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CP-16 sound camera and maintenance

CP-16 16mm crystal sync cameras 16mm film camera maintenance

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#1 stephen solar

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:00 PM

So I was looking at !6mm cameras and wondering, what am I getting myself into with one of these, a CP-16 camera. I know it was a professional piece of film gear for news organizations and probably need all kinds of extras, also what are the chances of some catastrophic failure on these old film cameras. I've got a canon AZ super 8 and it's time for an upgrade. I think I'd like a 16mm, preferably crystal synced. Any suggestions or opinions would be appreciated.


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#2 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:26 PM

Make sure its a CP-16R (reflex). Before you decide on a camera you could visit someone who owns one and just try handling it, get some explanations, see what your instincts tell you. Are there any film co-operatives in your city so you can join and rent an older camera really cheap.

I don't know CP-16 very well. The following advice is general for any of the old film cameras you might buy. Find one with a known service history and make sure it is not due for imediate major service. A full clean, lube and adjust, first time that the technician sees the camera, may cost more than it costs to buy some cameras.

Properly maintained cameras are very reliable.

Good luck.
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#3 stephen solar

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for the advice, very helpful. 


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#4 Heikki Repo

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:17 AM

You might also want to look at Eclairs (NPR, ACL) or even newer Arris. These days the prices have come so low on the higher end 16mm film cameras that it really isn't in my opinion worth it to buy the much older cameras -- their prices have stayed the same for a long time but last months I have seen full sets of super16 Arri SR2s to go for $1600 on Ebay here in Europe.


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#5 Philip Kral

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:34 PM

I own an Ultra16 modified CP-16A, it's the older model with the fixed viewfinder on the lens. But If I had to recommend one to someone else, I agree with Mr. MacPherson and recommend the reflex model: the CP-16R.

 

Despite the dogleg lens, I've actually enjoyed the camera very much and use it as a backup camera whenever my super16 isn't available or when I could get away with regular 16mm (just for fun). I originally bought it because it was the cheapest sound-sync camera at the time for 500 bucks on ebay. Although, I had to replace the belts (Which was easy and I could do it myself) and buy a new battery, so it was really around 700.00 maybe.

 

The good: Sound Sync camera, VERY quiet, plenty of accessories (Especially for the reflex model), plenty of parts and technical support for these cameras around, built tough,  great all around workhorse camera.

 

The Bad: Heavy, No bells and whistles (Only one speed, no co-axe magazines,  no reverse, etc), scary looking loading procedure (These cameras used to have single system sound built into them, so there's extra sprockets  you have to maneuver for the sound head), and as Mr. Repo said... many other cameras with the extra features may be around the same price nowadays.

 

Heck, I bought my Super16 for 1500.00 myself.


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#6 Alain Lumina

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:15 AM

I loved my CP-16r, Bernie at super-16 made it Ultra, it was quiet, hard to thread, but he's told me not to buy another since I lost that one when storage was raided. 

 

Most important is LOOKED like a cool movie camera and impressed actresses. 

 

My understanding is CP-16's have proprietary ICs in them that can't be replaced if they die on you. 

 

Some of them are going so cheap that you can get a quiet camera for 300-400, but if it has a dead IC.....


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#7 Steven Vanpotter

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:32 PM

hello,,i have a cp16r i want to shoot a short with,,it has the angenioux 12x120.but..at full focal range,,the corners of frame come into view,i have to back out to make the frame square but that is 35mm range,there is one on ebay with the video tap going for 900,,on oct 23rd,2013.that would be a nice set up with the ttap.so,,,if anyone has the manual in pdf,,i would love to have it.the other pdf on line are taken off.just got 10,000 feet of neg and fodak intermediate stock to film with,,the intermediate kodak says can be used as capture film but i have to experiment as its EI of 6,,,so daylight and bright lights is needed.sure would like to get it modded to super6,or film carefull in viewfinder for 16x9.but it is quiet when filming,,thats overlooked,,i cant hear it at all unless next to it.wish i had a lens adapter for arri or the ultra primes by cinema products on ebay for 1 grand.whitehouse is the only place to get parts for the cp16r left.,,,,,,,,,,,,


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#8 Zac Fettig

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

You might also want to look at Eclairs (NPR, ACL) or even newer Arris. These days the prices have come so low on the higher end 16mm film cameras that it really isn't in my opinion worth it to buy the much older cameras -- their prices have stayed the same for a long time but last months I have seen full sets of super16 Arri SR2s to go for $1600 on Ebay here in Europe.

 

I'd second this. The CP-16R has a lot of downsides. The loops need to be formed perfectly, or the film pulls. It doesn't have a registration pin. They take special mount lenses (which hurts if you want to rent). The electronics tend to pack up on them. For a sync sound camera, they're kind of on the loud side. Depending on which one you get, the shutter can cause light smearing (I think they made 3 different shutters with different angles over the years. Not sure; definitely more than one.).

 

Look for a super 16 adapted Arri SR2, or an SR3 (if you have the money for one). Much quieter, especially an SR3 (it's amazing how quiet they are). Servicing is still easily available, from the factory. Look for one with a PL mount for lenses. Parts are easier to get. Smaller package. Easier to manage. Registration. Extremely accurate movement. Prices for top end SR3s are about the same as a CP16R was 5 years ago.

Also, do your homework, and don't jump on a camera unless you KNOW it's a bargain. Prices are only going down. Everyone seems to be moving towards digital. 
 
 


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