Jump to content


Photo

Eclair ACL verses Aaton LTR?


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:57 PM

Wo! Wait a minute. I've been under the impression for a WHILE now that, price wise, the Eclair ACL II is pretty much the best sync sound camera out there. However, I just ran across a post (on another site) that says:

"Given prices, I'd get an Aaton LTR -- it will cost less, it's a much much better camera, and it's designed from the start for S16. It will probably cost no more than buying and converting an ACL."

Is this true? it will cost LESS??

What is the price we're talking about here? How much for an S16 ACL II. Like . . . 5-7K base price . . . right? Does that mean that one can purchase an Aaton LTR for around that price? Is it already S16?

And how loud is the LTR? The ACL is what . . . like around 30-40dB? or less? What about the LTR?

I feel like I may have just been thrown a real curve ball here. Any help and info on this would be greatly appreciated.
  • 0

#2 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:02 PM

Sheesh. I just did a quick peek on ebay, and the LTRs on there are easilly going for well over two times as much as the most expensive ACLs . . . Did the person I originally quoted know something I don't?
  • 0

#3 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:26 PM

The prices on motion picture cameras go up and down and at times the prices fluctuate depending on what season it is. I sold a very nice LTR that was Super 16 with two Super 16 mags, barney, lightweight rods, pistol grip, and case, for around $4000 last year. I've seen them lower than that, and I have seen them higher than that. Like I said, it fluctuates.

I would definitely say the LTR, especially one with a serial number above C500, is a much better camera than the ACL II. The Aaton I had, which was a serial number in the C950 range, was so quiet you almost had to put your ear against it to hear it running. They are great cameras and if you get a good one, and have it serviced, it will last you for many years.

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#4 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:10 PM

The prices on motion picture cameras go up and down and at times the prices fluctuate depending on what season it is. I sold a very nice LTR that was Super 16 with two Super 16 mags, barney, lightweight rods, pistol grip, and case, for around $4000 last year. I've seen them lower than that...

...The Aaton I had, which was a serial number in the C950 range, was so quiet you almost had to put your ear against it to hear it running.


Whaaaaat!?!? Okay, Tim . . . I know you already said prices fluctuate, etc . . . but . . .

man . . . forget the question I was about to ask . . . I have to compose myself and pick my jaw up off the floor first . . .
  • 0

#5 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:28 PM

They're both late 1970's cameras. Eclair went out of the camera business (but not the lab business) about 1980 or so, and that part of it was sold to Aaton.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#6 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:33 PM

I would agree that the LTR is a better camera than the ACL II. Each successive Aaton/Eclair model is usually better than the one preceding it.

But I think you would be very hard pressed to find a (full serviced) LTR for less money than an ACL. The prices one sees on eBay or elsewhere don't take into account the $$ one will (always have to) spend to get it serviced and running perfectly. And, as Tim points out, prices do fluctuate for all kinds of reasons.

As a purely hypothetical situation, if you spent $2000 on a decent ACL, say, with mags, battery, etc, and then spent an additional $3000 to get it converted and absolutely everything (mags, motor, batteries, lens, etc) running in top shape (full service say from one of the three well-known Eclair techs), then you've got a camera for $5000 that you know will run perfectly with no surprises. If you find a LTR for $4000-5000, you will have to have it serviced so that there will be no surprises. And in less you're really, really lucky in your search, you will have to have it serviced (or at the very least, pay someone to go through it carefully.)

I suppose you could find a LTR for a decent price that may seem pretty close price-wise to a converted, and serviced, ACL. I think you need to decide on what you want (LTR or ACL) and start looking for one. Pick what you want to actually own and it might be easier finding it. Otherwise it's like going to a car dealer before you know exactly which model you want.

Just my opinion for what it's worth; right or wrong....
  • 0

#7 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:50 PM

No, no . . . it's a very appreciated opinion. Really. I had been vying toward the ACL II for a while, and a decent portion of the research that I had done up to this point seemed to corroborate this assessment. The new info that I happened across today, however, again, threw a serious curve ball at me. Your input, if accurate enough (which, I believe it is), seems to put a better perspective on the situation. It IS possible to come across the "LTR for less than an ACL" scenario, but it may not be all that likely. The more likely possibility is 2K for an ACL, and extra 3K for the service and conversion to super 16. I live in LA, so the famed Optical Electro house here would probably be the place I go to.

Heck . . . if I just happen to come across a deal like Tim had last year, however, I might simply jump on that one . . .

Just finished w/one feature, and I'm getting ready to begin the next . . . Gotta write the dang script first though before I spend too much on the camera . . . Don't want to put the cart before the horse (much as I have to some extent already). :)

Edited by Javier Calderon, 04 March 2008 - 07:53 PM.

  • 0

#8 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:02 PM

No, no . . . it's a very appreciated opinion. Really. I had been vying toward the ACL II for a while, and a decent portion of the research that I had done up to this point seemed to corroborate this assessment. The new info that I happened across today, however, again, threw a serious curve ball at me. Your input, if accurate enough (which, I believe it is), seems to put a better perspective on the situation. It IS possible to come across the "LTR for less than an ACL" scenario, but it may not be all that likely. The more likely possibility is 2K for an ACL, and extra 3K for the service and conversion to super 16. I live in LA, so the famed Optical Electro house here would probably be the place I go to.



