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arri BL... whats everybodys take on making it super16?


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#1 kevin jackman

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 08:06 PM

i hear they dont convert well. is it because the shutter system does do super16 well or is it the viewing system that has issues?
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 08:41 AM

i hear they dont convert well. is it because the shutter system does do super16 well or is it the viewing system that has issues?


It's a combination of everything. The mirror shutter doesn't cover the whole Super 16 film plane, and the optics in the viewing system were not made to cover the whole Super 16 frame area. Same issues with the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B and 16M cameras. They were all designed before Super 16 was really considered, and they are all beautiful designs that work great; just converting them to Super 16 was never in the design or development planning.

-Tim
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#3 kevin jackman

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:26 PM

any idea of the shutter can be replaced with one that is super16 compatible? i have the option of getting a bl rather cheaply. i thought i could put in a permanent video assist in the optical system if that was the only concern
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#4 Mitch Gross

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:32 PM

It can be done but it will be very costly. Cheaper to buy another camera and convert that instead. Yes, the cost of conversion would be more than the value of another camera.
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 02:54 PM

any idea of the shutter can be replaced with one that is super16 compatible? i have the option of getting a bl rather cheaply. i thought i could put in a permanent video assist in the optical system if that was the only concern


Kevin,

If you get the camera serviced, use good lenses, shoot with slower film stock like Vision2 200T and frame 16:9, you can create very nice images that will look about as good as images shot with similar lenses on faster film stock like Vision2 500T with a Super 16 camera.

I would very strongly recommend against converting the Arriflex 16BL camera to Super 16. I service ARRI cameras regularly and I would have no idea where to get a larger mirror shutter (which would be required to convert that camera to Super 16) and your idea of using a video assist would not allow you to focus the camera, as a video assist would not be nearly accurate enough for critical focus.

If you must have a Super 16 camera, don't spend any of your money on that Arriflex 16BL. Find a decent shape Aaton, Arriflex 16SR or even Eclair.

-Tim
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#6 Chris Loughran

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

Arriflex made a Super 16BL. Only a couple of them, but they are out there. If you are looking to rent one, check out this website. http://geronimocreek.com/index.htm
Its a great camera for us low/no budget folks.
~Chris Loughran.
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:10 PM

I service ARRI cameras regularly and I would have no idea where to get a larger mirror shutter (which would be required to convert that camera to Super 16) .... Find a decent shape Aaton, Arriflex 16SR or even Eclair.

I'm not sure that there'd even be room in the BL body for a larger shutter. The big difference is that the Arri shutter is alongside the aperture, and would have to be made larger in diameter. It might also have to go farther out on the shaft, which would be a finder nightmare. On the Eclair, it's under the aperture. The height doesn't change, and the Eclair shutter sweeps across the width of the frame, so it has no problem with a wider hole.



-- J.S.
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#8 Mark Williams

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:34 PM

It's a combination of everything. The mirror shutter doesn't cover the whole Super 16 film plane, and the optics in the viewing system were not made to cover the whole Super 16 frame area. Same issues with the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B and 16M cameras. They were all designed before Super 16 was really considered, and they are all beautiful designs that work great; just converting them to Super 16 was never in the design or development planning.

-Tim


Tim what are your thoughts on this then?

http://www.design.ar...u/Arri16BL.html

Also there were Arri BL Super 16mm cameras made by Arri themselves?
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:49 PM

For years there have been stories about Super 16 Arriflex 16BL and Super 16 Arriflex 16S/B cameras made by the ARRI factory. I have never personally seen either. That does not mean they don't exist.

I approach motion picture camera service with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a couple decades of mechanism design, everything from automated surgical instruments (Ethicon), to bicycle components (Schwinn), to animatronic Muppets (Jim Henson Productions), to mechanized toys (Mattel, Hasbro, etc.). And knowing the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B, 16M, 16BL, 16SR and 16SRII cameras well, I can tell you that the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B, 16M, and 16BL (which all have the same basic movement) are very poor candidates for Super 16 conversion because of their design.

That does not mean that people won't try to convert the cameras anyway. For myself, knowing how the camera is designed and how the movement works, I would not purchase anyones Super 16 conversion of an Arriflex 16S, 16S/B, 16M, or 16BL. That's all I can say about it.

Best,
-Tim
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#10 Mark Williams

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 06:08 AM

Hi Tim

These people actually rent an original Arri Super 16BL Out

http://geronimocreek.com/index.htm

It would be interesting to see how that was designed!
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#11 Bruce McNaughton

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 04:54 PM

Dear members

We convert Arri 16BL cameras to super 16 regularly.

We manufacture a larger replacement glass mirror, set it forward of it's original position for optical alignment. Our replacement super 16 ground glass has no vignetting, the camera's optics handle the wider image perfectly.

We may be the only ones doing this conversion but it produces a perfect result and gives your BL years of extra life.

There are absolutely no issues, compromises or problems with this conversion

Bruce
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 08:54 PM

We manufacture a larger replacement glass mirror, set it forward of it's original position for optical alignment. Our replacement super 16 ground glass has no vignetting, the camera's optics handle the wider image perfectly.


Bruce,

What you describe deals with the main issues involved with converting the cameras, the larger mirror, moving it forward so it centers on the new wider image area, and dealing with the camera optics, which on a BL are closer to a 16SR than the optics on a 16S, 16S/B or 16M.

