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Arri BL 2 noise level


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#1 Nguyen D. Nguyen

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 02:18 PM

I am posting here because I've searched around but I can't seem to find any definitive answers:

What is the Arri BL-2's noise level compared to the BL-1 and the BL-3? And, if you fitted the camera with a PL-mount, BUT, used a Bayonet-to-PL adapter to use Bayonet mount lenses, how does that affect the noise level? I heard that the BL-2s were quieter than the BL-2 since it used a dual registration pin layout instead of the four pins used in the BL-1 (though it sacrificed high speed filming), but I also hear that fitting the camera with a PL mount increases the camera noise through the lens mount. I'm not sure if using adapters would make a difference.

Any help is appreciated.
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

The BL-2 is a little quieter than the BL-1, but both cameras require a lens blimp in their original design. The PL-mount isolation front retrofits do allow the cameras to run somewhat quieter than the cameras would in the original mount without a blimp. But in my experience they are still not particularly quiet, perhaps 30-35db. Using a PL-to-bayo adapter will make no difference.

It is also important to note that these are old cameras--30 years or more. Parts wear and not only are they hard to replace, but they also cause an increase in noise over time. So one BL-2 may be far noiser or quieter than one BL-1 in practice.

Another funky feature of the BL series cameras is that they were designed with the lens, movement and gate all interlocked together and then this assembly floated within a rubber seal to isolate it from ospitting out noise. Worked well and was a brilliant bit of engineering, but over time the rubber gaskets wear down and the entire assembly can move within the camera housing. Not a problem for optical performance, but it increases noise and it creates another issue. The viewfinder assembly is solidly attached to the camera body, meaning that as one touches the lens the image can appear to swim around in the eyepiece. The framelines move with the image so your framing remains correct, but it can be an unnerving experience for shooting. Replacing these gaskets is a major overhaul and they may no longer even be available as Arri no longer supports these cameras.
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