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Cinealta, F900/3 with film aks


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#1 John J. Moers

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 08:05 PM

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of everything I would need to do (as in modify) or purchase, to use my F900/3 with all the regular film accessories and any film lens? I am not thinking of the mattebox, follow focus, stix, etc. but specifically the specialty items that "convert" the video camera to be used in place of a 35mm camera.

For example, it's straightforward when using a Pro 35 adapter with primes, but how do you mount an 11-1 Primo on this thing without ripping the B-4 lens mount off the camera? Who sells such a support bracket/plate for a heavy zoom or long lens? What do they look like?

As well, I know Chrosziel makes a heavy-duty modified quick lock plate that 'locks' down as well, the back of the camera. Is this the only choice. Any thoughts on this?

What's the best extention viewfinder out on the market for the cost? Or is it best to just go with an onboard LCD?

My camera has no board for SDI out. What about downconvertors? There seems to be so many out there. Does the quality of these devices vary? I would most often need a PAL signal to feed PAL monitors on the set. The 'on-board' mini Miranda MDC-700 seems like a good compact solution. Is it any good?

How can power my camera with regular 35mm film camera block batteries? The F900 is obviously 12V, but what are the do's and don'ts? The DC in socket on the back seems the same. Is it safe to plug in? Does my technition need the camera's schematic to figure this out?

While they sound fantastic, are any of the modifications that Clairmont Camera has made to their F900s important to do, if my camera will be going out on a feature? I'm particularly concerned about the robustness of this Sony product in a feature film environment. Does anyone have any experience in this area?

There's a lot of issues here, I realize. I appreciate any input anyone has. Thanks.
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:26 PM

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of everything I would need to do (as in modify) or purchase, to use my F900/3 with all the regular film accessories and any film lens? I am not thinking of the mattebox, follow focus, stix, etc. but specifically the specialty items that "convert" the video camera to be used in place of a 35mm camera.

For example, it's straightforward when using a Pro 35 adapter with primes, but how do you mount an 11-1 Primo on this thing without ripping the B-4 lens mount off the camera? Who sells such a support bracket/plate for a heavy zoom or long lens? What do they look like?

The support is always a big hassle, but it can be done. The Pro35 comes with an adapter to raise the rod height to the appropriate level. I would say that you need a Chrosziel sliding baseplate system for video rigs with the 19mm rod sizing, and then to buy two of the 19mm rod adapters that are part of the Pro35 kit. That and a variety of 19mm rods at various lengths should do it for you.

As well, I know Chrosziel makes a heavy-duty modified quick lock plate that 'locks' down as well, the back of the camera. Is this the only choice. Any thoughts on this?


The Chrosziel camera plate really is the best in the business, with no looseness or play in the interlock at all. But it is ridiculously expensive at around $2K.

What's the best extention viewfinder out on the market for the cost? Or is it best to just go with an onboard LCD?

There are several, although not everyone likes them. I consider a good onboard monitor to be a far greater value. The new Marshall 7" is very nice, but the Panasonic 8.4" is more versatile and features a built-in waveform.

My camera has no board for SDI out. What about downconvertors? There seems to be so many out there. Does the quality of these devices vary? I would most often need a PAL signal to feed PAL monitors on the set. The 'on-board' mini Miranda MDC-700 seems like a good compact solution. Is it any good?


The little Miranda that mounts directly to the component out jacks can be a problematic unit. I can't recall the model number at the moment, but we prefer the Miranda box that sandwiches in between he camera battery plate and the battery itself. Lots of configurable options including downconverts and HD-SDI conversion. Very nice and reliable.

How can power my camera with regular 35mm film camera block batteries? The F900 is obviously 12V, but what are the do's and don'ts? The DC in socket on the back seems the same. Is it safe to plug in? Does my technition need the camera's schematic to figure this out?

Standard 12v 4-pin XLR, pin 4 +, pin 1 -. But no one wants to lug around a big block when they can have onboards. And if someone wants to power an accessory frm the powertap jack on the battery mount, they will not receive power when you run a block directly to the camera.

While they sound fantastic, are any of the modifications that Clairmont Camera has made to their F900s important to do, if my camera will be going out on a feature? I'm particularly concerned about the robustness of this Sony product in a feature film environment. Does anyone have any experience in this area?

[b]Clairmont did a lot of nice things to their cameras, but many other rental houses keep their cameras quite busy without making these modifications. The cameras are quite robust and will work for years to come. I'm out of the office this week, but you can contact me next week to discuss this directly if you wish.

Mitch Gross
Abel Cine Tech


There's a lot of issues here, I realize. I appreciate any input anyone has. Thanks.


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#3 John J. Moers

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 04:25 AM

Thanks Mitch, much appreciated. When you get back, let me know if you happen to have any of the model numbers of the items you mentioned. Were there any other things you guys use regularly that I forgot?
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#4 Mitch Gross

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 11:48 AM

Email me privately on Monday and we'll talk.
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