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ACL 200' Magazine Problem


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:33 PM

Hello,

I did my first test shoot on a newly acquired Eclair ACL, using a 100' daylight spool, and the lab just told me the film had not registered properly, it had gone through the gate without stopping and was exposed as a blurry mess. I am fairly certain that I loaded the magazine correctly. I used this video as a guide: http://eclair16.com/...s/loading-film/. During the shoot I noticed the camera sounding strange and very quiet. Also, the meter that indicates the amount of film left did not move at all, yet the film had taken up in the take-up spool correctly.

The camera came with two 200' magazines. I tried the second one yesterday. I haven't received word from the lab yet, but I'm pretty sure it registered just fine. The sound was different and the meter behaved correctly. What I noticed was that there is a huge distinction between the two magazines. One has a registration claw while the other one doesn't:

Magazine #1:
http://img29.imagesh...1007212245.jpg/

Magazine #2:
http://img534.images...1007212257.jpg/

Is one of my magazines simply defective? Or is there a way to use the magazine without the claw (which is significantly quieter) and still register the image properly?

Any help would be immensely appreciated.

Thanks,
Ray
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:47 PM

Or is there a way to use the magazine without the claw (which is significantly quieter) and still register the image properly?


The reason why the magazine without the inner claw (or clicker) is quieter --the one right before the second loop is formed on the first pic you posted-- is because that claw it is designed to click if the film is not going through properly.

In other words, if you hear a steady clicking sound as the camera rolls, the film loop is gone, the sprockets may be damaging your film, the claw at the gate is not keeping your film steady as it is being exposed, thus making it blurry, and that seems to be your problem.

It takes a while to get it right. I would use a dummy load and run the film without the mag cover on, the loops need to stay the same size all the way through to the end of the roll.
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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:47 PM

If you are unfamiliar with ACL and especially if this camera is untested yet, you need to test carefully like Saul says with some clean scrap stock.
It may just be blind luck that you had the problem on the mag with the loop warning clicker. If the other mag was ok then the most likely thing is that you lost the top loop due to the top rollers not being properly engaged with the drive sprocket. Old eclair mags can get sticky there, just gummy lubricant I think, with the retainer not quite clicking properly into place. Then maybe bumped partly open as you close the mag. The mag lid is designed so you can't close it when the rollers are not engaged, but this isn't foolproof, you can do it.

Did you get you test back from the other mag?
If you talk nice to the lab they may process smaller than small amounts for camera tests cheap.

These little mags are really cool. I used to wind off my own 200' loads onto cores and daylight spools.

Cheers
Gregg

Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 22 July 2010 - 05:51 PM.

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#4 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 06:58 PM

Ray,

The little pin you are referring to is not a registration pin, it is a clicker that is supposed to click if the loops are too small. It is ok that your other magazine is missing the clicker, it is a safety feature and isn't required for proper movement of film. I had this same exact problem, blurry not focused images, with the first film I shot with my ACL and it was due to improper loops. Get a dummy roll and practice loading and running the camera with the side off so you can see the loops. I would suggest practicing loading a few dozen times and shooting some film with a perfectly loaded magazine before you come to the conclusion that something is broken.
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#5 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

Hey Ray, did you check the timing? I had that same problem and the same combination of magazines as well. The mag with the safety claw would be very loud due to losing the loop. However the magazine without the safety claw would just rub against the roller and produce a sliding sound.

That mag with the claw is a safer magazine because exactly as Evan said it will warn you if you lose your loop.

To check the timing is simple: http://eclair16.com/...eck-the-timing/
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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hey Ray, did you check the timing? I had that same problem and the same combination of magazines as well. The mag with the safety claw would be very loud due to losing the loop. However the magazine without the safety claw would just rub against the roller and produce a sliding sound.......


What did you find to be causing your loss of loops?
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 06:32 PM

What did you find to be causing your loss of loops?


Unless there is an actual camera or mag malfunction, it generally boils down to loader error / unfamiliarity loading the mags. If there isn't enough slack for the film to form a loop, , the pull down claw will miss the sprocket hole at the gate, while making a lot of noise as it runs. And the footage will look blurry on the projector/ telecine, although it is visible when it is coming out of the processing taks a the lab. Lab techs will generally catch it then.
I usually leave enough room for two fingers to fit between the mag and the film at the throat (perpendicular to the mag). Some people like to count the perfs, but I just use the two finger system.

