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Aaton XTR with Vertical Smearing problem.


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#1 Steve Goodloe

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:40 PM

We have an Aaton XTR that has an intermittent vertical smearing problem. Not sure what is causing the problem. Seems like a pull down claw issue, But it is magnetically driven, would that effect this is only one or two of the magnets were not working? We don't know what the problem is and have been weary of sending it out because it didn't get fixed last time. I will post frame grabs from the camera when the student who used it brings us the tape. Thanks for the input.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

We have an Aaton XTR that has an intermittent vertical smearing problem. Not sure what is causing the problem. Seems like a pull down claw issue, But it is magnetically driven, would that effect this is only one or two of the magnets were not working? We don't know what the problem is and have been weary of sending it out because it didn't get fixed last time. I will post frame grabs from the camera when the student who used it brings us the tape. Thanks for the input.


What do you mean by intermittent? Does it come and go over long periods of time or does it go on and off during the course of a roll?

That kind of smear is caused by the shutter being out of sync with the pulldown mechanism. It's moving the film while the exposure is still being made.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

Just to add, you can check if the shutter is out of sync by loading up a dummy roll and drawing squiggly line down the film with a sharpie. Slap the mag onto the camera and remove the lens cap. Inch the movement while looking at the film thru the lens port. If you see the squiggly line move at all, then the film is still moving in the gate before the mirror shutter closes, meaning that the shutter timing needs to be adjusted by a qualified technician. If the squiggly line does not move when you inch the movement, then there's something else going on.
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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:09 PM

We have an Aaton XTR that has an intermittent vertical smearing problem. Not sure what is causing the problem. Seems like a pull down claw issue, But it is magnetically driven, would that effect this is only one or two of the magnets were not working? We don't know what the problem is and have been weary of sending it out because it didn't get fixed last time. I will post frame grabs from the camera when the student who used it brings us the tape. Thanks for the input.


Hi Steve,

If it was a feed problem then it would be VERY obvious to the user. It's possible to incorrectly load the mag, and still get a picture that has vertical smears. You will certainly notice the sound of the camera and it won't sound good at all. This is usually the sound of the magnetic drives slipping. I notice you're at some kind of university ? Are they students using the camera ? I'd be asking if they found the camera was noisy when they were shooting. They may not want to tell you the truth being pesky students and all. Perhaps review who was loading the magazine and get them to show you how they load it. Was it only happening on one magazine ? on one shoot or across several ? Same loader ? Taught to load by the same person ?

If it was a shutter timing issue, the next most likely candidate, then i imagine it WOULDN"T be an intermediate problem which is what you seem to be saying it is.

jb (who used to work at a rental house that had 12 Aatons and 80% of camera faults, including on arri's were traceable to the loader)
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:47 PM

Seems like a pull down claw issue, But it is magnetically driven, would that effect this is only one or two of the magnets were not working?


I'm a little confused here. I know the magazines on the XTR cameras are magnetically driven, but are you saying the pulldown claw is magnetically driven as well?

Best,
-Tim
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#6 Tony Pfau

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 08:08 AM

We have an Aaton XTR that has an intermittent vertical smearing problem. Not sure what is causing the problem. Seems like a pull down claw issue, But it is magnetically driven, would that effect this is only one or two of the magnets were not working? We don't know what the problem is and have been weary of sending it out because it didn't get fixed last time. I will post frame grabs from the camera when the student who used it brings us the tape. Thanks for the input.

Hi Stephen,

I realize this is a reply to a year old post, but you and I seem to be the only two in the world that have the XTR issue:) Did you get yours resolved?

I'm another film instructor and teach at the Colorado Film School. We've been having the same issue it sounds like. The image appears to be a lost loop but doesn't do what a lost loop would typically do, it has me scratching my head.

Here's a link to view clips of the issue

http://www.avpfilms....cfsfootage.html

Ours is intermittent, no signs from LED's that the system lost sync, I'm beginning to think that the camera needs to be warmed up-run for several minutes before shooting at the onset of any day. Both my colorist and lab guys are scratching their head.

I've run into more things at the film school that I've never seen working professionally in 3 decades :)

Any thoughts about what this is?

Edited by Tony Pfau, 08 May 2010 - 08:09 AM.

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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 09:25 AM

Tony,

I'd definitely send that camera body and mag in for service. You're getting a regular intermittent movement in the exposure. Are you sure the students set the loop properly? That could be one issue. Also could be the magnetic mag drive is screwed up, could be the mirror timing in the camera is slightly off (though that would be more consistent and not so intermittent). But it certainly looks like the film is hanging or sticking as it comes through the gate. Is the magazine pressure plate clean of emulsion build up, is the gate clean of emulsion build up, is the magazine pressure plate adjusted properly as far as spring pressure. Parts of the footage looked to me like "float" where the film is floating slightly off the gate (indicated by the bright areas bleeding into the darker areas) as it's moving through the camera. That would be a pressure plate issue.

Again, a thorough CLA should solve those problems. But it does look like something is sticking as the film comes through the gate, or the film is slightly "floating" as it comes through the gate.

Best,
-Tim
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