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35mm Equipment - Owning vs Renting


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#1 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 07:51 AM

Hello everyone,

 

just acquired a very basic Arri 535B Kit including body, 4 mags, extension viewfinder.

I'm wondering what accessories I should rather buy as opposed to rent on future budgets?

Does it make sense to buy batteries + charger, cables, ground glass etc. if I only use the camera on very few shoots?

 

Keep in mind that I mostly direct and usually hire DPs. Owning a 35mm camera solely serves the purpose of keeping expenses to a minimum and being able to shoot on film. 

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

Thanks for your help,

Alex


Edited by Alexander Boyd, 21 March 2015 - 07:54 AM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 08:22 AM

If you already own the camera, I'd buy enough batteries for a day's filming. Re-celling old batteries might be the way to go.

 

It's the lenses that are the expensive part of a 35mm kit.


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#3 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 08:24 AM

Thanks Brian.

 

And yes, I'll only rent lenses to be more flexible with selection. Couldn't afford to buy lenses atm. anyway.


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 10:19 AM

Might be worthwhile to pick up an old zoom or something eventually-- some are marginally affordable; then you can have a nice little "art project" camera.
You should be able to get some block batteries which are 12/24 and then you have a power solution for both 12V XLR cameras and 24V. My Block battery saved my ass with an F3 recently, though it's from my SR3 kit.

I'd not buy more than one groundglass; depending on what format you want to shoot in.


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#5 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 09:14 PM

Thanks Adrian for your thoughts! What do you think about a CCU-1 or an ICU, are they necessary?

Basically I'm trying to assemble a solid kit and rent the accessories that are either too expensive to buy or just not worth purchasing considering won't be used much (a short film or two each year).


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 09:19 PM

Depends on what you're doing; but if it's basically straight narrative stuff-- then no need for either IMHO; though everyone will differ. Perhaps i'm in the minority; but I prefer less crap on the camera if at all possible. You need what you need, mind you; but sometime there is a tendency to go overboard .


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#7 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 09:24 PM

Yes, pretty much narrative stuff only. I guess I'm with you, the less stuff on the camera the better. Guess future shoots will tell if it makes sense to some or not. Let me know if you - as a cinematographer - could think of anything that's absolutely necessary and where - in the long - it might be better to just buy it instead of renting it. ;)


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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 03:10 AM

Perhaps i'm in the minority; but I prefer less crap on the camera if at all possible. You need what you need, mind you; but sometime there is a tendency to go overboard .

 

+1

 

What does one need? A good movement, a sturdy lens mount, a precise reflex viewfinder, 400 and 1000-ft. magazines. Crystal controlled speeds and silent functioning for direct sound, that’s about it for me.


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#9 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 07:03 AM

Thanks Simon for sharing your thoughts, appreciate it!


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 10:29 AM

If you are going to go through the trouble of owning a camera, you should have the minimal accessories to shoot something with it -- a lens, a tripod head and sticks, a battery, a mag, some ND filters.


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#11 Simon Wyss

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 11:57 PM

Very right

 

I remember the day when I had the fresh prospect for the Arriflex 35 BL 4 in my hands. I asked for the price list. One magazine cost over 10,000 DM then. Today such items go for $195 on eBay. Of course, second to fourth hand and without any warranty

 

There’s more to it, that’s right.


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#12 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 09:23 AM

I agree, yet owning a 35mm camera is pretty much the only way for me right now to convince the people behind the government's film funding programmes (I'm in Europe) that shooting film is actually within the budget since I pretty much save on most of the rental expenses (except things like lenses, filters, grip etc., which I rather rent for a specific project).


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