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buying a 16mm camera

arrik-3 lomo KONVAS KRASNOGORSK 3 cheap arri IIc Arri s16

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#1 connor denning

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:54 PM

I have been looking for a nice and cheap 16mm camera to start with. I don't mind if I have to do some work on it to get it running, as long as it's do-able. the requirements are that it needs to be capable of getting footage that  looks good by todays standards, should be between 100-600$ lower the better, (I have to be able to pay for film after buying it). If it doesn't have a motor is it all that hard to make one? will it look like super 8 If shoot with it? Is there any thing I should know? What other cameras should I be looking for?

 

It's things like this that make me aviod a bolex.

 

I've seen better thing shoot on super 8 max 8, like this.

 

I'm going for something like this. I know it's a bolex in the first one. but there are some reasons I don't really want one, including stability.

If I had money, I'd want something like this.

 

This is what I'm looking for, in the sense of quality. I'd get a Krasnogorsk 3 if i'd wern"t for being a wind up and only taking 100' of film. I need to blimp what ever I get unless it's self blimped.

 

Krasnogorsk 3 test, ignore the flicer, thats from the eye pice not being covered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bcC12lpj_k

 

P.S. I also consderd a canon scoopic. also how do you control and focus a camera thats blimped, expshilly if it's a home made one? Do I really need a sync motor? Also sorry for being so long with the question.

 

cameras I'm talking about.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...PMAAOSwwPhWh7Bc

 

http://www.ebay.com/...MwAAOSwB4NWywx2

 

http://www.ebay.com/...sd=121882012376

 

http://www.ebay.com/...C4AAOSwP~tW4RCs

 

 


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 12:00 AM

Do you need a quiet camera for sync sound?

100ft loads OK?
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#3 connor denning

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 12:51 AM

I don't need a quiet camera Because I'll make it quite by putting it in a blimp. If I can quickly change mags or film, then I don't care about the size that much, though I'd like to do some long takes.


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 01:08 AM

So 400 foot loads because 100 foot loads are 3 minutes.

If that's the case, you're probably too low on budget. Even if broken, finding a 400ft load camera for under $600 is nearly impossible.
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#5 connor denning

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 01:37 AM

So 400 foot loads because 100 foot loads are 3 minutes.

If that's the case, you're probably too low on budget. Even if broken, finding a 400ft load camera for under $600 is nearly impossible.

 

I can stretch my budget. I could spend more I'd just rather use towards more film for more takes. Or if I had to I could convet a 100 foot to a 400'. And If I can change it fast enough, like it has an internal 100 foot mag and i have 2 or 3 of them, then It would't matter much. like a Krasnogorsk 2 (~100-200$ in all), add a motor if It can be done, though I'm not so sure it can.

http://vintage-techn...asnogorsk-2.htm

Though I'm not sure if It can take modern film or not.


Edited by connor denning, 28 March 2016 - 01:45 AM.

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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 02:09 AM

Yea, plus the Krasnogorsk's aren't very good cameras. They aren't really well made and the movement isn't anywhere near the quality necessary for decent registration. I recently got the opportunity to use one and was very dismayed.

Nobody makes a quick loading 100ft camera. 100ft delivery is always on daylight spools (outside of some rare examples). Some other cameras like the A Minima, used 200ft daylight spools, but anything over 200ft are going to be 400ft loads. Not a big deal to buy some daylight spools on ebay and breakdown a 400ft load. Much more of a big deal to load the camera properly between takes. The Bolex cameras do try to make it easy, but if you're in the middle of something, it's going to be challenging.

Now... before someone asks it, I will go a head and ask the $10,000 question... if you can't afford a good camera, what makes you so certain you can afford the stock, processing and transfer? Not to push you away from shooting film, but it's awfully expensive. Heck, I have a beautiful kit and the only reason I'm not using every day is due to film cost.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 03:46 AM

The Bolex has a good reputation for stablity, the camera on your first video has a fault.


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#8 Nima Khazaei

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:05 AM

Seconding Tyler's thoughts about money. I would suggest working up a full budget on paper before you go ahead with any purchases. Don't forget the cost of lenses too- they can be even pricier than the camera.

