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Cranking 16mm'rs


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#1 seth christian

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 06:04 PM

do the 16 cameras w/cranks come out looking DIFFERENT
than the motorized camera?

What are some cautions to know about this topic?
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 06:49 PM

do the 16 cameras w/cranks come out looking DIFFERENT
than the motorized camera?

What are some cautions to know about this topic?

Assuming you are taking about spring wound cameras and not the very old hand crank type (i.e. old silent movies from 1900-1920)...

The film itself and the lenses have the most impact on the image as long as either type of camera is in good shape and well maintained.

"Motorized" cameras are generally steadier in keeping the film moving at the desired frame rate. They also allow longer uninterupted shots. They are usually crystal sync which will allow you to sync the audio track later if needed.

"Hand Crank" cameras can tire you out pretty quick, a K-3 only lasts like 30 seconds on one crank and if you go through a few rolls you'll have a nice indentation in your hand from the key. My Kodak K-100 Turret seems to last about twice that long on one crank and its easier to crank it too. But the upside is you don't worry about batteries and these cameras can go practically anywhere including the Arctic.
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#3 seth christian

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 07:30 PM

I'm wanting to get a 16 or super16 for doing music videos and
I'm afraid that the windups will give me too much of a raw look.
Is there any truth to that...as opposed to the motored?
I have about a $2000 budget for a camera purchase, what
might be your best suggestion for a camera for my purpose?
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 07:07 AM

Just to clarify the handcrank versus clockwork thing. Handcrank means that you turn the film continuously by hand. Some cameras have what is called a governer which will even out the speed as you hand crank, but some do not and then the speed can fluctuate quite a bit unless you are a real talent at handcranking. This is an effect that people sometimes use for a different look, such as in the Nine Inch Nails video "closer". Clockwork is different. You have a clockwork motor and you wind it up and then it drives the film camera for you.

I'm wanting to get a 16 or super16 for doing music videos and
I'm afraid that the windups will give me too much of a raw look.
Is there any truth to that...as opposed to the motored?
I have about a $2000 budget for a camera purchase, what
might be your best suggestion for a camera for my purpose?



I don't think theres any truth to that, it all depends on the lenses you use and where you have the telecine done. A lot of windup cameras (Filmo for example) are preety steady but obviously not as much as an Arri or something. In practice you probably won't be able to notice any difference unless you are trying to shoot sync, in which case the clockwork cameras are more likely to drift off sync.

Lenses and filmstock and telecine are important tho.

Even the low end arri cameras have excellent lenses available for them.
With things like the filmo and K3, you might have to search a bit. Often a filmo will come with okay lenses anyway. If not there are lots of c mount lenses out there. The normal K3 zoom lens is apparently a bit horrid, but if you get one with an M42 mount you can use high quality lenses from 35mm still cameras that have an M42 mount.

For film you probably want to use either Kodak vision stock, or if you are shooting outside then EXR 50D, or Fuji have a range of beautiful neg stocks too. 64D for outside etc.

Run a test on your camera before the shoot! Especially if it is a K3, which can be variable build quality.

love

Freya
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#5 Alex Haspel

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 08:30 AM

I'm wanting to get a 16 or super16 for doing music videos and
I'm afraid that the windups will give me too much of a raw look.
Is there any truth to that...as opposed to the motored?
I have about a $2000 budget for a camera purchase, what
might be your best suggestion for a camera for my purpose?


well, definately not a handcranked one...

you'll have a really hard time matching the music to the lips of the singer in post.

i'd say that you can't really go wrong with a arri 16bl.
they're undestroyable workhorses and you can also use newer lenses on them.
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#6 Bryan Darling

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:47 PM

The Arriflex 16BL is great but very heavy and not the most friendly for handheld work. You'll also be hard pressed to find a Arri 16BL package for $2k. If you're doing a music video then you won't be recording "live" audio so I'd recommend either an Arri S package with a crystal sync motor or a Bolex Rex with a crystal sync motor. If you don't really need to match the songs lyrics to the guy or gal singing in the video then you can go with virtually any 16mm camera. Just get what you can for your budget. Bolex cameras are extremely reliable and well built. Arri cameras are great machines but will be more pricey and a not quite as simple to operate. The K-3 is a great little camera for the price. I'd focus more on what you're going to shoot & experimenting around with filmstocks.

It sounds like you're starting out in film so I woulnd't recommend getting the "best" camera. That itself is very subjective. Rather get a good well-built camera that you can play and experiment with and learn from. You'll find a great many filmmaker using Bolex cameras of all kind, including the wind-ups. Check out My Architect & any of Guy Maddin's films. It'd be a waste, I think, at this point to invest a lot of money into a 16mm camera system that may not be necessary for where you are- in that you're beginning to learn and experiment. I've used a Bolex, K-3, & Arri and unless you sat watching film projected side-by-side from each camera of the same subject, you'd never really see a difference. As a matter of fact I just had a film print struck from some footage shot with a K-3 and it looked great.

Just grab a decent inexpensive camera and start shooting!
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#7 Seth Sherwood

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:35 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but if one wants to get the cool choppy motion that handcranking would provide, wouldn't they need to be worrying about the exposure as well?

On my Filmo for example, I meter for 1/40th for 24fps. If I am cranking around 24 but I want thaat stuttered look, how much under or over will I get before i get into a different exposure range?
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