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Moviecam and 2c speed control


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#1 Greg Strait

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 03:11 PM

Hi,
I?m a film student who has access to a Moviecam Super America and an Arri 2c. I have used both cameras in the past and all in all have been pleased with the results. I have started helping a friend of mine who is shooting something that requires the use of both cameras. While doing test we could only get both cameras to ramp up to about 35 f/s. Now I?m pretty sure they both should go around 80f/s. I can?t figure out what we are doing wrong. The speed box on the Moviecam isn?t getting enough power someone tried to tell me but I don?t know if that is true or not? The 2c cranked all the way was only putting out to 35 which means something could be wrong with the motor. I just thought I would post here to see what anyone had to say on the subject. Thanks for reading.
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#2 Austin Schmidt

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 12:13 PM

I am an owner of a Moviecam Super and from my experience, the camera (when using the speedbox) can only run up to 50 fps. Even though you can type in numbers on the box up to 99 the number will flash, not allowing you to run the camera, until you type in 50 and it will stop. The times the camera could not reach that speed it was because it was not getting enough power from the battery. The battery had enough to run the camera at 24 fps but not 50 fps. Just make sure your battery is fully charged. In regards to the 2c I have no idea but it would make sense to check the battery charge.
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 12:34 PM

unless you have a high-speed gate and motor, the 2-C will usually only crank up to about 40 or 50fps before the footage becomes really shakey. We tried a couple shots on one project with a 2-C/CE base combo (and 2x 12v batts) at 60fps, and the registration was terrible, and the camera noise was just scary.
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 02:22 PM

Hi,
I?m a film student who has access to a Moviecam Super America and an Arri 2c.

Now I?m pretty sure they both should go around 80f/s. I can?t figure out what we are doing wrong.
.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

It's best not to run a sync camera much above sync speed as over time the camera noise will increase.

Stephen Williams DP

www.stephenw.com
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 04:50 AM

You don't really want to run a movie cam faster the 36 fps. It's noy good for the camera
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#6 Greg Strait

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 04:39 PM

Then why does it have a speed control box? What good does 36 frames do? As to the sync camera with a un-synced camera that isn't to big of a problem because the 2c was only going to be the B unit's for steadicam or slowmotion shots.
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:09 AM

What good does 36 frames do?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

A sync camera is designed to be as quiet as possible. Some max out at as low as 32 FPS a few can make 40-50 FPS. Thats why Mitchell, Arri, Panavision & Photosonics have all made MOS cameras that go High Speed!

Stephen
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#8 Austin Schmidt

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:23 PM

This is more pointed towards Bob's statement of not wanting to run a moviecam at more then 36 fps. Where did 36 come from or is it just an arbitrary number? The Moviecam is one of the (personally I think the most) durable camera system out there with a wonderful movement, hence why Arri bought them. I can't image Fritz Bauer would advertise and design a system that is capable of going 50 fps and not deliver a product that could handle it. I would imagine that if that was the case they would have fixed it in their later models of the compact and the SL. When you say "isn't good for the camera", what exactly isn't good for it? Does the movement wear down? And if that is so for the Moviecam, wouldn't that be the case for any synch camera running at an increased frame rate ie. Panavision Milleniums running at 50fps? or even Arricam ST (which Fritz helped develop/design and are modeled after the Moviecam) which runs at 60fps I believe? If this sounds like an attack on you or your opinion, please don't take it that way. I am just asking for a more defined explenation then "it is not good for the camera" so that Greg doesn't go to class and state what you have said and make his decisions based off that statment.
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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 02:00 PM

This is more pointed towards Bob's statement of not wanting to run a moviecam at more then 36 fps. Where did 36 come from or is it just an arbitrary number?  The Moviecam is one of the (personally I think the most) durable camera system out there with a wonderful movement, hence why Arri bought them.  I can't image Fritz Bauer would advertise and design a system that is capable of going  50 fps and not deliver a product that could handle it.  I would imagine that if that was the case they would have fixed it in their later models of the compact and the SL.  When you say "isn't good for the camera", what exactly isn't good for it?  Does the movement wear down? And if that is so for the Moviecam, wouldn't that be the case for any synch camera running at an increased frame rate ie. Panavision Milleniums running at 50fps? or even Arricam ST (which Fritz helped develop/design and are modeled after the Moviecam) which runs at 60fps I believe?  If this sounds like an attack on you or your opinion, please don't take it that way.  I am just asking for a more defined explenation then "it is not good for the camera"  so that Greg doesn't go to class and state what you have said and make his decisions based off that statment.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi,

Bob is correct.

