Help on a Tower Camera

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by xHOBOPHOBIAx, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. xHOBOPHOBIAx

    xHOBOPHOBIAx TPF Noob!

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    I have recently found an old Tower 584. 91891 camera in my dads shop. Everything seems to be working great on it, but I have no clue how to use it. I am VERY new to this type of camera and would like any info on working it that anyone can provide.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. xHOBOPHOBIAx

    xHOBOPHOBIAx TPF Noob!

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    It looks like this
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your movie camera uses 8mm film. Few camera stores offer it nowadays, perhaps B&H. If you're pretty nostalgic about it and want to give it a try, go for it although few (fewer and fewer) places process it. If you want to sell it, eBay might make you about $15 to $20.

    Are you also looking for a manual?
     
  4. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    It's a movie camera.

    You get film for it from John Schwind.

    internationalfilm

    The film is 16mm wide and comes in 25 foot spools. You shoot 25 feet, then swap the feed and take up spools and shoot another 25 feet. When it's processed the lab slits it down the middle and splices the two pieces together so you get a 50 foot reel 8mm wide.

    To view it you'll need to either buy a projector (eBay) or have the lab or someone else copy it to videotape or DVD (a process called telecine). A popular color film for the camera is Kodak 100D. Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, KS is a good lab for 100D processing and telecine.

    A trusted name in photo processing for over 50 years - Dwayne's Photo

    John Schwind can tell you where to get B&W processed.
     
  5. xHOBOPHOBIAx

    xHOBOPHOBIAx TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info. Yes I am looking for a manual. It has a 8mm projector with it, so if I do ever us it, I will be able to watch the film.

    What do you mean by "You shoot 25 feet, then swap the feed and take up spools and shoot another 25 feet"
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    "Double-8" to be specific. Double-8 format starts out 16mm wide and 25 ft long (plus additional leader and tail) with twice the number of perferations as standard 16mm film. You run it through the camera twice, shooting up one side and then down the other. When the lab processes the film, they slit it down the middle and splice the two pieces end to end to leave an 8mm wide 50ft roll of processed film.

    It has different sized sprockets with different spacing than the later "Super-8" format. Standard-8 ("Double-8" in your case, but there was also a "Magazine-8" that was pre-threaded in a metal magazine) and Super-8 require different projectors or special "Dual-8" models.
     
  7. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    This fellow does a fair job of explaining it.



    One thing he does not mention. A 25 foot spool of double 8mm film is actually 33 feet long. This film is "self leading", meaning that first four feet and the last four feet act as leader. When you close up the camera you need to run it until the counter meter reads zero before you start shooting, and you need to pay attention to the counter and stop shooting when you reach 25 feet. Failure to follow this rule means you will lose the beginning, end and middle of what you shoot.

    I should also mention that this is NOT a super8 camera that uses the pop-in cartridges.

    I think "Tower" was a brand of Montgomery-Ward. I suspect the camera is actually a Keystone Capri.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    A bit of a miss. I'm sure Mr. Sears and his partner Mr Roebuck are spinning in their graves. "Tower" was a Sears & Roebuck house brand that was generally used for their photographic items. There were many suppliers for these cameras over the years. Most were simply rebranded, though some were special models with feature sets slightly different from those of the actual manufacture's offerings under their own brand.

    I'm not familiar with the Keystone Capri specifically, but the illustrated camera does the look of a Keystone product of that period.
     

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