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aaton S16 LTR7 focus issues


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#1 andres victorero

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:42 AM

Hi I´m owner of a Aaton LTR 7 converted to Super 16 (serial nº C 954).

I need to service this camera because it has some focus issues.
I made a focus chart test with cooke 10,4-55, zeiss superspeed 12, 16, 25mm. zeiss 50mm. kinoptic 9 mm. and nikon still lenses (85 and 135 mm) all the test was shot at T. 2 except cooke zoom lens at 2.8 T. I focused with tape and in the viewfinder the image appeared sharp, but the image exposed is out of focus, the image is focused around 6 -8 cm. before where i placed the measure.
I suppose that the depth (flange/focal distance) is wrong, so I need to service the camera.
Any advices? Where can I send the camera (europe) to service it?

thanks a lot.
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 10:11 AM

Hi I´m owner of a Aaton LTR 7 converted to Super 16 (serial nº C 954).

I need to service this camera because it has some focus issues.
I made a focus chart test with cooke 10,4-55, zeiss superspeed 12, 16, 25mm. zeiss 50mm. kinoptic 9 mm. and nikon still lenses (85 and 135 mm) all the test was shot at T. 2 except cooke zoom lens at 2.8 T. I focused with tape and in the viewfinder the image appeared sharp, but the image exposed is out of focus, the image is focused around 6 -8 cm. before where i placed the measure.
I suppose that the depth (flange/focal distance) is wrong, so I need to service the camera.
Any advices? Where can I send the camera (europe) to service it?

thanks a lot.



You could send it to Pierre Michoud at the Aaton Company in France, or you could send it to Allan Giles at Camera Engineering in England:

Camera Engineering

I have heard very good things about Allan's work and obviously Pierre would be an expert on the camera.

-Tim
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#3 Dennis Kisilyov

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:22 PM

Hi I´m owner of a Aaton LTR 7 converted to Super 16 (serial nº C 954).

I need to service this camera because it has some focus issues.
I made a focus chart test with cooke 10,4-55, zeiss superspeed 12, 16, 25mm. zeiss 50mm. kinoptic 9 mm. and nikon still lenses (85 and 135 mm) all the test was shot at T. 2 except cooke zoom lens at 2.8 T. I focused with tape and in the viewfinder the image appeared sharp, but the image exposed is out of focus, the image is focused around 6 -8 cm. before where i placed the measure.
I suppose that the depth (flange/focal distance) is wrong, so I need to service the camera.
Any advices? Where can I send the camera (europe) to service it?

thanks a lot.



Try to do this, If you feel like burning another 50ft/15m of 16mm film.

Place 5 objects on a desk about 12cm apart. Label them A though E.
Place your critical focus on C. [The cube in the middle] - Get a focus measurement with tape and in the VF.

Run your film and rack/skate focus between C to A and then from A all the way to E.
Do the same again from C to E and then back to A.

Use the FV and Tape as your references and record everything in a notebook. Distances from camera to cubes.

If the camera is somewhat OK. You should get something in focus, though maybe not the object intended.


If you do this with different lenses and get the same results in uniform, (like B would be in focus when C is supposed to be the critical focus) then your camera needs adjustment of the lens mount, film gate and viewfinder.
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#4 Dennis Kisilyov

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:33 PM

Oh yeah, try to do this with lenses longer than 25mm. Extra wide angles out of adjustment may render everything into a blur even with focus racks.
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 07:48 AM

Hi,

Sure I have seen that serial no on Ebay several times over the last 5 years!

Stephen
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#6 Nathan Milford

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 09:22 AM

Sure I have seen that serial no on Ebay several times over the last 5 years!


Now that you mention it... I think I have too.
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 10:06 AM

Hi,

Sure I have seen that serial no on Ebay several times over the last 5 years!

Stephen


Boy, I watched Aaton's on eBay for about a year and a half when I was looking for one, and I don't remember that number. The ones I kept seeing all the time were:

C499
C555
C1119
C1137
C1655

I wonder if folks are confusing Andre's serial number C954 with the serial number of my camera, which I bought from Michael Chin, it was on eBay this past year, C962.

-Tim
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 10:50 AM

Boy, I watched Aaton's on eBay for about a year and a half when I was looking for one, and I don't remember that number. The ones I kept seeing all the time were:

C499
C555
C1119
C1137
C1655

I wonder if folks are confusing Andre's serial number C954 with the serial number of my camera, which I bought from Michael Chin, it was on eBay this past year, C962.

-Tim


Hi Tim,

Fairly sure that C954 is an ex-rental camera from a NYC rental house (not Abel) approx 5+ years ago, Then sold again a couple of years later without being serviced. I think if somebody has time to search the archives, Nathan was consulted.

Stephen
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#9 Nathan Milford

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 12:00 PM

Lately, I've come to accept that every camera under C1000 (and many over) needs some major service... usually an overhaul.

