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Keystone 8mm Vintage Movie Cameras

Tips for Selecting and Caring for a Keystone 8mm Vintage Movie Camera

Filmmakers wishing to create a film with a unique style and pleasing imagery often use vintage 8mm movie cameras. Originally intended to be easy to use, they are mostly auto-exposure and shoot at 18 frames per second, and loading film is as easy as popping in a cartridge. Vintage movie cameras, like those by Keystone, not only provide a quality addition to your filming toolbox, they can be a great way to expand your skill set.

What Keystone vintage 8mm movie cameras are available?

There are a wide variety of Keystone vintage movie cameras available in some of the companys most popular models, like the K-8, K-25, K-27, K-22, and more. There are cameras alone available and cameras that also have peripherals included like carrying cases, lens turrets, manuals, accessories, and more.

How do you film with a vintage 8mm film camera?
  • Getting started: Before you start, keep in mind each roll of film is about three minutes if you plan to use 18 frames per second rate. Have a plan before you start rolling.
  • Power up: Double-check that you have good batteries in your camera and anything else youre using, like a light meter. With no power, auto-exposure doesnt initiate, and the aperture could stay fully open and ruin your efforts.
  • Sound: Filming on 8mm doesnt include sound. When filming there can be inconsistencies with speed that can throw off your sound. Using a digital recorder can help you record sound thats as close to possible as the visual sequence.
  • Logging: Keep a numbered log of each scene you shot and use the numbers to mark your used cartridges so they can be kept and viewed in proper order.
  • Manual metering: If you have any way to determine the shutter speed on the camera, manual metering to keep the correct brightness on your subject is a good idea.
How long can 8mm film be stored?

Its recommended to use fresh film stock where possible and to have the film developed as soon as possible after shooting. Unlike video, film deteriorates over time and is expedited by environmental factors like temperature and humidity. Processing film within a few months is ideal.

How do you store and care for vintage cameras?

Its important to keep your camera in dry conditions. If yours is a humid climate, or you plan to go to such locations, absorbent silica packs can be used to ensure moisture is kept out. Replace the packs each six weeks as long as you are in the humid locations. Store lenses with care in an upright position, removing all lens filters and using the end caps before storage. When cleaning the lenses, ensure no liquid is left to seep inside. Inspect the lenses every few months, turning the base ring to move the apertures and maintain lubrication.

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