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Shooting action sports on 16mm - need opinions


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#1 Dinal Rabough

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 05:57 AM

Would the Arriflex S be a camera to go with for capturing high paced action sports? I almost dead set on this camera. What are the pros and cons with the arri S for shooting, high speed motorcycles, ski, and bmx type activities.

Thank you for your help.
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:55 AM

Are you planning on shooting the film at high speed? And if so, what speed were you thinking about? The reason I ask is that the variable speed motor for the Arri S is pretty wild and fluctuates its speed quite a bit, which can effect exposure as well as the flow of action. And you can really only get up to about 50 frames per second. You might want to look at the Tobin crystal speed motor which can run at crystal speeds close to 50 fps.

I would also make sure to get an Arriflex 16S/B, the one with the bayonet mount lens port so you can use much better glass. Get yourself a 12 mm Zeiss T1.3 Mk1 prime lens in bayonet mount, have the camera serviced so you are sure it is well cleaned, lubed and set to factory tolerance, and have at it. I think that combination, with the Tobin crystal motor, would produce excellent images.

-Tim Carroll
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#3 Dinal Rabough

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:41 PM

Are you planning on shooting the film at high speed? And if so, what speed were you thinking about? The reason I ask is that the variable speed motor for the Arri S is pretty wild and fluctuates its speed quite a bit, which can effect exposure as well as the flow of action. And you can really only get up to about 50 frames per second. You might want to look at the Tobin crystal speed motor which can run at crystal speeds close to 50 fps.

I would also make sure to get an Arriflex 16S/B, the one with the bayonet mount lens port so you can use much better glass. Get yourself a 12 mm Zeiss T1.3 Mk1 prime lens in bayonet mount, have the camera serviced so you are sure it is well cleaned, lubed and set to factory tolerance, and have at it. I think that combination, with the Tobin crystal motor, would produce excellent images.

-Tim Carroll



Thanks for your insight! Next step would be to find the arri S/B in good condition with the items you listed.
I am planning on shooting alot of high speed with it, So the Tobin motor is needed.
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 10:26 PM

The S/B is a fantastic camera (I have two myself) but if high-speed shooting is a big priority, I suspect 50 fps might not get you the kind of slow-motion that's seen in a lot of action-sports films and videos. At least for motorcycles, things seem to get really interesting anywhere from 50-75 fps and above. It will still look great at 50 fps, but I don't know if you need to produce films that can match the look of some of the action titles out there that are shot at higher frame rates.

Also, since almost all S/Bs are regular 16 format cameras, think about what aspect ratio you'll ultimately end up with before you commit. Extracting a 16:9 frame from regular 16 frame will diminish the quality to some extent, though it can still look great if you're working with fine-grained films like 7245 or 7201 50D. Do you have the budget for a Super 16 camera? Super 16 will drop right into 16:9 with very slight cropping at the top and bottom so you'll end up with a lot more information in the frame.
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#5 Dinal Rabough

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:10 PM

The S/B is a fantastic camera (I have two myself) but if high-speed shooting is a big priority, I suspect 50 fps might not get you the kind of slow-motion that's seen in a lot of action-sports films and videos. At least for motorcycles, things seem to get really interesting anywhere from 50-75 fps and above. It will still look great at 50 fps, but I don't know if you need to produce films that can match the look of some of the action titles out there that are shot at higher frame rates.

Also, since almost all S/Bs are regular 16 format cameras, think about what aspect ratio you'll ultimately end up with before you commit. Extracting a 16:9 frame from regular 16 frame will diminish the quality to some extent, though it can still look great if you're working with fine-grained films like 7245 or 7201 50D. Do you have the budget for a Super 16 camera? Super 16 will drop right into 16:9 with very slight cropping at the top and bottom so you'll end up with a lot more information in the frame.



Super 16 was another thing that came up when selecting a camera. My last employer used the SR2 Highspeed, but i don't have the money to spend on a camera like that. I am willing to spend 3k-6k on a camera. I guess my options are open.
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#6 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 12:07 AM

My last employer used the SR2 Highspeed, but i don't have the money to spend on a camera like that.


Who was your last employer? Are you trying to sell films to compete in the same market with them?

I'm no different--I love film, but I'm thinking that a budget of $6K will likely get you a good S/B and maybe a 10-100 t2 Zeiss zoom (which would be a good choice for bikes and motorcycles) and you'll still need a mattebox, filters, meter, batteries, etc. Here's what I'm thinking: Maybe a good high-quality video camera would be worth considering before you go to a film camera, at least from a business standpoint. I don't know that much about any of these new video cameras except I've seen some nice images from the Panasonic DVX100A that were used (along with SR3s) on Dana Brown's 2004 Baja 1000 race documentary Dust To Glory.

If you can knock out your first project at a profit, maybe then you can sell the video camera and put the cash into a good Super 16 camera. I'd guess a good SR2 package with a decent lens would run about $25-35K from a reputable seller like Visual Products. Just a thought.
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#7 Dinal Rabough

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:00 AM

We have already produced a movie and we want to make it better by bringing in Film. We already have the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic dvx b cameras.

I just want to bring that film look element back to this new DVD.

Otherwise.......maybe hiring a filmer for this year...who knows...i still have a few more weeks to make my final decision.

FKP-1,

I noticed your website has some Mx stuff in it, and it looks amazing. Thats they look and style i want out of our next film.
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#8 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:03 AM

We have already produced a movie and we want to make it better by bringing in Film. We already have the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic dvx b cameras.

I just want to bring that film look element back to this new DVD.

Otherwise.......maybe hiring a filmer for this year...who knows...i still have a few more weeks to make my final decision.


Maybe just rent an SR3 or Aaton for some of the important segments. That way you get the best equipment when you need it without having to pay to own it. Of course, there's always the point where it just makes more sense to buy it.

ps: thanks for the feedback on the website. I'm getting better with the film cameras and I've got a lot of new things including a new spot for American Honda, but I just never seem to have time to update it.
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#9 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:37 AM

We have already produced a movie and we want to make it better by bringing in Film. We already have the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic dvx b cameras.

I just want to bring that film look element back to this new DVD.

Otherwise.......maybe hiring a filmer for this year...who knows...i still have a few more weeks to make my final decision.


A filmer?
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#10 Dinal Rabough

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 03:50 PM

A filmer?



Hire someone to do the work for me. I am in the motorsports industry, and have help direct and produce 3 action sports DVD's.
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