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NPR vs LTR


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#1 Tavin Charapitak

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 01:00 AM

Just wondering which 16mm camera would you prefer if you have to choose between Eclair NPR and Aaton LTR? Any ideas? <_<
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 01:35 AM

Just wondering which 16mm camera would you prefer if you have to choose between Eclair NPR and Aaton LTR? Any ideas? <_<


They're both fine cameras. But The LTR's body, weight and ease when doing handheld is far better than the NPR. The NPR's body is kind of awkward.

The good thing about the NPR though, is the adjustable shutter. So it just depends on how you plan on using it and what features you're looking for.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 02:37 AM

Easily the LTR. I hate the NPR's motor sticking out of the bottom. It makes it sit very awkwardly on a head. The center of mass ends of being like 8 or 10 inches above the head. Plus the non-orientable viewfinder blows pretty hard. I wouldn't even think twice about chooseing the LTR.
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#4 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 06:13 PM

"Non orientable viewfinder"????? what are you talking about? you can get the angie viewfinder and it rocks! I have it and is pretty bright.
Now if you want a doc style camera, get the Aaton, just remember that everytime you need to overhaul that cam is an easy 2000! the NPR?

Is up to you?


ps: the Aaton looks cool, but nobody is taking a pic of you, you are at them !
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 06:28 PM

"Non orientable viewfinder"????? what are you talking about? you can get the angie viewfinder and it rocks! I have it and is pretty bright.
Now if you want a doc style camera, get the Aaton, just remember that everytime you need to overhaul that cam is an easy 2000! the NPR?

Is up to you?


ps: the Aaton looks cool, but nobody is taking a pic of you, you are at them !


I'm talking about the original viewfinder that many NPRs still wear. It's placed for handheld work (straight back) and doesn't move. At all.
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:52 PM

Chris, I guess it depends whether you just shoot with a rented cam, or buy-and-ditch one for a project, or whether you purchase one as your professional and personal camera you own, behold, work-on, maintain and pamper.

In the later case, customising the cameras with other camera's accessories, new mounts and ironing out smaller construction deficiencies is part and parcel, so exchanging the original NPR viewfinder is a no-brainer. Attaching an Arriflex 16 BL handgrip is a good idea, too. And purchasing the small Aaton motor for the NPR which makes it lighter, perfectly balanced, easy-to-wear (easier than the base-plated Arriflex 16SR), allows ditching the monstrous tripod adapter as that motor has a tripod thread at base, transforms Coutant's masterpiece into a camera I would most definitely prefer over any Arriflex.

The ACL, BTW, looks great with a modified Aaton walnut handgrip as well. And reconstructing the control modul for the Bolex 16 Pro from a trailer-sized add-on to a flanched on-board platine is my current pet project.

I agree with Martín (who would have thought that ;) ) that the NPR is a much better proposition than generally thought. It also is a piece of cinematic history and moved the rules of cinematography ahead, and few cameras can say today, so there is also a philosophical component (not the cine-technocrats would care about that) to owning one.

Nevertheless, the Aaton series is a great camera, but feature-wise, I would really only start with an Aaton LTR54 onwards, preferably with an early X-series. Only the latter one would beat a choosing set-up with an Eclair 16 NPR for me.

Tawin (do you have only one name or did you overread the explicit request to register a username with your full first and last name??), you might want to consider an Eclair ACL as well, as it is sort of a morph between the NPR and Aaton. S16 conversions are a bit problematic due to the mirror reflex design used, but are feasable.
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#7 Tavin Charapitak

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:21 AM

Tawin (do you have only one name or did you overread the explicit request to register a username with your full first and last name??), you might want to consider an Eclair ACL as well, as it is sort of a morph between the NPR and Aaton. S16 conversions are a bit problematic due to the mirror reflex design used, but are feasable.
[/quote]


Thanx u guys for input.. Yep, I guess I forget to fill in the blank for the last name, will do it right away. I already own an NPR and sticking with it, this is just a conversation I had with a friend and just wanted to know what you guys think.
Anyway, I'm thinking about getting my NPR overhaul and maybe upgrade to S16, I did some Q&A with both
Mr. B. O' Doherthy and Mr. Zorzoli at Optical Electro House and right now having a dilemma of where to go. Bernie gave me a cheaper quote but OEH is closer to home and I can deliver the camera myself. Any advice or ideas???
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#8 Tim Terner

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:52 AM

....... And purchasing the small Aaton motor for the NPR which makes it lighter, perfectly balanced, easy-to-wear (easier than the base-plated Arriflex 16SR), allows ditching the monstrous tripod adapter as that motor has a tripod thread at base.........


