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Please, your opinions on good price to pay for SR1 S16 conversion


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#1 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 01:02 AM

I have a chance to get an SR1 S16 conversion from a friend of a friend. I trust my
friend and anybody she trusts. I'm curious what you think a good/fair price is for an
SR1 converted to S16, by a quality camera house and well maintained. She says
that he might sell it somebody made him an offer since he doesn't use it anymore.

She knows that it works well because she borrowed it last month. Since then it's been
sitting. It might be available without the lens and since I have a friend with good lens
connections, I'm thinking of going bit by bit rather than all at once.

In another thread on here, a poster was advised that SR1s should be able to get
lenses for either PL or bayonet mount fairly easily, at least in major cities. If you were
starting from scratch, would there be something that would cause you to favor getting
a camera with one mount style instead of the other?

Thanks.
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 11:07 AM

Jim,

Alot of it is going to depend on who did the conversion. If it is an Axel Broda conversion or a P+S Technic conversion, those are top of the line conversions which make the camera almost equivalent to an SR3. The gate is replaced with an SR3 gate, the fibre optics screen is replaced with an SR3 screen. The camera is converted to a PL mount that is exactly to ARRI specs, and a few other things. Those conversions fetch top dollar.

There are a number of other folks doing conversions where they just machine out the regular 16 gate (which causes some issues), and use a remarked fibre optics screen, and use their own design PL mount (which still works with most PL mount lenses, it is just the mount pieces are not interchangeable with the ones made by ARRI), and a number of other things. These conversions can vary quite a bit in price depending on the quality of the conversion.

Hope that helps,
-Tim
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#3 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 04:47 PM

Jim,

Alot of it is going to depend on who did the conversion. If it is an Axel Broda conversion or a P+S Technic conversion, those are top of the line conversions which make the camera almost equivalent to an SR3. The gate is replaced with an SR3 gate, the fibre optics screen is replaced with an SR3 screen. The camera is converted to a PL mount that is exactly to ARRI specs, and a few other things. Those conversions fetch top dollar.

There are a number of other folks doing conversions where they just machine out the regular 16 gate (which causes some issues), and use a remarked fibre optics screen, and use their own design PL mount (which still works with most PL mount lenses, it is just the mount pieces are not interchangeable with the ones made by ARRI), and a number of other things. These conversions can vary quite a bit in price depending on the quality of the conversion.

Hope that helps,
-Tim


That's good information. I'll find out who did the conversion, although I haven't heard those names so
I'm pretty sure it wasn't one of them.

I'm going to make a question list from your info.

1. Who did conversion?

2. Was SR3 gate used or if not then what gate?

3. Is fibre optics screen replaced with ST3 screen or if not with what?

4. Is camera fitted to PL mount including to Arri specs.?


Can you say what are the issues if somebody machines out the gate? Are they enough to steer clear
of such a conversion? Does it depend on the quality of the machining or is it just to be avoided in
general?

Does a PL mount make more sense, if there's a choice, than a bayonet mount? I guess that would depend
on whether there is a bigger selection of PL mount or bayonet mount lenses for this camera? Is there any
inherent quality difference between the two mounts? Is one easier or more reliable than the other? It seems
that the PL mount is the newer design?

What would be a ballpark price for a camera such as this if it is a quality conversion although not by one
the names you mentioned or somebody elsewhere also well known? Should I be looking for a certain type
of motor? Certainly I want to be able to shoot sync sound and would like variable frame rates but are there
different brand/quality motors or would they all be Arri motors but different in what they do, such as range
of frame rates?

Can the SR1 take a video tap? When converted to Super 16? Does it have a light meter?

I would want to use my own meter but I'm wondering if this camera has one and if that affects anything
or can just be ignored or maybe is it reliable enough to use in a pinch if I ran up a hill for a quick shot and
forgot my meter?

Lots of questions I know. Thank you for help so far. Any more help would be greatly appreciate.
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 06:18 PM

Can you say what are the issues if somebody machines out the gate? Are they enough to steer clear of such a conversion? Does it depend on the quality of the machining or is it just to be avoided in general?


Machining out the standard 16mm gate to make it wide enough for Super 16 leaves a knife edge along the side that is machined, something you don't want running against the side of the film. Some folks just machine the whole edge away, taking away the knife edge, but then you no longer have a hard edge on that side of the gate and the light spills past the edge of the Super 16 frame.

Does a PL mount make more sense, if there's a choice, than a bayonet mount? I guess that would depend on whether there is a bigger selection of PL mount or bayonet mount lenses for this camera? Is there any inherent quality difference between the two mounts? Is one easier or more reliable than the other? It seems that the PL mount is the newer design?


