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Jorge Guardado

Keystone K26

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I was recently given a 1958 Keystone K26 8mm camera. It looks to be in near perfect condition. I'm a student learning mostly with tape and digital cameras and still gaining experience. Needless to say I'm totally lost on how to get started with a film camera. Anyone have any tips on what type of 8mm film to buy and what I need to get started. Any places in the Los Angeles area that can help me with any questions and provide me with what I need? Thanks!

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Spectra Film and Video is an excellent place in the North Hollywood area to go. If you decide to go with Super-8 instead, they sometimes have cameras for sale at very reasonable prices.

 

Yale Film and Video is another resource and they are located nearby as well.

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The only place to get 8mm film is from John Schwind at International Film: http://zerelda.com/internationalfilm/internationalfilm.html Everywhere else (including Spectra and Yale) just buys film from him and re-sells it at a higher price. He sells two black-and-white stocks and one color.

 

 

Both Spectra and Yale process the film, but Yale is cheaper, and in my opinion, has better quality.

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This is a regular 8mm camera that takes a 25 foot of 16mm film re-perfed to run in this type of camera. After you run the first 25 feet you swap and flip the roll to run the other 25 feet. I have one of these cameras and used it years ago. Wind it after every shot and keep your shots short as this camera does not stop when the wind gets weak...It keeps going so the tail of your shot will become fast motion. If you are shooting color you'll need a #85 filter and it won't be easy to find one for this camera. Yale film and video sells B&W in Tri X or Plus X for $25 and that includes processing. They also sell color if that's what you want. You can probably find a manual online that you can print for free. Good luck with it. You'll certainly get a more unusual look to your project than anyone shooting video will get.

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Both Spectra and Yale process the film, but Yale is cheaper, and in my opinion, has better quality.

 

 

Spectra processing is clearly better than Yale these days. I have seen some of the best E-6 processing ever come out of Spectra's lab with Velvia and 100D films. Far superior to that of other labs.

 

I should also mention that Yale B/W commonly suffers from over-bleaching and other issues(happened to me twice) not to mention their intrusive Morman censorship policy over what you shoot. So, while you may save a buck a roll at Yale , Spectra quality control and creative freedom is the better choice for most shooters.

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If you are shooting color you'll need a #85 filter

 

He needs NO filter for shooting colour outdoors, as all the Regular 8 film available is "day balanced" (D type) and not tungsten.

Edited by Miguel Loredo

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The only place to get 8mm film is from John Schwind at International Film: http://zerelda.com/internationalfilm/internationalfilm.html Everywhere else (including Spectra and Yale) just buys film from him and re-sells it at a higher price. He sells two black-and-white stocks and one color.

 

 

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Taking time to answer questions and handle each and every order might prove very time consuming for Mr. Schwind. Plus, Spectra and Yale probably broaden the audience that learns that 8mm film is still available.

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He needs NO filter for shooting colour outdoors, as all the Regular 8 film available is "day balanced" (D type) and not tungsten.

Is this true? I figured I was stuck shooting B&W with my little bolex cameras because finding a filter to fit them was so tough. Thanks.

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Is this true? I figured I was stuck shooting B&W with my little bolex cameras because finding a filter to fit them was so tough. Thanks.

 

You only need a colour filter to correct the colour when shooting with a film under light with a different colour temperature (for example shooting with K40T, E64T outdoors)... but 100D is "D" (daylight, not tungsten) and there's no need to correct anything if you use it under daylight...

 

By the way, John Schwind is not the only one manufacturing film for 8mm. There are others in Europe (Kahl, Foma, Wittner) and Edward Nowill in the UK reperforates for the custom ANY 16 mm filmstock of your choice, incluiding a Kodak ASA 10 B&W and other. Even the Vision2 500T is available in 8 mm.

Edited by Miguel Loredo

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Jorge, if you've never used a 8mm film camera before, I'd recommend a good book like Lenny Lipton's Independent Film Making, can be bought on eBay for little money.

 

I found that old books written in the 1950s/69/70s for amateur filmmakers are most useful because they explain basics of photochemical filming in a straightforward way.

 

David Cheshire's Book of Movie Photography is another great introductory book I know. A bit of reading can save you a lot of trouble with 8/16mm film.

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