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Normal 8 "one run" format

Luigi Castellitto

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Can anyone make a list of the Normal 8mm cameras "one run" type? Not Double 8,  but those where the film was not turned.
They existed only in cartridges (also the Double 8 existed in cartridges, but it's another argument) or not?
How many meters did they usually?
If possible search one, could use it with the Double 8 films cut in the dark with Lomo cutter?
And, most importantly, what is the right name for the format?

Beginning myself: the Fairchild sound cameras, should have the Regular 8 "one run", for not create problems with the sound head.

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Thanks Simon, I use the Google Translator.
I have seen also on English Wikipedia , the format is called Straight Eight and they are Agfa Comex, B&H, Komz Ekran. I'm curious, I'm trying to look for something, maybe without a cartridge, because having the cartridge is even more difficult.

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Universal Camera Company of New York made the UniveX Cine-8 cameras, single 8mm cameras using small spools that held about 30ft of film, so 9.14 meters.  These cameras are very small, easy to work with and yes, you can slit Double 8mm film and fill up empty spools yourself if you are careful.  One of their cameras even has the option to run either Straight 8mm or Double 8mm film.   This single strand 8mm film was also called Single 8mm (which of course is NOT the same as the FUJI format).  There were several that offered this format, most were in a reloadable film magazine/cartridge.  Unless you could get several of these to reload, it would be a slower process to shoot, remove the film and reload the cartridge, but it can be done, even on location using a film changing bag.  The REVERE Camera Company of Chicago, Illinois also made a Single 8mm model many years ago.

  The drawback to using the UniveX Cine-8 cameras is the lack of available accessory lenses. These cameras used their own screw mount design making it difficult to fit anything to these cameras unless you could ever locate an adapter or have one machined. A lot of the unique rare accessories are in the hands of collectors. The better lenses are the Univar one (made by Wollensak), an F/2.7 and the rarer F/1.9, so look for those, rather than try to use the extremely slow F/5.6 Ilex lens which came standard on many of their cameras. Also these cameras only run at 16 frames per second, with the exception of the CineMaster-8 models (these use both Double 8mm and Single-8mm films) which run at 16, 24 and 36fps.  However, all of these cameras are now very old and most would require a cleaning & lubrication to make them run well. I have also noted that the cover door body castings tend to warp slightly after 60+ years on some, not all.  The Model A-8 has a simple flip up aerial viewfinder on top, but the Model C-8 has an optical viewfinder going through the camera body minimizing any parallax.

  These cameras were designed to be low cost so that the average person could enjoy taking home movies on 8mm film, so there are various shortcomings:   lack of a wind down shutoff governor so the camera will slow down at the end of a winding, lack of many lenses and the few made are difficult to locate (no wide angle lenses were made either), and lack of running speeds other than 16fps and no Single Frame option, very slow standard lenses (with the faster F/1.9 ones being rare).Other than that, they are pretty well made and are quite heavy despite being so tiny (due to the metal castings and spring clockwork motor).  These cameras and spools show up on eBay here in the USA all the time.  Many were made during the manufacturing years of 1938 to 1952, and some still sold a couple years after that.

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Thanks to both, you described all the straight 8 cameras available.
From an in-depth research I noticed that the  Ekran and Univex A-8 are the most available, the magazines are also easily sold for Soviet, same the spools for the second.
However, even on an aesthetic level, I would prefer the Revere (rare) or a Bolsey (rare and very expensive)
For the B&H, the ads never specify the acronym well, and it is not clear if sell the Double 8 or "Single" model 8.

Edited by Luigi Castellitto
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The Bell & Howell nomenclature with numbers can help. The Filmo Straight Eight with speed range 8 to 32 fps is the 127-A. With 16 to 64 fps it is designated 127-B. The early Filmo 8 projectors were the 122 models.

The Filmo Double Run Eights are the various 134 models. Gaumont-British B. & H. cameras are designated 605.

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Very rare, I can't find even one of 127-A / B. Maybe better this way, I think it wouldn't be in good condition.

The Revere is interesting, but the Straight Eight version is much rarer than the Double 8 version. I saw that there is also the Double 8 version with cartridge, in which one was turn the side of cartridge.

I think I'll choose Univex, but I have to be careful with the lens, 5.6 is really too dark.
Version with optical viewfinder is not bad!

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I also like aesthetically, Simon, and I trust your recommendation, I think it's also good as a mechanic, you know the well it. Unfortunately this is also very rare, the very few that I found did not have cartridges
Between Univex and Ekran-8 which one would you choose?
In your article you name Krasnogorsk Kama, but I didn't find it. Do you have any pictures?

EDIT: Found. It looks very solid, who knows the gate...