It may be possible, but its not a good idear. By running the camera above 36 frames for any length of time, the camera will become more noisy at sync speed for the rest of its life!.

Stephen
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#10 Greg Strait

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 06:54 PM

I'm sorry if i put what good does 36 fames do in that kind of way i guess i was trying to get at what Schmidt said. I still don't understand why a camera that is designed to be able go 50 fps shouldn't.

Now this beeing a school camera it has already been run at higher speeds and its still considered to be the quitest film camera we have. My original question is how come it won't run faster then 32 fps now and how can I fix it?

The battery idea seems to be the strongest answer so far because the fact that it's being used in a school enverment the battery's probably haven't seen the best of care. I know at one point one of the teachers was trying to get the school to buy new batterys.

I would just like to say thank you to anyone who has written in this topic. I am very new to this whole forum thing and I think I might be coming across a little ungrateful. An like I said earlier thanks now to this forum I'm really pushing to have the 2c do most if not all of the slow motion shots. I'm really just now wondering why the moviecam was made able to go to 50fps but shouldn't. That just seems like a waste of a design aspect.
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#11 Austin Schmidt

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 09:48 PM

Gregg, I do think the most probable cause is the battery as most students do not take care of a battery because they only posess it for a short amount of time. Most batteries have a memory and (especially those used in film schools) they "forget" their charge capabilities over an extended period of time. From personal experience, I once ran 1000' of film using a fresh battery and wasn't able to run at a high speed the following shot until I plugged in a fully charged battery. I have also run into problems at rental houses when the speed box is not working properly and was sent to Austria to be fixed by Moviecam. It could also be something wrong with one of the three electronic circuit boards. There is no exact way to tell what might be wrong without a little deductive reasoning through tests between these three things.

Edited by A.Schmidt, 05 June 2005 - 09:56 PM.

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#12 Austin Schmidt

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 10:01 PM

Mr. Williams, I do have respect for your opinion, experience and accomplishments in cinematography and motion control but, why 36fps? Is that an exact number for a mathmatical or engineering reason? Just like a car running in 5th or 6th gear running for an extended amount of time isn't good on its engine, it makes sense that its not good for a camera meant to run below 20db at synch to continuously run at 50fps. And no, no one will use a synch camera for high speed photography continuously but why scare a person from running a synch camera at the speed it is capable of for only a few shots. I can't imagine anyone renting an mos or high speed camera just to do a shot at 48fps (I say 48fps because there is no reason to run at 50 when dealing with some lighting situations ie. HMI's w/out electronic ballasts) when the synch camera that is already in possesion is capable of doing so. Yes, the camera will wear down over time, but so will a car's gears when hitting the red line after so many times. Why else would the company design their camera's to do so for a few shots. Greg, my opinion to you is, use whatever camera (whether it is the 2c or the Super) to get the shot you need based off of the camera's capabilites as advertised by the company and your school. Do not make the decision based off of what is "good for the camera", especially when you are a student learning with the equipment a school has provided for you at an expensive school tuition. All in all my question is, What about running at 50 fps "is not good for the camera" for a few shots when it is designed to do so outside of the fact that it will wear down over time, much like everything else that is made?
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#13 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:08 AM

Mr. Williams, I do have respect for your opinion, experience and accomplishments in cinematography and motion control but, why 36fps? Is that an exact number for a mathmatical or engineering reason? 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

By putting extra stress on the camera, the bearings will wear much much faster and the camera will make more noise. One reason why almost all of the Mitchell BNCR's ever made still run, is that people did not try run them fast. The high speed mitchells had hardened bearings which make more noise. A Moviecam should not be red lined like a Ferrari! It will work, but higher repair costs will catch up with the owner in the end! Film cameras if looked after can last well over 50 years! Today I was using a Mitchell on a motion control that was made in 1944! It still runs at 120 FPS which is safe, the original motors went to 144FPS. Some people I know managed 160FPS for a while and then BANG! camera ruined!

Stephen
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#14 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:31 PM

Hi,

I have just found a Movicam manuel from 1984. The camera on its own will run to 32 FPS. If the camera was really meant to be used without a thought at 50 FPS I am sure it would have been a standard feature from the camera alone. (My Ultracam also runs to 32 FPS.) The manuel however states that with the control box speeds from 1-50 FPS forwards & 1-32 FPS reverse are possible. I think that the high speed option with the control box may have been disabled, remember the camera is not new.

Stephen
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