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what camera could I choose?


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#1 anthony le grand

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 07:05 AM

Hi everyone,

I plan to buy a 16mm camera, i first tought to the K3, cheap and with a good quality but there is some point I'm particularly looking for.

First, I would like a camera where I could make very long shots (2 minutes or more) and not only 25 or 30 seconds shots like in the mechanical bolex or K3.
Is there only electric cameras to do that?

Also, I would like to use new and sharper lenses, different than the one in the bolex H16 for example.

The other important point is a clear viewfinder because i tried to shoot in dark conditions with a bolex but it's almost impossible to make the focus at f1.4 or even f2.

And finally, it would be great to find a camera with an external magazine or a camera were i could put more than 100 feet cause it could really be a lost of time to use the change bag so often...

I know the K3 can use M42 amount but do they exist with a battery to do longer shots?
How is the viewfinder?

Do you have any camera to advice me cause I have no ideas... well, except new Arri cameras or other bur really too expensive...

Thanks a lot,
Anthony
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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 07:27 AM

Hi everyone,

I plan to buy a 16mm camera, i first tought to the K3, cheap and with a good quality but there is some point I'm particularly looking for.

First, I would like a camera where I could make very long shots (2 minutes or more) and not only 25 or 30 seconds shots like in the mechanical bolex or K3.
Is there only electric cameras to do that?

Also, I would like to use new and sharper lenses, different than the one in the bolex H16 for example.

The other important point is a clear viewfinder because i tried to shoot in dark conditions with a bolex but it's almost impossible to make the focus at f1.4 or even f2.

And finally, it would be great to find a camera with an external magazine or a camera were i could put more than 100 feet cause it could really be a lost of time to use the change bag so often...

I know the K3 can use M42 amount but do they exist with a battery to do longer shots?
How is the viewfinder?

Do you have any camera to advice me cause I have no ideas... well, except new Arri cameras or other bur really too expensive...

Thanks a lot,
Anthony



How about an Eclair ACL or NPR? Both have many of the features you are looking for. There are many out there that can be purchased for a fair price.

chris
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 07:34 AM

If you are shooting MOS footage, (not recording dialog), you'll have a tough time beating the Arriflex 16S/B. It has a bright viewfinder, runs on battery, can take a 400ft magazine, and can use Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 prime lenses as well as the Zeiss Mk1 10-100 T2 zoom.

You can read more about the Arriflex 16 S cameras at this web site:

Arri16S.com

-Tim
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#4 anthony le grand

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 10:37 PM

Thanks for your help guys! And Tim, your website is really interesting, very helpfull! You said for MOS footage, does the camera make a lot a noise?
Cheers,
Anthony
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 11:16 PM

Thanks for your help guys! And Tim, your website is really interesting, very helpfull! You said for MOS footage, does the camera make a lot a noise?
Cheers,
Anthony


Anthony,

Yes, the camera by itself does make alot of noise. With a barney on the camera, and noise reduction software like Bias SoundSoap or Apple's Soundtrack Pro you can remove the camera noise, and with the ARRI blimp, the camera is almost dead silent. You can read about quieting the camera and hear sound clips of the camera (running by itself, running in a barney, and then running in the blimp) on the web site. You can also hear clips of the camera running in a barney and then how that same sound clip sounds after the noise reduction software has been applied.

Hope that helps,
-Tim
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:09 AM

Hi.
Sounds like you could use an Eclair ACL. You can read about them here:

http://members.aol.c...r16ACL/menu.htm

I agree with Tim that Arri 16 s cameras are cool, and tough as nails. But bang for the buck, the ACL's got it beat. The ACL is sync sound ready, not the quietest, but certainly a LOT quieter than the Arri 16 s. And if you get the right motor you can run 400' from 8fps up to 75 fps, sync only at 24/25 fps though. ACL's only run sync at 24/ 25 fps without a lot of modification, but possible with a miliframe motor. Not to mention that ACL's are easy to convert to S-16. However, you will need to send it to a pro shop. Also, Les Bosher makes and carries all kinds of adaptors for different lenses, in addition to the A and the C- mounts that come stock on it. Hell, you could get a Cooke S 4 lens on it with the PL mount adaptor! Try doing that with an Arri S. Literally you have thousands of lenses to choose from. Even M42 lenses can be adapted to go on the thing. You can choose between 200' and 400' mags on ACL's. There are video taps made for ACL's as well. And on and on . . .

ACL's are cameras you can grow with as a cameraman! How much better can it possibly get?

