Does anyone else shoot in 8mm or Super-8?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by silverscape, May 15, 2009.

  1. I have a collection of vintage 8mm (Regular or "Double Run" 8mm) movie cameras, and I like to shoot with them sometimes as another hobby. I know Patrick Mont uses Super-8, and probably a couple of other people. But does anyone else here like to use 8mm movie cameras?
    I think out of all my cameras, the Bolex K2 is probably my favorite. It's a very nice, solid, all-metal camera, but still easy to carry around. I use mostly Ektachrome 100D, and I send it to Dwayne's Photo to get developed. (Although there are a lot of other labs that can develop 8mm film).

    I posted this picture on another topic, but here is an 8mm projector I just bought at an antique shop recently. It's a Revere P-90. It works great. (And yeah, I took this picture with film too! Kodak Plus-X in my Minolta SRT-101).

    By the way, doesn't anyone know when these projectors were made?

    So does anyone else here like to shoot in 8mm or Super-8?
  2. I shoot 8mm and super 8 (as you mentioned). I can't get enough of it. It is just so much fun. It really kills me that people would throw away a film camera for a Sony Handycam. I shoot mostly 7280 in super 8 and Ektachrome 100D slit into 8mm. I just ordered some TRI-X Reversal. I am fortunate to have a lab about 15 miles from my house that procsses black and white and I am yet to try them out! I highly reccomend that anyone that has considered shooting movies to shoot them while they are still around. Chris I would guess your projector is mid to early 50s. Have you ever tried black and white in your Bolex?
  3. I wish! .... but the film and processing costs are far too high for me. That said, I'd like really to shoot some slo-mo using Tri-X Super-8, but I can't find the right sorts of subject matter.
  4. Cool projector Chris. I also like the mechanical 'clicking' noise that some projectors make. I still use my Nizo S 8mm but only on special occasions. Kodachrome 40 is one of my favorites and have just 2 cartridges left. BTW, can anyone recommend a good substitute ?
  5. Chris, I have a Bauer 88C sitting on my shelf, and it's in fully functional condition. I'll never use it. It just has a slight dent in the filter ring. If you want it, it's yours. I had an 8mm projector and a screen, but I got rid of them.
  6. You can cut costs by sending your film out through WalMart and it still goes to Dwayne's. WalMart can't handle black and white though. Film is about $15-20 per roll and processing goes about $6 at WalMart. Rob, I'll take that Bauer off your hands unless chris wants it.
  7. They only super 8 answer to Kodachrome is Ektachrome as it is the only reversal film.
  8. I remember seeing our home movies projected by a Revere similiar to the one pictured, so I would guess the late 1940s.
  9. Ok, thanks Patrick - i'll be checking 'Ektachrome' out...
  10. Ektachrome colors are nothing like Kodachrome, but it is the only film that can be projected. I would LOVE to still shoot Kodachrome but.......
  11. Revere made most of their stuff in the 40s and 50s. I have a Revere-Nikkor Cine lens that is sort of special. Also have a zoom "autofocus" lens from early postwar Japan. The "autofocus" refers to the lens not having to be focused after zooming. I have an old Eumig somewhere and a Yashica 8. Oh, and a Keystone A8. At one time I had a Stewart-Warner "Hollywood" 16mm that was very similar to the Keystone 16.
