ON SUPER 8

A guy I know buys old radios from the 50's & 60's and retrofits them with rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth receivers.  They are beautiful and while some may prefer the near perfect sonic quality of a Bose receiver, there is something wonderful and almost magical about hearing The Kills or Biggie coming from these 45 year old radios. That is how I feel about Super 8.

Nothing quite looks like super 8 film. The texture and subtle fragility of detail has an etherial quality that is difficult to capture with any other medium.  The image is almost immediately abstract when compared to the clarity and purity of modern digital photography.

 

Every story demands its own approach. Choice of format is a key design element that greatly influences the look and feel of a film.  50+ years after its introduction as a home movie product, Kodak still supports Super 8. The medium has outlived its intended application by 25 years.  For now super 8 is a option. These tests of cameras and film stocks are part of my desire to promote the medium so that hopefully in some small way I can help ensure that Super 8 remains a choice.  

The NIZO 801 may look familiar to MacBook owners. It's design was influenced by Dieter Rams  who also inspired the work of Jonathan Ive at Apple

 

For me the aesthetics of a tool are as important as the functionality. A camera should not only function in an unobtrusive and intuitive way, it should also inspire its use. Few Super 8 camera combined these elements in a more impressive way than Nizo.

 

There are better built cameras (Nikon R10). There are more professional cameras (Beaulieu 4008/7008 & Leicina Special) I have owned and used several super 8 cameras over the years. My favorite is the Nizo.

This camera features a SCHNEIDER - KRUEZNACH  f1.8

7-80mm lens. Time lapse, single frame, 18, 24 and 54fps. Nizo  produced two silent models after the 801, the 801macro and the Professional. Later models included the 4060 and the 6080. 

The stylish design of the BEAULIEU 4008 ZM II serves as a counterpoint to the  more utilitarian nature of the NIZO. Unfortunately any extended period of time spent using this camera will quickly illustrate it's form over function design. The hand grip being the most offending example. Where this camera truly shines is the professional intent of it's features and build quality. Most Super 8 cameras are now over 40 years old. Serviceability is key to keeping these camera in shooting condition. The 4008 is one of the most service friendly cameras available.  

The 4008 features 2-70 fps + single frame & a variable shutter. My example came with an ANGENIEUX 8-64 f1.9 zoom lens with manual control of the aperture.  The battery is proprietary, but there are new versions available.