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Pathe PR16 with prime lenses question


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#1 paul gustavson

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:24 AM

Hello there folks,

I have been having fun shooting in double 8 and super 8 for many years and just received a Pathe PR16-AT/BTL in gorgeous condition which I am very excited about to try the 16mm format. The camera came with 3 prime lenses attached; All Kinoptik Apochromats. A 12.5 angular, 25mm and 75mm. The literature that came with the camera shows the original bill of sale with these lenses when the camera was first purchased. My problem is mainly with the 12.5. When I look through the viewfinder and progressively stop down the lens, it seems to be vignetting severely. When I have reached the minimum aperture, I am looking through what looks like a small porthole with most of the frame blacked out! This also happens slightly around the edges of the frame with the 25mm as well. Can these lenses not be compatible with this camera? They are standard C-mount lenses so I am kind of baffled why this is happening. The lenses mount snugly to the camera with the recesses flush with the body. I have the DS8 version of this camera, so I am quite familiar with how it works. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:34 PM

I would think it is a problem with the groundglass not spreading out the light properly. This sometimes happens when the groundglass is contaminated by oil. Or it could just be a crappy viewfinder design. It has been many years since I have had a Pathe in my hands, but I do remember I did not like the viewfinder one bit.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 01:29 PM

I had a Pathe years ago. The finder is a pellicle, and very dim. Shoot a test, the lenses are probably fine.





-- J.S.
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#4 paul gustavson

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:11 PM

Thankyou Jean, I am very happy and glad for you that you no longer have a Pathe, for I would not want for you to be unhappy!
Hey John, It's funny, because I have a Bolex reflex double 8 and the Pathe viewfinder seems to be of equal brightness to me; they both divert light to the viewfinder, anyway; I will take your advice and shoot a roll and see what happens. Thanks so much and take care.
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#5 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:31 PM

Have you shot any test footage yet? I've probably shot enough film on a Pathe and a Beaulieu R-16 to wrap around my block several times, they were my workhorses when I used to shoot sports analysis films. I saw the same vignetting on both cameras with a variety of lenses but the film always came out gorgeous. My bet would be the ground glass. Interesting , though it happenes on a wide angle lens as I usually saw vignetting on lenses 50mm or better. I had a 12 to 120 Angenieux that I saw vignetting on both the Beaulieu and the Pathe at different ends of the zoom.
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#6 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

Thankyou Jean, I am very happy and glad for you that you no longer have a Pathe, for I would not want for you to be unhappy!



Having one in my hand does not mean I owned one.
Lots and lots of cameras pass through my hands. I am a camera repairman.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#7 paul gustavson

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:03 AM

Hey Marty, Yes, I spoke with Bernie @ super 16 and he thought that these lenses were not made for the Pathe, but just to give a roll of film a try and if it comes out well with the Angular lens, I know I will have to just shoot with a lot of guesstimation. The Angular really has extreme vignetting though, where you can't even really see the frame at all, just a little circle in the center. So, maybe I will not be able to use the wide angle at all; they are gorgeous lenses though.
Jean, I am lover of old mechanical cameras and by no means a cinematographer. I am probably a 1/2 step above an annoying father chasing his kids around. My results are usually junk, but when something comes out nice, it makes it all worthwhile. I have had my Pathe DS8, serviced by Andrew Hayden with the pellicle replaced and the viewfinder cleaned and I have no problem at all looking through it and think it is living high on the hog compared to looking through my Heliomatic or old Keystone! I guess my reference point is so much lower than most folks on this site and if I was doing this for my livelihood, I would probably throw the Pathe away as well; but it sure is a helluva lot of fun. I certainly learned much by reading info. from your posts and many others on this site and I thank you all for that.
take care,

Paul
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#8 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:37 PM

Hey Marty, Yes, I spoke with Bernie @ super 16 and he thought that these lenses were not made for the Pathe, but just to give a roll of film a try and if it comes out well with the Angular lens, I know I will have to just shoot with a lot of guesstimation. The Angular really has extreme vignetting though, where you can't even really see the frame at all, just a little circle in the center. So, maybe I will not be able to use the wide angle at all; they are gorgeous lenses though.
Jean, I am lover of old mechanical cameras and by no means a cinematographer. I am probably a 1/2 step above an annoying father chasing his kids around. My results are usually junk, but when something comes out nice, it makes it all worthwhile. I have had my Pathe DS8, serviced by Andrew Hayden with the pellicle replaced and the viewfinder cleaned and I have no problem at all looking through it and think it is living high on the hog compared to looking through my Heliomatic or old Keystone! I guess my reference point is so much lower than most folks on this site and if I was doing this for my livelihood, I would probably throw the Pathe away as well; but it sure is a helluva lot of fun. I certainly learned much by reading info. from your posts and many others on this site and I thank you all for that.
take care,

Paul

It sounds to me like it's a lens made for 8mm optics and film plane, sort of like putting the zoom found on a Beaulieu 4008 ZM2 on an R16, so your test film may come out exactly like you see it in the finder. I really envy you at the stage you are now with such an impressive camera. My first cameras were an old Technicolor 8 (standard 8mm) and I thought I was really stepping up when I got a Kodak XL55 for a Christmas present in 1972. Some times were living in, right?
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#9 paul gustavson

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:26 PM

Yes Marty, We are living in great times! I believe you are right, on the 12.5 Angular, the rear element is about 1/2 the diameter of the other two lenses, so that is probably the case. They all show vignetting, so they must just not be the right set up for this camera. I have a test roll to be mailed out for processing. I will try to find a zoom for it and maybe sell off the 3 primes, as these seem to very popular lenses for digital 4/3 cameras. I cannot resist these old cameras though, as I have a Eumig C16R I'm playing around with as well and it is super fun. These times are wonderful, as I am so impressed with these machines that with a modest initial investment and spending another $200-$300 for a complete servicing, they are good to go for the rest of my lifetime. It is hard to be bitter when faced with such a predicament.
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