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Is this the most compact 35mm cine camera?


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#1 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:33 AM

We have a museum of old cine cameras in our foyer and while going through some of the exhibits that are in storage I came upon this little beauty...

Zeis Ikon Kinamo N25 1a.jpg

For some reason I hadn't noticed it before but it is a Zeiss Ikon Kinamo N25, one of the very first hand-held 35mm cine cameras, dating from 1926. It was designed by the brilliant Emanuel Goldberg and the first spring-driven model (under the Ica-Kinamo badge) was released in 1923, the same year Bell and Howell's 16mm Filmo hit the market. Their 35mm spring-driven camera, the Eyemo, was still two years away. Like the Filmo, the Kinamo was aimed at the amateur market, but it failed to achieve the same success.

The interchangeable lens is a 40mm f2.7 Tessar by Carl Zeiss Jena. It has a focus lever with a marker that is visible in the large viewfinder (with a matching focus scale on the right side of the viewing window) to allow accurate in-shot focusing. I found reference to a 180mm telephoto that was also available, and there were probably others. The viewfinder window lens can be removed, presumably each lens had its own window. The camera cracks open down the middle to allow the small magazine to be exchanged. It accepts 75' of film (compared to 100' in the Eyemo) which would be enough for 75 seconds at the governed 16 fps speed.

Zeis Ikon Kinamo N25 2a.jpg

The Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens used this camera for many of his experimental short films from the 20's and 30's. I think this one in particular is really beautiful, and shows how a small handheld camera could liberate filmmakers of the day:



Curiously, we inherited this camera from the son of another Dutch experimental filmmaker, J.C. Mol, who was also in Indonesia at the same time as Ivens. Mol may well have owned his own Kinamo, but the possibility that Ivens gave him one of his cameras, which eventually ended up in a Melbourne rental house museum, is quite intriguing.
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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 11:37 AM

A beautiful little film, Having just spent a wet couple of days in Belgium I can vouch for the rain in the Low Countries.
The music was obviously modern, but was it from the original score?
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#3 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:53 PM

Posted Image

DeBrie Sept


The DeBrie Sept seems to be a tad smaller with its smaller spring housing.

Most of the online photos, or at least the better quality ones, are copywrighted & can't be copied.

http://www.cameraped...iki/Debrie_Sept

http://www.novacon.c...ameras/sept.htm
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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:34 PM

The DeBrie Sept seems to be a tad smaller with its smaller spring housing.


Yes the Sept would be smaller, but it only took 5m of film, enough for about 16 seconds at 16 fps. It was more like a stills camera with extra features (the DSLR of its day? :P ). Amazing little beastie though, with all those functions in one tiny package. I'd love to play with one.

As to the music in Ivens' Regen, there were quite a few versions on youtube. I picked one that had a better quality image and I thought the music suited it, but I doubt it's the original soundtrack. I remember reading that the original complete version of the film (with music) was lost, but that someone had recut it with the same music.
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#5 David J Paradise

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:41 AM

What a remarkable little camera and delightful film. Very much enjoyed it.
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#6 Ed Sharpe

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:14 PM

We have one with the ICA Badge in the museum here.
We need a cartrige for holding film!

I too enjoyed the RAIN movie. Neat to see some footage from this machine!

Thanks,

Ed Sharpe, Archivist for SMECC

See the Museum's Web Site at www.smecc.org





A beautiful little film, Having just spent a wet couple of days in Belgium I can vouch for the rain in the Low Countries.
The music was obviously modern, but was it from the original score?


Edited by Ed Sharpe, 09 January 2011 - 10:16 PM.

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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:14 PM

Just was refered to this tread from a mailing list, but watched the film. Amazing. 80 years ago but timeless.
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#8 Doug Palmer

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:27 AM

We have a museum of old cine cameras in our foyer and while going through some of the exhibits that are in storage I came upon this little beauty...

Zeis Ikon Kinamo N25 1a.jpg

For some reason I hadn't noticed it before but it is a Zeiss Ikon Kinamo N25, one of the very first hand-held 35mm cine cameras, dating from 1926. It was designed by the brilliant Emanuel Goldberg and the first spring-driven model (under the Ica-Kinamo badge) was released in 1923, the same year Bell and Howell's 16mm Filmo hit the market. Their 35mm spring-driven camera, the Eyemo, was still two years away. Like the Filmo, the Kinamo was aimed at the amateur market, but it failed to achieve the same success.

