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I was given a free ACL


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#1 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 06:44 PM

I was given a free ACL by an old Irish cameraman on the weekend. I would love to get it up and running and even if it's possible get it converted to a Super 16. It seems like it could be in a state of disrepair though. I'm not sure whether or not it's worth the work.

It has got:
the ACL body (not sure if it's 1, 1.5, or 2)
5 x 400ft magazines
3 x Lenses (that look quite manky, 1x Angeniex, 1xZeiss and 9.5 Prime)

It is missing a battery, and i'm not sure if the there is rust on the right side of the body of the machine. I'll include pictures so anyone can have a look and maybe i could start a running dialogue on what to do.


I'm thinking of selling 2 or 3 of the magazines to make up some of the money to fix the camera and lenses (if it's possible). Let us know what you guys think.

P.S. I am new to this and learning slowly, so please be gentle if I've said something ridiculously stupid.

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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:33 PM

It is a 2 body with an orientable viewfinder and a heavy duty motor. I could say it is a score but there is so much rust on the thing I am thinking it is a parts camera, maybe.

You are going to have to spend some money to get that kitten purring again, and from the looks of it, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a needing a trip to the camera graveyard. :(

Seriously, what in the hell did they do to this camera???

HFS! The lens!! Did they store this kit underwater?

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 07 August 2008 - 09:38 PM.

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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:48 PM

It is a good think you don't have a battery, as trying to run this camera with so much rust on it would only make it worse (if possible). The camera needs to be taken to a pro tech, if only to be pronounced dead.

Sorry mate, I really don't want to be mean. Those pictures make it hard to give this camera much hope, though.

I see you are in the UK, give http://www.lesbosher.co.uk/ a jingle. He is a top notch tech and if the camera can be saved, he will be the man to do it in your side of the world.

Good luck!

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 07 August 2008 - 09:52 PM.

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#4 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:54 AM

The camera was kept in a suitcase in the guys garage since the early eighties. There is a lot of crystalise white stuff in the box.

I'm generally quite gutted about your prognosis, but not surprised. My rudimentary common sense dictated to me that this was totally f*cked up. It was such a shame. If it was running, with the camera and lenses in good order, i was going to drive it down to Les Bosher and pay to have it upscaled to Super16. (He does live nearly 200 miles away)

If I were to sell the 5 x 400ft magazines, does anyone think they would be worth anything? I hate the idea of throwing out this whole kit if there is something that can be passed on and used by someone else (and buy me some more stock for my Arri ST!)

Thanks again.
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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:09 AM

Hi Paco,

sorry for the state of your camera. I really find it horrible to see such a lovely piece of machinery in a state that bad. Do you know how it was stored? Maybe some stuff could be salvaged by completely dismantling the thing. But I agree with Saul, looks like it's in for a trip to camera heaven!

Cheers, Dave
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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:09 AM

The camera was kept in a suitcase in the guys garage since the early eighties. There is a lot of crystalise white stuff in the box.

I'm generally quite gutted about your prognosis, but not surprised. My rudimentary common sense dictated to me that this was totally f*cked up. It was such a shame. If it was running, with the camera and lenses in good order, i was going to drive it down to Les Bosher and pay to have it upscaled to Super16. (He does live nearly 200 miles away)

If I were to sell the 5 x 400ft magazines, does anyone think they would be worth anything? I hate the idea of throwing out this whole kit if there is something that can be passed on and used by someone else (and buy me some more stock for my Arri ST!)

Thanks again.


Don't throw it away yet!!!!

It is shocking, heartbreaking even just looking at the thing, but I think you should try to start cleaning it up! Maybe it won't be as bad as it appears. I don't feel a great deal of optimism, (how can you) but theres nothing to lose by looking into it a bit. Maybe theres some service type stuff you can do yourself. You could at least start cleaning up the lenses! Are the lenses infected with funghi too?

Please keep this thing away from your other kit. Preferably in another room.

love

Freya
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:29 AM

Truly it is frightening. I'm still in shock that someone did this to an ACL. For some reason it seems more understandable if it was an old Arri or CP16 or something.

Honestly this thing looks worse than many of the Konvai that have been for sale on e-bay lately.

Were the lenses actually stored in the same case as the camera body?
I really suspect the lenses are now just trash. It depends on the condition of the glass but they just look soooo shocking.

I wonder about the body however. The eclair was a self blimpred camera which presumably means that much of the body is potentially air tight or sealed out, so perhaps if you are really lucky the deterioration hasn't actually happened inside the camera. The gate doesn't appear to be in bad condition tho perhaps I can't tell from the photos as there isn't enough detail. I think there is the possibility that it isn't as bad as it looks, after all it couldn't possibly be worse than it looks. ;)

I've heard people refer to bad cameras as a boat anchor. It looks like someone heard that and decided to try it out!

Lets be optimistic tho and try and find out about the body a bit more!
Does anyone know if it is super difficult or damaging to open the eclair to take a peek at the condition inside?

I hope you aren't still keeping this thing in the manky suitcase with those scary lenses!

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 08 August 2008 - 06:32 AM.

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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:37 AM

Heyyyyyyy! :) They left the mag on the body didn't they! :)
What is the condition of the lens mount on the front?

