founded in 1925 by Messrs. Niezoldi and Kramer. In 1963
the company was bought by Braun. In the interim, Nizo
made some excellent Standard-8 cine cameras, of which I
have selected a few for mention here.
The Nizo Heliomatic
S2R was introduced in the early 1950s. It has a
built-in, coupled, match-needle meter with viewfinder
display and a two-lens sliding mount. The lens mount and
the direct vision optical viewfinder are coupled so the
the field of view changes depending on which lens is in
use. There is also a reflecting finder for use with the
half-inch lens. The spring drive offers 5 filming speeds
(8, 12, 16, 24, 64 f.p.s.) and single frame. There is
backwind for lap dissolves and trick shots. In 1956 two
options were offered - the Helio model has a focusing
Rodenstock Heligon half inch f/1.5 lens and a Rodenstock
Euron one and a half inch f/2.8 lens and cost over
£180. The cheaper Heron model has a fixed focus
Rodenstock Ronar half inch f/1.9 lens and a focussing
Rodenstock Euron one and a half inch f/2.8 lens. This
option cost almost £150.
In 1958 the specification of the
camera changed slightly and the 12 f.p.s. was dropped.
The camera appears to have been discontinued in about
A similar camera to the S2R is
the Heliomatic Trifo, which has three lenses mounted on a slider
bar. The camera was introduced in the UK in about 1959. It has a spring
motor offering variable speeds with 8, 16, 32 and 64 f.p.s. marked
on the speed dial - intermediate speeds could also be set. The camera
also has single frame and backwind. The slider bar is coupled to a
turret on which is mounted viewfinder conversion lenses so that the
viewfinder shows the correct view for the lens in use. The lenses
are also coupled to the match-needle metering system. There were several
versions of this camera, all of which have a quarter inch f/1.6 Rodenstock
Heligaron and one and a half inch f/2.8 Schneider Xenar. In 1959,
the OPLAN had a fixed focus half-inch f/1.9 Schneider Xenoplan and
cost almost £165, while the NEDAR had a focusing half-inch f/1.5
Schneider Xenar lens and cost about £180.
The Nizo Exposomat
8R was introduced to the UK in about 1957. It has a
built-in, coupled exposure meter with match-needle
viewfinder display and a two speed spring motor (16
f.p.s. and 24 f.p.s.) with single frame provision.
Initially there was a single model available which takes
the standard Kodak magazine then available for
Standard-8. This camera has a Rodenstock Ronar 12.5 mm.
f/1.9 fixed focus lens and cost over £75 in
By 1958 there were three Exposomat 8R
models. The EXPOS took the Nizo Rapider charger and was
fitted with a Rodenstock Ronar 12.5 mm. f/1.9 fixed focus
lens; it cost over £65 in 1958. The EXHEL also took
the Nizo Rapider charger but it had a focussing
Rodenstock Heligon f/1.5 half-inch lens and cost over
£85. The EXMAG accepted the Kodak magazine and had a
Steinheil Culminon f/1.9 13 mm. fixed focus lens. The
EXMAG cost over £65.
In about 1959 the
Nizo Exposomat 8T was introduced. This has the
same specification as the Exposomat 8R but it accepts
spool-loading Standard-8 film. It was fitted with a
Steinheil Culminon f/1.9 13 mm. fixed focus lens and cost
nearly £60 in 1959.
The Exposomat models appear to have
been discontinued in about 1961, by which time two new
cameras had been introduced, both of them with reflex
Heliomatic Reflex 8 has three lenses on a sliding
mount - a Rodenstock Heligaron f/1.6 6.6 mm., a
Rodenstock Ronar f/1.9 12.5 mm. and a Rodenstock Euron
f/2.8 37.5 mm. The spring motor offers 5 filming speeds
(8, 16, 24, 32 and 64 f.p.s.). In 1960, the Reflex 8 cost
a little over £200.
In about 1962
this model was replaced by the Reflex 8B which has
the same lens complement. Two of the lenses can be
interchanged but the match-needle metering is only
coupled to the standard lens. In 1962, the Reflex 8B with
three lenses cost over £225. A Tele-Ennalyt 135 mm.
f/2.8 lens was available - this cost over £55 in
The camera was discontinued by 1964.
Focovario was introduced in 1960. It has a reflex
viewfinder, coupled match-needle metering, flash contact
for use with single frame, a spring motor offering five
filming speeds (8, 16, 24, 32 and 64 f.p.s.), backwind
and a frame counter. Initially the camera was offered
with a choice of lens - either an Angenieux f/1.8 9 mm.
to 36 mm. zoom or a Schneider Variogon f/2.8 10 mm. to 40
mm. zoom. In either case, the price was over £200 in
1960. The option for the Angenieux zoom seems to have
been droppped quite quickly and by 1962 a new lens is
offered, a Schneider f/1.8 8 mm. to 48 mm. zoom. The
price for the camera is less, probably because of changes
in UK sales taxation, at just over £190. The
Focovario was discontinued in about 1964.
None of these cameras are easy to find
now, but they have good specifications and are stylish
cameras for use (bearing in mind the higher cost of
Standard-8 film compared with Super-8) or
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