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Nikon mount for Arri 35-3, is it possible ?


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#1 Gregory PAUL

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:19 PM

Hello !

I was wondering if it was possible to have a Nikon F mount on an Arri 35-3.
I noticed that some 35-3 had lens port fitted by 4 screws. I guess they are the latest versions of the camera.
So, if it's possible to change the lens port, is there any manufacturer still making such mount ?
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:30 PM

The Nikon F mount has a flange focal distance of 46.5 mm, while the Arri PL is 52 mm. That means that the Nikon mount would have to extend 5.5 mm deeper into the camera body than the PL. Even if there's room to do that, it would be an expensive machine shop job, requiring some milling that would permanently modify the camera front casting.




-- J.S.
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#3 Gregory PAUL

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:42 PM

Hello John,

Yes I already know about the focal flange distance difference. But since the front casting of some 35-5 seems to be removable with the four screws, I was more thinking about a new front catsing with a Nikon mount that could replace the original one without deep modification. Maybe it's not that simple although !
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#4 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:44 PM

There were Nikon F mounts made for the 2C and I think that a competent machine shop could make a front for the 35-3 with a F-mount you would just have to check the clearance for the mirror.

-Rob-
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 06:54 PM

There were Nikon F mounts made for the 2C ....


That may be the way to go -- buy an existing hard front 2C with the Nikon F mount. It'll cost less, and you don't reduce the value of your 35-3. Run some "WTB" ads and see if something turns up.




-- J.S.
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

I recall seeing ads in AC quite sometime back for an interchangable Nikon F mount for the Arri III made by one the german companies which specialize in making Arri accesories.

But I cannot remember the name, other than it was not PS Technik.
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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:07 PM

I recall seeing ads in AC quite sometime back for an interchangable Nikon F mount for the Arri III made by one the german companies which specialize in making Arri accesories.

But I cannot remember the name, other than it was not PS Technik.



The interchangeable front on the 35-3 is just a simple plate with the mount and the screws to attach it to the body. If you brought it to a machine shop and had them look at it they should be able to reproduce the mounting board. Then you just have to give them a F-Mount (there are tons of F to C mount adapters on ebay) give the machine shop the centering and the flange focal distance and they should be able to make this part up easily.

-Rob-
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 02:41 PM

The company that had the Nikon plate for the Arri III is PED Denz.

http://www.denz-deniz.com/index.htm

It's no longer mentioned on their site, so you'll have to follow Robert H's advice.
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#9 rob spence

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:57 AM

Hi Gregory,
I've just designed and had made a hardfront Nikon mount for my 2b. I had the plate made using my drawings at a local engineering shop...cost £60. I used a mount from a broken Nikon FE...£10...this bolts onto the new plate with thin bolts. And it works a treat...I can now use Nikon lenses and even convert it back to the old arri front if necessary.
Saves a fortune in hiring lenses as I have my own Nikon set...I Haven't really looked into the 35-3 but they have very simple hard fronts which simply bolt on. It should be far easier than converting a 35-2b or c. As said you'll have to check that you wouldnt be fouling the mirror. Just do lots of measuring and go for it!
cheers
rob
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:56 PM

Rob,

Can you post some pictures of your Nikon hard front on the Arriflex IIB. As a camera tech and mechanical engineer, I would be really interested in seeing that.

Best,
-Tim
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#11 rob spence

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:42 AM

Hi
Here are some images of the hard front.
Any questions please ask.
cheers
rob

http://s1178.photobu...379/robspence7/
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 08:22 AM

Rob,

Thanks for the pics.

I apologize as I misunderstood. So you put a Nikon Mount on the front of your IIB to use for macro and closer up work, since the FFD of the Nikon glass is shorter than the FFD of the Arriflex IIB. I thought you meant that you had sunk the Nikon mount into the front of the IIB so that the Nikon mount would be at the right FFD and you could use your Nikon lenses all the way out to infinity.

