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really dirty SR2 mags


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#1 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:40 PM

Hey kids!

So, here's a silly "things I never really thought about" question for you guys, especially SR2 owners. I recently got a job working as a film camera repair tech at a cute little film school in Savannah, Georgia which you may or may not have heard of. ;) Anyway, I pulled some old SR2 mags out of the equipment closet and am trying to bring them back to some sort of reasonable life.

Because they have been sitting around for perhaps years, these mags are obviously a far cry from rental house mags which have been regularly maintained and serviced, especially shiny new Arri CSC mags like what my spoiled self was used to before. I know the SR2 mags are black. But there's a difference between something that's been painted black, versus something that has turned black from emulsion build-up or dirt.

Admittedly, as I go through some of this stuff, I'm having a hard time telling the difference. If you're looking at the front of the mag with the throat cover pulled off, is the throat painted with any sort of light-proof coating to either side of the silver pressure plate? Is it a matte black or a shiny metal black? Is it supposed to be sticky and gummy?! Probably not, right? Is that the paint wearing off over the years from humidity, or emulsion build-up?

I was using alcohol to clean the throats because that's what my homies at CSC said to do. But I'm worried about stripping off any sort of finish on the metal. I know I'm not touching any part of the mag where the film actually goes, so I guess in theory I don't have to worry about it, but I would think that if ANY part of the mag is dirty enough to be black, that dirt will find its way into the mag, onto the film, into the camera, all over my hands, and under my fingernails. So...yeah.

I feel really silly asking something like this because you'd think I would've noticed these details over the years, but I know this is older equipment and I know that when said equipment deteriorates over time, strange things can happen...I just want to make sure that I'm not making more work for myself by having to re-paint anything. Some of this gear is so worn and I'm just trying to be careful!

Thoughts? Ideas? I can post photos if y'all are confused.

Love,
Your Friendly Film Camera Repair Tech, Overcome With Emulsion
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 06:46 PM

Love,
Your Friendly Film Camera Repair Tech, Overcome With Emulsion


lol! :lol:

I would give alcohol a try. If that doesn't seem to do the trick, I would try naptha. With either of those, try it in a small spot and see how/if it works and to make sure it doesn't also strip paint. Neither of those should, but just in case.

Good luck!
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#3 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:26 PM

For some reason I read "naptha" as "napalm" and I was like, "...??!"

Anyway...it looks like I have a bad paint job to deal with too. Both acetone and alcohol have lifted off a few coats of sticky paint. I'll probably end up talking to someone in Blauvelt about repainting this stuff. Who knows!
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:42 PM

Acetone will definitely lift the paint. You got to be really careful using Acetone on those cameras, cleans great, just don't let it touch any of the painted surfaces.

-Tim
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#5 Nathan Milford

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:17 PM

I would use Naphta or Alcohol.

Acetone will frag your paintjob.
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#6 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:36 PM

Ok, I set the acetone aside and am now just using alcohol. But, it's STILL lifting the paint. So what's going on? :unsure:
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:54 PM

Given that everything is very dirty, I'd start on the large surfaces with rags moderately damp with ordinary household 409 cleaner (tri sodium phosphate). That'll get rid of the water soluable stuff, which is usually most of it. The mags should be clean enough to handle without getting your hands dirty after the 409. Then go to mineral spirits, followed by isopropanol, for the stuff that didn't come off. Beyond that, maybe denatured ethanol, but test to be sure it's safe for the paint. Acetone is definitely not safe for paint, use it on the bare metal parts only, if at all.



-- J.S.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:01 PM

Ok, I set the acetone aside and am now just using alcohol. But, it's STILL lifting the paint. So what's going on? :unsure:

Is it isopropanol or ethanol? Pure (like 190 proof) ethanol is a solvent for some paints. Shellacs and Killz stain blocker are ethanol based. Is the paint dissolving, or flaking off in the solvent? If it's dissolving, don't use that kind of alcohol. If it's flaking/delaminating, probably some predecessor of yours painted the mags with cheap spray paint, which should be removed.



-- J.S.
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#9 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 07:28 PM

Hi John!
It is isopropyl alcohol. I found the crappiest mag which was no longer in our inventory, took it apart, and stripped off all the paint off the feed and take-up side platters. Now I have a naked, disassembled SR2 mag on my desk. It's gonna be a fun day tomorrow! I also noticed that the rubber seal inside the mag is flaking off and peeling away. What sort of glue or glue-like substance would be safe to put this back into place, any ideas?

FWIW this mag has been subjected to extreme temperature changes, neglect, and misuse...so the circumstances are kinda unusual...
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:00 PM

Given the heat history on the rubber parts, I'd check with Arri to see if they may need to be replaced. See if you can get service manuals from Arri.



-- J.S.
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#11 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:44 PM

Given the heat history on the rubber parts, I'd check with Arri to see if they may need to be replaced. See if you can get service manuals from Arri.



-- J.S.


There was a service manual made by ARRI when the very first Arriflex 16SR came out, the one with the French motor and French electronics. It covered how to adjust the FFD on the camera and a few other simple things like removing the J-bar. That is the only service manual that was ever made for the cameras. There is a guy on eBay who sells what he describes as an Arriflex 16SR service manual, but it is actually just a parts manual for the Arriflex 16SR and 16SRII cameras, and all the language is in German. But the exploded pictures are nice.

The only way to learn how to rebuild those cameras is to have someone teach you. It sounds like Annie is going to be able to go up to New York and get training from ARRI INC. That is the best way to learn.

Best,
-Tim
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#12 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:55 AM

I did manage to get the parts manual with exploded drawings, which are quite helpful even though I do not speak German. Like Tim said, it looks like in about a month or so I'll be getting trained in New York...so that's pretty cool....
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:10 PM

I did manage to get the parts manual with exploded drawings, which are quite helpful even though I do not speak German. Like Tim said, it looks like in about a month or so I'll be getting trained in New York...so that's pretty cool....

Excellent -- Take good notes and write them up carefully. Then you can have a manual to sell to the rest of us. Or maybe a gig with Arri writing English language manuals.




-- J.S.
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#14 Hal Smith

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:28 AM

Any mag part that's aluminum could be anodized rather than painted, that's a much more permanent process and doesn't have any particles to flake off like paint. The black finish on most camera accessories and bits and pieces is anodizing. Talk to Arri about that and if they say okay check around Savannah industrial circles, there's likely to be an anodizing job shop in town. If not, PM me, there's an anodizing shop in OKC that will process small quantities of aluminum for $25-50 IF you hand carry them in. I think they use the $$$ for their coffee mess.
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