Jump to content


Photo

Aaton XTR vs. Eclair ACL II


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Patrick ODonnell

Patrick ODonnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Other

Posted 08 May 2009 - 05:02 PM

I purchased an Eclair ACL II, which appears to be in very good condition, on eBay, and have planned to have it overhauled and converted to Super 16, which will cost appx. $2500, for a longish (20 mins.) short film project this summer.

Today, however, I saw an Aaton XTR package (no idea if it's a plus or what serial no.) on craigslist for $2900, including 5 zeiss superspeed lenses. This seems like a very good deal (maybe too good to be true). So I was considering buying it instead of converting the Eclair.

My primary concerns are noise levels, weight, and ease of use, in that order. Can anyone with experience with the XTR and the Eclair compare them for me? Thank you.
  • 0

#2 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 May 2009 - 05:59 PM

Yes, sounds too good to be true, even more so with the lenses. The Aaton XTR is a later design than the ACL and is very quiet (much better than an ACL) with a great viewfinder and designed for using video assist systems. It's a bit heaver than the ACL and isn't that difficult to use.
  • 0

#3 Mike Rizos

Mike Rizos
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • Other

Posted 08 May 2009 - 06:08 PM

The Aaton is a scam, for sure.
  • 0

#4 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 08 May 2009 - 06:58 PM

Patrick,

A guy in upstate New York was selling an Aaton XTR with a set of Zeiss lenses a few months ago. Alot of folks stole his photos and re-published them on scam eBay auctions and scam Craigslist sales. If the Craigslist ad has a picture or pictures attached, put them up here or give us a link to view them. I will be able to tell if it is the same camera, as I bought the camera from the guy in New York. He still has the lens set though.

Being that a set of five Zeiss super speed lenses alone go for over $10,000, there is no way someone could legitimately be selling the lenses and an XTR for anywhere close to that price.

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#5 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 10 May 2009 - 06:40 AM

I found the listing on Craigslist New York. That is definitely the stolen pictures from the guy who sold me my camera. Just as a reference, the package pictured on Craigslist, the original asking price (for the real camera and those lenses) was $16,000 for what is listed there. Not only did the scammer copy the pictures, he also copied the text:

Aaton XTR Scam Pictures & Text

We have talked about this particular scam in the past on the Cine Marketplace forum

This Same Scam

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#6 Roger Richards

Roger Richards
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Producer

Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:43 AM

Patrick, like everyone said, be very careful out there. Lots of scammers trying to take advantage these days.

As for the XTR vs ACL II, I recently went through the same thing as you while hunting a S16mm package for a film I have been working on. I purchased an excellent ACL II package on eBay, and then bought a HD144 ACL II Super 16 conversion kit here from a member, and Bernie O'Doherty was set to convert it for me. By the time I budgeted the cost of camera, conversion and then a couple of decent lenses, it was around $8-9,000. Big plus, though, is I already owned Nikon lenses, and also had a Nikon to ACL adapter. Then I luckily found an XTRPlus package with a Zeiss-Optex T2.4 12-120 zoom for $8,000. I sold the ACL II and HD144 kit and bought the XTRPlus.

Anyway, the ACL II I found to be a bit smaller but just as heavy, and the XTR is easier to balance and handhold. The ACL II body is about 9 pounds, and the 200ft mag 4 pounds. The 400ft ACL mag is 7 pounds. My XTR with 400ft mag is 13 pounds.

The big plus of the ACL II is the ability to use a variety of lenses from virtually any manufacturer, and the small 200ft magazines. Lenses are the big problem, as S16mm lenses are very expensive and hard to find. Another thing is that the ACL II allows you to shoot at 75fps, while my XTR, with the bi-phase motor, will go to 54fps. The main reason I bought that XTR package was because of the included zoom lens. Bernie O'Doherty then completely rebuilt and collimated the lens to the body for me, and it is pretty nice, although that particular lens breathes a bit.

The ACL II is an excellent way to go if you do not find a decent XTR or LTR deal. If you are hunting for lenses, I have a set of well used but fine Nikon primes, including the 14mm Nikkor f2.8, and the Nikon to ACL adapter (not the c-mount) that I might consider parting with. Send me a PM if interested.

There is a link to the first footage I shot with the XTRPlus on another thread here
http://www.cinematog...mp;#entry286237
  • 0

#7 Patrick ODonnell

Patrick ODonnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Other

Posted 10 May 2009 - 05:19 PM

Thank you all for your responses. Given that the price was much lower than what XTRs normally go for on eBay, I should have been wary. I did get an email back from the "seller", who said that he was in Atlanta, though he had posted in New York -- he did not, of course, tell me the serial number, which is what I had asked him. I'll see if I can report him to the craigslist police, though I doubt that will do much of anything.

Thanks also for the info regarding the XTR vs. ACL II issue. If I can find an XTR in the $7000 or under range I will try to get it, otherwise I will stick with the ACL and get it converted (my ACL purchase price + conversion = appx. $5000.)
  • 0

#8 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 10 May 2009 - 07:26 PM

Thanks also for the info regarding the XTR vs. ACL II issue. If I can find an XTR in the $7000 or under range I will try to get it, otherwise I will stick with the ACL and get it converted (my ACL purchase price + conversion = appx. $5000.)


With the current prices of 16mm cameras, I would think you could pick up an XTR for under $7000. The camera in the pictures, the one I bought, included the PL mount Aaton XTR Super 16 camera, 2-DX Super 16 mags, two on board batteries, 16 volt charger, lightweight rods, and wooden hand grip, and I got it for quite a bit less than $7000. I followed XTR sales for about six months before I worked out a deal on that camera, and it helped that I knew what pretty much every XTR or LTR had sold for in the last six months.

I know I'm biased, but I think the XTR is substantially more camera than an ACL. And it fits on the shoulder quite nicely.

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#9 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:15 PM

I own both an ACL and an LTR. I love them both for different reasons, most of which are outlined in previous posts. I don't think of them as competing models but as complimentary systems, each with pros and cons. I hope I never have to chose between the two as I would be completely torn and ultimately brokenhearted by whichever outcome.
  • 0


Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Opal

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC