or $525 in 1978.

I recall spending at least twice that on a Super8 camera back in the late seventies, early eighties.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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May be it's part of the plan to make Kodak great again in American ?

 

I think even you don't know what it is you wanted to say with this throwaway line of pseudo-political commentary.

Let's keep this thread on topic, and such hogwash out of it.

 

So: the yellow-black edition will retail for $2k from 1HY/17, and the white-black base edition is supposed to go on sale later from supposedly 400 € / 450 USD. That's quite a spread in the price range.

 

Carl is spot on that the 2k price reflects historical, and frankly contemporary pricing for a brand-new narrow-gauge cine-film camera (Soviet ware aside). If people would read old price lists for Nizo, Bauer, Canon, Beaulie gear (happy to post some), none of them would have bought a Super 8 camera, I suspect.

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If people would read old price lists for Nizo, Bauer, Canon, Beaulie gear (happy to post some), none of them would have bought a Super 8 camera, I suspect.

 

I think that's a fair assessment Michael but... at the same time it seemed like Kodak wanted to market this to attract new Super 8 shooters. People can buy a Sony A7s m2 with lenses, cards etc for less than that and get guaranteed, nice video results albeit not film. Whereas Super 8 is a bit of a risk and learning curve.

 

Us younger shooters have definitely been spoiled, in a sense, by the cheap eBay cameras (of which I have gotten more than my fair share of sub-$100 steals) but also I feel like that unfortunately plays into the market for Kodak. $2k new camera, or $50 on a random Canon 514XL that... oh sweet! It works. Saved $1950. Not a complete example obviously but for a young, 27 year old, budget minded shooter like myself, that matters. At $75/roll these days for stock/process/scan, that new camera is worth about 25 cartridges of film. But at the same time, I get it. A new Canon T6i or what have you runs around $1k so the price isn't completely absurd.

 

I'll be holding out for the $500 version while I buy up their new Ektachrome and utilize their new film circuit for processing. Maybe they'll nix the screen for a normal viewfinder to save some dough. They have to kill something in order to get that price down so much. In the meantime, Nizo 801M and Canon 814XL it is. Either way, glad Kodak is making moves. Exciting times!!

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I think we now know why the camera was so delayed... seems like they're having issues with figuring out the low cost element. This is something we talked about earlier, how anyone could make a new camera so inexpensively. A $2000 camera sounds much more feasible, for both Kodak and the manufacturer. It's not a bad thing, but it absolutely pulls it out of the standard super 8 market.

 

I'm on set today, but I watched the CES videos and honestly it's nice to see a finished product finally. I'm also very elated with Kodak bringing back reversal color film, that to me is overly exciting, especially if they make it for the professional formats. Yet during the video, I kept on thinking how I could produce the same video about any other film camera and have far more features... I mean there isn't a single thing about the camera (outside of the swivel viewfinder which is going to be worthless.... as focusing without an optical viewing system with ground glass on a film camera is very very tricky) that makes it "interesting". Just look at the feature set for a Bolex like an EBM. 3 minute loads, real optical viewfinder, twice the resolution, single frame, up to 50fps, crystal (with cheap eBay add on) and can go forward and reverse... All of that for $600 bux on eBay. With a new battery, 400ft magazine and some lenses you're still under a grand. The Barney also quiets the camera enough for sound recording.

 

So again, if you want a blurry, wobble frame, dirty image master, just buy 5 $10-$50 old super 8 cameras off eBay. You're bound to get one that works and can get all of those features. For all the other shows, take the money you would spend on a "new-cool" toy, and buy a camera like a Bolex, that actually creates a beautiful image.

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I was hoping to pay no more than $1200, but I'm not surprised with 2K. I'm not against buying it, however if the consumer models still have crystal sync and max gate at $400 or $500, I'll wait and take 2 little ones. I'D like to see 54fps, single frame/itervals, open shutter options, and variable shutter speeds tied into the $1500 price difference. Aside from the modern updates that should be on both models, the "limited edition" is very basic on features so far.

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Has anyone seen a worse video than that? And has everybody become autistic? The one Josh wouldn’ give the camera to the other Josh for once. He also rather keeps it to his own sight than to s-h-o-w it to us. The two Josh stand in the dark, back-lit, the product they’re talking about half shadowed and out of focus when eventually reached up to the camera, man, is that a presentation? Kodak, do you have a tennis player en lieu of a well-trained and or an experienced marketing or showmanship Jack? Yes, you do.

 

Besides this, it’ll be nothing but another throw-away product. Not one word of service, serviceability. Friends, I can pick a second hand Arriflex 35 BL 4 for $2000 today, a professional motion picture camera with an optical reflex viewfinder. Kodak’s new Super-8 camera does have a prism built in, how else would an image on the LCD be possible, yet no optical focus. Fully manual analogue? A lie!

