I've recently gotten into shooting quite a bit of Super-8 on a refurbished Beaulieu, which I'm absolutely loving. This has obviously drawn me closer to wanting to shoot 35mm. Any suggestions on a solid starter 35mm camera? My budget is between 2-5k, USD. Audio sync/camera noise isn't a concern for me. Just looking for something reliable that won't necessarily be a huge money pit just to get going.
Are they any companies out there refurbishing older 35mm Arri's?
Hey Mark, Thanks for the insight. I was aware that the kit was only the body and mag.
From the little bit of research I've done, it doesn't seem that 35mm would be THAT much more expensive for me. There was actually a post I was reading on here not too long ago saying it was on par, if not cheaper in some cases than Super-8 to process. I'm paying about $800.00 right now to send off 8-10 Super-Cartridges for development and scanning. Thats not counting the cost of the film itself. I see a HUGE difference in quality between the Super 8 and 35mm, so for me it'd be worth it. Just feeling like soon I'll have taken Super-8 about as far as I can go with it and am looking for the next step. Currently shooting an Beaulieu 4008 with Angenieux 8-64mm with "MAX-8" modification.
Here is a great deal on a 35-3, which is an awesome camera and will definitely serve you well. I would start looking for glass - an Angenieux 25-250 will serve you well to start out. Then you can get yourself where you want to be around your price range.
On the other hand, super 16 is a great format too, and you can get great prices on SR3s and XTRs these days. With Cinelab's rates its about 87 cents/foot including stock, HD transfer, and processing. Goes down as you go up, of course.
Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 02 October 2014 - 10:55 AM.
I bought a super 16 camera for the same reason, the cost of processing/scanning is cheaper overall than Super 8. Because I've seen many high quality movie shot with the format (Greenaway and Aronofsky) I figured 16mm was the sweet spot between cost, quality and weight....
Mark, ya it seems like the Super-8 market has gone up in pricing over the last few years. I'm not sure if its due to it becoming more popular, or the complete opposite.
Kenny, that 35-3 is tempting. Seems the only thing that would be missing is a power supply? And lens, of course. If it was Buy it Now, I'd probably have jumped on it.
Chris, I was on the fence about 16mm. I'd love to see what you come up with using the 16; For me, I just feel like if I'm going to step up, 35mm is the way to go. I remember experiencing the switch from shooting 35mm still photography to medium format so I think that is weighing in on my decision making. No doubt was 35 beautiful, but medium format was on another level. Kinda what I'm seeing with the Super-8/16mm/35mm.
My only thought with that lens is the sheer size of it. I've become accustom to using mostly prime lenses, so this would take some getting used to. I don't think I'd be able to use the camera with that lens off a tripod.
What are your thoughts on primes over something like this? Obviously the upside to that lens would stop me from buying multiple primes, but I'm unsure about the maneuverability of the camera with that lens.
Primes are a great choice, but they can sometimes be prohibitively expensive. It really just depends on what you want. Maybe decide on what you like shooting most, and start with that. Then build your set. 28, 50, 85. Something like that.
Derrek - I jumped from 35mm to 4x5 so I hear you on quality increase. But I don't want to take on the added expense of camera, film etc for 35. I figure after shooting 16 for awhile I may move on up though. I need to figure out where this will fit in my overall artistic practice. I'm waiting for battery packs to get recelled then should start shooting soon. I got an Angenieux 15-150mm for my starter lens because it covers S16. In a lot of movies I've seen news guys shooting Eclairs etc using long zoom lenses......
.......I don't think I'd be able to use the camera with that lens off a tripod. .....
The Arri-III with the normal viewfinder you won't operate with it on your shoulder, even with a small prime lens. You need a special viewfinder. So it's worth thinking about the kind of operating you will do with it.
Gregg, thanks for pointing that out. Are those viewfinders hard to find?
Is there an Arriflex model that would be better suited for the shoulder or potentially hand held from time to time? Not saying that I have to work off of a tripod, but it would be nice to not be constrained to one.
There is a link in this thread to an Arri-435 that a member is selling on eBay. But these are worth more bucks.
I don't know what Arri-III is like to occassionally hold in front of your face for a short time. Arri-II was originally intended to be used that way, with the bottom mount motor. But normally the II was modded with a flat base which shifted the motor.
I met one of the many operators from The Battle of Britain once and he described the hand held rigs some used with their Arri-II's. Much like the shoulder rigs used by the DSLR/Blackmagic etc guys.
Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 02 October 2014 - 04:18 PM.
The 435 was the best MOS camera ever made - tough as nails, versatile and extremely steady - but if you ever need to get one repaired or serviced it won't be cheap. These were (still are really) professional grade cameras, way overkill for someone just wanting to mess around with 35mm as a hobby IMHO. While pro film cameras like this have plunged in value, PL mount lenses are still highly sought after and even vintage glass can be quite expensive. You could easily spend several thousand on a few old primes that need PL adapters and then find that they have issues. It's also worth knowing that accessories for cameras like the 435 - base plates, shoulder brackets, rods, lens supports, follow focus etc are still used professionally and priced accordingly. But it's an amazing camera, to think that these days it doesn't cost much more than a Bolex nearly breaks my heart.
This Eyemo looks to have a reflex Nikon mount and would be a great hobbyist starter camera I reckon: http://www.ebay.com/...562093602&rt=nc
Much more affordable lens choices, and a classic hand-held design that was used to record many of the 20th century's pivotal moments. It's much more basic than a 435 and spring powered, but in some ways that makes it easier to carry around and use - throw it in a back-pack and off you go, no batteries required.
Let me start by saying thank you for your insight. If you could, define "not cheap" when referring to repair and service? I feel like that can be a bit subjective based on income and lifestyle. What's expensive to one person, may just be the cost of doing business to another.
I don't think I'd classify myself as a hobbyist. Maybe "starter" was the wrong term to use in the Topic heading.
I make a full time living in photography and cinematography. The 35mm camera I decide to go with will undoubtedly bring me revenue. While I do consider myself a professional, I don't consider myself familiar yet with 35mm film making. I'm currently spending about 800-1000 dollars a month on Super-8 film, development, and processing. As I've said previously, I feel soon I'll have taken the Super-8 format about as far as it can go and am just looking toward the next logical step forward to continue to learn my craft and grow as an artist.
Again, I'm loving all of the different perspectives. Much appreciated, gents!