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I'm looking for a good 16mm. Give me a advice!!


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#1 79direc

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 10:40 AM

Hi, my name is JOOWAN KIM. I'm studying film at UCI. I live at Irvine in CA. And I'm dying to shoot film too. so if you guys know any useful information about purchasing 16mm film camera, give me you guys piece of advices.

Thanks!!

Sicerely...
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#2 daniel mahlknecht

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 12:06 PM

Depends if you want to shoot sync sound or not, there is a big difference in the price.

for silent film shooting the ceapest choise is the KRASNAGORSK 3, important is to get the version with the m42 mount, as this way you can use lots of m42 fotolenses that cost not much.
it takes only 30m (100ft) reels. it is easyly converted to super16.
springdrive
(+- 150 $)

I personally love the AK16 (zeiss ikon) or pentaflex16 (its the same camera only one is pre german democratic rep. while the otherone is built in the gdr).
it is the most versatile 16mm camera i know.
standard motor from 12 to 32 F/s, with special motor and mag up to 90 f/s (electric motors at 12V).
no need to hold your eye to the vievefinder, as it has a second shutter which closes the loop when film is exposed. it has fast change mags (30m (100ft), 60m (200ft) and 120m (400ft) the 400ft is very rare).
shuter from 180% to close at any position and changable while shooting.
springdrivenmotor possible
singleframe possible
3 lens turret (the 3 standard lenses (12mm, 25mm, 50mm) have the iris linked, so when you cange exposure on one lense the others will change to)
I even saw once a set that allowed to use the camera as a projector.
easyly changed to super 16 (12mm does not cover super 16) but adapting non original lenses is dificult.
(complete set abouth 250 to 500 $ on ebay)

the bolex is for sure the most reliable camera in this segment but costs a lot more. I would consider only the BOLEX SBM, the REX5, and the EL. Changing to super16 is dificult and expensive.

There are also the arri S cameras, but I personally don't like them so much (el mariachi was shot with one of these)


if you want to shoot sound go for a eclair (NPR or ACL) but costs from 1500 to 2500$.

daniel
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#3 Boris Belay

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:38 PM

Hi, Filming in 16mm. is great, and if you make sound choices right from the beginning, you won't regret it !
But that means a lot of questions ahead of time , and first of all : what is your budget ? The budget for a camera is one thing -- and you could indeed start with a decent model for $250. But don't forget to check the prices of film and processing, which is very expensive indeed. You can cut down on the price of new film stocks by finding unshot reels that are still very good but re-sold by production companies that can't afford to take any risk, or their re-canned short-ends (unshot bits of longer rolls). You can find these on eBay, or from labs or film-schools and they're a lot cheaper than new. As for processing costs, it's harder to cut down on those, unless you know somebody in a lab, film-school, 16mm. enthusiast group,...
With an idea of a budget for your camera, you need a second main thing, which is an idea (however vague) of the kinds of ilms you would like to make : documentary, experimental, fiction films with actors and scenario, nature films,... This is important in deciding what features you need for your camera : do you need a silent camera for 'synchronized sound' to record interviews or dialogue as you shoot the image (a lot of cameras are noisy enough that you hear them on the tape) ? Or can you imagine adding the sound/dialogue later ? Do you need a compact camera that you can have with you all the time and shoot with anywhere ? Unnoticed? Or will you always shoot from a tripod for stable, composed shots, and size/weight does not matter ? Do you need to be able to make long takes (10min.) or is 3min. enough ?
Also, generally speaking, are you familiar with photography ? Video ?
And are there films (of whatever kind) that make you think : "that's what I'd like to do "?
I can tell you a lot about Bolex cameras, which is what I'm familiar with and what a lot of people begin with (also in that $250-500 price range). But perhaps they're not at all what you need, which is why you shold begin by answering these basic questions. A lot of people here will then be happy to share their knowledge of these wonderful machines.
-Boris
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#4 Aqmal Hadi

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:46 AM

forgive me for asking, but someone wants to sell me a bolex h16 s - is it any good? wat are the advantages/disadvantages?
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#5 daniel mahlknecht

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 03:28 AM

as i know it is a non reflex camera, with all the problems these cameras have. Framing is not so precise, and also you can not focus just by looking trough the viewefinder. on the other hand lenses are ceaper as you do not need rx lenses.
I would rather look for a reflex camera BOLEX RX4 or RX5, SB, SBM, EL, EBM.

