(Note: I asked this question in alt.movies.cinematography.super8 and was referred here by somebody who wrote that "I do see what must be the pulldown claw. Yours is a different design, appearing to be cam-driven, rather than the trailing type claw in the other photo.")
I got this double super 8 camera yesterday, a real beauty. It's my first cine camera ever. Everything is pretty obvious to me, but I'm not quite sure I understood what the pull-down claw does even though I've read quite a few discussions about it on the web.
First of all, I have to say that the inside of my camera looks different from http://member.melbpc.org.au/~cksm/DS833.html
What the author of this web site calls the pull-down claw is a shiny piece of metal. However in my camera (the domestic version rather than the export version, but should be still the same), this shiny metal piece is not present -- and it's also not present in my (Russian) manual! Here's how my camera looks inside: http://cci4.com/~andrpisa/images/it880/366_6646.jpg
When I turn the Russian-labelled VKL/OTKL dial (labelled EIN/AUS or ON/OFF in the export versions), nothing seems to happen inside. Is this normal? Should I see something happen or not, i.e., is there any visual check whether the pull-down claw works or not? The film transport works, the exposure meter works, everything seems to work, but this pull-down claw drives me crazy ;-)
Here's what the Russian manual says (my own translation, so sorry for any weird terms or lack of sense): "The camera has a pull-down claw which ensures film transport across the film gate, consisting of [regular/cadre?!] frame and pressure plate. Pulling film is accomplished when the pull-down claw dial is in the "ON" position. When this dial is in the "OFF" position, the camera mechanism works but film is not stretched, making it possible to rewind the film and also to wind the film transport spring [not quite sure whether it really means that] without taking the film out of the camera which would produce significant artefacts in the footage."
Many thanks for any advice you may have,