A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Forum covering all aspects of small gauge cinematography! This is the main discussion forum.

Moderator: Andreas Wideroe

downix
Senior member
Posts: 1178
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Florida, USA
Contact:

Post by downix » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:02 pm

The cost of a beaulieu is greater than what I'll be paying for my current design. Plus, the Beaulieu can't mechanically handle some of the features I've been working on. The lack of a reliable source of the cameras does not help either. Quicker yes, cheaper no.

frusciante
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:21 am
Real name: Kostis

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by frusciante » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:50 pm

Any news after 8 years concerning the "modern super 8 camera" projects?

bakanosaru
Posts: 337
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 9:23 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by bakanosaru » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:27 pm

Given that Downix hasn't mentioned it since then and was shooting on a chinon as recently as last october, I'd say the dream is dead.

Will2
Senior member
Posts: 1961
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:18 am
Real name: Will Montgomery
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Will2 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:34 pm

When you lock down what this camera would look like make sure you setup a Kickstarter account so we can contribute to your efforts.

I would suggest devising a digital audio portion that will record audio whenever the trigger is pulled and somehow identify the digital file with the specific cartridge for later sync after transfer. Maybe ask for a unique identifier when the cartridge is inserted.

Even better if it could flash the film with a bunch of metadata like a slate. I know that part would be crazy hard to do. My Nikon F100 used to have a back that you could burn in date and useful info onto one frame of a roll. That would be bad ass for Super 8. Slating isn't always practical... integrating it into the film would be useful. Of course it should be optional.

MattWalters
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:16 pm
Real name: Matt Walters

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by MattWalters » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:08 pm

I'm not exactly made of money but I would totally donate something whatever I could to help build a prototype

even at 20$, if you find 10 people generous enough on the forum you've got a headstart :)

User avatar
Scotness
Senior member
Posts: 2630
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:58 pm
Location: Sunny Queensland, Australia!
Contact:

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Scotness » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:34 am

:D Hmm it was with great amusement that I read I was the opening poster on this thread!

Here's what happened from my end:

- We were keen on doing a Super 8 camera
- For some reason we decided a Super 16 one was better
- Had a lengthy chat with Roger and he convinced us modifying some existing camera like a CPR 16 was probably a better idea
- We decided to look into that - but basically my partner and I had a fall out over some elements of the business model so it didn't really continue past that

And within a few years the whole market was swamped by the low cost of HDV and then HD cameras so there's not really an economic point to it anymore.

I do believe there are no new motion picture film cameras being manufactured anywhere in the world now. I definitely think there's space and reason to do it on a hobby scale just for fun - but I doubt anyone could make any money in that area.

There are a few other issues too:
- You might make more out of a 16mm camera than a Super 8 one - but with so many 16mm cameras out there what is the economic justification for it?
- You could improve more on the Super 8 design than the 16mm design -- ie. loop the film out of the cart and run it through a proper pin registered gate (like a 16mm camera) -- but at which stage you've just invented Single 8!!
- And if you're most concerned about stabilistion -- why not just shoot 16mm but frame and crop it for Super 8 - you'd get stabler images and a wider choice of stocks - and more telecine choices as well

So when you consider all of this - and the huge amount of Super 8 cameras readily available in the world - I really doubt there will ever be another production run of a Super 8 camera again -- but someone might do one for a hobby. Remember Dave's Supermag!

Perhaps when 3D printing lives up to it's promise we'll be able to print new cameras!!

Scot
Read my science fiction novel The Forest of Life at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D38AV4K

Will2
Senior member
Posts: 1961
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:18 am
Real name: Will Montgomery
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Will2 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:44 am

The trick is finding someone that has the mechanical background of a watch smith and the electronic knowhow of an electronics engineer. Not always an easy combination.

