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Switching Moviecam SL from N35 to S35


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#1 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 01:30 AM

Hello resident camera technicians,

I have some questions about how to switch my Moviecam SL over from N35 to S35. We don't have any more film rental houses in the Bay Area so it looks like I will have to do this myself. I am using the SL viewfinder, so I don't have to readjust a frame glow mask. I rotated the PL mount and installed a S35 ground glass, but I can't figure out how to recenter the viewfinder system.

After removing the B&W video tap and viewfinder, the engraved plate underneath already says S35, but the optical path is still clearly centered for N35. After removing all the 2mm retaining screws, I can't figure out how the engraved plate is supposed to flip over, or how any of those adjustments would re-center the optics. Looking down through the aperture, I can see that the ground glass is still centered for N35. What is the proper procedure here? And what do the adjustment screws on the engraved plate do exactly?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 01:42 AM

Here's the relevant page from the camera manual. Unfortunately, that's about as detailed as the manual gets, and there is no service manual available online. I also looked over the Arricam manuals but no luck there either.
image.jpg
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#3 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:13 AM

Hi Satsuki,
Did you sort this out?
I'm away from cameras this year, so I can't grab an SL to check, and it's been quite a few years now since I changed an SL over, but from memory you just undo the 2 screws holding the little engraved plate and flip it over. That recenters the mounting holes for the viewfinder locating pins, and shifts the viewfinder over by a mm. The viewfinder mounting screws are held in elongated holes so they can shift over. It's a very small shift, just to keep the widened groundglass frame within the viewfinder's image area. If you can see the whole GG frame when the VF is refitted then all is good. Sounds like the plate never got flipped to Standard in the first place, so you can just leave it as is.
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 02:34 PM

Hey Dom, thanks for replying! I never did get it sorted out, but what you say makes a lot of sense. I have the PL mount switched to S35 and have installed a Super 1.85 ground glass. The left side of the frame is slightly cut off, so I guess I will try again. Thanks again for the info!

Do any of the 2mm screws adjust things like focus or flatness of field of the viewfinder or video tap?
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 02:23 AM

Ok, I think I figured it out. I was able to easily pop out the engraved plate and set it to S35.

image.jpeg

Unfortunately, once I put the viewfinder back on the left frame line of ground glass was still not visible. As you can see, it is barely visible looking down through the cover glass. I tried flipping the engraved plate over to N35 just to see the difference, but to my surprise there was none. So I thought maybe the locating pins for the engraved plate may have needed adjustment. In order to get access down there, I had to remove the cover glass. Underneath were metal shims:

image.jpeg

Underneath that:

image.jpeg

It appears the locating pins on top are screwed directly into the body and are non-adjustable. However the plate with the electronic connector had some play left to right. I moved the connector as far to the right as possible and reassembled the camera. Lo and behold, I can now just barely make out the frame line on the left edge of frame!

image.jpeg

The little gap in the middle of the left frame line is matched by a gap on the right frame line of the ground glass, so that is how I know I'm seeing the actual edge of frame. Before, I only saw a curved field of black as the edge of the viewfinder optics were vignetting the frame line. Thanks again for your help Dom!
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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:33 AM

Yeah it's a bit of a squish sometimes, but you might be able to see the edge of frame with a tiny bit more adjustment. The locating pins are on the moveable plate with the connector, no? The engraved plate fits over that connector plate and shifts it to one side or the other. From memory the 3 adjustment screws just above the connector (looking at the photo) are to fine tune the position of the engraved plate, they should be eccentrics that control the x,y and tilt parameters. The middle one I think controls left to right adjustment. So you might be able to shift the plate (and thus the viewfinder) across a fraction more.
All the best!
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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:41 PM

Right ok, I was calling the adjustment screws 'locating pins', sorry for the confusion! Sounds good, I will give it a shot. In your opinion, how necessary is it to change the viewfinder optics back to N35? If the ground glass is still visible in N35, then maybe I can just leave it next time I change over? The ground glass and mount would still be centered so there would be no framing or tracking issues with a zoom lens, right?
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#8 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:19 PM

That's right, there won't be any framing or tracking issues, those are determined by the lens mount centring and ground glass format. On the face of it I can't see any reason why you'd need to swap the viewfinder back if the N35 frame is visible, but presumably there is one or the designers wouldn't have gone to the trouble of making it convertible. Perhaps to keep the glow mask in position? We just used to swap it all over as a matter of routine, so I can't recall what issues might exist, sorry!
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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:29 PM

Right ok. Maybe the videotap would be affected. Well, I just have the regular simple SL viewfinder, not the Compact finder system with the glow masks so I guess I'm relieved of that concern.
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#10 James Martin

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:32 PM

Have you tried another top to see if it fixes it?


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:14 PM

Hey James,

I'm just a guy who bought a camera package, not a rental house! Wish I had access to more accessories like a 100% video top but alas have to make do with what I have :)
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