Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Canon Auto Zoom 318M Super 8mm Cine Camera Overview - Kodak Ektachrome 100D

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I certainly did and received some fantastic presents. One of my presents was a vintage Super 8mm camera. I asked for a Super 8 camera because I am a big fan of the style of film that they shoot, with scenes in films such as Paranoid Park and Somers Town inspiring me to shoot on this small format. I received the Canon Auto Zoom 318M Super 8 Camera, in very good condition, I would say almost brand new with all the original packaging inserts, and even a leather case. In this post I just want to do a quick overview of the camera, I will be sharing digitally processed footage as soon as possible. 

The Canon 318M has a zoom lens that can be altered automatically with the Wide or Tele switch, or manually with the zoom ring. It has a focal length of 10mm wide and 30mm tele, with an f stop of f/1.8, I am excited to see how it performs in low light situations. The lens does have an optional macro mode, with an orange switch on the left hand side of the camera triggering focus for anything below 22.5cm. 

A fairly large dial is located on the right hand side of the camera, this is for the focus. It goes from infinity which is 15 metres/50 feet, down to 1.5 metres/ 5 feet. I have found that this focus dial isn't the smoothest, I am not focus pulls are something people do with Super 8 cameras though, I think I will have to set the focus, and then film without changing the focus.

A switch opens up the battery and cartridge compartment on the rear of the camera. It takes 3 AA batteries to run this camera. I also received Kodak Ektachrome 100D Colour Reversal Film 7285 to use with this camera. I will use it wisely though, as it is limited to under 5 minutes of film. I am aware that Kodak have recently discontinued the Ektachrome 100D film, so I was very lucky to get a reel before they ran out, as they are currently not even available on eBay. I predict that limited supplies of the reels will result in much higher prices, I definitely need to think twice before filming anything with my reel. I am aware that Gauge Film currently have Ektachrome 100D in stock, I think I will be stocking up on some more reels. 

I am extremely excited about learning this new format, and you can follow my process with Super 8mm on my photography and filmmaking related facebook page.

I found a short film that was shot on the Canon 318M Super 8mm Camera, I hope to create similar edits to this one. This video seems to have been cropped from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio, doing this means the top or bottom of the image has been cut off.

Below is one of the skateboarding sequence's in the film Paranoid Park, directed by Gus Van Sant and cinematography by Christopher Doyle, one of my biggest inspirations in filmmaking and photography.


  1. Sounds like somebody is about to have some fun with a new toy!

    1. I definitely will be having some fun Harold, I cannot wait to start filming. I have grown up only using digital video, so I am very excited

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks VJ! I can't wait to start using it. I will write a follow up blog post once I have shot something with it

  3. It also does single frameshot :P

  4. Does it turn on without a film cartridge? But with battery's in

  5. Did it correctly expose the 100D film? Did you need to put the plug in the top or leave it out? Thanks!