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Arri S 16mm for Sync Sound


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#1 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:42 PM

Hello,

I am thinking of purchasing an Arri S soon (it is within my budget). I know that this camera can be converted to Super 16 (which I would later do), but it was my understanding that this was strictly an MOS camera. Can it be blimped for sync shooting? Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it worth the effort? Does it make the camera too unwieldy for practical shooting?

I would like to start shooting film, but I really don't want to plunk down the money on a camera with limited application.

All wisdom regarding this matter accepted with great appreciation.
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#2 Ian Marks

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 09:38 PM

If you're thinking about buying a 16mm camera with the intention of converting it later to Super 16, the Arri S is a poor choice. It is famously unsuitable for conversion - yes I know there are a few converted cameras in existence - and the cost of converting it pretty much makes it economically unsound as well... especially when you consider that the camera sounds like a 1960's-era Morris Minor in reverse gear when running. Yes, there was a blimp made for it, but finding one with all the necessary bits and pieces could consume years, and even then you'd be left with a bulky, un-hand-holdable monstrosity. There are plenty of better - and quieter - choices out there that lend themselves to Super 16 conversions and that won't necessarily break the bank... and these are generally crystal sync from the get go, unlike the Arri S. The Eclair NPR is an outstanding camera with instant-change co-axial magazines, an adjustable shutter, orientable finder, registration pin, and greater lens flexibility than the S. I'm sure other people will chime in with their suggestions, too. Hope this helps.
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#3 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:02 AM

BAM! :

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=23626
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 08:52 AM

Ian makes some good points, the strongest of which is that the Arriflex 16S is a very poor candidate for Super 16 conversion. The design of the camera makes Super 16 very complicated and I have yet to see a conversion done well.

That being said, you can certainly shoot 16x9 with an Arriflex 16S just the way it is from the factory, and you can also get a crystal sync motor for the camera. I have done some experimenting with using a barney made from Custom Upholstery Products, which adds very little weight to the camera and makes is almost as easy as the stock camera to hand hold. Then using Bias SoundSoap 2 noise reduction software, I remove the camera noise.

I purchased the blimp that was listed on eBay and I will do some tests with it when it arrives and report my findings. I am also in the process of adding a section of "How To" on the web site where I will explain the process of taping the ground glass for 16x9, using the barney, using noise reduction software, working with a blimp, etc.

You can shoot 16x9 sync sound with an Arriflex 16S, you just need to use a bit of creativity.

-Tim
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#5 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 09:05 AM

"especially when you consider that the camera sounds like a 1960's-era Morris Minor in reverse gear when running."

That was my fear. I will check into the Eclair NPR. Thanks.


Kenny--Thanks. I missed that post.


Tim--Excellent information. I've saved it, and the post linked above, to a file for later reference. For now, it's probably a bit more tinkering than I would feel comfortable doing.


Thanks, everyone.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 09:15 AM

Tim--Excellent information. I've saved it, and the post linked above, to a file for later reference. For now, it's probably a bit more tinkering than I would feel comfortable doing.
Thanks, everyone.


Shane,

Just so you don't think any of this is rocket science, here is what is involved with taping the gound glass for shooting 16x9,

"Here is the procedure I have used in the past and it works quite well:

Get yourself a roll of 3M Scotch Brand Magic Tape. Make yourself a 16:9 image or chart to hang on a wall or display on your computer monitor. Take the eyepiece off of your Arriflex 16S (the whole eyepiece, so you can expose the ground glass, not just the eyecup (see picture)) and gently place the tape on the ground glass. Now point the camera at the 16:9 image or chart you made and zoom in till the right and left edges of the 16:9 image touch the right and left edges of the ground glass. Now study where the 16:9 image falls on the ground glass and carefully move the tape at the top and bottom of the frame to just touch the top and bottom edge of the image. Be very careful not to scratch the ground glass. Trim off the excess tape (I use and Xacto knife and trim around the outside of the ground glass, on the outside of the little metal lip that secures the ground glass in place) and put the eyepiece back onto the camera and focus on the 16:9 image. You may have to repeat this procedure a few times to get the tape in the exact right spot. When you finish the shoot, remove the tape. If there is any residue left on the ground glass, remove it with a fresh piece of tape (placing it over the glass and lifting it off, the residue should lift with the tape).

Take your time doing this, and be careful. The pictures below should help.

The other advantage to taping of the ground glass this way is that you can still see somewhat of an image through the Scotch Magic Tape so that you can protect the whole Regular 16 (4:3) frame from light units or microphones.

Posted Image


-Tim
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