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Arri III or Konvas Package Comparison


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#1 Benji Bakshi

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 12:35 PM

How about this package comparison:

I'm lookig for my first 35 package. I'm looking for something with high-speed capability, perfect registration, reliability.

I'm looking into 2 possible packages:

#1 Konvas 8m camera
Super 35 gate
6 primes (lomo)
1 zoom (lomo)
4 200' mags
4 400' mags
Video tap
high speed motor (up to 50fps)
PL mount

OR

#2 Arri III
Regular 35 gate
PL mount
Cinmatography Electronics high speed motor
Color Video Tap


Here's my main issue. I hear the Konvas has great reliability, good registration, and is great for handheld. And also this Konvas 8m is THE COMPLETE PACKAGE at a great price. Lenses, mags, tap, etc.

But in terms of marketability, the Arri will make me appear more professional. Right? Has anyone ever heard of a producer being like, "Russian camera? Never heard of it. I need an Arri!" I imagine it could be an issue...

Also, Arri IIIs are widely used for commercial and music videos and speed ramping. BUT - this package costs more, and without any lenses, only 3 mags, etc. Plus I hear the Arri III is terrible for handholding.

If I buy the Arri, I'll have a more "marketable" camera, BUT I'll have to rent lenses to shoot anything - until I buy my own, which could be $10k or more for a nice set.


Again, I'm looking for reliability, and a rock-solid image, and marketability. Is the marketability and extra features of the Arri III w/o lenses worth 2-3 times the price of a nice Konvas 8m with lenses?


Any input?
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 01:08 PM

I've had extensive experience with the Konvas cameras, I personally like them, but I would never use one for a shoot I was doing for some one else. Getting parts and service for any Konvas will be a challenge. I've also used the Arri III on lots of shoots and it's a good work horse. The Arri III has a registration pin, not sure if that Konvas 8M does or not?

The Arri III will do nice high speed. That CE motor you say comes with the Arri is a $6000.00 item in the used market. I know, I want to buy one :) There is a Arri III with the CE speed base on ebay right now, when you link to the sellers business page they have it listed for $22,000.00. I wouldn't trust the registration on that Konvas above 24fps, I have done extensive testing. The CE base will get the Arri III to 80fps, now that's a nice slow mo.

Those lenses that will come with your Konvas package will not be very good. They'll be ok, but just ok.
You can always rent much better glass than you can afford. An Arri with a PL mount is a much better choice, this gives you access to Zeiss Ultra Primes and Cooke S4s. Plus PL Mount lenses go cheaper than you think on ebay, $2000-$3000 will get you a good one.

Lenses rent fairly cheap, and make all the difference in the world. The camera body has stayed basically the same since Edison. It's the lenses and film stock that are the changing parts of the cine camera.

If you want to hire out and get work, then the Arri III will pay off better in the long run. You will find a negative bias toward Russian gear out there, "you're going to shoot my million dollar actress with what kind of camera and lenses??????????"

R,
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 02:56 PM

These two cameras aren't even in the same league. If you have the resources to go either route, then you'd be crazy not to go with the Arri III. I would expect most Konvas owners to agree with that statement.
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#4 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 06:26 AM

Arriflex!
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#5 Benji Bakshi

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:53 AM

Arriflex!



Thanks for your input, everyone.

Obviously the main reason I'm even considering a Konvas is, I'll get a full package to myself for under 5K.
Then I think, why not just put that 5K toward a 15K package if I'll end up there in the long run anyway??

However, as I'm trying to build up my 35 reel, isn't the flexibility of owning a fully accessorized package with lenses a big plus? (e.g. Konvas)

Sure the Konvas package is mechanically inferior than the Arri III, but then - if you're going to rent lenses anyway, you could always RENT an Arri III with lenses for a few hundred dollars more...

I'm also considering that, a producer might want the Arri name, but then if I have to RENT lenses to shoot anyway, I'm less of an all-inclusive package. Plus it limits my ability to experiment.

I'm also concerned that, the Arri III is still limited to MOS. I'm concerned about my ability to apy off the camera...

If that's the case, why not build my reel with a cheaper, total package, sell it, and but a sync camera down the road?

Also, what about handholding with the Arri?
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#6 Thomas Worth

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:27 AM

The Arri III has a registration pin, not sure if that Konvas 8M does or not?

The Konvas can be upgraded with single pin registration. The modification is performed by Slow Motion, Inc. here in Los Angeles. I believe the cost is under $3000.

The Arri III will do nice high speed. That CE motor you say comes with the Arri is a $6000.00 item in the used market.

A Konvas 2M can be purchased for under $2000 (body and motor). This includes a crystal sync motor that will run up to 32 fps. It can be modified (again by Slow Motion Inc.) to run at 50 fps. I seem to recall Anatoly at Slow Motion mentioning in an email that 50 fps is the maximum speed the Konvas will reliably support. However, with the pin registration mod, it may support higher speeds.

Those lenses that will come with your Konvas package will not be very good. They'll be ok, but just ok.
You can always rent much better glass than you can afford.

I've found the Lomo optics to be very good. I've shot footage on my Konvas, printed it, and watched it in a real movie theatre (BIG screen, not tiny like FotoKem's screening rooms). VERY impressive, and this is from the super speed lenses (T1.5). The normal lenses may be sharper. I have a PL mount for my Konvas, so I can use better lenses if need be.

You will find a negative bias toward Russian gear out there, "you're going to shoot my million dollar actress with what kind of camera and lenses??????????"

Perception is absolutely a factor, but the camera body is really the least important item when it comes to image quality. Film stock and optics should be more of a concern. The Konvas has rock-solid registration, is cheap, small, and easy to maneuver.

To get the same level of camera from Arri, you would have to spend many thousands of dollars more. I bought my Konvas 2M for $1600, which included a crystal sync motor, five mags, a PL mount and a Super-35 gate. The camera cranks out gorgeous footage. If you want to check out some stuff I shot with my Konvas, go to my site: http://rarevision.com. Scroll down and click on the "Konvas 2M 35mm Test" clips. It'll give you an idea of what's possible with such a cheap camera.
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#7 andres victorero

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:48 PM

To get the same level of camera from Arri, you would have to spend many thousands of dollars more. I bought my Konvas 2M for $1600, which included a crystal sync motor, five mags, a PL mount and a Super-35 gate. The camera cranks out gorgeous footage. If you want to check out some stuff I shot with my Konvas, go to my site: http://rarevision.com. Scroll down and click on the "Konvas 2M 35mm Test" clips. It'll give you an idea of what's possible with such a cheap camera.



looks great, beautifull images.
What kind of lenses did you use in these shots?

thanks
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