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ARRIFLEX 2A


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#1 Jon Bel

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:09 PM

Hi,

This is a complete newbie question so any replies will be highly appreciated.
I have just a few months ago purchased a used arriflex 2A. I was impressed
with it's condition and cleanliness and it runs really great. I have a constant
speed motor wich is is fine condition. The tachometer registers dead on. My
battery that came with it is good also. I also got a flat base motor from visual P.

But here's the thing I know nothing about cameras. I don't like 16mm which
is why I leaned over to 35mm. I want my photography to be like the real
motion pictures but I realize this camera is old and probably won't give me
what I want. Im not sure If a made a mistake.

How much can I do with this thing? I've written a family film treatment but I
fear without sync sound, or smooth fluidity from crazy expensive tripods
that my stuff is going to look choppy or home made. I think dubbing an entire
15 min short is sort of nuts. Not sure if the picture will look smooth either?

Anyone have experiance with this machine or tricks?
What am I limited to and what do you recommend. I plan on using a nagra too.
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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:48 PM

If you're able to find good enough glass in a standard Arri mount, one shouldn't be able to tell whether you shot on this camera, or a brand new Arricam. (other than fine differences in overall steadiness, which shouldn't be too pronounced if your camera is in good shape)
As for sound, even if you plan on eventually dubbing, you should still try to record audio on the set, so that you have something to line up the audio with. Finding a crystal sync motor would help in that regard. If you want to shoot with a blimp, you'll need to find a 2C door for the camera.

Now, if I could ask you a favor, could you please post a picture of the camera movement, as we've had ongoing arguments about what constitutes the difference between an Arri 2, 2A, and 2B on this forum?
Thanks.
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:29 AM

Oh Good GOD! Whether or not your film looks amateurish has nothing to do with the camera, it has to do with the way it's used. I once saw a narrative short done with a still camera and a monologue voice over about this French stuffed dog that used nothing more than a bunch of still shots in sequence with a well narrated storyline to tell the tale and it was terrific!!!

That said this little Arri model or one similar to it was used by Kubrick, Lucas, Leone', Hertzog, Godot and many, MANY others. It was the camera that almost singlehandedly launched the French New Wave and is the quintessential independent film maker's camera of choice:

http://www.stanleyku...si/arri35II.htm

I THINK if you try real hard you MIGHT be able to make it work for your little short, :rolleyes:

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 08 December 2008 - 02:30 AM.

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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:41 PM

Make up your mind whether you want to go old style with your Arriflex and a tape recorder and a clapper board or to rent some equipment. You didn't explain why you don't like 16mm. Fine. A noiseless camera for direct sound you have not, so an Arriflex 35 BL (the older the cheaper you get them) might do.

Dubbing is not stupid, it teaches you a lot. Then you can use your camera. The sound studio is eventually cheaper than the noiseless camera.

A fluid head is not very expensive, and that is now really something to be considered on rental basis. Your Arriflex with flat base fits on many a nice head. There are movies without any camera movements. Cinema is first what moves in front of the lens.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

I have just a few months ago purchased a used arriflex 2A.

D. Goulder's question about the pulldown movement is critical, as they made two kinds. The early simple eccentric screw movement doesn't give you the good registration you get from the later cardioid cam. Sometimes you also find a Model I being sold as a II or II-A. I don't know the serial number at which they switched to the cardioid cam, but I do know that the Model I serial numbers are in the range 500 to 1999. (The highest Model I number I know of is 1971.) The first Model II was given the number 2000.




-- J.S.
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#6 Jon Bel

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:38 PM

Thank you for all your replies, much appreciated. I guess my fears sprung up as I kept
seeing pictures of those enormous Panavisions with 3 feet zooms on those feature sets,
and felt a little small. I read the article with Kubrick. Very interesting and a good read.

Thanks again,

PS: Sorry I can't take a picture of it cause I don't currently have a working digi cam.
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:26 AM

When you can afford Panavisions on a 30 million dollar picture, then rent a Panavision, but for now his little sucker will work just fine. You might have it checked by a camera tech prior to start of production just to be on the safe side and if you can have the mags serviced that should help quiet the camera down quite a bit. Now if you're shooting outside with a longer lens, camera noise will be much less noticeable. You can also find barneys for these mags all the time on Ebay going pretty cheap, get some of those and for what you're doing, this camera should be fine for everything. They also have crystal sync motors come up quite a bit so save your cash and pick one up if you can. Remember Rodriguez shot an entire FEATURE, El Mariachi, on a LOT crappier camera than what YOU'VE got, non-sync 16mm, so a 15 minute short should be a piece of cake! B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 09 December 2008 - 12:27 AM.

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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:25 PM

PS: Sorry I can't take a picture of it cause I don't currently have a working digi cam.

OK, so let's take a look and see what kind of movement you have. Take the door off and look inside. If it still has the sheet metal cover over the pulldown, take out the thumbscrew and remove it (Most of these covers were discarded decades ago). Turn the inching knob and watch what goes up and down, and what drives it. If what you see is a screw with a big flat head driving a slot maybe a couple millimeters wide, that's the old movement. If it's a cam about the size of a fingernail driving parallel surfaces about a centimeter apart, that's the new version. The cam makes the pulldown faster, and it makes the claw dwell at the top and bottom as it enters and leaves the perf.

It's important to find out for exposure purposes, because the old movement needed a 120 degree shutter, and the new one allows the use of a 180 degree shutter.

Also, see what the serial number is. It's usually on the front just a little down from the magazine latch knob. Some very early factory modified special ones have it on the front at the bottom, below the taking lens position.



-- J.S.
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

If this works, it'll link to some pictures of a Model I:

http://www.cinematog...mp;#entry176890

The last picture in the first post shows the old version movement.




