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Eclair ACL or Eclair NPR


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:46 PM

Just wondering if there was a significant difference in image quality or any other function between the two cameras.

Thanks-

Nicholas
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:02 PM

NPR is a late 1950's design, ACL is early 1970's. Both have been out of production for a long time, Eclair is no longer in the camera business. IIRC, they made a lot more units of the NPR, so parts should be easier to find. Lens mounts, magazine latches, and motor drive couplings were all problematic on the NPR. It took some TLC and tape to keep them running. The ACL came after my time, but I've heard that there are two kinds of magazines, good and bad, depending on where they were made.



-- J.S.
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#3 Scott Bryant

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:20 PM

As long as the camera is running properly there will be no difference in image quality (that is a function of the lens not the camera). The NPR however does have a variable shutter if that interests you.
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#4 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 12:15 AM

For some reason I can't find mine, and I bought it because of that!
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#5 Nick Norton

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:27 PM

Would an arriflex 16s, m, or bl be a more reliable camera in terms of function and repair than the eclair?


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Nicholas
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#6 David Auner aac

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:55 AM

Hi Nick,

As for the Arri16 being more reliable than the Eclair I doubt that. It depends of how well either was serviced. But you really can't compare an Arri16S/M which is a MOS camera with the NPR and ACL. The 16BL is blimped as well, but handheld and quite heavy. Both the NPR and the ACL are shoulder-type cameras (actually the NPR was the first AFAIK). Oh and the Arri16 cameras all have a registration pin, the NPR does too but the ACL does not. FWIK it still has a very good image steadiness.

I'm currently waiting for my NPR to come from the shop, being converted to S16 and one lens mount changed to PL. That's another thing I like about the NPR, two C-mount lens ports, easily modded to anything of your choice!

That brings up another good reason to go with either Eclair: they're easily and cheaply modded to S16 with none of the Arri16 are.

Another problem with older Arri cameras is that the Arri facilities don't service them anymore (cameras before serial 17000 IIRC). And parts can be hard to come by. But thankfully we have Tim Carroll our local Arri16 expert! http://arri16s.com

Cheers, Dave
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:03 AM

Nicholas,

I think the design of an Arriflex 16S is more robust than either an NPR or ACL. The Germans built them to be little tanks, and they can take some pretty extreme shooting conditions and still put out some great images.

That being said, you are giving up sound issues when you go with an MOS camera. These issues can be worked around, but for shooting sync sound, if you can get a quiet sync sound camera, you can save yourself ALOT of work.

The other thing folks need to understand is that motion picture cameras are very complex mechanical machines that need regular maintenance. Just like a regularly maintained Arriflex 16S is not going to cause you problems, a regularly maintained NPR or ACL is not going to cause you problems either. But that means having the camera serviced at regular intervals. Every two to four years (depending on how much you shoot with it). If you don't, you are going to see problems, and it is not the fault of the camera.

If you hope to someday convert your regular 16 camera to Super 16, I would not recommend buying an Arriflex 16S, 16M, or 16BL. The design of the camera and movement make them not suitable for Super 16 conversion. You can certainly shoot 16:9 with an Arriflex 16S or 16M, just as it came from the factory. If you want to see how, go to this web page:

http://www.Arri16S.com/Shoot169.htm

Of course the same principals apply to shooting 16:9 with a regular 16 NPR or ACL.

The last I talked with ARRI in New York, they still service Arriflex 16S cameras with serial numbers over 15,000. They will no longer service the Arriflex 16M camera, as I now have their entire stock of 16M spare parts. I can still service all the 16S and 16M cameras, and there are only a very few parts I cannot get, mostly for the original "flat door" 16S models. As for the Arriflex 16BL, ARRI in New York, and Axel Broda, are the only folks I know who will service that camera. There is a parts issue with the earlier BL cameras and I would advise you to talk to ARRI or Axel about any 16BL you were considering buying.

Hope that helps.

Best,
-Tim
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:26 PM

For some reason I can't find mine, and I bought it because of that!


There's a PDF of the NPR manual in the 'manuals and DOC' section.

http://www.cinematog...n...=post&id=56

Page 8 tells how to access and change the shutter angle.
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#9 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:16 PM

ebay item 330239511163

If you have any interest, it looks as though a friend of mine has been forced to give up his Super16 Eclair NPR.

It's quiet and makes very beautiful images.


Bruce Taylor
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#10 Nick Norton

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 04:22 AM

I've heard the ACL is quieter than the NPR?


If so, how loud is the NPR? Does it rule out the ability to shoot sync sound... with the mic possibly close to the camera?

Thanks-

Nicholas
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:51 PM

I've heard the ACL is quieter than the NPR?


If so, how loud is the NPR? Does it rule out the ability to shoot sync sound... with the mic possibly close to the camera?

Thanks-

Nicholas


A lot depends on what motor you have on either camera and the particular mags, really. They are both pretty loud, compared to more contemporary cameras. ADR is usually needed to some degree, especially in close quarter filming/ sound recording. There is a company that makes barneys for cameras, should you want to buy one:

www.customupholsteryproducts.com/

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 16 July 2008 - 12:52 PM.

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#12 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:58 PM

Just wondering if there was a significant difference in image quality or any other function between the two cameras.

Thanks-

Nicholas



I had an ACL years ago and the footage I shot with it was very steady even without a registration pin. It was fairly quiet, but you'd need a blimp if shooting sound in a small room.

The NPR is quite an odd setup with the big motor sticking out the bottom. As far as I know it was designed to be used as a hand held camera.

.
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#13 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:47 PM

I had an ACL years ago and the footage I shot with it was very steady even without a registration pin. It was fairly quiet, but you'd need a blimp if shooting sound in a small room.

The NPR is quite an odd setup with the big motor sticking out the bottom. As far as I know it was designed to be used as a hand held camera.

.


Love the ACL. Not a fan of the NPR, yeah that motor sticking out in the bottom is something else. The NPR mags are a bitch to load . . .
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