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New Kodak Super 8 Camera


Gary Lemson
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If one were to otherwise use a naked sensor in place of the ground glass screen, it would have to be a sensor that is physically larger than the size of a Super8 frame of film. And this could very well be expensive. If otherwise using a cheaper sensor it may not be large enough. For example a $25 Sony sensor I'm looking at has a size of 3.76 × 2.74 mm, so as a substitute for a ground glass screen it wouldn't work. The image falling onto the sensor would be larger than the sensor. The sensor would be looking at a very cropped version of what the film otherwise sees.

 

But if I otherwise put a small lens on this cheap sensor, I'd have a small camera I can point at a ground glass screen, and get a perfectly adequate 3280 × 2464 pixel image of that which is otherwise projected onto the ground glass screen by the main camera.

 

 

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Edited by Carl Looper
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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.

Right, but how do you get focus with a standard definition monitor on a little LCD panel in the bright sunlight of the day?

 

Digital cameras are nearly impossible to find focus, without focus "aids" of some kind, none of which exist on a film camera.

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All fine, let us put technics aside. We have reached, I think, an interesting point of the discussion that begins with early perspective drawing in the Renaissance. Now that Rochester has picked up the Renaissance, speaks of an analog renaissance (which in my humble opinion is plain Schrott) we are merely forced to it. After the draughtsman who sits behind or over a tense parchment we have seen the view box with the photographic chamber again. The photographer deals with an image upside down and inverted sideways (unless he adds a loupe).

 

Cinematographers like the Lumière operators dealt with the same situation, only that the image was less than an inch wide, on the film itself. One can refine one’s skills in that with a Pathé industriel, most probably the last Kine camera to allow direct framing and focusing on the raw stock. One could place a ground glass in the aperture as well, a loupe remains indispensable. The Le Blay of 1930 offered a behind-the-film prism, the Hodres camera of 1935 had a viewing tube pushed up to a pressure frame, and some more designs provided for the archaic method. Then came the rackover systems and the reflex viewfinders. Le Prince’ 1888 camera has two identical lenses one above the other. The upper one projects an image on a ground glass, both lenses rack forth and back together by action of a lever.

 

There was no such thing as a consumer movie camera without an optical finder until now. All of a sudden comes a conglomerate of a movement around the more than 50 years old Super-8 Instapak Cartridge, driven by a crystal controlled electric motor such as is known from professional cameras, plus electronics out the realm of industrial image processing and palm computers. Whoa. And no eyepiece, no ocular, no. We are being placed back rearward, onto a distance for comfortable observation of a gleaming screen. This is 21st century with 19th century photochemistry and mechanics glued under. It’s cell phone physiology alongside colour negative exposure. Or Ektachrome. Or TXR.

 

I herewith declare that I have the deeply engrained habit of peeping through finders, of putting my skull and an eyepiece cushion in contact, of eliminating ambient light from my view. I am not one of the proclaimed next generation, inspired by a camera. Have the Paillard-Bolex cameras that I use ever fuelled my creativity in any way? Must find out. Was it one of the Bell & Howell? The Moviecam? That, that is total tat.

 

Yet one advantage can’t be denied. It’s parallax free. Yep.

 

Can anybody tell the opening angle with the revolving shutter? The exact exposure time per frame at, say, 24 fps? Is it a revolving shutter or an oscillating one?

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Right, but how do you get focus with a standard definition monitor on a little LCD panel in the bright sunlight of the day?

 

Digital cameras are nearly impossible to find focus, without focus "aids" of some kind, none of which exist on a film camera.

 

Yes, that's very true. A zoom lens proves quite useful. Zoom in. Focus. Zoom out.

 

Another technique involves rocking the focus ring back and forth around the uncertain point. One obtains an understanding of where the focus must be given where it isn't. A bracketing in on where it must be. The sought after focus will be at the bottom of that valley between one direction of the ring and the reverse. One approaches it from one side and then from the other, in rapid succession, back and forth, encoding where it must be in the movement of one's hands, reducing the span of that movement until there isn't any. The in-focus becomes necessarily there by virtue of the out-of-the-focus either side of it. It is how otherwise automatic focus systems work.

 

If the Logmar viewfinder (or any viewfinder) has an undeniable purpose, it will be for framing/composition.

 

C

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All fine, let us put technics aside. We have reached, I think, an interesting point of the discussion that begins with early perspective drawing in the Renaissance. Now that Rochester has picked up the Renaissance, speaks of an analog renaissance (which in my humble opinion is plain Schrott) we are merely forced to it. After the draughtsman who sits behind or over a tense parchment we have seen the view box with the photographic chamber again. The photographer deals with an image upside down and inverted sideways (unless he adds a loupe).

 

Cinematographers like the Lumière operators dealt with the same situation, only that the image was less than an inch wide, on the film itself. One can refine one’s skills in that with a Pathé industriel, most probably the last Kine camera to allow direct framing and focusing on the raw stock. One could place a ground glass in the aperture as well, a loupe remains indispensable. The Le Blay of 1930 offered a behind-the-film prism, the Hodres camera of 1935 had a viewing tube pushed up to a pressure frame, and some more designs provided for the archaic method. Then came the rackover systems and the reflex viewfinders. Le Prince’ 1888 camera has two identical lenses one above the other. The upper one projects an image on a ground glass, both lenses rack forth and back together by action of a lever.

