I've been thinking about moving up to an SR 1, I've been using a Bolex for some time and am looking to move up to a sync package. I've grown to like the squarer format and haven't had too much trouble when I really needed a 16:9 extraction. And the glass is a bit more obtainable these days. So I have no intention of trying to have it converted to S16.
With that in mind could anyone give me a ballpark on what I should be looking to spend? Assuming it's a basic package, body, a couple mags, batteries and charger. Not looking for a video tap at this point either. I know I'll need to add quite a bit more gear to it to really get the best out of it, but its been a bit easier to budget for those items. And I know Glass is probably going to run me more than the camera. Prices seem to have come down quite a bit from when I bought the Bolex, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of these things changing hands these days so I've had a hard time figuring out what their going for lately.
I was a Scoopic guy for a long time and recently moved up to an Arri SR. The main difference I saw was in the steadiness of the shots (I used to get just a little flickering in blue skies with the Scoopic) and the 400' mags allow for crazy long shooting if you're used to 100' rolls. I have an SR1, SR2 and an SR2 Super 16 now and love them. Definitely heavier than what I'm used to but surprisingly not as big as I expected.
I think for an SR1 with 2 mags, a battery & charger and maybe one fixed lens you could expect to pay about $1600 or so depending on the lens.
Arri standard or bayonet mount lenses (they can take either) for 16mm are very reasonable these days which is an advantage.
I just had my SR1 checked out by Arri NYC and a local Arri tech as well and it's in great shape. I've been thinking about selling it if your interested (PM me). I have a speed controller for it too which will allow higher or lower speeds...remember, a standard Arri SR1 or SR2 comes as 24fps or 25fps only unless you have a speed controller.
It's astounding to me how inexpensive the Arri 16SR cameras are now. Sheesh! I remember when I worked at a company that imported them from Germany in the early 1980's and a body with two mags was $29,000 !
I had an Arri 35BL1 about ten years ago and I agree with Will that Arri NY is excellent at repairs. They really know their stuff and the prices were more than reasonable.
As for current 16SR prices, go to eBay and sniff around, but make sure that you don't look at current auctions, because it's only in the last 30 seconds that the actual value happens. Click on COMPLETED AUCTIONS and you'll see what stuff is going for.
If Will can sell you a good one for $1600 - that blows my mind and saddens me at the same time. I'd like to buy one just to have it, but I have no use for it at all!
Doug I know exactly how you feel as I sit here remembering how much I spent on my SR3. Still, though It's been around through many successive generations of video cameras.
I'm going to just throw out there that you may want to look for an SR3 package, as the one really interesting benefit of it is that it's swappable between S16mm and N16mm with a few hand tools. Granted, I've never switched mine from S16mm, but if the need ever arose....
And I've seen them going for around 5500 give or take on ebay.
It's really tough for people that bought in only a few years ago. However, just like digital equipment, as long as you are making money with it hopefully it paid for itself. Think of those poor telecine places that bought a Spirit for $750,000 and now see them on eBay for $35k. Ouch.
I think the price is right for 16mm now. When you can pick up a workhorse, quality camera like an SR for these prices; less than a DSLR sometimes, it might be worth it to have it just for fun. I've been shooting more and more with them.
I need some traffic shots this week for a project and have about 160 feet left on a roll of V3 50D so I'm headed out in the late afternoon to a highway near me.
You know; when I actually bought my SR, I never cared about making money back from it. I haven't actually run the numbers to see if I have made money back from it over the years. However, it did really really get me to understand how to work. I've never just shot with it for the fun of it, but every time I've brought it out, it's forced me to really think and that, I feel, has made me a better DoP and of course the footage that came off of those shoots (and occasional freebies) has gotten me a good deal of paid work, so I can't complain. Plus the depreciation on it has droped me down a tax bracket on occasion which i'm also not complaining about
Thanks for the info everyone. Prices have really dropped in the last while, I think I paid that much for the bolex outfit way back when.
The SR3's are quite tempting, but I'm not really looking to spend quite that much. Most of the time for real projects I'm shooting digital, but I've always thought that shooting film improved my skills and planning quite a bit more than digital, and have always enjoyed the process and the look. The bolex has always been more for personal enjoyment and skill building, I bought it back while I was still in school. Though I have used it for quite a few music video type projects. I've got a couple "personal" projects that I would like to shoot 16mm and it looks like I might end up close to breaking even vs renting, if I'm careful. And then its there for a bit of fun every now and then, also it does seem to help bring folks on the film bandwagon when you can cut a deal on the camera. At least I saw that a bit on the bolex.
Will, the offer is tempting but it's probably going to be a while till I actually pull the trigger on this, Waiting on the tax return, its kinda a present to myself in that regard.
You just missed a great deal on the evil auction site. Visual Products just sold an Arriflex SR3 Advanced with mags, batteries, charger, fully serviced, and warranted, for $3600. Those were going for $15,000 to $20,000 just a few years ago.