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Bradley Baughman

Sankyo 4X Help

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Hi guys! I just joined here. I recently came into possession of a Sankyo Auto-4X camera and wasn't sure about a few things. It looks like it requires a mercury battery, and comes with a spare one, but since it is so old, will it still work? And if not, what replacement battery would I need? Thanks!

 

Bradley

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Unless you use one of the WEIN zinc air cell batteries, the voltage will be slightly too high and will bias the auto-exposure by as much as 1/2 stop.  You could just see if the meter is working at all by using a common 1.5 volt battery cell, and if so, then just set the exposure manually, or use the backlight compensation button (if it has one, I don't recall it's been many years and I have the next model up from yours) which might get you in the ballpark for exposure in auto mode.  But as long as you can set it manually, and I believe it requires meter power to do so, then you're good to go.

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Hey, 

I too have a auto 4x and not sure of some things. 

 

The batteries mine had in place we’re just 4 AA batteries and I have yet to get some new ones to see if it still works but I’m wondering what kind of film to buy for this specific camera.

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On many of those earlier Super 8mm cameras, there is a small round cap that you use a coin to unscrew, this contains the light meter batteries.  On later model SANKYO Super 8mm cameras, the voltage is divided up from the main Double A batteries.  However, the 4x is a very early model.  It was made to work primarily with the KODACHROME ASA/ISO 40 (25 with filter for Daylight) and EKTACHROME 160 (100 with filter for Daylight).  So, you can use TRI-X ISO 200 (close enough for most purposes being rated at ISO 160), VISION 50D (will be rated at ISO 40 in Daylight without filter needed, so some slight overexposure which will help), VISION 200T (which will also be slightly over exposed, but these color neg films benefit from that little bit extra). 

The trouble issue here is if you wish to shoot the new EKTACHROME 100D which is ISO 100 in Daylight without filter conversion needed.  The camera will rate it at ISO 160 so it will be under-exposed, thus darker. If you can adjust the exposure manually or if there's a Backlight button or switch on your camera (often there is) you can set the switch which will usually expose the film anywhere from 1/2 Stop to 1/Stop over the 'normal' setting. A 1-stop decrease will bring the effective rating to ISO/EI 80, close enough for most purposes, but it is slight underexposure from the 100 rating. Some cameras' backlight setting does a 2/3 Stop extra exposure, so this would also get you in the range of usability. If you only have the backlight button, then it must be held in while filming and that can be a pain.  A workaround is to use some good vinyl electrical tape and tape some small coins or buttons which would press in the button and hold it that way. [I suggest just getting another camera that would allow you to do all you need manually, plenty of affordable ones under $50 on eBay such as the GAF ST-100/110/111/111E/602/802 and similar models which were all built by Chinon in Japan are built like tanks]

Lastly, you do want to make sure that the metering system or at least the Manual Exposure control (if it has one). These days with the higher cost of film and processing, it's just not worth wasting the time and money on unknowns.  So if you could just shoot a few feet for a film test, and then use the rest of the cartridge up in a known good camera, that would be ideal. However, if you've checked that the meter works, that there's either manual exposure control and/or backlight switch/button, and all seems to be working, that will be the best you can do prior to actually shooting film.  Good luck!

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