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Revolution Motor for Mitchell 35mm


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#1 Dominic Alt

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:34 PM

I had to mount the Revolution 121 time-lapse/single-frame motor on a Mitchell 35mm, and while I was at it, I decided to see if I could drive the camera at sync through the 8:1 shaft.

It worked (click the link for videos and pictures).

Does anyone know what kind of Mitchell that is? And more importantly, what other Mitchell cameras have the same shaft layout.

The badge on the camera says "Mitchell Camera Corp, West Hollywood, No. 504" It's a rackover.

Posted Image
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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:15 AM

Hey Dom,

Great looking Mitchell upgrade, I am under the impression that most mitchell movements are basically the same, don't mess with perfection....


I am very happy with the NCS Eyemo motor I bought btw


-Rob-
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#3 Herb Montes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 08:48 AM

Looks like a basic rackover Mitchell. Great cameras, I own a 16mm model myself (with a Tobin motor). Sam Dodge has the model #390 on his website:

http://www.samdodge....60/FrameSet.htm
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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:12 AM

Sure, tease the guy here who wants a Mitchell so badly.... 8)

In particular a rackover model.

Edited by Nate Downes, 11 June 2008 - 10:13 AM.

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#5 Herb Montes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:19 AM

Sure, tease the guy here who wants a Mitchell so badly.... 8)

In particular a rackover model.


They're out there Nate, waiting to be discovered. Last year when I was in the market for a 16mm one with an animation drive Bill Reiter at ProVid in Dallas offered me one for $2,500. Send him an email. He might have one for a good price: ProVidFilm@aol.com
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#6 Nate Downes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

They're out there Nate, waiting to be discovered. Last year when I was in the market for a 16mm one with an animation drive Bill Reiter at ProVid in Dallas offered me one for $2,500. Send him an email. He might have one for a good price: ProVidFilm@aol.com

I know where some can be found, just out of my price point at this moment. But I hope to solve that soon.

BTW, where on the gulf coast? My sister lives in Rockport.

Edited by Nate Downes, 11 June 2008 - 10:26 AM.

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#7 Herb Montes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:39 AM

I know where some can be found, just out of my price point at this moment. But I hope to solve that soon.

BTW, where on the gulf coast? My sister lives in Rockport.


The Texas Gulf Coast, south of Houston. As for the Mitchell just be patient and it will all come to fruition. I got my Mitchell from lurking at the Stop Motion Animation forum. A few 35mm Mitchells have shown up in the classified board there when animators would retire their film cameras in favor of digital ones. And a few do show up on eBay at times. In the past month I saw two 16mm Mitchells sell for around $500 in auctions.
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#8 Paul Bruening

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:30 PM

Hello Dominic,

I've got 3 Mickies. The works in your pics look like a Mitchell HS or GC (GC just means Government Camera). The GCs have the exposed gears that you can see. NCs have less gears and none are visable in the drive path.

The 8:1 shaft is the HS drive point (HS means High Speed). You'll see some HS designations here and there for those Mitchell's. That's often the reason that they were also made as GCs. The gubmit was keen to use the high speed features in their military and science stuff. Many a Mickie has been burned to a solid chunk by overdriving these units.

The NC has a single drive point that is in a different position as the two points in the HS. However, all of the drive points on the Mickies poke directly out of the chassis perpendicular to the film path and relate to the motor mount via an easily made plate. This is one of the reasons, of many, that folks like the Mickies for animation and FX.
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:56 PM

Great looking Mitchell upgrade, I am under the impression that most mitchell movements are basically the same, don't mess with perfection....


There are two basic mitchell movements.
The first is the original planetary gear movement from around 1920 used in the standard, GC and Hi-Speed. Which is a noisy movement.

The NC movement is from around 1929-1930. This is a noiseless movement, more like a quiet whirr. The film flapping through it and the motor are the chief noise sources in the camera.
The main movement of the sound era.

The motor door for the NC which allows the use of Standard/GC motors has a reproduction of the top corner of the standard/GC which has the motor mounting.
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#10 Dominic Alt

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:12 AM

Hmm.