The interchangeable lens is a 40mm f2.7 Tessar by Carl Zeiss Jena. It has a focus lever with a marker that is visible in the large viewfinder (with a matching focus scale on the right side of the viewing window) to allow accurate in-shot focusing. I found reference to a 180mm telephoto that was also available, and there were probably others. The viewfinder window lens can be removed, presumably each lens had its own window. The camera cracks open down the middle to allow the small magazine to be exchanged. It accepts 75' of film (compared to 100' in the Eyemo) which would be enough for 75 seconds at the governed 16 fps speed.

Zeis Ikon Kinamo N25 2a.jpg

The Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens used this camera for many of his experimental short films from the 20's and 30's. I think this one in particular is really beautiful, and shows how a small handheld camera could liberate filmmakers of the day:



Curiously, we inherited this camera from the son of another Dutch experimental filmmaker, J.C. Mol, who was also in Indonesia at the same time as Ivens. Mol may well have owned his own Kinamo, but the possibility that Ivens gave him one of his cameras, which eventually ended up in a Melbourne rental house museum, is quite intriguing.

Fascinating film and thanks for showing us. I've got a camera like this and it's certainly compact, but have yet to try it out, though it transports film OK. I was just wondering please, on yours how long does the spring motor run ? I ask this because on mine it runs out after only about 12 seconds. Is this normal. So that's like 8 seconds if you put the shot into a 24fps film <_< I'd really like to use this camera as it really is small, but a bit put off by this short duration. Any ideas please from anyone ?
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#9 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:08 PM

Fascinating film and thanks for showing us. I've got a camera like this and it's certainly compact, but have yet to try it out, though it transports film OK. I was just wondering please, on yours how long does the spring motor run ? I ask this because on mine it runs out after only about 12 seconds. Is this normal. So that's like 8 seconds if you put the shot into a 24fps film <_< I'd really like to use this camera as it really is small, but a bit put off by this short duration. Any ideas please from anyone ?


Hi Doug,

by coincidence I just finished servicing our Kinamo. Only took me a year to get around to it.. :D

Ours runs for 15 seconds - pretty short duration but being 35mm it equates to 15 feet of film being transported, which is about the same or more than other contemporary spring motor cameras I've played with. A 16mm Cine-Kodak B for example runs for about 30 seconds before slowing, having only transported 12 feet of film. Also, by contrast, the Kinamo motor was designed to stop before the speed slows.

Yours might be running a bit fast if the governor is worn.

It's an unusual motor design. Apparently the inventor, Emanuel Goldberg, spent ages tweaking it and making sure it still performed in freezing conditions. As one of the first truly hand-holdable cine cameras he wanted it to be reliable even on mountain tops.

Posted Image

This is a photo of the spring mechanism. The cased spring drives the primary gear via a cable, the length of which controls the duration of the unwind. The ingenious part of the design is the conical drum that the cable wraps around. As the spring unwinds, the diameter of the drum increases, effectively reducing the gear ratio so that the motor has less work to do. It means that the spring can exert a constant force for the duration of its run.

Posted Image

Another view showing the drum and its ratchet gear connecting to the drive gear and the little governor behind it. The drive gear drives its shaft via a spring that dampens the start and stop jolt, presumably to prevent damage to the film and movement mechanism.

Posted Image

A shot of the polished brass gate and pressure plate.

I recently acquired one of the first Kinamo models, made by Ica before it merged to form Zeiss Ikon. It's crank driven, and probably dates from 1922. Pictured with a Zeiss Ikon 16mm Kinamo from the late 20's, which is about the size of two cigarette packs:

Posted Image

One last photo, of Australian cinematographer Paul Ruckert using a Kinamo in 1930. It shows a magazine attached to the rear, which is interesting, as I've never come across any reference to a Kinamo mag.

