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Regular8 cameras


Erren Franklin
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9 hours ago, Todd Pinder said:

Hey Dom! What's the improvement to the MCR8 from the MR8? I have what seems to be a late MR8 judging by the dark grey paint just like on the MCR8. I think this is the best 8mm camera, almost 16mm like in features, but yes a little fragile compared to Bolex.

According to Jurgen Lossau's "Filmkameras" (a normally excellent resource) MCR 8s have a TTL meter, whereas MR 8s don't, but either that is wrong or that classification was imposed after a transition period as I have a camera branded MR 8 that also has a meter. There was a transition as well from the original internal meter to one made by Gossen (which was better according to Lossau), but I don't know if that included a name change either. I don't tend to use the internal meter so it's not something I've investigated.

I agree that it's one of the best 8mm cameras, especially if you like to change lenses. I think I've used it more than any of my others. I have the 3 lens turret version TR 8 too, which is great for primes but much harder to find.

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8 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

1. Am I missing out on any especially great cameras by limiting my interest to Zoom Reflexes?

Well it depends on what you get out of filming. I really enjoy metering and manually setting a prime lens, or choosing a focal length from a turret of three for instance, so something like a little Bolex D8L is fun for me and produces great pictures. Or maybe using something very old like a pre-WWII Siemens C8 from Germany or a beautiful little Bell and Howell Filmo 8, or a stylish Carena Geva 8 with built in filters, and seeing how different the footage can be. 
But for practical purposes, what you’re looking at is all you need.

8 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

*2. Without knowing better, my assumption was that the best Beaulieu model for me would be the 'newest', ie- the MAR8/MAR8G. What you've written on the topic makes me wonder if the only feature really differentiating the MAR8 and the MCR8 is the fully automatic exposure. Is that true? And I echo Todd's question- what differentiates the MR8 from the MCR8? And lastly, I'm having a MAR8G serviced at the moment. Since it has manual exposure, using it that way would be essentially the same as using a MCR8 with a fixed Schneider 8-48mm, right? Would the real benefit of having an MCR8 be the D-mount (and therefore C-mount) interchangeability?

I think the MAR 8 has a fixed zoom with a 2 blade iris to accomodate the auto-aperture function, whereas on other models the zoom is a normal removeable lens. (Sorry a lot of my cameras are in storage so I can’t check right now to make sure.) Also yes, having a D mount is my preference.

8 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

*3. Tough question to articulate, but here goes. If I had, say, an MCR8, would any D-mount lenses work with it? Further, if I had a C-mount adapter, would any C-mount lenses work with it is well? My question stems from not knowing if certain D-mount or C-mount lenses require a specific distance from the film gate for the image to be crisp, or are calibrated in specific ways that would preclude compatibility with certain cameras. Of particular concern would be if an adapter moved the lens forward. This may be a really stupid question! But it really stems from hoping the answer is yes, it will all work, and trying to anticipate why the answer would be no, if the answer is no.

4. What is a Gossen meter?

Yes any camera with a standard D mount should be able to use any D mount lens. Good adapters will space a lens exactly far enough out to replicate the flange depth that the lens was designed for, so the adapted lens will work perfectly. So a good D to C mount adapter will shift a C mount lens from 12.29mm away from the film plane (D mount flange depth) out to 17.52mm (C mount flange depth).

If a prime lens is seated a little closer or further from the film plane than it should be, it will just offset the focus a bit, so 5 ft on the lens barrel might actually be focussing at say 6 ft, but if you are using a reflex camera and eye-focussing rather than using focus marks it won’t matter (unless the lens is so far out that you can’t reach infinity focus).

With a zoom the flange depth is more crucial, as it dictates whether the zoom will hold focus through the zoom range. If you find a zoom loses focus as you zoom out from the long end, chances are the flange depth (or the corresponding lens back-focus setting) is out.

Gossen is just a particular light meter manufacturer.

8 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

5. Another potentially stupid question: Why is the Kern 13mm f/0.9 an interesting lens? I understand that it is fast, but I still don't know how exactly that is desirable except for low light situations?

It’s not just fast, it’s blisteringly fast! As well as allowing for some very low light shooting, a very fast lens gives you shallower depth of field (which a small format like 8mm doesn’t usually have much of). Also, very fast lenses tend to have distinctive aberrations when used wide open, so you might get a more dreamy or swirly or haloed image when the lens is wide open, and a sharper cleaner image when stopped down.

8 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

*6. I think my Zeiss Moviflex Super has the exact same issue as yours did. Otherwise it is in pristine condition. This leads to another of my questions- how would I go about getting this camera serviced or repaired? Do you know of any camera service and repair people who would be able to service this camera, or the Canon Cine Zoom 512, or the Agfa? Or any regular 8 camera? Are any makes/models so unique that a good technician would be unable to work on them? Or are the guts generally similar?  I realize that the cost to have this work done can exceed what any sane person would spend making such clunky, old equipment work well, but having endured years of frustration with capricious equipment, I would gladly fork over some money just to have a working camera.

