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Blown away by old equipment!


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#1 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 01:20 PM

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Hello,

I just got through shooting a teaser for a feature, about a week and a half ago. The camera I chose to go with, was my Eclair CM-3(a hand-me-down). The stills above are from some of the shots that day. The camera itself is pretty old, could've gotten it Nikon mounted, but decided to test out the lenses I had(unfortunately only a 50mm and 100mm). This teaser was also somewhat of a test for the performance of these lenses. So, knowing how old these lenses(Kinoptik's) were and how little they have been taking care of(cleaning marks, dust between glass ect...) I expected little in terms of image quality. Well, turns out that they performed pretty darn good for being 50+ plus years old! Didn't really expect that from the same camera and lenses used by the Howard Hughes Aircraft Co. "back in the day". Turned out better than some of the older Arri Std. lenses I've seen stuff shot with.
Now the camera itself isn't the best but got the job done, of course not without some problems. Fogging of the film from left of the camera from what I can only guess was caused due to either the slit where you can insert tiny gels and hard mattes or from the gate, as thoses mags aren't necessarily the best at keeping a tight lock as to keep light from striking. It seemed to hold registration fairly well for not being pin registered. Of course I was shooting hand held all day, so I will further test this on the next shoot with some sticks. Pretty good camera, shoots 16mm as well and also has an adjustable shutter angle. Is MOS though, but hey you can't complain too much about free 35mm/16mm camera!
Now the magazines are a whole different story, as mentioned above, they aren't the most secure for locking to the camera, one problem. 2nd problem, towards the end of the day, on the leads last shot(when the lead really, really had to go home of course) one of the magazines decided to stop working. This was due to the gear(s) jamming. I have not yet serviced it and do not know exactly what happened with them but when the film gets chewed up and slows down with an ugly churning nastiness and the other mag works fine, it kinda makes you wonder. Again, old unserviced equipment. Had to quickly trash that piece, short end the feed and change mags, oh well.
All in all, it was a good day and am surprised by the image quality of the lenses for what they are. Not the best, but so much more than I expected. The 1st and 5th pic was shot on 5212, 2nd and 3rd on 5245(The EXR stock that stole my heart) a three year old S.E., 4th and 6th shot on 5205. The 250D and 100T were also S.E.'s, though not too old. Transfered on a Spirit to digi-beta. Well, that was my first experience with this ol' veteran. Definitely won't be the last.

-Benjamin
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#2 Luka Sanader

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

hi
Kinoptik and EXR combo is deffinetly good mach if you want to achieve certain look.
I used same combination recently, to simulate atmosphere of ?old days? footage. It worked out great. Unfortunately I don?t have any more EXR!

Luka

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#3 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:07 PM

Hey Luka,

Yeah, the EXR line of stocks definitely has a certain feel to it. I guess I like that stock more than current stocks is because it renders your images a little more painting-like, which is how I like to shoot. Fortunately I still have some EXR available, although the short-ends I shot with had a bit of a color shift, due to it being 3 years old. Only about 6 to 8 hundred feet left though, but plan on using it for my next teaser / trailer. Someone needs to order up a big batch.
Did you use the CM-3 to shoot that shot?

-benjamin
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#4 Luka Sanader

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:37 AM

No, I didn't used CM3. That scene was shot with BL Evolution and 435, and I think that shot came from Evo. I just had tow Kinoptiks 50 and 100, rehoused with PL. On same shooting day I used Astro 200mm, probably from early '60. I have scans on 2k and I can try to get that sample too. On the same project we had one more reminisces scene shot on EXR and I push it for tow stops. It was excellent but whole that scene went out in final cut of the film. Hire is the sample with bit more grain. Initially I was thinking of over exposed reversal, but I dropped that idea and decided to go with EXR. Anyhow all that EXR work was les then 10% of film. In 2000 I was shooting film in Havana and that was last project that I shot entirely on EXR. For sure it was significant stock, and had it had a character.
From my experience one other interesting combo was Fuji F400 and old Schneider's full open, in Hi contrast scenes.
CM3 aka gasmask is great personal camera. If you make one with: quartz motor, Video assist, and PL- Nikon turret; it is highly useable. My friend had one, but clients reacted badly all the time, calling camera “Thing”. :
But it was charming device with constant mechanical issues

Luka

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Edited by Luka Sanader, 06 December 2007 - 12:39 AM.