 

Gulp.

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Kodak’s new Super-8 camera does have a prism built in, how else would an image on the LCD be possible, yet no optical focus. Fully manual analogue? A lie!

 

The Logmar camera has an LCD screen, but it doesn't use a prism. It obtains it's image by means of a mirror on the shutter. So I imagine this Kodak camera might do the same.

 

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I think even you don't know what it is you wanted to say with this throwaway line of pseudo-political commentary.

Let's keep this thread on topic, and such hogwash out of it.

 

So: the yellow-black edition will retail for $2k from 1HY/17, and the white-black base edition is supposed to go on sale later from supposedly 400 € / 450 USD. That's quite a spread in the price range.

 

Carl is spot on that the 2k price reflects historical, and frankly contemporary pricing for a brand-new narrow-gauge cine-film camera (Soviet ware aside). If people would read old price lists for Nizo, Bauer, Canon, Beaulie gear (happy to post some), none of them would have bought a Super 8 camera, I suspect.

 

It was a joke with a big irony, the fact that at one time kodak was so big and had big bucks . Also there patent's and the one on digital tech ,

 

I would not pay 2000 k for a new super 8 camera when you can find a way better super 8 cameras out there for a lot less .

can do way more with canon 310 xl .

 

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I would not pay 2000 k for a new super 8 camera when you can find a way better super 8 cameras out there for a lot less .

 

Yes, $2 million is lot to pay for a Super8 camera. If they could bring it down to $2000 that would be better. :)

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It obtains its image by means of a mirror on the shutter. So I imagine this Kodak camera might do the same.

 

Interesting, where did you get that information from? What I could gather is that Rochester was on a licence agreement with the Logmar people but have bought them out later.

 

Yes, $2 million is lot to pay for a Super8 camera. If they could bring it down to $2000 that would be better. :)

 

:D

$200 is the most I’d spend on that octagonal plastic heap. No optical finder (they’re proud of that)! The Ciné-Kodak Eight of 1932 was way better designed. That camera works without any electrical energy and it’s got an optical finder.

 

What hardly anyone notes: How does one project her/his film from behind the Max-8 aperture without image loss? Is there a corresponding projector available? No, there isn’t.

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Interesting, where did you get that information from? What I could gather is that Rochester was on a licence agreement with the Logmar people but have bought them out later.

 

 

I have a Logmar Super8 camera, and the mirror shutter design was discussed during development of the camera. The mirror shutter deflects the image to a ground glass screen where it is picked up by a video camera and delivered to the LCD. This design allows the most amount of light to find the film. If running the camera at a slow frame rate, one will find the LCD image flickers.

 

I have no information on the relationship between Logmar and Rochester, or any idea on the Kodak camera design, but we need not assume from the LCD that the camera uses a prism.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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What hardly anyone notes: How does one project her/his film from behind the Max-8 aperture without image loss? Is there a corresponding projector available? No, there isn’t.

 

Most people scan Super8 neg to digital rather than making prints. And a digital scan makes the most of the additional exposure provided by the Max8 aperture. Indeed it is transfers to digital/video that inspired Max8 mods in the first place.

 

Of course, with the promise to bring back reversal, Super8 film could very well be back in film projectors again, where it would be back to 4:3 framing. Don't know if it is the same on the Kodak camera, but on the Logmar viewfinder you can choose between 4:3 and Max8 frame guides.

 

And there's nothing to stop anyone modding a projector for Max8. Plenty of cameras have been.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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As I'm reading this a part of me is wondering if ever a possibility of purchasing greater lengths of the film without the cartridge, where the camera its self, the claw, the registration pin, the back plate, is responsible for the film "handling" through the gate. Of course handling a core with 400 feet of super 8 would be flimsy as hell and might unspool, but it does make me like to think about that though.

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As I'm reading this a part of me is wondering if ever a possibility of purchasing greater lengths of the film without the cartridge, where the camera its self, the claw, the registration pin, the back plate, is responsible for the film "handling" through the gate. Of course handling a core with 400 feet of super 8 would be flimsy as hell and might unspool, but it does make me like to think about that though.

Logmar, Pro8mm and Wittner have been working on providing a 200ft magazine for the Logmar camera that would be what you describe. No word on availability or even if it was successful.

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And this idea went nowhere, just like the Beaulieu SD8/60 magazine for the Beaulieu 9008-series by Ritter ended up as a flop. Why? Because with that kind of cantankerous outfit and unwieldy gear, the "easy-to-use" advantage of Super 8 goes out of the windows. At that price point, it will be cheaper to shoot on Normal or Super 16 with a small handheld camera, and generate the Super 8 look without much intervention in post production. As someone who experienced the Beaulieu SD8/60, I say "never again".

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The mirror shutter deflects the image to a ground glass screen where it is picked up by a video camera and delivered to the LCD.