All in all, ACL's are just beautiful cameras, but you have to be careful with the one you get. The english style mags are no good and the original motor is not very strong. But, again, if you get a good ACL, with the right motor, it can last you forever. AND when you are ready to do sync sound, the ACL is ready to go, whereas an Arri 16 s would have to be blimped and so on. The ACL is a lot better investment. I would rather buy one camera than two down the line, one to replace the other . . . Which is what I did. I own two ACL's and one Aaton LTR, it's bigger, badder, super quiet brother. AND I LOVE THEM! You will have to pay a little more for the ACL than the Arri S, though. In its right configuration you can find one already converted to super 16, with the heavy duty motor for about 3 grand on ebay. But, that camera will last you for a lifetime, if properly kept.

Man, even the new Arri 416 is at least partially based on the Aaton paradigm, which is based on the ACL camera. Imitation being the biggest form of flattery, to coin a frase.

Don't get the NPR, though. Not the same camera. Not at all . . .

'Nuff said!
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:40 AM

Hell, you could get a Cooke S 4 lens on it with the PL mount adaptor! Try doing that with an Arri S.


True, but with the Arriflex 16S/B, you can use Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 prime lenses with no adapter what so ever, and every Arriflex 16S or 16S/B camera can use the original Cooke Kinetal lenses, which make some fantastic images, again without needing any kind of an adapter for the lens or lens mount.

You can use internal 100ft loads with the Arriflex 16S or 16S/B as well as 200ft and 400ft magazines. And with a Tobin Crystal Motor, you can run a multitude of crystal sync speeds, not just 24/25 fps. Very versatile camera, built like a tank, incredible German engineering.

But it's not a quiet camera, I'll be the first to admit that.

-Tim
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#8 anthony le grand

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 04:30 AM

True that it makes good point for the ACL... And the fact that I could "easily" make it S16 is also important.
They are pretty expensive too, but I'm sure it's better to spend all of my money in it than to buy an other camera, cheaper, but without all these qualities. I'll just have to work more for few months if I want to buy it!
A blimp for the arri 16s could work as well.
With lenses of the same quality, which camera do you think will provide the best, sharper pictures? For example, I worked with a Bolex H16 (and old lenses too...) and the pictures were nice, but really watched out.
Are they the only cameras possible for me?

Thanks a lot,
Anthony
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#9 Richardson Leao

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 07:36 AM

True that it makes good point for the ACL... And the fact that I could "easily" make it S16 is also important.
They are pretty expensive too, but I'm sure it's better to spend all of my money in it than to buy an other camera, cheaper, but without all these qualities. I'll just have to work more for few months if I want to buy it!
A blimp for the arri 16s could work as well.
With lenses of the same quality, which camera do you think will provide the best, sharper pictures? For example, I worked with a Bolex H16 (and old lenses too...) and the pictures were nice, but really watched out.
Are they the only cameras possible for me?

Thanks a lot,
Anthony


Don't forget the Kinor 16CX

It makes 42db without a blimp and with a home made blimp (using sound proof foam) mine does ~29db.

It takes both 30m and 120m mag and the s16 conversion can be made by Rafael from Raf Camera way under 1000$.

Olexandr can also modify the motor to increase the precision (microprocessed and everything) (check previous posts).

Very tough camera, mags are very reliable. Never had a jam.

some people may prefer arris etc, but for the price, the kinor rocks.
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#10 anthony le grand

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:50 AM

Yes, I thought about the Kinor 16cx 2m and, like a large part of the russian cameras, the price is very attractive.
I think it's possible to get a good blimp for it but do you think I could have good possibilities for the lenses like for the ACL for example?
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#11 Nick Mulder

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 01:48 PM

I'll just chirp in here and mention the preset Switar lenses used for Bolexes are Zeiss sharp - and fast too, 1.1 for the 26mm ...

oh, and super cheap reletive to other 'proper' lenses with the same specs

I dont know why they are bagged so often - maybe us Bolex freaks should just keep mum about them :ph34r:

As for the finder, yip it is dark but you get used to it and/or you can measure and dial in the focus - you can get the GG laser brightened also ...
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 01:59 PM

I'll just chirp in here and mention the preset Switar lenses used for Bolexes are Zeiss sharp


Nick,

I know you love your Bolexes and I respect that. But it's laughable to try to compare a Switar lens to a Zeiss Super Speed, they are not even in the same league, much less same ballpark.


-Tim
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#13 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 02:48 PM

Nick,

I know you love your Bolexes and I respect that. But it's laughable to try to compare a Switar lens to a Zeiss Super Speed, they are not even in the same league, much less same ballpark.


-Tim


The only thing I would say about the Bolex, is their prism based reflex, when they have reflex at all. Maybe the newer ones are better, but I was never into having to compensate my f stop for the light that was "stolen" by the viewfiender.
On the lens debate, I love my Zeiss Vario Sonar (Super Speed era) 10:1 zoom, but I have an Angenieux 15-150mm C mount zoom that is as sharp as the Zeiss. Switars are pretty fuzzy and low on the desireability scale, though . . . But again, you can get some kick ass, razor sharp C-mount lenses as well . . .
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#14 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 03:29 PM

I love my Zeiss Vario Sonar (Super Speed era) 10:1 zoom, but I have an Angenieux 15-150mm C mount zoom that is as sharp as the Zeiss. Switars are pretty fuzzy and low on the desireability scale, though . . . But again, you can get some kick ass, razor sharp C-mount lenses as well . . .