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#5 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:22 AM

No, I didn't used CM3. That scene was shot with BL Evolution and 435, and I think that shot came from Evo. I just had tow Kinoptiks 50 and 100, rehoused with PL. On same shooting day I used Astro 200mm, probably from early '60. I have scans on 2k and I can try to get that sample too. On the same project we had one more reminisces scene shot on EXR and I push it for tow stops. It was excellent but whole that scene went out in final cut of the film. Hire is the sample with bit more grain. Initially I was thinking of over exposed reversal, but I dropped that idea and decided to go with EXR. Anyhow all that EXR work was les then 10% of film. In 2000 I was shooting film in Havana and that was last project that I shot entirely on EXR. For sure it was significant stock, and had it had a character.
From my experience one other interesting combo was Fuji F400 and old Schneider's full open, in Hi contrast scenes.
CM3 aka gasmask is great personal camera. If you make one with: quartz motor, Video assist, and PL- Nikon turret; it is highly useable. My friend had one, but clients reacted badly all the time, calling camera ?Thing?. :
But it was charming device with constant mechanical issues

Luka


\
Ok. Funny, you mention having a 50mm and 100mm, just like the lenses I have. Yeah, the CM-3 does look like a gas mask, kinda has a face to it. I've been looking to buy a crystal motor for it, only renting right now, but if you know of anyone looking to sell one, please let me know. I was thinking of getting it nikon mounted don't know about PL as the place I go to said it wouldn't be possible, though I have seen them with that conversion.

Benjamin
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#6 Luka Sanader

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:23 PM

If you are planning to invest any money in that camera my suggestion is to do it properly. Nikon is OK, bat as you know, Nikkor?s aren?t cine lenses, and if you wish to use that camera as second unit camera on other projects it is necessary to have PL. If you are in US best place to start, is to contact George at Optical-Electro House, they are in Culver City, Ca. They manufacture crystal motor for CM3; if am not mistaking. And they can make videotap also.
I am not best fellow to consult on ├ęclair cameras, someone hire can give you good advice on what to do, and who to call.
But in my opinion that camera without PL and modern motor is barley useable. But again, maybe ?am mistaking.

Luka
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:17 PM

The other place to try is Slow Motion Inc, in the corner of the Burbank airport. They specialize in the Russian copy of CM-3, by Konvas. But they also work on Arri and Eclair.

http://www.slowmotioninc.com/




-- J.S.
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#8 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 07:24 PM

If you are planning to invest any money in that camera my suggestion is to do it properly. Nikon is OK, bat as you know, Nikkor?s aren?t cine lenses, and if you wish to use that camera as second unit camera on other projects it is necessary to have PL. If you are in US best place to start, is to contact George at Optical-Electro House, they are in Culver City, Ca. They manufacture crystal motor for CM3; if am not mistaking. And they can make videotap also.
I am not best fellow to consult on ├ęclair cameras, someone hire can give you good advice on what to do, and who to call.
But in my opinion that camera without PL and modern motor is barley useable. But again, maybe ?am mistaking.

Luka


Luka,

I've been going to Optical Electro, nice guys Bobby and George. I've already got a quote from them some time ago about the motor, but cannot do so right now as I don't quite have $1,500 to spend, although I have been very tempted to. Looking to save a little more so I can get it fixed properly, ground glass and all. I wouldn't say it's barely useable without the PL Mount as it has been very useful to me so far, but in a working / rental aspect it is less useable.
I'll try slow-motion John, thanks.
-Benjamin
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#9 Luka Sanader

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:52 PM

Hi, my old AC has work I Techno Vision beck in ?80 and prior to that work in camera shops in France. His knowledge of Cameflex is stunning. Only problem is that he is 76 year old and he don?t speak English. I will call him tomorrow (it?s being a long time and am planning that call for long time), and ask on his opinion on motor for that camera.

Luka

BTW: I need Cinemeter 2 Manuel in PDF, and some spar parts ASAP! Anyone? Thanks.
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#10 Allen Achterberg

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 05:05 AM

good job ben, glad to see you gettin use out of that thing.
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#11 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:17 PM

Hey everyone,

Just thought I'd post a quick note for anyone that cares. I've taken my CM-3 in to get PL mounted, which became an issue due to the turret. At first, George at Optical Electro House said I would have problems with lenses that had larger diameteres(Cooke S4's for example) then suggested another route which is to cut most of the turret off. So, he and Bobby will be working on that. In case anyone is interested in getting work done on their's or can pick one up for cheap, it is possible to use any PL-mounted lenses through this route. Also, this eliminates the need for a front hard PL-mount leaving the other two mounts for a Nikon or the original CA-1's. Though the converting to PL-mount is a bit expensive, it's definitely a good investment for work such as second unit photography or any other MOS shooting.
One other thing. George is working on a new crystal motor. I believe they can have anywhere from 2 to 4 different crystal speeds, maybe more. It also has the ability to work with the mili-frame control. This new motor is less expensive than purchasing the current rental motor, almost two times less expensive... of course the first new one he's making already has my name written all over it :)

-Benjamin
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#12 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:10 PM

Film is wonderful like that. The equipment is never really obsolete. I remember thinking the films in "Lumiere and Company" look amazingly contemporary, despite being shot with a 100 year old handcranked camera and accompanying lens.
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#13 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:13 AM

Film is wonderful like that. The equipment is never really obsolete. I remember thinking the films in "Lumiere and Company" look amazingly contemporary, despite being shot with a 100 year old handcranked camera and accompanying lens.


Yep, it's all about film stocks and lenses. All I need now is a blimp for sync work.

-Benjamin
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