Build Battery Packs
Record Your Sounds
VNF Film and Filters
Super 8mm Links
Super 8 in PC Mag!
Kodak's S8mm Site
Ode to Regular 8mm
Cyber Film School
Stats & Translation
PRODUCT PROFILE - October 2003
The Bauer C Royal is part of a long line of the letter "C" shaped Bauer cameras of the 1960's and 70's. As expressed elsewhere, some of the gems in the Bauer line include the C Royal 8E and the 10E, both of which can be found in macro and non-macro varieties. But this model, the "C Royal" is simpler and in some ways, highly specialized. With no macro capabilities and a slightly slow f1.8 7-56mm lens, this camera is best suited for daytime, outdoor use. It is suspected that the shutter is in the 150-170 degree range. Combined with the Schneider Variogon, the lens yields extremely sharp detail. Use this camera for sporting events and other outdoor activities and save the other "XL" cameras for indoors and slower moving scenes.
Also included in this review is the updated Malaysian variety, the Bauer C8 "Makro" with a F1.8 Neovaron 7.5-60mm lens. Not sure of the shutter opening on this camera. Presumably not XL therefore it is in the 160-180 range...Prabably the latter figure. The camera is slightly smaller than the Royal and is equipped with a folding handgrip. This camera is indicative of the efforts to reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining quality. Those items are usually mutually exclusive but not here.
The Bauer C Royal runs on 6-AA batteries located in the permanent hand grip which also power the internal light meter - no "button battery" concerns here thankfully. Its weight is just about right with no tendency to feel top heavy or otherwise unbalanced. The leather is especially pleasing as is the fantastic optical effect the footage counter gives off. It just makes you want to see the numbers rotate. The camera offers 18, 24 and 54 frames per second as a permanent switch while there is also a secondary 54-fps momentary botton. The zoom, while a bit fast as are 99% of the super 8 camera zooms out there, is very smooth and continues to run until fading to a soft stop (and start) once you release (or press) the rocker switch.
the C8 Makro has managed to reduce the AA battery requirements to
only four. The finish on the camera is excellent and the full featured
control panel a nice touch. The
camera introduced a 9fps setting (not
sure why that undercranked feature was so popular??) as well as a
36fps setting. Other speeds include 18, 24 and single frame. The
the finder is nice but a bit old-school. Stick with bright, high
contrast subjects for best viewing conditions. The macro feature
and can be used at any focal length setting - A very nice feature
when you cannot get to close to those small subjects. This camera
make an EXCELLENT animation camera given these features. Both cameras
offer the ability to preset your aperture so as to avoid any unexpected
The Bauer C Royal also accepts a battery booster which contains 3-AA batteries for storage in your pocket during cold shoots. With the advent of modern alkaline batteries, this may not be necessary but does provide good piece of mind.
all of the Bauer cameras are worthwhile to acquire with a special
pre-disposition towards the "Royal" line of
cameras. Manufactured in Germany, these cameras offer pleasing aesthetics,
good value, and ultra-sharp lenses. As mentioned elsewhere in this
website, the Royal 8E Makro and it's bigger sibling, the 10E offer
incredible abilities aincluding the very rare ability to expose each
frame for as along as necessary to render an image - particularly
useful in street light scenes and city views at night. Combined
with a tripod
and backwinding, you could double expose an image for that classic
telephoto moon shot against a city skyline!
As for picture rendering on film, the Bauer's provide for excellent sharpness and awesome color. Don't be fooled by the age of the lenses - they do perform and will offer precise focus, contrast, and saturation. I took my C Royal sailing on San Francisco Bay and was very impressed with the results. You will not be disappointed with these cameras.
In order to find one of these gems, keep your eyes peeled on the online auctions. I found the C8 Makro for only $29.99. At those prices, you can barely buy a tank of gas here in California! So, skip a week's worth of driving and starting hunting those auctions. By the way, I was the only bidder! And if that is not enough reason, I also found a Canon Autofocus 310XL Sound camera, new in the box for $25 - again I was the only bidder! (Review still to come.)
In the physical world, I found the Bauer C Royal at a camera swap meet for $30. And trust me, people will laugh when you ask them about super 8mm cameras. Just be sure to respond with an innocent sounding question about how their latest digital picture taking is going. Rest assured they are producing crappy images compared to what can be captured on wonderful film (pick a format). To say nothing of the expensive printer inks, "photo quality" paper, and time. Me? I would rather shoot film and spend the rest of my time making webpages to share the excitement of a by-gone, over-engineered era! Don't let those old fools get you down...
I hope you enjoyed this photo essay on two great cameras!
Happy Film Shooting!
Happy Film Shooting!