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Two Old 16mm Hand Viewer/Editors Arrived Today From eBay


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#1 Ira Ratner

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:55 PM

I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to use these, and I bid on two to hedge my bets and won both. But man oh man--I'm clueless.

Here's the Mansfield 960 (16mm only) that I overpaid for:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...N:IT&ih=012

And the Mansfield (8 & 16) Little Gem:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...N:IT&ih=009

For now, forget the spicing functions. I just want to get the VIEWING thing down pat first:

1) Does anyone know where to find info/user manuals on these? The small film rollers/guides/spindles on both are like pure metal, so I want to make sure that's OKAY, that they're not supposed to have rubber collars or something. I played with them a little with a roll of leader, and it seems like they would both scrap the crap out of ANYTHING you ran through them. (Assuming I'm loading them right, but who knows.)

2) One of the reasons I wanted one of these (although now I got two) is that I bought some really vintage films. I wanted to be able to safely run them through the viewer and check for needed splices and make those splices before sticking them on a projector. Can I assume that my footage goes on the left reel, and feeds to the right?

3) My image on both is rotated sideways--is that correct?

4) The first one listed above, the 960, has a lot more meat to it and seems more practical for me. (Plus, the screen is much bigger, but maybe the other one is sharper.) It needs a lot more cleaning, so I'm going to be dissecting it when the time comes to make it shine inside and out.

The screen seems to be just a piece of plastic--which after all these years, couldn't hurt to replace. So any ideas on what to use? Would it be like a magnifying lens, and simply adjust my focus knob (yeah, I found that knob!) to accommodate the new screen/lens?

Thanks for your help!

And if you're aware of any YouTube videos on old machines lie these, even different models, please post! I looked, but didn't find anything.
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:19 PM

Here's the Mansfield 960 (16mm only) that I overpaid for:
1) Does anyone know where to find info/user manuals on these? The small film rollers/guides/spindles on both are like pure metal, so I want to make sure that's OKAY, that they're not supposed to have rubber collars or something. I played with them a little with a roll of leader
2) One of the reasons I wanted one of these (although now I got two) is that I bought some really vintage films. I wanted to be able to safely run them through the viewer and check for needed splices and make those splices before sticking them on a projector. Can I assume that my footage goes on the left reel, and feeds to the right?

OUCH. I would top out at about 20 bucks for this type of stuff.

These were made for folks to be able to edit their home movies. after 60 years they probaly need some lubrication and perhaps some attention to the wiring.

They work like a little projector except with the sutter attched to the feed roller so that the frame is only shown when it is close to being level. Some opf the unit suse a prisim to allow you to keep the frame in view while you crank through the film. Without seeing how you are threading the unit, they are probaly designed that any scratches will end up on the perfs or between the image and the sound track (home moviers had two rows of perfs back then) the sprokets are probaly suposed to be all metal, (they are on the Filmo and Kodak viewers that I have bought)
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#3 Ira Ratner

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:31 PM

Thanks, Charles. And yeah--ouch. But I've seen the 960 going for CLOSE to what I paid for it. But then again, that just may mean other idiots like me.

But the all-metal advice helped me. Before I screw around any more with film, I'm going to WD-40 all parts to death and get the rollers/spockets spinning more freely. Right now, it all seems real stiff. There are also screws here and there that maybe affect tension, but before anything else, let me get it all clean. (One unit at a time.)

But do they normally display SIDEWAYS?

Edited by Ira Ratner, 11 August 2008 - 08:34 PM.

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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:31 PM

Hi Ira,

I've been reading your posts with interest, you've got some interesting projects going on!

I just wanted to mention that the old standard 16mm viewers were made by Moviscop and Moviola (they made a very nice table top unit). Use one of them and a set of rewinds and you have a nice professional set-up that will work correctly.

A good place to find information on using the old editing and other production gear would be a copy of something like Lenny Lipton's Independent Filmmaking. Any book on 16mm production from the 70's would have the information you're looking for. They ought to sell for next to nothing on ebay.

Good luck, and I hope you're having fun.

Bruce Taylor
www.Indi35.com
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:49 PM

Lenny Lipton. Man, that brings back memories. That's the book we used in my very first film class back in the early eighties.
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#6 marc barbé

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:52 PM

I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to use these, and I bid on two to hedge my bets and won both. But man oh man--I'm clueless.

Here's the Mansfield 960 (16mm only) that I overpaid for:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...N:IT&ih=012

And the Mansfield (8 & 16) Little Gem:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...N:IT&ih=009

For now, forget the spicing functions. I just want to get the VIEWING thing down pat first:

1) Does anyone know where to find info/user manuals on these? The small film rollers/guides/spindles on both are like pure metal, so I want to make sure that's OKAY, that they're not supposed to have rubber collars or something. I played with them a little with a roll of leader, and it seems like they would both scrap the crap out of ANYTHING you ran through them. (Assuming I'm loading them right, but who knows.)