Still a cool conversion though. Bravo.

Best,
-Tim
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#13 rob spence

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 01:57 PM

Hi Tim

No the FFD on this conversion is 46.5...designed for the Nikon. Here's a pic of the hard front fitted. The lenses focus all the way up.

http://i1178.photobu...ri/IMG_2894.jpg

cheers
rob
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#14 rob spence

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 01:59 PM

...and heres a nikon lens fitted.

http://s1178.photobu...ard front arri/
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#15 rob spence

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 02:14 PM

Hi,
Here's a shot showing the old and new front ( as best I can ), I did consider getting the original front milled down , drilled etc but I didn't want to ruin it. As I never went ahead with this route I'm not 100 per cent sure it would work, but I think it could.
best
rob

http://s1178.photobu...ard front arri/
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:20 PM

Rob,

Okay, so you sunk the mount in 5.5mm, I see. Did you have any clearance problems with the mirror? That's an area I would be concerned about since the nikon mount is a larger in diameter than the ARRI standard/bayonet mount that the camera came with, and you're sinking it into the camera 5.5mm. Is the mount centered for the Academy gate or the Full Frame (Silent) gate?

That's very cool.

Best,
-Tim

PS: Looking at your photos, it looks like your Arriflex 35 IIB is in remarkably good shape.
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#17 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:02 PM

Looks pretty great, I was thinking that a setup like this and a second front with a PL mount would be very versatile.

-Rob-
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#18 rob spence

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 05:48 PM

Hi Tim,
There are no problems with the lens hitting the mirror, plenty of room there. I haven't checked but I think any slr lens system could be fitted, Pentax etc as they are built to clear an slr flip up mirror. The gate fitted is academy and the lens is centered to the measurements of the arri original front. My camera is in very good shape and is originally from New York, it has a Camera Equipment Co. Incorporated 31, West 43rd Street New York 26.NY plate ( in blue ) rivetted to the eyepiece door.
Do you know if there would be a clearer view using an Arri 2 door, or would it be basically the same?

cheers
rob
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#19 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:14 PM

Do you know if there would be a clearer view using an Arri 2 door, or would it be basically the same?


Rob,

I'm a little confused. Do you mean "would there be a clearer view using an Arri 2C door?"

If that is indeed your question, my answer would be "maybe". I love the Arriflex IIB and IIC cameras, but the one issue I had with my IIC was difficulty focusing. It used to drive me crazy when I was focusing the camera, I had to have my eye directly centered in the eyepiece or the image would slightly shimmer, which made critical focus really tough. I finally talked with a couple of "old time" camera operators about this and they confirmed that it was a known issue with those cameras. Something to do with the optics and the way the ground glass and viewfinder optics worked with each other. I think that's one of the reasons the "Italian Door" came along, it supposedly made the focusing easier. I even tried one of the Jurgen's doors on my IIC, but it did not resolve the issue.

The IIC door might be brighter than the IIB door, but the "shimmering" issue is still there.

Best,
-Tim
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#20 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:12 PM

Hi Rob,

that looks like a nice job, well done.

Do you know what tolerances the machine shop worked to? I'm guessing you don't have a depth gauge to check the FFD? It doesn't matter too much if it's a little out when you're using primes and focusing by eye (just throws the focus scale out and the lens may not reach infinity), but the mount flatness from edge to edge with respect to the gate is fairly critical, ideally within one or two hundredths of a mm. And of course the ground glass depth needs to be spot on. But if a test film shows an even and sharp focus you're OK.

Are you planning on having the new front anodised? If you haven't already done so I would recommend painting the interior surface matte black to avoid any reflections.

Regarding a IIC door, I believe the optics are a little better, but if fitted to a IIB it may cause a light leak. Where it mates with the turret block it is slightly larger (for this reason a IIB door won't fit on a IIC). You could probably fix that easily with some sort of felt seal though.
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