Sankyo Sound XL-600s Super 8mm Video Camera

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by jordan_martin, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. My grandmother recently gave me a Sankyo Sound XL-600s Super 8mm Video Camera and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about it or where I could find a manual (preferably for free)?
  2. Ok this is actually a film camera and not video so the film will be a bit tougher to find. It uses Super 8 film which can be found online at various places. 25 years ago you could have bought it at a Walgreens but not anymore. Look to spend about $30 for buying and processing the film. Did you get a projector with it? Ask your grandmother if she has that also or you won't be able to watch your results. You could have the film converted to video but that can get pricey. I couldn't find a manual for this camera online for free but that shouldn't stop you.
    If it has an option for manual exposure then you'll be better off. Many cameras no longer read the newer ASA film ratings correctly and will expose the film wrong. A manual setting will keep this from happening. If you really want to dive in and try this the go here and read up.
    I'm going to assume you are BRAND NEW to all this and tell you what I can figure out from the picture. The T and W switch is for Tele and Wide angle. Zooming in and out. The 18 and 24 is for how many frames a second you want to shoot. Sound was shot at 24 and silent was shot at 18 but it's up to you now as they don't make sound film anymore. Keep in mind that a $30 cartridge will only give you about 3 minutes of film. Seems high I know but if you nail the exposure you'll really dig the look. I can't tell much more from the pic but what I always do is stick some fresh batteries in them and see if they work. Open the film door, point the camera at a bright light source and pull the trigger. Look inside the film door at where the back of the lens would be. You should see a small rectangle and if you see light passing through this rectangle while it's running then thats good news. That's the film gate and shutter which is what the film presses against in order to expose. Do some hunting on google and you'll be a pro in no time. Most if not all of these camera are the same so if you find a manual for another super 8 camera it will at least help explain what all the numbers and symbols mean and you could go from there. Good luck, hope this helps.
  3. I felt like I left you hanging a bit so I got my Sankyo XL-320 out which should be similar. I also have no manual but no biggie. Mine has an on/off switch which also includes a setting called R-L which is for continuous run. Probably WON'T want to use that at $30 a roll. Then it also has a BATT setting which is just for checking the batteries. The film speed switch might show a 1-16-18-24-32-48-64 or any combination of those numbers. As I said earlier this is how many frames a second you'll be shooting. A 1 is for single frame, animations/time lapse and so on. 16 or 18 is for silent film usually. 24 is for sound and is generally the standard now for shooting film. If you find a projector see what frame rate it runs at to determine what frame rate you'll shoot at. Example-If the projector ONLY runs at 18 FPS then you should shoot at 18 FPS(frames per second). Many projectors will have variable speeds though. Anything higher 32-48-64 on the camera will be true slow motion when projected back. Keep in mind at higher shooting speeds you'll use the film up faster. I only saw 18-24 on your camera though so this shouldn't be an issue. If you have a button or switch that says BLC that is for back light control. If you're shooing somebody indoor against a brightly lit window it will overexpose so the person is not just a silhouette. If you find a knob that has MANU/AUTO EX then that is your exposure settings. Auto will do it automatically which is fine if your camera can read MANY ASA speeds. My Sankyo only reads 40 and 160 ASA so in order to shoot 100ASA film available nowadays I would need to use the manual setting AND a light meter to get correct exposure. I can't stress how important this is. If you blow this part off and just stick a roll of 100 ASA film in it and shoot on AUTO your film won't look good and you'll lose interest. If it ONLY has AUTO exposure I would actually get another camera that has a MANUAL setting at a garage sale or Ebay if you really want to try this. There will also be a switch that shows a SUN symbol and a LIGHT BULB symbol. This is your filter setting. If you buy 100D ASA Kodak film then that film is balance for daylight so you'd set this switch to SUN symbol. The D in 100D means daylight I do believe. There should also be a window that goes from 0-50. This is the footage counter. A Super a cartridge of film is 50 feet long and about 3 minutes or so run time. My camera also has a MIC port for an external microphone which is pointless without sound film. Then it has a MON port which is for a ear phone plug for Monitoring (MON) the sound while you shoot also pointless without sound film. If you have a REM port that is for a remote control. Don't get tooo excited as I know it is a wired remote and ONLY starts and stops the camera. There might also be a window with F stop settings in it. 22-11-5.6-2.8 and so on. If you have this window you might actually have Manual exposure settings which would be great. If there is a screw hole in the top it is probably for a light which when installed would automatically set the filter for indoor shooting. Make sure you set the eyepiece diopter focus to match you eyesight or everything will come back fuzzy. If not set to YOUR eyesight what you see might look in focus to you but won't be in focus on the film. One last thing, this camera is old and as such the foam seals that keep light out are probably crumbling. When you put the film in use electrical tape around the film door to keep out light leaks. Light leaks are considered a cool look by some but only in moderation. A really bad light leak might give you nothing but clear film when you get it back. Also clean out the area where the film goes. Get dust, cats hairs and film bits out of there. And finally is you buy film off EBAY don't get Kodachrome. Nobody on the planet will process it as Kodachrome anymore. That sadly ended this past December. Have fun and good luck!
  4. Thank you for all the information! Very helpful.
    As for the exposure I think there is a dial that controls that. When I turn it the needle on the meter moves.
    Im assuming this is the backlight control button. When I press it, the f-stop needle moves down.
    And I have no idea what this switch does. C on one positon and O on the other
    There is a dial on the eyecup, assuming that changes the diopter for my eyesight. How do I go about setting this correctly? Also, is there any way to change the lenses?
