Jump to content


Photo

SR2 Problems


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Joe Farris

Joe Farris
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 23 March 2007 - 07:27 PM

Just under a year ago I bought a used Arri SR2 from a reputable used motion picture camera dealer. With the exception of 2 rolls of test film right after the purchase I had not shot anything with the camera until this past december. After a 6 day shoot in various locations, night interior/ exterior, day exterior we noticed what looks like a flare in probably a dozen or so shots. Almost all are center frame, with a slight angle from the upper right to lower left. There are a few shots which have more of a straight down flare along the edges which seem to occur when the light in the scene is more over the top of the camera.

Project Specs:
Arri SR2
Angenieux 11.5-138 T2.3 Super 16 Zoom
Zeiss 35mm super speeds
Kodak 7229

After a bunch of tests and lots of generous time by camera tech at a rental house I use we have still been unable to narrow down the problem. We have found a few things and run some tests, but nothing that replicates exactly what happened on the short film in December. I should note that the 2 rolls of test film I shot after purchasing the camera we're all shot at dusk with nothing but very soft natural light.

here's what we've looked into so far.

1. There appears to be a small light leak ( what I would call a leak anyways ) in the upper right corner of the gate when looking at the gate from the rear and shinning a mag light down the lens with the shutter closed. I was told by the camera dealer I bought it from that this is not cause for alarm and is standard in SR's. I don't know if this is true, I don't have another body to compare it to.

2. Shot tests with lens cap on, moving a 1k around the camera to check for light leak. Test came back clean.

3. Shot a test with a crystal pistol firing when the shutter is closed. Test resulted in a definite light leak. ( word from the tech at the camera dealer is that this is not a valid test and that the crystal pistol is way to strong of a light source for the shutter to stop it from hitting the film.) Personally when viewing the crystal pistol it really didn't look all that bright to me.

4. Supposedly upon return for service to the camera dealer the back of the mirror shutter was found not to be as "matte black" as it should be and was repainted.

I and the camera tech that i have been working with are convinced this is not just a normal lens flare. The camera dealer is stressing normal lens flare and that they did not find any issues with the camera after I returned it for them to check out. Flares appeared across most of the super speeds as well as a few zoom shots. They were not consistent with any one magazine. The crew on this project were all seasoned professionals.
One of the shots that concerns me the most in a handheld shot I did out a 3rd story window. I had a street light center frame and as I tilted down, the moment the street light was out of frame the streaking flare appeared (frame 1). I did a similar test after the camera was returned from service and still noticed a similar effect on street lights in the back ground.

We've really run all the tests we can think of. I'm really afraid to take a job with this camera at this point. I have had it on consignment with a rental house (they have been extremely helpful in trying to help me solve this problem.) but neither one of us feel comfortable renting the camera out. The camera dealer I purchased the package from did check the camera out for free even after the warrantee had expired but does not seem to think this is a serious problem. If anyone has any idea's, or experiences that might help solve this I'd really welcome the assistance. I'd hate to think I bought a lemon, I purposely avoided ebay and went with a reputable dealer in hopes of avoiding this type of thing.

Edited by Joe Farris, 23 March 2007 - 07:28 PM.

  • 0

#2 Mike Rizos

Mike Rizos
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • Other

Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:27 PM

Hi.
You don't mention if the camera is super 16, if so, it may have to do with the conversion. The SRI, and II cost a lot to convert properly, because lots of parts need to be machined(expensive), or replaced(more expensive), including the shutter.
  • 0

#3 chuck colburn

chuck colburn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Other
  • orygun

Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:28 PM

Hey Joe,

This may be just a stab in the dark, but did the operator take his eye away from the eyepiece at any time during the shots with the problem? If he did and did not close the eyepiece shutter and the was a strong low angle light source behind the camera mayby you were getting a flare thru the eyepiece. Don't know about the SR, but it's been known to happen on other cameras.

Chuck

Edited by chuck colburn, 23 March 2007 - 08:29 PM.

  • 0

#4 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:27 PM

Hi.
You don't mention if the camera is super 16, if so, it may have to do with the conversion. The SRI, and II cost a lot to convert properly, because lots of parts need to be machined(expensive), or replaced(more expensive), including the shutter.


I strongly agree with Mike on this. If the camera is Super 16 and not a factory Super 16 SRII, then I would suspect the conversion. Especially since you say, "There appears to be a small light leak ( what I would call a leak anyways ) in the upper right corner of the gate when looking at the gate from the rear and shinning a mag light down the lens with the shutter closed." and "Shot a test with a crystal pistol firing when the shutter is closed. Test resulted in a definite light leak."

That is a problem area in the conversions and where the less expensive conversions really break down.

