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16mm Movie Cameras


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#1 Scott Christopher Davis

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:39 AM

I'm looking to get out there, and experiment with film.  It's something that is harder to learn where i live because its being phased out each year as digital is coming more and more into play.

 

I am a freshman at college, and I would like to know, what brand of 16mm cameras would you recommend to someone who looking to learn, and has never dealt with film before.  I was looking at some older models on Ebay, like Keystone and Kodak, I just didnt know anything about them.

 

 

 

Any advice, comments, or suggestions would be appreciated.

 

 

Thanks.


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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:29 AM

Bell and Howell 240 can often be picked up cheap and is great. It's like a more modern filmo.

The filmo iteslf is nice too!

 

Bolex H16 is the most famous camera.

 

There are a few cheap keystone cameras that are fun for the price. I can't remember the model numbers these days tho? Anyone?

 

Freya


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#3 Zac Fettig

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:48 AM

The easiest to work with is a Canon Scoopic. It threads itself, and has a built in light meter. Self contained. As easy as it gets in 16mm. If you want to start out, that's what I'd recommend.


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#4 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:58 AM

Any of the H16s are good and self threading too. But, if you go the reflex route, do yourself the favor and get a Rex5, maybe even one modified with a 13 or 14x viewfinder. Those Rex1 viewfinders are so dark and small focus pulling is crazy hard, especially in even slightly low light.
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#5 Scott Christopher Davis

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:03 AM

Hey thanks everyone for replying.  Im definitely going to look into each of those models.  I think a self threading model would be best though.  I hope they keep making film for them, i think it looks way better.

 

Thanks again you guys =)


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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:20 AM

Normally the 240 is self threading and does a fantastic job of it.

I don't think the filmo's can do this however.

 

The Scoopic is the nearest you can get to a Super8 camera, only in 16mm.

Not as versatile as other camera, and more expensive than some of the other 16mm cameras but very easy to use. :)

 

Freya


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#7 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:32 AM

The Bolex H16 is a good choice. I would go with the Rex 4 over the Rex 5 since the only difference is the Rex 5 can attatch a mag on top that you won't have or use, and sometimes have possible light leaks from that, also more expensive than a Rex 4. It has a spring motor than runs for about 40 seconds per wind up, so no batteries required. The Canon Scoopic is a good point and shoot for a beginner, it uses batteries that will need to be working.


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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:06 PM

The Scoopic was always a bit too automated for me, with the threading system & internal light-meter.  I would go with a Bolex or an Arri S to really get your hands dirty with film.


Edited by Bill DiPietra, 23 February 2014 - 01:07 PM.

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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:06 AM

I'd go with the Scoopic MS or MN also. I started 16mm with a K3 and loved the footage but it was painful to constantly wind the thing. 

 

Bill has a good point about the automation, but honestly you'd get over that fast. Having the built-in meter that is surprisingly accurate is a great asset for run-n-gun shooting. You can use it to set the exposure then turn it to manual if you are afraid of breathing. They don't change exposure like a Super 8 camera...slower to adjust.

 

The threading system is the best part. It has to be the easiest and fastest camera for loading which is a plus when you are in a hurry.

 

If you are shooting features by all means go with an Arri SR, but for learning and fun go with the Scoopic; you'll be amazed at the quality.


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#10 Bill Gaunce

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:22 PM

Hi, first time post . . . 

 

Does anyone have any scoopic battery shells (containers for original scoopic 16 batteries) that they would be willing to sell?

 

Thanks - Bill


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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:36 PM

Hi, first time post . . . 

 

Does anyone have any scoopic battery shells (containers for original scoopic 16 batteries) that they would be willing to sell?

 

Thanks - Bill

You should probably make a thread in the Cine Marketplace.


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#12 Bill Gaunce

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:12 PM

Thanks!


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#13 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:22 PM

 

I'm looking to get out there, and experiment with film.


