I have always had a fascination for Single-8 cameras. The
design of the cartridge is more like Standard-8 cassette
loading systems, while the film adheres to the standard
issued by Kodak for Super-8 (frame size, sprocket holes
and frame spacing are all the same as Super-8). The film
base is polyester so Single-8 films cannot be spliced
using cement, only with tape. Therefore, this month is
devoted to Single-8 cameras, in a column which draws much
(but not all) of its content from Classic Camera Magazine
C-200 and C-300. These
cine cameras are not, strictly speaking, Single-8
cameras, as they have interchangeable backs. The C-200
has a 9 mm. to 36 mm. f/1.8 zoom lens (takes 52 mm.
screw-fitting filters), 18 and 24 f.p.s. and automatic
TTL metering with manual metering option. When using the
Single-8 back, the camera would allow reverse running as
well. Three backs were made for the C-200; Standard-8,
Super-8 and Single-8. The C-300 has the same
specification as the C-200, but with the addition of
single frame. A further back was made for the C-300, for
Double Super-8, which also permitted reverse filming and
backwind. In 1967 the C-200 cost about £130 and the
backs about £16 each.
ZC1000. For anyone interested
in exploring the limits of Single-8 film-making, this is
the camera to get (if you can find - and afford - one).
It is one of the few modern 8 mm. cameras with an
interchangeable lens (C-mount). The camera offers a range
of facilities, from 72 f.p.s. (also 12, 18, 24 and 36
f.p.s.), single frame, forward and reverse drive, hand
crank, digital frame counter, variable shutter and
provision for remote control and sound synchronisation.
The zoom lens is an EBC Fujinon MA-Z f/1.8 7.5 mm. to 75
mm. (takes 62 mm. screw-fitting filter) with macro
facility. Fuji also made a 5.5 mm. f/1.8 lens, and
adapters were made to permit the use of 35 mm. s.l.r.
camera lenses on the ZC1000. The camera was introduced to
the UK in the mid-seventies, and in 1976 this camera cost
£780. By 1982, the price had risen to £1,062
(as a computer programmer, in 1982 I was earning about
£7,000 per annum). The high price may help to
explain why so few of these cameras are available
P1. Not all Single-8 cameras
are rare, complicated and expensive. One of the first
Single-8 cameras was the P1, which is now a fairly easy
camera to find second-hand. This was introduced as the
entry-level camera , with a fixed focus f/1.8 11.5 mm.
lens, automatic exposure and single filming speed (18
f.p.s.). In 1967 the camera cost about £34, a D-to-A
filter was an extra £2 and a 2x telephoto attachment
was an extra £6. For comparison, a cartridge of
Single-8 film cost £1 7s. 5d. (£1.37) including
ZS400. I am not sure whether
this camera ever went into production, but I hope it did
as I would like to see one, someday. It has an f/1.8 9
mm. to 36 mm. zoom lens, automatic metering with manual
override and 24 f.p.s. It is not a normal sound camera
though, it uses an optical sound track recorded down the
edge of the film opposite the sprocket holes on silent
film. There is a 22 frames separation between film gate
and sound head, which utilises an LED (light-emitting
diode). I have no idea what sound quality would be
produced by this method. I have no price information on
the camera, and I think it is significant that later Fuji
cameras either used single-system sound onto a magnetic
sound track or they made use of the Fuji Puls-Sync system
for sound synchronisation.
It is listed in a book I have as if it
went into production. The filter size is given as 46 mm.
screw-fitting or 49 mm. push-on fitting.