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Eclair flickers... help!


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#21 Heikki Repo

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

Okay, I finally got the film transferred.

 

It doesn't look good at all.

 

1) There are huge internal reflections in my camera (the lens used is Contax Zeiss 28mm -- both Zeiss 28mm and 50mm were really bad. This time though 75mm Yvar didn't flare at all. Weird.)

f032702.jpg

 

Removing the filter holder and taping the top shut didn't help -- on the contrary, the reflections might have even gotten worse.

 

2) Those huge internal reflections make the flicker very easy to see.

 

 

As for the shock absorber -- I didn't have this kind of flicker problem before S16 modification:

 

 

Next I'm certainly going to go once more through my camera and try to find the non-matte black which could be reflecting something. After that it'll be tests with a matte in the in-camera filter holder.

 

Is there anyone there who has had this problem with their ACL and fixed it with success?


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#22 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 07:30 PM

Heikki,

There may be more than one thing causing flicker.

I would put a new rubber drive coupler in for the motor after what Dirk said,  unless your service guy is sure it's good.

If you noticed a change with/without the filter holder then IMO there are reflections from the oversized lens format.  Matt blacking all the surfaces may help.  If the lens is not expensive I would consider an experiment where you apply good black camera tape to the rear element to mask the frame.  I had some Scotch brand that never left residue,  even after 17 years.  It looks like black masking tape, even the gum is black.  Inch your mirror carefully to make sure you havent added something that will not clear.

 

Do you have a B&W tank, or a lab that is friendly with camera tests.

 

I better look at the footage now I suppose.

Cheers,

Gregg.


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#23 Heikki Repo

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:58 AM

Okay, got around my camera to take a look inside.

 

First of all, the adapter for Contax to C-mount is black, but it could be more matt black.

 

CRW_0143.jpg

 

However, the prize of reflectiveness goes to.... shiny gate!

 

Look at that shiny piece of black painted but oh so reflective gate. Considering that the reflection in the photo in my post above comes from the top of the frame (=bottom of the gate) and there is a narrow area not affected, I guess we might have a winner?

CRW_0140.jpg


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#24 Heikki Repo

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:01 AM

Just bought some paint: http://www.gerdneuma...ical-paint.html


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#25 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:57 PM

However, the prize of reflectiveness goes to.... shiny gate!

 

Look at that shiny piece of black painted but oh so reflective gate. Considering that the reflection in the photo in my post above comes from the top of the frame (=bottom of the gate) and there is a narrow area not affected, I guess we might have a winner?

 

 

However, the prize of reflectiveness goes to.... shiny gate!

 

Look at that shiny piece of black painted but oh so reflective gate. Considering that the reflection in the photo in my post above comes from the top of the frame (=bottom of the gate) and there is a narrow area not affected, I guess we might have a winner?

 

Do you have a picture from the font,  with your mount adapter full frame,  lit so we can easily see the gate,  the edge of the mirror.


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#26 David Cunningham

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:33 PM

Wowa... yeah, the edges of your gate should not be bright light that.  I actually use a black sharpie from time-to-time to keep the gate edges black.  Works pretty good.


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#27 David Cunningham

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:35 PM

Also, FYI.  I've had all kinds of trouble with M42 to C-Mount adapters with my Eclair ACL.  That oscillating mirror reflects that huge still 35mm lens image circle all over the place.  The problem is entirely eliminated with 28mm Switar or Zeiss Super16 prime lens.


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#28 Heikki Repo

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:56 PM

I have been doing some further research on this issue. First of all, the shiny gate: that problem was there even before the conversion to S16, I just hadn't realized it. I thought they were only some funky lens flares by Switar. As for the adapter, that's probably the chief cause of large internal reflections as many of you have mentioned. As a first remedy I used some black tape as a light baffle -- no reflections anymore.

 

As for the flicker I'll know if it was only caused by internal reflections quite soon. I have shot some B&W test material which should be processed and telecined tomorrow. However, if there is still some flicker my next step will be disconnecting the clapper light and LEDs.

 

As you can see in this photo http://s9.postimg.or...8qj/f032702.jpg there is a narrow unaffected area on the right hand side of the screen. One ACL owner contacted me and told he had bad flicker problems as well and supplied me an example screenshot which had that same narrow area on the right hand side. His problem turned out to be related to the clapper light and the fix was just disconnecting it -- as surprising as that sounds.

 

Anyway, it seems these flicker problems (or the shiny gate) aren't that uncommon at all with S16 Eclair ACLs:

 

 

Even here, 00:25

 

Are there any S16 ACL users who do not have this issue? :)


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#29 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:18 AM

What are we looking for in that first clip.  I watched to 1:51,  trying to guess, then gave up.


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#30 Heikki Repo

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:44 AM

What are we looking for in that first clip.  I watched to 1:51,  trying to guess, then gave up.

 

Flicker on the left hand side flare, 00:06

Gate flare, 01:23

Flicker on the left hand side upper corner, 02:15

Flicker on the left hand side flare, 02:55

Flicker and gate flare, 03:27-03:36


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#31 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:54 AM

I had seen both of these clips before...  I definitely think the first one (which seems to be mostly lens flare associated) is due to a large image circle lens.  It's definitely a disadvantage of the oscillating mirror design of the ACL.


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#32 Heikki Repo

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:28 AM

I had seen both of these clips before...  I definitely think the first one (which seems to be mostly lens flare associated) is due to a large image circle lens.  It's definitely a disadvantage of the oscillating mirror design of the ACL.

 

Well, if it's only the image circle causing problems with flares it's rather easy to work around. To quote myself from an earlier message in this thread:

 

 

I guess I'll just have to refrain myself from trying to emulate the look of the new Star Trek movies

 

And since that problem shouldn't be there with my Switars (10mm and 16mm) I guess I can also do some flare-y vimeo hipster clips -- I just can't use SLR lenses or 75mm Yvar for that purpose ;)

 

But soon I'll know more.


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#33 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

What an interesting issue... just read through the whole thread.

Any reflective surface can cause this issue, including a mirrored shutter reflecting light back at the lens for a brief moment during its rotation. So I always look at things like viewfinders and video taps as the leading culprit. Sometimes lenses have decayed coatings and built up mold which is hard to see with the naked eye. So light reflects strangely through the glass and hits the shutter, which then reflects back at the lens for a brief moment, causing that blip. Sometimes with a dark room and a flashlight, you can mimmic these issues. But unless you know what to look for, its hard.

I haven't shot with the Eclair's before, but I've seen this phenomena on the Cinema Products mirrored shuttered cameras like the CP16R. But we tracked it down to a lens coating issue. Switch lenses, problem went away.

Never had issues like this with my SR's or Zeiss primes I use to use.
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#34 Heikki Repo

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:25 PM

The results are in!

 

First of all, I got to say ORWO UN54 looks absolutely beautiful in S16 processed as negative. :)

 

Now then, for your viewing pleasure (please watch in HD to see all the flickery fun):

 

So what was this shot with?

 

1. Switar 10mm

2. Yvar 75mm

3. Contax Zeiss 28mm, light baffle from black tape

4. Contax Zeiss 50mm, light baffle from black tape

5. Contax Zeiss 50mm, light baffle from black tape and the internal filter removed

 

Second half of the film was shot with Zeiss 50mm and Switar 16mm (most of it).

 

Now then, flicker. It is in weird places, such as the first clip which is shot with 10mm Switar that only barely covers S16 frame. What's even more difficult to understand is why there is such a clear rectangle there that is flickering and overexposed compared to the right hand side of the frame?

 

Well, it could be just light doing something weird within my camera but exhibit #2 -- 4:55. Switar 16mm. First there is this exposed rectangle of flicker and then it just ... disappears? Same happens in 5:22.

 

Add to this the fact that even though I have some really strong lens flares, the flicker isn't in those flares unlike in the "Magic Summertime". Instead it is that box, like in 00:43.

 

Well, now I feel rather confident that this problem is solved by removing the clapper light. Oh and come to think of it, I did play with the clapper switch during shooting the second part of this film...


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#35 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:29 PM

The results are in!

 

First of all, I got to say ORWO UN54 looks absolutely beautiful in S16 processed as negative. :)

 

Now then, for your viewing pleasure (please watch in HD to see all the flickery fun):

 

So what was this shot with?

 

1. Switar 10mm

2. Yvar 75mm

3. Contax Zeiss 28mm, light baffle from black tape

4. Contax Zeiss 50mm, light baffle from black tape

5. Contax Zeiss 50mm, light baffle from black tape and the internal filter removed

 

Second half of the film was shot with Zeiss 50mm and Switar 16mm (most of it).

 

Now then, flicker. It is in weird places, such as the first clip which is shot with 10mm Switar that only barely covers S16 frame. What's even more difficult to understand is why there is such a clear rectangle there that is flickering and overexposed compared to the right hand side of the frame?

 

Well, it could be just light doing something weird within my camera but exhibit #2 -- 4:55. Switar 16mm. First there is this exposed rectangle of flicker and then it just ... disappears? Same happens in 5:22.

 

Add to this the fact that even though I have some really strong lens flares, the flicker isn't in those flares unlike in the "Magic Summertime". Instead it is that box, like in 00:43.

 

Well, now I feel rather confident that this problem is solved by removing the clapper light. Oh and come to think of it, I did play with the clapper switch during shooting the second part of this film...

 

 

At 4:55 and 5:22 something seems to happen to the camera... like the loops are caught or something.  Notice that the image itself is almost jittery looking but then suddenly stablizes at the moment the flicker goes away.

 

I'm kinda starting to question your magazine and if your film is completely engaging flush against the gate...


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#36 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:31 PM

See how at 0:22 there is a white light in your black frame line on the left?  No matter what's going on in the space in front of the gate, you shouldn't ever get light down there if the film is being firmly held against the gate.


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#37 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:33 PM

at 0:48... it looks like the whole frame bouncing perfectly evenly off something... you can even see the roundness of the upper right corner.  


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#38 David Cunningham

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

At 0:58... see how your lens flare cover the whole film area... not just the image frame?  That tells me light is getting around the edges of the gate to the covered areas of the film... either that, or the shutter timing is off so the film is advancing with the shutter still open.  But you would usually get a smear in that case.


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#39 Heikki Repo

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 03:37 AM

For the record, here's the earlier clip which I haven't yet posted here:

 

I have shoot footage with my three different magazines:

400ft, another 400ft and one 200ft. Of those three mags I had problems with one and had it serviced during the S16 conversion of the camera. Let's call those mags mag A (serviced 400ft), B (400ft) and C (200ft). The film I posted in October was shot with C. The film I posted yesterday was shot with A (first part) and C (second part). The film in this message was shot with B (first part) and A (second part).


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#40 Heikki Repo

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:17 PM

Now I'm officially proud of myself. Last week I decided to test the fix involving disconnecting the clapper lamp.

 

Well, if something can go wrong it probably will. Disconnecting the whole connector set going to the leds and the lamp was quite straightforward. I have opened my camera base several times. This time, however, for some reason I wasn't able to connect the motor when putting the camera together. That 9-pin connector didn't want to connect. It was surprising, but considering that someone before me had cut some parts of it because the connector in the motor was also a little broken (the shell around the pins), looking back, it wasn't really that surprising.

 

So there I was, trying desperately to connect the motor. And then it happened: one of the sockets in the camera twisted and broke. It was really a moment every camera owner whose camera tech lives in a different country doesn't want to live through. Especially since I soon found out that those Cannon ITT connectors -- which are still produced and used! -- aren't that common and easily obtained. Almost nobody had them available despite having them on their catalogues. Thank you Eclair for using special military spec. connectors intended for aviation and space operations!

 

Somehow I was able to find an almost 1:1 replacement part and order with two other connectors from the US for $150. Today I received it and after some five hours of first chipping parts of plastic from the connector to make it fit and then carefully soldering all the wires going to the old connector to this new connector's wires I have my camera running again. Lesson to be learned: be really careful with your old milspec connectors...

 

As for the flickering, I decided to cut the clapper lamp wire. While doing that I measured the voltage going to the lamp. Pushing the clapper switch made it jump. However, what's really interesting is that there was a little amount of voltage even when the clapper was disabled from the switch. I wouldn't really be surprised if the amount of voltage is just enough to affect the film. But we'll know for sure quite soon: now that my camera is up and running again, I'll shoot some tests tomorrow and have them processed and transferred by the end of the week.


Edited by Heikki Repo, 25 March 2014 - 04:17 PM.

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