-- J.S.
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 04:26 PM

There's a model 1 on eBay right now, the guy is trying to pass it off as an Arriflex 35 IIC. Movement pictured below:

Posted Image

Here's the auction:

ARRI 2C 35MM - eBay

Best,
-Tim
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#11 David Auner aac

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:29 AM

Seems like he corrected his 'error' in the meantime. He now sells it as a 2A Model 1. It seems she/he doesn't sell camera that often, so maybe this was the sole innocent error on Ebay after all.

Cheers, Dave
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#12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:52 AM

Built so like a tank it sort of looks like one.
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#13 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:16 PM

Seems like he corrected his 'error' in the meantime. He now sells it as a 2A Model 1. It seems she/he doesn't sell camera that often, so maybe this was the sole innocent error on Ebay after all.

Cheers, Dave


Dave,

I contacted him yesterday, right after I posted the above. You are right, he doesn't sell cameras, just keyboards. Bought the package from someone because he thought he could turn a quick profit on it with eBay.

I explained the difference to him, so he corrected the auction. Unfortunately he has been peppering me with questions now for the last 24 hours. Had like five emails from him. Wants me to give him a "what should it sell for" price, wants to know how I recommend listing it, wants to know what serial numbers are for what cameras, and keeps insisting that it really is a IIC camera. Can't get the guy to go away.

Next time I'll just keep my big mouth shut.

Best,
-Tim
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:49 PM

Seems like he corrected his 'error' in the meantime. He now sells it as a 2A Model 1.

Given the serial number 2312, it's a II or IIA.





-- J.S.
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#15 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:02 PM

Oops, now he's changed it back. Guess he's pissed that I stopped answering his emails.

Best,
-Tim
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#16 Philip Reinhold

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:49 AM

I´ve auctioned this Model 1 on ebay. :/
I hope i´ll get the package the upcoming days.

I´ve also some questions:
What´s that for a hole in the pressure plate? Looks scratchy :/
What´s about the Shutter on this Modell? I think... 160°? Should i shoot a test with a greycard first to see it in the exposure?
Is the groundglass with markings?

When i got the camera and the Shortends/recans...anyway i have to shoot a test with the provided Stock, i dont beleave that the Stock is okay. I´ve a misgiving that the duty control have take a look in the cans..or something else like this... ;)

best, Philip
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#17 John Sprung

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:50 PM

I´ve auctioned this Model 1 on ebay. :/
I hope i´ll get the package the upcoming days.

I´ve also some questions:
What´s that for a hole in the pressure plate? Looks scratchy :/
What´s about the Shutter on this Modell? I think... 160°? Should i shoot a test with a greycard first to see it in the exposure?
Is the groundglass with markings?

When i got the camera and the Shortends/recans...anyway i have to shoot a test with the provided Stock, i dont beleave that the Stock is okay. I´ve a misgiving that the duty control have take a look in the cans..or something else like this... ;)

best, Philip

Hi, Philip --

I have two Model 1's, #1420 and #1578. What is your serial number?

Mine don't have holes in the pressure plates. That may be a modification made by some previous owner. After all, these cameras are all at least 64 years old.

The shutter on the model 1 is always 120 degrees. The simple eccentric screw pulldown won't allow anything larger.

The groundglass should have Academy frame lines and a center crosshair. There may or may not be vertical light baffles, too.


Good luck --




-- J.S.
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#18 Philip Reinhold

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:52 PM

Hi, Philip --

I have two Model 1's, #1420 and #1578. What is your serial number?

Mine don't have holes in the pressure plates. That may be a modification made by some previous owner. After all, these cameras are all at least 64 years old.

The shutter on the model 1 is always 120 degrees. The simple eccentric screw pulldown won't allow anything larger.

The groundglass should have Academy frame lines and a center crosshair. There may or may not be vertical light baffles, too.


Good luck --




-- J.S.


Ahh, sorry i guess 120 not 160 degrees. That is for the exposure? (i´m not sure and lost my books...i think 120 d/ 360 d x 1 / 25f/s = 1/75 sec ) 180° is at 25f/s = 1/50 ; 120° is at 25f/s = 1/75 ? So 120° at 24f/s is 1/72 ?
Hmm, the Number will be #2312. It´s this model 1 or 2 from ebay, they´ve wroten about it in this thread!

Thanks!

best, Philip
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#19 Frank Cook

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:52 AM

It's most likely a Model II (2). Model I ended before #2000. The Arri factory was bombed during WWII, so the exact ending number for the Arriflex Model I is not known. All of Arriflex IIA cameras I have come across have the improved cam movement, but some on these forums say there are a few IIA's with the old button movement.

If the camera works good, I wouldn't worry about the exact model. If it was a model I, it would almost impossible to get replacement parts because when the Arri factory started making cameras after the war, small changes were made - just enough to make most of the parts not interchangeable. Camera models from the 35 II up to the 35 IIC have have mostly interchangeable parts - many repair shops have a collection for when the need arises. I think the only big changes were the button movement to cam movement, and the shape of the door was changed on the IIC. Changes such as variable shutter, 3 perf movement, PL mount lens, etc. are modifications on standard cameras.
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#20 Philip Reinhold

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:01 AM

Hmm, so it must be a 2(a) with the old button movement.
Look at the pictures above...
That means the shutter is at 120 degrees.?
The camera will arrive to me on the next days. (i hope)

Hmm, does anybody have a sample footage from a arri 1 or 2 with the old movement, to see the steadiness? Maybe with a steadi-tester or a filmed steaditest?

best! Philip

Edited by Philip Reinhold, 12 January 2009 - 09:04 AM.

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