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Is this a good deal?


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#1 seth christian

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 06:14 AM

Can someone tell me if this is a good deal?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ARRIFLEX-Arri-S-COMPLETE-CAMERA-PACKAGE-w-CRYSTAL-MOTOR_W0QQitemZ7572285409QQcategoryZ4691QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Also, I'm coming from an all digital world, this will be my first real film experience.
But I'm lookin forward to it.....movin up in the world! Does film footage from the
camera need to be developed within a certain amount of time?
Where's a good inexpensive place to send them off to, and that does telecineing
as well?
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:44 AM

Can someone tell me if this is a good deal?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ARRIFLEX-Arri-S-COMPLETE-CAMERA-PACKAGE-w-CRYSTAL-MOTOR_W0QQitemZ7572285409QQcategoryZ4691QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Also, I'm coming from an all digital world, this will be my first real film experience.
But I'm lookin forward to it.....movin up in the world! Does film footage from the
camera need to be developed within a certain amount of time?
Where's a good inexpensive place to send them off to, and that does telecineing
as well?


Because you can get sued for saying bad things about someone business and the individual selling that camera makes resale of those his business, let's talk hypothetical.

Some people buy cameras at low prices, then take those same cameras and turn around and sell them with much hype and fanfare, at quite inflated prices.

The Arriflex 16S is a great camera for learning 16mm filmmaking, which is why NYU, UCLA, USC, NYFA, all use them. They were great little workhorse, reliable cameras. BUT, and this is a big BUT, they were all made decades ago, anywhere from thirty to fifty years ago. And they need to be maintained. A camera that old needs to be regularly serviced, and in forty years, how many times was it? When was the last time the camera was torn down and rebuilt? When was it last lubricated? What is the Flange Focal Distance? All important things that will determine whether you have a good camera or a boat anchor.

If you want an Arriflex 16S, and you are willing to spend in the neighborhood of $2750, then buy one from a reputable dealer that will stand behind the camera and will have made sure it is serviced and up to spec before it leaves their shop. I am thinking of the folks at Visual Products, or Jorge at Cinema Technic.

Another thing to really watch out for, because the cameras are so old and there have been so many of them around for so long, people have swapped parts on them. A huge mistake is to take a door from one camera and put it onto another camera. The door and camera body were matched sets, and the camera may look fine because all the doors look the same, but the optics won't line up. Always make sure the serial number on the camera door matches the serial number on the body.

You may also want to look for the following three lenses, 16mm, 25mm and 50mm. That is the set that came with the camera, 16mm being the wide angle, 25mm being the normal lens, and 50mm being the telephoto lens. Some cameras came with a 10mm as the wide angle.

I could go on and on about the cameras, I love them, and I love to see young filmmakers using them, they are great cameras. But it sickens me to see some of the scams people try to perpetuate on ebay when it comes to them.

You may also want to talk to Eytan Harris about the Arriflex 16ST (same camera) he is selling. You can find it listed down in the Classified section of this forum. He and I have talked about it, it's a good camera and he knows the whole history of it. It needs an overhaul, but it is a newer serial number, above 15000, so you can still get ARRI in New York to overhaul the camera for you. And it is a newer S/B which means it has a bayonet mount as one of the three lens mounts on the turret, so you can use a larger selection of lenses with that camera than you can on a 16S which has only Arri standard mounts. There are also others of us who will overhaul the older serial numbered cameras.

Best of luck, it's a great camera, just take some time and do some research, so you get a good one. It will give you years of happy filmmaking, as opposed to years of buyer's remorse.

-Tim Carroll

Edited by TimCarroll, 13 December 2005 - 08:55 AM.

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#3 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 03:51 PM

Just to mention also, if you don't know this camera, it was made for reporting, in 50's so that it's noisy, you can't shoot sound synch, but in large exteriors. Forget about filming sound synch inside with this camera.

You can purchase a blimp if you want but this will make the camera very much bigger, and there then would be no way to shoot handle.

I posted a picture of this camera inside the blimp (I should say of the blimp, within the camera) make a research, you should find it. This camera has been discussed a lot in these forums.

(Tim and I do own this camera, so we know what we're talking about).

I've been reading the ebay auction you posted and I must confess there is something I dislike in the "promoting" text... Just that it is promoting... It sounds like the guy is trying to sell something to people who don't know the filming technologies "and if you pay right now, I give you a 85 filter !!!" things like that. I think it wouldn't be written the way it is if he was looking forward to selling to somebody who knows cameras.

Maybe he's looking for a rich collector, I don't know, but to me, it doesn't sound like an operator who would be selling a camera and looking for another operator to buy it...

Don't pretend I'm right, just a feeling...

It would be interesting to see what are the other items he's been selling...

The thing looks great on the pictures and description, but who knows if it works...

Also, I don't know if the price is that good, maybe it's just a normal price. As Tim said, if I were to spend the normal price for this camera, I defenetly would like better to buy it from a store...

But I can't tell if the guy is not honnest and tries to rip anybody off...

Edited by laurent.a, 13 December 2005 - 03:55 PM.

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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 04:18 PM

Again, let's talk hypothetical. Some people on eBay buy cameras that are in bad shape and then cosmetically clean them up and resell them for much more. They count on the buyer not knowing too much about the camera and thinking they are getting a great deal.