2) One of the reasons I wanted one of these (although now I got two) is that I bought some really vintage films. I wanted to be able to safely run them through the viewer and check for needed splices and make those splices before sticking them on a projector. Can I assume that my footage goes on the left reel, and feeds to the right?

3) My image on both is rotated sideways--is that correct?

4) The first one listed above, the 960, has a lot more meat to it and seems more practical for me. (Plus, the screen is much bigger, but maybe the other one is sharper.) It needs a lot more cleaning, so I'm going to be dissecting it when the time comes to make it shine inside and out.

The screen seems to be just a piece of plastic--which after all these years, couldn't hurt to replace. So any ideas on what to use? Would it be like a magnifying lens, and simply adjust my focus knob (yeah, I found that knob!) to accommodate the new screen/lens?

Thanks for your help!

And if you're aware of any YouTube videos on old machines lie these, even different models, please post! I looked, but didn't find anything.



hi,
I hope this forum is not bound to become an unhappy e-bayer's mourning chat. Why buy if you don't know what it is? Why not ask the seller these questions before you buy?
Regards,
Marc.
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#7 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:27 PM

Lenny Lipton. Man, that brings back memories. That's the book we used in my very first film class back in the early eighties.


Wasn't he great? I was wearing my fire engine red wide-wale low-waisted bell bottoms and winding a Bolex while reading it in the 70's.

Bruce
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#8 Ira Ratner

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:17 AM

Marc, with these kinds of items, the seller doesn't usually know anything about it--which was the case here.

I took apart the 960 yesterday (almost completely) and started cleaning. I can see that there was just a lot of dust and gunk in there that was tightening her up. Haven't put it back TOGETHER yet, which should be easy.

And Bruce--great idea! If I'm going to use old technology, I might as well read an old BOOK about it!

Edited by Ira Ratner, 13 August 2008 - 05:18 AM.

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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:11 AM

Looks like you're going to need a dedicated room for your editing and film equipment... A long standing dream of mine.

If you're interested in heavier duty equipment, check with your local labs and ask what they have laying around; sometimes you can get lucky and pick up professional gear at a good price.
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 10:13 AM

Rather late now, but personally I'd go for an Acmade Pic Sync, rather than these. Great for track laying mag film and the later models have a reasonably sized screen and a motor drive. Standard issue in BBC cutting rooms together with the Steenbeck. You could cut a feature film with one.

Just checked, seems you can still get them: http://www.acmade.co...Compeditor.html

However, I'd expect an old won't cost too much.

Got my rather battered old Lenny Lipton around somewhere.
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#11 Ira Ratner

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:26 PM

Rather late now, but personally I'd go for an Acmade Pic Sync, rather than these. Great for track laying mag film and the later models have a reasonably sized screen and a motor drive. Standard issue in BBC cutting rooms together with the Steenbeck. You could cut a feature film with one.

Just checked, seems you can still get them: http://www.acmade.co...Compeditor.html

However, I'd expect an old won't cost too much.

Got my rather battered old Lenny Lipton around somewhere.


1600 pounds compared to 100 bucks and 35 bucks? I don't think the U.S. dollar is comparable with those figures nowadays.

But an update--I'm having a BALL!!!

The 960 has been totally cleaned and reassembled, except I have to screw the rollers in--which are still soaking in WD-40 to make them spotless and spin flawlessly. Two of the three mirrors look fine--but the suspect one looks EASY to replace--and the plastic screen lens will definitely need replacing. I just don't know what material to use for that. Maybe a freznel lens.

My wife works overnights, and when I drive her to work tonight and come home, I'm going to finish assembly and run an old film through her to view and check for aby needed splices.

Edited by Ira Ratner, 13 August 2008 - 07:29 PM.

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#12 Ira Ratner

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:40 PM

An update:

This thing is a PISSER--I feel like I'm back in 1927!

Simply wiping the dust off the bulb and cleaning the mirrors (3) made a MIRACULOUS difference. Incredibly bright now. However, the final stage mirror has some scarring, which is affecting the display with its corresponding blotches.

Fortunately, it's just a stupid little mirror (2 inches by 3 inches,maybe) glued on sloppily to a metal plate--REAL easy to replace. But I guess I had better do a LITTLE research on the physics of mirrors to put the best thing in there, instead of just modding something from Wal-Mart.

Any ideas, anyone? Also, I want to replace the screen, which is just a thin piece of plastic lens. I don't know WHAT the heck this material is, but again, real easy to replace.
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Glidecam

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Aerial Filmworks

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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