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Joris van Laar

Super-8 camera for traveling?

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Hi everybody,

 

I was hoping to get some advice over here, as I'm just getting into the world of Super-8 cameras. I'm on the hunt for a Super-8 camera with the following features:

 

  1. Lightweight and not too big, since it will mainly be used to document my travels around the world
  2. Not too fragile, as again I will bring it on hikes and the likes. So it will have to be able to endure a life in a backpack.
  3. Split-image focusing
  4. Recognizes the 64 ASA speed
  5. Easy to operate. Although I'm in the animation business myself, I'm actually not aiming to use this camera for professional productions. So ease of use is an important factor, as I would like to be able to hand the camera to my girlfriend and her being able to operate the camera without having to give her a detailed 'workshop' :)

After doing some research I'm leaning towards the Nizo 561 Macro. I would love to hear your thoughts and are open to any suggestions/alternatives!

 

Kind regards,

Joris

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Are you sitting on a stockpile of Ekta 64T? haha.

 

Aside from that requirement, I have traveled a lot with my Canon 514XL and it's been great. It's gone with me to Vietnam and the Dominican Republic and all along a west coast road trip.

 

Super sharp lens. Super light. 2 AA batteries. Also can use the C8-43 Wide Angle adapter which is good for travel. Split-image. It can't do 64T but it does have exposure lock. It's super basic. Otherwise the 561 Macro is a camera I've always wanted. Or even the 156 Macro which is smaller but I don't think that meters 64ASA. You can use a UWL lens with either of those. The thing about the 561 though is it uses the tiny wein-cell batteries which are available but annoying and sometimes die quickly and you literally can't meter at all without them. So that's something to consider.

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Thank you for the info, I appreciate it a lot!

 

If I'm not mistaken, Kodak stated that they wanted to reissue Ekta film by the end of this year. I know I can manually correct the exposure, but if I'm now in the position to opt for a camera that automatically recognizes it, why not.

 

The Canon 514XL does sound nice, I'll have a look at it. I'll keep the wein-cell batteries of the Nizo 561 in mind.

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Heikki is right. Most likely 100D. And if so, the 514XL does that perfectly. Shot a roll of Ekta 100D and Provia 100D in Vietnam and the results (especially projected) are brilliant. Also shot 200T and 500T and it was great.

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Nice, that's good to know. Any suggestions for online shops that sell functioning 514xl's? I'm not too keen on going through ebay, due to the risk of buying a non-functioning camera.

Edited by Joris van Laar

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Buying any 'old' Super 8 camera is a risk from anywhere, nobody can really offer a guarantee as most Super 8 cameras are over 30 years old, you can't expect a guarantee, parts are rarely available, very few people will fix these cameras and repairs often cost more than the value of the camera.

 

Pav

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I guess your best bet MAY be Pro8mm who sells refurbed 310XL's as RhondaCam's which are very similar to 514XL's although the focusing is just zone, not split-image. They might refurb or CLA a 514XL for you if you find one since they are so similar. They are pretty pricey for what they are though. 310XL's for like $500 vs an eBay 514XL for maybe $100 max. I've had luck buying two off eBay. They are study little cameras.

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I was going to suggest a 310xl. Can be found for under $75, it's small and easy to use. I think it checks everything on your list.

 

I have about 10 of the autofocus version that I picked up for anywhere from $5-$30. Autofocus is not good and lens is pretty bad, but it gives you a classic Super 8 look. Very light and fits into your pocket. Great to hand out to kids for fun shots.

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Thanks guys, I appreciate all your input! I just made a bid on a Canon 514XL on ebay, that's being sold by a camerashop that claims to have checked the device and comes with a three month warranty.

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Heikki is right. Most likely 100D. And if so, the 514XL does that perfectly. Shot a roll of Ekta 100D and Provia 100D in Vietnam and the results (especially projected) are brilliant. Also shot 200T and 500T and it was great.

Nick, you have shot using a range of different film. Would you mind explaining which type of film worked best for which specific situation, in regards to the 514XL in your opinion?

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Thanks guys, I appreciate all your input! I just made a bid on a Canon 514XL on ebay, that's being sold by a camerashop that claims to have checked the device and comes with a three month warranty.

Lightweight is no longer a requirement?

 

Just check parallaxe.nl and see what he has got in stock.

Shop has moved so mind the address and times

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I can live with the 600g weight of the 514xl, but thanks for the site, I'll have a look! Especially since it's in my hometown of Amsterdam :)

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Nick, you have shot using a range of different film. Would you mind explaining which type of film worked best for which specific situation, in regards to the 514XL in your opinion?

