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handcrank cameras


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#1 Louis

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:17 AM

My friend asked me a question today and I couldn't answer it, so I figured I would just open it up to the people on this forum: When exactly did motors on cameras become standard? I know that Edison's Kinetograph had a motor, but it was bulky and could only be used in the studio. When did most cameras come with motors? Were late silent classics like Metropolis or Sunrise filmed with hand cranks, or where motorized cameras standard by then? Thanks for any info.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:12 AM

My friend asked me a question today and I couldn't answer it, so I figured I would just open it up to the people on this forum: When exactly did motors on cameras become standard? I know that Edison's Kinetograph had a motor, but it was bulky and could only be used in the studio. When did most cameras come with motors? Were late silent classics like Metropolis or Sunrise filmed with hand cranks, or where motorized cameras standard by then? Thanks for any info.


Motors, although available in the late 1920's for some models, didn't really become standard until the sound era forced them to, mainly because the motors required power and battery technology was not very developed back then.
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#3 Joe Taylor

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:36 PM

I have an old 1917 35mm Debrie that I bought a few years ago. I know that when this camera was made there were no motors but somewhere along the line a motor was made for my Debrie. I have one and it works. I also made a motor for the 1:1 shaft on the back of the camera so that I could do time-lapse shots with this camera.

As an offtopic, shoot modern color film through these ancient cameras and their lens' you get the most gorgeous images. They have a soft pastel look that sort of reminds me of the old autochrome. No amount of digital trickery can match the look you get with old, uncoated lens.

Aah, I love film. <-- that little virtual orgasim was also offtopic. Glad I caught it when I did.
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