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HELP!?! My camera hates Kodak 7222


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#1 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:56 PM

Okay, here is the situation -

This week I rented a friend one of my cameras. This particular camera is a very clean well kept S16 NPR. It was fully rebuilt about 2 - 3 years ago by Les Bosher and converted to S16 and PL mount etc. Since that time, I have run probably 25 400' loads through it. Never a hiccup. It is very well taken care of (read: I get it serviced) as are the mags. This weekend, we loaded the camera up with 7222. Everytime we put a mag on the camera, it would run for 10 or 12 seconds at 24fps, then drop a frame on the gate loop. Then another. Then WHAMO, lock up tighter that Dick Cheney's a**.
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It did this exact same thing with each mag. We tested 4 mags. We tried several - okay every concievable - thing to prevent the problem, but no matter how we adjusted the loops, cleaned the mags, or adjusted the motor coupling it would jam-up. I though I was having a motor problem, but I decided to try running some Vision 7217 stock I had to see if it had the same problem. It ran right through, over and over and over. The NPR was back to its purring, sexy self. Then I put the 7222 back on and click, click, WHAMO.
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I have no choice but to think that my camera hates 7222. I have used this camera often for over 5 years and consider myself very much of an expert on its use. I could feel the 7222 was much thicker and stiffer, could this be the problem? Anyway, this was really embarrassing and had my friend not been resourceful in getting another camera - I would have totally screwed his shoot. I feel really bad. I am here to ask, in the parlance of our time - WTF? Has anyone heard of this? Am I crazy? Should I have known this?
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#2 Mike Rizos

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:21 PM

I remember reading in Carlson's book about something like this. Some stock being thicker or sticky, might not run through the camera smoothly, or not at all. His reccomendation was to have the camera send to the factory to have the pressure plate filed a few thousands of an inch.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:33 PM

I think you are having a pitch problem! But I am unsure if it the film itself or the camera. Maybe John the kodak rep can weigh is.

best

Tim
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#4 Clive Tobin

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 08:34 PM

...This weekend, we loaded the camera up with 7222. Everytime we put a mag on the camera, it would run for 10 or 12 seconds at 24fps, then drop a frame on the gate loop. Then another. Then WHAMO, lock up tighter that Dick Cheney's a**.


The color negative film does have a rem-jet somewhat conductive back coating which gives some antistatic and lubrication effect. Also the emulsion is forehardened to withstand hot processing and not swell as much.

The B&W negative film has neither of these attributes. So a guess might be that if you are shooting in either very low or very high humidity that the color neg will go through better.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 08:40 PM

The color negative film does have a rem-jet somewhat conductive back coating which gives some antistatic and lubrication effect. Also the emulsion is forehardened to withstand hot processing and not swell as much.

The B&W negative film has neither of these attributes. So a guess might be that if you are shooting in either very low or very high humidity that the color neg will go through better.



THE OP is in North Carolina...in mid July. I bet this is it. B&W stock feels noticeably stickier than color stock when it's that hot and muggy. <_<
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#6 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 09:31 PM

Pitch adjustment solves this problem. I am shooting tests on 7231 for a project that starts in August. B&W film clattered. First thing I did was adjust the camera pitch and everything was fine.

Unfortunately you need to have a camera which has the adjustment-Re: SR3
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#7 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:57 AM

Color negative films use support that has rem-jet, B&W films do not. So the frictional properties may be enough different that some cameras need to have gate clearances/tensions optimized. Yes, very high humidity can cause the gelatin emulsion to become softer and slightly more sticky. I assume you let the film warm up before you opened the can to load it to avoid any condensation on the roll?

If problems persist, involve your local Kodak engineering representative.
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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 12:00 PM

John,
Will a 35mm camera (Arri 2C) have enough torque to overcome this friction, or will the same potential problems exist? Thanks.
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#9 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 12:32 PM

John,
Will a 35mm camera (Arri 2C) have enough torque to overcome this friction, or will the same potential problems exist? Thanks.


It's not a matter of torque. If the gelatin emulsion gets soft and sticky due to moisture, it may stick in the gate if the tensions/clearances are too tight.
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#10 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for the info everyone. We had the NC heat and humidity for sure - and no AC, so this could have been a factor. Film was brought up to temp but between the tent, sweating forearms of the loader, and the general "underwater" feeling of the humidity could have gotten damp. The odd thing is we were able to get an ACL, load it and things ran fine. It had the HD 75fps motor on it - which, judging from the speed capability has my Beale III out-gunned in the torque department.