Interesting Michael, Have never heard of this alternative. Do you have any more information ?
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#9 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 03:54 AM

Michael you are right, that's how I have my NPR set up with the Aaton 54 Alcan motor, and it works awesomely, now I will love to know more info on that hand grip from the BL, I have been looking for a great hand grip to have more control over the hand held. Anyhow I will love to know the info
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 05:29 AM

Having got a much modified LTR and shot with a NPR, given a choice the LTR every time.

The NPR I had experience with was quite noisy and even had a blimp (not a barney) to reduce the levels on dramas. With the LTR fitted with barney you often can't even hear the camera running and it's also quiet without one. The Aaton is much easier to load and handheld it's great (a joy if you don't have rods, matte boxes and a follow focus). The NPR is rather front heavy.

You might be able to replace the NPR's old ground glass, but the Aaton V/F is great - I've got one from XTR in mine.
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 07:22 AM

Interesting Michael, Have never heard of this alternative. Do you have any more information ?


Martín introduced it already, but just to elaborate a bit more:

There is a lot of lack-of-info around how great the Eclair 16 NPR really can be through options (just like with automobiles). I can't understand why people just narrow their search down to either an Aaton or an Arriflex 16SR, and then go for the latter uninspired weave-and-breathe option from Munich. Must be an authoritarian reflex :-) (oh, I will get hanged, drawn and quartered for this remark).

I agree that the Aaton is much more silent than the NPR, making a barney superfluous, while the NPR needs one for calm interior shots. But the ACL (in essence the Aaton 7 predux) is as silent as the Aaton, so if an uncomplicated S16 conversion is not a "must", with a good motor, the ACL is a serious alternative to early Aatons. Having said that, both Eclairs are still formidable cameras beating pre-Aaton LTR 54-models feature-wise, and are much more comfortable and ergonomic than the Arriflex 16SR-series ever became. Hey, it took Arri 46 years to come up with a camera that is truly on a par with the design philosophy established by André Coutant in 1960.

The above posts concerning the default Kinoptic viewfinder (after all the first external rotating viewfinder design ever!, so let's give some merit where merit is due) versus the much better and truly orientable Angénieux viewfinder that is the option of choice today (and not impossible to track down ? it's not that we life in pre-"cloud" days) is a prime example how discussions about NPRs turn usually sour and uninformed (Chris, this is not directed against you personally at all, don't get me wrong, please!).


Tim, JPB developed two motors for the Eclair 16 NPR:

The first one joined the original DC-controlled Swiss-made Perfectone Ciblo as an option and was called the Eclair Beala motor. Being truly crystal-sync, it really made the Direct Cinema / Cinéma Vérité revolution around the Eclair 16 NPR possible for Rouch or Pennebaker. It's the one feared by tripod user because of the thread adapter or cradle that is required (the Perfectone isn't much different, either).

The second one by JPB is the Aaton Alcan 54 motor that came out in 1974/75. One could argue that it is the first product that JPB launched through his Aaton company, as the Aaton 7 was presented a bit later. It used much smaller electronic componentry which makes it the smallest out of the 10 alternatives. 24/25 fps c-sync, plus variable speeds from 8-54 fps (beware: some non-"54" moniker models peak at 32 or 40 fps), and viewfinder-open stop function (which was a novelty). It integrates with the sync-sound systems of the camera, but I guess noone uses those today anymore. Apart from the tripod thread, it also has a throught-through padded shoulder stock similar in principle to those developed at the same time for the Super 8 format by Bauer for the Bauer A 512 and S 715 XL microcomputer, or built-in by Braun to its Nizo sound cameras.

From all the options, the Aaton Alcan is the one to go for by contemporary standards. It's not as common as the Perfectones or Beala-style alternatives, but makes shooting with the Eclair 16 NPR as comfortable as leaning-a-cat-against-your-body (lame joke, I know...)

There was a website somewhere listing all the NPR motors, can't find it know...


Found it, and edit option here even works. Go to: http://members.aol.c...16mm/motors.htm

Edited by Michael Lehnert, 31 October 2007 - 07:23 AM.

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#12 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 07:55 AM

Martín, I will post pictures as soon as my brother picks the new S16-converted NPR kit up in Germany to join our equipment flock, hopefully this week-end (but could be a bit longer: our cine-tech, Herr Dresel, runs a vineyard / winery for pleasure, and there is currently "Weinlese" going on in the Rhine valley... and he is notorious for prioritising his grapes over his customers during this time :rolleyes: ).

The suggestion to incorporate the Arriflex 16 BL handgrip for reasons of comfort was a recent suggestion from him, and he got the green light straight-away. It will replace the original austere thumb & nuckle sidegrip completely.

How it's going to be attached exactly, with a cantilever extension or directly into the thread hole, I can't say, to be honest. I promise to post pictures, Martín, either in this thread or a new one should it take some more time.

