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Measure for Measure


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#1 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:13 AM

Friends, I have a plea. Would anybody in possession of an old ARRIFLEX make some measurements on the camera body, on its mechanism, on the gears? I wonder if there are imperial values besides metrical ones. You know it's a German product but I still have the shadow of a doubt for it, namely that the cast housing or all cast parts would be American.

The point is that passage of H. Mario Raimondo Souto in his book The Technique of the Motion Picture Camera, 1967 ff., on page 44: Viewfinding by displacing the film and substituting a ground glass does indeed provide an accurate image devoid of parallax, but it is not practical when shooting a moving subject. We have seen that when framing by this method, the camera cannot be operating, and if panning or travelling has to be effected, the operator must use the monitor viewfinder as a guide. To obviate this problem, August Arnold, engineer of the German company Arnold & Richter, developed in 1931 the ingenious reflex viewfinder system.

Who would have mastered aluminum alloy casting in Germany around 1935? There is no ARRIFLEX without a cast housing, is there?

Curious Simon
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:00 PM

I have three of the Model I Arriflex cameras -- or at least parts of them including the body casting, #1420, #1678, #1873. The one certainly non-metric item on them is the 3/8" - 16 thread hole in the back of the bottom. I'll do some measuring tonight.

The Model I originated in 1937, the chief engineer on it was Erich Kastner.





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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:33 PM

OK, I've done some measuring. It looks like Kastner wasn't particularly concerned with hitting round numbers in either system. The few that do hit evenly are metric: The door inner width is 85mm, the outer 90mm. The claw arm is 6mm wide. The "Filmschleife nach weisser Markierung einlegen!" sign is 25mm wide.




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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:01 AM

Who would have mastered aluminum alloy casting in Germany around 1935? There is no ARRIFLEX without a cast housing, is there?


I did a quick google which revealed that production aluminium die casting was around in the US in 1915, so I can't see any problems about 1935.

There's also the option of sand casting.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 02:02 PM

I kinda doubt they used sand casting, even on the early ones. You can usually tell a sand casting by the texture of the non-machined surfaces, and even little bits of sand trapped in tight inside radii. Lost wax is another possibility, but more practical for prototyping than production on this kind of stuff.





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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:13 AM

Thank you so far

Injection moulding began in 1906 in the U. S. A. if not earlier and had a start in this country in 1919. Injecta Inc. had a license agreement with Dohler since 1920. The base for this can be found with printing letter moulder Mergenthaler.

Sand casting is subject to some shrinkage. Not so injection. When I first made measurements on an ARRIFLEX I thought that there were a few percent to be added which is wrong.

It would be very interesting to find imperial values in the mechanism such as distances, axles diameters, and the like.

Can the ARRIFLEX have come into being in an enterprise whose 34 and 33 year old founders engage a 21 year old as designer? What about the fact that Richter as well as Arnold were more or less tinkerers while the design of a movie film camera in general is a thing of well trained specialists? Who of Kästner, Arnold, and Richter had enough knowledge in aluminum alloy injection moulding to feel at ease with the task?

The ARRIFLEX has a closeness to the Bell & Howell Filmo-Eyemo. Its turret is similar. An integrated viewfinder in the lid. The claw movement near the “intermittent feed mechanism” in the U. S. patent 1,834,948 issued to Albert Summers Howell on December 8, 1931.

The Arnold & Richter camera was at at the Olympic Games of 1936. Somehow a prototype could have been at the 1932 Games. Bell & Howell opened a branch in Los Angeles in 1932.

The sloping top certainly goes back to the Debrie Grande Vitesse of 1921 (Méry).
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:20 PM

The Arnold & Richter camera was at at the Olympic Games of 1936.


Really? Do you have a source for that info? Arri did a glossy brochure with a history of the company, IIRC for the 90th anniversary, and it said that the first prototype Arriflex was shown at the Leipzig trade fair in 1937.

I've seen production stills from the '36 olympics, they had Eyemo's. So, the Arri team surely would have been familiar with the Eyemo, which had been around for about ten years at that time. The Arri Model I eccentric shoulder screw pulldown is very different from the Eyemo's rocker cam.



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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:23 PM

It goes beyond that:

Außenaufnahmen waren zunächst gar nicht möglich. Abhilfe schuf seit dem 30. April 1935 das sogenannte Zwischenfilmverfahren, bei dem bei Tageslicht-Verhältnissen die Bilder zunächst mit einer auf einen umgebauten Möbelwagen montierten speziell umgebauten Arriflex-Filmkamera auf riesige Rollen von konventionellem 35mm-Filmmaterial aufgenommen wurden. Der belichtete Film wurde dann aber nicht mehr in eine Kassette zurückgeführt, sondern durch einen lichtdichten Kanal, der zugleich das Stativ ersetzte, in den speziell ausgestatteten Möbelwagen unter der Kamera (den sog. Zwischenfilmwagen) geleitet und dort sofort kontinuierlich entwickelt und fixiert. Noch in nassem Zustand direkt aus dem Fixierbad kommend wurde das Film-Negativ ohne weitere Unterbrechung durch einen Projektor geführt, mit Rückprojektion auf eine Mattscheibe geworfen und dort wiederum mit einer auf Negativ geschalteten Fernsehkamera aufgenommen.

Wikipedia in German, article Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow, section Technik, http://de.wikipedia....der_Paul_Nipkow

Translation
Initially, exterior shots were not possible. Remedy came with the so-called intermediate film process since April 30, 1935, with which the pictures were taken on top of a modified furniture van by the aids of an adapted Arriflex camera and huge rolls of 35-mm. stock. The exposed material would not have been brought back to the magazine but through a light-proof channel that acted as support at the same time, down into the van where it got developed and fixed. Still wet directly out of the fixing bath the negative would be run through a projector in order to produce an image on a ground glass that in turn was scanned by a inversely switched television camera.

More evidence: http://www.deutsches...rke-i/arriflex/
http://www.retrothin...breathes_n.html
http://www.spiegel.d...,684584,00.html
http://www.dradio.de...treisen/745437/
http://www.cinematog...pt4_pp46-60.pdf
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