Each one is such an adventure due to neglect (I've found dead beetles in one) and aborted modifications (I don't know how many times I've had to cleanup after someone attempting to install their own video tap) and more often than not some of the 'unique' solutions previous service techs have used (I can't even begin to describe what some people will do to get rid of a symptom rather than fix the underlying problem just to save a few hours of labor that they'll probably bill the client for anyway).

I'm working on Robert Houlliahan's LTR7 at the moment. I tell ya... Robert has treated it well, but this is turning out the be quite an adventure. I've never disassembled an LTR so completely (mind you, the last camera on my desk was an XTRprod in for an overhuual and upgrade to Xtera). I've stripped the chassis down to where only the vertical and horizontal references remain. I actually was able to put his chassis in the ultrasonic cleaner (why not?) and not worry about getting agitene in the PBX (now removed to trim some odd protruding wires). Additionally the pechan prism had a collapsed support so I had to replace the whole assembly, nay, the whole viewfinder arm as I could not extract the pechan assembly because the set screws holding everything together were rusted in or stripped and drilling them out and helicoiling the holes wasn't an option due to the prism being so close under the thin aluminum wall of the viewfinder arm.

Surprisingly, his crankshaft only has 2 microns (.002mm) of play in the bearings so his registration should be absolutely solid with a properly set claw. We allow for up to 3 microns, but have seen cameras with something like 10 microns pass reliably before we need to replace the bearings. There is very little in this world I dislike more than replacing bearings and very few services that will cost you more.

That's one day's work. I haven't started re-assembling it. The bearings (which required extensive polishing to take out wear marks) are now in the vacuum with oil to repack the sintered aluminum.

When it's together, the camera will be pristine mechanically and he'll be able to give it (an already 30 year old camera) to his kids in good working order when they grow up (if he keeps it maintained). The current will drop from 1000ma (what it came in at, the motor alone was pulling 500ma, should be pulling 240-300ma) down to 500-600ma and you'll lose quite a few decibels of noise with a reset and polished claw, and oiled and polished bearings.

This is why overhauling LTRs costs a bit more than a newer camera.

The older cameras are a battle. The same is true of old Arri's and Eclairs etc... If you want your camera to be brand new you'll have to endure it. Of course... I have pretty high standards for your camera so I typically demand that you do too...

Just thought I'd share that rant with you. >8) I'm sure Robert doesn't mind as his camera will be fantastic when it's done. Just imagine, when you buy a camera (any camera) from eBay, this is what you might end up with...
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#10 marc barbé

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:32 AM

Hi I´m owner of a Aaton LTR 7 converted to Super 16 (serial nº C 954).

I need to service this camera because it has some focus issues.
I made a focus chart test with cooke 10,4-55, zeiss superspeed 12, 16, 25mm. zeiss 50mm. kinoptic 9 mm. and nikon still lenses (85 and 135 mm) all the test was shot at T. 2 except cooke zoom lens at 2.8 T. I focused with tape and in the viewfinder the image appeared sharp, but the image exposed is out of focus, the image is focused around 6 -8 cm. before where i placed the measure.
I suppose that the depth (flange/focal distance) is wrong, so I need to service the camera.
Any advices? Where can I send the camera (europe) to service it?

thanks a lot.



Hi,
A DP friend of mine in Belgium has owned a LTR for some time and wasn't satisfied with service until recently, when he sent it to Holland equipment in Amsterdam. He says it came back purring like a kitten and he price was very reasonnable. His name is Sebastien Koeppel, producer is Julien Sigalas at Tabula Rasa, Bruxelles. They said to talk to Niko at Holland equipment, mechanic for Aaton.
If you need some customizing, they say Les Bosher in Wales is great.
Good luck,
Marc Barbé.
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#11 Robert Skates

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 11:44 AM

C1137 should not turn up on ebay anytime soon. I purchased it on ebay late last fall from a gentleman in Grand Rapids, MI

Nathan,
Have you ever serviced LTR 54 C1137. The previous owner was Jim Jordan. I am not too sure about the history of the camera except that he owned it for several years. Any info you may have will be gratefully accepted.

Robert Skates

http://www.myspace.c...cinematographer
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#12 Nathan Milford

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:14 PM

C1137 should not turn up on ebay anytime soon. I purchased it on ebay late last fall from a gentleman in Grand Rapids, MI

Nathan,
Have you ever serviced LTR 54 C1137. The previous owner was Jim Jordan. I am not too sure about the history of the camera except that he owned it for several years. Any info you may have will be gratefully accepted.

Robert Skates

http://www.myspace.c...cinematographer


The owner serial pairing sounds familliar... I'd have to look it up though.
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#13 Zachary Vex

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:54 PM

I've got Super 16 C499, which was serviced by Nathan just before it was shipped to me. I had Les Bosher make me two adaptors, one of which is for Nikon. With this camera, the adaptors, and two very sharp Nikon zooms (17-35mm f2.8 and 28-70mm f2.8) and an exceedingly fast Nikon 50mm f1.2 prime, I'm set for a while! The Nikon lenses were all used, but mint. The camera came with an Angenieux 15-150mm zoom which is in workable condition as well.
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