John, Google with care. Leitz made regular 8 mm (8/8) Leicinas and Super 8 Leicinas. You found one of the latter. AFAIK, there were two S8 models, Special and Super.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Our boy has bought, at least two years after he announced he was going to do it right away, an earlier 8/8 Leicina.
8/8 enthusiasts have said good things about their Leicinas. I once bought one, an 8 SV with a 7.5-35 Angenieux zoom, for a paperweight. It was pretty and the price was very right. Little paperweight helped me understand why Leitz had such difficulty coming up with a modern SLR. No one there understood or was reconciled to electricity.
Most amateur cine cameras have rotating sector shutters. So do Leicinas. The 8/8 Leicina's shutter is attached to the main shaft, the claw and takeup spool were geared to it. Fine, wonderful, that's the standard way of keeping all the moving parts synchronized.
One of the problems that cine camera designers have to solve is making sure that the camera always stops with the shutter closed. Leitz solved it for 8/8 Leicinas by separating the electric drive system from the trigger and stop mechanism. 8/8 Leicinas have a slot in the main shaft that is engaged by a pawl connected to the trigger. Press the trigger, the pawl retracts and the main shaft is free to turn. Release the trigger, the pawl extends, forces its way into the slot and everything stops. All mechanical.
The electric motor that turns the main shaft is powered as long as the main power switch is on. When the power is on and the trigger is released, the electric motor is stalled. That's why the things eat batteries. That's why the wise Leicina (8/8 flavor, I hope the S8s are better) user turns the power off between shots.
I believe -- could be mistaken -- that the original Leicina was designed for a clockwork motor and that when the great geniuses at Leitz realized that the market insisted on electric drive (damned Japanese!) they bodged an electric motor into the design they already had.