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Make Your Own Movies With a Keystone Vintage Super 8 Movie Camera

Super 8 stands for a type of film that was first made in 1965. If you're trying to make a movie at home, it can be nice to have a Keystone vintage Super 8 movie camera on hand. Keystone was an American-based company that manufactured a variety of movie cameras.

What does Super 8 mean?

It's a type of film format that many motion pictures have used. It's similar to standard 8mm film in that it is 8 millimeters wide, but the difference is that the rectangular holes on the edge of the film are smaller. The result is that there is a larger exposed area: 5.79mm versus 4.5mm across. On the other side of those perforations, you may be able to place an oxide stripe that can magnetically record audio information.

What are some features of Super 8 cameras?

There are a variety of these types of film cameras. A few things to remember are:

  • Exposure: Some vintage movie cameras have an auto-exposure feature, which means that the iris will automatically adjust to the changing conditions. Other models will have a manual iris, letting the one behind the movie camera do the work. You might appreciate this if you want to play around with light and create a unique look while filming video.
  • Frames per second: The speed at which cameras shoot is measured in frames per second. A standard speed is 18 frames per second. Some models will have an adjustable speed, so you could decide between 1, 18, 24, or 36 frames per second. This might depend on whether you want the movement to be smooth like you would see in a more updated film or a bit choppy like it used to be in vintage films.
  • Lens: The lenses on these film cameras are typically fixed lenses. There may be some variation in the thickness of the lens used, and you may be able to find a vintage camera that has an adjustable zoom lens. This will let you get the view you want without having to move yourself and the camera as much.
  • Case: Some vintage movie cameras will come with a case or a box that will help you during transportation.
How are vintage movie cameras powered?

These movie cameras will need a source of power to function. Some models may have a spring-wound motor, which requires winding up the spring with your hand to rotate. During the course of shooting, you might have to continually recharge the motor. Other models, including some of the vintage ones, will run with a battery. You can use the movie camera's manual to determine which exact type of battery it requires.