Attached is a picture of the Arriflex 16 BL (with the handgrip) as it was introduced in 1965 (!) by Arri (at the same time, Eclair was already readying the ACL..., and Bolex was brainstorming for the Bolex 16 Pro). So much for that.

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  • Arriflex_16_BL.jpg

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#13 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:57 PM

That is great man, I was call the aranda group in Australia, but I don't want to be killed, now on the upbeat, yeah imagine they could build something to my specs, or I could get a metalsmith or a crafy person to build me one, anyhow, here is a pic of my powerfull NPR
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#14 Tim Carroll

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 02:12 PM

That is great man, I was call the aranda group in Australia, but I don't want to be killed, now on the upbeat, yeah imagine they could build something to my specs, or I could get a metalsmith or a crafy person to build me one, anyhow, here is a pic of my powerfull NPR
Posted Image



Martin,

The camera looks great. By the way, did you ever get the power socket replaced? I never heard back.

-Tim
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#15 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 02:27 PM

Timmy!!! hey m,an I have emailed you a couple of times, no I have never change it
you can call me or email me, I will prefer to do voice related instructions or I will get lost hehe!

Thanks for that gift and all your help

Best
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#16 Giuseppe Valentino

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:24 AM

[quote name='Michael Lehnert' date='Oct 31 2007, 01:55 PM' post='201220']
Martín, I will post pictures as soon as my brother picks the new S16-converted NPR kit up in Germany.


Hallo Michael, where in Germany did you convert the NPR?
Do you know some facilities where is possible to buy the Aaton motor you were speaking about.

Thanks a lot

Giuseppe
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#17 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:08 PM

Our technician is based in posh Baden-Baden - excellent cinema and broadcast credentials and working longer in this business than Adenauer did as Chancellor ;) .

Probably the most ingenious and inventive cine-tech east of Grenoble and west of Mumbai, and excellent sales inventory. Can source the Aaton motor quite surely.
Selective in his customers, only by personal referal, and only deals by phone or face-to-face, so no webform tickets and late-night e-mails. German language required.
If you want contact details, PM me, and I will set it up.

He has recently been befallen by several unfortunate ill-health issues in a row, which delayed several customers' jobs by 3-4 months (ours and some others from this board, too), but he is on the up again and my brother had three meetings recently to go through the development so far. Both came up with some additional mods to the transportation system of the NPR to further ameliorate frame stability, and hopefully final delivery (i.e. personal delivery by him to our premises in Basel) will be in a fortnight or so. Fingers crossed.

As promised to Martín earlier, I intend to post digipics when they eventually land in my mailbox here in London.

Cheers,

-Michael
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#18 Nick Norton

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:00 PM

The ACL, BTW, looks great with a modified Aaton walnut handgrip as well.


Sounds wicked, does anyone have anymore information about this?

-Nicholas
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#19 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:11 PM

Sounds wicked, does anyone have anymore information about this?

-Nicholas


Your ACL, being 2, should have a very ergonomic plastic handgrip. If you want a walnut one -only came stock once the company became Aaton- you will have to scour eBay for one (note: the camera mount WILL be different) or have a woodworker make you one based on the one that came with the ACL 2.
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#20 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:24 AM

Michael you are right, that's how I have my NPR set up with the Aaton 54 Alcan motor, and it works awesomely, now I will love to know more info on that hand grip from the BL, I have been looking for a great hand grip to have more control over the hand held. Anyhow I will love to know the info


Hi Martín, after 1.5 years delay for health reasons, Herr Dresel finally wrapped our S16-converted Eclair 16 NPR. As promised an eternity ago here, here and here, please find attached below a digipic re. the Arriflex 16 BL handgrip that was modified to fit on the NPR.

The original ergonomic base part was modified with an extended cantilever base. So it's now an "augmented" version of an Arriflex 16 BL handgrip, if I may dare say so ;) . The reason for this was to move the entire handgrip forward towards the front end of the camera. By doing so, the BL handgrip is not obstructing the variable shutter adjustment control on the right-hand side of the NPR body, plus the entire handgrip now resides further forward at a position parallel to the lens, which makes the entire set-up significantly better balanced. You can hold it with your hand and arm being much less angled.

I was expecting a cantancerous feel as one usually does with a standard NPR (compared to cat-on-shoulder designs). Holding this rig however is just a pleasure. It's much more comfortable than a Eclair ACL, Aaton 7 or my beloved-yet-underused Bolex 16 Pro.
This really works.

Again, sorry for the delay in posting this, Martín. Havn't been around ciny.com that much recently anyway, as work kept me from doing so. Hope you're doing fine.

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  • Eclair_16_NPR_with_Arriflex_16_BL_handgrip.jpg

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