Magazine article American Cinematographer

Professional Super-8 at Photokina '74

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Professional Super-8 at Photokina '74

Article excerpt

The Super-8 format loses its amateur standing and explodes into professionalism with a flood of highly sophisticated cameras, projectors, flat-bed editing consoles and allied accessories

"You've come a long way, Baby!" is a statement that might well apply to the Super-8 format, judging from the proliferation of highly sophisticated and definitely professional Super-8 equipment featured at Photokina '74.

The new Super-8 cameras at the show included many units definitely designed for the professional market, incorporating both single-system and double-system (pilotone, as well as pulse) sound systems. It would appear that the manufacturers of Super-8 equipment are serious about the professional market, having created an entire system from camera and sound recorder to transfer, editing and projection units. It will take an entire special issue to cover the current state-of-the-art of Super-8, so for now I will try to mention briefly the more noteworthy new items.

The most important addition to the Super-8 scene is "The Super-8 Sound Recorder" offered by Super-8 Sound, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This unit fills the void that has existed in the Super-8 field since its inception. It facilitates professional type doublesystem recording compatible with almost all of the better Super-8 cameras, with no modification of the camera. The recorder is a reel-to-reel unit using Super-8 sprocketed fullcoat. It has built-in provision for 6UfHz:' or 50Hz pilotone, as well as pulse-type sync signals. In addition, it can accept 50Hz or 60Hz from the line. These features, along with the built-in selfresolver, not only provide for all types of recording, but facilitate professional resolving or transfer to other professional equipment. As if this were not enough, the unit also has built-in crystal-sync. Super-8 Sound also has an accessory crystal that plugs into most Super-8 cameras, forming a complete crystal-sync system.

In the area of cameras, there is no doubt that the new Beaulieu "5008S" Single/double-system Sound Camera has created the greatest stir. (FIGURE 1). Actually, the camera itself is only half the story. Its Angenieux 6mm80mm zoom lens is an equally magnificent achievement. In addition to the unprecedented zoom range of 6mm to 80mm (more than 13-to-1), the lens can focus to almost two feet from the front element throughout the entire zoom range. This capability makes possible zooming into a field only one inch by 1.3 inches wide. Most important, the lens is an f/1.2 and a T/1.4. This is amazing, since most Super-8 cameras that advertise f/1.8 are actually T/3.0 or worse. This is due to poor lens coatings and the use of beam-splitter-type viewfinders. The Angenieux lens, however, uses superior coating and, coupled with the Beaulieu mirror-reflex shutter, keeps the light loss to a minimum. This camera-lens package is actually faster than the so-called XL type cameras. Add to all these features automatic TTL iris control, power zoom, and a fantastic single system-sound recorder; the Beaulieu "5008S" is quite an impressive package.

Nizo cameras, manufactured by Braun, have always been known as an excellent line of quality Super-8 cameras. Now they have added the Nizo "Professional" model. This camera incorporates a Schneider 7mm-80mm zoom f/1.8 lens. The "Professional" model designation most likely refers to the 50Hz pilotone output and the built-in clapper lamp for automatic slating. Unfortunately, this model is only available with a 50Hz, 25 fps system and will not be made available for 60Hz, 24 fps use. This will obviously limit the camera to European" distribution.

Agfa-Gevaert has come up with a very interesting professional quality Super-8 sound camera. The "MOVEXOOM 10 Sound" is a single/double-system camera. The lens is a 6mm-60mm f/1.8 with a socalled "Macro" feature. What makes the camera particularly interesting is the myriad features it possesses: twospeed power zoom, TTL automatic iris, MOS integrated circuitry, speeds of 9, 18, 24 and push-button 54 fps, with automatic iris compensation. …

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