Posted Image
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#10 Doug Palmer

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:07 PM

Thanks Dom, fantastic ! Nice to see the innards of the motor half. It is an amazing design as you say, the conical drum and so on. And the foolproof threading of the film with the little tabs that prevent closure of the lid etc. That external mag must have been an extra effort to pull but I guess the motor was up to it.
I checked again my motor duration and it is indeed about 15 seconds with film, but only 12 without film. And the speed is 17 fps approx with film so a little fast. The short duration must have concentrated the minds of these early doc. film-makers to get the footage they wanted. But then of course they could still use the hand crank for longer shots. I haven't got one with my camera.
My camera is quite noisy but maybe just needs some oil. Also the sprockets are a little hard to turn manually, although the 1:1 shaft on the outside seems fairly free. I don't know if maybe there's a governor or something inside this half ? Anyway, I must get some film exposed in it soon and take it from there :unsure: If the results look steady etc... :D

Thanks again for all your info. By the way, my Kinamo came from Australia !

Doug
filmisfine.co
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#11 Hans van der Kraan

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:59 AM

Topic is from 2010, but still great.

 

Anybody any idea what happened to that fascinating Kinamo* Paul Ruckert used (See pic above)

Would love to have such a Kinamo in our Apparatus Collection at EYE, Amsterdam.

We have several and I have some in my private collection. Viva Emanuel Goldberg!

(* Well that specific Kinamo belongs in Australia of course, 8-)) )

Cheers! Hans


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#12 Simon Wyss

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:11 AM

There were more small cameras like this one for instance: http://cinematograph...otice-1925.html

 


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#13 Hans van der Kraan

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:05 AM

There were more small cameras like this one for instance: http://cinematograph...otice-1925.html

 

Thanks for bringing this link to the fore. Yes, Eric Lange made a great site. Met him couple of years ago. Very knowlegable and dedicated.

 

But for now: Any Kinamo info, pictures, whatever is welcome.

(I have the book by Michael Buckland, German stuff like Das Neue Universum, the movies by Ella Bergmann-Michel)

Cheers! Hans


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#14 Joerg Polzfusz

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:29 AM

And of course there's the LomoKino :D (but it's only 2-perf at 3-5fps :blink:)


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#15 Will Montgomery

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:01 PM

I've seen the 16mm version of this camera but never a 35mm. I love my Eyemo's; I'm sure this would be fun to shoot as well.


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#16 Hans van der Kraan

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:38 PM

I've seen the 16mm version of this camera but never a 35mm. I love my Eyemo's; I'm sure this would be fun to shoot as well.

Aah, Eyemo, you can't go wrong with these beauties!


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#17 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for bringing this link to the fore. Yes, Eric Lange made a great site. Met him couple of years ago. Very knowlegable and dedicated.

 

But for now: Any Kinamo info, pictures, whatever is welcome.

(I have the book by Michael Buckland, German stuff like Das Neue Universum, the movies by Ella Bergmann-Michel)

Cheers! Hans

 

Hi Hans,

 

nice to meet another person interested in cine camera history. Do you work for EYE in Amsterdam?

 

I recently discovered that Jacques Cousteau made his first underwater movie using a 35mm Kinamo in a home-made housing. He spliced together rolls of B&W still film to fill the magazines. Not a great transfer, but the film is on youtube:

 


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#18 Jeremy Cavanagh

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 07:13 AM

Thanks for this Dom. BTW, can anyone pop into your company's foyer to have a look at the vintage cameras and equipment, if so I will make a point of doing that when I am next back in Melbourne?


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#19 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

Thanks for this Dom. BTW, can anyone pop into your company's foyer to have a look at the vintage cameras and equipment, if so I will make a point of doing that when I am next back in Melbourne?

 

Sure they can Jeremy, you could even venture in further and say g'day! Ask to see Dom.


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#20 Hans van der Kraan

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:12 AM

 

Hi Hans,

 

nice to meet another person interested in cine camera history. Do you work for EYE in Amsterdam?

 

I recently discovered that Jacques Cousteau made his first underwater movie using a 35mm Kinamo in a home-made housing. He spliced together rolls of B&W still film to fill the magazines. Not a great transfer, but the film is on youtube:

 

G'day Dom,

 

Hi from Amsterdam. Yep at EYE. Look at my profile.

 

Have been looking at your other extensive post about Cousteau. Great!

Pity that we are continents apart, but here good place to meet.

 

Cheers! Hans


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