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#1 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:05 PM

Hi everyone, you may have noticed when AOL Homestead closed shop that the Eclair ACL "super site" went offline with it. This was a bummer because it was probably the biggest ACL site & had a lot of technical info, S-16 conversion kits, etc. I managed to get in touch with Mark (the webmaster of that site) and he sent me over all of his original content. I'm in the process of putting it all back up on a new site. I have a lot of it already online & continue to add content as I get the chance.

The site is at - http://eclair16.com/
(click on the ACL link to get to the original "super site" content)

I set up the site so that anyone can post and share their videos, tech tips, etc. I hope that a few people might join up and help showcase the work of Eclair cameras, show that we do have a community, keep value of our gear up, etc.

I'm also hoping that somebody who knows a lot about the NPR would be interested in taking over that part of the site. No major web skills are required - it's set up with WordPress which is easy for anybody to use.

(Oh, a note to Boris, I know you are working on a site concerned with Eclair history. I've been trying to reach you on email and PM. Please get in touch if you would be interested in hosting your site here or if I can link over to you.)

Thanks - any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Hi Jason. Great site. Kudos for taking it upon yourself to do this time consuming task. Very, very nice.

Clicking through the site, I have a couple of constructive criticisms:

The Angie 17-68 T2.5 mm is a fantastic zoom that is incredibly well suited for HD transfer cinematography. You state that it only should be used for SD. Any number of people who own this lens would tell you that if properly maintained, it can look just as sharp as anything else out there of that vintage. I own one of these lenses and I have inter cut material I shot with it with material shot with a Cooke Vario Kinetal 10-100 mm S16 conversion lens - another wonderful vintage lens - at 2k resolutions. The Angie 15-150 T2.1 is also a great piece of glass for S16 cinematography, albeit huge and heavy. For a low quality example of the 17-68 lens at work -originally scanned at 2k resolution on a Spirit / DaVinci telecine rig, output to HDCAM- go here http://www.flickr.co...57604091065100/

http://eclair16.com/...patible-lenses/

Modern 1 inch C-mount megapixel prime lenses (used on lab research, industrial and security HD cams) are also a fantastic source of fast, sharp and affordable glass for S16 use. Some of these lenses are f 0.95 (aperture) fast!!!

The following link takes you to a website that sells such lenses:

http://www.jknelectr....com/lenses.htm

The link to the Eclair Panoram in the body of text on the page below seems to be broken. Not the one on the right-side menu though.

http://eclair16.com/...ir-acl/history/

Good work, though. Keep it up!

S

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 27 January 2009 - 05:41 PM.

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#3 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

Thanks so much Saul - I just revised those two pages. The lens page was just copy/pasted from Mark's content & I tried to re-organize his info as best as I could with my limited knowledge. I was hoping to eventually do a whole section on lenses because after getting a camera, in my experience, one's life becomes a quest for obtaining good, affordable lenses!

Please lemme know if you or anybody else see any mistakes. Thanks again - j
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#4 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:05 PM

Modern 1 inch C-mount megapixel prime lenses (used on lab research, industrial and security HD cams) are also a fantastic source of fast, sharp and affordable glass for S16 use.


Oh, I forgot to ask - have you had good experiences with any particular wide lenses from the site you mentioned above? I checked it out and I recognize Schneider of course, but they are still a good chunk of change. Some of the other brands have lenses more in the $200 range which would be nice for my budget! But I don't know much about those brands. Do you look for anything in particular, like how many mega-pixels the lens is recommended for, etc?

oh btw, the shot you posted looked nice - I didn't personally see any problem with the edges.
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#5 Topher Ryan

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:21 AM

Wonderful! I had been wanting to make a thread to remind people of the lost info on the old homestead AOL sites. I didn't think I had the time/knowledge to pull it off (a new site not the thread ;) ) so I am glad to see you did.

Most all of the original info for the NPR site is available at http://web.archive.o...aol.com/npr16mm

Not sure who the webmaster was for that one, so it might be hard to get permission to use. Maybe just put a big fat disclaimer crediting the mysterious author. Somehow, I feel he or she wouldn't mind getting his/her info back online.

Anyway, glad to see this happen!

Edited by Topher Ryan, 28 January 2009 - 02:23 AM.

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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:34 AM

Oh, I forgot to ask - have you had good experiences with any particular wide lenses from the site you mentioned above? I checked it out and I recognize Schneider of course, but they are still a good chunk of change. Some of the other brands have lenses more in the $200 range which would be nice for my budget! But I don't know much about those brands. Do you look for anything in particular, like how many mega-pixels the lens is recommended for, etc?

oh btw, the shot you posted looked nice - I didn't personally see any problem with the edges.


I own some assorted Kowa and Computar C-mount primes and a Fujinon 10-100 mm C-mount zoom lens. The former are really nice and are not even megapixel lenses. The Fujinon is OK, tends to vignette on the edges at the wide end. Pentax has a very good reputation in 35mm and medium format still photography. Senko I don't really know much about. Kowa used to make cine lenses in the past and it had a great reputation. You can buy some Computar c-mount prime lenses on eBay for very cheap, so you can check them out and see for yourself. Just make sure they are 1" for S16, 2/3" will be good for R16.

I would think that anything above 2 megapixel would be more than sufficient for HD transfer cinematography. My primes are older and sub megapixel, but look nice and sharp. And since I am not blowing up to 35mm and projecting on a 50' wide screen, no one is going to know.

There are some older cameramen who complain about modern lenses being TOO sharp, from Zeiss Ultra and Master Primes to Cooke S4's and the Illuminas and even some of the Panavison lenses as well. So, it really is about finding lenses that work for you, not necessarily the sharpest being the best. I would like to think more along the lines of right tool for the right job. Some lenses form the 50's and 60's (such as Duclos' Super Baltars) have found a second life lately, as people move away from the super sharp look of the lenses of today. It is all about the look one is looking for.

I have never seen or met anyone who can just glancing at some picture can tell what exact lens what is used, except in side by side comparisons, or obvious types of lenses such as tilt and shift or anamorphics. My point is that if no one can tell the lens' brand by looking at the pictures, it is up to one to do the best with the equipment at hand. I have had some cameramen tell me that they would never use lens that wasn't on PL mount, as if PL-mounted lenses alone guaranteed nice, pleasing images. Again, if I were shooting features to be projected on 50' wide screens, it would be different.

And, yeah, the Angie 17-68 has no problem edge-wise. I find it to be very sharp all the way to the edges of the S16 frame at all focal lenghts, as all my other Angenieux zoom lenses.

Good luck!
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#7 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:36 AM

Thanks again Saul - that's actually really interesting. I've always been curious about "TV" lenses but I never knew whether they worked or I what should be looking for. I'm gonna put some of those on my ebay watch list.

Thanks Topher for the NPR archive link - i'll try to get that posted and see if I can't get in touch with the author if his email is still working.
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#8 Nick Norton

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:47 PM

I was hoping to eventually do a whole section on lenses because after getting a camera, in my experience, one's life becomes a quest for obtaining good, affordable lenses!


Amen to that! I had been searching for a fisheye lens for my Eclair ACL and the best thing i could find was the Kinoptik 5.7 f1.8 lens. I JUST got my ACL back from O'Doherty, so i'll be shooting some test footage with the lens very soon. I'll make sure to post the results, or if nothing else at least give you my 2 cents on the lens so you might be able to include some information on it for your site.

Also, definitely looking forward to the site's growth and a great lens section!

And, yeah, the Angie 17-68 has no problem edge-wise. I find it to be very sharp all the way to the edges of the S16 frame at all focal lenghts, as all my other Angenieux zoom lenses.


Saul, do you know anything about the Angenieux 10-150 zoom? That, besides my new Kinoptik, is my only other lens. Any problems with s16? (haven't got the money yet to upgrade, but am thinking about it)

thanks-
nicholas
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:13 PM

Yeah, the Angie 10-150 T2.2 is a great lens, except it doesn't cover S16 in the entire range. At 10 mm it will cover S16 when the focusing around at 7 ft to infinity, I think. Then it gets spotty between 12mm and 25 mm more or less, after which point it is home free. Focusing to infinity may cover S16 on the 12-25mm range, I can't remember off the top of my head.