As a rule of thumb, the PL mount lenses are going to be newer and higher quality than the bayonet mount lenses. All the latest Zeiss and Cooke glass for Super 16 is going to come in PL mount. There are still some nice lenses in ARRI Bayonet mount, like the Mark 1 Zeiss Super Speed Primes and the Zeiss 10-100 T2 Mk1 zoom, but comparing the older lenses to the newer ones, the newer ones are better. If you plan on getting work with the camera. the ability to use the latest glass would be a big plus so I would recommend the PL mount.


What would be a ballpark price for a camera such as this if it is a quality conversion although not by one the names you mentioned or somebody elsewhere also well known?


Hard to say. Anywhere from $10,000 up to $20,000, depending on the package.

Should I be looking for a certain type of motor? Certainly I want to be able to shoot sync sound and would like variable frame rates but are there different brand/quality motors or would they all be Arri motors but different in what they do, such as range of frame rates?


The Arriflex 16SR only has one motor, it is not interchangeable. You use a speed control to get different frame rates. The motor normally runs at 24 fps or 25 fps sync. With the Arriflex 16SR, the original cameras, serial numbers up to 60901, came with a French made motor and a French circuit board. Cameras after serial number 60901 have the German motor and German circuit board. I would not recommend buying an Arriflex 16SR with the French motor and circuit board, as you can no longer get parts for them.

Can the SR1 take a video tap?


There are a number of video taps that can be used on the Arriflex 16SR.

When converted to Super 16? Does it have a light meter? I would want to use my own meter but I'm wondering if this camera has one and if that affects anything or can just be ignored or maybe is it reliable enough to use in a pinch if I ran up a hill for a quick shot and forgot my meter?


The Arriflex 16SR does come with a light meter, though I have never used it when I have used the camera.

Hope that helps,
-Tim
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#5 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:30 PM

This helps enormously. Thanks for the tip about the serial numbers. I did a search to see if I could
find a site for the SR1 that would show where to look for the serial number but I couldn't find one.

I did find this puzzling line on e-Bay about a regular SR1 for sale:

Serial number is 603XX, but the camera was updated with a German motor.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=220194246807

What's up with that? serial numbers "XX" ? What do I do if somebody tells me that the camera
I'm looking at has been updated with German motor?
Is that possible? Is there a way to tell? Where is the serial number found on an SR1?

Much obliged.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:20 PM

This helps enormously. Thanks for the tip about the serial numbers. I did a search to see if I could
find a site for the SR1 that would show where to look for the serial number but I couldn't find one.

I did find this puzzling line on e-Bay about a regular SR1 for sale:

Serial number is 603XX, but the camera was updated with a German motor.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=220194246807

What's up with that? serial numbers "XX" ? What do I do if somebody tells me that the camera
I'm looking at has been updated with German motor?
Is that possible? Is there a way to tell? Where is the serial number found on an SR1?

Much obliged.


For me personally, I would avoid a camera that has been updated with the German motor, because if the circuit board is still French, you still have the same problem. Rule of thumb is to avoid any 16SR with a serial number lower than 60901.

-Tim
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#7 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:30 PM

For me personally, I would avoid a camera that has been updated with the German motor, because if the circuit board is still French, you still have the same problem. Rule of thumb is to avoid any 16SR with a serial number lower than 60901.

-Tim



Sounds like a wise plan. I like that I might also be able to get an older decent SR1 at a good price and
eventually upgrade. I've done some more research and found out about using the newer gates rather than
machining and making a 180 degree shutter work rather than a 172. 8 or a 172.8 with a glued on 7.2
wedge!

The P+S Technic conversion looks really good. Thanks for all the info..
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:03 PM

I think it is important to clear up something before anyone gets taken by false advertising on eBay and other places. There is an Arriflex 16SRII that has been converted to Super 16 listed on eBay as I write this. In the listing, the seller claims, "the camera has a full S16 original gate (not a converted one)." Then the seller goes on to show a picture of the gate. Let me be clear, the gate in the picture is not an ARRI Super 16 gate, it is a regular 16 gate that has be milled out for Super 16, a "converted one", which is contrary to what the seller claims.

First, for reference, here is a regular 16 gate on an Arriflex 16SR or SRII:

Posted Image

Below is a picture of the gate on the camera the seller is listing on eBay:

Posted Image

And here is a picture of the master (Axel Broda) working on a Super 16 conversion at his shop. He has already replaced the regular 16 gate with an ARRI Super 16 gate. You can see the difference.

