How to Use a Super 8 Camera

by Contributor

A Super 8 movie camera is a simpler version of a Hollywood film camera, but more complicated than a video camera. Here's how to use your Super 8 to make high quality films.

Buy the correct film. Super 8 film is from Kodak. They currently sell Ektachrome film online. There are no shortcuts here. Super 8 cameras require Super 8 film, not variations of other films.

Load the film into the canister in the main body of the camera.

Load your batteries. Most Super 8 cameras take traditional batteries (size AA or AAA). Batteries should be removed when the camera is not in use.

Check your lighting. For the best quality use an external light meter. Set the exposure level on the camera. Look for the sun and cloud symbols around the dial. Certain Super 8 cameras have automatic exposure only, so you can let the camera do the work. Manual setting is the preferred method among professionals.

Attach any extra devices you will be using. Super 8 cameras can utilize additional microphones, shutter control for still frame shots, earphones and a movie light socket (located on the top).

Change the conversion filter if filming inside. This process varies with each model. If you do not complete this step your inside shots will appear faded.

Focus the lens. Your camera should have a manual focus ring around the lens. Rotate the ring to adjust the focus. Distances are marked on the ring to guide the adjustment. Marco mode is available for focusing on items near the camera.

Depress the trigger to begin filming. Certain cameras require you to hold the trigger, while others have a trigger lock so that one squeeze turns it on and another squeeze turns it off.

Process your film at a local film store or mail it in to Kodak.

Warnings

  • close Do not rely on the viewfinder for focusing. Measure the distance.
  • close Lens for Super 8 cameras are not replaceable. If it gets damaged, you need a new camera.