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Panaflex 16 "Elaine" info


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#1 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 12:37 PM

Does anyone ahve firsthand info on using panavision's 16mm camera, the Elaine? I am going to be shooting a film in the near future for which the producers are writing an application to panavision's new filmmaker program. Super 16 will be the format of choice and I am trying to figure out whether to ask for an SR3 (which I am very familiar with) or an Elaine (which I have never even seen, let alone used)

The film is a fairly slick thriller but a significant bit of handheld is a distinct possibility.
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 03:59 PM

The film is a fairly slick thriller but a significant bit of handheld is a distinct possibility.


Hi,

I think you need to start working out!

Stephen
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#3 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 04:13 PM

I've never used one but my understanding is that it is really only a studio camera and not well suited to location filming.
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 04:19 PM

I've never used one but my understanding is that it is really only a studio camera and not well suited to location filming.


Hi,

Exactly, that's why I suggested working out!

Stephen
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#5 Marc Shap

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 04:21 PM

Does anyone ahve firsthand info on using panavision's 16mm camera, the Elaine? I am going to be shooting a film in the near future for which the producers are writing an application to panavision's new filmmaker program. Super 16 will be the format of choice and I am trying to figure out whether to ask for an SR3 (which I am very familiar with) or an Elaine (which I have never even seen, let alone used)

The film is a fairly slick thriller but a significant bit of handheld is a distinct possibility.



IMO I would go for a SR3, especially if your doing handheld work. I think the SR3 is better camera, more reliable, and the New filmmakers package is pretty beat up, especially the glass. At least it was when I used it several years ago.

marc
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 04:32 PM

Thanks, guys. I think SR3 is what we want to ask for. I'm very familiar with it and the lack of threading at every mag change is a nice bonus to everything you guys pointed out.
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#7 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 05:44 PM

Their new filmmaker program only gives out an Elaine package, with 5 primes, a sachtler 7+7 head, 3 Mags, 2 block batteries, a video tap, and other misc stuff. They wont give you an Arriflex. I would suggest getting extra fuses for it and as mentioned before, hitting the weights!
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#8 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 06:10 PM

Do a search, we have talked a lot about the camera in the past.

I am a fan of the Elaine when your 1st AC knows what they are doing. For a really hand held, lots of location work type shoot, I'd probably go for the SR3.
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#9 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:13 AM

I have a personal preference for the Aaton XTRprod as a handheld super16 camera.
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#10 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:05 PM

The Elaine is a touchy camera; echoing what Kevin said, you really need a camera crew on top of their game. Even with a great camera crew, you'll still blow through fuses faster than you'd expect and run into troubles here and there. It's a roll of the dice I think; I've used the Elaine three times now and run the gamut from a fine experience to a nightmare - each time was with the same 1st AC too.

The bigger issue is the rest of the package; depending on what else is going on at the time, you could get a lot of great support or you could find yourself with a package that leaves a lot to be desired. The last time I went out, I had 5 primes (2 of which were a bit off of their focus markings, but they were the only lenses really available) and a standard 16mm zoom that couldn't be used wider than a 50mm. The time before that I had a set of 8 primes, a zoom, on-board monitor, viewfinder, etc. It really depends.

An O'Connor 2575 and a Gear Head are standard support; at least they were for me.

I think it's fine for handheld, but I'm also 6'4", so my opinion of a big camera is a little different than everyone elses. =)
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 04:48 PM

I can't offer much in the technical department, but I wan't to wish you luck. ;)

I know that pre-production feeling. :P
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#12 Johnathan Holmes

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:42 AM

I recently operated on a shoot that was 90% handheld with the SR3. We had Cooke lenses and an MB-18, making the setup very front-heavy. Even with the S-3 Shoulder Set (which is an absolute must for going predominantly handheld), the camera was still terribly unbalanced making it very difficult to hold a steady frame or move with an actor. The eyepiece as well is poorly designed and comes a little too short of where it should, causing the operator to have to strain forwards to keep an eye over the eyepiece.

I suppose one advantage I can see that the Elaine has over the SR3 is the ability to rear-load the magazines to allow better balance. But aside from that, it's far too old and complicated of a camera for what it is. And having seen the condition the student package ships out in, I would say without a doubt go for an SR3, though I'm not sure Panavision offers them as part of their student package. Still, they are fairly popular cameras and you will probably easily find one for fairly cheap at any rental house.

Some things to definitely consider for a predominantly handheld shoot: lightweight matte box and follow focus (like an FF-4 and clip-on), and a wireless transmitter like a Modulus 3000 or CanaTrans to a shark-fin diversity tuner. This makes moving around a lot easier, not having to deal with wrangling BNC. As well, a whip has worked fine for me, but if there is an excessive amount of running or complicated movement, you may want to look into a wireless focus setup, like a BarTech or C-Motion.
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#13 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:23 AM

I recently operated on a shoot that was 90% handheld with the SR3. We had Cooke lenses and an MB-18, making the setup very front-heavy. Even with the S-3 Shoulder Set (which is an absolute must for going predominantly handheld), the camera was still terribly unbalanced making it very difficult to hold a steady frame or move with an actor. The eyepiece as well is poorly designed and comes a little too short of where it should, causing the operator to have to strain forwards to keep an eye over the eyepiece.

I've used the SR3 on many movies and I have to disagree with some of what you've said. I will agree that it gets a bit front heavy. Two of the movies I did with the SR3 were zoom exclusive shows with lots of handheld, and the camera IS front heavy, but not ridiculously so. We're talking about a small camera that is very light, so the fact that it's a bit front heavy isn't that big a deal. Maybe I've just grown to not worry too much about the SR3 being front heavy because I've also handheld a Panastar with an 11-1 (heavy as hell!), a 535A (no picnic), Arri 3 (total nightmare), and a BL4 (not too bad). You come to appreciate the little things (sorry for the pun) like a lightweight camera and stop worrying too much about imperfections after you've used cameras that are completely unsuitable for certain jobs and walked away in pain because of it.
Regarding the eypiece...I'm not sure why you had an issue with it. I've also found it to be fine. It's not the best eyepiece out there, but it's very far from the worst.
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 09:46 AM

Handholding an SR3 doesn't at all bother me. I kept one of the neoprene pads from a panaflex one time (on accident, but I won't complain) so I used it with that and it was pretty comfortable. I try to keep lightweight zooms or primes on it and it's relatively balanced that way.
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