daniel
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#6 Aqmal Hadi

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:05 AM

as i know it is a non reflex camera, with all the problems these cameras have. Framing is not so precise, and also you can not focus just by looking trough the viewefinder. on the other hand lenses are ceaper as you do not need rx lenses.
I would rather look for a reflex camera BOLEX RX4 or RX5, SB, SBM, EL, EBM.

daniel


hmm, thanks for the info. i would if i could get those, but right now, money is an issue. =( *sigh* i need a sub USD500 movie camera, sound sync is nice, but not really a requirement.
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#7 Dale Crisp

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:00 PM

Get a B&H Filmo 70. Inexpensive. Indestructable. Dependable. Performs under adverse conditions. No batteries needed. Good lenses available at bargain prices. Rock steady images. Get a 70 HR and you can add 400' magazine and electric motor drive.
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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:08 PM

hmm, thanks for the info. i would if i could get those, but right now, money is an issue. =( *sigh* i need a sub USD500 movie camera, sound sync is nice, but not really a requirement.

If you don't need variable shutter, look at early RX cameras. I use a Rex 0 and it works great. Bodies run for around $200 usually, sometimes less than $500 with lenses.
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#9 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 01:12 PM

I would just like to second the vote for an eclair NPR. If you get one in good condition it should last you for a long time. you can set it up to use c-mount and PL mount lenses you can shoot sync sound is very stable image wise and is quite nice on your shoulder.

if however you can spend a little more money then you should look at Aaton 16mm cameras they have all of the advantages of the NPR but seem more refined (as they should being that most models are newer than any eclair you will find)

none of this is to say that the Bolexes are not great cameras, they are. however in the long run I do think that the french cameras will be more flexable in useage.
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#10 Boris Belay

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:37 AM

I would just like to second the vote for an eclair NPR. If you get one in good condition it should last you for a long time. you can set it up to use c-mount and PL mount lenses you can shoot sync sound is very stable image wise and is quite nice on your shoulder.

if however you can spend a little more money then you should look at Aaton 16mm cameras they have all of the advantages of the NPR but seem more refined (as they should being that most models are newer than any eclair you will find)

none of this is to say that the Bolexes are not great cameras, they are. however in the long run I do think that the french cameras will be more flexable in useage.

Trevor, if you know of a source for good-condition NPRs (not to mantion Aatons) for less than $500, et us all know... and me first ;)
Kim, the H16S can be a good camera since it's a late model, mechnically comparable to Rex-3 or Rex-4 Bolex. But it is not reflex, and is best used with the zoom lenses that have a reflex viewfinder built-in. This way, you get a reflex view of your shots (through the lens), and you have the advantage of the image remaining clear even when you close down the diaphragm on the lens (the viewfinder is before the iris). There are several good models that will get you started : the latest Som Berthiot Pan-Cinor 17-85/f:2 (the model with a 90 degree two-piece viewfinder) ; the Angénieux 17-68/f2,2 or 12-120/f:2,2 or even 9,5-95/f:2,2 are all available with reflex viewfinders too (they are the "Type A" models on this series). Prices range from $75 to $250 or so on clean versions of these lenses.
So, that's a good option if you have a non-reflex Bolex (or other C-mount camera), but you will be limited to these few zoom lenses. To my knowledge, there are no fixed focal-length lenses with reflex viewfinder attached. But those zooms are also a good way to start, and your kit will be easy to re-sell when you want more.
Another equivalent option (often cheaper) is the Bolex H16M series, which is the same camera but has a fixed one-lens mount, instead of the three-lens rotating turret. If you're only going to use a reflex zoom-lens, you won't need the turret anyway. Late H16M (M-4, in particular) are easy to find for cheap (sometimes less than $100 on eBay), because they were used as security cameras in the late 60's. Those were mounted with external electric motors, so the spring-motor is usually like-new, and they look quite good too since they were not handled except to load/unload film (in banks, stores, etc.).
Obviously, Bolex Reflex cameras are more flexible, but they're also more expensive. The early ones are often still good, but the reflex viewfinder is a bit small. The best cheap model, in my opinion, is the Rex-2, which is light and has the improved 10x. viewfinder.
For all of this H16-talk to make more sense, look at this great web-page :

http://www.city-net....tory/index.html

And if you have more questions, don't hesitate -- it's all quite confusing at first!
-Boris
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#11 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:42 AM

Aaton XTR prod,
Nice S16 camera, silent.Npr is cool too but only for standard 16mm.
I would suggest you go for the S16, maybe you will do a movie later on that u can blow-up to 35mm.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#12 Aqmal Hadi

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:39 PM

wow! so much to choose from! =)

just to clarify, im not the original poster, and i have no intention of hijacking his thread. just thought id post some q's of my own that has some bearing on the original question. =)

I'd really love an arri!!! But practically, its too expensive for a starving film student like me. the price of the lens alone would kill me! (this is based on my ebay hits - im im wrong, please correct me..=))

the k3s sounds like a good bet, but support wise, how good is it? how solid is the operations, and if it does break down, am i left with a lemon? Having bought a Russian-made TLR that quickly became a paperweight due to its non-serviceable nature, im wondering if its the same with the motion camera. Can it be repaired easily?

another thing would be the availabilty of the camera at any given time. its hard to find an arri-s or a pentaflex 16 in working condition floating on the net. a bolex can be found easily online at any given time. which is why im favoring bolex at the moment. support wise, i know i can count on several places to send it for repairs.

my only gripe with the bolex is the many, many variations of it! im looking at the rexes, really love it...but if i cant get a nice one for an affordable price, id go for the older ones...

the b&h filmo looks good. saw one on ebay. but it looks huge! tho. how heavy can those get?

anyway, a bit of a bg info - im into photography. i shoot b&w exclusively, and learnt composition and camera works from taking photos. im also into movies. shot a few shorts in DV in uni, nothing spectacular. but those short movies makes me really wanna go the next step. id really love to have those DOF bokeh that can only be achieved by a REAL lens. normal dv cams dont do that, and a dv cam that does it is a 3ccd Sunnyä camera that costs a bomb for a type of look that i *really* deplore. i simply love how film looks. where i am (malaysia) film is a bit hard to get, but having said that, almost anything else regarding analog formats are hard to get here. u can get the latest of anything digital, but a replacement for that old turntable stylus? no way! =P

im leaning more towards stuff with a lot of drama, actors and such. have a few ideas that id like to see the light of day, mostly content/story driven stuff. so sound is appreciated, but not required. i think i can get away if i just dub it later.

right now im working in a post-house, so i have access to a telecine machine (a SHADOW!!!) My employers have given their approval for me to use their equipments during the off-hours, so i guess the post-part on my end is covered. only thing i need right now is a film camera, some films, and someone to forward me to the nearest FAQ on how to process 16mm film and how the hell i can dry them!!!

just wondering as well, anybody here process their own reels? or if its even practical to do that?

cheers.

Edited by morpheuse, 28 November 2005 - 01:44 PM.

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#13 Boris Belay

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:13 AM

Morpheuse, Perhaps you should start a new thread of your own indeed, since it's hard to go from sub-$500 camera choice to Aaton XTR in the same discussion !
Film processing is yet another topic, so another thread. But check the archives first, as many of your questions have certainly been answered already.
Very shortly : you can definitely find a decent Bolex Reflex kit (up the the Rex-2 with improved viewfinder) for $500 on eBay. Just be patient, on the watchout and careful (ask as many questions as possible to the seller first). Look for cameras that people have shot with recently (or at least personnaly) and for those that were owned by a parent of the owner -- one-owner Bolex that worked 40 years ago and sat in a house closet (not basement) will still work fine with a simple lubing. I know all the Bolex models first-hand, so ask any questions (on that new thread).
Filmos are built like tanks (the US Army's choice!) but they're not Reflex, so less practical when shooting moving subjects. And Filmos with 120ft mags are really bulky, and basically only meant for tripod use. But they're certainly in the race to outlast Bolex durability (the race is not over yet...).
-Boris
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#14 Steven Budden

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:42 PM

I'd look for a bolex REX 4. I just sold one to a Korean filmmaker on ebay for $500 in original box with a 25mm switar.

You can probably find another for around $500 with a prime or maybe even a lower end zoom.

I got a bolex a year ago and I've shot a lot since then. I've also bought a few others to resale and they all seemed to work well. Even old ones from the 50's. But RX 4 , 5, SB, and SBM will give you 10 x viewfinder (or 13x for $300 extra). Don't go for the magazine option yet unless you know you'll need it, because you'll pay a lot more for the camera for something you may or may not ever use.

If you do decide to do sync sound eventually, you can upgrade to another camera down the road. Might as well just get something affordable and see if film is your thing.

Bolex's hold their value fairly well too for the resale.