-Tim
  • 0

#5 ryan_bennett

ryan_bennett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Student

Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:44 PM

Hey Joe,

This may be just a stab in the dark, but did the operator take his eye away from the eyepiece at any time during the shots with the problem? If he did and did not close the eyepiece shutter and the was a strong low angle light source behind the camera mayby you were getting a flare thru the eyepiece. Don't know about the SR, but it's been known to happen on other cameras.

Chuck


I thought the same thing! This happens and it sucks. Also did you use a matte box or like flags, etc?
  • 0

#6 James Brown

James Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 23 March 2007 - 10:11 PM

>but did the operator take his eye away from the eyepiece

With the extensive testing they did to find the problem this is not it. When you take your eye off the eye piece it 'Foggs' and is very obvious when you see it happen.
  • 0

#7 Joe Farris

Joe Farris
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:31 AM

I'm positive it was not the eye on the eyepiece. We had shot for 3 days, transfered the film, then shot another 3 days and transfered a second time. After seeing the problem in the first transfer we we're well aware of it. We had suspected it might have been a leak through the extension eyepiece but the second 3 days we shot with out the extension and the problem continued. Definitely had a matte box and flags. The gaffer and 1st I had on the job are highly experienced, which is why I don't buy that it's a simple flare. Also, the flares did not appear in the eyepiece during the shoot.
I hadn't thought about the conversion to super 16. I guess I didn't really put that in the mix because I went out of my way to buy it from a very good used camera dealer and not off of ebay. According to the camera dealer tech, the light at the top right of the shutter is normal ( I have a hard time with this) I'm trying to add some frame grabs but for some reason their not attaching.....

Ok I can't get the attachments to upload to the website so I put a few up on yahoo.

http://new.photos.ya...ns_of_light_inc
  • 0

#8 Charlie Peich

Charlie Peich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago

Posted 25 March 2007 - 12:58 PM

I hadn't thought about the conversion to super 16. According to the camera dealer tech, the light at the top right of the shutter is normal ( I have a hard time with this)


Hi Joe!

I have trouble with that statement also.

What lenses were you shooting with (if primes, which format - 16 or 35?) on the frame grabs "Flare1 - 4"? Also, did you use/have a matte box and how "thick" :D was your filter selection, or did you use any diffusion? Does the flare move when you pan the camera? Can you see "object" movement in the flare if you are shooting moving objects? If so, is it a "mirror" image of what you are shooting? Is the color of the flare the same as the basic light source in the scene you were shooting? If you were shooting tungsten film with an 85 filter in daylight, the photographed scene would be color correct on the film, but the flare would be bluish if the flare were caused by a light leak in the camera. One needs to see the moving footage to help track this down.

If you were using 35mm format lenses, you have to remember there is a larger image that is being projected into the cavity where the gate and shutter are. The unused image may have a point of light, such as one from a streetlight or from a much brighter source such as a portion of sky, focused on some thing that is shinny enough to bounce onto the film. Your flares seem to be constant from the top, which means as you look into the camera from the front lens opening, is on the bottom of the gate, which is closest to the mirror. It could be the outter mirror edge close to the front of the the mirror and mounting screw is catching brighter light and bouncing it onto the film. That portion of the open mirror should be flat black (I'm sure the tech has checked this by now). It should be all flat matte black with a "fuzzy" surface to help eliminate reflections, from the front of the mirror, where the screw that holds the mirror in place, all the way to the back in the cut out portion/opening in the mirror. There could be something reflective in the baffles surrounding the gate. I would suspect that something was done/happened during the conversion to S-16 also.

Have you talked to Elvir at MPS? Best SR mechanical tech in town.

Charlie
  • 0

#9 Joe Farris

Joe Farris
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:14 PM

Hey Charlie!

I don't have the reports in front of me but there was probably 8 or 9 shots with a similar flare to those pictures plus a couple more with flares along the left or right side of the frame. We used a set of 35 super speeds from fletcher and my Angenieux 11.5-138 zoom. The shot in the parking garage with the yellow/orange look was on the zoom, that much I remember. The flares did happen on both the primes and the zoom. We did use a matte box but other than the few daytime shots with ND and an 85 there was no filtration. The color of the flare is the same as the light source. I'm pretty confident it isn't a light leak but something within the camera itself. when the actor would cross in front of the light source the flare would go away. I'm fairly certain it's coming down the lens. Stan and Al over at fletcher have been helping me track down the problem and have been a huge help. I'll forward the info about the mirror to Al. we think we've narrowed it down to the mirror shutter/ gate area but still haven't solved the issue. I sent the camera back to the dealer and they said they repainted the back of the mirror because it wasn't as "matte black as it's supposed to be". I shot some more tests after it came back and the the results, although did not replicate the original problem completely, did have hints of it that made me believe the problem hasn't been fixed. I'm out of town for the next 2 weeks but when I get back I'll have to get in touch with Elvir.

Thanks for the help!
  • 0


Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

The Slider

Opal

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc