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Arri ST


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#1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 06:18 PM

Hi,
I'm about to use an Arri ST and just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice on using it shooting 16mm black and white Plus-X negative film.
Also, do you need to use a tape measurer for focusing?
Thank you!
Ashley.
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:12 PM

Ashley,

You can find lots of information about the Arriflex 16S camera at the web site below, including PDF copies of the original operation manuals and instruction manuals:

Arri16S.com

As far as the need for a tape measure for focusing, that depends. What lenses are you using? If you have an Arriflex 16S/B (the one with the one ARRI bayonet mount in the turret) and the camera has been serviced properly, and you have a set of Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 lenses that have been collimated, then you should get good results using a tape measure for focusing.

If, on the other hand, you have some of the older Zeiss, Schneider, Cooke, etc. lenses, their distance scales were never that accurate to begin with, and now after forty or more years, they really shouldn't be trusted. In that case, it is best to focus by eye.

Hope that helps. Have fun, they are great cameras to shoot with,
-Tim
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#3 Keneu Luca

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 04:43 PM

Tim's words and the Arri website he provided will be a great asset to you, as it is to all owners and operators of the Arri S.

Some other things to consider:

1. Will you be shooting handheld or on tripod? If handheld, with a 400' mag, be prepared for stress on your hands, wrists and forearms. This camera has often been described, due to it's durability, as being a tank. It sure does weigh like one.

2. Which eye dominates your focus. I unfortunately was born with a problem with my right eye that prevents it from focusing properly. Therefore, whenever I look through any type of eyepiece, I need to use my left eye. And when using the Arri S with a 400' mag, I therfore need the Arri periscope finder. It extends outward allowing me to use my left eye. This device is not necessary for left-eyed usage when only using the internal 100' load.

3. The camera does not have loop formers when loading. I had gotten used to this with certain older Bolexes and Bell & Howells. Theyre a nice feature, but not used in the Arri S. Perhaps it would have been problematic in the overall design, or maybe they are more harmful than I am aware of. I suppose they can add to the risk of scratching your film.

4. If you remove the Magazine port cover, DO NOT LOSE IT. Do not remove it unless you must.

5. If you have the time, become familiar with how the camera feels in your hands. Practice moving with it before running precious film through it. This includes how the run switch works. It is not an average design. I must say it feels good to hold, but it may take a little getting used to.

Good luck.

Edited by Keneu Luca, 09 February 2008 - 04:44 PM.

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#4 Andrew Hunter

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:03 AM

Hello,

I see references to the Arri S(/B) and ST used pretty much interchangeably in the online material I have read. Is there any difference other than the bayonette mount on the S/B?

Also, about the STs being tanks, I have heard a story about a student loading the film incorrectly. He complained to the schools tech about how loud the ST was. When the tech heard the amount of noise that the camera was making, he took it into a darkroom and opened it to find the interior of the camera filled with confetti. The registration pin on the ST had been punching its own sprocket holes. :P

Sorry to highjack the thread, but I thought it was relevant. :)

Edited by Andrew Hunter, 11 February 2008 - 08:08 AM.

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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:17 AM

I have heard a story about a student loading the film incorrectly. He complained to the schools tech about how loud the ST was. When the tech heard the amount of noise that the camera was making, he took it into a darkroom and opened it to find the interior of the camera filled with confetti. The registration pin on the ST had been punching its own sprocket holes. :P


I think your story is one of those urban legends. You could possibly load a roll of single perf into the camera backwards, but you would never be able to get it through the feed and take up sprockets. I guess the student could have by-passed the feed and take up sprockets but then he or she still would have had a very difficult time getting the film to lie flat in the gate, as the pulldown claw or registration pin would keep the film from seating properly.

Again, sounds like an urban legend to me.

As far as the difference between an St (S) and an S/B, technically the only difference is the bayonet mount on the S/B, because those turrets were sometimes retrofit on earlier Arriflex 16S cameras. But usually the S/B cameras were the later production models and had the newer feed/take-up sprocket configuration and the newer viewfinder optics. Although, up until the end of production, they were making 16S and 16S/B cameras side by side, so I guess technically, the only difference with the later cameras was the bayonet mount as well.

Best,
-Tim
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#6 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 12:14 PM

Unless you have the buckle trip disabled, this should never happen.

Some folks will switch it off if the camera will be subject to a bunch of vibration in the shot, and I've seen a couple with the buckle trip removed.

-Sam
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:45 PM

.... he took it into a darkroom and opened it to find the interior of the camera filled with confetti.

I've never heard of that. But one thing that can happen with the magazine on the S is that the power to the takeup motor stops working. You get the body crammed full of zigzag layers of exposed film. It'll stuff a lot of footage in there before it quits. ;-)




-- J.S.
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#8 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:33 AM

The arriflex is a workhorse. I'll post my roll of test shots (registration, light leak, lens, focus tests) online soon. If you take a look at my demo reel, in the last part right after is says "stock footage reel" the first two shots of the sunset and boat are from the arriflex 16. The arriflex is a workhorse and a beautiful piece of machinery.
(The telecine was done by spectrafilmandvideo.com)
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#9 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:12 AM

What are the pros/cons of having a 4 pin modification added to the arri st/b. And if using the 4 pin what battery voltage is needed? I have a battery from Duall that has a 4 pin connector, so I take I can use that on an Arri St?
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:27 PM

What are the pros/cons of having a 4 pin modification added to the arri st/b. And if using the 4 pin what battery voltage is needed? I have a battery from Duall that has a 4 pin connector, so I take I can use that on an Arri St?


I'm not a big fan of the 4-pin modification on the Arriflex 16S because it requires the running of wire/wires past the gear and drive mechanism of the camera, and requires soldering the positive lead to a piece of spring steel, which is never a good idea.

As far as what voltage an Arriflex 16S takes, it depends on the camera motor. The original ARRI governor controlled constant speed motor runs on 8 volts (any more than that will fry the motor), while the ARRI variable speed motor can run on 8 volts or 12 volts. The Tobin crystal sync motor or variable speed motor both run on 12 volts.

Best,
-Tim
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#11 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:53 PM

I'm not a big fan of the 4-pin modification on the Arriflex 16S because it requires the running of wire/wires past the gear and drive mechanism of the camera, and requires soldering the positive lead to a piece of spring steel, which is never a good idea.

As far as what voltage an Arriflex 16S takes, it depends on the camera motor. The original ARRI governor controlled constant speed motor runs on 8 volts (any more than that will fry the motor), while the ARRI variable speed motor can run on 8 volts or 12 volts. The Tobin crystal sync motor or variable speed motor both run on 12 volts.

Best,
-Tim


Do you know of any place that sells a new 2 pin battery and charger? I am in the Uk, so it may be a little difficult to acquire one. Thanks,
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:08 PM

Do you know of any place that sells a new 2 pin battery and charger? I am in the Uk, so it may be a little difficult to acquire one. Thanks,


The 8 volt batteries are nearly impossible to find, you can try wiring up 7.2 volt batteries from power tools or RC cars, they will run the ARRI governor controlled constant speed motor. As far as the power cords go, keep looking on eBay.

Best,
-Tim
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#13 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 04:25 AM

Its probably not the rule of thumb to be discussing other peoples ebay auctions?/ however I have spied this arri ST lot for awhile now, and would like peoples opinions on the camera. it is quite a late serial number and been apparently well maintained...arri auction
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#14 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 08:26 AM

Only thing I can say about that auction is that I've never heard of "a schneider-kreuznach cinegon lens 8mm". Did not know that Schneider ever made an 8mm.

Best,
-Tim
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#15 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 08:54 AM

Only thing I can say about that auction is that I've never heard of "a schneider-kreuznach cinegon lens 8mm". Did not know that Schneider ever made an 8mm.

Best,
-Tim


It becomes very tricky on ebay - its a gamble and because $1,750 is quite alot of money for me, its a big gamble. The chances are that the camera is fine, which I am sure it is, but I think I am going to take the advice of your website and give myself plenty of time to weigh up different lots.
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 02:26 PM

It becomes very tricky on ebay - its a gamble and because $1,750 is quite alot of money for me, its a big gamble. The chances are that the camera is fine, which I am sure it is, but I think I am going to take the advice of your website and give myself plenty of time to weigh up different lots.


Damien,

That's a really good idea. Unfortunately, because of our litigious society here in the States, you can be sued for saying anything bad about someone business, even if what you say is true. Someone selling something on eBay is considered someone's business, because they make money from it. Because of this, I cannot comment on particular cameras or particular auctions.

By following the different auctions over a few months, you can get an idea of what things are going for and what is available. There will always be Arriflex 16S and 16S/B cameras available, ARRI made almost 20,000 of them. And you might also want to start out finding just the camera. Then slowly put together a set of lenses for it. I try to avoid the auctions where someone is dumping a camera and alot of lenses and accessories. They may not be the lenses and accessories you would choose for your shooting needs. Once you get a camera, Visual Products has pretty good prices on the older ARRI standard mount 16mm lenses for it. And they have a seven day return policy, and a six month warrantee on the lenses, something you will never get from eBay.

I think you made a wise choice.

Best.
-Tim
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 06:30 PM

however I have spied this arri ST lot for awhile now,

That's not an ST. This is an ST. Just wanted to clear that up.
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#18 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:48 AM

That's not an ST. This is an ST. Just wanted to clear that up.


one day............ ;)
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#19 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:08 AM

BTW, does anyone have any opinions of the BL? In comparision to the ST apart from the quiet quiet casing, is it mechanically more advanced than the ST/ie less failure - problems? With spare parts a problem is it a better option to go with an ST?
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#20 Tim Carroll

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:30 AM

BTW, does anyone have any opinions of the BL? In comparision to the ST apart from the quiet quiet casing, is it mechanically more advanced than the ST/ie less failure - problems? With spare parts a problem is it a better option to go with an ST?


Never been a huge fan of the BL as it was kind of an odd/bassackward way of making a silent camera. Just putting tons of sound deadening material all over the thing and making it rather heavy.

It has the same basic movement as the 16S. 16S/B and 16M. It's pretty much a 16M with the sound deadening material. Parts are actually harder to get for the BL and it is more expensive and difficult to service, compared to the 16S.

And you are pretty limited to what lenses you can use with it. The most common lens for the camera seems to have been the Angenieux 12-120, and you see some with the Zeiss 12-75 and the Zeiss 10-100. Of these, probably the most desirable is the Zeiss 10-100 T3.1, especially if you can get one with the T* coating. There was a prime lens blimp made for the camera, but they are pretty hard to find. And my favorite lenses, the Cooke Kinetals won't fit the BL. They hit the mirror shutter.

That's my take on the camera. Others might have different opinions.

Best,
-Tim
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