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16mm Camera schematics

16mm DIY

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#1 Finlay Smyth

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:05 AM

Hi I'm a student in Scotland. I'm looking to partly 3d print and machine my own super 16mm camera, preferably silent. I have the machinery and materials its mainly about documentation and info, there doesn't seem to be too much of it out there. The main problem I can see just now is the view finder, everything should be alright to figure.

 

Can't wait to hear back. Finlay


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#2 Dan Hasson

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:38 AM

Is it not cheaper to buy a 16mm camera?

Also what kind of 16mm camera do you want to make? Something similar to an Arri 416, SR3, or a camera like a Bolex? 

You make it sound like making this camera is pretty simple? I do not actually know if it is or it is not, I just thought it would not be as simple as 3D printing one...


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#3 Michael Rodin

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 11:57 AM

I'd rather convert a regular 16mm Arri SR to S16 if I had access to a precision mill and lathe and wanted to save money on a silent camera.

Building even a simple MOS camera will be much, much more expensive than buying one. Take the seemingly simple pressure plate - you'd have to mill it from high-carbon steel (which might also need tempering/leaving etc) to a micron-range tolerance and polish with optical-grade precision. It's all highly precise, often requires special alloys, and I doubt you can 3d print anything other than magazines. And forget about self-blimped...


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#4 Samuel Berger

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 01:01 PM

I'd rather convert a regular 16mm Arri SR to S16 if I had access to a precision mill and lathe and wanted to save money on a silent camera.

Building even a simple MOS camera will be much, much more expensive than buying one. Take the seemingly simple pressure plate - you'd have to mill it from high-carbon steel (which might also need tempering/leaving etc) to a micron-range tolerance and polish with optical-grade precision. It's all highly precise, often requires special alloys, and I doubt you can 3d print anything other than magazines. And forget about self-blimped...

 

Except if you're the Soviet Union, looks like they made a lot of cameras from whatever they found lying around on the ground.


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#5 Michael Rodin

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:00 PM

When you're working under the wing of Ministry of Defence Industry, occasionally, there's nice stuff lying on the ground near you. Decent machinery and aerospace leftovers can get you a long way...


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#6 Pavan Deep

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 04:01 AM

This is great, but as someone has already asked 'why do want to do this' especially since there are so many 16mm cameras out there.
Pav
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#7 Finlay Smyth

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:42 PM

I know its not just a matter of 3d printing I would have to machine metal (probably aluminium). Its very much still in the planning process just now. I suppose I was just really wondering if anyone knew of any books or websites that could help?


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#8 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:22 PM

You won't be able to make anything remotely close to a modern sync sound camera like an Arriflex or Aaton (which took teams of experts, decades of experience and cost tens of thousands of dollars per camera), but maybe something like a Bolex or the like is possible, with a few years of effort. You'd need to buy the optics, and spend time researching viewfinder design. The closest thing to camera schematics you'll probably find are service manuals, but they don't typically include exact dimensions and materials. Bolex had pretty good manuals if you can source them. Otherwise I would suggest taking a camera apart to study and measure the components. Make sure to run down the spring all the way if you take apart a spring motored camera!

 

I documented a few camera disassemblies here:

http://cinetinker.bl...VV68nM0tpK08jHq

 

Making your own camera certainly won't be a cheaper option, if that's your thinking. But if it's a challenge you're after, go for it!


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#9 dan kessler

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:42 PM

I have considerable experience with camera building.

Tell me, are you already an accomplished machinist, or
tool and die maker, or mechanical engineer?

If not, then step one is to acquire some meaningful
experience and skill in these areas.

No chance of success without it.
 


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