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Mitchell 16mm/News Reel Cameras


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#1 Christian Blas

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 04:19 PM

This feature I am planning to feature with 16mm and it has to do with the alternate past. I want it to seem like a documentory/TV news type of feature that has to do with a fictional war, so I decided to use newsreel cameras like the Mitchell 16mm. But questions come up when I see this camera...

Is this camera worth getting? If so, where can you locate them? I have been trying to find them but the only one I can find is a prop verson for theaterical, commerical, etc. uses. If not, then what other 16mm newsreel cameras are there to buy/rent that are worth getting?
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 04:37 PM

Auricons were common 16mm news cameras in the 1960s and early 1970s. In the later 1970s you had the CP16 and CP16R, also Frezzolini had the FR16.

The Arri 16BL could be used for news as well.
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#3 Robert Hughes

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 05:24 PM

IIRC the Mitchell 16mm cameras are designed for dual perf film. If you can use dual perf film then it's not a problem, but most cameras built since WW2 (including the Auricon and CP16 cameras) are single perf machines.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 05:47 PM

I think he's referring to the Mitchell SSR 16, which had single system sound head. Seemingly, this had a single claw and registration pin, whereas the DSR 16 double system version had a double registration pin.
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#5 Christian Blas

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:28 PM

So there is a rare (or no) number of Mitchells that include for single-perf registration as I see it. Is this correct?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:44 PM

Unless you're talking about hand-cranking the camera for a Silent Era look, an old Mitchell or a modern Arri-SR3 are not going to look any different in terms of the picture they create -- what matters are the LENSES and the FILM STOCK if you're trying to emulate old footage, unless you are talking about the hand-cranked era.
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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 07:15 PM

Unless you're talking about hand-cranking the camera for a Silent Era look, an old Mitchell or a modern Arri-SR3 are not going to look any different in terms of the picture they create -- what matters are the LENSES and the FILM STOCK if you're trying to emulate old footage, unless you are talking about the hand-cranked era.

And if you want an old fashioned look, are slightly jumpy shots, get an old Keysotone or simalar home movie camera. With its old prewar lens. If the lens is not shaded it will flare great! (I have proved this to myself in justifing the purchase of a B&H Cooke 1 Inch lens.

MAny of the camera of that era have variable speeds, none of which is actually 24 FPS, so that will also add to the look.

If you want a prop, shoot a prop and hide the Keystone inside. Heck a Devry looks like an old camera, just fake a magazine on the top, and paint the camara black/grey.

The FOMA B&W reversal can be abused to look like film that came out of a field developing kit.

Rember that most of these old camera do need double perf film.

This feature I am planning to feature with 16mm and it has to do with the alternate past. I want it to seem like a documentory/TV news type of feature that has to do with a fictional war, so I decided to use newsreel cameras like the Mitchell 16mm. But questions come up when I see this camera...


The other thought is that Filmos were often used a s newreel/ war cameras. they are even generaly painted alive drab. Stick a Wolensak (sp) on one and it will look good in your shot, and what you shoot will look very newsrealy. Use FOMA R-100 and the fiilm will look not too far from what you could get in 1934.

I just put a picture of some double perf stock in the atricle on Wikipedia on 16mm film, it was shot on the Foma. it sows a couple of my dogs chasing eah other...
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 06:43 AM

So there is a rare (or no) number of Mitchells that include for single-perf registration as I see it. Is this correct?