Because there are few cameras where the film is threaded at the magazine level and they are closed once the film is rolling (obviously), it is easy to bungle the process. On other (usually 35mm) cameras the loop is formed at the camera body level, and the door can be open as the AC runs the camera for a few feet to make sure the loop stays as it should, check pin registration, etc.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 26 July 2010 - 06:36 PM.

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#8 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:29 PM

What did you find to be causing your loss of loops?


In my case it was a camera problem and had to be sent in for a part replacement. I can't remember what was fixed - the clutch, or claw or something (I don't remember the name of the part). I actually made a video of this camera compared to a working ACL. This was a video I sent to Bernie and he immediately recognized the problem from it, so I guess it must not be a totally uncommon issue:

Camera losing loop:


Timing problem:


If you're camera is doing either of these things, it needs to be repaired.
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#9 Ray Noori

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:28 PM

Sorry for the late reply, and thank you all for the amazingly informative advice. I took Saul's advice and loaded both magazines with a dummy roll and ran it with the magazine cover off to make sure that the film is engaged properly with the wheel and the loops stay a consistent size. After I felt comfortable enough, I loaded both magazines again with real film and shot two more test rolls. The magazine with the safety claw again ran pretty loudly. But I got a call from the lab yesterday saying both rolls looked good and had registered properly.

I'm now waiting for the telecine house to send me the results, so we will see. I guess it's a skill that will hopefully be solidified with enough practice.

Once again, thank you all for your immense help.
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#10 Boris Belay

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:20 PM

Hello Ray,

What you describe could be a problem with the magazine, or one with your loading. You should place a load of wasted film in bth magazines and see if you notice anything particular in the way each runs the film. It should be smooth and fairly quiet in both, even with the magazine door open.

The missing part in the second magazine is not a 'registration claw', but a simple ticking mechanism that is supposed to rattle when the lower film loop is lost. A lost loop means you would get the kind of streaking film you mention in your description because the film is pulled by the magazine srocket, and not by the camera claw. The missing mechanism is useful in that case, but is in no way necessary to the proper running of the film -- it's an alarm.

Look in the camera manual (widely available on the net) for correct loop length, etc.

Best, B.

Hello,

I did my first test shoot on a newly acquired Eclair ACL, using a 100' daylight spool, and the lab just told me the film had not registered properly, it had gone through the gate without stopping and was exposed as a blurry mess. I am fairly certain that I loaded the magazine correctly. I used this video as a guide: http://eclair16.com/...s/loading-film/. During the shoot I noticed the camera sounding strange and very quiet. Also, the meter that indicates the amount of film left did not move at all, yet the film had taken up in the take-up spool correctly.

The camera came with two 200' magazines. I tried the second one yesterday. I haven't received word from the lab yet, but I'm pretty sure it registered just fine. The sound was different and the meter behaved correctly. What I noticed was that there is a huge distinction between the two magazines. One has a registration claw while the other one doesn't:

Magazine #1:
http://img29.imagesh...1007212245.jpg/

Magazine #2:
http://img534.images...1007212257.jpg/

Is one of my magazines simply defective? Or is there a way to use the magazine without the claw (which is significantly quieter) and still register the image properly?

Any help would be immensely appreciated.

Thanks,
Ray


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#11 Boris Belay

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:28 PM

Sorry for repeating what had been said before ! I didn't see the answers in the new presentation of the site... Didn't get past the advertisements!

Sorry for the late reply, and thank you all for the amazingly informative advice. I took Saul's advice and loaded both magazines with a dummy roll and ran it with the magazine cover off to make sure that the film is engaged properly with the wheel and the loops stay a consistent size. After I felt comfortable enough, I loaded both magazines again with real film and shot two more test rolls. The magazine with the safety claw again ran pretty loudly. But I got a call from the lab yesterday saying both rolls looked good and had registered properly.

I'm now waiting for the telecine house to send me the results, so we will see. I guess it's a skill that will hopefully be solidified with enough practice.

Once again, thank you all for your immense help.


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Aerial Filmworks

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Glidecam

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Willys Widgets