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Arriflex 16 BL Sale


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#1 BillysBoots

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:54 PM

I am keen to purchase a 2nd hand Arriflex 16 BL as I have recently graduated from Film School. How much would you recommend I should pay for a used camera in reasonable condition.

I have looked on ebay a while back, but such cameras only seem to come up rarely.

Thanks for any advice given

Bill
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#2 Nathan Milford

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 02:54 PM

First off, what is your budget. It's not about how much a particular camera costs, but how much you're willing to spend. You can find a camera for $500 that is little more than a camera-shaped paperweight and you can find another complete package in perfect health with a proper maintenance record for $5000. You need to establish your cost thresholds as well as willingness to make compromises for quality.

If your planning on making your bread and butter off of the camera you better hope you can trust it. If you want a camera you can trust you should buy it off of a proper camera reseller like Du-All or Visual Products. Once you hit 'Bid' on eBay and you win, shipping the unit to you is the end of the sellers obligation to you. Good luck getting eBay to care. I've seen it several time with cameras that have crossed my bench.

What do you plan to spend on accessories? The 16BL is not a new camera accessories aren't always easy to come by, maybe you'll have to get some made (expensive)... what if you can't find a camera with the proper lens blimps... what is the point of buying a 'blimped' camera then? You might as well spend less and get a 16M or 16S. A proper tripod for the camera might cost you what you will have paid for the camera body. What about batteries and lenses? Does it have a crystal motor? What about finding the right 24 fps gear if it ahs the 25 fps gear?

What about the cost of maintenance? You should include that in your evaluation of the total cost of ownership of the camera. Also, 16mm is a hard format to find work in and the 16BL is notoriusly difficult and expensive (I've only seen it done once, very poorly) to convert to Super 16.

What is your plan with the camera? Is it just a gut reaction that you want to purchase a camera or do you have a sound business plan around it? How will it fit into your strategy to find work and sell yourself as an operator or cinematographer? Or is your strategy the typical and uninventive plan to 'get a camera and shoot' untill I am successful? What market/client are you going for? A regular 16 pig of a camera like the 16BL will not impress a director, producer or the talent. I've seen people use 16BLs on really low end music videos, I suppose... but mostly student films.

Lastly, why not just save your money to live off of while you're taking small jobs here and there to work your way up and make connections. Most people rent. It frees them from the responsibilities involved in owning an expensive piece of equipment. What happens if a producer wants to bring you on but your camera doesn't do what they need? What sort of client will you attract? Does a producer want you for your reel or your rental rate? That type of work might be good to start with and get experience, but you might develop a reputation as being 'cheap' which puts a stigma on you for high-end work. Anyone working for free or a low rate probably isn't worth anything as they obviously don't value thier work or themselves. This isn't my logic, but I've seen it before.

Of course you're probably talented enough to transcend industry stigmas. >8)

But then again, if you got the money and you want a new toy... you can find a workable 16BL kit for $2500 on up.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:52 PM

16mm is a hard format to find work in and the 16BL is notoriusly difficult and expensive (I've only seen it done once, very poorly) to convert to Super 16.


Nathan,

Out of interest who did the conversion to the 16BL.

Cheers,

Stephen
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#4 BillysBoots

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:55 PM

Many thanks Nathan for taking the trouble to reply. You have given me many points to consider. Thanks again.

I'll reply at length later.

Regards
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#5 Nathan Milford

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:57 PM

Out of interest who did the conversion to the 16BL.


Since I indicated it was sub par, I don't really want to embarass anyone... but it was a private owner and not a proper shop.

- Nathan
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#6 Clive Tobin

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 05:44 PM

...Does it have a crystal motor? What about finding the right 24 fps gear if it ahs the 25 fps gear?...


It is not well known perhaps, but the Tobin TXM-27 crystal control will give the correct USA running speeds with *ANY* gear set, 24:48, 25:50, 24:60, 24:50. You just need to set the little switches correctly. It also has the video related speeds of 23.976 and 29.97 with a phase button.

This can only be used with the EMP or BLE "universal" motor in good condition, that is without a melted or demagnetized tachometer head. I have a writeup on BL motors on my site at:
http://www.tobincine...com/page13.html .
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#7 Wodan

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 08:24 AM

I am not a cinematographer, or any thing, but I do have an Arriflex 16 and a Beaulieu R16 electric I am looking to sell. I do not know much about them, I got the cameras when my grandmother died. There are a lot of lenses, batteries, and other accessories that I would throw in. I know the last time she used them they worked fine, and they have been stored in her room ever since, except when I carefully laid them out to take pictures of them, which I have for anyone interested in buying. This would be a great deal for anyone interested... My email is smith.rl@rhodesstate.edu
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