 

Also keep in mind that quietness is not the only feature a camera needs in order to be suitable for shooting sync sound. The camera's speed also has to be precisely controlled (this is called 'crystal-sync'), or else you'll have a massive headache trying to sync up dialog to picture when you're editing.

 

For your budget, the Bolex may indeed be the best choice. Like Bryan said, the one in your video is not representative of a Bolex in good repair. But neither the Bolex, nor any other wind-up camera, will do sync sound. It's both too loud and its speed changes substantially as the spring winds down.

 

If you're so inclined, and have access to some machining equipment, you could motorize the Bolex. All Bolexes have an 8:1 drive shaft, which exposes 8 frames of film per rotation of the shaft. My approach would be to attach a stepper motor to that shaft, and use a microcontroller to drive the motor at 180 RPM (3 rotations a second, for 24 fps). The crystals on most microcontroller boards will be accurate enough to record sync sound too, if you can blimp the camera well enough.

 

This setup will need a LOT of blimping, however. Bolexes are loud. You'll also be limited to shooting about 3 minutes at a time, and the Bolex is a bit slow to reload- all 100' cameras are.

 

The camera you're that'd truly fit your needs (but not your budget) would be more along the lines of one of the models designed for sync sound. Most of the cameras in this category will take 400' loads, in magazines, and naturally won't require any extra work to motorize or blimp. I'll defer to other people's expertise here, but something like the Eclair ACL might be very suitable. I think you could get a kit with a few magazines and a zoom lens for less than $2000. If you decide to go that route, do work up a budget though. Cameras, lenses, stock, processing, printing/transfer... all these things add up quickly.

 

I'm not trying to discourage you, by the way! Just encouraging a calculated approach :)


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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 11:22 AM

I agree with everyone else that you are not being very realistic with regard to budget.  I have an Arriflex 16 S/B but even that camera is too loud for sound-shooting.  Also, the one you listed for $499 appears to have a variable-speed motor which means that even if you initially set the motor to a certain speed, the camera will eventually drop to a different one, leading to a changed in exposure.  This means it needs to be constantly watched & adjusted.  So instead of watching the frame in the viewfinder, you wind up having to watch the tachometer.  It can be dealt with, but it's something you shouldn't have to worry about.  Plus, I wouldn't purchase any equipment off of ebay that's being advertised as "untested."

 

As everyone else stated, you should be worrying about lenses.  A good camera is important, but good glass is what will give you a nice image.  Even on ebay, that will cost you a minimum of $500.


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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 02:20 PM

Yeah, agreement with everyone above... to expound on the subject:

 

1.) The bolex is a far better camera than that first video shows.  That camera clearly has a problem.  I have found the 2 Bolex cameras I have owned to be the most stable cameras without an actual registration pin.

 

2.) All those Russian cameras are junk and a nightmare.  Stay away from them!  There is a reason they are so cheap!

 

3.) Your best bet is likely an Eclair (ACL or NPR) or an Arri 16SR.  But, both are going to run you at or over $1000 for a complete kit that is ready-to-go.  And, they are going to be regular 16 (4x3) not Super or Ultra 16 (16x9 widescreen).  In my opinion, unless you are using Vision3 50D, all 16mm film stock is too grainy if you intend to zoom in on the frame to crop out a 16x9 image.  Ultra16 is the cheapest route.  Super16 is better but not probably enough to justify the thousands of dollars for the conversions.

 

No matter how much you spend on the camera, I guarantee that to have a properly running and reliable machine you will spend another $500-1000 in maintenance/checkups on a machine with 2 or more 400ft magazines and over $1000 if you want an ultra16 mod.  Forget Super 16.  That will be $2500+.

 

Dave


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#11 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 02:49 PM

No matter how much you spend on the camera, I guarantee that to have a properly running and reliable machine you will spend another $500-1000 in maintenance/checkups on a machine with 2 or more 400ft magazines and over $1000 if you want an ultra16 mod.  Forget Super 16.  That will be $2500+.
 