    I don't shoot them. Any movie cameras around here are for display. I used to have a lot of movie cameras around but, as they got less popular, I sold them. I still have an Arriflex 16.
  12. I don't think I could have a movie camera collection and not ever shoot any of them. I could see leaving certain ones on display.
  13. There are a few different films available for Regular 8mm. I know there are a couple B&W films, but I forget what they're called. I think the the only color film available for Regular 8mm is Ektachrome 100D. There's a few different films available for Super-8, but I have only shot Regular 8mm so far, so I really don't that much about Super-8 film stock.
    I usually order my movie film from Dwayne's Photo. But here's another place that has a much bigger selection:
    Rob, I'm sending you a private message :)
  14. The only other 8mm films I know of besides what Wittner offers and sells to many other places is the Foma R100 stock that can only be bought (in the US) from Freestyle. It is out of stock now, but I am going to order some when it comes in.
  15. I wish I could everytime I look at that pride of the VEB Pentacon, the AK8 cine camera. It is such a nice little basic camera, but I have no projector, etc. and my nuttiness does not extend far enough to go the whole course to get this one back into service.
    It has a Zeiss Jena f/2.8 10mm Triotar, continuous and single frame shooting, and seems to work like a charm.
  16. I shoot super-8, regular 8, and single-8 (the Fuji version of super-8). I've got a few Bolex cameras...the P1 and P2 are nice but my favourite for carrying around is a simple B8SL (in fact, that's it on my Community Member page).
  17. If anyone is ever planning to get rid of any 8mm or super 8 cine equipment, please let me know. I have heard tons of people say "I threw away the camera and projector. I had no use for it". There are people out there that would love to use them instead of dumping them in the landfill
  18. JDM- You should use that camera. If you don't want to get a projector just have the film telecined.
  19. That's a thought.
    It was a lucky stroke, but the first Wards camera catalog I pulled off the shelf had the P90 in it. From your picture it looks like you still have the wide angle attachment!
    James Bryant likes this.
  20. Wow! Thanks JDM! That's awesome. That answers a lot of questions. So, going by the date of the catalog, it was made around 1953. And yeah, it does indeed have the attachment! In fact, I just noticed that a few days ago when I was playing around with it and (carefully) unscrewed the lens.
    What's interesting too is that it says it can run on either AC or DC. I also noticed that on a plate on the projector itself. At first, I thought the speed control knob was a variable transformer, which of course could only work with AC. But from what I understand a rheostat is a variable resistor, which can work with AC or DC. What I'm kind of confused about is the motor. If it's a DC motor, I didn't know you could run that with AC. I tried it once...I stepped 120 volts AC down to 12 VAC with a small transformer, and then tried to power a 12 volt DC motor. It just sat there and hummed and wouldn't turn.
    Also, were there still a lot places that used DC power back then?