The 10-150 is my fave R16 zoom lens, if it only covered S16 completely, I would use nothing else as it is versatile, affordable, sharp, fast, and with enough magnification to be the to-go lens of any lens locker.

The Angie 15-150 f1.9 covers S16 in the entire range, but it is a BEAST.

You can also keep your eyes peeled for (affordable) 1" Fujinon TV zoom lenses on c-mount on eBay. They do pop up every once in a while and most will cover S16.
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:17 PM

Amen to that! I had been searching for a fisheye lens for my Eclair ACL and the best thing i could find was the Kinoptik 5.7 f1.8 lens.


That is a great lens BTW. It doesn't get too much wider than that, especially for S16 -which I think that lens covers.

Be sure to post some stills / footage!!

S
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#11 Boris Belay

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:48 AM

Hi everyone, you may have noticed when AOL Homestead closed shop that the Eclair ACL "super site" went offline with it. This was a bummer because it was probably the biggest ACL site & had a lot of technical info, S-16 conversion kits, etc. I managed to get in touch with Mark (the webmaster of that site) and he sent me over all of his original content. I'm in the process of putting it all back up on a new site. I have a lot of it already online & continue to add content as I get the chance.

The site is at - http://eclair16.com/
(click on the ACL link to get to the original "super site" content)

I set up the site so that anyone can post and share their videos, tech tips, etc. I hope that a few people might join up and help showcase the work of Eclair cameras, show that we do have a community, keep value of our gear up, etc.

I'm also hoping that somebody who knows a lot about the NPR would be interested in taking over that part of the site. No major web skills are required - it's set up with WordPress which is easy for anybody to use.

(Oh, a note to Boris, I know you are working on a site concerned with Eclair history. I've been trying to reach you on email and PM. Please get in touch if you would be interested in hosting your site here or if I can link over to you.)

Thanks - any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.


Hi Jason,
Great initiative to revive the Super-16 ACL site, which was a good source of basic info on the ACL. I have a few gripes with some of the details on it (particularly in the section about identifying the ACL II and generally with the evolution of the camera), but it is full of good tips on modifications, upgrade to S-16 (even without the kits available anymore), etc.

I have a small suggestion regarding the first page : I think your inverted image of an ACL is a bit confusing for somebody who doesn't know the camera.
Also, I understand the idea behind having members and the blog/discussions form, but there is already an Eclair list that barely lives despite a good membership, and of course, there is a lot of activity on cinematography.com. So I think it's best to complement that with an informational site, rather than compete with them with more discussion threads, memberships, etc.

I hope I don't come out as too critical, that's not my intention! It's just that I have been thinking about this on my side for a while. As for my site, I think I will go ahead with it because it's very specific : I want to concentrate on the history and details of the ACL so there is no more questions identifying models, accessories, etc. -- something quite in depth, with good pictures, lots of explanations, etc.

I may extend it with similar info the the Bolex H16, which I know inside and out too, and perhaps something about French lenses (types, dating,etc.) -- Angénieux and Kinoptik in particular.

Whaddayathink?

Cheers,
Boris
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#12 Boris Belay

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:08 AM

The Angie 17-68 T2.5 mm is a fantastic zoom that is incredibly well suited for HD transfer cinematography. You state that it only should be used for SD. Any number of people who own this lens would tell you that if properly maintained, it can look just as sharp as anything else out there of that vintage. I own one of these lenses and I have inter cut material I shot with it with material shot with a Cooke Vario Kinetal 10-100 mm S16 conversion lens - another wonderful vintage lens - at 2k resolutions. The Angie 15-150 T2.1 is also a great piece of glass for S16 cinematography, albeit huge and heavy. For a low quality example of the 17-68 lens at work -originally scanned at 2k resolution on a Spirit / DaVinci telecine rig, output to HDCAM- go here http://www.flickr.co...57604091065100/

http://eclair16.com/...patible-lenses/


Hi Saul, As a follow-up to my last post about dating lenses : the Angé 17-68, just like the 12-120 was made for over 30 years, so this is why people have very widely different appreciations of these lenses. Not only are some 30 years older that others in terms of wear and such, but also you can imagine how much the glass and mechanics has evolved over that period -- even with the same design and specifications on paper.

