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Most Popular 35mm Feature Film Cameras


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#1 David Mickler

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:47 PM

Hey Board

First time poster here who enjoys the site and learning from other's experiences.

I've been ACing for a couple years now, mostly TV with a few features here and there.

What are the most widely used 35mm feature film cameras?

Also, for those 1st ACs out there, what are the most popular and reliable remote focus pulling systems?

Thanks
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#2 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:53 PM

Well just to name a few 35mm systems, there are Panavision models such as the Panastar, GII, Platinum, XL2 system, Millenium Panaflex, I'm sure others will throw in some older models as well. Arri boasts the Studio system, 535, Lite, 435, 235, 35-III, II-C, BL 4, BL, 3, BL 2, and some older Arriflex models.

In regards to RFU models, I have heard great things about both Preston and Bartech systems.
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:48 AM

I'd say (based on my own experience) the most popular cameras are:
Panavision:
GII
Platinum
XL

Arri:
Arricam ST and LT
435
SR3

And I believe the most popular remote focus by far is the Preston, with the Bartech being second and the Scorpio probably third.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:41 AM

They're a relative newcomer but I would check out a cmotion RCU. I first messed with one at cinegear this summer and then used one on a short job and it was great. They all do essentially the same thing but I think the cmotion is much more comfortable to use. Their website is cmotion.eu
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#5 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:04 PM

I used the C-Motion a few months back (got it from Abel, as a sub-rental) and was pleasantly surprised. Good ergonomic design, strong signal transmission (in an area that had caused problems with another Remote FF). This is a real competitor in the RCU field, in my opinion.

David, keep in mind that both Arri and Pana tend to have a systematic approach to their different bodies, so that if you are familiar with an Arri Studio, for instance, you won't be lost when facing a 535 or 416. Also, a lot of these manuals are available online, so hopefully you're already searching based on Brad and Andrew's posts.
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#6 Nathan Martin

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:10 AM

I havent used it yet, a friend has a kit on order, but the new RCU from View Factor looks like its going to be a winner as far as performance vs budget goes. It looks to be the kind of kit an AC could buy and pay off quite easily
www.viewfactor.net

im going to wait untill my friend gets his and tests it tho untill i will buy one.
The system looks great tho, and you can have a full Remote ff kit for around $2k

the main problem i see with this unit is that you can only control one motor at a time, unless you have two controllers, however you can change motors instantly with the click of a button.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:38 PM

I havent used it yet, a friend has a kit on order, but the new RCU from View Factor looks like its going to be a winner as far as performance vs budget goes. It looks to be the kind of kit an AC could buy and pay off quite easily
www.viewfactor.net

im going to wait untill my friend gets his and tests it tho untill i will buy one.
The system looks great tho, and you can have a full Remote ff kit for around $2k

the main problem i see with this unit is that you can only control one motor at a time, unless you have two controllers, however you can change motors instantly with the click of a button.



That does seem promising. It seems very simple and cost effective. When you do get a chance to check one out, would you mind giving us a good review? I'd be interested in things like how robust it seems, range, lag time, etc.
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#8 Nathan Martin

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:05 PM

i definatly will,

the construction seems like it way be another thing that may bother me, it looks like a plastic body.
My friend who has one on order flew out to LA for the cinegear expo and aparently there is going to be a slightly more expensive follow up with more functionality.

cheers
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:56 PM

They're a relative newcomer but I would check out a cmotion RCU. I first messed with one at cinegear this summer and then used one on a short job and it was great. They all do essentially the same thing but I think the cmotion is much more comfortable to use. Their website is cmotion.eu

I've heard a few good things as well, but never seen one.
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:02 AM

I havent used it yet, a friend has a kit on order, but the new RCU from View Factor looks like its going to be a winner as far as performance vs budget goes. It looks to be the kind of kit an AC could buy and pay off quite easily
www.viewfactor.net

They're basically doing what Jim Bartell did ten years ago with the Bartech. There have been quite a few other companies that have tried to copy him, and none have been successful. The thing that sets the Bartech, and Jim Bartell apart, is that his customer service is as good as it gets, and he treats every customer the same. If it was a matter of a few hundred, or even $1000, I'd still buy a Bartech over some new cheaper version of the same thing. I was almost sad when I sold the two I owned and bought a Preston. But of course, Preston is great too, and I love it.
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