Dave


Well, I just picked up a Super16 SR-II from eBay and it's in great shape (probably because it was previously owned by NFL Films). The entire package - 4 mags, battery belt, DC charger, Pelican case, etc. - cost me $1700. I believe there is another being sold on there right now for the same price. So if you can up your budget a bit, it might behoove you in the long-run.


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#12 connor denning

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 09:23 PM

anyone know

 

The Bolex has a good reputation for stablity, the camera on your first video has a fault.

 

I think the camera just needs to be clean. and the lens is likely just damaged or cheap. I'd bet the guy's using old film.


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#13 connor denning

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 10:17 PM

I agree with everyone else that you are not being very realistic with regard to budget.  I have an Arriflex 16 S/B but even that camera is too loud for sound-shooting.  Also, the one you listed for $499 appears to have a variable-speed motor which means that even if you initially set the motor to a certain speed, the camera will eventually drop to a different one, leading to a changed in exposure.  This means it needs to be constantly watched & adjusted.  So instead of watching the frame in the viewfinder, you wind up having to watch the tachometer.  It can be dealt with, but it's something you shouldn't have to worry about.  Plus, I wouldn't purchase any equipment off of ebay that's being advertised as "untested."

 

As everyone else stated, you should be worrying about lenses.  A good camera is important, but good glass is what will give you a nice image.  Even on ebay, that will cost you a minimum of $500.

 

 

One of the reasons I want to be cheap is because of of lenses, And I'm only really going to pay for the camera. An Arriflex 16 S/B Is what I was hoping for, I'll buy or make a blimp. How do you focus with a blimp on?

 

 

Seconding Tyler's thoughts about money. I would suggest working up a full budget on paper before you go ahead with any purchases. Don't forget the cost of lenses too- they can be even pricier than the camera.

 

Also keep in mind that quietness is not the only feature a camera needs in order to be suitable for shooting sync sound. The camera's speed also has to be precisely controlled (this is called 'crystal-sync'), or else you'll have a massive headache trying to sync up dialog to picture when you're editing.

 

For your budget, the Bolex may indeed be the best choice. Like Bryan said, the one in your video is not representative of a Bolex in good repair. But neither the Bolex, nor any other wind-up camera, will do sync sound. It's both too loud and its speed changes substantially as the spring winds down.

 

If you're so inclined, and have access to some machining equipment, you could motorize the Bolex. All Bolexes have an 8:1 drive shaft, which exposes 8 frames of film per rotation of the shaft. My approach would be to attach a stepper motor to that shaft, and use a microcontroller to drive the motor at 180 RPM (3 rotations a second, for 24 fps). The crystals on most microcontroller boards will be accurate enough to record sync sound too, if you can blimp the camera well enough.

 

This setup will need a LOT of blimping, however. Bolexes are loud. You'll also be limited to shooting about 3 minutes at a time, and the Bolex is a bit slow to reload- all 100' cameras are.

 

The camera you're that'd truly fit your needs (but not your budget) would be more along the lines of one of the models designed for sync sound. Most of the cameras in this category will take 400' loads, in magazines, and naturally won't require any extra work to motorize or blimp. I'll defer to other people's expertise here, but something like the Eclair ACL might be very suitable. I think you could get a kit with a few magazines and a zoom lens for less than $2000. If you decide to go that route, do work up a budget though. Cameras, lenses, stock, processing, printing/transfer... all these things add up quickly.

 

I'm not trying to discourage you, by the way! Just encouraging a calculated approach :)

 

I do have access to a mill. but how would I make a drive shaft for a an Arri flex? I was planing of doing that anyway. Anyone know of plans for the shaft and mount for an arri motor?


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#14 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:17 AM

Do you want to shoot film or do you want to make a camera? 

 

By all means, if you're able to make those kinds of things, more power to you.  You'll probably be able to do a decent amount of maintenance on it yourself.  But considered this is going to be your first 16mm camera, I would just focus on the purchases of the camera, lenses & any other accessories you might need to pick up.  You will have plenty of time to put together some hardware another time.  Besides, if the part doesn't come out perfect, you will have spent time and money that could have gone into the purchase of a full camera package.


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#15 connor denning

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:47 AM

I had grate witty response but it doesn't save when you log out. :(

 

But I'll say this Stanley Kubrick even used 100$ lens (a vivitar) I believe during a clockwork orange. And the budget for the movie, i only need to pay for the camera equipment, the rest won't be funded by me, unless it goes over budget. And also that the russain ark was shot on the same camera that Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones was shot on, Everyone knows thats the best looking star wars, even a none fan like me.


Edited by connor denning, 29 March 2016 - 12:57 AM.

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#16 connor denning

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:09 AM

Also. A 6000$ lens vs 30$ lens. in a lot of cases you can get grate looking images with the 30$ lens, even professionally. I have a helios 44m-4 a 44m-2 would be slightly better, but even if I payed 250$ the quality is quite good, thou you could do a bit better for 250$. I don't care if it's based on a lens from 1939, still holds up today, and has some nice kinks to it too.


Edited by connor denning, 29 March 2016 - 01:12 AM.

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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 02:39 AM

I'd suspect a $100 lens in Clockwork Orange was used in the POV jump shoot, when they dropped a crash camera fro, a window. The 9.8mm Kinoptic, which the film is known for cost a lot more.

 

$100 then was worth more then.than now, so I'd be wary of comparing prices over that time scale without factoring in inflation.

 

Old lenses can look intersting on digital cameras, I know someome who puts old cheap 1970s glass on a BlackMagic, However, I wouldn't use it on a 16mm film camera, it doesn't look that good, old high end Nikon, Canon etc would be better.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 29 March 2016 - 02:51 AM.

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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:01 AM

One problem to; depending on the camera, would be even adapting the lenses to work on the thing.

 

Maybe you can find a Bolex with 400' mags, Motorized (SBM and EBM I think? been awhile?) or a REX4 or REX5, i think they were called which took 400' mags on a spring load. Again, this is all going from memory. However, forget sync.

 

If you want a Sync camera, I would recommend looking for an Arri SR2 or SR3, which I personally love, an Aaton (though I'd avoid the A-Minima as getting stock is.. not as easy), or an Eclair. It's not going to be cheap, and honestly, unless you know how to film, you really won't get good results at first.

 

That said, there is nothing, I think, wrong with picking up a K3 as a LEARNING camera. Cheap enough to buy, cheap lenses (M42 i think for the mount). Get your feet wet before diving in, make sure the water is enjoyable.

 

As for vintage lenses-- I use them all the time, even on Epics, but this is because digital systems tend, for me, to have a lifelessness verses film where I'd generally be a bit wary about attempting to use a stills lens on-- not even getting into the nightmare of keeping it in focus on film where you don't happen to have a 17" monitor to look at showing you a high-res image of what you're getting, or focus peaking to help you out.

 

 

Don't forget a good set of filters as well and a Mattebox of some kind and rails for your camera. . .


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#19 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 11:59 AM

Don't forget a good set of filters as well and a Mattebox of some kind and rails for your camera. . .

 

 

Necessities that will push your budget up.  So, realistically, you need to be ready to shell out four figures.


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#20 Brett Allbritton

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:16 PM

If you're just looking for one to get started with, then I second Adrian's notion about getting a K-3 to learn on. I was just going through this process myself a couple of months ago, and after doing some research I realized that in order to shoot my films the way I wanted AND do it on 16mm then my only realistic option would be to wait until I could afford something like an Aaton XTR or Arri SR3.

 

Rather than delving straight into purchasing a $2,000+ camera (which, just to put this into perspective, is actually quite cheap), I decided to just find a decent enough camera to help me learn how to shoot film and settled on the Krasnogorsk-3. From what I've seen on Ebay, they can go for $100 to $250 or so, but I got mine for a really good deal at $60 after shipping and handling. It was a bit of a gamble, but considering these cameras are known for being hit or miss anyway, I figured the sting wouldn't be too bad if it didn't work correctly. Fortunately, as far as I can tell it is in great condition, though I haven't had the chance to shoot with it yet. I'll get back to you all on that when I do. ;)


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