Edited by Luigi Castellitto
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Alright, some insights since I know most of them. The best designed straight-eight film camera is without a doubt the Bell & Howell Filmo. It’s got a stricly lineally acting claw shuttle, simplest in design but effective. Together with a focal plane rotary shutter on a very long shaft in adjustable bearings it is a sturdy and reliable camera. One wind runs 320 frames. Lenses are swapped in no time. The choice of lenses, though, is limited to about a dozen by TTH and Wollensak. Elgeet had made adapters for various lens mounts on the Straight. The most problematic aspect are the elaborate 30-ft. spools often missing.

The German makes all use the Agfa loader. Niezoldi & Krämer have strong drive springs which hardly get tired. Guillotin-type shutter

The Soviet cameras are of course assembled from parts made in the USA. Labelling such as MADE IN USSR tells a story different from the official disinformation. Very intricate and finely designed injection-mould parts, a very light magnesium-aluminium alloy, can be found within the Pentacon movie cameras, too.

The Univex A and B models are most peculiar. They load right side. 30-ft. spools not compatible with B. & H. or any other brand. Body cast from MAZAK alloy. Lenses have a female, cameras a male thread. Winding key revolves with spring while running down. Counter, tripod tap, simplest early finder

The Revere Super 8 MM camera seems to have employed special spools as well.

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I haven’t had a Univex in my hands, yet.

Although the idea of straight 8-mm. film is clear to me, one advantage being slender cameras, I prefer Double-Eight. It brings a lot of enhancements. Derivation from 16, better lateral film guidance, wider gliding surfaces, double useful area on a length of film, compatibility with 16-mm. processing equipment, part compatibility with 16 assembly gear. Additionally, when one leaves the original in the double width after development rush printing on 16 equipment is possible.

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If I really wanted to shoot in the Single/Straight 8mm format, I think I would buy one of the EKRAN 8mm cameras.  These all are well made, as their QUARZ counterparts in the Double 8mm and DS8 formats, which have mechanical systems similar to the BOLEX Double 8mm cameras. Most have interchangeable lenses and various features.  The drawback of course is loading the magazines, but it isn't that difficult, and you can practice with some scrap film.  I would just buy several magazines and have them loaded up and ready to use.  You'll have the best of both worlds, easy loading, as well as have the film in the Single/Straight 8mm format you desire.

I do have to agree with Simon here, Double 8mm cameras would be easier to use for several reasons.  However, if the postage weren't so high, I would be interested in getting one of the Ekran cameras myself to play around with  one day.

Whichever you decide, I wish you the best of success!

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I took a working Univex A8for $ 5. 🙂 
I wanted to take the Ekran, but I was attracted by the offer. The seller said it works well, let's hope so.
The purchase was also driven by the fact that it has 2 empty spools, since unexposed film on a Straight 8 reel would be almost impossible to find (Svema apart), and so I will be able to use new film, cutting the Double 8 in two parts.
The only negative thing: it has an Univar F5.6, but I hope to find at least one F3.5 Wollensak to replace it.

Obviously, for professional use, I also use the Double 8, mainly with a super-equipped Bolex, but I have the curiosity for this format.
I keep you updated!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Univex A8 has arrived. Very pretty camera, small and heavy, very aesthetically pleasing. It's in excellent condition, runs very well, a bit more noisy than I expected, but it runs smoothly, very fast, I think it holds 16 fps well, and slows down more than good, without acceleration and deceleration.
The Univex F5.6 is very small, it has a particular kind of function (who knows it knows it, if someone is curious, I post a picture). It does not have only ONE mark for the stop selection, but FIVE, one for each stop, so the lap making the ring iris is minimal (1/8 inch!).
I also tried the two reels with a test film cut with the Lomo cutter, running smoothly.
Obviously, having two take-up spools and not an original 1x8 film, I will have to insert the film "inverse on the hook of the spool", because it is made to receive... I don't know if I can explain myself... However the manual is clear, shows how the two spools are wrapped, no problem, the unexposed film wraps itself well even on a take-up spool.
I will buy a Fomapan R100 2x8 10m, to cut in two in the dark with my Lomo cutter, and I will use an external lightmeter, the table included is only approximate.

The only thing: the manual does not mention how use camera with parallax. At what minimum distance should I expect a decentralized vertical image?
So, a table of distances referred to Univex F5.6 would have been useful... Does anyone have one?

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I'm testing with my Univex A8 and test film, a fun camera! I'm always looking for other lens, the Univar f5.6, besides being slow, doesn't have, as I said, a table to understand the distances, the depth of field and the parallax. Even if with those openings (F5.6 --->) the depth of field it's very long.

Martin was right about the deformations of this machines: mine had two slightly bent parts, the side cover and a piece in front of camera, but I fix them without breaking anything.

Edited by Luigi Castellitto
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  • 1 month later...

Anyone use old Soviet films on types of cameras?
Certainly expireds, but they have the advantage of being already cut in N8.
In my case, the daylight spool must be transferred to that of Univex. Even if I believe we should do the same thing for the cartridges of the Ekran-8.


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