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Arri S repairability?


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#1 Philip Nasadowski

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 05:25 PM

Ok, I've been dabbing on/off with film for a few years, and I've noticed a few things:

1) My Bolex is a great camera, but the spring thing sucks. More to the point, it let me down this weekend on a longish shot.
2) Bolex motors all seem to attach with that cool 1:1 shaft which my H16 doesn't have :(
3) There's a lot of attractively priced Arri S's on a certain auction site. You know the one ;)

Which brings me to my question:

Can you still get these things overhauled/repaired? Any particular serial # range to watch out for (I've read to get over serial 15,000)? Anything else? They seem to pop up all the time, but I'd hate to want to drop a few hundred and end up with a paperweight...

Thanks!
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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:44 AM

Hi Phillip,

the early Bolex motors - Unimotor, U-62, MC-17 - or ones made by Stevens, all drove via the 8:1 shaft. They tend to require different input voltages for the different speeds, either with transformers or variable battery packs. There were changes to the diameter of the 8:1 shafts, so if you consider buying a motor, ask the seller for the drive shaft dimensions to make sure it matches your Bolex.

Regarding the Arri 16S - I'm sure you could still get them serviced by various people around the globe, but parts may be hard to find.

Tim Carroll, who posts here a lot (though he's been quiet lately), is the master of all things Arri S. His website is a great resource for anyone contemplating investing in one:

http://arri16s.com/

His advice on this would be a lot more reliable than mine.

If you're in the US I'm pretty sure he still services them. (Tim?) Otherwise various Arri agencies might have a tech familiar with them. I can service them in Australia, but I only have a handful of parts.

They're beautiful cameras, but your C-mount Bolex lenses won't be compatible, so keep in mind you'd also need to invest in new (old) lenses with Arri Standard or Bayonet mounts.
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:56 PM

Philip,

You can still get an Arriflex 16S serviced. Axel Broda still services them and occasionally I will service one.

But service isn't cheap, though a fully serviced Arriflex 16S is a professional motion picture camera, whereas a Bolex was and is always going to be a consumer quality motion picture camera.

I would try to find an Arriflex 16S or 16S/B with a serial number above 15,000, mainly because that is going to be a newer camera and maybe not as heavily used. Then have it overhauled, find a nice set of lenses, and have at it. It will service you far more reliably than a Bolex.

Best,
-Tim
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