I really have no idea, especially as I’m in Australia and you’re in the US!

But generally Standard 8 cameras are easier to work on than Super 8 cameras, because they were built back in a more mechanical age with more metal parts and less plastic and electronics. You can usually open them up without too much hassle and relubricate them. That said, it takes a certain aptitude to work on fine mechanics and I know from experience that certain cameras, like the Beaulieu MR 8 or the Pentaflex 8 for instance, are quite complex machines. It certainly helps to have worked on other film cameras to have a sense of how they go together and what mechanisms or settings are best left alone. There are definitely similarities between different cameras in terms of their mechanism, but each design will also be fundamentally different in how you might approach disassembly for instance.

If you can find someone who repairs still cameras or better yet 16mm equipment they may be willing to take a look, but it always takes longer to work on something you’re not familiar with, so it could be expensive. 

The blog entry I linked to earlier on servicing a Bolex D8L shows you what to expect inside a Standard 8 camera, though this particular series was well designed for maintenance and so is probably among the easiest to service.
 

9 hours ago, Erren Franklin said:

7. Last question- Much of my filming experimentation involves masking/vignetting by placing the mask/vignette directly in front of the lens. I like the Agfa and also my Leicina 8V because the actual diameter of the lenses allows me to fit more 'information' in the frame. This is one variable that I have checked with every different model that I own and it really varies from one camera to the next. What also varies is the definition of the lines- with some cameras the lines of a 'peephole', for example, are clear and distinct, in some they are very blurry. I wonder if you have anything to say about this aspect of cameras/lenses/etc. One thing I am curious about, is if what one sees through the lens, as far as focus, depth of field, and in my case, the definition of vignetting, is generally the same as what the film records. Or course, I know that that's not true with exposure, but my knowledge stops there.

Whether you get a hard or soft matte is to do with how in focus the edge of the mask is, so it will depend on where your lens is focussed and the depth of field - which is dependent on the focal length and the f stop. A wider lens at a deeper stop will have more depth of field so should give you a harder edge. Alternatively, you can mask behind the lens, and the closer to the film plane you mask, the harder the matte edge will be. 

Generally what you see in a reflex viewfinder is what will be recorded on the film (exposure aside) but if you were using a camera with a fixed zoom where the reflex beamsplitter prism is inside the lens in front of the iris (so that the image brightness doesn’t change when you stop down the iris) then I imagine you are not seeing the actual depth of field that would be recorded on the film, but rather how it looks at maximum aperture. 

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Re. Switar 13 mm, f/0.9, it is fast. The relative aperture f/0.9 lets pass more than four times as much light than f/2.

The Pentaflex 8 does not have a focusing screen, you only have an aerial image. See an article about that camera

The D mount is/was the standardised lens mounting thread with 8-mm. film cameras. It is the UN ⅝"-32 thread. Flange-focal distance of the mount is 0.484". Adapters bridge to C mount lenses with a length of (0.690"– 0.484") = 0.206" or 5,23 mm. There are adapters to fit the three Kern-Paillard lenses for the H-8 Reflex camera to D-mount cameras with the length of 3 mm (distance between lens seat and camera seat). There are adapters that allow the use of M-39 thread and M 42 lenses on C-mount cameras. Those would be a bit hefty on D-mount cameras, so I haven’t encountered one.

I service motion-picture equipment, mainly older cameras and optics, located in the heart of Europe in the corner where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet.

Edited by Simon Wyss
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It is a pleasure for an old fart like me to be of assistance to someone young wanting to learn. Wishing to have better knowledges of the English language I should like to point to articles I have published. They’re mostly in German. Anti-trust cameras, Zeiss-Ikon Movikon 8, Victor, Paillard-Bolex H (long thread), Filmo, Eyemo, and more. Some texts have appeared here in English.

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On 5/3/2020 at 9:10 AM, Simon Wyss said:

The Leicina 8 S has a very good 15 mm lens built in, really very good. But it takes extremely fine-grained film stock to make the quality visible. A crystal speed control for this camera is being studied at the moment.

Simon, I tried to send you email about the Leicina project but did not get any answer, is the email listed on your user profile working correctly or is the address written without the " -  "?

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  • 1 month later...

Still waiting for my eBay purchase (Leicina S) to arrive so that I can start working on the Crystal Sync conversion. But it seems very likely that this update will work and will be available pretty soon. Probably later this year. 

Our local film supplier started selling color Dual8 (2x8mm) films too so this format is definitely gaining lots of attention fast.  https://mutascan.film/en/product-category/films-8mm/  

 

I purchased a old beaten up Camex Reflex for cheap and it arrived today. Such a beautiful piece of kit. Shooting first tests on Fomapan R100 now and figuring out the correct bleach + clear times for diy developing. I have a Lomo Lantan 2x8mm too but will definitely like the Camex Reflex more. Can't wait for the Leicina to arrive :) 

 

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Good luck. Fomapan R100 makes for very beautiful images. Very nice in projection.

