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Aaton s16


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#1 Francis Elvans

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

Hi there I was hoping for a bit of advice,

I may have the opportunity to purchase an aaton ltr 54, its serial number is in the c200's (if that make sany difference).
My main issue is that the magazines are switchable between regular and super 16, is this true? I admit I am not familiar with these cameras but I have not heard of that before. Hopefully I will be ablee to have a close look at the camera, could you give some advice about what to look at in the way of what may be faulty or a problem spot.

Any other comments are much appreciated.

Very Best,

Francis
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#2 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:49 PM

Hi Francis,

"switchable between regular and super 16"

You wouldn't even need a regular mag if the ones you have are S16.
If you want R16 you would shoot for that by looking through the ground glass (if 4:3 R16 marks are there).
Otherwise you could just scan/transfer the S16 and crop it when you edit.

Tom
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

Assuming the camera mags have the pressure plates etc for Super 16, you don't need to touch the mags, any switching takes place on the camera body. On the Aaton this involves shifting the optical centre of the lens and the viewfinder ground glass & optics to match the format you're using, there's special tool for doing the alignment. These days they tend to stay on Super 16, compared to the 4:3 and 16:9 switch over days, when it needed changing all the time.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 24 January 2012 - 01:36 PM.

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#4 Francis Elvans

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

Thanks Tom and Brian,

I see what your saying, I ws confused as the seller informed me when I asked about the format of the magazines that they are "usable for both standard and regular 16." Sorry for using the word switchable thats not literally correct, but I was not aware that the single magazine could accomodate both formats. But from what you say it is possible as the magazine has little to do with it, providing the pressure plates are present.

Do you have any advice for what I need to look out for on an inspection?

Many thanks for your help,

Francis
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:55 PM

Francis,

If the serial number on the camera is in the C200 range, that is not an Aaton LTR54. It is an LTR7. That's not really in the serial number range that I would recommend. Those early cameras, and a C200 would be one of the earliest ones, were going through an evolution. It wasn't until the later serial numbers that things became more standardized. And the LTR54 cameras came in somewhere around the C1000 serial numbers. If you can find an LTR54, that has been converted to Super 16, with a "black gate" that would be my recommendation.

Just my 2ยข worth.

Best,
-Tim
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

Modifying an old LTR camera to Super 16 is quite an operation and probably isn't worth it. You'll need to find out what's been done to this camera, given the low number it's not a LTR 54 as such, although it may have been had a mod job done top allow it to shoot at the higher frame rate. You really need to check, I gather it's getting difficult to get parts for the earlier LTRs, so it may be better looking at a higher a serial number camera.
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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:20 PM

I ws confused as the seller informed me when I asked about the format of the magazines that they are "usable for both standard and regular 16." Sorry for using the word switchable thats not literally correct, but I was not aware that the single magazine could accomodate both formats.


The Only real difference between "clasic" or standrd 16mm and "super16" is that for Super 16 you use the area of the film that would hold the sound track in a normal 16mm print. The camera and the mag must not make any marks on the film in that area. Cameras original designed for regular 16mm often had a film guide that touched the film just between the picture and the sound track area, as a scratch or mark there would not be a problem in classic 16mm production.

If the camera and mag is "clean" for super16, then using just the standard 16 area is not an issue. Super 16 typicaly recenters the lens to be in the centre of the new wider frame.
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#8 Francis Elvans

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:30 AM

Ah, so in that case I was misinformed by the seller when they told me it was an LTR54, good job I ran it past you guys! I don't suppose I will be taking any risks then. What a shame, I knew it was too good to be true, I had my suspicions that serial number was low (and the price).

I guess you've saved me quite a bit of cash.

Many thanks for the advice,

Francis
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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:02 PM

Ah, so in that case I was misinformed by the seller when they told me it was an LTR54, good job I ran it past you guys! I don't suppose I will be taking any risks then. What a shame, I knew it was too good to be true, I had my suspicions that serial number was low (and the price).

I guess you've saved me quite a bit of cash.

Many thanks for the advice,

Francis


Be aware that an old Aaton that has not had a full overhaul may well need $4,000 spent on it to bring it up to scratch. Ask Abel Cine in NY to look on their system to see what service history is like on any camera you want to buy.
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#10 Jay Stewart

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:37 PM

Image Gear in Toronto has a used XTR for sale with $3,500's worth of glass included in the kit among other goodies. Might be too expensive for you, but the listing is best offer so you never know. Would be worth inquiring about: http://imagegearinc....ton-xtr-s-16mm/
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