    Someone really took care of this projector. It even had the orginal carrying case, which is mentioned in that advertisement! I still can't believe I got it from an antique shop, for only $40!

    Oh, and Leon...I'm glad to hear you use movie cameras! Did you get any of your movies transferred to DVD? I actually prefer just waching my movies on a projector. I figure if I'm going to do something the "old school" way, I might as well do it right! But I think I'm going to get some of them transferred to .AVI or .WMV format so I could edit them on my computer and upload them online.
  21. When this one was made, both Joseph and Charlie McCarthy were still around, the Korean war was just coming to an end, and much else (link ).
    That $160 would have bought an awful lot of food and gas back then. $6 or 7 thousand dollars was a good annual salary.
  22. Chris it sound like you got one really good projector at a really good price!
  23. There were places that had their own generator systems, usually 48 VDC (IIRC), primarily used on farms and places that weren't anywhere near power lines. Those were mostly gone by the '50s, but I suppose there were some still around. It was much more prevalent before the '30s. You can check in old Sears/Wards catalogs and they'll have appliances specifically for that voltage.
  24. Chris, I prefer looking at 8mm movies over DVDs, too. Back in the 70's, I used to buy Blackhawk films of Laurel and Hardy, etc. Loaned them to a friend, and never got them back. Had a Gaf 10-1 zoom super 8 camera that also did single frame. Loaned that and never got it back! I gave another Bell and Howell super 8 camera to my girl friend's mother a few years ago. Now, all I have is a B&H projector that needs a bulb.
  25. Hey Chris, I still shoot a lot of Super 8. I find Fomapan 8mm hard to get processed...have a few rolls of that left and quite a collection of 8mm and Super 8mm cameras. You are right to project it as the contrast ratio of projected film still blows away anything digital. You can find simple boxes to transfer to video though. Not bad and you can get it out there. Try using a freshly ironed white sheet stretched between two poles or such. Set up your video camera with a tripod on the other side of the sheet. Voila, perfect video transfer! This was called rear screen projection and was used for Hollywood special effects. You will need to flip the image in Premiere or Final Cut after it's transferred.
  26. Chris, I haven't had anything transferred yet - I'm a projection nut. There are a few I have to get telecined, mainly as I shot them while acting as an unofficial photographer at friends' weddings (people love seeing their wedding on 8mm), but I'm having trouble finding a good telecine place that will provide the formats I want.
    There's nothing like sitting down to watch a projected film, though (except when the projector chews up your film....actually, it's getting much harder to find good projectors than good cameras these days).
  27. Leon, I know exactly what you mean. I definitely prefer watching my 8mm movies on a projector too. Like I was saying, I figured that if I'm going to do it the "old skool" way, I might as well do it right! And there is just such a unique look and feel to a real projected film that you just can't replicate with anything else. If I did get my 8mm movies transferred to DVD, it would be just so that I could upload videos online. I've had some people on a few websites I'm on ask about my 8mm movies (they're curious about what 8mm looks like) and so I need some way to digitize them and upload them online. I've made some videos about my 8mm cameras and I posted them on YouTube. They're just basic demos, showing how to load them, etc. But I've had a lot of people who were interested in it and they want to try shooting with 8mm and 16mm now. So I want to upload some movies that I actually shot with 8mm.
    But as far as just watching the films or showing them to friends when they come over...I really can't see myself sitting in front of a computer and watching it on a dinky little monitor. That defeats the whole purpose. I want to project it! And you'd be surprised...even though none of my friends are really that much into photography (and definitely not film photography), they are still fascinated by 8mm movies. They think it's funny. It kind of looks retro and like something out of the "Wonder Years" except that you see all these modern cars and buildings!
    The only time I got a film eaten was when I bought a really cheap, crappy Super-8 projector from a thrift shop. It was supposed to be able to play Regular 8mm or Super-8 film, and you could just change it with a switch. It had "auto load" which I've since learned is horrible and prone to problems. It wouldn't load the film right and ate it, just like tape cassettes used to get eaten. Luckily, it was only the leader. Although I think a few frames of the film got burned. After that, I bought a Kodak "Brownie" projector on eBay. It was really easy to load, and it works pretty good. I used it for a couple of years, and then I got lucky and got the Revere projector. It's built like a tank and it will probably be around forever.
  28. hey Russ, have you ever gotten your films eaten? I bet it has happened to everyone at least once. (Although I never had any more problems after I got rid of the crappy thrift store Super-8 projector and got a decent one.)
    And...has anyone ever accidentally opened the film compartment on the know, while you still had film inside! Come on, admit've done it at least once :)
  29. My film has been kind of eaten. It got jammed, but no permanant damage. Yes, I have opened the film compartment with film in there so I keep a note in the case, just in case.