Generally I shoot a lot of 200T. It is the most versatile and can be easily shot both outdoors in full sun or indoors in medium light. 50D does have smaller grain but I find it's too slow at times, especially for night shooting and 500T is great for low light but when traveling, I find it not as necessary. If you can shoot reversal 100D then definitely go for it. I haven't shot much of it but it is a gorgeous stock. and not a bad speed, especially for an XL shutter camera.

 

Lightweight is no longer a requirement?

You don't think the 514XL is lightweight?? I have probably 10 S8 cameras from Nizo's to Canon 814XL-S and several other random models and the 514XL is definitely the lightest and most compact and a great lens. I'm sure you could go lighter but also you'd be sacrificing image at that point. The 514XL has a great little lens. But I'm open to suggestions other cameras. I love lightweight cameras. The ones smaller than that seem to be fixed lens ultra-compacts without any control which feels like sacrificing a bit too much to me.

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Cheers Nick, thanks for sharing! One last question and then I'll try to stop bothering you. But did you use any ND filter when shooting with 200T on a bright sunny day? If so, which nd filter would you recommend?

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Nah I never have. Vision3 negative film can be overexposed a lot and it's fine. Actually helps. So I've never worried about it. Even shot 500T at the beach metered by my Nizo at 160 and it came out fine. So I never worry about overexposure. I do use the internal 85 filter though.

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Thanks everybody for all the helpful tips & comments! I'm expecting my Canon 514XL to get delivered somewhere next week and can't wait to document my travels in Super-8!

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Personally, I use a Fujica Z800; because the image is very, very stable; due to the Single 8 cartridge and metal pressure plate in the camera. Single 8 is the Japanese version of Super 8 and both will run on Super 8 projectors. I also have a Beaulieu 4008 ZMII and this is the camera I recommend for Super 8. It is a professional camera; used by professionals; because you can adapt any lens made; to attach to the C mount lens mount on the camera. I have a C mount to Nikon F mount adapter and I use Nikon 35mm still camera lenses on it. You could be out hiking around and bolt on a 300mm telephoto/zoom lens from a 35mm still camera and take long distance shots; whereas a fixed Suoer 8 zoom may only go out to 70mm or so. The 4008 ZMII is also very light and compact and uses rechargeable Nicad batteries. Rebuilt versions from Pro 8mm show up on eBay and these are very professional. Otherwise, a new rebuilt one(with a widened gate) is around $2500 from Pro 8mm.

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They might refurb or CLA a 514XL...

 

Hi Nick. I've seen the term "CLA" a few times on this forum. What does it stand for?

 

Thanks

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Hi Nick. I've seen the term "CLA" a few times on this forum. What does it stand for?

 

Thanks

 

It means "Clean, Lubricate, and Adjust" and is generally used in regards to film cameras which are old, crusty, and dried. It's doesn't necessarily mean "repair" though. Many times old film cameras work but also the gears and mechanisms just need to be cleaned up a bit before it all grinds to a screeching halt due to decades old lube or tiny screws that need to be tightened on the inside.

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It means "Clean, Lubricate, and Adjust" and is generally used in regards to film cameras which are old, crusty, and dried. It's doesn't necessarily mean "repair" though. Many times old film cameras work but also the gears and mechanisms just need to be cleaned up a bit before it all grinds to a screeching halt due to decades old lube or tiny screws that need to be tightened on the inside.

 

Thanks. I knew it was something simple.

 

BTW, I recently found a nice 814 AZ on eBay, well, last Summer, but have been shooting tests with it. Pretty cool stuff. Getting film and processing through Pro8mm. Results of initial tests from last Summer http://daveperry.net/super-8-film/

 

Just shot 3 more cartridges this weekend and sent for processing.

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Hi Nick. I've seen the term "CLA" a few times on this forum. What does it stand for?

 

Thanks

 

Clean, lube, adjust. Basic maintenance.

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If you can get passed their awkward ergonomics, I would recommend either Leicina Super or RT-1. Built like tanks, can handle any film speed and manual controls.

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If you can get passed their awkward ergonomics, I would recommend either Leicina Super or RT-1. Built like tanks, can handle any film speed and manual controls.

Indeed nice camera's and underappreciated. There is nothing awkward to them. It is just clever design to develop the forehead support option. Like on the Leicina Special, Fujica ZC-1000, Minolta autopak D-10 and possibly others.

The grip folds back for compactness during transportation and easy mouting on a tripod. The only thing might be that the grip is somewhat square when holding it.

 

The Super and RT-1 connect to the external controller too for maximum serious filming.

Edited by Andries Molenaar

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