The bleach in the original Foma kit is one-shot Kalium-Permanganat. The film gives off a lot of grit during bleaching.  Careful when mixing! Strong acid involved. GLoves and glasses required.

 

 

Edited by Andries Molenaar
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44 minutes ago, Andries Molenaar said:

Good luck. Fomapan R100 makes for very beautiful images. Very nice in projection.

The bleach in the original Foma kit is one-shot Kalium-Permanganat. The film gives off a lot of grit during bleaching.  Careful when mixing! Strong acid involved. GLoves and glasses required.

 

 

I am actually mixing my own developers. The bleach solution being the same one-shot style I am mixing from Potassium Permanganate and Sulphuric Acid.   I like to cheap on things so I am diluting the acid from 96% to the working strength (Much cheaper that way) so I'm used to work with nasty chemicals 🙂 

The problem with the first test batch was that either the Bleach stage was too long OR the Clear solution was way too strong. It seemed fine initially but at the final developing stage the emulsion came completely off as a black goo leaving just clear film base behind. I followed the Ilford reversal process but already halved the Bleach and Clear strengths. Is someone familiar with that process, or more accurately does someone know what is wrong with the Ilford recipe and how to fix it to work properly?

At the moment I suspect the problem was that there is the wrong concentration of the metabisulphite stated: "Add 25g sodium or potassium metabisulphite to 800ml water. "

Maybe it should be 2.5 grams per 800ml? maybe they just forgot the decimal mark from the recipe? Because the current solution is so strong that it removes the manganese dioxide stains in, like, two seconds 😳

Edited by aapo lettinen
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On 5/3/2020 at 8:10 AM, Simon Wyss said:

DeJur Fadematic is a small and handy camera offering the variable shutter.

Wrong. No variable shutter but a movable cache sheet right behind the lens port(s). The shutter opening angle is 156 degrees.

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:04 AM, aapo lettinen said:

I am actually mixing my own developers. The bleach solution being the same one-shot style I am mixing from Potassium Permanganate and Sulphuric Acid.   I like to cheap on things so I am diluting the acid from 96% to the working strength (Much cheaper that way) so I'm used to work with nasty chemicals 🙂 

The problem with the first test batch was that either the Bleach stage was too long OR the Clear solution was way too strong. It seemed fine initially but at the final developing stage the emulsion came completely off as a black goo leaving just clear film base behind. I followed the Ilford reversal process but already halved the Bleach and Clear strengths. Is someone familiar with that process, or more accurately does someone know what is wrong with the Ilford recipe and how to fix it to work properly?

At the moment I suspect the problem was that there is the wrong concentration of the metabisulphite stated: "Add 25g sodium or potassium metabisulphite to 800ml water. "

Maybe it should be 2.5 grams per 800ml? maybe they just forgot the decimal mark from the recipe? Because the current solution is so strong that it removes the manganese dioxide stains in, like, two seconds 😳

seems I missed this post 🙂
More or less you can't over-bleach or over-clear.
The foma reversal kit works like a charm.

The black matter is the anti-reflection layer on the back. This needs to be removed.
The Foma bleach does this and produces the brown grit from that.

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1 hour ago, Andries Molenaar said:

seems I missed this post 🙂
More or less you can't over-bleach or over-clear.
The foma reversal kit works like a charm.

The black matter is the anti-reflection layer on the back. This needs to be removed.
The Foma bleach does this and produces the brown grit from that.

no you misunderstood...    the ENTIRE PHOTOGRAPHIC EMULSION came off of the film leaving only the CLEAR FILM BASE behind and no image whatsoever (because there was NO emulsion left at all, only the clear film base) . The end result looked like I had just clear 2x8mm leader instead of having any kind of real film with an actual image.

I have been able to reduce this effect by skipping pre washing completely and keeping the intermediate washes in absolute minimum (risking contamination) but still needs more experimenting (I haven't made new batches lately and will continue in May or so with the reversal stuff).  with these changes the emulsion does not come completely off but it still is cracking a little and is extremely soft.

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8 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

no you misunderstood...    the ENTIRE PHOTOGRAPHIC EMULSION came off of the film leaving only the CLEAR FILM BASE behind and no image whatsoever (because there was NO emulsion left at all, only the clear film base) . The end result looked like I had just clear 2x8mm leader instead of having any kind of real film with an actual image.

I have been able to reduce this effect by skipping pre washing completely and keeping the intermediate washes in absolute minimum (risking contamination) but still needs more experimenting (I haven't made new batches lately and will continue in May or so with the reversal stuff).  with these changes the emulsion does not come completely off but it still is cracking a little and is extremely soft.

Never experienced that. The only thing is to use the Foma bleach as single shot. I tested it using a second time immediately after 1st use but it bleached incomplete/poorly. Very artistic but not good.  

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I think that when that happened you didn't wash your bleach completely or your clearing bath was exhausted. The bleach residues mixed with fixer might destroy the emulsion. This is just a supposition. It has never happen to me. I work constantly with FOMA.

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