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best camera for a c-mount Angeniuex 5.9mm


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#1 steve hyde

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:56 PM

Cinematographers,

I have an Angenieux 5.9mm T2 lens in C-mount and really like the look of it, but need to find a good 16mm camera for it. I have used it on Bell and Howell Filmo DR and as luck would have it the culmination and focus is good, but cannot compose through the lens.

Would Eclair be a good camera for this lens? Bolex EBM?

I'd like to pick up a reliable low-budget cam to use with the lens as a dedicated wide-angle set up for my documentary projects in far-flung locales.

Suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Allen Achterberg

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:15 PM

Lens collimation, not Culmination.

Is it reflex viewing what you want? It's not clear. Try a Beaulieu R16 or a Reflex Bolex, they are pretty cheap these days. I'd shop around on ebay. Things are going pretty cheap these days.
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#3 steve hyde

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:23 PM

Lens collimation, not Culmination.

Is it reflex viewing what you want? It's not clear. Try a Beaulieu R16 or a Reflex Bolex, they are pretty cheap these days. I'd shop around on ebay. Things are going pretty cheap these days.


right, collimation. Thanks.

I've seen R16s go for 300. bucks recently and know a Beaulieu camera tech in Stockholm who could get it gussied up. Maybe I'll go that route.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:09 AM

I would get an Ecalir ACL with a variable speed motor. Small, affordable, tough, versatile and just plain awesome. If you search the archives, you will find enough info about it as we have discussed it numerous times in the past. I would stay clear of most Bolexes as they are not made for sync sound filming, their internal prism steals light from the film and they are awkward to hand hold. Just my personal opinion, folks.
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#5 Allen Achterberg

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:31 AM

I owned an R16 a while ago, I liked it. I'd prefer it to most Bolex cameras. Bolex are fine too. Let us know what you come up with!

Allen
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#6 Ian Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:46 AM

Although I haven't used Bolexs myself, I understand the reflex versions need to use dedicated 'RX' type lenses. Whilst this is less of an issue and one doesn't need to worry too much for longer focal length lenses (especially stopped down a bit), when using a wide angle lens (ie. 5.9mm) it is of importance. If you're not using a reflex Bolex then obviously it doesn't matter ...but the limited length of time the spring wind lasts might! ;)

Personally I have a Beaulieu R16 which I'm perfectly happy with, and a cheap 6.5mm lens which I continue to amaze myself with how wide it is!


Edit: As a satisfied customer I can also recommend Bjorn Andersson in Sweden for giving an R16 a prompt service & repair! ;)

Edited by Ian Cooper, 23 December 2008 - 03:49 AM.

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#7 steve hyde

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 07:57 AM

Does R16 have variable frame rates? I have a Beaulieu 4008ZMII (overhauled by Bjorn) that is just a superb little camera that shoots from 2 to 60 fps and can do speed ramps. Is there a 16mm equivalent to the 4008 ZM?

Eclair ACL seems like a nice option too. Isn't the ACL the smaller Eclair? or is that the NPR? I haven't used Eclair... I know one of them has a turret that often sports a c and b mount. That could come in handy.

Thanks for the replies.
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#8 Ian Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:08 AM

Does R16 have variable frame rates? I have a Beaulieu 4008ZMII (overhauled by Bjorn) that is just a superb little camera that shoots from 2 to 60 fps and can do speed ramps. Is there a 16mm equivalent to the 4008 ZM?

Eclair ACL seems like a nice option too. Isn't the ACL the smaller Eclair? or is that the NPR? I haven't used Eclair... I know one of them has a turret that often sports a c and b mount. That could come in handy.

Thanks for the replies.


The R16 is continuously variable between 2 to 64 fps - although you would have to manually compensate on the aperture if you were to alter speed whilst filming. There is a little moving coil meter which gives a tacho. display of the current speed, and assuming you get the relevant models there is a range switch which extends the scale of the meter so you can more accurately set the speed at either 24 or 25fps. If you have a google about for a bit you can download various versions of the R16 user instructions free of charge.

The camera isn't crystal sync (I think the very last model released, with digital speed read-out was crystal - but they don't seem to appear on the market very often!), but the standard R16 electric does have a tacho disc and a form of closed loop speed control to keep it fairly constant, but it does have a "MOS" camera whirl to it whilst running, so isn't silent ;).

Although I don't have any experience with it, I'd say probably the Eclair would be a better bet if it is in your budget - easily interchangeable magazines on a 'silent' sync camera.
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#9 steve hyde

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:25 AM

Thanks. What do I need to know about the various R16 models? Which one is the one to have and how do identify it?

The Eclair is definitely more of an investment. It seems reasonable to think one can get an R16 and have it fully overhauled these days for around 1000.usd - making it somewhat disposable and good for shooting in "risky" locales.
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#10 Ian Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:04 AM

Thanks. What do I need to know about the various R16 models? Which one is the one to have and how do identify it?

The Eclair is definitely more of an investment. It seems reasonable to think one can get an R16 and have it fully overhauled these days for around 1000.usd - making it somewhat disposable and good for shooting in "risky" locales.


