Jump to content


Photo

Eclair NPR vs. Eclair ACL vs. Bolex SBM


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Other
  • Denver, CO

Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:05 PM

Howdy all.

I'm faced with what I consider to be a real dilemma: I own an Eclair NPR, an ACL, and a Bolex SBM that are all Super 16, but I think I'm going to sell one and buy a lens specifically designed for S16, but, which camera do I let go of?! I own an Angenieux 15 - 150 that has worked wonderfully for certain projects, but I really need to step it up to the next level.

A little background:

I've owned my NPR for quite some time and I shot a lot of 16mm projects with it before I had it converted to S16. I've shot a few things since the conversion and it's still the same wonderful camera that it has always been. The conversion was done at Optical Electro House and they did a fantastic job. The 'C' mount is brand new and is stainless steel. I also had the CA-1 mount removed and replaced with an Arri B mount. Needless to say, this camera is a workhorse, and the Arri B mount opened me up to a whole new world of lens options. In short, I find myself really attached to this camera because it has been with me for quite awhile and has NEVER failed me, not even the slightest hiccup.

Secondly, I own a Bolex SBM that I absolutely love. When I want to test a new film stock this is the camera I pick-up. It is also the camera that I use for doing in-camera effects and that I have no hesitation using when shooting stuff MOS. This camera will also get me "into places" where my NPR or ACL is either too cumbersome or not allowed without a permit. (I'm always amazed by the fact that I can stand somewhere all day with a 3 CCD camera or my Bolex and shoot to my heart's content, but as soon as I whip out the NPR it suddenly becomes an issue.) Anyway, this camera is very reliable and can accomplish stuff that's simply impossible to do with my Eclairs.

Thirdly, I recently acquired an Eclair ACL 2 that was outfitted with an HD-144 S16 package by Bernie O'Doherty that also has had his famous Laserbrightening job done to it, and it is also equipped with a color video assist unit. The downside to all of this is that I'm not very comfortable with the camera yet. I've shot a simple music video with it and a few lens tests and that's it. I'm worried, perhaps unjustifiably so, perhaps not, that it won't be the workhorse that my NPR is despite its awesome features. I simply haven't put this camera through the paces that my other two cameras have endured and that frightens me a bit.

Finally, I need a S16 zoom lens that, well, performs at a higher level than my Angenieux 15 - 150 does. Don't get me wrong, I personally don't have the hatred for this lens that some people do. I feel that it is very suitable for the ultra low-budget projects, which is the nature of most of the stuff I shoot. Occasionally I'll get lucky with a client who's willing to rent something from the 'top shelf', but not often. The bottom-line is this: I have three cameras but only see a need for two (I'm leaning toward keeping the Bolex and deciding between one of the two Eclairs) and figure that if I sell one of them I can purchase a decent zoom lens specifically designed for Super 16. Renting is cool some of the time, but there's nothing like being able to just grab your kit and go whenever the need or desire arises.

Anyway, I'd love some unbiased input here as this has become a "Sophie's Choice" of decision making for me. Okay, that's an extreme hyperbole that I hope nobody finds in poor taste, but I get the sense that there are camera owners out there who know my pain. I have no idea what lens I want to buy yet, but I'm looking to plunge whatever funds I make off my sale into a purchase. Please help!
  • 0

#2 Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Other
  • Denver, CO

Posted 29 July 2006 - 03:31 PM

Ah, c'mon folks . . . where's the love? :(
  • 0

#3 Hans Engstrom

Hans Engstrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Sweden

Posted 29 July 2006 - 09:50 PM

It depends on your needs, personally I´d keep the Eclairs and sell the Bolex. That way you would have two sync cameras available if you want to do a multicamera shoot. You would also have a backup sync camera in case the A camera "dies" in the middle of a shooting day. If you get some 200ft mags for the acl don´t you think it would be small enough to be able to steal those shots you are using the Bolex for now? These are just some of my thoughts but you should do as it fits you, It all depends on your needs.
  • 0

#4 Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Other
  • Denver, CO

Posted 30 July 2006 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the reply, Hans; you make some very good points. This is a really tough decision for me. Any help at all from the members of this board is greatly appreciated.
  • 0

#5 Robert Glenn

Robert Glenn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 247 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 July 2006 - 03:22 PM

What sort of price do you want to sell the NPR for?
  • 0

#6 Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Other
  • Denver, CO

Posted 30 July 2006 - 11:30 PM

Hi Robert;

To answer your question, I'm not sure. I haven't got around to thinking about that yet. If you are interested in making an offer, please send me a message or email.

