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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:09 AM

Just wanted to caution anyone who might be thinking of bidding on this eBay auction:

Arriflex 16SR movie camera

I had a look at the camera today. It must have sat for years in a damp basement as it is permeated with rust. The one magazine is frozen solid (can't turn the mag gear at all), the other mag's take up door can't be opened and its feed side is rusty. The camera film rails along side of the gate are rusted and the right side one is deeply grooved and covered with gobs of film residue. The eyepiece shutter is rusted in the open position, and at that point I set the camera down and stopped looking. I am not sure it could even be used as a parts camera as the parts are so rusty. The Zeiss 10-100 T2 MkII lens did not look as bad as the camera, though the Chrosziel zoom control was broken.

The seller was given the camera and does not have any knowledge of motion picture cameras. He was shocked when I showed him the problems with the camera and I explained to him that it would cost thousands of dollars to try to make the camera work. I got the impression he was going to take the auction down, but I realize it is still up, and others have bid since I talked with him. So I wanted to caution anyone from Cinematography.com about the condition of the camera.

So bid with your eyes wide open and realize what you are getting.
-Tim

PS: I just got an email from the seller and instead of taking the auction down he decided to fix the camera. He says he got the frozen magazine to work, something about a wad of film jammed into it that he removed. He also said he was able to get the take up door on the other magazine to open. And he says that the eyepiece shutter is working fine now, just really sluggish, something about warming it up to make it work. So the auction is still up.
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#2 Scot McPhie

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:35 AM

How did he fix the rust?

On the ad it says "Everything works fine."

I wonder what's going to become of all this?

Scot
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#3 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:47 AM

Love this part. "Makes awesome movies!" So really it has no need for a buyer since it can already make movies on it's own.
Seriously though. Seems like he's just hoping for someone less knowledgeable to come along and pick it up. I'm amazed sometimes as to how low peoples morals can be when it comes to unleading their junk onto other people.
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#4 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:43 AM

What amazes me is that there are people willing to buy a high precision piece of equipment like a movie camera for thousands of dollars, sight unseen from a perfect stranger often on the other side of the world.
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:29 AM

Yeah, the whole experience was pretty disappointing. The guy gave me this whole song and dance about how he wanted to be honest and was not trying to put anything over on anyone. But now that he knows in detail what is wrong with the camera, he has not changed one word of the auction, which tells me he is hoping that someone buys it thinking it is in good working order. I find it pretty disgusting.

-Tim
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:49 AM

Tim,

where you able to see if the Microforce zoom control and Heden motor worked. From the condition of the rest of the camera I think I would doubt it.

best

Tim
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#7 Nathan Milford

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:51 AM

Welcome to my world.

I get stuck between sellers whose camera I have evaluated and potential buyers who I cannot release information directly to.

I am usually obliged, as a factory technician, to be very forthright with my evaluation and that usually means a complete rebuild for older cameras otherwise I cannot put our name behind it. People who want to sell their cameras rarely wish to do this.

I get lots of clients who try to get me to say their camera is OK when it isn't with no end to calls and e-mails. sometimes they show mock astonishment (but it's more amusing when it is genuine, as if you never change the oil in your car) and say 'I just shot a feature with it in the desert and it ran fine...' I generally say something along the lines of: 'Well the camera runs at the moment...' which they will probably twist into a 'Serviced at Abel or OK'd by Abel... etc..'

Wordplay ensues...

It's especially stressful when the sale goes through then I have to tell the new owner what the old owner failed to tell them or possibly downplayed. Then they try to get me or my employer involved in some lame argument

Rock... hard place.. etc...

You want to get your seller to allow you to talk directly with the facility that has been servicing the camera and to give that facility their explicit permission to talk openly about the thing.
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:09 AM

Tim,

where you able to see if the Microforce zoom control and Heden motor worked. From the condition of the rest of the camera I think I would doubt it.

best

Tim


Tim,

That was broken as well. Looks like the lens was dropped on the zoom control as where the two gears intermesh was bent and the collar of the one gear was jammed into the teeth of the other gear, so the zoom would not move. Might be fixable, but that is not my area of expertise.

Nathan, I know what you mean.

-Tim
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:03 PM

How did he fix the rust?

On the ad it says "Everything works fine."

I wonder what's going to become of all this?

Scot


Sounds like a recipe for an angry buyer and a big rebuild/repair bill, if it's even worth repairing at all. It sounds like it might not be worth it.
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:17 PM

Sounds like a recipe for an angry buyer and a big rebuild/repair bill, if it's even worth repairing at all. It sounds like it might not be worth it.


The seller could take some steel wool to the rust on the camera rails and scrape the film residue off the one, squirt some 3in1 oil all over inside the camera, and the new buyer would load it with film, shoot a roll, think he was doing great, get the roll processed, and realize the images looks like hell. Then he would probably try to dump it off on someone else through eBay. It becomes a viscous cycle.

I think it would cost thousands of dollars to get that camera back into shape where it could be used to make good images. Obviously the camera would need to be rebuilt from the ground up, and many expensive parts would need to be replaced.

A real shame all the way around,
-Tim
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#11 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:36 AM

$3,051.99

That makes me wanna cry. Somebody is going to send that A**hole $3051.99 of their hard earned money for a boat anchor. That he knew was a boat anchor, and he did not change one f#*^ing word of that auction after it was explained to him in great detail that it was a boat anchor. I hope there's a really warm place in hell for that seller.

-Tim
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#12 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:57 AM

Unbelievable.....

I'll be interested to see what feedback the winning bidder gives this guy.
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#13 Deekomalley

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 03:11 PM

The real bummer is that buyers are very reluctant to leave negative feedback on eBay for fear that they will get a "retaliatory" negative against their own feedback, left by a dishonest seller. eBay is aware of this and is about to roll out an enhanced feedback system which will allow users to rate sellers on a variety of different dimensions, such as: item described accurately, prompt shipping, packaging quality...etc.

This still won't make dishonest people honest, but at least the scumbags will have to work a bit harder to not get outed.

-D
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#14 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 03:48 AM

Ive just read the feedback that the buyer has given this seller. Certainly not the sort of feedback that I would have expected....!
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#15 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:21 AM

Ive just read the feedback that the buyer has given this seller. Certainly not the sort of feedback that I would have expected....!


I saw that too.

"Nice Package. Well packed. Quick shipment. Thanks!!"

If you look at what he says, I would suspect that he has not shot anything with the camera. The seller cleaned up the visual rust on the outside surfaces of the camera after I talked with him.

Since the auction ended on May 4th and with payment, money clearing, shipping, etc. and since the feedback was left on May 21st, I would seriously doubt that the buyer had time to shoot any footage and have it telecined to inspect it.

But who knows, maybe the seller gave the camera a complete overhaul in his basement after I saw it and before he shipped it to the buyer.

Cheers,
-Tim
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#16 Nathan Milford

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:05 AM

I've seen quite a few boat anchors in my time where the new owner just flat out refuses to accept my evaluation of it and gets really nasty with me because it looks cosmetically clean. Claims we're trying to scam him etc...
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#17 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 12:22 PM

If I can't get something cheap enough on eBay to pay for some professional TLC, I don't buy it. I've been putting together a set of Cooke SP II/III lenses off eBay. If I can't get a lens cheap, leaving some room in the budget to send it to Guy at ZGC for checkout and collimation, I pass on it. I'm very picky about any photos, I assume if a lens looks beat up then it hasn't had professional ownership and is probably trouble. So far I haven't got burnt and have got a couple of REAL deals like the 25mm SIII that needed repair (someone pulled the focus stop screw to get in closer and jammed the focus adjustment). Guy was able to fix and collimate it for ZGC's minimum charge.
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#18 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 12:51 PM

The real bummer is that buyers are very reluctant to leave negative feedback on eBay for fear that they will get a "retaliatory" negative against their own feedback, left by a dishonest seller.



I had this happen after buying a piece of computer equipment (never again on ebay) and the guy in San Fran never sent the thing and I had to go through paypal to try to recover the loot (I got back something like 500 of the 800 bucks) and then after many emails, calls, etc I left him negative feedback which he shot back at me I think he said I was "Impatient" and I thought about getting in the Jag and taking a trip to San Fran with my Mossberg but gas being what it is it would be too much money for the satisfaction and then the jail time would really cut into my film making and lab running...... :blink:

-Rob-
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#19 Joel Whybrow

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:06 PM

$3,051.99


I personally think that's perfectly reasonable.

I'd be shocked to find a similar working SR for a similar price and if it is in fact as delapedated as stated, it sure doesn't look it. There's plenty of salvagable/repairable parts there I recon. If it really is as bad as said.

Personally I'm saving for an SR2 but $3,051.99 for an SR1 in any condition on fleabay is rare beans if you ask me.
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#20 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:22 PM

I personally think that's perfectly reasonable.

I'd be shocked to find a similar working SR for a similar price and if it is in fact as delapedated as stated, it sure doesn't look it. There's plenty of salvagable/repairable parts there I recon. If it really is as bad as said.

Personally I'm saving for an SR2 but $3,051.99 for an SR1 in any condition on fleabay is rare beans if you ask me.


I would disagree about the price. There was an Arriflex 16SR for sale a couple of months ago that a small production company in Colorado was selling. It was in fine working condition and they had just used it on a production. The auction started at $2750, and no one bid on it.

The bottom has really fallen out of the market for the SR1 right now. Maybe it will come back. I would think it should.

And maybe it's the whole 16mm and Super 16mm market right now. I think it is ridiculous that Mitch Gross's Super 16 Aaton LTR54 with three Super 16 mags and a video tap, and the whole package was just serviced by Abel Cine Tech, the Aaton experts in this country, and it is selling for $7500. That package would have been over $12,000 just a year ago.

I don't know if it's all the HD available these days, or cameras like the RED, or what, but prices for 16mm motion picture camera gear are in sad shape for sellers. On the plus side it's a buyers market right now.

-Tim
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