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Kodak Super 8 Vintage Movie Cameras

Kodak Super 8 Vintage Movie Camera

In 1965, the Super 8mm format, including film, cameras, and projectors, was introduced by Kodak. The updated version of the 8mm, this convenient movie camera brought amateur moviemaking to every family in America. Today, these Kodak movie camera vintage models are still sought after for their unique aesthetic.

What is different about Super 8mm film?

Though surprisingly similar at first glance, Super 8 film actually has many improvements over its predecessor, 8mm film. In addition to a frame that is 50% larger than 8mm film, Super 8 film has much smaller perforations. The combination of these two features allows for a crisper image than that delivered by standard 8mm film. Even later versions of the Kodak Super 8 film allowed for sound to be recorded directly onto the film by way of a magnetic strip.

What types of Super 8mm movie cameras did Kodak make?

Kodak has made a number of Super 8 movie cameras. Vintage model types vary by their numbers, each one offering different features, such as fixed or non-fixed focusing and lens aperture. The model types include:

  • Kodak M
  • Kodak Ektasound
  • Kodak Supermatic
  • Kodak XL
What are some of the features of the movie camera?
  • Split-image focusing: Through a circle in the viewfinder, you can tell when a subject is in or out of focus. Within the viewfinder, the view of the subject will be split into two halves. As the lens is adjusted, the two halves will line up perfectly when the image is properly focused. This feature can be found on most vintage Kodak video cameras produced after the 8mm.
  • Shutter type: Many camera models, including the very first Kodak M2, have a shutter open angle of 160 degrees. Most Kodak movie camera models made after the 1970s feature an XL shutter, which allowed for an open shutter angle of 230 degrees so that more light can hit the film, thereby improving picture quality.
What types of 8mm film are available for these cameras?

While all vintage Super 8 cameras take 8mm cartridges, there are different types of film available to shoot with depending on what your recording needs are. Film cartridges with a higher film speed (or ASA) do well when shooting in low light, and lower film speeds are ideal for bright or daylight shooting. Super 8mm is available in different lengths, ranging from 50 feet to 200 feet, and you’ll want to choose based on how long you want to be filming. You will also have the options of silent or sound and color or black and white film.

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