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Arri BL-4


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#1 Timothy David Orme

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:00 PM

So, I'm looking at getting an Arri BL-4, but I'm trying to make sure it's really the camera I want. I know it's heavy, and that's fine. I know they don't make it anymore, and that's fine. What I don't know, is how many dbs it runs at. Is the BLS that much better for the money? Any suggestions? ( I know, broad questions)
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 05:46 AM

BL4s differs from the BL4 in that it has the completely new 7-link movement that later appeared in the 535. It's a more silent movement. However, the straight BL4 is silent enough as it is, so if you're in a pinch for cash then it's a good choice. And you can always upgrade a BL3 or a BL4 to a BL Evolution at P+S Technic, which is a very competent camera (much better than a BL4s and on par with the 535).
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#3 hugovillasmythe

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:02 AM

If you don't plan on doing a lot of steadicam work on it I think BL4 are great cameras. Virtually maintenance free, you can get ccd colour video taps, all kinds of accesories, PL mount so you can fit 20 years of lens technology into it, etc.
Even hand held is great because of the 400ft mags.
The steadicam part is (maybe) the only drawback.
If I was in the market for a 35mm package I would certanly put finding a good BL4 package at the top of my wish list.
Since I'm not a steadicam operator-owner the weight drawback woulnd't mean much to me.
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#4 Bob Hayes

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:24 AM

The BL 4 is a great camera. It is comfortable hand held, fast to load, durable, small, and quiet enough.
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#5 Jeremy

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:50 AM

I don't know if "comfortable" would be the word to use for handheld... it's a beast, but it's a great camera!
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#6 Chris Fernando

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:15 PM

Don't know the exact specs on the db levels. But the last two show I worked on were BL4S shows and on both occasions in the tight quarters we were shooting in, sound requested that we throw a furnee (sp.) over the camera. I know they tend to get louder with longer lenses on (i.e. bigger zooms) and possibly as they get older (?). The second to the last one we rented actually had a rubber lined PL mount to combat this along with a filter tray with rubber strips attached around the frame on both sides to also help with noise. It definitely seems to be quieter with primes on and in the words of the tech prep, "It becomes a horn with a big zoom on"(we had the Angie 25-250). Hope this helps.
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#7 Timothy David Orme

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:10 PM

So, it sounds like the BL4 is a camera I'd be very happy with, but it also sounds like what I'm looking for might require more from a camera. Saying that, I think the Evolution would be a much better deal. More expensive but definitely something that's going to provide me with everything I need...wait, how much do the evolutions weigh?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:17 PM

So, it sounds like the BL4 is a camera I'd be very happy with, but it also sounds like what I'm looking for might require more from a camera. Saying that, I think the Evolution would be a much better deal. More expensive but definitely something that's going to provide me with everything I need...wait, how much do the evolutions weigh?


The Arri-BL3, BL4, BL4S, and Evolution are not radically different, other than the Evolution and BL4S may be a little quieter and you may like their viewfinders better. Isn't the Evolution an Arri-BL3 that has been modified to be more like the BL4S?
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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 05:47 AM

The Arri-BL3, BL4, BL4S, and Evolution are not radically different, other than the Evolution and BL4S may be a little quieter and you may like their viewfinders better. Isn't the Evolution an Arri-BL3 that has been modified to be more like the BL4S?


The Evolution has a swing-over eyepiece and the 7-link movement retrofitted and new electronics, making it for all intents and purposes a 535, almost.
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