A new Super 8 camera - possibly

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A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Guest » Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:56 pm

I, and a friend of mine who is an electronics engineer, have decided we're going to give it a go and try and make one - if we can come up with a reliable system we will sell them on a build-to-order basis.

We're going to go for something fairly basic and then if that works we might try and do something which incorporates more modern technology/electronics. My friend, Rob Greenfield, is quite a talented electronics engineer and I have alot of faith when he says he can or can't do things. So anyway he's going to look after that side of it and I'm going to look after the optics/film side of it.

The features we're interested in putting into it at the moment are:

* Crystal synch motor at a few set speeds - 18, 24, 25 and 29.97 fps (any other useful/necessary ones?)

* A proper gate mechanism so the film runs out of the cartridge through a loop and through a gate to improve stability

* Fully manual - no auto focus or zoom or apperture - or ASA detection

* Internal light metering

* Internal rechargeable battery and DC power input

* Sound dampening if the camera isn't quiet enough

* Possibly a camcorder style grip - not a pistol grip

* A proper through the lense view finder system (possibly an orientable one)

* Nobs and controls not a menu system


We don't have a time frame on this but have started on the R&D already I'll start a web page soon so you can follow the development of the project.

Any comments/advice feel free to let us know. We have no idea of the end price it would probably be around $1000 Australian - and we will only be doing them if we can obtain/make all the parts on a build to order basis.

Aesthetically it's probably just going to look like a black box with a lense sticking out of the front - it won't have a die cast body, but will certainly have a solid internal structure to it. We're still tossing around names for it.

Scot

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Post by Scotness » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:01 pm

That was me - didn't realise I wasn't logged in - I also forgot to mention it'll have c-mount on it for the lense.

Scot
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Post by escubria » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:11 pm

How will you machine the parts?

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Post by downix » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:19 pm

Cool, someone else besides me doing it too. Great!

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Post by monobath » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:30 pm

Excellent! I applaud your efforts and wish you success. I'll buy one when you're ready to start producing them, just to support your effort.

If you have access to good-quality metal lathe, you should be able to machine just about any part you need. Even a relatively inexpensive home mini-lathe should be able to do everything you'd need for a simple camera such as you propose. mini-lathe.com

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Post by Ugo » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:21 pm

If you want to do a really modern super 8 camera, you have to change the standard path film. Your camera should have inside an iron pressure plate! How to do with the super 8 cartridges? Simple! Using a system similar to the VHS tape path! When the filmaker loads the camera, he brings out the cartridge some centimeters of film and puts it around a principal sprocket and then in the film path with its iron pressure plate.
With this way you have the sharpness like the double super 8 and the agility of the super8!

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Post by Ugo » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:21 pm

I was forgetting: in the VHS the loading is automatic, in this super 8 camera it will be manually.
Bye
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Last edited by Ugo on Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by jukkasil » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:25 pm

Great Scott (BTW. I already have that In my image magazine article here, have to scan it and send to you)!
Best Regards

Jukka Sillanpaa

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Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Lunar07 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:42 pm

Scotness wrote: .......................................
* Fully manual - no auto focus or zoom or apperture - or ASA detection
* Internal light metering
How would you have internal light metering without ASA detection?
The best system in my mind is that of the Canon 512 Zoom Reflex 8mm camera: Needle matching - it is a completely manual system but user sets the ASA which sets the variable position of a needle on an f-stop scale through internal metering but no aperture is set automatically. The position of the needle only suggests the f-stop to be used. Then user is free to match this needle with a second needle which moves as user manually sets the f-stop. Both needles and f-stop scale are seen through view finder.
I think you have such a system in mind.
* Possibly a camcorder style grip - not a pistol grip
A removable one hopefully.
Also, I do not know if it is possible to take a widened film gate into account from the start so that the lens mount is positioned with that in mind.

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Post by LastQuark » Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:20 pm

If you can keep the price at AUD$1,000 = US$692, this will be a seller for sure.

Will this be a direct exposure to the film without a reflex lens in-between like a guillotine shutter?

The rest of the features already cover all the bases for a basic and functional prosumer to a pro camera.

