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Old 08-07-2017, 12:38 AM #1
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Default Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Hello!

I picked up a nice Bell & Howell Microstar Z Super 8 camera from a thrift shop, and I've got it mostly figured out, except for on thing:



Theres this clear window underneath the main lens of the camera, and I have no idea what its for. Its kind of hard to see in the photo, but behind the little window theres a small lens with an adjustable iris. Theres no control on the camera for the iris at all.

Also, theres a little plastic key that when you insert into a slot in the top, it pushes down a little orange filter in front of the lens.



My best guess is some kind of light level sensor for automatic exposure control, but the lens having its own iris doesn't really fit that idea, nor does the orange filter.

Anyways, thought I would ask on here before making a bunch of accounts on retro camera forums. I've tried finding the manual for this camera online, but I've had no luck.

Thanks in advance.

Heres a picture of the camera if that helps.



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Old 08-07-2017, 01:01 AM #2
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

I'm not familiar with that model in particular, but could it be part of the viewfinder, or does this model have a crt viewfinder built in?
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:08 AM #3
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Nope, no crt. The viewfinder sees through the main lens, Im guessing a prism inside duplicates the view from the lens to the viewfinder and to the film.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:07 AM #4
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

It's an Orange Daylight Warming Filter No 85.
It's used to balance Tungsten film stock for Daylight use.
The various films had notches in them telling the camera which stock they were.
It overrides the Tungsten Film Stock setting for Daylight situations.
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Last edited by RB astro; 08-07-2017 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Added more info.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:38 PM #5
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

I know something about Super 8 Cameras...

They are really old...

Jerry
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:42 PM #6
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB astro View Post
It's an Orange Daylight Warming Filter No 85.
It's used to balance Tungsten film stock for Daylight use.
The various films had notches in them telling the camera which stock they were.
It overrides the Tungsten Film Stock setting for Daylight situations.
So basically if I had a film that was designed for tungsten lighting loaded and I wanted to shoot outdoors that filter would keep the color temperature in line?
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:31 PM #7
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarg King View Post
So basically if I had a film that was designed for tungsten lighting loaded and I wanted to shoot outdoors that filter would keep the color temperature in line?
From what I know, yep, because the film stock has a physical notch on the body that 'tells' the camera what designation it is.
This overrides the 'Tungsten' designation enabling you to use it in Daylight/Outdoor situations.
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“He who believes in Him is not condemned;
but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
(John 3:16-21)
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

A #85 filter would make sense indeed, allowing the camera to use the same tape to shoot both in and outdoor scenes with reasonable color reproduction.

As for it being old: not really for a film technology that requires chemical development, probably one of the last ones for consumer use before magnetic tape came to mass market.

It also was relatively compact, at least compared to consumer video cameras that took full size VHS tapes that came shortly after.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:09 PM #9
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Super 8 may not be that old but this camera is from 1979. (That's old to me)
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:33 AM #10
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

That's sort of the end of the era when consumers used video film that needed to be developed chemically. It may seem 'old' but not as in early adoption of that technology at all.

I guess this type of film completely lost it's market share to magnetic tapes during the 80s, though oddly photographic film for still shots remained a good market share well into te 90s.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:12 AM #11
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Default Re: Anyone know anything about Super 8 cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarg King View Post
Super 8 may not be that old but this camera is from 1979. (That's old to me)
Super 8 is 50 years old---came out in 1965.

It still has a following and a lot of people use it to get some experience using movie film

Is expensive to use ---$30-$50 a reel for color plus $50-$75 and up to develop it and digitize it for 2 minutes and 20 second 50' reel--4 minutes at 16 frames per second

Last edited by Encap; 08-10-2017 at 06:20 PM.
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