    As for the light seals, the camera is in surprisingly good condition. Even more impressive is the fact that my grandmothers house has flooded at least 3 times (I'm also attempting to clean some very dirty 35mm slides for them). There was some slight battery corrosion but I think I got that taken care of. I am going over later today to dig through some closets and see if I can find the manual or projector. I will let you know what I find.
    Thanks again for all the information.
  5. I found the projector, a Bell and Howell 456A. No manual with it either. My roommate and I both tried to figure it out but the takeup reel didnt seem to be working correctly. I think the belt is broken.
  6. I think there is some new Super 8 stock being sold (Visions and Ektachrome for color) and Plus-X and Tri-X reversal for black & white. I don't think any sound stock (has a magnetic stripe for sound recording) is being made now. You might still find some sound film on ebay from time to time.
  7. The switch that says C and O might be "C" for continuous run. When you get some batteries in it set the switch to "C" and pul the trigger. If it keeps running then that's what it is. The "O" might mean Operate as in normal operation. Just guessing on that one.
    For the diopter try this link. It sounds just like I remember doing it.
    Projector looks like it's in good shape also. Does yours have the sweet assed wood grain on it? ;) The belt could easily be broken but make sure you're not missing a swicth or a clutch lever somewhere on the projector before you tear into it. Also it might not run right if that swing out door with the lens on it is open. I know it's just that way in the picture but many have safety features to keep them from running if everything isn't "ready". Buying another projector will be easier than finding a belt for that one probably. I think the one on Ebay was $24 but at a flea market or garage sale you could probably get one for $10 or $20. If you live in a big city with some really old pawn shops they might even have one they'd give you as I'm sure they are sick of having them sit around. I guess you could pull the two screws out of the take up arm and see if there is a belt in there. I don't know if that thing uses one or more belts but opening it up if it isn't working makes sense.
    I think you're dead on about the camera exposure having a manual option and the backlight switch. If you open the film door does it say what ASA it will read? If you can post a pic of the inside of the film door I can tell you if auto exposure will work with todays ASA films. If you have to go manual exposure you'll want a light meter although just an educated guess will get you images.
    Heres a few links to places that sell Super 8 film. Parsons Kansas California
    There are several others and if you live in a big city like Chicago/NYC/Los Angeles/Seattle you might even find camera shops that still sell it over the counter. Many of the online labs sell it with or without processing included. That's up to you. You can shoot color or black and white but whatever you shoot you'll want what is called "reversal" film. That means it can be projected and will look right. "Negative" film is a negative stock and projecting that won't look right.
  8. I figured out the C-0 switch. C closes the viewfinder. O is for Open. To prevent light leaks when you aren't looking through it I suppose.
    Projector does have the wood grain on it lol. I found a repair manual for free online (but not an instruction manual--I found that odd) Also found a belt on eBay for $2.50 shipped, so I bought that. Figured it was cheap enough that if it turns out the problem wasn't the belt, I wouldnt be out much.
    If I remember correctly, the camera reads ASA 40 and 160. I will double check that when I am home.
    I do not live in a big city, but I am only 3 hours from Parsons, KS (I live in Wichita) so I will probably go with Dwayne's when I buy film. They seem to have a good selection and are reasonable in price.
  9. I changed the belt on the projector and got it to start working
    For some reason I can't focus the projector. I also do not think it has a variable playback speed, so I need to find out what speed it is.
  10. It's best if you have a projector that you can speed up past 24 FPS closer to the 30 FPS the video camera runs at. Check and see if the projector lens has come loose from the focus mechanism. When you adjust focus does it at least change the focus even though it doesn't come into focus? If not the lens might be loose from the focus mechanism. Also you can't get too close to the wall/screen or it won't focus. Shot anything with the camera yet? I thought that might be recent footage until I saw the 1948ish Plymouth!
  11. The projector plays at 18fps with no adjustment. I did notice the belt was basically an O-ring. Maybe a smaller oring could increase speed?
    I fixed the focus. For some reason there was some black gunk keeping the lens from moving. However, I took apart the lens but can't seem to get it back together right. See here for more information on that.
    Have not shot anything yet. I bought a Canon AE-1 the day before I recieved this so I have been spending money on that instead. My roommate and I plan to shoot a short over the summer.
  12. Jordan, I was a big fan of Super 8 back during its heyday in the 70s. Kodak does still sell Super 8 -- -- so there is no need to go buying 20-year-old film on ebay. If you do buy old film, however, be aware that there is no more Kodachrome processing anymore anywhere, so any Kodachrome film out there is worthless. While Kodak does still sell new Ektachrome and negative film, the problem is that most Super 8 cameras could only use ASA/ISO 40 or 160 and none of the current films are either of those speeds. You might be lucky and your Sankyo has the settings for exposing current speeds properly but without the manual I can't say. The exposure dial you found on the camera does not set film speed. It's just exposure compensation, so it' might help but it's a work-around at best. (Again I'm speaking without seeing the manual.) Kodak hasn't made sound film in years. There are people who try to shoot "double system" sound where the sound is recorded on a separate recorder, but none of the materials for that (fullcoat magnetic film used either in recording or for transfer from cassette tapes for the editing end) are made any more either. There are people out there still trying to work with super 8 but at this point it's a labor of love. The point of super 8 back in the day was largely that it was cheap and easy. Today it's neither.
  13. I probably should say "many" Super 8 cameras can't properly expose the current films rather than "most." Generally the cheaper cameras could only do 40/160 while more expensive cameras could cover the full range of speeds. The Sankyo was roughly a $500 camera in its day and might very well be OK. Somewhere online there is a chart of which cameras have which speed settings.
  14. Know this is a old post. I found this camera at a flea market and bought it. When its poserede by the poser supply it works perfect. But i cant figure out what kind og battery it uses. Anyone knows?

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