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Milliken DBM 5B - Shutter Query


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#1 Roger Todd

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:07 AM

First, having just joined this site today, I would like to say hello, and say how fascinating it is to browse. Also, I would like to thank Kristian Schumacher for posting the Milliken camera manual on his website - it should prove invaluable!

Now, I have recently purchased a Milliken DBM 5B. As usual (from what I gather), it lacks the power cable. It is provided with a 115V AC motor, and in order to have any chance of re-wiring it, I need to get at the interior.

However, I found that I need to remove the shutter first (something I had already surmised but confirmed once I had downloaded Kristian Schumacher's scanned manual). The manual, however, gave a description (but no picture) of the shutter fastening that does not bear any resemblance to my machine's shutter. Nothing attaching it to the shaft appears capable of being unscrewed. Below is a photo of it:

Posted Image

Now, does anyone have a clue as to how I can remove my shutter? Can it even be done?

Anyway advice would be most gratefully received!
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#2 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:38 PM

Hi again Roger,

To power up the camera I don´t think you strictly need to get to the interior (it may be possible to "fish" out the cables you need from behind the plug), but it should make it a lot easier. When I opened mine - which I have done a few times before I was happy with everything - I didn´t need to remove the shutter. I eased the mechanism out with the shutter still attached. But the shutter had to be in the right position in order to not get stuck. It may not be possible with your shutter of 72 degrees, though. My camera has a 160 deg shutter so there is I guess more room to play with when easing it in and out of the body.
Not the most help I guess, but good luck.

Kristian
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#3 Roger Todd

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:11 PM

Not the most help I guess, but good luck.

On the contrary, you have been very helpful, thank you!

At least I now know that it may be possible to ease the innards out - I'll have a go (but I'll stop short of forcing it) tonight.

At a tangent - perhaps I should start a new thread? - I've been searching for posts here concerning short (0.2994") and long (0.3000") pitch 16mm film. My Milliken takes long pitch, but I can only ever find short pitch film for sale. Various posters here speculated that below 500fps it may not matter, but as an owner of a Milliken, do you have experience with using the 'wrong' pitch of film?
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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:08 PM

On the contrary, you have been very helpful, thank you!

At least I now know that it may be possible to ease the innards out - I'll have a go (but I'll stop short of forcing it) tonight.

At a tangent - perhaps I should start a new thread? - I've been searching for posts here concerning short (0.2994") and long (0.3000") pitch 16mm film. My Milliken takes long pitch, but I can only ever find short pitch film for sale. Various posters here speculated that below 500fps it may not matter, but as an owner of a Milliken, do you have experience with using the 'wrong' pitch of film?


Long pitch colour neg is still listed by Kodak, as far as I can see. My 2009 catalogue shows 500T and 250D with a minimum order of 18 100' spools.
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#5 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:24 PM

On the contrary, you have been very helpful, thank you!

At least I now know that it may be possible to ease the innards out - I'll have a go (but I'll stop short of forcing it) tonight.

At a tangent - perhaps I should start a new thread? - I've been searching for posts here concerning short (0.2994") and long (0.3000") pitch 16mm film. My Milliken takes long pitch, but I can only ever find short pitch film for sale. Various posters here speculated that below 500fps it may not matter, but as an owner of a Milliken, do you have experience with using the 'wrong' pitch of film?


And these are exactly the things I wanted to find out when I first got the camera ;-) There are a couple of discussions here about it like this one:

http://www.cinematog...amp;hl=milliken

If you search for "Milliken", some more will show up that have helped me a lot

I have so far only used short pitch film - so the wrong one for my camera as well - and have not had a problem that I can blame on the perfs.

Kristian
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#6 Roger Todd

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:52 PM

Long pitch colour neg is still listed by Kodak, as far as I can see. My 2009 catalogue shows 500T and 250D with a minimum order of 18 100' spools.

Thanks for the tip, Mark - but *gulp* 18 spools minimum?
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#7 Roger Todd

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:21 PM

I have so far only used short pitch film - so the wrong one for my camera as well - and have not had a problem that I can blame on the perfs.

That is exactly the sort of info I was after, thank you Kristian!

However (typically!) I now have another question...

Whilst playing with the knob on the left-hand side (if looking face on down the lens) of the camera that turns the mechanism manually, so I could see how the intermittent claw and registration pin operated, I became suspicious of the timing of the opening of the shutter.

Earlier this evening I did a little test with some scrap film marked with a red cross and, hey presto, the film continues to move as the shutter opens, probably for at least 40-degress or more than half of the shutter opening.

I videoed it with my camcorder and below are sequential stills to illustrate what I mean - you can see the red cross move down as the shutter opens up more and more:

Posted Image

My question is this: surely by the time the shutter opening uncovers the film, the film should be absolutely stationary? If so, then by a roundabout way I am led back to my original problem - how to remove the shutter (this time so I can reposition it)...
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#8 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:04 PM

That is exactly the sort of info I was after, thank you Kristian!


My question is this: surely by the time the shutter opening uncovers the film, the film should be absolutely stationary? If so, then by a roundabout way I am led back to my original problem - how to remove the shutter (this time so I can reposition it)...



