Leicina Special

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Leicina Special
Leicina Special (sold as Leicina Spezial in German-speaking countries)
Model Leicina Special
Format(s) Super8
Manufacturer Leitz
Made in Germany
Produced 1972-77
Lens(es) Schneider Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm (62mm front filter thread),
Macro Cinegon f1.8/10mm (39mm front filter thread)
Zoom Auto/Manual
Macro Yes
Frame rates 9, 18, 25, 54 + single frame
Exposure Automatic (Leicinamatic module)
Focus Manual
Film speeds (ASA/ISO) please add
Shutter degree please add
Sound (striped) No
Sound (two-band) Yes
Sound (optical) No
Weight please add
Dimensions please add
Power supply please add
Original price ($US) please add
Original price (£) £369 (body only)
Original price (DM) 3,200.00 DM (body + Optivaron lens)
Original price (Yen) please add
Recent prices on eBay ($US) please add
Recent prices on eBay (£) please add
Recent prices on eBay (€) EUR 489.90 (01/2006)
EUR 301.00 (06/2006)
EUR 352.10 (06/2006)
EUR 382.00 (11/2006)

Additional specs[edit]

  • Lenses interchangeable in M-bayonet mount:
    • The Optivaron was custom-made for Leitz with extra elements
    • The aperture can be fully closed on the Cinegon
  • Some cameras run at a measured 48 fps on the 54fps setting
  • Time exposure for single frames
  • Flash contact
  • Fades
  • Lap dissolve

(Please upload individual pix to Super8wiki.com and add one to the infobox on the right) Leicina_Special.jpg


  • ST-1 Electronic controller:
    • Intervalometer, sequence timer, sound synch tone generator, remote battery pack
  • Right angle finder
  • Shoulder stock
  • Microscope attachment
  • Endoscope attachment
  • Mount adapters for Arriflex, Minolta, M42, Leica R lenses

Instructions and Repair[edit]

Instruction manual: download from Mondofoto

Disassembly: Leicina Special: Repair

eBay details[edit]

eBay Germany[edit]

  • EUR 899 (+ EUR 8,00 shipping) in 08/2010 (for a camera plus Optivaron and m42 mount adapter and intervalometer)
  • EUR 489.90 (+ EUR 7,00 shipping) in 01/2006 (for a camera plus an Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm motor-zoom lens)
  • EUR 301.00 (+ EUR 8,00 shipping) in 06/2006 (for a camera plus an Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm lens without motor-zoom)
  • EUR 352.10 (+ EUR 7,00 shipping) in 06/2006 (for a camera plus an Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm motor-zoom lens)
  • EUR 382.00 (+ EUR 8,50 shipping) in 11/2006 (for a camera plus an Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm motor-zoom lens)


Built like a tank and in spite of its rare availability still very popular today, this camera was originally marketed as the documentary and scientific-purpose counterpart to its contemporary movie-effects sibling, the Leicina Super.

There is a rare high speed variant of this camera, the Leitz Leicina Special High Speed (1fps, 90-130fps).



This camera takes the sharpest images with the optivaron 66mm and cinegon 10mm i have ever seen with super 8 cameras. Tested and compare it with the canon 1014xls and beaulieu 4008 and 7008, the special of leicina was much better.

You can easily use leica lenses.



Despite being able to use many good lenses on this camera via adapters, you'll want one with the Optivaron, It's the widest lens you can find for the camera (outside of spending multiple hundreds or thousands of dollars on 16mm primes or the rarer than hens teeth century optics 3mm and 2mm lenses) and its more versatile than the 10mm Cinegon. The Optivaron will give you stellar pictures akin to a 16mm camera, scan in 2k or 4k and downscale to 1080p or 720p and you will be very pleased. The intervalometer/pulse sync accessory is awesome because you can shoot sync sound w/o needing any modification to the camera. It is a good idea to have your camera serviced after a long time without use, however it is reliable enough not to need constant servicing to keep it up to spec. It is useful to have the 3 different focusing screens to choose from.


As it is known among all Leicina users, the handle is shit in its build quality and placement. Go on Ebay and get a detachable pistol grip with a shutter release, problem solved. While you can shoot sync sound, this is not a quiet camera and 25fps is fine for Youtube, but in the event that you must convert footage to 24fps, there will be a slight drift in your audio sync. Buying one of these and a Cinegon or Optivaron, then getting it serviced can cost you around $1k unless you get lucky.


After trying a Nikon adapter + a C mount adapter that actually went into the Nikon mount, I have concluded that there is no way to use a C-mount lens on this camera. Les Bosher can machine Leica M mounts to replace the C mounts if you want to go down that route. Since shooting more carts with this camera, I don't hate the handle as much as I did initially. It's actually not too bad if you're using the 10mm Cinegon or wide/normal SLR lenses. Because the image quality is so good, you can shoot wide angles with a low speed film like Tri-X or Vision3 50D(In the event that you don't need shallow DoF), and then do your close-ups with a 16mm camera and you'll save some money on film.

eBay Auctions[edit]