Something like an A-Minima or possibly the A-CAM made some great advances relatively recently in 16mm.

richard p. t.
Senior member
Posts: 1004
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:44 pm
Location: victoria, Australia

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by richard p. t. » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:20 am

the best one could hope for is somewhere that can refurbish a few lines of old super 8 cameras. That would be a tedious and time consuming and viable thing to do.
Wait a minute, that already exists ... its just that the prices for a refurbished camera are quite high compared to buying a straight second hand one. How many of us have stumped up the $1000 to $3000 or whatever it is to buy a camera from Pro8mm (some of us, but not many). But then again, that price is not nearly as high as the price a boutique small run hand made camera would be.
Yes, I know, digital bolex. however they aren't building a camera. they are making periferals and break out boxes etc for an existing camera that is made on a production line that itself is dependent on mass produced components. remember too that the real Bolex, when it was making cameras, had banks and banks and banks of cutting lathes, each dedicated to cutting an individual part. Yes, you could make all (or many) of those parts on the one lathe, however then we would be back to the boutique hand made price. many of us (myself included) fantasize about the manufacture of a new super 8 camera. The thing is, industry has moved on from making mass produced mechanical cameras, so the components just aren't there. And without mass production, any new camera would be too expensive for any of us to be excited about, just as we aren't excited about the refurbished cameras that are available.
I run Nano Lab - Australia's super8 ektachrome processing service
- visit nanolab.com.au
richard@nanolab.com.au

User avatar
Scotness
Senior member
Posts: 2630
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:58 pm
Location: Sunny Queensland, Australia!
Contact:

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by Scotness » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:34 pm

Well this might be EVIL - but someone has got to make an HD digital back that is the size of a Super 8 cart so you can just slip that into any Super 8 camera and get a HD file (ho hum) - but at least you'd get some of the optical qualities

Scot
Read my science fiction novel The Forest of Life at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D38AV4K

PyrodsTechnology
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:45 pm
Real name: Roberto Pirodda
Location: Italy

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by PyrodsTechnology » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:29 pm

Richard p.t. wrote: the best one could hope for is somewhere that can refurbish a few lines of old super 8 cameras

well, i think too it is the best idea. What about this ?
http://vimeo.com/groups/super8/view_file:11583

grainy
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:51 pm
Real name: Erik Hammen

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by grainy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:12 pm

This may irritate some of the folks on this forum, but I think a new Super 8 camera could be very viable... with the Lomography crowd.

I have no idea how successful the lomokino is, but the that company has been making money for 12 + years now selling The Kids retro film stuff, who are willing to pay new "toy" cameras at 75$ and up because they look cool, and the kids don't want to dedicate their lives to digging through flea markets or the internet to find the perfect camera. They just want something fun to buy when they're hanging out at Urban Outfitters.

That's a lot of people.

From that angle, the key things I think would be:
1. single frame rate (18 fps), point n' shoot ultra-easy focus. A screw-on Macro option would also be great.
2. coolness of package. That is key.
3. reliablity of camera (actually, this is #1, but hopefully that'd be a given)
4. price point: under 200$ Maybe $250

Finally, absolutely crucial would be a quick, easy-to-access, understandable mail-in scanning service, so you could get the film back on a digital file. Maybe the scanning service could add thumb drives into their cost for 3 minute movies, which would eliminate the back n' forth sending of hardddrives.

Probably no fun for this crowd, but I am POSITIVE this would work. (and I'd buy one for fun)

G
Newest feature film: "Lake Street Detective" Check out the trailer here: [url]https://www.grotonbridgefilms.com/lake-street-detective[/url]
Also: in post-production: "The Boulevard of Semi-Reconstructed Dreams" (short, Super 8)

User avatar
etimh
Senior member
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:15 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: A new Super 8 camera - possibly

Post by etimh » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:05 pm

Scotness wrote:Perhaps when 3D printing lives up to it's promise we'll be able to print new cameras!!
While it is feasible that 3D printing might someday be able to be used to produce an entire camera (they're already printing intricate working parts using metal composites), I have already been looking into rapid prototyping and modeling to replace some of the cracked and busted gears in a few of my cameras. 3D printing is already a viable option to affordably fabricate and replace unique individual parts that might have otherwise rendered a camera dead.

Tim
FilmAid International
http://www.filmaid.org

Post Reply