Sankyo EM-40 XL

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Sankyo EM-40 XL

Year: 1979-82

Weight: 800 g

Lens: Sankyo Zoom 1,2 / 9,2 - 37 mm

Macro focusing

Split Image Focusing

TTL reflex viewing

Auto / Manual Zoom

Frame rates: 18,24,36 + single frame

Shutter degree: 220

Manual / Auto Exposure

Backlight Control

Flash contact

Manual / Auto Fades

Remote control socket

Interval timer with 1/2,2,15,60 second

No sound

4 x AA batteries

Option for external 6V power source

Made in Japan

Manufacturer: Sankyo Seiki MFG Co.

Original price in England (in the year of introduction): £149

Recently paid in eBay net auction: $35 eBay 8/1999 $113 eBay 8/1999


Optimized to 40ASA and 160ASA films.

Does not recognize the 64T color stock.

Works great with Tri-X and Plus-X


Mini Review[edit]

18/9/10 Redjohn

This camera has many features and is available on Ebay for very little money. A forgoten performer. Its down fall is that it can only use 25/40 and 100/160 ASA speed films.Their is only one pin to detect the film speed in the film chamber but it does have the filter pin to detect for dayligt/tungsten light film types as well as an external filter switch.

The features are 18,24 and 36 frames per sec run speeds plus single frame.

Time laps.

Delayed shutter with camera runs of 5 or 10 seconds so that the camera man can get in on the shot.

Auto through the lens exposure metering with f stop metering through the view finder.

Full manual overide of the metering.

Low light lens f1.2 9.2 to 37 mm zoom.

Auto zoom driven from the run motor.

Split image focusing and macro facility.

A full service manual is available from, at a price, covering the EM 20,30,40 and 60 XL. Note the 20 and 30 are smaller cameras without the filmchamber filter pin.

It is quite easy to gain access to the internals on this range of cameras so as to adjust the metering.

This camera does run Ektachrome 100D as it stands, just leave the filter set on daylight. I have just had a film back from processing and could not be happier with the exposure and sharpness. I read in some forum that the lens was a lot softer and of low contrast compared with Canon lenses but I have not found this to be the case. I have always liked the look of the images that Sankyo cameras produce.

Don`t forget that this and all super 8 cameras will run the cartridges available from Wittner and others, loaded with Fuji Velvia 50 ASA. Just don`t forget to move the correction filter on those cameras that do not have the film chamber sensing pin.

A great camera for animation this. Macro focusing, single frame with an electromagnetic shutter release plus a blanking control for the view finder

Moviemaker Magazine October 1979 has a full Test Report on the EM 40XL, EM 60XL and also covers the EM 30XL

eBay Auctions[edit]