Give George at OEH a call and tell him what you're thinking. He should be able to help you with any concerns about an ACL versus a LTR, and what might be the best path for you.

btw, I recommend his work.

Good luck!
  • 0

#9 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 04 March 2008 - 09:36 PM

Also, not to plug companies here or anything, but check out visual products in Ohio. They have a stock of cameras which varies in price, but you can be reasonably assured it'll be running well. If not, it has a warranty.
  • 0

#10 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 04 March 2008 - 10:22 PM

Being the proud owner of these two cameras, and knowing them as I do, I will tell you I would be incredibly torn choosing between them.

They are very similar AND very different. I love them both for different reasons and I would honestly rather own both.

ACL: great little camera, you can get 200' mags for it (I have two) and MANY different lens adaptors (for anything from cutting-edge to ancient glass and everything in between). Additionally, it is very versatile, lightweight, and compact. It boasts one of the most rock-solid registrations among cameras, particularly of that vintage. Also, its mirror- independent shutter is probably closest to the film behind it than in most (all?) cameras, assuring razor sharp image etching on the film. Best as B-camera for it is not the quietest, but winning on versatility.

LTR: Awesome handheld camera, whisper quiet, tough as nails, rock-solid registration and very ergonomic. A true "modern" camera, just a pleasure to shoot with. Not as versatile (but a hell of a lot quieter) as the ACL, this would be more of an A-camera on a show.

In a very, very serious pinch, though, I would probably keep the ACL for its versatility. But even then it is a very tough contest, for they are both formidable cameras for the price.
  • 0

#11 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:38 AM

Thank you, Saulie, for the input. Very appreciated, quite valuable information and assessment.
  • 0

#12 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:39 AM

Yes, Adrian. I've taken a look at VP before. They certainly look like they have solid, pro gear . . . They seem a tad bit out of my present price range, however.
  • 0

#13 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 22 March 2008 - 10:27 PM

Just make sure the ACL II is French not English and that it has the Kinoptik and not the Angenieux finder.
  • 0

#14 Javier Calderon

Javier Calderon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Other
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:14 PM

Just make sure the ACL II is French not English and that it has the Kinoptik and not the Angenieux finder.


Thank you, Dan. The French recommendation I've heard before. The Kinoptik v the Angenieux, however, I have not, so that's good to know.

Could you, perhaps, give a brief (or long :) ) explanation as to why?

Thanks

Edited by Javier Calderon, 26 March 2008 - 08:15 PM.

  • 0

#15 Nick Norton

Nick Norton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 248 posts
  • Student
  • Chicago

Posted 18 July 2008 - 06:30 PM

In a very, very serious pinch, though, I would probably keep the ACL for its versatility.


Exactly how is the ACL more versatile than the LTR?



Just make sure the ACL II is French not English and that it has the Kinoptik and not the Angenieux finder.


I've heard the opposite on the viewfinder. Doesn't the Angenieux viewfinder keep the image in an upright position regardless of how the viewfinder is oriented?




Thanks-

Nicholas
  • 0

#16 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:07 PM

Exactly how is the ACL more versatile than the LTR?


One can put many different lens mounts on the ACL with the use of non-optical adapters.

One can use 200' and 400' foot magazines on the ACL.

One can buy affordable short ends and shoot using the smaller, lighter 200' mag on the ACL.

One can use A-minima loads on the ACL with the right 200' mag, although some people debate the effectiveness of this capability, it is possible.

With 200' mags on the camera is the size of a camcorder, but heavier, making it an excellent gorilla film making camera.

One can buy video taps for the ACL, albeit somewhat expensive, not many cameras of its vintage can take them, if any.

ACL cameras can be easily converted to S-16.

There are many techs working on ACL's around the world.

ACL parts are somewhat easy to find on eBay.

Due the ACL's modular design, accessories can be purchased and user installed.

The rotating shutter on the ACL is the closest to the film plane of any camera that I know, by virtue of being separated from the mirror. This provides razor sharp etching of the image on the film.

The ACL provides legendary rock-solid picture steadiness without a registration pin.

The ACL is tough as nails.

Different motors for the ACL, from 200' mag-only 24 crystal sync to milli frame-controlled/ heavy-duty variable-frame-rate ones sometimes pop up on eBay.

Need I go on???? :lol:

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 July 2008 - 07:09 PM.

  • 0

#17 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 July 2008 - 02:26 AM

With 200' mags on the camera is the size of a camcorder, but heavier, making it an excellent gorilla film making camera.


Hi Saul,

thanks for giving me the first laugh of the day! :D

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#18 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 19 July 2008 - 01:52 PM

Hi Saul,

thanks for giving me the first laugh of the day! :D

Cheers, Dave



Yeah, I meant guerrilla, not gorilla! DUH!

Ah, dyslexia! :blink:

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 19 July 2008 - 01:53 PM.

  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

CineTape

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Opal

CineLab

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Technodolly