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ATTENTION: Camera experts, I need your help!


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#1 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:01 PM

I'm trying to figure out something about this camera before I buy it online.

It's listed as a General Camera Corporation SS111 General Professional.
It takes 400' mags, C-Mount lenses, and it has a motor that may or may not be synced.

Below is a picture. Please help me with infor if you can. I have a chance to get the package with 2 400' magazines for about $500.

Posted Image
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:16 PM

SS denotes a Sync Sound or Simultaneous Sound camera. That is, it has a power-sync unit, sync'ing off of the HZ rating of the electrical current. Get a similar recording deck, such as my NAGRA and plug it into the wall, the two will run together.

Some of them went one further, with a sound head inside of the camera itself. Some recorded sound onto magnetic stripe, which isn't helpful nowadays. Others recorded it optically, which is very useful.

For $500, a good deal.
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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:25 PM

Thanks Nate, you have helped as always. I am going to purchase this beast and maybe you'll shoot on it in September?

BTW, how come you mentioned airfare when you are already going to be in Sacramento in Sept?
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#4 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:27 PM

BTW, the inside of the film threading area says "Auricon Filmagnetic" so it doesn't record sound optically...but oh well, as long as the beast can sync, It's ok.
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#5 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:41 PM

Thanks Nate, you have helped as always. I am going to purchase this beast and maybe you'll shoot on it in September?

BTW, how come you mentioned airfare when you are already going to be in Sacramento in Sept?

Because I haven't bought the tickets yet and I'm always one to find a way to save a buck.

Ok, it's an auricon magnetic, still a great camera to work with.
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#6 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:10 PM

Alright, alright. Let me see if the wife will let me free for a day while out there.
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:16 PM

Great, now I'm at square one with my camera situation. The seller is a fraud as he didn't tell me until I noticed from the picture that there is no viewfinder! How in the world am I supposed to know if I'm in focus without a viewfinder? I think I'm going to report that auction on here so no one gets duped...he doesn't even mention that and he has an ethical duty to disclose it.
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

Great, now I'm at square one with my camera situation. The seller is a fraud as he didn't tell me until I noticed from the picture that there is no viewfinder! How in the world am I supposed to know if I'm in focus without a viewfinder? I think I'm going to report that auction on here so no one gets duped...he doesn't even mention that and he has an ethical duty to disclose it.

Man, if you were going for an auction site you could have had me do the hunting. I often times find deals that I just cannot swing the price of at that moment.

Why don't we take this off list and see what we can figure out?
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#9 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:59 PM

BTW, the inside of the film threading area says "Auricon Filmagnetic" so it doesn't record sound optically


If it is a converted Auricon it might even still have the optical Galvo in it. (or a place to mount one.) A lot of Auricons were coverted by a lot of firms for TV news. Many users would have no need for a viewfinder as they had one of the Zoom lenses with the built in finder.

you are proably laughing at 600 buicks if it is in good working condition.
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:44 AM

You know you could put a Som Bethoit lens with embedded viewfinder on that. Or you could get a rackover system for it and do the same thing. That's what I am doing with my 35mm's, building a rackover. That camera, even without the viewfinder, is still an incredible deal.
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:58 AM

You know you could put a Som Bethoit lens with embedded viewfinder on that. Or you could get a rackover system for it and do the same thing. That's what I am doing with my 35mm's, building a rackover. That camera, even without the viewfinder, is still an incredible deal.


I had thought about ways around the viewfinder issue but to be honest, I'm not really looking forward to getting into a wild goose chase of chasing down necessary accessories. If I need to I can wait until next payday and add more to my budget to get something better. I tried to negotiate a better price on this setup but he refused and said if he doesn't sell it this time, he's going to list it for $1000 next time (I don't know why he would list it for MORE if he isn't even selling it now) but that's what he said.
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#12 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:59 AM

BTW, I had been following this rig for sometime and he hadn't even sold it last time he listed it for $648.
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#13 Nate Downes

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:21 AM

BTW, I had been following this rig for sometime and he hadn't even sold it last time he listed it for $648.

It's a bit overpriced for what it is, in my opinion. I've found better deals on ebay for frezzi, Eclair, or other Auricons.
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:03 PM

If it is a converted Auricon it might even still have the optical Galvo in it. (or a place to mount one.) A lot of Auricons were coverted by a lot of firms for TV news. Many users would have no need for a viewfinder as they had one of the Zoom lenses with the built in finder.

you are proably laughing at 600 buicks if it is in good working condition.


I checked in an old AC manual which has a page on the General Camera SSIII.
It only mentions the FilmMagnetic head. Since the body has been modified, General Camera probably removed the galvanometer to reduce weight & the mag stripe would 've had better quality than an optical track, particularly on EF.

Here's another Cinevoice conversion. basically just the top's chopped off. Judging by the magazine, the body is larger than the SSIII. The galvanometer has been removed to reduce size and weight.
Also you can see the 12-120mm Angie with the side finder which was the work horse lens used with these cameras.

Posted Image



As for the viewfinder, it mentions replacing the long finder on the Angie zoom with a special very short finder which will allow the SSIII to sit on the cameraman's shoulder. These cameras were meant primarily for TV news. The 100' Auricon Cinevoices which these cameras were rebuilt from didn't have any through the lens viewing to begin with.
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#15 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 01:06 PM

As for the viewfinder, it mentions replacing the long finder on the Angie zoom with a special very short finder which will allow the SSIII to sit on the cameraman's shoulder. These cameras were meant primarily for TV news. The 100' Auricon Cinevoices which these cameras were rebuilt from didn't have any through the lens viewing to begin with.


Here's my rough understanding:

Essentially most of the early news cameras were "chopped" auricons with 400 ft mitchell mags added on, and a lens with a viewfinder built into the lens (typically an Angenieux). Companies then started putting the auricon movements into their own housings but the movements were essentially identical. Cinema Products and Frezzi started that way. CP improved the mag with their PCL4 series, and added the reflex viewfinders.

I used to have a great picture clipped out of a magazine, of John Waters shooting Pink Flamingos with a non-reflex CP16 with Mitchell mag slung on his shoulder.

Ken Hale at Whitehouse AV can fill you in on more history, I would imagine.
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#16 Richardson Leao

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 10:10 AM

i'd spend 600$ in that thing, i'd rather pay a bit more in a kinor (that could be mod to sound sync by olexandr) or get an arri bl, or anything reflex (remember that there is a significant light loss with those prisma coupled lenses).

Here's my rough understanding:

Essentially most of the early news cameras were "chopped" auricons with 400 ft mitchell mags added on, and a lens with a viewfinder built into the lens (typically an Angenieux). Companies then started putting the auricon movements into their own housings but the movements were essentially identical. Cinema Products and Frezzi started that way. CP improved the mag with their PCL4 series, and added the reflex viewfinders.

I used to have a great picture clipped out of a magazine, of John Waters shooting Pink Flamingos with a non-reflex CP16 with Mitchell mag slung on his shoulder.

Ken Hale at Whitehouse AV can fill you in on more history, I would imagine.


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