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The Little Super 8 Museum
Those were the days: daddy filming the family's sunday excursions!
Eumig in Austria, Bolex in Switzerland, Beaulieu in France, NIZO Braun and Bauer in Germany as well as Sankyo in Japan were the most commonly known manufacturers of Super 8 equipment for home movies.
In our little virtual Super 8 Museum, we present highlights from some 35 years of Super-8 history.
Kodak is the inventor of the Super-8 format, which was launched together with two cameras, M2 and M4, way back in 1965. In the subsequent years, the new 8mm-format became the favourite of the home movie scene and practically ousted the so-far wide-spread "Normal-8" format. The M4 camera was a simple box with no functions besides the release button, and since the film could easily be charged as a cassette, the system proved extremely user-friendly. With some luck, you can still find a fully functioning M4 camera today on flea markets or in second-hand stores.
Kodachrome 40, the first Super 8 film produced by Kodak in 1965, is still available today.
NIZO Braun film cameras
During the 70ies, the German manufacturer NIZO Braun presented a range of very popular Super 8 cameras. Considered as one of the best equipped cameras, the legendary NIZO S800 was also one of the most expensive and, with no doubt, one of the best designed. The people responsible for the typical NIZO Braun design, with its classical, elegant silver aluminium body, were Robert Oberheim, Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot. The broad video offensive from Japan and the sale of the parent company, Braun, sealed the fate of this vintage brand, which had started out 1927 as Niezoldi & Krämer in Munich, in the early 80ies.
Super-8 in Swiss Quality: Swiss manufacturer Bolex, in Yverdon on the shores of lake Neuchatel, produced high quality equipment for Super 8 from 1965 on to the end of the 70ies. Most remarkable were the cameras Bolex 150, Bolex 155 and Bolex 160 Macrozoom. Originally conceived as a Normal-8 camera, Bolex 150 was quickly adapted to Super-8, following the signs of the time and the quick rise of the new format. Another ingenious product from Bolex was the projector Bolex Multimatic: using a clever, fully automatic mechanism, this machine manages to project several 15m/50ft-reels in sequence. To day, Bolex continues to manufacture 16mm cameras.
Beaulieu cameras were considered, along with the NIZO range, as the Rolls Royces amongst the Super 8 cameras. Their great advantage was a viewer functioning similar to a reflex photo camera, resulting in better picture quality and light control. Besides the model Beaulieu 5008-S, particularly the Beaulieu 4008ZM4 was very popular even with professionals.
In Germany, Bauer, a subsidiary company of BOSCH, manufactured cameras and film editing equipment but excelled in particular with Super 8 projectors. With the T-525 Microcomputer and the T-610, two absolute de luxe models were put on the market in the late 70ies. They both have enormous candlepower, excellent objectives and are extremely silent, but above all the integrated micro computer technology allows the programming of precise to-the-frame sound editing. Both models range amongst the most wanted projectors up to this day.
The History of Super 8
|In May 1965 Kodak Eastman launched a revolutionary developement of amateur film gauge: Super 8.
Daddy with a Super-8 camera in the year 1976.