Ehhm... Yes. It looks like maybe someone took the shutter off without thinking. What you did to check is absolutely right and shows that the registration is way off. I am no expert on this - and there are many around here - but I would think the registration could be fixed by simply taking the shutter off and putting it back in in the right position. And then you will have solved your original problem too :-) I am not sure how it comes off as I haven´t done that myself. And with the ever present risk of fiddling with something until it is beyond repair (it happens to me, anyway....) I don´t want to try it on mine now that everything works well.
I hope you get an answer here, but I have a suspicion that you may need to figure this one out yourself - and then of course tell us how you succeeded or... or... you know, the other thing. I think there cameras are getting quite rare, and people who know them well mechanically even rarer.

Kristian
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#9 Roger Todd

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 07:15 PM

...I have a suspicion that you may need to figure this one out yourself - and then of course tell us how you succeeded or... or... you know, the other thing.

You're right there! But there's one more favour you could do for me, if that's okay - could you remove the lens mount plate and post a photograph of your machine's shutter, please? It would be quite handy for me to see another example of a Milliken shutter before I muck about with mine...
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#10 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:27 AM

I would, but....

My camera is the 54 model with the boresight viewing system. When I converted to s16 and recentered the lens mount, a lot of stuff had to go from the front plate - leaving lots of openings for light to get in. After I was happy with the adjustments, I covered any porential light leak with black silicone and tape. So Taking the front off would be a bit messy and need that cleaned up and doing over again. Sorry. I will have a look at it from the inside tomorrow and see if I can come up with a guess as to how it comes off, though.

Kristian
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#11 Roger Todd

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:13 PM

...Taking the front off would be a bit messy and need that cleaned up and doing over again.

No worries! Don't do anything tricky if you can possibly avoid it, especially with complex bits of machinery like these cameras!

I know a chap in south London who sells the odd Milliken, he might be able to have a look - I'm in no hurry, I have become rapidly aware that getting this machine sorted out will have to be A Project...
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#12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the tip, Mark - but *gulp* 18 spools minimum?

That's 100' so not too bad. We used to run a roll of fresh stock through each camera on a trial just for a speed test.
You'll go through it by the mile, I'm afraid.
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#13 Roger Todd

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:27 AM

That's 100' so not too bad. We used to run a roll of fresh stock through each camera on a trial just for a speed test.
You'll go through it by the mile, I'm afraid.

True... Mind you, I have to get the wretched thing to work first!
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#14 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:35 AM

No worries! Don't do anything tricky if you can possibly avoid it, especially with complex bits of machinery like these cameras!

I know a chap in south London who sells the odd Milliken, he might be able to have a look - I'm in no hurry, I have become rapidly aware that getting this machine sorted out will have to be A Project...



OK, I had a quick look at my camera again to see how the thing should come off. I think when you have removed the 4 hex screws on the central panel and taken off the front with the lens mount, you should be able to wiggle the thing out regardless of which shutter (mine is 140 degrees, not 160). With the front plate off, it will also be easier to keep an eye on the shutter blade to make sure it doesn´t get caught and damaged. Behind the panel there are two large electrical connectors between the camera body and the central panel. I got some extension chords for these to be able to get to the workings behind the panel with the camera running. This wasn´t really necessary, though as the only three cables to reattach were from pins 10 and 11. Mine has the DC motor and I really only want to use it with battery power. I´d be curious to see if you could run the AC versions by attaching a 30v battery to pins 10 and 11 though. In my camera all the connectors were hooked up to the plug, even the ones that say AC in the manual.
Once you get the central plate out I suppose it should be possible to manipulate the gears to get the timing right on your shutter.

Kristian
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#15 Roger Todd

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

Your Milliken - a DBM4? - must be subtly different because there's no way I can get the innards out of mine with the shutter attached. But I've ben in contact with someone else and he's going to see what he can dig up, so I'll keep you posted!
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#16 Roger Todd

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:03 AM

Well, a chap I bought another camera from off eBay has been incredibly helpful, and provided me with photos of the shutter (and how to remove it) in his Milliken (which I think may be a DBM 4, but is identical to mine). I post the photos here as reference for anyone else who might find them useful:

Posted Image

He has also put me onto someone who should be able to fix my machine, so watch this space...
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#17 Doug Gerrard

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 01:00 PM

Hi Roger,

I just saw this post but I have a few Milliken cameras and have work on them. I admit I have never ran into your timing problem though. You have probably already figured out that the timing of the shutter is via a notch on the back of the shutter that engages its drive shaft. You do have to remove the shutter in order to remove the insides of the camera from its shell. If the timing of the shutter drive shaft is off, I have never tried to adjust that. Also, I usually replace the connector on the back with something that is more readily available. Good Luck,

Doug
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#18 Roger Todd

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:04 PM

Hi Roger,

I just saw this post but I have a few Milliken cameras and have work on them... Good Luck,

Doug

Doug, thanks for your advice, and sorry for not replying sooner - I've not been on the forum for a good few days now and this is the first time I've seen your post!

I'm glad I'm on the right track. I've actually taken the easy way out, in that I have dropped the camera off with Martin Stent, movie camera technician par excellence, and he's already managed to sort out the shutter (and he's replaced the 72-degree shutter with a 160-degree model, which is ideal!) and he's currently in the process of re-wiring it to run off a 240V-120V stepdown transformer. Okay, it'll cost a good deal more than if I mucked around with it myself, but seeing as he had to do the shutter anyway (there's no way I could have solved that) I thought it would be better for someone who knows what he's doing to hack the wiring...

When it's done and I've got something filmed, I'll let you know!
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