As a hypothetical example. An individual on eBay is selling an Arri 16S, it looks good, wants to get $1350 for it. The price seems right. I hypothetically ask if the numbers on the door of the camera and the body of the camera match. The seller says no. I no longer want the camera. Seller mentions that the guy he bought the camera from (for $2300), wants to buy it back from him for the $1350. So everybody is happy. The next week, hypothetically, this same camera, same motor, same lenses (it hypothetically had a very unique motor and lenses) shows up on eBay with much fanfare, maybe even hypothetically saying that it is the camera you have been waiting for. And the price is $2600 with a "Buy it Now" price of $2650. The same faulty Arriflex 16S with mismatched door and body (remember about the optics problems this causes). And if someone who does not know much about the camera gets taken in by the hype and razzle dazzle, they have a boat anchor, because there is no way to fix the mismatched door issue. Of course they would also have three lenses and a motor, if the lenses were collimated and the motor worked.

Legally I cannot be any clearer than that. I hope you catch my drift.

-Tim Carroll
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#5 seth christian

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 06:00 PM

thanks for the concerns guys, much help in my new "film camera" knowledge.
If anyone sees a good deal or knows of one,...let me know!

Looking for a 16 or Super16 that will give me killer footage for my music
video productions. I'm done trying to be in the "video is almost film like"
circle..always waiting for that newest of newest prosumer Panavision
camera to only cause myself labor grief in postproduction to try and make
it look like warm film........................I'm thru with that cr*p!
Even the new footage from the HVX200 STILL looks like video! I';m sorry,
but it does! Film cannot be replicated..period!

So..I know that the way to go in the long run is just buy a good 16mm camera
and spend 1/10th the time in postproduction and having it look AWESOME..
rather than shooting with a 24pvideo camera that cost probably about 3/4 the cost of
a real film camera anyway....and then, spending HOURS UPON HOURS of
plugin magic in postwork.
It's the "REAL DEAL" from here forward!

Again, any deals out there...let me know guys...thanks!
thinkmonkeymedia
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#6 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 06:25 PM

Tim, can you explain the link beetween the door and an optical problem ? do you mean the lens mount door ? Then I get it. But if you talk about the side door, I don't...
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:09 PM

Tim, can you explain the link beetween the door and an optical problem ? do you mean the lens mount door ? Then I get it. But if you talk about the side door, I don't...


Laurent, as we discussed on another thread, the cameras changed over the years, with the different bodies and different lens mounts, etc. One thing that was not so obvious, but actually changed more than the visible stuff on the camera is the optics. And each camera door, the part you take off to change the 100' spools, was matched optically for each body. Ergo the same serial number on the door and on the body. The optics changed over the years, so you never want to interchange doors. There is also the optic alignment issue. Each camera had it's optics in the tube on the door aligned with the optics attached to the plate that holds the movement and the gate. all of which is attached to the camera body. These need to be precisely aligned, especially with cameras that have cross hairs or framing marks in the viewfinder. Otherwise your viewfinder is off.

Make sense?

-Tim
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 09:00 AM

If anyone sees a good deal or knows of one,...let me know!

Again, any deals out there...let me know guys...thanks!
thinkmonkeymedia


Okay, same price as the ebay auction listed above, actually less expensive. I wrote this guy last night and he wrote back. He bought the camera less than a year ago from Visual Products and it had a complete overhaul by them. You should talk with the guy who owns it, but the $2600 "Buy it now" does not sound like a bad price, and it is a complete package for shooting 100' rolls. It has three decent lenses, the variable speed motor, a twelve volt battery pack with charger, and a Pelican case for the whole package. Oh yeah, and it comes with a light meter too. I think it would do great for your music videos.

You can view the auction here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...itemZ7572924769

The guy's name is John Roderick and he runs a company up in Maine called Neu Media Company. Send him any questions you have with the "ask seller a question" link on the auction page, and he responds pretty quickly. And I did check, the serial numbers match on the camera.

Best of luck,
-Tim Carroll

Edited by TimCarroll, 15 December 2005 - 09:10 AM.

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#9 seth christian

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 03:35 PM

it does look like a decent deal. Thanks.
The only thing is is I'll have to buy 400' mags, cause a 100'rs doesn't make it through the entire song
during footage.
What's a good place and price for 400' mags for this camera, also a big shade cover for the end of the
lens?
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 04:37 PM

it does look like a decent deal. Thanks.
The only thing is is I'll have to buy 400' mags, cause a 100'rs doesn't make it through the entire song
during footage.
What's a good place and price for 400' mags for this camera, also a big shade cover for the end of the
lens?


Correct me if I am wrong, but you are not going to do the whole song as one continuous take are you?

-Tim
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 06:09 PM

Hi,

Quite apart from the reliability issues with a camera this old, while it looks nice at the outset to be able to shoot HD images for $2700, bear in mind the running costs of the thing. It'll cost you that every time you take it out of the box. Buying the camera is not the end of it. Unless you have $10,000 a year to spend feeding it, you'll use it so little that it's more cost-effective to rent better equipment. This is why people don't often own film cameras.

Phil
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#12 seth christian

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 06:14 PM

What's the best method then for syncing everything?

I was thinking if there was only one clapper for the
beginning of the song, after shooting 8 different
angles, locations, etc... I'd have great footage to
work from in post, and I'll only have to match one
clapper for each section.
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#13 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 06:48 PM

What's the best method then for syncing everything?

I was thinking if there was only one clapper for the
beginning of the song, after shooting 8 different
angles, locations, etc... I'd have great footage to
work from in post, and I'll only have to match one
clapper for each section.


I don't shoot music videos so I am not the best person to ask, but the videos I have seen have very little "showing the band singing from different angles" and have much more "other images cut into clips of the band performing" broken up by close ups of different band members. Again, others who shoot music videos can be a better help, what I do mostly is documentary and narrative.

-Tim
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