1960s Bell & Howell Super 8 Movie Camera Model 311 w/Zoom, Case, Manual, Battery

  • $59.97

Only 1 left!

Vintage 1960s Bell & Howell Model 311 Super Eight, Perpetua Drive, Autoload, Optronic Eye Movie Camera with B&H f/1.9 Zoom Lens, Original Carrying Case and Original Instructions, New Battery


Up for sale is a fantastic piece of cinematic history - the Vintage Bell & Howell Model 311 Super Eight Camera. This classic camera is equipped with the Perpetua Drive, Autoload, and Optronic features, making it a reliable and convenient tool for capturing memories on Super Eight film.


Featuring a B&H f/1.9 Zoom Lens, this camera allows for stunning image quality and versatile shooting options. The lens offers excellent light-gathering capabilities, ensuring crisp and clear footage even in low-light conditions. With its zoom functionality, you can easily adjust the focal length to capture wide-angle or close-up shots, adding creativity to your filmmaking endeavors.


Camera uses 100 foot Super 8 film cartridge. The  grey dark brown body is heavy metal and stainless steel finish parts. The Model 311 was the first in this line of these B&H cameras and the only one with a crank winder. It has modern looking stainless pistol grip with a built in thumb run or filming button. It has an automatic electric eye for setting the proper exposure. A new battery is included with the camera.  It comes with original instruction manual and over the shoulder black carrying case.


Release Date or Age of Item: The Bell & Howell Model 311 Super 8 Movie Camera was first released in the late 1960s, based on internet research.


Key Specifications:

  • Model: Bell & Howell Model 311
  • Film Format: Super Eight
  • Drive Mechanism: Perpetua Drive
  • Loading System: Autoload
  • Focus System: Optronic
  • Lens: B&H f/1.9 Zoom Lens

Approx. Dimensions: 7" L x 6" T (with handle) x 3" D

Approx. Weight: 3 Lbs


Sold as is. No warranty from the seller. No Returns.


CONDITION NOTE: Used, but in good condition considering its age, except has multiple scratches/nicks from use. It uses a px14 or 625 battery (with new battery included). However, after inserting a battery, the camera winds but does not run. The inside film loading area looks good. The zoom lens optics appear clean and clear with no scratches, chips, streaks, fungus, fog or haze that I can see (see pictures). There appears to be something partially blocking the viewfinder internally (can still see, black line showing). The camera does not come with a lens cap and lacks the filter pin (see page 17 of instructions). The over the shoulder carrying case has loose stitching which has been glued together and the flap is cracked in 2 places. The instruction manual is included, but has moisture damage but is still usable. The camera does not come with its original box, or packaging. See all pictures to know what you are purchasing.



Bell & Howell is a renowned manufacturer of cameras and other optical equipment. Founded in 1907, the company has a rich history of producing high-quality imaging products. The founders, Donald Bell and Albert Howell were instrumental in the theater motion picture business.  In fact, they won three production Hollywood Academy Awards  Not wishing to rest on their laurels, they decided to go into the amateur cameras and projectors and then still other industries.  In 1932, they introduced their Filosound 16mm sound-on-file projector and a Zoom lens.  If you went to school in the 20th Century, you are very familiar with watching films on 16mm.  After bankruptcy, B&H  is now a business systems company in North Carolina. Bell & Howell cameras are widely respected for their durability, performance, and innovative features. Over the years, they have become iconic pieces of filmmaking equipment, cherished by both professionals and enthusiasts alike.


BACKSTORY:  Frank G Cairo, Owner of the Cairo Camera Shop  

Frank Cairo moved from the Bronx, New York to Kenosha, WI in 1943.  The next year, after getting married, he acquired the neighborhood grocery store next door and made it into Cairo Camera Shop.  He operated the store for over fifty years until his death in 1997.


He loved cameras, projectors, movie stars and movies and was the photographer for the local auto workers union. He began collecting 8, 16 and 35mm films.  Eventually, Cairo Home Movies became the largest private film collection in Southern Wisconsin.  In addition to renting films and projectors, one could rent him to show movies from his library at parties and events. In the summers, he had free outdoor movie nights for neighborhood kids. If you would like to see a 5 minute video about Frank Cairo and his camera shop as told by his son, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqCoUsiGfaA


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