 

There was no such thing as a consumer movie camera without an optical finder until now. All of a sudden comes a conglomerate of a movement around the more than 50 years old Super-8 Instapak Cartridge, driven by a crystal controlled electric motor such as is known from professional cameras, plus electronics out the realm of industrial image processing and palm computers. Whoa. And no eyepiece, no ocular, no. We are being placed back rearward, onto a distance for comfortable observation of a gleaming screen. This is 21st century with 19th century photochemistry and mechanics glued under. It’s cell phone physiology alongside colour negative exposure. Or Ektachrome. Or TXR.

 

I herewith declare that I have the deeply engrained habit of peeping through finders, of putting my skull and an eyepiece cushion in contact, of eliminating ambient light from my view. I am not one of the proclaimed next generation, inspired by a camera. Have the Paillard-Bolex cameras that I use ever fuelled my creativity in any way? Must find out. Was it one of the Bell & Howell? The Moviecam? That, that is total tat.

 

Yet one advantage can’t be denied. It’s parallax free. Yep.

 

Can anybody tell the opening angle with the revolving shutter? The exact exposure time per frame at, say, 24 fps? Is it a revolving shutter or an oscillating one?

 

Yes, the use of the term "renaissance" in Kodak propaganda is really quite grating given history proper.

 

The history of cameras is a long one. Indeed cameras go back much further than the Renaissance. The meaning of the Renaissance will be of a revival as much as a renewal. It will be out of a renewed interest in the ancients. A picking up where ancient thought had left off. A getting back to work after centuries of neglect. Cameras and optics - these will not be invented or discovered during the Renaissance, but rediscovered. Reinvented. For what will be different is an enthusiasm for it. Where such knowledge had otherwise languished in books, speaking of a bygone era, to be taken as gospel or heretical depending on the material and your point of view, it would spill out into the streets, into the world at large, and become inspiration for it's evolution. No longer frozen. The beginning of modernism.

 

Postmodernism becomes the more difficult to theorise.

 

C

 

Edited by Carl Looper
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I wish they would offer a zoom lens as well in the $2K limited package, If not, it be nice to see one sold separately to go with this camera. I feel like trying to find a good zoom for this camera, or other compatible lenses is easier said than done. All the classic C-mount lenses have gone through the roof in the last 5 yrs or more. Also, I have no experience shopping and using lenses for S8mm frames, only 16mm. If I find a 7-70mm c-mount zoom, if one even exists, will it just be a bidding war? I wouldn't think a 12-120mm would be a good idea.

Edited by Anthony Schilling
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I wish they would offer a zoom lens as well in the $2K limited package, If not, it be nice to see one sold separately to go with this camera. I feel like trying to find a good zoom for this camera, or other compatible lenses is easier said than done. All the classic C-mount lenses have gone through the roof in the last 5 yrs or more. Also, I have no experience shopping and using lenses for S8mm frames, only 16mm. If I find a 7-70mm c-mount zoom, if one even exists, will it just be a bidding war? I wouldn't think a 12-120mm would be a good idea.

 

Kodak had better made a deal with Schneider to have them manufacturer a new/modern batch of their 6-70 Variogon (or what is current) in a clean C-mount configuration. Who wants those Mickey Mouse (sorry MIckey) surveillance lenses for feature filming and such?

Edited by Andries Molenaar
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The Logmar was sold without a lens. In preparation for purchase of that camera I acquired a Schneider-Kreuznach 1,8 / 6 - 66, from ebay.

 

You can still get these lenses (and other versions of such) on ebay. Some of these lenses even sell with a camera attached to them.

 

C

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The Logmar was sold without a lens. In preparation for purchase of that camera I acquired a Schneider-Kreuznach 1,8 / 6 - 66, from ebay.

 

You can still get these lenses (and other versions of such) on ebay. Some of these lenses even sell with a camera attached to them.

 

C

That works too :) When feeling lucky you could attempt to find a Beaulieu 4/5008 with a big Angénieux.

 

All these lenses are 30 years old though. One would hope that there was still a slight improvement in design or manufacturing.

 

Get a Ultra Wide Lens to fit the Variogons. That allows for a bit more angle.

Edited by Andries Molenaar
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Carl this looks like a big camera size wise ?

 

Makes my beloved Leicina Special look even more special in that nice German kind of way .

 

Yes, they are quite large in size. Not as large as the Logmar but still larger than your traditional Super8 camera. And yes, the Leicina Specials remain quite special. I have two of them!

 

C

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The flickering viewfinder demonstrates that the viewfinder is thankfully being driven by a mirror shutter, rather than a prism. If the viewfinder image were otherwise derived by means of a prism you'd then need your film exposing lenses to be specifically designed to accommodate for that viewfinder prism. A viewfinder image derived through a mirror shutter means generic lenses can be used with the camera.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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I wonder about the shutter, the c-mount doesn’t leave much room in the camera for a 45 degree mirror shutter, it might not be mirrored, unless it’s mentioned, instead there might be an oscillating shutter like the ACL’s have as these take up less room. I would love to see inside the camera.

 

Pav

Edited by Pavan Deep
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