Steven
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#15 Boris Belay

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:19 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Steven B @ Nov 29 2005, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I got a bolex a year ago and I've shot a lot since then. I've also bought a few others to resale and they all seemed to work well. Even old ones from the 50's. But RX 4 , 5, SB, and SBM will give you 10 x viewfinder (or 13x for $300 extra). Don't go for the magazine option yet unless you know you'll need it, because you'll pay a lot more for the camera for something you may or may not ever use.

[/quote]
I agree on the quality of even old Bolex models, which after 40, 50, or even 60 years may still produce decent quality results (given ok lenses). But my vote goes to the Rex-2 as a light hand-held camera, because it already has the 10x. viewfinder. The Rex-3's flat base only adds weight, and the Rex-4's 1/1 motor shaft is not necessarily useful for everyone. But the 10x. VF is a real improvement for any shooting situation. And if you can get one of the French Declic grips that look like the later flat-bottom grips but for the round bottoms (rather than the more common Danish-made American round-bottom grip), you've got a fine, very light camera that fits in a medium sack, ready to shoot anywhere.
So, a Rex-2 with three lenses makes more sense for under $500 than a Rex-4 with a single 25. (Unless, of course, it's for a specific purpose, like animation, or the like).
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#16 Robert Hughes

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 10:17 PM

Like everybody else here, I've got a list of favorite 16mm cameras. As already said, the big price divide happens when you need (a) sync sound speed and (B) quiet camera operation.

If you're just starting off, I'd vote for a Filmo 70DL or DR. They are incredibly rugged, reliable, comfortable handheld cameras and ridiculously cheap nowadays. The 70HL, HR, and KRM models accept 400' magazines and can be handheld or tripod mounted. Non reflex unless you put a Pan Cinor or Angenieux "dog leg" lens on it, but it has parallax adjustment. You won't find a decent camera at anywhere near their price. For example, a 3-lens Filmo 70DL currently at less than $20.00 -

http://cgi.ebay.com/...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

Bolex HR16 cameras are fine also, I don't think they are as comfortable to shoot handheld with, but it's personal preference. The viewfinder on the reflex camera is very dim, almost useless in low light. Arri ST/SB cameras are even nicer but command a premium price for what you get.

If you need sound sync, studio quiet cameras, your cheapest workable solution (tripod only I suspect) will be an Auricon like this one, with 400' magazine and Angenieux 12-120 "dog leg" zoom, currently under $100:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

The Cinema Products CP-16A is a descendent of the Auricon, using the same movement. I've got an Auricon "chop top" conversion which needs taping to cover light leaks but otherwise works like a gem.

But when you get serious about modern Super 16 sound speed cameras, be prepared to lay out at least a grand, perhaps several thousand. Or buy a cheap knockabout camera and rent the expensive "A" cam only when you need it.
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#17 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 05:30 PM

Check out:

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.9&lc=en

The advantage of the Krasnogorsk is that there are so many drifting about that you are not pushed to buy from a few particular sellers or buy one in bad nick, there are litterally dozens going on ebay. Plus they are so cheap it gives you more money to spend on a decent light meter which if you have been working in video you may not have already.

The Krasnogorsk is also very simple to open up and MAYBE even fix if it breaks.

Andy
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#18 Aqmal Hadi

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:16 AM

hmmm....the auricon is the typical movie camera you always see in a period movie!!! =)

why is the zoom called a dog leg?

btw, since i started in photography first, the maxim for first time is "buy the cheapest body you could get, and then get the most expensive lens your budget allows" is that the same for 16mm cameras as well?
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#19 Boris Belay

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 03:56 PM

hmmm....the auricon is the typical movie camera you always see in a period movie!!! =)

why is the zoom called a dog leg?

btw, since i started in photography first, the maxim for first time is "buy the cheapest body you could get, and then get the most expensive lens your budget allows" is that the same for 16mm cameras as well?

It's not the zoom that is called 'dog-leg' but the lens viewfinder (on reflex models) that sticks out the side of the lens. On the earlier Berthiot models, they have a double 45 degree bend and look a bit like a dog's leg, I guess... Later, right angled versions are better (and Angénieux also have the 90 degree shape).
As for the photo maxim, i would tend to agree with it, except that moving film at 24/25 fps steadily requires a much higher level of engineering... So no, the camera body is very, very important. And yet the glass is perhaps more important ;-)
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#20 Aqmal Hadi

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 01:49 PM

thanks for the advice bobolex. =)

im on the running bid for a serial 220749 bolex. i reckon its a h-16 m-4 1:1 ratio shaft from andrew aldens website. Could you tell me what the ratio staff means?
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