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William Rudberg

Nizo 801 for 639.00. Rip off?

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I'm having a really difficult time trying to find which Super 8 camera to get. Is this a rip off?


I saw some footage from these cameras and really love the way it looks. But not sure if this is a good deal. Any suggestions? 




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It depends on if you think it's worth it.  I'll give you an example: I purchased the previous model NIZO S-800 back in 1974 for $549.00 plus shipping on top of that. In today's dollars adjusted for inflation that's probably somewhere closer to $2,500 or more.  IF that camera were built today, it would most certainly cost several times more than what is being asked.  Let's breakdown his listing:

1.  NIZO S-801 (non-macro, so about 1975+).......$200 to $300 on average in good to excellent condition but his was serviced....NOTE:  He does say the 54fps knob setting doesn't work, but the instant slow motion button works fine.  Serviced these are often sold anywhere from $350 to $500 and up depending who is selling them.  A west coast company would sell this at triple or more.

2.  It includes the Ultra Wide III lens which might work okay on this model. They were usually dependant on the macro versions, but at the wide angle setting coupled with this ultra wide negative element lens, it might still work fine.  He's selling with it, so he must've tested it out....I'd ask just to make sure.  This accessory lens often sells for $80 to $150 in excellent condition.  NOTE:  He shows that it has some marks on it, but they might not show up in the images.

3.  The NIZO aluminum case:  sells in the $50 to $100 range, was more new years ago.

4.  Includes the Battery Adapters for down converting the 1.5volt cells to 1.35 volts, and these are expensive little buggers, so figure that's worth another $50 to $75.

5.   Camera is complete with the so often lost screw in zoom rod to allow smooth manual zooming, snap on lens cap (also often lost), clean working battery box, and large eyecup (the camera sold originally with 2 eyecups, a small one for us eyeglass wearers and the nice light blocking larger one). Camera is also in full working order, aside the 54fps knob setting, with clean glass, viewfinder etc.

6.  Skylight Filter, which in the 62mm size is typically in the $15 to $30 range, depending on manufacturer.

I repair my own cameras, so I wouldn't pay this much.  But I did buy several very expensive Super 8mm cameras brand new back in the day and boy were they expensive.  That first NIZO of mine was the same price as a Hasselblad 500cm.   So, really, only you can figure if this is worth it to you to buy a camera that was serviced and the seller has excellent 100% feedback.   These cameras are more mechanical electrical than electronic, and can usually always be serviced to keep going.  They are capable of time lapse filming, and even more so, the capability of long timed exposures per frame from 1/10th second down to 1 minute exposure PER frame.   I have filmed under a full moon using KODACHROME years ago and was amazed.   Considering inflation, the real cost in dollars is more like $150 for this outfit.  If you don't need the other gear, and want just the camera, keep hunting, they show up on eBay fairly often. Even with using the 1.5 batteries for the light meter, it'll work fine in Manual Exposure mode, or meter in Auto, then set to manual to compensate for the voltage bias. If you want Auto Exposure, you'll either have to settle for the Wein 1.4 volt zinc air cells, or end up buying those little adapters which have resisters built in to drop the voltage down.

Looking around on eBay I found a few, and also saw this one which is the highest model of the silent NIZO Super 8 cameras:   https://www.ebay.com/itm/Braun-NIZO-801-macro-Super8-Movie-Camera/163739774867?hash=item261fa6af93:g:u8MAAOSwpfNdB~~C

That one is nearing the $200 mark and could end up selling as high as $275 to $325, which would be a better camera, albeit not serviced but working fine as stated by the seller, and you'd save HALF.  Again, only you can decide here factoring all the information.  Good luck on your decision!

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Like Martin says, its worth it if you can afford it, if you want the extra bit and pieces, and if you already know that you're interested enought in the medium to spend that kind of money. If you think it's too expensive, or if you're not yet sure if super 8 is for you, you can do things incrementally, like I'm doing. A couple of months ago I was in a similar position - not sure what to buy or how much to spend. In the end I got an s800. Cost me £122 - about $155. It wasn't serviced but it was from a reputable seller, all functions worked properly, nice clean lens and came with a 90 day guarantee. That's not long, but I reckoned it was long enough for any obvious problems to show up. I've now had two films through it and so far so good. I did have to buy a lens cap, and I'm currently looking for a small eye cup - the large one it came with is inconvenient with glasses. Also there was no case, so that's another thing I'll have to buy. The zinc air batteries are a pain - I had to buy them on the internet and I believe they don't last long - so I'll be getting the voltage adapters so I can use the 1.5V batteries. And I will in due course get it serviced. I don't know what that will cost, but it will probably be more than I paid for the camera. So by the time I've had it a year or so I'll have spent about $400 - 500 on it. But not in one initially outlay, and by now I know that I'm interested enough in super 8, and like the camera enough, to not mind spending that much.