So a mid-50's (silver finish) 17-68/2,2 is probably not a good idea for shooting sharp S-16, while the left-over stock of the "same" lens (now in black, and called 4x17B) from Cinema Products, bought in the early 80's and available as N.O.S. on eBay regularly, may very well be the good choice you mention. This is where dating becomes important!

So here's a rough idea culled from my database of Angé info : serials beginning with 120xxxx or so date back to the early 70's (I personally wouldn't bother shooting with anything earlier), serials in the 130's are from the mid 70's, and serials in the 140's are from the early 80's. I'd consider anything from the 80's in good condition to be a decent bet (there is always a risk, of course) for sharp glass -- even the maligned 12-120/2,2.

These serials apply to all Angénieux lenses -- thankfully, they had only one numbering scheme (unlike Eclair and their serials for ACL vs NPR, etc.).

Best,
B.
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#13 Nick Norton

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:42 AM

Hey Boris, i agree with you on the idea of limiting just how many Eclair forums we have to discuss through.

I'm also very interested in your site, and think the idea of getting into lenses is a fantastic one.


The ACL is a mysterious camera, so the more websites that really go into detail and provide answers to frequently asked questions would be a great help to future and current filmmakers alike.

If anyone is looking for information, i could provide photographs and serial numbers etc. from my ACL II.

-Nick
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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 02:00 PM

So a mid-50's (silver finish) 17-68/2,2 is probably not a good idea for shooting sharp S-16, while the left-over stock of the "same" lens (now in black, and called 4x17B) from Cinema Products, bought in the early 80's and available as N.O.S. on eBay regularly, may very well be the good choice you mention. This is where dating becomes important!


You are totally right. Mine is a 4x17B and it is sharp as tacks. Thanks for posting the way to tell them apart by serial #'s). Very handy.
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#15 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:11 PM

Hey Boris, i agree with you on the idea of limiting just how many Eclair forums we have to discuss through.


yea, i'm with you guys on that too, i intended it to be mainly informational. i think the software i used is a little confusing & i will probably re-do it when i have a chance. but i did set it up so that anybody interested can manage a section of the site, which will help because there's too much info for one person to manage. I also like that anyone can leave a comment on a page, not for discussion purposes, but rather to add some supplemental information or something.

If you do not already have hosting Boris, I would be happy to set you up with your own area on that server or give you permission even to update the content that is already there. I know you mentioned before that history wasn't totally accurate - but I am just parroting the info that I was given! it would be nice to get it right. I would love to see the lens info too - i am always looking for that.
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#16 Boris Belay

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

yea, i'm with you guys on that too, i intended it to be mainly informational. i think the software i used is a little confusing & i will probably re-do it when i have a chance. but i did set it up so that anybody interested can manage a section of the site, which will help because there's too much info for one person to manage. I also like that anyone can leave a comment on a page, not for discussion purposes, but rather to add some supplemental information or something.

If you do not already have hosting Boris, I would be happy to set you up with your own area on that server or give you permission even to update the content that is already there. I know you mentioned before that history wasn't totally accurate - but I am just parroting the info that I was given! it would be nice to get it right. I would love to see the lens info too - i am always looking for that.


Hi Jason,

That may be the way to go, actually : you've already started with the site, and I haven't yet. If your site can handle a decent amount of illustrations, it should be doable.

I would keep the S-16 section pretty much as it is, but I would go over the history and the identification of models sections thoroughly. Pictures, serials, timeline...

The modifications section should be open to anybody who has something interesting to suggest.

Could your site also host a download section -- for manuals (no, not the same old two...), brochures, etc ?

I don't know much about the NPR first-hand, but I do have some info and docs on it.

I could work on a history of the company itself, and have a bit about the Caméflex and the GV-16.

The lens info may be a bit much and out of place, but I could do something quick about it too. I get the sense that any info helps!

What else would people like to see on this site?

Boris
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