Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Soviet Super 8 Movie Cameras

Quarz DS8

Filmmaking was a surprisingly popular hobby in the USSR. As with many things in the Soviet era, making movies required a bit of planning and forethought. Equipment and film was expensive, so many people belonged to film clubs and were able to obtain film at a significant discount. Two major film manufacturers - Svema and Tasma - produced color and black & white cine film, although the color stocks were usually reserved for motion picture and television production. Each new Super 8 camera shipped with a handful of reloadable Super 8 film cartridges, so all you needed was a supply of raw film.

Super8cart_2 Several cameras - such as the Quarz 2x8 Super-3 above - did away with the cartridge completely and accepted Double Super 8 film on reels. Double Super 8 (DS8) is a hybrid format that uses 16mm wide film to capture Super 8 sized frames. One half of the film is exposed, the reels are flipped, and the other half is shot. The 16mm strip is cut into two 8mm-wide reels after processing. It was a clever system.

Over 200,000 clockwork Quarz DS8-3 cameras were produced between 1971 and 1983. They require no batteries, thanks to a quaint windup motor and a solar-powered selenium exposure meter. Apart from having to wind up the motor every 20 seconds or so, the camera was fairly well specified with an f1.8/9-38mm Meteor zoom lens. It offered 12, 18, 24, and 36 frame per second shooting speeds, along with a single frame mode for animation.

These cameras appear frequently on eBay, sold direct from Russia. Purchasing one is a bit of a gamble: it might have lived in a damp shed for several decades. Instead, I recommend a fellow by the name of Olex Kalynychenko in the Ukraine. He services the cameras he sells, so you know that yours will be in good running order when it arrives.

Visit Olex's Russian Camera Site


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