 

Thank you, Carl, for the explanation. I must say that I’m having some difficulty accepting this as true. A ground glass is an aid to the eye, an image sensor wouldn’t need one, would it?

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Thank you, Carl, for the explanation. I must say that I’m having some difficulty accepting this as true. A ground glass is an aid to the eye, an image sensor wouldn’t need one, would it?

 

The ground glass screen (in any camera) isn't really an aid to the eye, unless by that we mean an aid to focus. The ground glass screen is the same distance (or effective distance) from the lens as the film is from the lens. Or at least we would want to it to be. It means if an image comes into focus on the ground glass screen, we can be satisfied it must also be in focus on the film. If the image were otherwise projected directly into our eyes, we can't be convinced the image on the film is also in focus, because our eyes can bring an otherwise out of focus image back into focus.

 

The same principle operates in the Logmar camera. Now an alternative to using a ground glass screen (and an internal lens/sensor trained on such), might have been to have a naked sensor in place of the ground glass screen, with the image falling directly onto the sensor. It would have done the same job as a ground glass screen, and provided a much better looking image to the LCD, ie. better user experience. However this is of secondary concern. The most important purpose of a viewfinder is to provide visual feedback for framing (composition) and focus. And the ground glass screen, with secondary lens and sensor on such, pragmatically provides for that.

 

C

 

 

Edited by Carl Looper
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These photons landing on the ground glass forming an image, are the most direct connection available between subject and photographer while using a camera. A monitor is incomparably less. A sensor effectivly counts photons and this data is manipulated to make an image that the eye might accept, then offered to the monitor.

 

The very fact that there is any confusionn between the relative value of these two viewing options for the photographer is, sad to me.

 

Even some cinematographers, forced by our momentary perch within history, to use digital aquisition, will choose an Alexa with an optical viewing system. I salute those guys. Their instinct or intuition for what is valuable has somehow remained intact.....

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Seems that we talk at cross-purposes. I am perfectly aware of viewfinder systems and their function. My question was why should one build in a ground glass or any other frosted or matted surface for an image to form upon when a sensor cannot see it. We would have to install a lens between GG and sensor to project the image there. Besides loss of light in the ground surface one had the advantage of more space available when the sensor can be set up at a longer distance.

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Seems that we talk at cross-purposes. I am perfectly aware of viewfinder systems and their function. My question was why should one build in a ground glass or any other frosted or matted surface for an image to form upon when a sensor cannot see it. We would have to install a lens between GG and sensor to project the image there. Besides loss of light in the ground surface one had the advantage of more space available when the sensor can be set up at a longer distance.

 

Yes, I know you understand all of this (from previous discussions) so I'm quite perplexed what you are otherwise trying to suggest.

 

If the sensor could not see the ground glass screen there would be no image on the LCD screen. The sensor is able to see the ground glass screen by means of second lens between the ground glass screen and the sensor.

 

Personally I would have designed the Logmar without a ground glass screen, and have simply put a naked sensor (without a secondary lens) in the same plane as that which the ground glass screen otherwise occupies. But perhaps it was more convenient or cheaper to do it in the way that Logmar did.

 

The third alternative is to have the ground glass screen and an eyepiece (instead of a video camera) trained on such, as in traditional designs.

 

A benefit of a video camera (and LCD screen) is the way it facilitates decoupling of the cinematographer's head from the camera. One can move a camera around without the added inconvenience of requiring one's head attached to the camera.

 

C

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These photons landing on the ground glass forming an image, are the most direct connection available between subject and photographer while using a camera. A monitor is incomparably less. A sensor effectivly counts photons and this data is manipulated to make an image that the eye might accept, then offered to the monitor.

 

The very fact that there is any confusionn between the relative value of these two viewing options for the photographer is, sad to me.

 

Even some cinematographers, forced by our momentary perch within history, to use digital aquisition, will choose an Alexa with an optical viewing system. I salute those guys. Their instinct or intuition for what is valuable has somehow remained intact.....

 

Surely the most direct connection between photographer and subject is not when your head is attached to the camera but when otherwise looking at the subject with your own eyes. That said, I'd suggest this direct connection is not what one is after in cinematography (or photography). But nor is it one to be found inside the camera

 

I'd argue the real connection being sought, or created, is not that created in our eyes, or in a camera, or indeed on the film. It is that connection being created during a screening of the completed work. That is how I understand it. When making a film one is really making that which happens during a screening before an audience - in the eyes and mind of the audience, which includes ourselves as part of that audience.

 

During production, our own eyes, be it looking directly at a scene, or through a viewfinder, merely provide a kind of preview. A simulation of what one is after. A visualisation of that which isn't really there until the work is up there on a screen in front of an audience. Our eyes, be it directly, or through a viewfinder, become a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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