Posted Image

If you look carefully at the milled out regular 16 gate, you will see two things, first the rails that the film moves along have not been relieved, which could lead to scratching of the film in the Super 16 area, and second, the milled edge has left a slight opening as I was talking about in an earlier post, so the light will spill past the edge of the Super 16 frame.


-Tim
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:04 PM

Finally found a good clean picture of an ARRI Super 16 gate, this is what they look like:

Posted Image

-Tim
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#10 John OBrien

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:18 AM

I have a similar inquiry to this man. I see SR1's going for relativly inexpensive, and am weighing the options of saving up for an already converted P+S Technik Evolved S16 SR2 (high speed) for around $22,000, or upgrading an SR myself. I went to the P+S Technik site, and they say nothing about prices. I went to Cinema Technic's site and they list prices that are nearing 3 years old.

http://cinematechnic...ion_prices.html

Does anyone have a link to a more updated price list? Or an established P+S Technik provider?

Going by the Cinema Technic's prices (the 3 year old ones) it seems that a full blown P+S Tech SR Evolution will cost upwards of 30,000, not including the original price of the camera. That doesn't seem to make sense if I've seen fully evolved versions for much cheaper:

http://www.duallcame...ore/index.shtml

Can anyone show me the way?
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#11 Tim Carroll

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 09:33 AM

You can email P+S Technic and they will send you the current prices. They are probably going to be pretty high right now because the dollar is really tanking compared to the Euro.

Best,
-Tim

PS: You mentioned that you are seeing Arriflex 16SR cameras going for low prices, there are a number of 16SR's on eBay and listed elsewhere at low prices, but the ones I have checked out have been early model 16SR cameras with French motors and electronics. These were the original 16SR cameras made by ARRI and unfortunately parts are no longer available for them, which would make them a very bad choice for Super 16 conversion. Investing thousands of dollars in a Super 16 conversion on a camera that can't be serviced (something a motion picture camera needs at least every four years) would not be a wise investment.
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#12 John OBrien

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:12 PM

You can email P+S Technic and they will send you the current prices. They are probably going to be pretty high right now because the dollar is really tanking compared to the Euro.

Best,
-Tim

PS: You mentioned that you are seeing Arriflex 16SR cameras going for low prices, there are a number of 16SR's on eBay and listed elsewhere at low prices, but the ones I have checked out have been early model 16SR cameras with French motors and electronics. These were the original 16SR cameras made by ARRI and unfortunately parts are no longer available for them, which would make them a very bad choice for Super 16 conversion. Investing thousands of dollars in a Super 16 conversion on a camera that can't be serviced (something a motion picture camera needs at least every four years) would not be a wise investment.


I noticed that on the site, they say that models after 60220 were only capable for conversion. So I've been asking for S/N's on each camera. I also went to your site, I appreciate all the info when buying on ebay.
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#13 Tim Carroll

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:41 PM

I noticed that on the site, they say that models after 60220 were only capable for conversion. So I've been asking for S/N's on each camera. I also went to your site, I appreciate all the info when buying on ebay.


Two things going on here John. P+S Technic won't convert cameras with serial numbers lower than 60220 because those were the earliest and first 220 16SR cameras made and they were structurally different. But the French motor and French electronics were in the first cameras up to serial number 60901. So I would recommend staying away from any 16SR with a serial number below 60901.

Best,
-Tim
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#14 operacinema

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:36 AM

Excuse me Tim, I have a camera arriflex SR 16 and I want to convert it to super 16; wich place would you prefer to do this operation. And if do you know how to locate to Axel Broda.


thanks
Mauricio
from Mexico
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#15 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:51 AM

Mauricio,

I would recommend Axel for the conversion. I admit to a slight bias, but I think he does the best conversion here in the States. It is equally as good as the one P+S Technic does.

You can reach Axel at his shop Monday thru Friday from 10AM till 4PM Pacific time at this phone number: 661-821-6725

Best,
-Tim
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#16 operacinema

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:09 PM

hi again Tim

I,d like to say thanks for the information about axel broda,

I called him so when he was about to give me his email, then something happen the comunication was very bad and I couldn,t write it. since then I,ve been in problems to call him again, and my question is, do you have the axel broda,s email.

thank you verymuch

Mauricio
from Mexico

Mauricio,

I would recommend Axel for the conversion. I admit to a slight bias, but I think he does the best conversion here in the States. It is equally as good as the one P+S Technic does.

You can reach Axel at his shop Monday thru Friday from 10AM till 4PM Pacific time at this phone number: 661-821-6725

Best,
-Tim


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