Thanks.


BTW, does anyone feel that I could obtain an S16 zoom lens in the neighborhood of 4 - 5 thousand that will be markedly better than my Angenieux 15 - 150? If so, what would be some of your recommendations?
  • 0

#7 Rik Andino

Rik Andino
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 783 posts
  • Electrician
  • New York City

Posted 31 July 2006 - 01:43 AM

BTW, does anyone feel that I could obtain an S16 zoom lens in the neighborhood of 4 - 5 thousand
that will be markedly better than my Angenieux 15 - 150?
If so, what would be some of your recommendations?


The short answer is yes...
But the truth is you'll have to spend months searching...
Since most dealers that sell S-16 zooms list them over 6grand...
They might make deals but I'm not sure you'd have to talk them.

So it means you'd have to buy yours from a private dealer (someone selling off they're gear)
Which means months of searching mandy, or indiewire, ads, and ebay...

You can probably find a converted Zeiss 10-100 for around that price...
As well as the converted Cooke 10.8-60
Both good glasses definitely better than the Ang.

If you wait long enough you could find a Canon 8-64 around 5grand...
A very good zoom lens that usually retail around 8grand...
They pop up on ebay from time to time around that price.
Just gotta go searching.

BTW: I think Hans is right you should keep both your sync-sound packages...
But you might net more money selling off your NPR
& you'll probably need all the cash you can get for for your S16 lens.


Anyways
Good Luck
  • 0

#8 Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Other
  • Denver, CO

Posted 31 July 2006 - 11:06 AM

Thanks Rik, that's a lot of good information.
  • 0

#9 Kenny N Suleimanagich

Kenny N Suleimanagich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 900 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York

Posted 03 November 2006 - 03:02 AM

really depends on what you want to do man, I'd sell one of the Éclairs simply because it'd be nice to have a not-so valueable camera to shoot more simple things with (i like to shoot stuff on the beach, etc. and theres a lot less risk of you messing up a really nice sync sound camera (dont get me wrong the Bolex is nice). The ACL seems like a better thing to sell(simply because of the dual lens mount) but I like the ACL more because of the ergonomics. Bottom line, think about what you'll be doing, we can only help you to a point man.
  • 0

#10 andres victorero

andres victorero
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 412 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain

Posted 03 November 2006 - 03:58 AM

If you can afford, I sell the NPR and convert the ACL to super 16. For my taste ACL is better than NPR (lightweight, small, 200-400 mags, heavy dutty motor is very versatile)
  • 0

#11 Kenny N Suleimanagich

Kenny N Suleimanagich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 900 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York

Posted 05 November 2006 - 11:46 PM

really depends on what you want to do man, I'd sell one of the Éclairs simply because it'd be nice to have a not-so valueable camera to shoot more simple things with (i like to shoot stuff on the beach, etc. and theres a lot less risk of you messing up a really nice sync sound camera (dont get me wrong the Bolex is nice). The ACL seems like a better thing to sell(simply because of the dual lens mount) but I like the ACL more because of the ergonomics. Bottom line, think about what you'll be doing, we can only help you to a point man.

i meant the dual lens capability of the NPR
  • 0

#12 Evan Kubota

Evan Kubota
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Director

Posted 06 November 2006 - 02:56 AM

I'd sell either the Bolex or the NPR... on one hand, having an NPR as the backup for the ACL would be nice, but you'd get more money from selling it than the Bolex. I'd probably sell the Bolex if I had your three cameras.
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Opal

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc