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Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy

Check out our list of vintage Super 8 Cameras and 16mm cameras from Bauer, Bolex, Canon, and other brands.

young smiling woman with red lips using a retro video camera isolated on a white background

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Super 8 cameras are a great collectors’ item, and a perfect gift for cinephiles or anyone who wants to add a vintage aesthetic to their film collection. Beyond that, these handheld cameras are mostly affordable, they look pretty cool, and whipping one of these babies out will surely turn a few heads. Given how popular nostalgia has become, finding the right vintage camera can be a time-consuming task. To get started, you’ll want to narrow down what type of Super 8 camera works best for your film needs, and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re unable to make it to a local thrift store or antique camera shop to buy one in person, we put together a list of used cameras that you can buy online, which includes options from the ’60s and ‘70s, and a 16mm from the ’50s.

All the cameras in our roundup have been tested by the sellers, reviewed by customers, and start at around $170 and up. So whether you’re a dedicated collector, or simply want to pick up a new (well, technically old) camera, these Super 8 and 16mm cameras from Canon, Bauer, Braun, Bolex, and more brands will make the perfect addition to your collection. Find our list below, and for more camera recommendations check out these nostalgia-inspired photography cameras, and the best film cameras for any budget.

Elmo 230xl Super 8 Camera

Super 8 cameras can range in pricing, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a working one. This Elmo 230XL vintage camera from the 1970s has been cleaned and tested fully to ensure that functions such as focus, lens, zoom, and exposure are working fine. The camera is equipped with 18 fps, 220-degree shutter angle, auto exposure, and a working battery pack (it uses six 1.5V batteries). It also comes in the original box along with a user’s manual and lens cap.

Minolta Super 8 Autopak D6 Camera

From cosmetics to functionality, this Minolta Autopak-8 D6 Super 8 Autopak D6 camera is a great find for collectors. Features include: 7.5-45mm f/1.8 MC Rokkor Zoom Lens, adjustable Viewfinder Diopeter, 5x manual zoom and focus functions (fully manual or auto zoom control), and three film shooting speeds of 18 and 32 fps (plus single frame). The camera uses four AA Batteries, and it has a convenient handle that doubles as a corded remote controller.

Quarz 2M Russian Movie 16mm Camera

If you’re into vintage Russian cameras, the Quarz-2M is a clockwork-driven movie camera with filming speeds of 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, and 48fps (plus single frame). The camera has a built-in selenium meter with a film speed range of 11-90 GOST (12-100 ASA). The lens is a Jupiter-24M, f1.9 12.5 mm, and two supplementary lenses (0.5X and 2X). The full camera kit includes a pistol-grip, instructions manual, and a leather case.

Canon Zoom 318 Super 8 Camera

The Canon Zoom 318 Super 8 Camera was first released in 1965, and marketed as an easy-to-use camera for home movies. This lightweight, vintage edition is in good cosmetic and working condition, the light meter functions properly, and it comes with original lens cap and a Canon leather case. However, there is a bit of dust on the lens but no scratches, according to the seller.

Paillard Bolex B8 8mm Movie Camera

The Paillard Bolex 8mm Movie Cameras originated in Sweden and dates back over 60 years. The camera above features a polished, duralumin body covered in genuine Moroccan leather with chrome-plated metal parts; Yvar f1.9/13mm lens (with Kern Lens cap), multiple speed variables (8-48 fps), along with a 165-degree disc shutter. An attached accessory prism allows for filming with 5.5mm lenses, as well as parallax correction for filming at close distances. This camera comes in the original box and includes a lens hood, a set of close-up viewfinders in the original case, and the instruction manual.

Canon 514XL Auto Zoom Super 8 Cine Film Camera with Case

When it comes to camera brands, Canon tends to stand out among the bunch. This Canon 514XL Auto Zoom Super 8 Cine Film Camera was originally introduced in the mid-1970s. The model pictured is in good condition and works fine. The camera has auto and manual zoom functions, auto exposure, macro and split image focusing. It’s been tested to make sure that everything works and runs smoothly and the lens is “undamaged and clean” according to the seller.

Bauer C107 XL Super 8 Camera

A light, compact, relic from the ‘80s, the Bauer C 107 XL Super 8 camera includes a Bauer Neovaron lens f: 1.2 \ F: 7-45 mm. This fully-functioning camera has been tested to ensure that it works, but the seller notes that the rubber eye cups on these vintage Bauer cameras don’t typically age well and break easily. That said, Bauer Super 8 cameras tend to sell out quickly so it’s best to have other options such as the Bauer C8, Bauer C Royal, and the Bauer C3.

Canon 310 XL Super 8 Camera

Originally released in 1975, the Canon 310 XL Super 8 camera was groundbreaking in its heyday. The camera features what was then the world’s fastest lens speed of f/1.0 with a 3x zoom. It’s suitable for low-light conditions and includes single-frame exposures for animation.

 

Sankyo MF-606 Super 8 Cine Film Camera

The Sankyo MF-606 Super 8 camera has a boxier design than some of the other cameras on the list, but many of the same essential features. The camera includes macro and aerial focusing, auto/manual zoom, a 1.8 / 8 – 48 mm lens, and shutter degree of 220. It also comes with a carrying case, and uses four AA batteries (which you can purchase here).


Elmo Super 8 Sound 1012S-XL Cine Camera

Another antique from the ’70s, this Elmo Super 8 vintage camera has been tested and works perfectly, but it has light cosmetic scratches on the body. Other than that, the lens, focus and zoom all work, and the motor runs well according to the seller.

Vintage Paillard-Bolex H16 Deluxe Cinema Camera

If you really want to go vintage, try the Bolex 16mm camera. The Swizz cameras went into production in the 1920s, and were originally developed by Polish designer Jacques Bogopolsky. Bolex cameras have been used by Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Goddard, David Lynch, James Dean, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and more. The Paillard-Bolex H16 cinema camera pictured above was originally released in the U.S. in 1953. The camera is in working condition and weight about 5 1/2 pounds (it measures 8 1/2″ x 6″ x 3″). The seller pointed out that the camera has a couple cosmetic scratches and a missing eye focuser. You can also check out other Bolex options like this H16 camera with external frame counter, and the H8 double film movie camera.

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