What do you charge for your Super 16 conversion of an Arriflex 16BL. I would think with the replacement mirror, the cost would be pretty high.

-Tim
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#13 Bruce McNaughton

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 05:09 AM

Tim

Our conversion price is $AUD 3,500. A lot less expensive than our/any SR conversion. The price includes the modification of 2 mags.

We also do video taps, hidden in the door...

Bruce
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#14 Will Montgomery

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 04:24 PM

How much would an Arri S Super 16 conversion cost?
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#15 Bruce McNaughton

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 03:44 AM

How much would an Arri S Super 16 conversion cost?



Will,

We do the Arri S super 16 conversion for $AUD3750. The Arri S has a tricky turret, set at an angle. We remove this and provide a hard front in either Arri bayonet, Arri standard or PL mount. Your choice

Regards

Bruce
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:49 AM

Will,

We do the Arri S super 16 conversion for $AUD3750. The Arri S has a tricky turret, set at an angle. We remove this and provide a hard front in either Arri bayonet, Arri standard or PL mount. Your choice

Regards

Bruce


I have to still remain a skeptic Bruce. The issues with converting an Arriflex 16S are not as much to do with the turret as to do with the intersection of the gate, mirror, optics on that camera. When you widen the gate by 2mm and open the mirror channel enough for a larger mirror to cover the full Super 16 gate, you have pretty much removed the remaining material from the gate and you still have not addressed the optics issue, which need to be opened in the same area. That's the main reason the 16S and 16M are poor candidates for Super 16 conversion. It is that ARRI designed that gate/mirror/optics intersection to come right to the edge of the regular 16mm frame. The edge that needs to be opened up 2mm to convert the camera to Super 16.

Sure, you could move the mirror forward (which would eliminate the Cooke Kinetal lenses from being used on the converted camera, and a few others that were designed for the original Arriflex 16S) and move the optics up and out further to the side to open up the space, but then you have pretty much altered the movement of the camera and eliminated the design which made the cameras such bulletproof workhorses in the first place. And by that point you still have an MOS camera that you have now sunk thousands of dollars into.

Best,
-Tim

PS: I get asked this question about converting the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B and 16M cameras to Super 16 at least a couple of times each month on the web site, so let me try to demonstrate what I am saying with a few illustrations. First, here is a diagram of the gate/mirror/optics of the stock Arriflex 16S, 16S/B and 16M cameras (Note: this is not a diagram of the Arriflex 16BL which is somewhat different from what I am showing here):

Posted Image

You can see the mirror covers the edge of the gate to block all the light from the film, and the area that says "Viewfinder Optics" is an open channel that allows the light reflected from the mirror to shine on the optics of the viewfinder. If you want to convert this movement (camera) to Super 16, you need to widen the gate and if we look at the illustration above, that would be removing 2mm of material off the "Edge of Gate." Then naturally you need to enlarge the mirror 2mm in radius to cover this exposed area of film, and you need to open up the channel to the "Viewfinder Optics" to allow the viewfinder to see the extra 2mm of image. When you do this, you end up with a situation as pictured below:

Posted Image

Unfortunately, besides eliminating the material that holds the edge of the gate, side pressure rail, etc., this also does not allow the mirror to reflect the whole Super 16 image to the viewfinder, as the channel to the viewfinder is no longer aligned with the mirror. Here is the situation in photographic form. First you open the gate up 2mm, which is pretty straight forward:

Posted Image

Now if we put the mirror back on, we see how short we are in covering the full Super 16 frame:

Posted Image

The mirror can be enlarged a number of ways. Where the difficulty arises is when you create clearance for the new larger diameter mirror. Pictured below is the area that needs to be enlarged to allow the mirror to swing past the widened gate:

Posted Image

The red dashed line shows the widening of the mirror path. Note also that the material to the right of the red dashed line, the material that creates the channel that lets the light pass to the viewfinder, is sloped down and away. This surface needs 2mm of material removed from it to allow the whole Super 16 image to be transmitted to the viewfinder. You can see how the viewfinder prism is mounted to that area below:

Posted Image

Once you remove that 2mm of material (which has not been removed on the photo above), you are pretty much left with air, as in there is no more material there. Also, you are left with the viewfinder optics no longer aligned with the gate.

Can these issues be worked around. Most definitely. You could move the mirror forward, eliminating the need to remove the material shown by the red dashed line. This would also eliminate the use of some of the lenses designed for the Arriflex 16S such as the Cookes. And you could relocate the viewfinder optics further forward, which would require a realignment of the entire viewfinder tube in the camera door and possibly the camera door. Anything is doable if you have the time and the money. I am just unclear as to why someone would want to spend the time and money when you can shoot 16:9 with the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B and 16M the way it came from the factory, as detailed HERE.
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#17 Jim Carlile

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:54 AM

I am just unclear as to why someone would want to spend the time and money when you can shoot 16:9 with the Arriflex 16S. 16S/B and 16M the way it came from the factory, as detailed HERE.


M-I-C.....K-E-Y.......M-O-U-S-E

I say, just let a 16S be a 16S.

Edited by Jim Carlile, 15 January 2008 - 03:56 AM.

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#18 Kaloyan Bozhilov

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:29 AM

Hello!
I'm new hear, and I reed this with big interest :)
Bruce, can you tell the price for video tap, and where are you from!


Best!
-Koko
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