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I got $2000 - can i get a decent 16mm camera


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#1 Phil Thompson

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 04:26 AM

This is the question.. I mean. is it worth saving a bit more or can i get something reliable and decent for $2,000?
cheers
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:04 AM

I'm a huge fan of the Arri 16S, (obviously as I have a web site about the camera) and you can pick one up off eBay and have it serviced for about $2000, and you will have a good regular 16mm camera that will last you for years.

If you are looking for a sound sync camera (the Arri 16S can be used for sound sync with limitations which I will discuss in an article on the web site in the coming months), and/or a Super 16 camera, then I would suggest saving more money.

I'm also a big fan of the Arriflex 16SR and the Aaton LTR54, both of which are sound sync and both of which can be or may be already converted to Super 16.

An Eclair can be had for less money than either of the cameras above, but I don't have any experience with those, and the same goes for the CP16, which should be about the same price as the Eclair.

Hope that gives you some ideas.
-Tim
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#3 John King

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 01:53 PM

Mr. Carroll,

What about the Arri 16BL? I've been looking at one of these cameras and was thinking of buying it. I have heard some good things about the camera-- what do you think about it?

Thanks in advance!

J.M. King
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 03:35 PM

I am not the biggest fan of that camera and here is why. It can be alot quieter than the Arri 16S, but it is quite a bit larger, heavier, and you can be limited with the choice of lenses. You need ones that will fit inside the lens blimp. It will also be more expensive to service.

I also have an issue with the design philosophy for that camera. ARRI decided that to make a quiet 16mm camera, they would take an existing camera, the Arriflex 16M, and sound proof it, as opposed to starting over from scratch and making a sound sync camera like they eventually did with the Arriflex 16SR. So they added a whole lot of sound proofing to the existing 16M camera, thereby creating a bigger, bulkier, heavier camera, and one with limitations.

Aside from that, I cannot think of too many other limitations. And there are many folks that swear by that camera, so what do I know?

-Tim
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#5 John King

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 08:45 PM

Mr. Carroll,

Thanks for your imput! I might ask you a few questions about the Arri 16SR. I've seen these cameras on ebay and they usually fetch a pretty hefty price. The thing that gets me though is the coaxial magazine. It looks intriguing, but in a way I'm kinda scared of it. I found a site that showed how it worked and just as I feared the film has to make a torturous path on the takeup side. It looks to me like the film actually has to bend to make it through the path.

As an owner of an Arri 16SR what can you tell us about the pros and cons of the coaxial magazines. Are they bad about jamming? Breaking film? Any worse or better than regular displacement mags?

Again, Thanks in advance!

J.M. King
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:29 PM

I personally have never had any problems with the mags on my SR. I find them very easy to load, and very positive to load, meaning you don't worry about whether you loaded it right or not, you can pretty much verify that it is loaded properly before putting it on the camera. And you do the take up side outside the changing tent, which makes it very simple. And I can honestly say I do not know of anyone else who has had the kind of problems you refer to. It's a great camera, and if you can afford one, buy it. It is a professional production camera and can be updated to accept pretty much anything you can throw at an Arriflex 16SR3. It can be Super 16 converted, video tapped, PL mount added. You name it.

It is in a completely different league than the Arriflex 16S, S/B, BL or M. Like I said, it is a production 16mm camera. Can't say enough positive about it. But you are right, it is more expensive than the Arri 16BL. Make sure you get one with German motor and electoronics, make sure the serial number is higher than 60901.

Great camera.
-Tim
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#7 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:39 PM

There are several good 16mm options for that price point. The Arri is an obvious one. Also you can get a good Bolex, Krasnagorsk, even an Ikonoscop or Scoopic. I've even seen 16mm Auricons go for under $2k.
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#8 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:23 PM

=This is the question.. I mean. is it worth saving a bit more or can i get something reliable and decent for =$2,000?

Check Russian Kinor-16 SX-2M camera.
eletrical motor, can be modify to multispeed or crystal sync, speed up to 50 fps, 120 m, 30 m film magazines, set of prime lenses from 6 mm up to 300 mm, zoom lenses 7.5-75 mm, 10-100 mm, 12-120 mm.
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