It definitely seemed like a torque problem in the gate loop of the magazine. You could load, drop the speed to abut 12 fps, and watch the problem happen at the gear roller just over the gate. As I said, I know the camera very well, and I'm positive my loops were fine.

I definitely don't want this to ever happen again. What is the solution? I'm within the recommended service limits (probably 8000' into a 12,000' service interval). Should I get the camera tuned? Get my motor sorted? Or should I look for a higher torque motor. Perhaps one of Clive's highly sought after NPR motors? Or should I just stay the hell away from 7222 in this camera?
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#11 dd3stp233

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 08:29 AM

I had a similar problem with a K3 and Ilford SFX 200 stock. I ran many thousands of feet of other types of color and black and white film through it without a problem but that 400ft of Ilford SFX 200, the camera, jammed and did things like only advance half frames and bunch of odd stuff. I never figured out what the problem was though, I figured it must have been the film since the camera worked just fine with the other filmstocks.
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#12 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for the info everyone. We had the NC heat and humidity for sure - and no AC, so this could have been a factor. Film was brought up to temp but between the tent, sweating forearms of the loader, and the general "underwater" feeling of the humidity could have gotten damp. The odd thing is we were able to get an ACL, load it and things ran fine. It had the HD 75fps motor on it - which, judging from the speed capability has my Beale III out-gunned in the torque department.

It definitely seemed like a torque problem in the gate loop of the magazine. You could load, drop the speed to abut 12 fps, and watch the problem happen at the gear roller just over the gate. As I said, I know the camera very well, and I'm positive my loops were fine.

I definitely don't want this to ever happen again. What is the solution? I'm within the recommended service limits (probably 8000' into a 12,000' service interval). Should I get the camera tuned? Get my motor sorted? Or should I look for a higher torque motor. Perhaps one of Clive's highly sought after NPR motors? Or should I just stay the hell away from 7222 in this camera?


If you shoot lots of 7222, you might want to have a camera technician be sure the camera has been optimized for the film. Gate tensions and clearances might need to be tweaked.
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#13 Nathan Milford

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 12:48 PM

I've had clients who shoot B+W almost exclusivly. For those clients I typically set the claw and other tolerances for B+W film. When I overhaul a camera or perform a claw adjustment I will, in addition to color stock, run B+W film through just to make sure they both sound good. B+W and color both sound different in a camera, but then again Kodak and Fuji both sound a bit different.
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#14 Steve Milligan

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 08:20 AM

Thought I'd chime in, as I was the shooter on this one.

Humidity is definitely implicated. I tested with a 100' daylight load a couple of days before in cooler temperatures. It was clattery, but didn't jam.

On the day, I loaded 400' at home in air-conditioned comfort. On the humid set, I was unhappy with the noise on the first take, and couldn't put it down to a daylight spool now, so I went back in the tent/sauna to check the loops, which were fine. Taped it up and put it on the camera, and from then on we had the behavior Drew described, ten seconds to jam.

I did have some difficulty getting the film past the top of the pressure plate, and when it jammed it did so in the upper loop. We never found any gunk on the gate. Another puzzlement: I snapped 60' or so off the first roll and ran it through, testing for various loop sizes, in several mags--I had a preternaturally calm director. Eventually I got it to run four times in a row at the familiar whisper. Reloaded the mag, it inched perfectly, ran for twenty seconds perfectly. Set up the shot, instant jam. We shot with a Bolex until someone made the four hour round trip for the ACL, which ran like a champ.

If there's a lesson in there, I don't like it much. Drew's NPR is indeed super-clean, a Les Bosher rebuild, fetishistically maintained. The ACL on the other hand has been tested to within an inch of destruction by Duke students, and sounds like a sewing machine--we had a calm sound man as well.

I'll be biting my nails until it comes back, but despite this and many other curses, the shoot went quite well. We were back on schedule by the end of the second day, and the reduced lens and filter choices drove us toward more creative lighting and blocking than we might have chosen had everything gone smoothly. Next time, though, I'll be tempted to shoot Vision2 and go black and white further down the line.

Steve Milligan
DP
Chapel Hill, NC
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#15 Sam Wells

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 03:39 PM

I had the same problem once in very high humidity with an Arri S and B&W Tri-X; 100 spools were fine, but anything coming off the mag got very sticky.

AC friend of mine with on above shoot told me he had the same occur with Double-X (like you) in NOLA shooting in a Bowling Alley with no air cond. He said he ended up putting sponges in the mag !
(I'm not sure I'd reccomend this, but he was pretty experienced AC & that's what he did..)

I squeaked through with enough 100' spools, the flanges of the spools must act as a moisture barrier..... ?

-Sam
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