1) Mitchell
2) Mitchell Standard
3) Mitchell HS ("High Speed")
4) Mitchell GC ("Government Camera?")
5) Mitchell NC ("News Camera")
6) Mitchell BNC ("Blimped News Camera")
7) Mitchell BNCR ("Reflexed")

Are #1 and #2 the same? Was the original Mitchell called just a "Mitchell"?
Posted Image

Ok, so the NC has a single (1:1) drive shaft in the lower right of the motor side.
That would be #5 #6 and #7


Posted Image

The Mitchell HS has the 8:1 shaft in the center, with the 1:1 shaft in the upper left corner.
Are #1, #2, #3 and #4 all like that?

From the web: "Mitchell introduced the much quieter NC [for 'Newsreel Camera'] in ca. 1930. The cameras were hand-cranked, later motor-driven. 744 NC's were made."

That would imply the Mitchell NC had an 8:1 shaft, because I can't imagine hand-cranking at 24 rpm. (With an 8:1 shaft, you turn at 2 or 3 rpm for 16 or 24fps).

So...is the lower right shaft a 1:1 or an 8:1? :unsure:
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

Are #1 and #2 the same? Was the original Mitchell called just a "Mitchell"?

Ok, so the NC has a single (1:1) drive shaft in the lower right of the motor side.
That would be #5 #6 and #7

The Mitchell HS has the 8:1 shaft in the center, with the 1:1 shaft in the upper left corner.
Are #1, #2, #3 and #4 all like that?

From the web: "Mitchell introduced the much quieter NC [for 'Newsreel Camera'] in ca. 1930. The cameras were hand-cranked, later motor-driven. 744 NC's were made."

That would imply the Mitchell NC had an 8:1 shaft, because I can't imagine hand-cranking at 24 rpm. (With an 8:1 shaft, you turn at 2 or 3 rpm for 16 or 24fps).

So...is the lower right shaft a 1:1 or an 8:1? :unsure:


Here's a 1920 Mitchell Professional 35mm camera. I can't tell from this picture if it has a drive shaft in the upper left corner.

Posted Image

This article describes various movements for the standards:

http://www.soc.org/o...g10_mitcam.html

I can't imagine hand-cranking an NC. it was introduced at the beginning of the sound era & the movement is silent. It was meant for shooting sync sound.

Here's a Newell NNC, which is a British NC knock off of the NC:

Posted Image Posted Image

The 3-phase sync is probably the standard motor, definitely for the BNC.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the adapter door for using Standard motors actually has a copy of the Standard's upper left hand corner with the mountings for the motor positioned over the NC'c drive shaft. The wild motor above is mounted on such a door.

So it is a 1:1 shaft.
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#12 Dominic Alt

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 12:07 AM

Now that I think about it, the notion of hand-cranking a 'sync' camera makes very little sense. :huh:

Those are some massive motors on the NNCs. The motor I used is a 'double-stack' motor--a cube about 2.25" on each side. Fits easily in the palm.
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#13 Paul Bruening

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 12:23 AM

Pretty much everything about Mickies is big. It was a different time. People did things by hand more. A bunch of guys hanging around just to heave equipment made sense back then. I imagine what those guys from a movie from the mid thirties would say if they could see some guy using a modern, light weight camera on a steady cam. They might rush over to carry the camera man around during the shot. "Hey, fellas. Look at that. I think it needs picking up."
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:35 PM

Pretty much everything about Mickies is big. It was a different time. People did things by hand more. A bunch of guys hanging around just to heave equipment made sense back then. I imagine what those guys from a movie from the mid thirties would say if they could see some guy using a modern, light weight camera on a steady cam. They might rush over to carry the camera man around during the shot. "Hey, fellas. Look at that. I think it needs picking up."


At least in the studio they'd put the blimped Mitchell or even bigger blimped Technicolor camera on a huge dolly or crane and leave it on all day. They were still able to get a lot of poker in.
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