The Zeiss Vario Sonar's can be all over the map as far as sharpness, and none of them will come close to a Zeiss Super Speed. The best Zeiss Vario Sonar was the Zeiss 10-100 T2 in the Mk1 and Mk2 versions. The 10-100 T3 and others were not as sharp. But even the best 10-100 T2 Mk1 and Mk2 zooms were not as sharp as the Super Speed primes.

Switar lenses are very nice, and I have seen some that were very sharp, but sharpness is not the only characteristic of a motion picture lens that you need to be concerned about.

-Tim
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#15 Nick Mulder

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:58 PM

I mentioned what I did because of direct anecdotes I've heard from more than two professionals here (colorists and producers) who have been amazed to find out that what they were looking at were shot using a Bolex (the footage was used in nation wide Television commercials) - to quote them "I thought it was 35mm it was so sharp" ...

Albeit 'sharp' being very subjective and not properly defined here, and feel free to not have any faith in their respective ability to determine picture quality ... I myself have chosen to do so however

As for comparing them to super speeds - well, I didn't ... I called them 'Zeiss sharp' and it was simply to offer a different perspective to the original posters:

I would like to use new and sharper lenses, different than the one in the bolex H16 for example.


If I wanted to compare Zeiss super speeds and Switar Presets I'd write something like:

"the Zeiss Super Speeds 25mm speed is T1.3 and the 26mm Switar Preset speed is 1.1" (t-stop unknown)

(cheeky!)

anyhoo, like I said earlier> maybe us Bolex freaks should just keep mum about them (so they keep under the $500 mark) :ph34r: ...

Saulie> I have a meter that allows for the prism compensation to be programmed in, so its zero hassle if I choose otherwise its a minimal tweak of the aperture... so yes, its not perfect - but take a look at the cost, you can now afford to be a camera owner ;)
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:04 PM

Nick,

I know you love your Bolexes and I respect that. But it's laughable to try to compare a Switar lens to a Zeiss Super Speed, they are not even in the same league, much less same ballpark.


-Tim


Later Switar presets are most definitely competitive with Mk1 SuperSpeeds.

-Sam
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#17 anthony le grand

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:19 PM

Yes it can be sharp with a Bolex used with good lenses and I had the same words too from a colorist who asked if it was 35mm, but the problem for me is that with the Bolexes you're limited to do takes of less than 30 seconds, no more....
And you're right Tim, sharpness is not the only important thing for lenses and other things like contrast or colours are also criterias to look for.
For the zeiss lenses, of course they're great but I don't think I will have the money right now... but even the possibility to use them is also important.
Does anyone have experience with the Kinor cx?
And what about other cameras like the beaulieu's ones?
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#18 Nick Mulder

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:53 PM

Yes it can be sharp with a Bolex used with good lenses and I had the same words too from a colorist who asked if it was 35mm, but the problem for me is that with the Bolexes you're limited to do takes of less than 30 seconds, no more....


With the Bolex EL and EBM you can shoot 400' in one go - no 30 second restriction ... they dont have any spring-drives in them.

Even with the spring wound RX5 or SBM you can do the same with the appropriate motors.
Either 400' or 100' daylight loads if you prefer (with opens up the use of the non-mag top models also)

Yeh, I know I bag on about Bolexes - but somewhere down the line you've got your wires crossed ;)
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#19 anthony le grand

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:26 PM

With the Bolex EL and EBM you can shoot 400' in one go - no 30 second restriction ... they dont have any spring-drives in them.


Didn't know that... well, I would prefer an Arri S16 or ACL but if money becomes a problem, I will consider this Bolex now.....

Thanks ;)
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#20 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 12:00 AM

"Switar lenses are very nice, and I have seen some that were very sharp, but sharpness is not the only characteristic of a motion picture lens that you need to be concerned about.

-Tim
[/quote]

Color and contrast, two of the most important characteristics a good lens should have besides sharpness and speed, can be corrected to a very large degree in post production by either optical or digital means. Sharpness, however, cannot. Once the image is dull and soft, that's it, it's only getting worse.

If I should choose a lens, I rather it be sharp than rendering the very best colors and contrast, for color and contrast can be tweaked later unless serious blunders or limitaions of film stock prevent this. Of course, seriously color-and-contrast aberrating lenses should be discarded, no question there. However, even overly sharp lenses can be softened later. Hence my preference for sharp fast-er lenses.
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