I'd imagine the single system models are pretty rare, given that they're heavy for a news camera at 24.5lb and a bit noisier than the competition. They seem to be more suitable for covering press conferences and speeches than covering a war.
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#9 David Leugers

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 11:16 AM

To use as a prop for scenes where other newsreel camermen are captured in the image, you can't go wrong with getting an Auricon or two and some B+H 70's. You can pick them up very cheap. You can see them in almost
every newsreel footage from the 1950's up into the late 1970's. To recapture some of the aura of the time period, if you can locate a good working Auricon with optical sound system, especially the pro-600 or Super-1200 models, you could use them to film with. This would give you images captured through lenses of the time (C-mount) and the sound quality to match. The look of the film footage would probably benefit from some careful selection of film stock and/or manipulation to get the look you want.
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#10 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 01:22 PM

If you're looking for cameras as props,you might look here :

http://www.motionpic...ental/Prop.html
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#11 Christian Blas

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:23 AM

I have a question...If a camera runs dual pin registration (Mitchell), can it still run single perf film or it can only run dual perf?

P.S. What would happen if you run single perf film through a dual perf camera (Mitchell)?

This question bothers me the most (not the quality of film, but the camera itself).
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:09 AM

You need dual perf film to run in a dual pin camera. Chances are that the second pin would tear holes into the single perf film stock and you'd end up with a film jam. The camera is fine, you just need to use the correct perf stock.

You can run dual perf stock in a single perf camera, however, you can't use dual perf stock for Super 16.
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#13 Christian Blas

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:36 PM

Can you modify dual perf cameras (Mitchell) or is this impossible due to some difficulties? Besides, has anyone done this before?

Is there such a thing of a single-perf Mitchell?

Edited by Christian Blas, 31 August 2006 - 03:38 PM.

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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:05 PM

Can you modify dual perf cameras (Mitchell) or is this impossible due to some difficulties? Besides, has anyone done this before?

Is there such a thing of a single-perf Mitchell?


I mentioned above the Mitchell SSR 16, which had a single system sound head. this had a single claw and registration pin.

You'd have to talk to a camera engineer about the possibilities of modifying a camera. I suspect from the cost point of view it wouldn't be worthwhile because there are other single perf cameras out there.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 31 August 2006 - 04:06 PM.

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#15 Christian Blas

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:42 PM

I mentioned above the Mitchell SSR 16, which had a single system sound head. this had a single claw and registration pin.


Where might I find this camera (Mitchell SSR 16)?
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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 04:22 AM

Where might I find this camera (Mitchell SSR 16)?


I suspect only in camera collections and references in "The Professional Cameraman's Handbook" and the older editions of the AC manual. I'd imagine they'd be pretty rare, the Auricon would be a much more common 16mm news camera.

You could check EBay or check out the classifieds in American Cinematographer magazine or put in a wanted ad.

However, if you want to actually shoot a film I wouldn't bother, it's only worthwhile hunting for one if you're a camera collector.
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#17 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 12:50 PM

I mentioned above the Mitchell SSR 16, which had a single system sound head. this had a single claw and registration pin.

You'd have to talk to a camera engineer about the possibilities of modifying a camera. I suspect from the cost point of view it wouldn't be worthwhile because there are other single perf cameras out there.


If you could find one, they are noiser than contemporary cameras. Low to mid 30s Db.
Has an Arri standard mount, pre-bayonet.
The motors are pre-Xtal. A DC with sync pulse from camera and an AC sync.

Probably on the heavy side.

Having a new motor made will be pricey.
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#18 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 08:37 PM

Where might I find this camera (Mitchell SSR 16)?

Kineman, (magna tech) had a mitchel 16mm on e-bay last week. They were selling it as 80% collectable 10% usable from reading between the lines on their ad. Do a ebay search for mitchel 16mm

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 04:31 AM

That looks more like a Michell 16 Pro model.

The Mitchell SSR16 and DSR16 have a reflex viewfinder with a single lens mount and have more S35R type styling.
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 05:38 AM

Kineman, (magna tech) had a mitchel 16mm on e-bay last week. They were selling it as 80% collectable 10% usable from reading between the lines on their ad. Do a ebay search for mitchel 16mm

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem


Hi,

I have delt with Keneman on Ebay 5 or more times. Every deal perfect. I am sure if there were any problems they would swop it for another one.

Stephen
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