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Hand Cranked Camera


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#1 John Rizzo

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:29 PM

A client has asked me if it is possible to rent a hand crank camera in 35mm or 16mm does any one know if that is possible?

 


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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:25 PM

I'm not familiar with the rental options in your neck of the woods, but there are plenty of cameras that can be hand-cranked or modified for it. 

 

Old Mitchells like the NC or GC have both 1:1 and 8:1 shafts for hand-cranking which you might still find in working order (we have an NC with a hand-crank, only goes out as a prop these days, but still works fine.) Eyemos can be easily set up for hand-cranking, plus many older studio cameras like Bell & Howell 2709s or Debrie Parvos. They were so well built many of them still function, but finding them might be tricky.

 

Arri 2Cs and 35-3s can be modified for hand-cranking, which certain rental houses may still carry. (I believe Clairmont have a hand-crank 2C as well as some hand-cranked 16SRs.) You can also use a 435 with an Arri hand-crank accessory:

http://www.arri.com/...crank_hc_1.html

 

With 16mm you could easily set up a Bolex for hand-cranking (although it helps to have a longer crank handle made rather than use the tiny Bolex rewind one), or any number of other old wind-up cameras - Cine-Kodak Specials, Filmos, Pathe Webos, etc. For a higher end option some SRs have been modified (as mentioned, try Clairmont).

 

Most hand-crank gears use an 8:1 ratio, so achieving the old silent frame rate of 16 fps is easy enough with 2 turns per second, but getting up to 24 fps is pretty hard work!


Edited by Dom Jaeger, 14 August 2013 - 10:26 PM.

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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:18 PM

What sort of frame rates are required?  If you are looking for low frame rates with beautiful smeared images could you just glue a crank to the inching knob of an arri 2 and try it?  I had,  still have,  a Cinefelx 35,  an American,  almost copy of an Arri II from WWII when copright was not an issue.   The side mount for the motor allows a crank possibility.  My pet  bucket list project involves dragging this camera on weells,  like a Buzzy Bee toy, with the wheels driving the camera movement


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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:57 AM

Why should it not be possible anymore to do what the pioneers did?

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item1c35991fc9


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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 02:42 AM

Why should it not be possible anymore to do what the pioneers did?

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item1c35991fc9

 

It is possible, and people are doing it!

 

Apart from some high profile examples like Tony Scott's "Man on Fire" and "Domino" (where they used a modified Arri 2C) there are quite a few indy projects that have used hand-cranked cameras. 

 

Some links:

http://motion.kodak....fooFighters.pdf

http://www.bfi.org.u...s/joys-analogue

http://provideocoali...and_the_canyon/

 

That last one is from Pro Video Coalition's Adam Wilt, documenting a shoot utilising a Bell & Howell 2709, including lots of great photos of the camera set-up.

 

This interview with Tony Scott and Dan Mindel after the release of "Domino" goes into some interesting detail about their hand-cranking exploits:

http://www.creativep...ots-domino/6737

 

There are even cinematographers like John Adderley who have made a speciality of shooting on old wooden hand-crank cameras:

http://www.adderley.net/

 

Old timey filmmaking is alive and well!


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#6 Philip Kral

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:45 AM

The Russian Konvas cameras have a hand crank adapter, I've seen the footage from one floating around vimeo.


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#7 Aaron Martin @ OH

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

John -

 

You could easily purchase a DeVry camera for less than the cost of a rental. There are several for sale on eBay right now.

 

Aaron


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