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How easy (or hard) is it to convert a Filmo 70DR to shoot single perf. film?


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#1 Rodney Pellegrini

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 12:17 PM

I have a Bell & Howell Filmo 70DR and am considering modifying it so it shoots single perforated 16mm film. Does anyone here know how difficult or easy it is to remove the upper sprockets and claw?
Will I need any extra parts to replace what I take out? I don't know if the claw is composed of a single, solid part with two claws, or if it can be separated into upper and lower claws.

I've no experience taking cameras apart, so keep that in mind. How badly can I screw the camera up if I mess with it? Should I send it to a lab instead of trying this myself? Where? Any idea how much that costs?Also, will the camera be able to handle the single perf. film without loosing the loops after this "home-made" conversion?

Thanks for any and all help you may provide,

Rod
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#2 dm24ig

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 12:31 PM

The 70-DR is single perf. You may have an earlier model other than the DR.

I might have a broken DR at home that I could part with for a reasonable price, if you're interested in pulling the parts you need to get you cam to single perf.

I've never done this, but it might not be that hard to do. I'll post again tomorrow to let you know if its a DR or other single perf model.

- Derek
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#3 Rodney Pellegrini

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 12:47 PM

Yup, I double checked and it's a 70 DA, not DR.

Let me know, and thanks
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#4 dm24ig

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 11:08 AM

Rodney,

I do have a 70-DR, its a little in pieces, broken and rusted out on the inside. The front turret is off, but I do have the screws to put it back on (film gate is attached to it). The sprockets acutally are in pretty good shape and do not look affected by the rust around the other parts - I'm assuming they're stainless steel, same goes for the gate. The cover is missing one of the locking knobs and its pretty broken up to the point that you cannot close it.

Anyway, If you're looking for parts to get you're 70-DA to single perf, this would be ideal. I haven't taken apart the sprockets area, but it does seem that taking a couple of screws off is all you need to do - I could be wrong, but I don't see the job becoming too involved. I think most of the filmos' basic parts are interchangeable - they didn't mess with the core design of these cameras through the various models.

I'm going to take some photos when I get a chance today and post a link for you to look at if you're interested. let me know.

- Derek
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#5 dm24ig

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:20 PM

Rodney,

Some photos of the broken filmo and parts...

http://www.derekmara...70dr/parts.html


- Derek
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#6 Rodney Pellegrini

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:31 AM

Rodney,

Some photos of the broken filmo and parts...

http://www.derekmara...70dr/parts.html
- Derek


Derek,

Thanks for taking the time. Do you also have the claw in there? I can't tell from the pictures. I'll send you a PM with my e-mail to discuss further. Thanks again!

Rod
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#7 Charlie Peich

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 03:23 PM

[quote name='Rodney Pellegrini' date='Apr 12 2006, 09:17 AM' post='100107']
I have a Bell & Howell Filmo 70DR and am considering modifying it so it shoots single perforated 16mm film. Does anyone here know how difficult or easy it is to remove the upper sprockets and claw?


Rod,
Modifying the DA is possible, but unless you have mechanical skills with cameras and understand how the Filmos are put together, I wouldn't attempt it. Many years ago I tried to modify a 70A to run single perf stock (no instruction/repair book and little mechanical experience), but I had problems with it losing the loop after the modification. This is after I had removed the sprockets and filed down the teeth on the bottom of sprockets, and removing the front plate to access the double claw. I'm not sure what got out of alignment, but I think it was a combination of not getting the sprockets "timed" properly. Also, this model Filmo was made before B&H put in the spring loaded sprockets that absorb the inertia of the film starting and stopping. I also think I misaligned the gate some when I reassembled it. I didn?t take the movement apart for fear of losing the shutter sync and having timing problems, but my rather crude method of ?cutting? the extra claw off probably didn?t help the movement?s balance either. I didn't attempt fixing the camera as I later wanted to shoot at 24fps and this model didn't have that speed option.

Another thought about modifying the camera, parts from later cameras may not fit to the older ones, or you may have to adjust the movements, gate, flange depth etc. B&H made specialized tools for this that they sold to camera repair people. Impossible to find now. You might want to get a copy of one of the repair manuals that are available. Craig camera scroll down the page to the B&H listings.

Not knowing if shooting with your DA is a one time project, or if you plan on shooting a lot of film, but considering the cost of film, processing and transferring, I would take the money you would spend on that ?after the modification test roll?, and the time you take to get the right tools and then performing surgery on the camera that may leave it useless, and look for another body like a DL, H, DR or HR. By the time the DR and HR came out, B&H had made improvements to the camera?s mechanics. The last one noted was changing the pressure angle of the gears. The old angle was 14 1/2 degrees and the new one is 20 degrees. This applied to cameras with the serial number L-98020 and up.

Having a camera tech do the modification would be expensive because of the labor charges.

Another thought, you can still get double perf film. It?s harder to find these days, but it might be an easier and cheaper way to go if you don't plan on shooting much film or this is a one-time project.


eBay examples: 70DR,70DR ,70DL (expensive), 70DR modified, 70DR,70DL (make a offer)
Hope this helps.
Charlie
D.o.P. Chicago
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#8 Rodney Pellegrini

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 03:50 PM

Charlie,

My wanting to modify my DA to shoot single perf. film is really just a preventive strike. Now that Kodak isn't making any more double perf, and because I have two DAs, I figured that if the conversion was a simple matter I could chance it with one. I will likely keep shooting double perf as long as I can find it (and it isn't so old it might not work). I'm very new at this, and it's something I'm doing more out of interest than anything else (It's more of a hobby for me, and I've no professional expectations at present--maybe after I learn some more... I digress, though).

Thank you very much for relating your experience trying to do this. I'll probably just hold on to the parts I'll get from Derek until I feel a little more confident taking the camera apart. I've hopes it will work if the parts are compatible--I wouldn't be filing down the sprockets and extra claw, but replacing them with their counterparts from a single perf model. Maybe I will just save some money and get a later model on eBay when double perf stock becomes prohibitively expensive.

Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate you taking the time to write it.

Rod
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