I got my R16 off ebay for a shade under £300 including a Canon 18-108 zoom lens, battery handle & external battery and 200ft magazine. I recelled the batteries myself for the cost of the cells, then sent the camera to Bjorn to get it serviced and repaired: Unsurprisingly with such a heavy zoom lens the three turret lens plate had become distorted, so I had that changed to the fixed plate designed for such lenses. The internal light meter wasn't working, and although I normally use a handheld meter, it's nice to see the needle move in the viewfinder as it gives a quick reference and seems reliable. The camera was also missing the internal pulleys which are used in conjunction with the external magazine. The whole lot including a service, adjustment of the lens etc. was about the same as I paid for the camera - but I now know it's in sparkling condition and I'm not going to be wasting money on film & lab charges to keep finding problems! ;) I've seen a couple of R16s on EBay (UK) not sell for less than I paid, I've also seen some with less accessories than I got sell for significantly more - the joys of EBay!


As for R16 models - "Small format" ran a recent couple of articles explaining a lot of the differences. First of all, you want an electric R16 as the early ones were spring wound! The first electric versions did have the moving coil tacho meter, but didn't have the range switch. If you look at a picture of the camera then the range switch is a big sliding affair to the left of the moving coil meter. Some of the earlier models also didn't have the facility to use the external 200ft magazine - there is a screw on cover plate on the top of the camera if this can be used. There were a range of 'special' models for such situations as 'CCTV' style security cameras - best to avoid those as they don't have a viewfinder!

This website has some scanned pages from the R16 Electric manual without the range switch, without magazine capability and with the three lens turret.

This website allows you to download the instructions for the 'sync' model for free. A look at the picture shows the range switch has now been added, but the magazine capability is still missing. (BTW: 'Sync' refers to a screw on tacho generator to be used with Nagra recorders, not crystal-sync!)

This website has scans from the instructions for the "automatic" version, you can see from the photo on page 2 the camera now has the tacho. range switch AND the magazine cover plate on the top. The 'automatic' model also has the provision to give auto exposure when used with the compatible angenieux zoom lens - not much use to your current situation!

There is also this nice brochure available to download which is based around the 'automatic' model, but a lot of the information is relevant to the other versions as well.

Your best bet is to familiarise yourself with how to recognise the features you'd like available, then get a camera where you can see they're included. My camera just says "Beaulieu R16" on the side, but as I've just shown - that can mean a lot of different things!


BTW. The camera runs on 7.2V supplied by x6 Nicad batteries, not a problem to replace or make your own larger battery packs - but you won't have any joy trying to run it from a lead-acid battery ;)
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#11 Ian Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:33 AM

A couple of other thoughts. The basic R16 camera itself just has a 3/8" tripod mount on the bottom. If you get the angled battery hand grip then that offers both a 3/8" and a 1/4" tripod mount, but the mounting face is no longer parallel with the bottom of the camera - not a huge problem, but it can limit the range of travel available on the tripod as the head isn't "level" when the camera is!

There was also available a 'tripod mount' base which screwed on the bottom of the camera to provide a big level base for fastening to tripods - not totally sure of the benefit myself as I haven't had any problems just putting my sliding plate straight on the bottom of the camera!


You can use a 'normal' mechanical cable-release screwed into the trigger on the front of the camera, or there is a single-frame release hole it can be screwed in on the side. The camera always stops with the shutter closed and the mirror 'up' when these are used. There is also provision for an electric cable release, this plugs in the side of the camera and you need to lock the manual trigger in the 'active' position. If using the electric release then the camera can stop with the shutter either open or half open. It isn't possible to do single-frame filming with the electric cable release.

NCS Products offer an intervalometer which can be used with the R16 if you want to do timelapse photography without getting a sore thumb sitting next to the camera all day! <_<
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#12 steve hyde

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:37 PM

Thanks! Operating this camera with a zoom on it does not sound fun, but with a retrofocus 5.9 or 10, it could come in handy.. I may try to snare one.

By the way, the still images in those manuals...hilarious!
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#13 Ian Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:01 PM

Thanks! Operating this camera with a zoom on it does not sound fun, but with a retrofocus 5.9 or 10, it could come in handy.. I may try to snare one.

By the way, the still images in those manuals...hilarious!


What, you mean you've never fancied skiing down a mountain with a camera bandaged to your ear, or leaning over the side of an aircraft whilst you continue flying it with your knees! ;) Lol!

I'm not sure of your concern about using a zoom on the R16, I haven't met a problem (yet). From what I've read, distortion of the 3 lens turret plate is a frequent problem if the 'normal' set of prime lenses has been swapped for a long heavy zoom - but that distortion will subsequently affect whatever lens is fitted until it is corrected, be that zoom or prime.

One other thing to watch, the rear element of the lens can't really afford to stick out beyond the end of the C-mount threads, else the lens won't screw on properly. The metal ring which secures the rear element on my 6.5mm lens was a bit proud, but fortunately it was thick enough I could take it off and skim it down in the lathe to make it fit! Protruding rear lens elements are something which is likely to be more of a problem with wide angle lenses than longer focal lengths.
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#14 Rob Vogt

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:53 AM

Also you might want to consider renting a camera or two. If you really like the ACL you might find it worth more of the investment and also renting an R16 will help you figure out the kinks and see your likes and dislikes about them. Also you might wanna look into a CP 16 (theyre heavy and bulky but theyre synch and not that expensive), though I'm not sure if the line with a C mount is reflex or not.
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