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Thousands of Feet of Film


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#1 Michael Caputo

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:41 AM

Aloha,

 

I'm hoping I can get some help here. Yesterday I purchased a ton of 35mm and 16mm film from a studio that was going to throw it away because they were closing. I got it all for 100 bucks! There are about thirty 400' rolls of 16mm, and twenty 400' rolls of 35mm. All different stock. Mostly Kodak Vision 2 stuff from 2008 that's been stored correctly.

 

I decided I need a camera. Probably make a surf film and whatever else comes to mind. I'm new to this though; I've only used a Super 8mm and shoot mostly still photography, medium and large format. Just jumping in.

 

I was thinking of getting a Krasnogorsk-3 or Bolex. I'd like to get a waterproof housing too. Any advice on camera selection or where I might find housing would be appreciated.

 

My budget is kind of limited, maybe $500-$1,000, trying to keep it as low as possible. I figure I'll sell or trade all the 35mm film to buy a 16mm camera setup. No way I'm going to be shooting that 35mm with the cost.

 

Thank you,

Mike


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#2 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 07:23 AM

The Bolex and the K3 will only take 100' loads. You'd have to spool down your 400 footers onto daylight spools (which you'll need to find yourself), and you have to do that in a completely dark room. An actual darkroom. 

 

If $1000 is the high end, why not look at an Eclair ACL or similar? They pop up on ebay from time to time, and they're very nice. Lots of good cameras out there can be had for short money that will take 400' loads, are silent, run at sync speed so you can do sound if you want, and some (like the Eclair) will let you do high speed (70ish fps) shooting for slow motion. That seems like it'd be a benefit for a surf movie. I like the eclair because it's comfortable to hold on your shoulder. Aatons are similar, newer, more electronics, and more refined. They're also generally a bit more expensive and the older models tended to be a bit fussier. Arri SRs abound on ebay. They're solid workhorses, but not particularly comfortable to put on your shoulder, so I don't like them as much. You can get any of those for under $2000, some pop up in the $1000 range as well, depending on options. 

 

All of those cameras take quick-change magazines, so you can pre-load your film and swap it out in a hurry. Shooting on a beach, this would help minimize the chances of getting sand in the camera, which is much more likely to happen if you have to stop and rethread a new reel every 2-3 minutes. 

 

On 35mm, look at 2-perf techniscope. The cameras come up sometimes. Basically you get twice as many frames per foot, in a widescreen aspect ratio. It's a very cool format, and makes a lot of sense given the quality of today's film scanners. Some folks here have run the numbers and it's on par with shooting 16mm. The cameras can be rented, but again, they do sometimes show up on ebay. 


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 08:59 AM

I second that it is better to have a 400ft mag camera if you are shooting a bigger project. You are able to use C-mount lenses with Eclairs so you will save a lot on lenses compared to PL mount camera if you are shooting more of docu style and don't need cine mechanics for narratives etc. more challenging focus moves. If you need a small camera for quick pickups or more dangerous shots you can have a K3 or Bolex as a second camera.

 

If you have big enough changing tent you can spool down films in it, no need to use darkroom necessarily for that and that way you will probably get less dust/hair to the films also if making the spooling at home. 

I spool down all my films using mid size Harrison tent, with 1000ft rolls it is quite tricky but no problem with 400ft and less. you may need to customise your rewinder so that it fits well inside the tent, leaving enough headroom so that the larger film roll does not touch the ceiling


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#4 Wiliam Cardoza

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 10:39 AM

I'll trade my K3 for 35mm or rather you can borrow (I'm kind of attached to it)...LOL


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#5 Michael Caputo

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 02:11 AM

The Bolex and the K3 will only take 100' loads. You'd have to spool down your 400 footers onto daylight spools (which you'll need to find yourself), and you have to do that in a completely dark room. An actual darkroom. 

 

If $1000 is the high end, why not look at an Eclair ACL or similar? They pop up on ebay from time to time, and they're very nice. Lots of good cameras out there can be had for short money that will take 400' loads, are silent, run at sync speed so you can do sound if you want, and some (like the Eclair) will let you do high speed (70ish fps) shooting for slow motion. That seems like it'd be a benefit for a surf movie. I like the eclair because it's comfortable to hold on your shoulder. Aatons are similar, newer, more electronics, and more refined. They're also generally a bit more expensive and the older models tended to be a bit fussier. Arri SRs abound on ebay. They're solid workhorses, but not particularly comfortable to put on your shoulder, so I don't like them as much. You can get any of those for under $2000, some pop up in the $1000 range as well, depending on options. 

 

All of those cameras take quick-change magazines, so you can pre-load your film and swap it out in a hurry. Shooting on a beach, this would help minimize the chances of getting sand in the camera, which is much more likely to happen if you have to stop and rethread a new reel every 2-3 minutes. 

 

On 35mm, look at 2-perf techniscope. The cameras come up sometimes. Basically you get twice as many frames per foot, in a widescreen aspect ratio. It's a very cool format, and makes a lot of sense given the quality of today's film scanners. Some folks here have run the numbers and it's on par with shooting 16mm. The cameras can be rented, but again, they do sometimes show up on ebay. 

 

Thank you for all the information. I appreciate it. I'm going to look into your suggestions. Aloha!


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#6 Michael Caputo

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 02:12 AM

I second that it is better to have a 400ft mag camera if you are shooting a bigger project. You are able to use C-mount lenses with Eclairs so you will save a lot on lenses compared to PL mount camera if you are shooting more of docu style and don't need cine mechanics for narratives etc. more challenging focus moves. If you need a small camera for quick pickups or more dangerous shots you can have a K3 or Bolex as a second camera.

 

If you have big enough changing tent you can spool down films in it, no need to use darkroom necessarily for that and that way you will probably get less dust/hair to the films also if making the spooling at home. 

I spool down all my films using mid size Harrison tent, with 1000ft rolls it is quite tricky but no problem with 400ft and less. you may need to customise your rewinder so that it fits well inside the tent, leaving enough headroom so that the larger film roll does not touch the ceiling

Right on, thanks for the tips! 


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Visual Products

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

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