 

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Post by Scotness » Sat Jun 12, 2004 11:04 pm

downix wrote:Cool, someone else besides me doing it too. Great!
Yeah I noticed from the cinematogrpahy.com site I think you were doing one - good luck - I think rather than exchange ideas/knowledge we should try and be competitive just for the fun of it!
escubria wrote:How will you machine the parts?
This will most likely be outsourced.
monobath wrote:If you have access to good-quality metal lathe, you should be able to machine just about any part you need. Even a relatively inexpensive home mini-lathe should be able to do everything you'd need for a simple camera such as you propose.
Thanks for the link - we'll have to see on cost though - we want to try and keep our own costs down as far as possible.


ugo wrote:If you want to do a really modern super 8 camera, you have to change the standard path film. Your camera should have inside an iron pressure plate! How to do with the super 8 cartridges? Simple! Using a system similar to the VHS tape path!
Yes that's what we have in mind but simpler than the VHS one's - but it would have to be threaded manually.


Lunar07 wrote:How would you have internal light metering without ASA detection?
The user sets the ASA setting with a nob on the side of the camera which then effects the output from the internal light sensor. The method you described is interesting and one I'll look into more.
Lunar07 wrote:Also, I do not know if it is possible to take a widened film gate into account from the start so that the lens mount is positioned with that in mind.
Do you mean the Super-Duper 8 format? - yes it would probably be worth doing that right from the word go.


LastQuark wrote:Will this be a direct exposure to the film without a reflex lens in-between like a guillotine shutter?
Don't know yet!

Thanks for the feedback - will keep you all informed.

Scot
BTW Jukka - can't wait to see the article :-)
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Santo

Post by Santo » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:09 am

My reaction is mixed.

First, let me assure you that if you can make such a camera that operates and fits the description you describe, at the price you suggest, you will have a real success story on your hands. I love the description you give. It sounds perfect for a serious filmmaker. I will order one.

However, I must be a realistic and state that I seriously doubt it will be possible. $700 US for all that custom construction? You will lose $ 1000's on each one. Or at least $100's depending on how many parts are from other pre-fab sources.

I mean, look at what Roger Evans charges for a workprinter. And that is absolutely nowhere near what you're talking about in terms of manufacturing realities.

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Post by Scotness » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:26 am

You may well be right Santo - that price was a totally nominal one - and the project may well turn out to be unworkable at that price - one thing we have to our advantage though is how much cheaper everything is in Australia - but then that depends on how much we can source or make here and how much we have to import. The final price will reflect two things a) What will make it worthwhile for us and b) what the market will stand -- we can only find both out as we develope the camera.

Scot
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Post by Lunar07 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:28 am

Scotness wrote:
Lunar07 wrote:How would you have internal light metering without ASA detection?
The user sets the ASA setting with a nob on the side of the camera which then effects the output from the internal light sensor. The method you described is interesting and one I'll look into more.
With all the cameras I have used with internal light metering and manual f-stop setting, this is the most useful and helpful system. The Eumig C16R has the same exact system. One variable needle denotes f-stop from internal light metering, another needle denotes f-stop set by user manually using a knob on the camera body.
BUT since this camera will be using c-mount removable lenses I do not think it is possible to have a second needle since there is no interface between the f-stop ring and the second needle. hmmmmmmmmm..... Maybe in this case back to square one, the internal light meter informs the user of the f-stop and user sets f-stop on lens itself.
Scotness wrote:
Lunar07 wrote:Also, I do not know if it is possible to take a widened film gate into account from the start so that the lens mount is positioned with that in mind.
Do you mean the Super-Duper 8 format? - yes it would probably be worth doing that right from the word go.
I believe so.
Also, how about adding Single frame (not 1 fps, but just single frame) to the list of speeds. And how hard is it to add a flash synch socket and remote electric release socket? Single frame mode and a remote electric release socket allow user to use an external intervalometer.

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Post by Lunar07 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:33 am

Scotness wrote:You may well be right Santo - that price was a totally nominal one - and the project may well turn out to be unworkable at that price - one thing we have to our advantage though is how much cheaper everything is in Australia - but then that depends on how much we can source or make here and how much we have to import. The final price will reflect two things a) What will make it worthwhile for us and b) what the market will stand -- we can only find both out as we develope the camera.

Scot
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