Two cassette-types Super-8 camera
These days I acquired at the local fleamarket a cine-camera which did not came to my attention before. A Elmo C200.
Concerning design and built it looked like a Double-8 camera, though it had zoom with lateral actuator and even motorized zoom.
What struck my curiosity was that it had exchangable film-magazines, or rather an exchangable magazine for Super-8.
Super-8 (and Single-8 too) is based on a cassette that can be exchanged in daylight. So, why constructing an exchangable magazine for such a cassette? Well, I answered that myself by assuming that Elmo had modified a Double-8 camera, that got an exchangable magazine for those 16mm reels, for Super-8.
The easiest way would be to design a magazine that takes the Super-8 cassette and add some modifications to the camera body too.
I was puzzled for a second time when I realized the other magazine took the Single-8 cassette.
So, why designing two different magazines, if one type would be sufficient? Well, I reasoned that it would be due to different markets where either of the two cassette-systems was prevailing.
But why had the previous owner got himself both types of magazines then? Well, why did I buy that camera with both cassettes...
Later I did some searching on the net. And an advertisement turned up which put emphasis just on that fact that one could interchange between Super- and Single-8. And I also found a review that hinted at the fact that both systems add up to each other by offering film types the other system lacked.
Thus that camera may have been designed that way from the start.
The magazines are very complex. The drive of the take-up spools is accomplished by two cogwheels on the body protruding into the resp. magazine. The film speed is transduced from the cassettes into electrical signal and transferred to the body, which got 4 contacts for that. The day-/artificial-light indication is taken by the body directly from the Super-8 cassette. Furthermore there is a mechanical contact between magazines and body, the function of which remains unclear to me. A lot of mechanics anyway.
There is even a twin model, that in addition takes magazines for Double-8 and even 30m of Double-Super-8.
This requires a quite complex film-stage, with retractable film-guides for the 8mm wide films and variable image windows, and of course different film transport.
Whereas the last two alternatives do make sense, the interchangability between Super-8 and Single-8, aside of the film offer, does not make sense to me.
Can anyone enlighten me on this matter?
There was also the Elmo C-300 capable of exposing Double-8, Super-8, and Single-8.
Forget those Japanese products, nobody will repair them, too crappy. Do you want to collect or do you want to shoot?
Well, I use that stuff, though I already got my most beloved S-8 camera already. But when I come along some cheap camera that intrigues me technically or by the esthetics of ist design I'll bring it home.
But, the question remains: What was the idea behind that two-format or rather two-cassette-types concept of the C200?
Seen those mechanics these magazines must have been expensive and why should one share two cassette systems as indicated in the advertising? So far the only explanation would be to have access to all film types on the market.
I have a book about cine that might provide the answer. I will look at it when I get home and let you know if it describes this camera. Alex
Don't forget that Super 8 allows about 90 frames backwind while Single 8 allows as much film as has been shot to be backwound.
Originally Posted by AgX
In addition, each system (Super 8, Single 8, and, WRT the C-300, DS 8) had its partisans. Offering optional magazines allowed one camera body to serve both submarkets.
About intercutting Super 8 and Single 8. With tape splices, yes, of course. With cement, sorry, no.
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Yes, I know. But the question remains: if one considers Single-8 superior, why investing in both systems as advised?
I remember someone who had one of these cameras (probably the C-300, as I think he had three or even four different magazines). He was a very keen cine hobbyist, always trying different films and different equipment, and used it a lot. Probably the camera was designed, at least in part, to appeal to the gadget-conscious market.
At least that explains why I bought it. So you might be right about aiming at gadget orientated guys.
Super8 was launched in 1965 by Kodak, and the Fuji Single8 in 1966. Most camera manufacturers went with the Kodak system with at least 39 different Super 8 cameras available by 1966, compared to only 3 Single8. Two of these were Fuji products, and the third was the Elmo C200. It is described in my book (written by John Wade) as having interchangeable backs, a bit like some medium format cameras. Perhaps the Elmo company were unsure in the early stages which format would prove more popular. Their product allowed the use of both. It was followed by the Elmo Multi-Guage camera which took single, super and double 8 films. The book is called "The Collector's Guide to Cine Cameras" published by Hove Books. It has a nice picture of a C200. Nice find! Alex
Thank you Alex. Actually I got that book by Wade, but somehow that Elmo camera slipped my attention, so I did not consider looking it up there.
(Too much books I got, too bad memory too...)