Maybe it really was sealed up enough to keep it from going really bad?
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#9 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:42 AM

I have other pictures I'll upload tonight to give you guys a better image of the camera and it's state.


Paco
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:52 PM

I've heard people refer to bad cameras as a boat anchor. It looks like someone heard that and decided to try it out!


:lol:

According to the church of cinematography, people who abandon film cameras go to hell!


Seriously though, it could be possible that the camera itself is not too damaged. I see rust around / on the connectors though, that is bad sign. The gate area appears not too rusted, which is good. The lens port area is not shown. Maybe the lube on the gears somehow stopped the rust and the electronic boards are not affected.

It may be salvageable. It really needs to go to a tech though, don't throw it out yet.

I sure hope I am wrong about it being toast! Such beautiful cameras, what a waste . . .
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:58 PM


And yes, keep it away from your other camera equipment and lenses, rust loves company!

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#12 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:29 PM

Thank you for overwhelming advice and support. No fear on being near my Arri ST, it's in London and the Eclair is in Dublin.

Here is a few more pictures for you guys to peruse. Even if the camera was fixable, I think the cost of lenses makes it a bit more of financial nightmare to make it easy to use. I'm stilling weighing up the options.

I have emailed Les Bosher to see if he thinks it's worth me shipping it over from Dublin to London so that I can drive it down to Wales for Les, to have a look at it.

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#13 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:25 PM

Just out of curiosity, is this a former RTE camera?
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#14 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:58 PM

Radio Telefis Eireann. I think i could confirm that at one stage it did indeed serve the great cause of the motherland's great television station. Or for a blunt answer. Yes.
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#15 David Auner aac

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:53 PM

Just out of curiosity, is this a former RTE camera?


Wow, you did you guess that? Were they notorious for being in a bad shape?

Cheers, Dave
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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:06 PM

Hmmm still can't see the lens mount.

The reason I'm wondering is because it looks like the mag was left on the camera and thus kept the gate area sealed. (Lucky!) I suspect however that the lenses weren't left on the camera which means that the damp could have got in through the lens port but I could be wrong, I'm only guessing.

My thinking is that as the camera is self blimped then it must to some extent be air tight as sound actually carries through the vibration of air. This means the mechanical internals of the body might not be trashed.

The motor might not be sealed so might be more trashed but it could be replaceable and it probably has less in it to go wrong than the body so could be repairable too.

Looking at your new pictures the body doesn't look quite as bad as you might imagine from the earlier photos but it's hard to tell. Also I don't know to what extent moisture could get in through the motor mount which does look slightly rusty. The fact that the mag clip thing is rusty as hell is a bad sign, but the fact it hasn't got to the gate is a good sign. The big question is the lens mount and we can't see it.

You say the lens cost put it out of reach but if you were going to convert to super16, it could be hard fronted with a new mount too such as PL or perhaps arri standard.

love

Freya
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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:21 PM

Wow, you did you guess that? Were they notorious for being in a bad shape?

Cheers, Dave


RTE were the main users of ACLs in Ireland. I know of only one freelance cameraman who had one around that period or earlier, all the others had Arris or Aatons. They'd have been in reasonable condition, around that period each staff film cameraman tended to have their own camera, so there wouldn't have been pool cameras as such.
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#18 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:53 PM

You may be in luck!

The lenses look a lot worse than the camera does, although like Freya says we still can't see the lens mount port.
Definitely take it to Les Bosher.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 08 August 2008 - 04:58 PM.

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#19 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:11 PM

Hmmm still can't see the lens mount.

The reason I'm wondering is because it looks like the mag was left on the camera and thus kept the gate area sealed. (Lucky!) I suspect however that the lenses weren't left on the camera which means that the damp could have got in through the lens port but I could be wrong, I'm only guessing. You could be right here, I was thinking something along those lines

My thinking is that as the camera is self blimped then it must to some extent be air tight as sound actually carries through the vibration of air. This means the mechanical internals of the body might not be trashed. The inching knob on the side of the motor is missing, and that is what I was going to suggest: trying to turn it to see if the internal mechanics are still working.

The motor might not be sealed so might be more trashed but it could be replaceable and it probably has less in it to go wrong than the body so could be repairable too. The motor is indeed not sealed, but it can definitely be replaced and maybe even fixed by the right tech. George Zorzoli in LA scavanged an electronics board for my motor thus fixing it. Parts for these cameras or the motors have not being made for nearly 30 years!

Looking at your new pictures the body doesn't look quite as bad as you might imagine from the earlier photos but it's hard to tell. Also I don't know to what extent moisture could get in through the motor mount which does look slightly rusty. The fact that the mag clip thing is rusty as hell is a bad sign, but the fact it hasn't got to the gate is a good sign. The big question is the lens mount and we can't see it. I agree.

You say the lens cost put it out of reach but if you were going to convert to super16, it could be hard fronted with a new mount too such as PL or perhaps arri standard. These cameras were designed to take a variety of lens adapters, including PL, Arri S and B, Eclair, and techs like Les Bosher can make many, many others, in addition to c-mount, which comes stock. In fact one of the lenses, the 10-150 Angie, has the adapter still attached to it! It looks beyond repair though. But they can certainly be replaced.

love

Freya


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#20 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:18 PM

What a shame.

.
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