  30. Oh yeah! Film has been eaten many times....I hate it when that happens. I'm currently using a Bolex 18-3 projector which is really sweet to film, and a Eumig which is very good also. They will do both Super and Regular 8mm. The nice thing about 8mm and SUper 8 is that even if you open the camera only a few frames will be fogged. The daylight reels work very well at keeping the film safe.
    I also have a Bolex H16 and Bell & Howell 16mm projector. The quality of those is quite stunning, but cost of 16mm film is getting pretty high.
  31. I think I am going to have to set out for a Bolex....I know the quality is not that great, but did anyone ever shoot any Polavision movies back in the day?
  32. And...has anyone ever accidentally opened the film compartment on the know, while you still had film inside! Come on, admit've done it at least once :)
    Well it wasn't my own film, but who knew it was there or how many times it had been opened before I got the camera!
  33. Patrick, I have a friend that still has his Polavision equiptment.
  34. Patrick, from the cameras I've seen, Bolex is actually pretty good. My Bolex K2 is easily the best 8mm movie camera I have. I don't have a picture of mine handy, but here's a link so you can see more about it:
    And yeah, Russ I think the daylight spools have saved me a few times. And at least you don't have to load the camera in a darkroom. I load and unload the camera in dim indoor lighting, but it probably doesn't even really matter. All the old manuals I've seen say that you can even load the camera outside, as long as it's not directly in bright you could even just go under the shade of a tree or something.
    JDM, I've bought cameras on eBay that still had film in them. I just end up playing around with the old roll of film and using it to test my other cameras (make sure the shutter and advance works, etc). At first, I felt kind of guilty because I thought it would be interesting to get those films developed to see what was on them. But then I realized the chance of there being anything useful on them after all those years would be incredibly unlikely. Besides, there's no way for me to even know what kind of film it is.
  35. If any of you guys want to learn more and talk more about movies, the forums at are a great place to go.
  36. Chris, if you want to use your old projector more. Ebay has the old Blackhawk and Castle movies. I remember Blackhawk had about every silent movie ever made.
  37. I shoot Super 8. I used to shoot 16mm, but sold my Bolex once I hadn't used it in 8 years... That reminds me, it's time to buy some Super 8 Tri-X... I've got a band shoot coming up. I'm going to need to use my 310-XL to get enough light. Otherwise I shoot a beautiful AGFA Movexoom 10.
  38. About "getting enough light".... did you know that Kodak made 4-X in super8 carts? I can't remember, but it was either 400ASA or 800ASA. Discontinued in 1992.
  39. We still have the 500T Vision 2 that will work in fairly low light situations.
  40. I'm actually pretty excited right now, because I should be getting a couple of 8mm movies in the mail from Dwayne's tomorrow :)
    Also, has anyone ever used Dwayne's to get 8mm transferred to DVD (or .AVI format) ? They only charge $10. I prefer to project my movies, but there are a few that I'm also interested in getting transferred.
  41. I have. They do an okay job. Certainly not that great. This guy does great work for less money than Dwayne's
  42. Hi. The REVERE P-90 is a post-WW2 machine and was the flagship model in 8mm from Revere in Chicago, having a production run from 1946 to 1958. The main advantage of this machine over the long running Revere Model 80 is that is allows film volume up to 400ft. Many projectors of this era had 200ft or 300ft maximum capacity. It also allowed use of either the 500 watt or 750 watt projector lamps due to its lamp cooling capacity. It is still a formidable machine today and with care will last another 50 plus years. Make sure you lubricate all oiling ports generously; since Revere uses long wicks running from the ports to where the oil actually needs to be. Refer to the original maintenance in the instruction manual or via online sources. NOTE: Since the lamp chamber is large enough, these older projectors could be converted over to a modern and cooler running Halogen lamp source.
    The base on your projector shows that yours came with the optional carry-case. Should that bakelite base break on you, or if you'd prefer not to use it, you can easily remove it from the bottom of the projector.
    Keep the film path clean, and wipe down the film gate and pressure plate with a movie film cleaner with lubricant, or use some pure spray silicone on cotton flannel or Q-Tips to liberally wipe the gate down. This will allow your film to glide right through it nice and smoothly. And not forget to make sure your movie films are properly cleaned & lubricated. Labs used to do this after processing, but in the 8mm formats, it's very rare to have that as part of the processing service. I lubricate all film I process for customers and my own of course.
    Lastly, do not drag on the clutch lever; move it quickly in and out of position, as you want to minimize wear on the clutch unit. With care, this projector will easily outlive all of us on this forum.
    Addenum: Someone above mentioned about opening an old camera which still has film in it. This will only fog (expose) the part of the film between the spools, not all the film. Just like opening the back of a 35mm SLR will only ruin a few frames, not the whole roll. I process film here all the time that varies from 20 to 40 years in age, and it's evident that at times the camera film chamber must've been opened when someone was examing the camera.
    Hope this helps.
    Best regards, Martin W. Baumgarten - P.P.S.

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