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Bell and Howell 1206 Director Series Super 8 movie camera

Regular price $125.00

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The Bell and Howell Model 1206 Director Series Focus-matic is a simple, lightweight Super 8 movie camera from the early 1970s. It features a nice 12.5-25m f2.8 zoom lens. We recommend the following Kodak Super 8 film types for this camera: Ektachrome 100D (color reversal), Tri-X 7266 (black and white reveral), Vision 3 50D (color negative for sunny outdoor conditions), and Vision 3 200T (color negative with for indoor use).

For critical focusing, the camera includes a feature called 'focus-matic' which is a type of mechanical rangefinder. To use it, just look at the subject through the camera's viewfinder, angle the camera downward so you're looking at the base of the subject, press the 'focus-matic' button and the focusing distance will be displayed. This works best when filming on relatively flat land (when filming on a sharp incline, such as a ski hill, it's best to estimate the focus distance).

This camera requires four AAA batteries (not included) which power both the film motor and automatic exposure. The original case is included. 

Condition notes

The camera is very good aesthetic and functional condition. The only noteworthy flaw is that there was a missing decorator plate on the side that we replaced with leatherette (see photos). We confirmed the motor is operating smoothly by running a cartridge through it (we did not get it developed however) and we observed the light meter/aperture is responding correctly to light. Film plane focus accuracy and sharpness was verified on an auto-collimator. The original case is included and is in good condition except that it's missing some of its original cushioning. 

Specs (according to https://www.filmkorn.org/super8data/)

  • marketed in 1973-74
  • design: 1206
  • silent super 8 cartridge
  • lens: B&H f: 2.8 \ F: 12.5-25 mm
  • zooming ratio: 2x
  • focusing: manual, 1.5 m to infinity, Focus-Matic (1)
  • zooming: auto and manual
  • viewfinder: single-lens reflex with adjustable eyepiece
  • viewfinder information: Over/Underexposure indication
  • exposure: auto exposure control; not TTL Electric Eye
  • CCA filter: built-in 85A filter, cancellation filter key
  • filming speed: 18 fps
  • shutter opening angle: <180 degrees
  • sound: no
  • remote control socket: no
  • cable release socket: no
  • movie light socket: kodak type
  • film counter: yes
  • handle: fixed
  • battery check button: yes
  • film drive motor: DC micromotor
  • power source: 4 x AAA only
  • weight: 850 g
  • dimensions: 57 x 80 x 216 mm
  • tripod socket: 1/4"
  • made in Japan by Bell & Howell