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Late 70s video cameras used for TV shows


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#1 Chris Dane

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:28 PM

Hello,

My first post here. Apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place.

I'm looking to find details on what video cameras were used during the late 70s early 80s, for TV shows such as The Good Life, Fawlty Towers etc (BBC shows from the late 70s-early 80s.

I don't know anything about TV production or video cameras, was just curious to see how easy/cheap it was to lay my hands on old equipment, for a bit of experimenting.

Many thanks!
chris
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:58 PM

Fawlty Towers was on 16mm film, I believe. They credit a film cameraman.

Anyway, I doubt it will be possible to use any of the equipment anymore. You MIGHT be able to find a camera and you MIGHT be able to find the support equipment but video has changed so much that there may be no way for you to do anything the footage.
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#3 Chris Dane

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:33 PM

Fawlty Towers was on 16mm film, I believe. They credit a film cameraman.

Anyway, I doubt it will be possible to use any of the equipment anymore. You MIGHT be able to find a camera and you MIGHT be able to find the support equipment but video has changed so much that there may be no way for you to do anything the footage.


that's something to go on. thanks for your help, really appreciated.
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#4 Patrick Neary

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:34 PM

Hi-
Get yourself a cheap 3-tube camera and betacam deck, and I think you'll get the look you're after.

Fawlty Towers was video in the studio, and 16mm when they went on location (as I remember it), kind of like Monty Python and many of the other British series.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:08 PM

Fawlty Towers was on 16mm film, I believe. They credit a film cameraman.


It sure looks like video. Multi-camera studio at that.

The location exteriors look like bad 16mm.

It must the beloved old BBC mixture of video studio and 16mm location.

I ought to read these threads all the way through before replying.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 05:59 PM

The BBC had the EMI 2001 during that period - interesting in that it had 4 tubes.

http://www.asmi81.ds..._thumbnails.htm

http://www.asmi81.ds...i2001large1.htm

I believe they were still being used in the 1980s on some productions.

The BBC also used Link cameras, but the EMI would've been pretty likely.
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#7 Robert Hughes

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 01:04 PM

Look for an Ikegami, Sony or other 3 tube camera - and test it for an afternoon before you put down serious money on it, because old tube cameras are finicky creatures with lots of adjustments that need tweaking. Also the tubes wear out after years of service, and their replacement cost is prohibitive, so don't buy one with weak tubes expecting to get a good picture out of it.
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 03:52 AM

Just came across this demo of a EMI 2001 by a cameraman who used them.

 


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#9 John Salim

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 05:18 AM

The EMI 2001's were the main studio cameras used at the BBC ( television centre ) thoughout the 70's and 80's.

 

BBC cameraman John Henshall demonstrates this camera in a two part video on YouTube.

 

links here....

 

 

 

John S :rolleyes:


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#10 Kalle Folke

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 12:29 PM

I just filmed a music video last weekend with a Sony BVP-3P, it's a tube beta camera and the look is really special and I can't think of a way to get it with any other type of camera. The beta tape recorder was broken but we used a analog-digital converter and transmitted the image wirelessly to a Pix240 digital recorder straight to Prores.

When the edit is done I'll post it here, hopefully I'm not the only one enjoying these type of things :)

 

The rig was 14kg, but I had a Easyrig so it was kind of ok to dance around with for a evening...


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#11 Keith Walters

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:04 PM

I just filmed a music video last weekend with a Sony BVP-3P, it's a tube beta camera and the look is really special and I can't think of a way to get it with any other type of camera. The beta tape recorder was broken but we used a analog-digital converter and transmitted the image wirelessly to a Pix240 digital recorder straight to Prores.

When the edit is done I'll post it here, hopefully I'm not the only one enjoying these type of things :)

 

The rig was 14kg, but I had a Easyrig so it was kind of ok to dance around with for a evening...

"hopefully I'm not the only one enjoying these type of things :)"

 

Certainly not! In the late 1990s a lot of perfectly good BVP-3s got pensioned off in favour of CCD Betacams. CCDs are certainly more reliable and will tolerate a lot more physical abuse than tube cameras, but in the early days the Saticon tubes had much better colour rendering. As long as they are set up correctly, there was really nothing wrong with the pictures they produced.

 

I did some 16 x 9 modifications to BVP-3 and similar cameras (which you can't do with a CCD chip!), and people were always amazed at the picture quality. As in your case, the tape decks were normally beyond repair and so I used to  hook up an S-Video connector, which is what most video cards have for a "high quality" connection. Many video cards allow 50 Megabit/sec DV recording, and with a reasonably large hard drive, a cheap laptop makes a pretty capable SD digital video recorder.

 

Having said that, you really have to know what you're doing with a tube camera, in particular the tube registration setup is more art than science, and you'd need to find somebody experienced with this; not so easy to find these days.

 

I'm not sure whether anybody makes USB video capture cards with component input, but clearly that would be a better option. Actually about the only useful  things I salvaged from the tape decks were the special mulitpin connectors!


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#12 Kalle Folke

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 02:52 PM

Hi!

If it's of interest the music video I shot with the Sony BVP-3P in now online:

 

The "bleeding" of highlights really got more intense as the temperature fell, but it was all very welcomed by the director (and me), I think it looks nice :)

 

A rental company here in Stockholm keeps the tubes alive for special occasions, nice to have the option!


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