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Could anybody tell me the difference between the SAMCINE MKII and MKIII?


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#1 Michael Maier

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 12:23 PM

I found an used MKII for a song and an used MKIII but for 3 times more.
What is the difference between the two versions?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 03:46 PM

I believe they slightly rethought the ideal circle of confusion for things. I don't have it in front of me (I'm away for the holiday), but Doug Hart's book mentions different circle of confusion used for the different version in the section on depth of field. Perhaps someone with the book handy could look for you if you don't have it.

Personally, I would get the MK2 and not worry about it. The DOF calc is just a guide anyway.
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#3 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 05:39 PM

My '96 version of the book only mentions the MKII, but the filmtools site mentions the following about the MKIII:

New Features Include:

Two additional Circle of Confusion curves: 1/1400" & 1/200" (0.018 & 0.012mm) to suit modern high definition lenses. All curves are now alternately colored red and black for easy identification.
Updated Lens Focal length markings to suit today's commonly used lenses.
Easier to read Depth of Field distanc markings.
Both Imperial and Metric disks supplied as standard
HMI flicker-free windows chart (50 & 60 Hz).
Compass incorporated into the central disk locking mechanism with Magnetic Variation markings and Sunrise/Sunset tables in the instruciton booklet.
Super 35 and 2/3" video formats are now included in the reverse side Field of View nomogram.
Close-up Magnification and Exposure guide (35mm Academy format).
6" and 15cm ruler markings.
Soft carrying pouch with belt loop.
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#4 Michael Maier

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:08 PM

Thanks Chris and Alex.
What is the compass thing with sunset and sunrise for again?
Alex, do you share Chris' opinion about going for the MKII for 1/3 of the price?
Keep in mind I?ve never used either. I'm actually not an AC. But I will shoot a long project using the Mini35 and the director wants very shallow DOF so I think a calculator will surely make my life easier on set.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:50 PM

The addition of CoCs for HD actually makes me think otherwise. That would be awfully useful. By the way, where are you finding the SamCine calculator? I looked a while back and was told that it's been discontinued.
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#6 Michael Maier

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 07:24 PM

Yes, they have been discontinued. These are used.
I'm not really crazy about the CoCs for HD function. For that alone I wouldn't pay 3 times more.
I'm just wondering what is the compass and sunset/sunrise thingy for and if the new features (save HD) listed above are really worth 3 times more.

Edited by Michael Maier, 22 November 2007 - 07:26 PM.

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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 07:27 PM

I'm just wondering what is the compass and sunset/sunrise thingy for and if the new features (save HD) listed above are really worth 3 times more.


To me, no.
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#8 Michael Maier

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 07:33 PM

To me, no.


What are they for?
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 10:53 PM

What are they for?


Updated Lens Focal length markings to suit today's commonly used lenses. - self explanatory

Easier to read Depth of Field distanc markings. - again

Both Imperial and Metric disks supplied as standard - nice feature if you work where you might run into both, or the one you're not familiar with

HMI flicker-free windows chart (50 & 60 Hz). - to find what shutter speeds are kosher for magnetic HMI ballasts

Compass incorporated into the central disk locking mechanism with Magnetic Variation markings and Sunrise/Sunset tables in the instruciton booklet. - for finding bearings and azimuth of sunrise/set

Super 35 and 2/3" video formats are now included in the reverse side Field of View nomogram. - to find a particular looking lens on those formats. For most purposes you can use S16 for 2/3 and a bit longer than 35mm for S35

Close-up Magnification and Exposure guide (35mm Academy format). - this is kinda cool. When you shoot extreme macro you have to compensate exposure for the very close focus

6" and 15cm ruler markings. - self explanatory

Soft carrying pouch with belt loop. - ditto

Edited by Chris Keth, 22 November 2007 - 10:54 PM.

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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:11 AM

Hi guys,

I've been using a Mk.3 for a few months now and it's fine for 16mm jobs, but it really only gives you a rough estimate of your DoF. It's more useful on wide lens shots to figure out if you can carry focus near/far. Once you get up to about 50mm @ f2.8, it's really useless for estimating DoF as the scales on the calculator wheel are not that finely marked, so I figure I just have to hit focus perfectly at that point.

So if you're going to be spending about $100 anyway, I'd recommend that you get a cheap PDA and PCam software as it's much more accurate. The only other thing I use on the Mk.3 is the footage per second converter since I'm horrible at math. Well, if I get lost in the woods on location, the compass might come in handy.;)

Oh, about the sunrise/sunset calculator -- you use it with a table in the booklet that comes with the Mk.3. The table has a list of cities on the left; each city's lattitude and longitude; and approximate mid-month lattitude and longitude of the sun at rise/set for every month. You then line up the North indicators on the compass and calculator dial, and the engraved lattitude and longitude numbers on the dial should match up with the sunrise/set numbers in the book. Sorry for the very non-technically correct explanation, but it works okay.
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#11 Michael Maier

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:50 AM

So it sounds like I should just save my money and go for the MKII for 1/3 of price. I don't need HD (just 35mm) and the new features don't really interest me. If not even the MKIII is that useful I may as well save some money too since the MKII does all what it's needed i.e. DOF calculation.
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#12 Andrew Dutton

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 04:41 PM

Hello all fellow ac's.
I have been using the MKII for the past 12 years and find it to be accurate for splits on all lenses including 16mm, 35mm primes. I have been using pcam for the past couple years and found it to be quicker at calculating splits when I have a dp breathing down my neck. I keep my Sam MKII in my kit in case my palm pilot takes a crap. Pcam is also great for calculating runtime and footage exposed at different frame rates. It also includes in the pcine package, flicker free rates, and much more. I would never be without my MKII on a film set.
Andrew Dutton
First AC/ focus puller

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Edited by Andrew Dutton, 24 November 2007 - 04:45 PM.

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#13 Michael Maier

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 03:01 PM

Yes, but I think for the price I found the MKII($60 including shipping) I can't even buy batteries for the Pcam. :)
I guess it's a non brainer.
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