Scott,
Think some about what you really want to learn. Most people like the cameras that they began with or are familiar with, so they recommend them (I'm the same). It doesn't matter too much which camera you start with, if you are not too overshadowed or lost in that. But OK, you still have a legitimate question....although I don't think it is adequately qualified yet.

I say start with the simplest thing you can, but the camera has to be relavent to the things you want to learn. If you want to explore a sequence of photographic events on a piece of celluloid in a very intrinsic way then almost anything is OK as long as it isn't giving complexity and sophistication that is non useful.

Sadly (apologies to those that love Scoopic), the fact that you can't change lenses with Scoopic means that it is a sort of dead end or cul de sac. Choosing a lens and perhaps trying to adapt something unusual is crucial to the core of most exploration of photography.

To cut this short, without you having put yourself at risk by telling us more explicitly what you are looking for, I will spin the bottle and guess the most useful camera.....

Bolex, hopefully a later reflex model, with primes. You don't need 400' mags, or a camera that can accept them.

The best thing one can do is to ignore the myth of recording human action (or fictional constructions of that) in a literal way. Double ditto to the myth of recording human action with sync sound. Instead, consider each frame as a photograph, capable of great potency, and a succession of these is the physical, expressed essence of cinematography.
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#14 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:39 PM

 
You don't need 400' mags, or a camera that can accept them...
..Double ditto to the myth of recording human action with sync sound.

 

Although this is true, I found that I quickly outgrew MOS cameras with 100' loads. It is too limiting to begin with these if you know you want to make serious films one day.


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#15 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:32 PM

 

....I found that I quickly outgrew MOS cameras with 100' loads. It is too limiting to begin with these if you know you want to make serious films one day.


Yes, one can outgrow an exploration of first principals. Suddenly one needs a 500 fps camera or a quiet camera. But, while some may believe they have done this, the majority have not, it's an illusion, they have simply given in to an overwhelmingly persuasive paradigm, where a "serious" film will require a more literal approach.

So to try and distill this idea. If one didn't understand the value of a simple MOS camera in the first place, how can one intelligently discard it.
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#16 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:45 PM


So to try and distill this idea. If one didn't understand the value of a simple MOS camera in the first place, how can one intelligently discard it.

Perhaps I spoke in the wrong manner. I forgot that with you, I have to be really careful about how I word things.

 

Maybe what I should have said is that, as one pursues longer works (i.e. feature) one must get tools of the trade. I do not think it is unreasonable to want 400' mags and dialog capability in a feature film...do you?

 

And I understand the value of an MOS camera. You learn how to visually tell a story. 


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#17 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:55 PM

So does serious film = feature film? One could always opt out of the conversation and say that on a personal level, it does, but then one might have to accept that it isn't tue for everyone.

I invite you to view La Jete or In Spring One Plants Alone, neither of which are features, both of which are extremly potent and influential works. Oh, almost forgot, they are very serious films.
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#18 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:17 PM

So does serious film = feature film? 

I do not feel the need to defend my position. Serious, in this context, is in the traditional sense of being serious about your career. If you want a career, you will generally want dialog somewhere. You might not like it, and you might have some obscure reference to some MOS-shot short somewhere but those are exceptions rather than rules. I'll stick with 400' loads and sync sound; thank you.


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#19 Chris Millar

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:30 PM

So get an RX5 without mags ...  happy happy


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#20 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:28 AM

 

.... Serious, in this context, is in the traditional sense of being serious about your career. If you want a career, you will generally want dialog somewhere. .....you might have some obscure reference to some MOS-shot short somewhere but those are exceptions rather than rules. ...


I don't think there was a context.

Chris Marker (La Jete) and Vincent Ward (In Spring One Plants Alone) were/are both very serious about their careers. La Jete is almost all shot from stills and In Spring One Plants Alone looks like it was shot mostly sync. I don't think either of these are really an obscure reference.
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