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Wow thank you both for all your help! I've been toying with super 8 for a little over a year, but still don't know everything. I just placed a bid on that Nizo 801 you posted a link to. Price is definitely a factor for me, so not having all the extras would be okay with me. i'll keep you updated on what happens 🙂


Thanks again!


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It doesn't have to be a NIZO to get into and enjoy Super 8mm.  I began with various simple and low end cameras. These days you can buy a relatively high end camera from other brands for low cost.  CHINON made more Super 8mm cameras than any other manufacturer in the world. They even made some for NIZO, BOLEX, AGFA, BOOTS, Wards, SEARS, PORST, Revue, Noris, GAF, EUMIG and others.   The GAF Anscomatic ST-xxx series are very well made, can still be repaired and are sturdy cameras with sharp lenses. These often sell quite cheap.   The ST-601/602/801/802/1000/1001/1002 models all offer 24fps as well and were considered their 'pro' series models.  Although having serviced many over the years, the internal workings are quite similar if not identical and are built like tanks. 

The ST-100/101/101E/111/111E are very much the same as the others mentioned above, but do not have 24fps, rather 12fps, 18fps and either 36fps or 48fps.  Since I prefer to shoot and project at 18fps, which in my long experience is gentler on the film and allows often times a steadier image, longer run time in the camera [3min 20sec vs 2min 30sec], these are fine for my needs.   You can find any of these models in the $15 to $50 price range, sometimes higher depending on how outfitted.  Most of the time the eyecups are missing, the rubber CHINON used turned to a gooey mess with age, which affects their own CHINON branded models as well as all the others they made.  I have found that after market eyecups work well, and I like using the BOLEX H-8/H-16 eyecups, but others work fine also. 

Here's some links to current eBay listings:

The one here is at $29.99 and includes free shipping within the USA.  This is the 8:1 zoom range version.


This one below is at $12.99 plus $20 for shipping. It has the original eyecup which is a mess, but that's good because then the retaining ring is still there, easy enough to remove, take off the old eyecup, clean up the area of any goo, and install a new one on.  It comes with the original Instruction Manual as well.  This is the 6:1 zoom range version.


This one is a tank of a camera, heavy with that 10:1 zoom lens on it.  Incidently the version of this made under the Porst and Noris names had lap dissolve and a couple other functions that this GAF badged version doesn't. Even so, at $59 it's a bargain. 

Most of these cameras work, or you can get them working if they have frozen up a bit from sitting for decades.  All the gears are heavy duty, metal and nylon, most everything can be serviced. In fact, I have gotten every single one I have bought off eBay to work.  Some just needed cleaning up of the electrical contacts.  The last one I bought had a loose body shell cover, requiring disassembly to sort it out, so while in there, clean up other areas and check things out.....it was only $2.00!   Of course due to weight the shipping was another $12 but that is not the price, and we all have to pay for shipping usually.

CHINON made some smaller ST models for GAF and some of those are pretty good also.  The nice thing about the ST series is that all of them have Manual Exposure setting with the aperture scale in the viewfinder. So even if the light meter isn't working....or you can't get the right battery, you can use them fine without meter power...it's a mechanical linkage to the aperture.  They have Single Frame, Remote, Run Lock, Flash Synch, Slow Motion with an instant lever or switch.  Some have a pistol grip, others have that odd angled grip which makes a great carry handle as well.  These are not XL type cameras, but using the 12fps speed I have been able to film in fairly low light with the higher speed filmstocks, such as the former EKTACHROME 160 and Tri-X B&W, so Color Neg, that fast ISO 200 AGFA if any is still around, would all work fine.  I have always advocated that Super 8 filmers own a few cameras...a small pocket type for travel use, a nice one for more serious stuff, an XL type for low light use, and a beater to tape to cars, bikes etc for more risky shots.

Well, plenty to think about here before you make the plunge!

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