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Eclair ACL Footage Problem (I have a pic)


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#1 Jonathan Sydney Chetrit

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:34 AM

I'm hoping that someone could help explaining this. I shot a roll of Vision 3 500T (single perf) with an Eclair ACL from my school, and about a quarter way through the roll the camera became louder for a moment, and then quieted down again to what seemed normal. When I got my footage back from the telecine, two of my shots got all messed up (as you can see in the picture attached), however the rest of the roll was absolutely fine. Can anyone what caused this? And is there any way to reduce or eliminate this without spending too many dimes?


HELP PLEASE!

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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:26 AM

Yeah, it looks like you lost one of your loops in the take up side (or more unlikely, the pull down claw somehow missed one of the sprocket holes at the gate), which caused the film to be unsteady (slipping) at the gate, that is why you see the pulled down or streaked highlights. I am assuming the sprocket holes are in good shape at that section, otherwise there could be other explanations. Based on what you posted and the fact that you seem not to have too much experience loading ACL mags (which are tricky), I would say the loops were too short. It took me a while to figure them out, and the first roll I loaded was very noisy and streaky too.

Some older, non-kept-up-with magazines (especially the English-made capstan-based design) will slip like that sometimes, but it usually it is due to the film loops being short on the take up side. The noise you heard was the loop being lost / the film slipping at the gate. Dunno why it became quieter after the initial burst, but you usually have to keep your ears sharp for that type of noise and stop the camera immediately when you hear anything like that. The film loops seem to have readjusted themselves, which is very strange, since you say that only two takes were lost. It could have been a freak accident, but I doubt it. Of course, on these mags, you have to take the film to the changing bag and check and adjust the correct size lop in the dark, which can be tricky.

Once you have identified the offending mag, load a dummy load and run it repeatedly until you identify whether the mag is at fault (if your loops are the right size and the magazine keeps on loosing the loop on its own), or if it is loader error (the loops are too short too begin with), or both. If the mag needs to be serviced, well that is that. Try different size loops and see what that does, chances are you will identify the sound soon enough.

There are several types of ACL magazines, one type has a "clicker" after the second loop which starts clicking as the loop become shorter than they need to be for the camera to operate properly. They are sometimes a pain, as some banged up magazines will routinely lose the loop, but not enough to make the film slip at the gate, but the clicking sound will be there. Ask your school equipment "cage" techs if they know anything about similar past incidents. I am willing to bet the problem is shorter than needed loops, which is totally normal for newbie ACL users. You'll be fine once you get the hang of it.
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#3 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:42 AM

The size of loop of film out of magazine, at loading of film, must be 14 perforations.
After, you need set of film to inside, evenl, on upper and lower loops.
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#4 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:20 AM

Try this. Put the camera body, lens off, face down on a flat surface. Get a piece of fairly new green, unprocessed film, about 8 to 10 inches long. Put the film, emulsion side down, into the camera the way it would normally sit while running. The camera is not running at this time...you are merely simulating a very slow movement by inching the motor inching knob. As you inch the movement with one hand in the motor knob, watch what the claw is doing to the film. You will need to simulate a magazine pressure plate with your fingers, pressing down lightly on the film base as you inch with the other hand. Be patient, and you will get the hang of it.
The claw should be seen to grab the film at the top, and pull the film down all the way to the bottom of it's stroke. Keep turning and the claw should enter the perforation cleanly and again start pulling down, etc, etc. You are watching for a clean entry. The claw should not push on the bottom of the perf as it enters. Repeat, the claw should not push on the bottom of the perf as it enters the film.
If it does not enter cleanly, and pushes against the film, moving it outwards, you may need a movement adjustment as you may tend to lose the loop.
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#5 Jonathan Sydney Chetrit

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:02 PM

Thank you all for all the great info guys! When I get the chance I will test out the ideas, however I really don't plan on using that camera again... Also, the loop did not snap back into place - the rest of my footage (last two/three shots) all had that issue. I'm glad that my editor found a way to cut around it, although those shots would really tie the scene better.

Since it is a technical issue, I'm assuming that there is no real way to reduce the pull-down effect in post... unless someone knows of a method?


Thanks again!
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:50 PM

Thank you all for all the great info guys! When I get the chance I will test out the ideas, however I really don't plan on using that camera again... Also, the loop did not snap back into place - the rest of my footage (last two/three shots) all had that issue. I'm glad that my editor found a way to cut around it, although those shots would really tie the scene better.

Since it is a technical issue, I'm assuming that there is no real way to reduce the pull-down effect in post... unless someone knows of a method?


Thanks again!


No, there is no way to easily fix that in post, other than re-shooting. :P

I wouldn't give up on the camera just because you had some relatively minor loader issues with it. ACL are great work-horse cameras and once you get the hang of it (and you are almost there!) you will make it sing for you every time. Just pay attention to the sound of the camera as it is running, any changes will definitely mean trouble, so stop it and correct it and move on. Good luck!
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#7 Jonathan Sydney Chetrit

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:56 PM

No, there is no way to easily fix that in post, other than re-shooting. :P

I wouldn't give up on the camera just because you had some relatively minor loader issues with it. ACL are great work-horse cameras and once you get the hang of it (and you are almost there!) you will make it sing for you every time. Just pay attention to the sound of the camera as it is running, any changes will definitely mean trouble, so stop it and correct it and move on. Good luck!


Give up? probably not. I might as well make use of my re-cans, I should give her another run out there.... Thanks again for the advice!
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#8 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 02:30 PM

Give up? probably not. I might as well make use of my re-cans, I should give her another run out there.... Thanks again for the advice!


i put up a video for loading film that has some tricks taught to me by bernie and others here -
http://eclair16.com/...s/loading-film/ - sorry for my lack of professional terminology but hopefully it will help somebody. i know when i started i was really nervous about ruining my costly film or breaking the camera, etc, and it took a few wasted rolls before i figured out how to get consistent results.

if the camera starts making a loud noise in the middle of a roll, you can take off the mag re-center the loop by just sliding your finger back and forth against the pressure plate, putting the mag back on and inching the motor to let the film "snap" back into place. sometimes you will hear it click into place.

i also had some film come out like this when the timing was messed up on my camera, but if that were the case then all of your footage would have been messed up.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 04:38 PM

Just say you threw the shutter out of sync intentionally to emulate "Saving Private Ryan" ;-)

Sorry to read of your troubles. This is why camera tests are your best friend!
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